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Ten Years Later, the Signs of Change at One Iraqi Elementary School Are Everywhere

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posted on May, 30 2005 @ 01:28 PM
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Returning to the same school more than two years after the U.S.-led invasion toppled Saddam, the AP saw striking change.

"I don't see it as an invasion," said Mustafa Rajih Jassim, during a break between exams. "The Americans liberated Iraq from the tyranny of Saddam."

"He used to have Shiites arrested in the street just because we are Shiites, because of our religion," said Jassim, who is 15 but still in elementary school, making up for the years he lost when he dropped out during Saddam's rule.

finally some good news out of Iraq
ap.tbo.com...




posted on May, 30 2005 @ 01:40 PM
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Originally posted by finnman68
finally some good news out of Iraq
ap.tbo.com...


It's not all rosy.



Ten years ago, the streets were generally safe and clean. Today, widespread attacks and kidnappings make travel very risky. Many streets are strewn with garbage and sometimes the burning wreckage of a suicide car bomb.

Many young Shiites, including those at the school, learn from their parents never to trust the minority Sunnis who were Baathists or part of Iraq's secret service when Saddam was in power.

They also are quick to pick up on distrust of the Americans.

"I think the Americans came here for our oil, the oil that Saddam refused to give them," said Hussein Abdul Amir, 11. "When I see U.S. soldiers, I run because I'm afraid they will shoot me."


I wish they could have been able to see the school just prior to the invasion. 1995 was the height of the sanctions, before Oil revenues began flowing in again, so the schools and businesses would have been terrible at that time.

[edit on 30-5-2005 by AceOfBase]



posted on May, 30 2005 @ 02:08 PM
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Alot of good stuff like this is going on but nobody wants to hear about it, it doesn't sell on the news stations. So they don't air this kind of stuff. But I have heard of a ton of these stories were people are starting a normal life again or for the first time are realizing that its alot better without saddam.



posted on May, 30 2005 @ 02:20 PM
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some one always has something negative to say. its your opnion. were you in Iraq 10 years ago or before the UN sanctions? I'm not an expert but from everything that I've read and heard through news agencies say that during the time of the UN sanctions not the US sanctions apposed on Iraq
that Saddam was using his Aid to build his vast palaces instead of helping his own people. he let his own people suffer. he killed his own people, mass graves everywhere. let his boy's rape woman for fun. it was a real nice place wasn't it, saddam put himself and his people in that predicament.try being positive sometime it might make you feel better.
and little 11 boys who say americans are only here to take oil, and they have to run becuase they will shoot them, have only been told that by people that don't know any better. to every kid that say Americans are bad and will kill them. there is another that will say that the Americans and the Coalition are helping them have a better life.



posted on May, 30 2005 @ 03:01 PM
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Leave it to Ace to swoop in an tarnish good sentiment.

Ace, I dub thee: "Sir Naysayer", always right there to call the glass half empty.



posted on May, 30 2005 @ 03:07 PM
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Originally posted by finnman68Saddam was using his Aid to build his vast palaces instead of helping his own people. he let his own people suffer. he killed his own people, mass graves everywhere. let his boy's rape woman for fun. it was a real nice place wasn't it, saddam put himself and his people in that predicament.try being positive sometime it might make you feel better.
and little 11 boys who say americans are only here to take oil, and they have to run becuase they will shoot them, have only been told that by people that don't know any better.


What aid was he getting in 1995?
The OFF program didn't begin until 1997.
That's seven years after the sanctions were first imposed unilaterally by the US and them proposed in the UN by the US where it was approved multilaterally.

As far as the mass graves, most of them were filled in the 1980's and then in the uprising of 1991, following the Gulf War.

It's no doubt that life under Saddam was bad.
A poll by the Internation Republican institute shows that only 38% of Iraqis think life was better before the invasion but they excluded places like Mosul, Anbar and Dohuk. Even with those provinces excluded, 77% of Iraqis they polled say they fear for the safety of themselves and their family.
That poll was taken during Feb 27 - March 5, which was a relatively quiet time .
I'm not sure what it would be after all of the bombings last month.

Here's a really extensive report on the situation in Iraq if you're interested:
www.brookings.edu...



posted on May, 30 2005 @ 03:14 PM
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Originally posted by skippytjc
Leave it to Ace to swoop in an tarnish good sentiment.

Ace, I dub thee: "Sir Naysayer", always right there to call the glass half empty.

