abstract musings

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Tuesday, December 07, 2004

More Good News from Iraq

Arthur Chrenkoff has posted another installment of good news from Iraq.

It takes a lot to get a man of God annoyed and Louis Sako, the Chaldean Archbishop of Kirkuk, is a very frustrated man these days: "It is not all death and destruction," says the Archbishop. "Much is positive in Iraq today... Universities are operating, schools are open, people go out onto the streets normally... Where there's a kidnapping or a homicide the news gets out immediately, and this causes fear among the people... Those who commit such violence are resisting against Iraqis who want to build their country."

It's not just the terrorists who, according to His Eminence, are creating problems for Iraq: "[January] will be a starting point for a new Iraq... [Yet] Western newspapers and broadcasters are simply peddling propaganda and misinformation... Iraqis are happy to be having elections and are looking forward to them because they will be useful for national unity... Perhaps not everything will go exactly to plan, but, with time, things will improve. Finally Iraqis will be given the chance to choose. Why is there so much noise and debate coming out from the West when before, under Saddam, there were no free elections, but no one said a thing?"

Lastly, the Archbishop has this wish for the international bystanders: "Europe is absent, it's not out there; the United States is on its own... [Europe] must help the Iraqi government to control its borders to prevent the entry of foreign terrorists, [but] also provide economic help to encourage a new form of culture which is open to coexistence, the acceptance of others, respect for the human person and for other cultures... Europe must understand that there is no time to waste on marginal or selfish interests: The entire world needs peace."

Archbishop Sako's frustration is increasingly shared by other Iraqis, who can hardly recognize their country from the foreign media coverage. Westerners, too, both military and civilians, upon their return are often finding to their surprise and concern they had lived and worked in a different country to that their loved ones, friends and neighbors back home saw every night on the news. "Our" Iraq is a place of violence, uncertainty, and frustration; "their" Iraq all that, too, but also so much more: work and renewal, hope and enthusiasm, new opportunities and new possibilities.

It never ceases to amaze me that I live in a free society whose journalists, self-styled guardians of truth and freedom, work so hard to support the opponents of freedom in another country. From not reporting the true nature of Saddam's regime, to misrepresenting the situation in Iraq today, our "journalists" are aiding the enemies of the very freedoms they purport to defend with their "reporting". I suppose that is one price of freedom, that people will use it for their own ends, even if those ends ultimately undermine their own freedom.

Chrenkoff's service to the blogosphere of posting good news from both Afghanistan and Iraq is a great aid in helping to paint a truer picture of what is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan. The part I quoted above is just the beginning. You should read the whole thing.

UPDATE: One more thing caught my eye from the story. Notice the irony:

Among the 156 political parties registered is the Iraqi Pro-Democracy Party, the brainchild of Iraqi bloggers, the Fadhil brothers. Read Ali Fadhil's wonderful and moving post about a dream finally achieved: "You can't imagine the thrill and happiness I felt when I held the document that state that the 'Iraqi pro-democracy party' is registered and approved as a political entity that has the right to participate in the upcoming elections!... That was not a dream, it's for real and it didn't happen in the 'free and independent' Iraq at Saddam's time, it happened 3 days ago in 'occupied Iraq'."

Only in "occupied Iraq" can a person freely and openly publish a blog, and register a political party. That such a major accomplishment goes unreported by Western media is lamentable.