Basra is Booming

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by MtnBiker, Mar 14, 2004.

  1. MtnBiker
    Offline

    MtnBiker Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2003
    Messages:
    4,327
    Thanks Received:
    230
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Rocky Mountains
    Ratings:
    +230
    From George Pascoe-Watson
    Deputy Political Editor in Iraq

    PROSPERITY has returned to the streets of Iraq, and The Sun has been there to see it.

    On the first anniversary of the end of the Iraq War a new nation is under construction thanks to the tireless efforts of British and US forces.

    While the world’s TV cameras focus on the darkness of the post-war problems, the REAL story is of dramatic improvement in the everyday lives of millions of ordinary Iraqis.

    Some £15BILLION of British and American taxpayers’ cash is being pumped in to rebuild the country from scratch.

    Wages have soared, sparking a boom in trade which has seen street stalls groaning with Western goods banned under Saddam.

    Locals in Basra have dubbed one street Electric Avenue because of the stores selling new fridges, freezers, washing machines, TVs and satellite dishes.

    Around a million new and used cars have poured in to Iraq since the war — with 300 A DAY arriving in Basra alone.

    Hundreds of thousands have ditched their ponies and traps or primitive bangers and replaced them with modern Toyotas, BMWs and US-style pick-ups.

    This prosperity is helping Iraq regain its pride in the wake of Saddam’s 30-year tyranny.

    Most Iraqis are full of praise for Tony Blair and George Bush for ousting Saddam.

    Yes, mistakes have been made since the war ended.

    A daily diet of violence from religious extremists threatens to trigger a bloody civil war and destroy hopes for the future.

    Not enough planning was done to cope with the failures in public services which triggered unrest.

    But as businessman Ihsan Ali Jazie, who runs the port of Um Qasr, told The Sun: “Things are better than good here now thanks to the war. Before, the Iraqi people were dead. Now we are alive.”

    And Basra doctor Fakhry Satter said: “Iraq will be a great country once more. Saddam has gone and sales are up. Wages have increased. People are happy again. We feel like we have been freed.

    “We thank the British and American forces for what they did.”

    Iraq is poised to begin running itself. In June, British diplomat Patrick Nixon will hand over the running of the south to an interim government.

    Next January an elected Parliament will take over, with a three-man Presidency who will write a new Iraqi constitution.

    The scale of the economic turnaround helps explain the desperate attempts by Muslim fanatics to destroy progress with suicide bombs in and around Baghdad.

    They know they must wreck post-Saddam Iraq now or watch as the oil-rich state turns itself into a thriving democracy.

    They are also fearful that, for the first time, most Iraqis can now express an opinion in public without fear of execution.

    But the breathtaking pace of economic growth is not without problems. Trade is so good the market system can’t keep pace with demand and the country faces major inflation.

    Motorists queue for four hours to fill their tanks because there aren’t enough petrol stations.

    Engineers are braced for power cuts because the grid can’t cope with increased demand.

    And the new Iraqi police force is battling to stamp out organised crime. Just one third of major cities are covered by proper sewerage systems — and poverty is a problem in some areas.

    Yet above all, the country has been vastly improved. Here is The Sun’s analysis of how everyday life has got better:

    ELECTRICITY/WATER/FUEL: Power plants are being renovated and new ones under construction.

    Electricity is on 23 hours a day in Basra compared to just two under Saddam.

    Many houses have never had running water but aid agencies have ensured there is plenty of drinking water.

    British soldiers are clearing out 30 years of blockage from city sewers, including 6ft-wide pipes reduced to 6in of flow.

    Taxpayers’ money is paying to hire JCBs to move tons of rotting rubbish from the streets into landfill sites. British soldiers are ensuring power is getting to schools and hospitals.

    link to full article
     
  2. wonderwench
    Online

    wonderwench Guest

    Ratings:
    +0
    Great article - and a story that will not be told in most of the mainstream media outlets in the U.S.
     
  3. MtnBiker
    Offline

    MtnBiker Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2003
    Messages:
    4,327
    Thanks Received:
    230
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Rocky Mountains
    Ratings:
    +230
    Nope, and that's a sad thing.
     
  4. wonderwench
    Online

    wonderwench Guest

    Ratings:
    +0
    Yep. Most of the mainstream media outlets, Fox News excepting, really want to see democracy, capitalism and freedom fail in Iraq.

    It's sick.
     
  5. Annie
    Offline

    Annie Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2003
    Messages:
    50,847
    Thanks Received:
    4,644
    Trophy Points:
    1,790
    Ratings:
    +4,770
    Wonderwench, correct on most news outlets, seems the smaller newspapers have more insight than the NYT, WaPo, and Chicago Tribune. Here's an article that echos that in Basra:

    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/164309_march14bruce.html
    Sunday, March 14, 2004

    Iraq a year later: Criticism about Bush, Iraq war won't stand over time

    BRUCE CHAPMAN

    During World War II, when the 1944 presidential election came around, Republican candidates targeted Franklin D. Roosevelt's competency and motives. They unearthed government procurement scandals and corporate "war profiteering." Some even hinted that FDR was complicit in the war's outbreak.

