Iraq: What’s really happening over there
Edited, mostly for length, is an open letter written by an Army officer serving in Iraq to his church congregation back home:
“…The news you watch on TV is exaggerated, sensationalized and selective. Good news doesn’t sell. The stuff you don’t hear about? Let’s start with electrical power production in Iraq. The day after the war was declared over, there was nearly zero power being generated in Iraq.
“Forty-five days later, in a partnership between the Army, the Iraqi people and some private companies, there are now 3200 mega watts of power being produced daily, or one-third of the total national potential of 8000 mega watts Downed power lines…are being repaired and are about 70% complete.
“Water purification. In central Iraq between Baghdad and Mogul…water treatment was spotty at best…We are slowly but surely solving that. Contracts for repairs to facilities that are only 50% or less operational are being let, chemicals are being delivered, although we don’t have the metering problem solved yet…
“How about oil and fuel? Well the war was all about oil wasn’t it? You bet it was. It was all about oil for the Iraqi people because they have no other income…Oil is 95% of the Iraqi GNP. For this nation to survive, it MUST sell oil. The Refinery at Bayji is at 75 percent of capacity producing gasoline. The crude oil pipeline between Kirkuk (Oil Central) and Bayji will be repaired by tomorrow. LPG, what all Iraqi’s use to cook and heat with, is at 103% of normal production. And, the U.S. Army is insuring it is being distributed FAIRLY to ALL Iraqi’s.
“[Until] three months ago, ALL these things were used as weapons against the population to keep them in line. If your town misbehaved, gasoline shipments stopped, LPG pipelines and trucks stopped, Water was turned off, power was turned off….
“Are we still getting shot at? Yep Are American Soldiers still dying? Yep, about 1 a day from the 4th ID, most in accidents, but dead is dead. If we are doing all this for the Iraqi’s, why are they shooting at us? The general population isn’t. There are still bad guys, who won’t let go of the old regime. They are Ba’ath party members… who know nothing but the regime. They were thugs for the regime that caused many to disappear in the night and they have no other skills…but terror.
“They are simply applying their skills.... And, we are applying ours… Our troops are shot at literally everyday by small arms and RPGs. We respond and 100% of the time, the Ba’ath party guys come out with the short end of the stick. …They don’t realize that if they stopped shooting at us, we would focus on fixing things and leave. The more they shoot at us, the longer we will stay.
“Lastly, realize 90% the damage you see on TV was caused by IRAQIs…ANY damage you see to schools, hospitals, power generation facilities, refineries, pipelines, was ALL caused either by the Iraqi Army in its death throws or the Iraqi civilians looting the places…
“The United States and Britain are doing a very noble thing here. We stuck our necks out on the world chopping block to free a people…So, drop the WMD argument as the reason we came here. If we find it GREAT, if we don’t, SO WHAT?
“…Twenty palaces in towns all over Iraq that were built for one man. Drive down the street and out into the countryside… and see a family of 10 living in a mud hut herding two dozen sheep, then tell me why you think we are here.
Eric Rydbom, Major , Corps of Engineers”
No, you won’t see this kind of good news on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN or the BBC whose editors think the humanitarian efforts that are winning the hearts and minds of a liberated people are boring. Or, do not serve their political agenda.
William Hamilton, a nationally syndicated columnist and featured commentator for USA Today, is the co-author of The Grand Conspiracy and The Panama Conspiracy – novels about terrorist attacks on Colorado’s water supply and on the Panama Canal, respectively.
©2003. William Hamilton.