Friday, September 12, 2008

God Bless the USA-and thanks for your service



QUALITY OF LIFE INDICATORS

Iraqis Displaced Inside Iraq, by Iraq War, as of May 2007 - 2,255,000

The U.S. Government has increased humanitarian assistance for displaced Iraqis from $43 million in 2006 to almost $200 million in the first half of 2008.

Since 2003, the U.S. Government has been the single largest contributor of humanitarian assistance for displaced Iraqis.



UNHCR estimates returns during the second half of 2007 and the first three months of 2008 to stand at 50,000 refugee returns and 60,000 IDP returns. UNHCR projects that overall in 2008, there will be 100,000 newly displaced, 100,000 refugee returns, and 120,000 IDP returns. UNHCR “Progress on Mainstreaming IDP issues in UNHCR and Global Work Plan for IDP Operations,” EC/59/SC/CRP.16 (June 2008), p. 23.

(that is 430 thousand returnees predicted, and this was compiled BEFORE the surge worked)

Iraqi Unemployment Rate - 27 to 60%, where curfew not in effect
http://www.brookings.edu/iraqindex
25-40%
NOTE ON NATIONWIDE UNEMPLOYMENT TABLE: Estimates of Iraq’s unemployment rate varies, but we estimate it to be between 25-40%.
The CPA has referred to a 25% unemployment rate, the Iraqi Ministry of Planning mentioned a 30% unemployment rate

(lower than June of 03, incidentally)

Consumer Price Inflation in 2006 - 50%
06? This is 08. Inflation is down, considering the war is being won. Try using current "facts". ANY country mid war will be high.
2007 and 2008 Real GDP Growth projections are provided by the authors and disagree with the figures released by the
IMF and World Bank of 14.4% and 12.9% growth, respectively


Inflation and unemployment rates in Iraq have subsided recently due to procedures taken by the government, announced Iraqi Finance Minister Bayan Jabr Al-Zubaidi.

He told reporters Thursday that the reduction in unemployment rate could be attributed to the investment sector contribution to the government's budget, adding that the rate went down from 70 to 20 per cent.

On the reduction of inflation rate, the Iraqi minister indicated that the Finance Ministry's policy to increase bank interest rates as well as boosting the rates of exchange for the Iraqi dinar over the US dollar led to this outcome.

The inflation rate went down from 66 to 20 per cent according to the Ministry of Planning while the Iraqi Central Bank affirmed that rates went down further more, reaching 16 per cent, Al-Zubaidi added.


http://www.iraqupdates.com/p_articles.php/article/24908

Iraqi Children Suffering from Chronic Malnutrition - 28% in June 2007 (Per CNN.com, July 30, 2007)

these are old figures, and frankly, with oil revenues of 6.07 BILLION dollars this year alone, thats up to them to fix. We arent the answer to every problem. Under Saddam Hussein's regime, Iraqis' standard of living deteriorated rapidly. In nominal terms, Iraq's per capita income had dropped from $3,800 in 1980 (higher than Spain at the time) to $715 in 2002 (lower than Angola).



Percent of professionals who have left Iraq since 2003 - 40%

Iraqi Physicians Before 2003 Invasion - 34,000 Iraqi Physicians Who Have Left Iraq Since 2005 Invasion - 12,000

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2008-08-25-iraq-docs_N.htm

Some 8,000 physicians, most of them specialists, have abandoned jobs at government health centers since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, most seeking refuge abroad and a few hundred heading to the relative safety of Iraq's Kurdish region. Many ran from a violent campaign by extremists and crime gangs that targeted Iraq's elite.


Iraqi Physicians Murdered Since 2003 Invasion - 2,000

Figures on how many doctors have fled since the 2003 US-led invasion have not been made available by the Ministry, but earlier this year it said 618 medical employees had been killed, including 132 physicians
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs


At the same time 40 per cent of the professional class has left since the invasion.

TV, however has flourished. before the war there were no commercial TV stations in Iraq. By March 2006 there were 54.

And politics, too, is flourishing. Over 300 political parties were registered for the December 2005 election.

