Friday, October 10, 2003

More signs of success in Iraq

Andrew Sullivan summarizes Paul Bremer's press conference on what we have achieved in Iraq:
    Here's a more prosaic account of the extraordinary work that the U.S. armed services have been doing in Iraq. It's from the CPA's new official website. Yesterday, Paul Bremer gave a brief overview. (And, believe it or not, even the anti-war New York Times covered it.) My highlights:

    Six months ago there were no police on duty in Iraq.

    · Today there are over 40,000 police on duty, nearly 7,000 here in Baghdad alone.
    · Last night Coalition Forces and Iraqi police conducted 1,731 joint patrols.
    · Today nearly all of Iraq’s 400 courts are functioning.
    · Today, for the first time in over a generation, the Iraqi judiciary is fully independent.
    · On Monday, October 6 power generation hit 4,518 megawatts—exceeding the pre-war average.
    · Today all 22 universities and 43 technical institutes and colleges are open, as are nearly all primary and secondary schools.
    · Many of you know that we announced our plan to rehabilitate one thousand schools by the time school started—well, by October 1 we had actually rehabbed over 1,500.

    Six months ago teachers were paid as little as $5.33 per month.

    · Today teachers earn from 12 to 25 times their former salaries.
    · Today we have increased public health spending to over 26 times what it was under Saddam.
    · Today all 240 hospitals and more than 1200 clinics are open.
    · Today doctors’ salaries are at least eight times what they were under Saddam.
    · Pharmaceutical distribution has gone from essentially nothing to 700 tons in May to a current total of 12,000 tons.
    · Since liberation we have administered over 22 million vaccination doses to Iraq’s many children.

    This is what some in this country want to stop. This is what would never have happened if we'd let Saddam Hussein stay in power. It's simply beyond me how anyone can describe this war as about "oil" or about "imperialism" or about "greed" or "militarism." It remains one of the most humanitarian acts in modern history. And, if successful, it could turn an entire region around - a region that has been the main source of real danger to itself and to the West in my lifetime. I'm banging on about this not simply because it's by far the most important issue in our politics right now, but because a wilful and petty disinformation campaign is being waged to distort this achievement, undermine it, and reverse it. We mustn't let that happen. We cannot let these people - and ourselves - down again.

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