Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Who Says We Are Wasting Our Time In Iraq?
- "...in 1959, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1980, 1988, and 1990—long queues of Iraqis have formed at the Turkish and Iranian frontiers, hoping to escape." Since 2003, conservative estimates put more than 1.2 million Iraqis returning (not leaving), closing long-standing refugee camps.
- 1991 to 2003, few pilgrims visiting holy sites. 2005, estimated 12 million visitors, more than Mecca and Medina.
- Iraqi Clerics returning and Iraqi Shiite seminaries filling up, providing an alternative to Qom in Iran.
- Iraqi Dinar, in "freefall" during Saddm's rule, is making a comeback, gaining 18% against the dollar between 8/04 and 8/05.
- Inflation was 70% in 2002, 25% in 2004. Unemployment was 60%, down to 30% in 2004
- Iraq was dependent on the "Oil-for-food" scam under Saddam so the people could eat, now Iraq is exporting food grown by independent farmers who have reclaimed land previously confiscated.
- Iraq has no history of democracy. Iraq does have some democracy in its history. Between 1921 and 1958, Iraq had a "constitutional monarchy modeled on the United Kingdom, it had a bicameral parliament, several political parties (including the Baath and the Communists), and periodic elections that led to changes of policy and government. At the time, Iraq also enjoyed the freest press in the Arab world, plus the widest space for debate and dissent in the Muslim Middle East."
- You can't force democracy on Iraq. Democracy is not being forced, the impediments have been (and are being) removed. It is the choice of the Iraqi people to form a democratic society, we are just helping.
- Iraq is an 'artificial' country, democracy won't work. Artificial, meaning it was drawn up based on arbitrary borders, encompassing distinctly different peoples. Ok, but what country isn't? Also, Iraq was a founding member of the UN, older than all but two countries in the Arab League and "(t)wo-thirds of the 122 countries regarded as democracies by Freedom House came into being after Iraq’s appearance on the map."
1.5 million Iraqis voted in the first regional elections. More than 8 million in the first general election. More than 9 million in the Constitutional referendum. Second general election? 11 million. As much as 70%. In the U.S., a 50% turnout is HUGE, and we don't have the threat of death when we go to the polls.
More good stuff:
- By September 2004, most schools and universities open. Sept. 2005, 8.5 million attending school and university, a national record.
- January 2006, ALL 600 state owned hospitals and clinics in full operation, more in the private sector.
- It is projected that by the end of 2006, Iraq will be producing its full OPEC quota of 2.8 million barrels of oil per day.
There is more, read it.
Update Shows how naive I am. I sent a link of this article to some liberal "friends" and the comments returned pointed out that the author is directly associated with an evil right-wing organization - therefore, 'thoroughly debunked.' No discussion on the contents, just guilt by association.
Oh well, I tried.