Iraq: A Marine Commanders Christmas Message
[Edited mostly for space and to protect the author, is a memorandum sent by a Marine commander in Iraq to his troops.]
FROM: (The commander’s name was deleted because, depending on the November 2004 election, his military career could be toast.)
TO: Marines and Sailors,
“…I think it is important to share a few thoughts about what youve accomplished, either directly or indirectly…
“The first battalion of the new Iraqi Army has graduated and is on active duty. Over 60,000 Iraqis now provide security to their fellow citizens. Nearly all of Iraqs 400 courts are functioning. The Iraqi judiciary is fully independent. On Monday, October 6, power generation hit 4,518 megawatts-exceeding the prewar average.
“All 22 universities and 43 technical institutes and colleges are open, as are nearly all primary and secondary schools. By October 1, Coalition forces had rehabilitated over 1,500 schools - 500 more than scheduled. Teachers earn from 12 to 25 times their former salaries.
“All 240 hospitals and more than 1200 clinics are open. Doctors’ salaries are at least eight times what they were under Saddam. Pharmaceutical distribution has gone from essentially nothing to 700 tons in May, to a current total of 12,000 tons. The Coalition has helped administer over 22 million vaccinations to Iraqs children.
“A Coalition program has cleared over 14,000 kilometers of Iraqs 27,000 kilometers of weed-choked canals that now irrigate tens of thousands of farms. This project has created jobs for more than 100,000 Iraqi men and women. We have restored over three-quarters of prewar telephone services and over two-thirds of the potable water production. There are 4,900 full-service telephone connections. We expect 50,000 by year-end.
“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. Ninety-five percent of all prewar bank customers have service and first-time customers are opening accounts daily. Iraqi banks are making loans to finance businesses. The central bank is fully independent. Iraq has one of the world’s most growth-oriented investment and banking laws. Iraq has a single, unified currency for the first time in 15 years.
“…Foreign journalists arent on 10-day visas paying mandatory and extortionate fees to the Ministry of Information for ‘minders’ and other government spies. There is no Ministry of Information. There are more than 170 newspapers. You can buy satellite dishes on what seems like every street corner. Foreign journalists (and everyone else) are free to come and go.
“A nation that had not one single element - legislative, judicial or executive - of a representative government, now does. Baghdad residents have selected 88 advisory councils. Baghdads first democratic transfer of power in 35 years happened when the city council elected its new chairman. Today in Iraq chambers of commerce, business, school and professional organizations are electing their leaders all over the country. Twenty-five ministers, selected by the most representative governing body in Iraqs history, run the day-to-day business of government. The Iraqi government regularly participates in international events.
“…The Coalition has completed over 13,000 reconstruction projects, large and small, as part of a strategic plan for the reconstruction of Iraq.
“Uday and Qusay [Hussein] are dead. They are no longer feeding innocent Iraqis to the zoo lions, raping the young daughters of local leaders to force cooperation, torturing Iraqs soccer players for losing games, or murdering critics. Children arent imprisoned or murdered when their parents disagree with the government. Political opponents arent imprisoned, tortured, executed, maimed, or are forced to watch their families die for disagreeing with Saddam. Millions of long suffering Iraqis no longer live in perpetual terror.Saddam is gone. Iraq is free.
“God Bless you all. Have a great Holiday. Semper Fidelis,
(name deleted), Commanding”
For some reason, none of this was reported on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN or PBS. Only Fox News Channel bothered to report this “dull,” but vital, information.
©2003. William Hamilton.
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.