    But they could not oppose the war they had voted for and the public approved. They whooped up political excitement, but Roosevelt won re-election on a motto of "Don't Change Horses in the Middle of a Stream."

    In today's war on terrorism, in Iraq and elsewhere, it is helpful to step back from the partisan bashing of George W. Bush and note that the critics' dire warnings of only a year ago already have flunked the test of time. Bush could lose on other issues, but contesting the war is unlikely to benefit his political adversaries.

    If you take the partisan rhetoric out of this issue, you can see that the war effort expresses American foreign policy objectives enunciated by Republicans and Democrats over a dozen years.

    The struggle to defeat Islamist terrorism is necessary for America's national security and for world peace. Simply put, that is why the public continues to support the war.

    Another reason for the public's sustained resolve is the success of the war so far.

    There have been mistakes and setbacks. But there also have been hundreds of arrests of terror suspects, and so far no new attacks on our soil. Some 650 American military have lost their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq, but not in vain. Those countries are now more hopeful places, and less dangerous to their neighbors and to us.

    In Iraq lately, the paramilitary assaults of Baathist Party agents and imported terrorists have begun to abate. Turning their wrath on civilian Shiites has not helped the terrorists to foment a civil war, but instead has encouraged all Iraqi religious and ethnic factions to compromise on a new interim constitution. Credit goes to the long-suffering Iraqis, but also to the diplomacy of the Bush administration.

    Recall, in contrast, what critics predicted. Hundreds of thousands of U.S. and Iraqi deaths. The "Arab street" was going to rise up. Hordes of new terrorists would be recruited and descend on us. Friendly Moslem governments in the Middle East would fall and unfriendly ones become bellicose.

    But none of that happened.

    The Arab street, for the first time, is learning that democracy is possible in their region. Press freedom in Iraq is the envy of other Arab countries. Women's civil rights have increased. Friendly governments were not destabilized; rather, unfriendly ones, including Syria and Iran, have come under new pressure. With Saddam gone, Iraq no longer finances suicide bombers in Palestine.

    The United States, meanwhile, showed its lack of imperial ambitions by removing its troops from Saudi Arabia and the Saudis finally are cooperating in eliminating al-Qaida-affiliated cells in their country. Destroying such cells is crucial to preventing the funding and training of terrorists who could mount new attacks on the American.

    While the war has not yet uncovered stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, it did help reveal them in Libya, Iran and Pakistan.

    Cynics cannot dispute that Libya has had WMDs because Moammar Qaddafi now admits building them, and has agreed to get rid of them. The Iranians have admitted the advanced state of their nuclear development to the International Atomic Agency, a United Nations organization they previously had fooled. The Pakistani role in providing nuclear technology to rogue states has now been stopped, thanks to the courage of President Pervez Musharraf.

    Criticized unfairly for "unilateralism" when he led coalition troops into Iraq, President Bush surpassed the number of nations actively supporting the United States in the Gulf War. There are 49, with 34 of them providing troops. (Some unilateralism!)

    The vital progress to date would not have been possible without Bush's bulldog determination to take the war to the states that foster terrorism, rather than waiting to fight the terrorists here. Called a "liar" and a "coward" by shrill opponents, he actually has been a far-sighted and courageous leader.

    His policy, of course, was not all that new. It was the Iraqi Liberation Act of 1998, signed by President Clinton, that first called for "regime change" to prevent the spread of terrorism. Clinton's speeches then sound very like those made by his successor since 9/11. The main difference is that Bush followed through.

    Election-year spin and shrill name-calling won't change the reality that global terrorism still threatens America. Bush realizes that the threat cannot, as Sen. John Kerry suggests, chiefly be handled by "intelligence and law enforcement." Sometimes, it has to be confronted militarily. In non-political moments, both parties and three administrations have grasped this truth. So, I believe, do most Americans.

    Bruce Chapman, president of Discovery Institute, is a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations organizations in Vienna, including the International Atomic Energy Agency.
     
  6. sitarro
    Offline

    sitarro Gold Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2003
    Messages:
    5,186
    Thanks Received:
    999
    Trophy Points:
    153
    Location:
    USA
    Ratings:
    +1,001
    Isn't it amazing how the people professing to be the progressive , ultra tolerant , all knowing , intelligencia have ignored the truth completely . These reports match what returning soldiers , that I have talked to , have been saying for months . The lying haters of The President should be ashamed of themselves but since they have a leader , who lies just as much , I doubt that they will admit anything positive is happening . They are pathetic and need to be stopped for the health of our country .:puke3:
     

Share This Page