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Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Iraq News Balance
Rod Dreher has a good article today about the paucity of good news from Iraq. I'm sick of hearing about Iraqi detainees, roadside bombs, ambushes, etc. while not hearing about things like this:

  • School attendance is up more than 95 percent from prewar times, and more than 2,500 schools have been rebuilt or renovated, with 1,500 more scheduled to be completed by year's end.

  • All Iraqi hospitals and primary health care clinics were operating by December, and U.S. soldiers, along with UNICEF, are teaching basic personal hygiene and sanitation techniques throughout the country. Health-care spending is 26 times what it was under Saddam.

  • The CPA has been building playgrounds, sports fields, youth centers and places where Iraqi women can get child care.

  • The vast marshlands area of southern Iraq, which had been drained and destroyed by Saddam to punish the rebellious Shia who lived there, are being restored through efforts of the U.S. government, along with Iraqi and international agencies.

  • Three-quarters of Iraq's irrigation canals were choked by weeds because of neglect. The CPA reports spending $9 million to clear those waterways, providing water to thousands of farmers.

  • The U.S. Agency for International Development, along with private foundations, is conducting conferences and training sessions promoting democracy and teaching democratic decision-making and problem-solving.

  • Seven in 10 Iraqis say things overall are going well for them.

  • Fifty-six percent say their lives are better now than before the war, compared with 19 percent who say things are worse (23 percent, the same).

  • And the level of personal optimism is extraordinary: Seventy-one percent expect their lives to improve over the next year.

These are the kinds of things we should be hearing from the press. Sadly, they don't seem to want to report them. Hence, someone - either the Bush campaign committee, or one of these 527s we keep hearing about - should package these facts into a nice ad and begin airing it nonstop. If the word doesn't get out ... say hello to President Kerry.

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