Success in Iraq?

The following email is circulating between war-supporters in an apparent attempt to refute the claims that the Iraqi occupation has become a quagmire. I thought that I would respond to each point made. My responses are the non-italic text.

Subject: Iraq a Success

This is for those who are discouraged at the constant bombardment of negative news about Iraq from the liberal, anti-Bush media, and also for those who just want to be critical for other reasons.


the first battalion of the new Iraqi Army has graduated and is on active duty.

The Daily Telegraph reports:
” About 300 of the 700 members in the first new Iraqi army battalion set up by the US-led coalition have resigned, a coalition official said today. ”

over 60,000 Iraqis now provide security to their fellow citizens.

Um, what security?

nearly all of Iraq’s 400 courts are functioning.

Functioning as well as….? I assume this is a US gov’t “fact.”

the Iraqi judiciary is fully independent.

Ahhh, as independent as the American appointed Iraqi Council?

on Monday, October 6 power generation hit 4,518 megawatts-exceeding
the pre-war average.

I thought we went to Iraq to “rid the world of Saddam and his WMD” not “bring power back to prewar levels.” Moreover, is this really an accomplishment when we remember that it was American bombs that created the lower power output? But I digress.

all 22 universities and 43 technical institutes and colleges are open, as are nearly all primary and secondary schools.

See above point. Simply, this is the way is was supposed to be, it is not an accomplishment per se. It is kind of like saying: “My local fire department put out a fire.” Yeah, so what?

by October 1, Coalition forces had rehabbed over 1,500 schools – 500 more than their target.

Hmmm, why did they need rehab? Also, since when was US taxpayer money supposed to be used for foreign schools? I recommend you visit your nearest local inner city school to understand where gov’t money is truly needed.

teachers earn from 12 to 25 times their former salaries.

So what? It is probably inflation.

all 240 hospitals and more than 1200 clinics are open.

They better be.

doctor’s salaries are at least eight times what they were under

High demand = high wage. Basic economics.

95 percent of all pre-war bank customers have service and first-time customers are opening accounts daily.

Wait, the US military is spending my tax-money gathering these type of statistics? Just for that, I think I will disregard this point. And here’s some real economic freedom.

pharmaceutical distribution has gone from essentially nothing to 700
tons in May to a current total of 12,000 tons.

Yeah, that would make sense. Remember those Iraqi sanctions that denied the importation of basic medicines so Saddam couldn’t build those…missing…WMDs? Apparently, we are returning what we held back.

the Coalition has helped administer over 22 million vaccination doses
to Iraq’s children.

I suppose that is what is required when 170,000 foreign troops occupy urban areas and bring their own foreign diseases.

a Coalition program has cleared over 14,000 kilometers of Iraq’s 27,000 kilometers of weed-choked canals. They now irrigate tens of thousands of farms. This project has created jobs for more than 100,000 Iraqi men and women.

Once again, the blame could fall on American shoulders: 12 years of sanctions limited the availability of proper irrigation equipment. 100,000 new jobs is hardly a dent in the a population of 25 million with an estimated 80% unemployment.

we have restored over three-quarters of pre-war telephone services and over two-thirds of the potable water production. There are 4,900 full-service connections. We expect 50,000 by January first.

You break it, you fix it. “We expect”? Just like “we” expected a stable, democratic Iraq by end of year?

.the wheels of commerce are turning. From bicycles to satellite dishes to cars and trucks, businesses are coming to life in all major cities and towns.

That’s kind of vague….I suppose this could again be attributed to the removal of the sanctions.

Iraqi banks are making loans to finance businesses.

I gather with American tax-money.

the central bank is fully independent.

I would have to see it to believe it. The US gov’t would let the Iraqis run their own currency, set their own exchange rates and issue their own gov’t bonds? I think they should let the population vote first.

Iraq has one of the world’s most growth-oriented investment and banking laws.

Vacuous P.R.-speak.

Iraq (has) a single, unified currency for the first time in 15 years.

A currency the US forced upon them: the Swiss dinar. Now that’s freedom!

satellite dishes are legal.

If I haven’t made this point already…1. I don’t care. 2. Wasn’t this a war about ridding the world of evil, not bringing porno to the Middle East?

foreign journalists aren’t on 10-day visas paying mandatory and extortionate fees to the Ministry of Information for minder’s and other government spies.

If the US gov’t’s position on the media is any indication (i.e. the barring of cameras at military funeral processions), I bet that this new “freedom” is fairly limited and arbitrary.

There are many many more, so come back tomorrow for the full response.