Originally posted by build319
You got a way above from me. Thanks for the reminder. You have been there you say? Can you write something about it? I would love to see your story and thought put here since so many of us (including myself) are completely ignorant of what is really going on there.
Originally posted by Nygdan
Semper, I agree that there are good things going on, but lets be honest, the source, Advisor, is a magazine published by the US government and intended for US military personnel. If you feel that the NYT is propaganda, then how can Advisor be anything other than official propaganda??? I mean, the truth is between the newspaper headlines and the government publications, no?
I wouldn't mind writing about my experiences in Afganistan, and Iraq. And I'll do my best to keep politics out of it. It'll probably take me a week or so to get it finished. I'd love to see semper write about his experiences over there as well. I am jealous though, I didn't make anything close to 180K, no where near it lol.
New York Times
Large portions of Iraq's rural south have been relatively peaceful, like the provinces of Muthana, where Japanese forces recently left, and Dhi Qar, whose capital, Nasiriya, is patrolled by the Italians, and it is possible that tribes are playing a similarly quiet but central role in keeping order.
The differences reflect, in part, fundamental splits between rural and urban life in Iraq. Maysan, a province of about 920,000, is the countryside. More than 60 percent of its work force is employed in the private sector, mostly farming; in the wealthier, urban areas, a majority is employed in public service.
But the most important factor is the network of tribes.
In cities, generations of busy urban life have dulled people's tribal connections, while in the countryside, particularly in the south, tribes oversee all aspects of daily life — celebrating weddings, intervening in family disputes, administering justice after a killing and collecting money to help someone in need.
The opening pitch of the Northern Regional Junior Baseball Tournament last March was a slow ball that struck the dirt an inch behind home plate, bounced into the catcher's face mask and knocked him to the ground.
For anyone focusing on details, like skill, it may have seemed an inauspicious start. But to the players and the two dozen spectators, most of whom did not know the difference between a ball and a strike, the moment underscored something far more important: Baseball had come to Iraq.
Founded in the fall of 2003 by Ismael Khalil Ismael, a shop owner in Baghdad, the national league has grown to 26 full-fledged baseball teams in 18 provinces stretching from Nineveh in the north to Basra in the south. Using hand-me-down gloves and other cast-off equipment, much of it donated from the United States, the teams play on sandy lots, rutted pastures and soccer pitches.
"I'm doing it for the history of Iraq," he declared.
“In the time it takes a child to sit up, talk, walk, laugh, Iraq has established a constitutionally based, permanent, democratic government with the votes of over 12 million citizens and the efforts of even more,” U.S. Army Major General William Caldwell told journalists in a press briefing in Baghdad.
Caldwell said that in today’s Iraq, free society is growing, as illustrated by increased cell phone coverage from about 1.2 million Iraqis two years ago to 7.4 million today, and an increase in Internet subscribers from 73,000 to more than 200,000. Progress further is illustrated by Iraq’s embrace of more open media with more than 40 new television stations, more than 25 new radio stations and more than 100 new newspapers, added Caldwell.
“It is critical that women’s voices be heard in the new Iraq,” said Liz Dolan, one of five Satellite Sisters. “The women of Iraq are at a critical time in their history. They need information, validation and community in order to succeed in a new and free society. That’s why Satellite Sisters is reaching out to Radio Al-Mahaba’s broadcast colleagues and friends here in the United States. They will not be able to continue their critical mission without our help.”
Radio Al-Mahaba is non-religious, non-governmental and non-sectarian. The station provides the only safe haven for women to call-in and talk to one another about their fears, experiences and opinions. Commentators and guests educate the audience about their rights as women and encourage them to take part in the political process.
“They have their national sovereignty. Part of a sovereign nation’s responsibility is to take care of its people. The water treatment and distribution facility is a great step towards demonstrating to the good citizens here in Khalis Kada the government is looking after their needs.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has begun a well initiative that is due to be completed in mid-summer 2006. At its completion, the initiative will create 49 wells to service 37 Northern Iraqi communities.
“Here they taught us to defend ourselves first,” Salman said. “I think maybe we should defend the people first.”
“I want to protect my family,” Subar said. “The family unit is important to this nation. By defending it, I am defending all of Iraq.”
Subar lost his cousin Fazi in a double car-bomb attack. After the first car-bomb went off, Fazi ran to see if Subar was alright. The second car bomb killed Fazi and injured Subar, who is still nursing wounds - both physical and emotional.
“My cousin came to check on my safety, to take care of me,” Subar said. “So, now I will take care of his family.”
Like the other officers, Abraham has taken ownership of the fight. Insurgency violence is indiscriminate, he said, adding that “bullets don’t know where to go, so Iraqis get shot.”
“When the insurgents attack Americans, Iraqis suffer,” he said. “I live in Iraq. I have a family. I need security too. I want to help build the security in the new Iraq.”
“The most important thing I learned was to be honest and decent while doing my job,” said Salman. “When people respect and trust us, they will help us.”
He is willing to die on the job, he said, since it is a good cause.
“I want security for Iraq, for my family, my children’s family, and even visitors from outside Iraq, because this is a free country,” said Salman. “Everyone is welcome here, except for terrorists, because we want to live in peace.”
Iraqi soldiers are served lunch at Al Qaim, Iraq. The Ministry of Defense
has taken control from Coalition forces to provide all life support
functions for more than 130,000 Iraqi soldiers.
BAGHDAD, Iraq — The Ministry of Defense has taken over life support
functions for more than 80 bases throughout Iraq since April, cutting Coalition
expenses by $24 million a month. The Iraqi government is now responsible
for providing food, water, cleaning, supplies, security, maintenance for
facilities and equipment, morale items, and clearing of waste products, to name a few,
for more than 130,000 Iraqi soldiers.
LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Four skinny puppies and their sad-eyed mother were delivered from Iraq to a woman who said she felt compelled to push for a rescue after spotting the dogs sitting forlornly in the desert behind a TV news reporter.
Christmas, 51, moved by the puppies' plight, first tried to reach the TV news reporter in the area, then discovered an Amman, Jordan-based group called the Humane Center for Animal Welfare. She called the founders and asked if they could rescue the puppies.
"Actually, we were going to Iraq to save gazelles," said Margaret Ledger, director of the center. But Ledger pledged to keep an eye out for the dogs along the way.
In the Iraq village of Al Amanieh, the small convoy including a veterinarian and two U.S. military escorts spotted six puppies and the mother was so weak she could barely stand. One puppy was adopted by an Iraqi family and another by military personnel. Christmas agreed to pay the $1,000 cost of transporting the others to Southern California.
The dogs were flown Sunday from Amman to Paris, where they were walked, watered and checked by a veterinarian. They were flown from there to Los Angeles International Airport. Authorities checked their health certificates and they cleared customs Monday.
While each serviceman and woman knows they risk their lives in battle, in every war there are acts of extraordinary courage where an individual, military or civilian, goes beyond what is expected to avert conflict, save lives or otherwise achieve an extraordinary mission. This special section highlights the acts of a few of those individuals who -- through feats of courage, nobility of purpose or life-risking situations -- have become "Heroes of War."