The law has also changed enormously. There were no trained judges in Iraq before the war. By January 2007 there were 870.

Before the war there were an estimated 4,500 internet users in Iraq. By April 2007 there were an estimated 261,000 surfers. And this doesn't include those who access the web at internet cafes.


Source: Brookings Institution, Iraq Index


Specialists now make $2,000 to $3,000 a month, while under Saddam Hussein's rule, doctors would earn as little as 30.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/09/08/ap/middleeast/main4427248.shtml


Average Daily Hours Iraqi Homes Have Electricity - 1 to 2 hours, per Ryan Crocker, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq (Per Los Angeles Times, July 27, 2007)
nationwide Iraqis had 8.7 hours
Source: Brookings Institute, Iraq Index

Average Daily Hours Iraqi Homes Have Electricity - 10.9 in May 2007/Average Daily Hours Baghdad Homes Have Electricity - 5.6 in May 2007

in January 2008, Baghdad had 7.2 hours and nationwide Iraqis had 8.7 hours
Source: Brookings Institute, Iraq Index


Pre-War Daily Hours Baghdad Homes Have Electricity - 16 to 24

Because Saddam's regine focused on providing electricity in Baghdad rather than other regions, before the war Baghdad had 16 to 24 hours of electricity per day, whereas nationwide the average was 4-8 hours.

After the US invasion, the whole of Iraq, including Baghdad, had only 4-8 hours per day.

Since then it is Baghdad that has suffered the smallest electricity supply, while nationwide supply is generally greater than before the war. The country is currently producing less than half the megawatts it needs.

Electricity demand has increased 70 per cent since 2003 invasion (because Iraqis have more TVs, computers, refrigerators etc...)


Number of Iraqi Homes Connected to Sewer Systems - 37%

google "iraq sewer" and see what you find. HUNDREDS of hits talking about CURRENT infrastructure, and many many hits talking about pre-war life under Saddam.

Iraqis without access to adequate water supplies - 70% (Per CNN.com, July 30, 2007)

In early 2004 the Ministry of Public Works announced that the average daily water service availability was one hour above pre-war levels. While the vast majority of Iraq's urban population has access to water, the quantities per capita are deemed to be insufficient. Although over half of the overall population has access to potable water, leaking pipes have contaminated those networks in many areas.
http://www.iraqdevelopmentprogram.org/idp/industry/water.htm


Water Treatment Plants Rehabilitated - 22%
http://www.grd.usace.army.mil/news/factsheets/docs/January_2007.pdf


RESULTS OF POLL Taken in Iraq in August 2005 by the British Ministry of Defense (Source: Brookings Institute)

Iraqis "strongly opposed to presence of coalition troops - 82%

thats old news,
THE U.S. – Views of the United States, while still broadly negative, have moderated in some respects. Just shy of half, 49 percent, now say it was right for the U.S.-led coalition to have invaded, up by 12 points from August; the previous high was 48 percent in the first ABC News poll in Iraq in February 2004.
http://www.uniraq.org/documents/Poll_Iraq_five_years_later_March2008.pdf


Iraqis who believe Coalition forces are responsible for any improvement in security - less than 1%

THE SURGE – On a national level, as noted, 36 percent of Iraqis say security has
improved in the last six months; that’s jumped from just 11 percent in August. Of them, 82 percent express at least some confidence improved security will continue, although fewer, about a third, are “very” confident of it.

http://www.uniraq.org/documents/Poll_Iraq_five_years_later_March2008.pdf


Iraqis who feel less ecure because of the occupation - 67%
BAGHDAD/ANBAR – As noted, it’s Baghdad and Anbar, focal points of the surge,
where many of the changes have been greatest – but where conditions still lag in real
terms. Ratings of local security have improved by 43 points in Baghdad (from nil in August) and by 32 points in Anbar (nil in March). They’ve advanced more slowly in the rest of the country, by 10 points since August, to 68 percent positive – still much higher than in Baghdad.