That's fine. I'll accept your label.
I just don't like it when people try to act like everything is great over there when over 700 people have been killed just this month and they had 135 car bombings last month.

The positive opinions in that story were from the son of an illiterate mother and from a 15 year old who's still in elementary school. I would prefer to hear from some average Iraqi adults.



posted on May, 30 2005 @ 03:28 PM
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Originally posted by skippytjc
Leave it to Ace to swoop in an tarnish good sentiment.

Ace, I dub thee: "Sir Naysayer", always right there to call the glass half empty.


What Reality getting to you? For every good thing that is going down in Iraq there is 10 bad things happening(you know Car Bombs, Drive By Shootings, Suicide Attacks etc). That is what happens when you destablize a country and force a regime change. Oh yeah I forget it's all good, it's all part of the War on Terror.... but last time I checked Osama wasn't in Iraq.... He must be laughing his ass off at the US right now.



posted on May, 30 2005 @ 06:25 PM
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Ace I never said when he was getting money or aid in the statement I wrote earlier, I was just letting you know what I've seen and heard. I said I wasn't an expert on it, but its all Propaganda on one side or the other. I will check out your link becuase I'm an open minded person. I don't judge until I have all of the facts and proof in front of me.



posted on May, 30 2005 @ 07:03 PM
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Originally posted by finnman68I will check out your link becuase I'm an open minded person.


The site I linked to earlier is a right-wing organization.
They are regular contributors to Fox News so any negative information provided was done without an agenda. The report is updated twice a week with the latest information they have available. It's actually a really good source of information.



posted on May, 30 2005 @ 07:17 PM
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not trying to be derogitory here. but how do we trust what these people have said? the teacher for example may think that his job/higher earnings could be put at risk for negitivity against those in power. so can we trust everything that such people say? how many negitive comments were ignored? remember we have even started to see tv shows that seem to promis a search for the truth but in the end just seem to ridicule the very idea as ridiculass, or use thinly veild sarcasim about it. ALL MEDIA is suspect, in fact it realy always has been. after all media is owned by people or organizations that often have their own agendas to put to the forefront. how often do we see within differant "local media" reporting on the same thing, but with a differant slant to it?

we are getting differant stories from both sides of this paticular war. we have the pro-us, the pro-iraqi insurgant, and even some that SEEM to be somewhere in between. so where is the TRUTH? generaly i wouls say that it lies somewhere in between both sides. but the question still ends up, where in between?

now this piece seems to tell that there is a strong possibility that the pro-us faction may be SOME of those that tended to be repressed dureing the last regime that was in place. that in it's self lends some doubt as to their real feelings. at least they were honest enough to point out that some of these don't like the us either.

it is a very messy situation that is going on. there may even be three or more sides in all of this. we have the secular us or no us sides, which can probibly be broken down even further. then we have the religious aspect with sides formed according to their style(?) of beleifs. :shk: not a clean cut situation at all.



posted on May, 30 2005 @ 07:46 PM
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All in all the article is reasonably balanced, and you can pick and choose waht you want.

I didn't like to find out that the school is still squalid with filthy toilets, but that's about the value placed on education in the US too, so business as usual.

This arw two bits from the article for balance:

A. "The school, whose name means Arab culture, is in a district that used to be called Saddam City. Here the government had relocated and isolated many members of Iraq's Shiite majority.

Today, the neighborhood is called Sadr City in honor of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who led uprisings against the U.S.-led coalition in 2004.

Jassim may see the Americans as liberators, but to many people, including the schoolchildren, it's al-Sadr who is the hero. Today, the words "Saddam" and "Baath" have been painted out of the slogans and a new one says: "Yes to Muqtada al-Sadr, our Muslim cleric and leader."

B. "Not everything about Baghdad is better than in Saddam's time.

Ten years ago, the streets were generally safe and clean. Today, widespread attacks and kidnappings make travel very risky. Many streets are strewn with garbage and sometimes the burning wreckage of a suicide car bomb.

Many young Shiites, including those at the school, learn from their parents never to trust the minority Sunnis who were Baathists or part of Iraq's secret service when Saddam was in power. They also are quick to pick up on distrust of the Americans.

"I think the Americans came here for our oil, the oil that Saddam refused to give them," said Hussein Abdul Amir, 11. "When I see U.S. soldiers, I run because I'm afraid they will shoot me."


It's a good piece presenting some progress in one urban area as well as some infrastructural and diplomatic failings.




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