Monday, May 24, 2004

Iraq

Just so we don't think it's all bad news.

As I head off to Baghdad for the final weeks of my stay in Iraq, I
wanted to say thanks to all of you. And just so you can rest at
night knowing something is happening in Iraq that is noteworthy, I
thought I would pass this on to you.
This is the list of things that has happened in Iraq recently:

-Over 4.5 million people have clean drinking water for the first
time ever in Iraq.
-Over 400,000 kids have up to date immunizations.
-Over 1500 schools have been renovated and ridded of the weapons
that were stored there so education can occur.
-The port of Uhm Qasar was renovated so grain can be off loaded from
ships faster.
-School attendance is up 80% from levels before the war.
-The country had its first 2 billion barrel export of oil in August.
-The country now receives 2 times the electrical power it did before
the war.
-100% of the hospitals are open and fully staffed compared to 35%
before the war.
-Elections are taking place in every major city and city councils
are in place.
-Sewer and water lines are installed in every major city.
-Over 60,000 police are patrolling the streets.
-Over 100,000 Iraqi civil defense police are securing the country.
-Over 80,000 Iraqi soldiers are patrolling the streets side by side
with US soldiers.
-Over 400,000 people have telephones for the first time ever.
-Students are taught field sanitation and hand washing techniques to
prevent the spread of germs.
-An interim constitution has been signed.
-Girls are allowed to attend school for the first time ever in Iraq.
-Textbooks that don't mention Saddam are in the schools for the
first time in 30 years.

Don't believe for one-second that these people do not want us there.
I have met many people from Iraq that want us there and in a bad
way. They say they will never see the freedoms we talk about but
they hope their children will.

We are doing a good job in Iraq and I challenge anyone, anywhere to
dispute me on these facts.

--Ray, SFC Iowa Army National Guard