Iraqis who do not have confidence in multi-national forces - 72%

http://www.uniraq.org/documents/Poll_Iraq_five_years_later_March2008.pdf

To my commenter, who wants so badly to bring America down, make it seem we are bullies and thieves: your information is old and very outdated. Things are looking up tremendously in Iraq. But, like Obama, you choose to see what you choose to see. Only now is he admitting the surge worked. Maybe your talking points will catch up with his newfound understanding soon?

11 comments:

ana said...

QUALITY OF LIFE INDICATORS

Iraqis Displaced Inside Iraq, by Iraq War, as of May 2007 - 2,255,000

Iraqi Refugees in Syria & Jordan - 2.1 million to 2.25 million

Iraqi Unemployment Rate - 27 to 60%, where curfew not in effect

Consumer Price Inflation in 2006 - 50%

Iraqi Children Suffering from Chronic Malnutrition - 28% in June 2007 (Per CNN.com, July 30, 2007)

Percent of professionals who have left Iraq since 2003 - 40%

Iraqi Physicians Before 2003 Invasion - 34,000

Iraqi Physicians Who Have Left Iraq Since 2005 Invasion - 12,000

Iraqi Physicians Murdered Since 2003 Invasion - 2,000

Average Daily Hours Iraqi Homes Have Electricity - 1 to 2 hours, per Ryan Crocker, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq (Per Los Angeles Times, July 27, 2007)

Average Daily Hours Iraqi Homes Have Electricity - 10.9 in May 2007

Average Daily Hours Baghdad Homes Have Electricity - 5.6 in May 2007

Pre-War Daily Hours Baghdad Homes Have Electricity - 16 to 24

Number of Iraqi Homes Connected to Sewer Systems - 37%

Iraqis without access to adequate water supplies - 70% (Per CNN.com, July 30, 2007)

Water Treatment Plants Rehabilitated - 22%

RESULTS OF POLL Taken in Iraq in August 2005 by the British Ministry of Defense (Source: Brookings Institute)

Iraqis "strongly opposed to presence of coalition troops - 82%

Iraqis who believe Coalition forces are responsible for any improvement in security - less than 1%

Iraqis who feel less ecure because of the occupation - 67%

Iraqis who do not have confidence in multi-national forces - 72%

Michelle said...

QUALITY OF LIFE INDICATORS

Iraqis Displaced Inside Iraq, by Iraq War, as of May 2007 - 2,255,000

The U.S. Government has increased humanitarian assistance for displaced Iraqis from $43 million in 2006 to almost $200 million in the first half of 2008.

Since 2003, the U.S. Government has been the single largest contributor of humanitarian assistance for displaced Iraqis.



UNHCR estimates returns during the second half of 2007 and the first three months of 2008 to stand at 50,000 refugee returns and 60,000 IDP returns. UNHCR projects that overall in 2008, there will be 100,000 newly displaced, 100,000 refugee returns, and 120,000 IDP returns. UNHCR “Progress on Mainstreaming IDP issues in UNHCR and Global Work Plan for IDP Operations,” EC/59/SC/CRP.16 (June 2008), p. 23.

(that is 430 thousand returnees predicted, and this was compiled BEFORE the surge worked)

Iraqi Unemployment Rate - 27 to 60%, where curfew not in effect
http://www.brookings.edu/iraqindex
25-40%
NOTE ON NATIONWIDE UNEMPLOYMENT TABLE: Estimates of Iraq’s unemployment rate varies, but we estimate it to be between 25-40%.
The CPA has referred to a 25% unemployment rate, the Iraqi Ministry of Planning mentioned a 30% unemployment rate

(lower than June of 03, incidentally)

Consumer Price Inflation in 2006 - 50%
06? This is 08. Inflation is down, considering the war is being won. Try using current "facts". ANY country mid war will be high.
2007 and 2008 Real GDP Growth projections are provided by the authors and disagree with the figures released by the
IMF and World Bank of 14.4% and 12.9% growth, respectively


Inflation and unemployment rates in Iraq have subsided recently due to procedures taken by the government, announced Iraqi Finance Minister Bayan Jabr Al-Zubaidi.

