Commentary: Good News from Iraq!  Facts & Figures!

By Ken Joseph Jr.

Baghdad, Iraq - All the bad news coming from Iraq these days,  you would think we all live hunkered down in our homes, venturing out to get food and supplies when all is clear and we can dodge the bullets!

 Nothing could be farther from the truth! Baghdad is doing just fine, thank you - fine that is if all the troublemakers would leave us alone!

 The stores are full, for the first time people can watch Satellite TV, surf the Internet, talk to their neighbors without fear and on the telephone without it being listened to!I was in Iraq before the war and I remember! The main problem in Iraq these days? Traffic! I spend a good part of my time every day trying to explain why `traffic is good`.

 `It used to take us 10 minutes to go before - now it takes an hour` is the complaint. Then I ask . .  did you have a car before? . . . . silence

With all the bad news coming out it is a good time to reflect on all that has happened in a year.

The much ballyhooed Electricity? Electric power in Iraq has doubled since before the war!

Hospitals? Open hospitals have nearly tripled since March of last year!

Telephones? 400,000 people have telephones for the first time in their lives!

Schools? Nearly double the children are going to school than were at this time last year . . . and for the first time in 30 years they will NOT be studying about Sadaam Hussein! 1500 schools have been rebuilt and 400,000 children immunized for the first time!

Security? There are now 60,000 Police Officers, 80,000 Military and 100,000 Civil Defence Officers to maintain order.

Is there a problem? Sitting down just now and speaking to one of my relatives he had never heard of it before! That is a problem!

Have the Americans made mistakes in Iraq? Yes, definitely - working so hard to make things better they forgot to let everybody know . . .

Rev. Ken Joseph Jr. is an Assyrian and has been in Iraq since March, directs and is writing a book about his experience in Iraq entitled `I Was Wrong!`

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