February 17, 2005

Iraq Facts

From Random Nuclear Strikes (who trace the linkage much deeper):

Did you know that 47 countries have re-established their embassies in Iraq?

Did you know that the Iraqi government employs 1.2 million Iraqi people?

Did you know that 3100 schools have been renovated, 364 schools are under rehabilitation, 263 schools are now under construction and 38 new schools have been built in Iraq?

Did you know that Iraq¹s higher educational structure consists of 20 Universities, 46 Institutes or colleges and 4 research centers?

Did you know that 25 Iraq students departed for the United States in January 2004 for the re-established Fulbright program?

Did you know that the Iraqi Navy is operational? They have 5-100ft patrol craft, 34 smaller vessels and a navel infantry regiment.

Did you know that Iraq¹s Air Force consists of three operation squadrons, 9 reconnaissance and 3 US C-130 transport aircraft which operate day and night, and will soon add 16 UH-1 helicopters and 4 bell jet rangers?

Did you know that Iraq has a counter-terrorist unit and a Commando Battalion?

Did you know that the Iraqi Police Service has over 55,000 fully trained and equipped police officers?

Did you know that there are 5 Police Academies in Iraq that produce over 3500 new officers each 8 weeks?

Did you know there are more than 1100 building projects going on in Iraq? They include 364 schools, 67 public clinics, 15 hospitals, 83 railroad stations, 22 oil facilities, 93 water facilities and 69 electrical facilities.

Did you know that 96% of Iraqi children under the age of 5 have received the first 2 series of polio vaccinations?

Did you know that 4.3 million Iraqi children were enrolled in primary school by mid October?

Did you know that there are 1,192,000 cell phone subscribers in Iraq and phone use has gone up 158%?

Did you know that Iraq has an independent media that consist of 75 radio stations, 180 newspapers and 10 television stations?

Did you know that the Baghdad Stock Exchange opened in June of 2004?

Did you know that 2 candidates in the Iraqi presidential election had a recent televised debate recently?

If you answered yes to any of the above, what news organization did you hear it from?

Posted by Ted at February 17, 2005 08:38 AM
Category: Square Pegs

Thought you would get a kick about the background of that email. I guess you could say I choke slammed the NYT and the AP through the spanish announcers' table....


August 16, 2005

While Editors Ponder...
Robin Mullins Boyd

The New York Times ran an article on August 15, 2005 that was an eye opening discourse into the
soul of the print media. The article, “Editors Ponder how to Present a Broad Picture of
Iraq”, was spurred by an anonymous email that has been making the rounds since January 2005.
The email was basically a list of many of the accomplishments that had taken place in post Saddam
Iraq. A number of editors of major newspapers, all Associated Press members, had concerns that they
where “not telling the whole story” about Iraq.

Mike Silverman, managing editor of the Associated Press, lamented the fact that “explosions
and shootings and fatalities and injuries on some days seem to dominate the news.” Silverman
cited the dangers in Iraq as one of the reasons reporters were not getting more of the good things.
Kathleen Carroll, the AP’s Executive Editor, actually said that “it was much easier to
add up the number of dead than to determine how many hospitals received power on a particular day
or how many schools were built.” Silverman than threw out the typical media excuse –
the positives listed in the email were actually in various AP stories but they were buried in the

Well here’s a news flash for the editors cited in the article. The email that started the
ball rolling was actually excerpts from an article published on the Internet on January 30, 2005.
The article, “Accentuating the Negative”, was published on OpinionEditorials.com. How
did I get all of this information about the original article? Easy – I wrote it.

Yes, the major print media was thrown into fits of “healthy discussion” by a woman who
lives in Guyton, GA. A southern belle, wife, mother and grandmother that works full time as a
Registered Nurse. A writer that has no degree in journalism but writes op-ed pieces for free (but
would not mind getting paid). A woman who loves to write and has book number 2 in production with a
publisher. I am just someone that seeks out the facts and doesn’t rely on what someone tells
me. Someone that can form an opinion all by their little self. I put my critical thinking skills
developed through years of nursing to work.

Believe it or not, a dreaded “FReeper” and member of the Pajamahadeen knows more about
the situation in Iraq than all of the high paid, high powered editors that rule what we read every
day. I have no connections, no anonymous sources. Ramsey Clark did not have to set up interviews
for me. I do not have an account at Kinko’s or access to forged memo templates. No one got
“outed” in my attempt to uncover the truth. Lives were not placed in jeopardy. Not one
single animal was harmed in my quest for information. No one was forced to wear panties on their
head or participate in naked pyramids. Heck, I didn’t even have to give money to “the
other side” in Fallujah to get the low-down.

In an ironic twist, a follow-up article, "Ignoring the Positive", was published on opinioneditorials
.com the very same day. I did not have to be stationed in Baghdad or embedded with troops in
Fallujah to get my information. No one was firing RPG’s at me. The only injury I sustained
was a paper cut while printing out my rough draft of the article. The information for both articles
came the War on Terror section of the Department of Defense website - information that anyone with
Internet access can get any time of the day. Guess that blows Mr. Silverman’s excuse out of
the water.

Am I surprised that the print media executives were clueless about the reconstruction facts in
Iraq? Not hardly. Was the information more difficult to obtain than tallying up the dead and
injured in Iraq? Uh, no. Any one with any amount of common sense knows the truth. Things are not
all peaches and cream in Iraq but they certainly are not all black as the media would have us
believe. So the next time one of the media pundits laments the difficulty obtaining positive
information from Iraq, consider the source. The only difficulty the media has is setting aside
their hatred of President Bush long enough to do their job. And they wonder why the newspaper
circulation numbers are down across the board? Guess it’s easier to tally up the numbers than
find out the truth.

Posted by: Robin Mullins Boyd at August 17, 2005 09:08 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Site Meter