You won’t find this in the papers

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 28, 2003

This message was delivered to his Marines by the Commanding Officer of MWSS-171:

Marines and Sailors, As we approach the end of the year I think it is important to share a few thoughts about what you have accomplished directly, in some cases, and indirectly in many others. I am speaking about what the Bush Administration and each of you have contributed by wearing the uniform of the United States.

The first battalion of the Iraqi army has graduated and is on active duty, and over 60,000 Iraqis now provide security to their fellow citizens. Nearly all of Iraq’s 400 courts are now functioning. Electric power generation has hit 4,518 megawatts exceeding the prewar average. All 22 universities and 43 technical institutes and colleges are open, as are all primary and secondary schools. Coalition forces have rehab-ed over 1500 schools, 500 ahead of schedule.

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All 240 hospitals are open and over 1,300 clinics. Pharmaceutical distribution has gone from virtually nothing to over 12,000 tons. The Coalition helped administer over 22 million vaccinations to Iraqi children. The coalition has cleared over 14,000 kilometers of Iraqi’s 27,000 kilometers of weed-choked canals which now provide irrigation to tens of thousands of farms. This has created jobs for more than 100,000 Iraqi men and women.

Over three quarters of prewar telephone service has been restored and two thirds of potable water production. There are 4,900 full service connections and we expect 50,000 by year-end. The wheels of commerce are turning, from bicycles to satellite dishes to cars and trucks; businesses are coming to life in all major cities and towns and 95 percent of all prewar bank customers have full service, First time customers are opening accounts daily. Iraqi banks are making loans to finance businesses. Iraq has a single unified currency for the first time in 15 years.

Satellite TV dishes are legal for the first time and you can buy them almost everywhere.

There are more than 170 newspapers. Today in Iraq Chambers of Commerce, business, school, and professional organizations are electing their leaders all over the country.

25 ministers, selected by the most representative governing body in Iraq’s history, run the day-to-day business of government. The minister of Foreign Affairs announced it is opening 30 embassies around the world.

Religious festivals that have been banned are now attended freely, without fear. Uday and Queasy are dead – no longer feeding innocent Iraqis to the zoo lions, raping the young daughters of local leaders to force cooperation, torturing Iraqi soccer players for losing games, or murdering critics. Children are no longer imprisoned or murdered when their parents disagree with the government. Political opponents aren’t imprisoned, tortured, imprisoned, maimed, or forced to watch to watch their families die for disagreeing with Saddam.

Iraq is free, Saddam is gone; President Bush has not faltered or failed, yet little or none of this has been published by the Press Corp that prides itself on bringing you all the news that is important. Iraq under United States lead has come further in six months than Germany did in seven years or Japan did in nine years following World War II. It took four months just to clear away the Twin Tower debris. Military deaths from fanatic Nazi’s and Japanese numbered in the thousands and continued for over three years after victory was declared,

Now take into account that congress fought President Bush on every aspect of his hand-ling of the country’s war and the post-war reconstruction. And they continue to claim on a daily basis on national TV that this conflict has been a failure. Taking everything into consideration, even the unfortunate loss of our brothers and sisters, do you think anyone else in the world could have accomplished as much as the United States? Semper Fedelis.

Robert Pocklington is a resident of Suffolk and a regular News-Herald columnist. He can be contacted via e-mail: