Today's brew: Community Coffee Dark Roast with Toasted Almond CoffeeMate creamer.
Fixed Son a fried egg sandwich for breakfast, as opposed to the standard cold cereal, to give him a little extra brain power for final exams today. He washed it down with a little chocolate soy milk.
I saw a program Sunday night that I thought I would share. It was about the positive events happening in Iraq, in contrast to the usual if-it-bleeds-it-leads stuff normally reported. This reporter went out of the Green Zone into all three distinctly different regions of Iraq and spoke about them to the audience. Here are some thoughts I found interesting:
There is a thriving retail business for electrical household appliances! Electricity is free in the country to its citizens. Shortages of electricity sometimes occur due to overusages. Like our big city brown outs. Electricity is coming to most of the country and engineers are working on it every day for the rest of the areas in the country. For most of the country, pre-war, electricity was always spotty. My husband saw that during his travels in Iraq before the war.
Future oil profits will be distributed to each citizen.
The stock market of Iraq is thriving. Yes, a stock market. That is a true sign of optimism by the people of Iraq.
Workers are doing 30% better now in salary comparisons. In the next few years, according to The Brookings Institute, the prediction is continued rise in salaries.
Weddings are booming. Especially in Baghdad.
Iraqi is awash in new media freedom. Scores of newspapers are being published. Satellite dishes are a common roofside sight. They even have a very popular reality style show on tv. It is called "Labor and Materials" and it shows home makeovers! Another popular show is all about video taped confessions of terrorists. I guess it would be along the lines of shows like America's Most Wanted. The producer of the show is continually threatened by the bad guys but he is determined to show what cowards the terrorists are as he stated in his interview. This is a man who is missing a hand due to tortue from Saddam. He was one of the Iraqi men brought to Houston to receive artificial hands, courtesy of the genorousity of Houston surgeons, and then these men were brought to the White House to meet President Bush.
Northern Kurdistan has a booming resort area on a lake that receives tourists from surrounding countries. It is a family style resort featuring fun and sun on the beach. The program showed men enjoying a beer while the women and children were splashing around in the water.
So, in just a scant 23 months, the country of Iraq has written a constitution and brought about a national government while addressing the needs of three distinct regions of the country. The Sunni population, once diehard Saddam supporters with the most to lose if he is not running the place, have now realized boycotting elections gets them nowhere fast. They have Imans in the mosques telling them to vote this time around so they can have a voice in the governing of their country. Good lesson to learn.
Despite all the naysayers, it is turning around, this battle for freedom in Iraq. Voting has begun for Iraqis not living in country and even with prisoners not yet convicted of a crime. Ballots are being distributed in hospitals. This is the third time the Iraqis have risen to the occasion and excercised the right to vote at great personal peril.
If the people of Iraq are optimistic about the future of their country, why wouldn't I be?
Some everyday Iraqis mentioned the greatest freedom to date has been the freedom of speech in the country. My husband had mentioned the problem of people being afraid to speak in public before the war. He stayed in a hotel in Baghdad and word spread like wildfire among the hotel workers that an American was a guest. They were cordial to him but that was all. Spies for Saddam were commonplace throughout the country and neighbors turning in neighbors for alleged crimes against Saddam, like a satellite dish bringing in tv, if they could afford a tv in the first place. Conversation on the street were not allowed.
I read an article in today's Wall Street Journal about Bernard Lewis, an 88 year old British-born Princeton University historian. He has been used as a consultant to the Bush administration about the Iraq policy and he was quoted : "If Churchill and his team had to face the same sort of opposition as does President Bush, Hitler might well have won the war."
Food for thought.