He told reporters Thursday that the reduction in unemployment rate could be attributed to the investment sector contribution to the government's budget, adding that the rate went down from 70 to 20 per cent.

On the reduction of inflation rate, the Iraqi minister indicated that the Finance Ministry's policy to increase bank interest rates as well as boosting the rates of exchange for the Iraqi dinar over the US dollar led to this outcome.

The inflation rate went down from 66 to 20 per cent according to the Ministry of Planning while the Iraqi Central Bank affirmed that rates went down further more, reaching 16 per cent, Al-Zubaidi added.


http://www.iraqupdates.com/p_articles.php/article/24908

Iraqi Children Suffering from Chronic Malnutrition - 28% in June 2007 (Per CNN.com, July 30, 2007)

these are old figures, and frankly, with oil revenues of 6.07 BILLION dollars this year alone, thats up to them to fix. We arent the answer to every problem. Under Saddam Hussein's regime, Iraqis' standard of living deteriorated rapidly. In nominal terms, Iraq's per capita income had dropped from $3,800 in 1980 (higher than Spain at the time) to $715 in 2002 (lower than Angola).



Percent of professionals who have left Iraq since 2003 - 40%

Iraqi Physicians Before 2003 Invasion - 34,000 Iraqi Physicians Who Have Left Iraq Since 2005 Invasion - 12,000

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2008-08-25-iraq-docs_N.htm

Some 8,000 physicians, most of them specialists, have abandoned jobs at government health centers since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, most seeking refuge abroad and a few hundred heading to the relative safety of Iraq's Kurdish region. Many ran from a violent campaign by extremists and crime gangs that targeted Iraq's elite.


Iraqi Physicians Murdered Since 2003 Invasion - 2,000

Figures on how many doctors have fled since the 2003 US-led invasion have not been made available by the Ministry, but earlier this year it said 618 medical employees had been killed, including 132 physicians
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs


At the same time 40 per cent of the professional class has left since the invasion.

TV, however has flourished. before the war there were no commercial TV stations in Iraq. By March 2006 there were 54.

And politics, too, is flourishing. Over 300 political parties were registered for the December 2005 election.

The law has also changed enormously. There were no trained judges in Iraq before the war. By January 2007 there were 870.

Before the war there were an estimated 4,500 internet users in Iraq. By April 2007 there were an estimated 261,000 surfers. And this doesn't include those who access the web at internet cafes.


Source: Brookings Institution, Iraq Index


Specialists now make $2,000 to $3,000 a month, while under Saddam Hussein's rule, doctors would earn as little as 30.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/09/08/ap/middleeast/main4427248.shtml


Average Daily Hours Iraqi Homes Have Electricity - 1 to 2 hours, per Ryan Crocker, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq (Per Los Angeles Times, July 27, 2007)
nationwide Iraqis had 8.7 hours
Source: Brookings Institute, Iraq Index

Average Daily Hours Iraqi Homes Have Electricity - 10.9 in May 2007/Average Daily Hours Baghdad Homes Have Electricity - 5.6 in May 2007

in January 2008, Baghdad had 7.2 hours and nationwide Iraqis had 8.7 hours
Source: Brookings Institute, Iraq Index


Pre-War Daily Hours Baghdad Homes Have Electricity - 16 to 24

Because Saddam's regine focused on providing electricity in Baghdad rather than other regions, before the war Baghdad had 16 to 24 hours of electricity per day, whereas nationwide the average was 4-8 hours.

After the US invasion, the whole of Iraq, including Baghdad, had only 4-8 hours per day.

Since then it is Baghdad that has suffered the smallest electricity supply, while nationwide supply is generally greater than before the war. The country is currently producing less than half the megawatts it needs.

Electricity demand has increased 70 per cent since 2003 invasion (because Iraqis have more TVs, computers, refrigerators etc...)


Number of Iraqi Homes Connected to Sewer Systems - 37%

google "iraq sewer" and see what you find. HUNDREDS of hits talking about CURRENT infrastructure, and many many hits talking about pre-war life under Saddam.

Iraqis without access to adequate water supplies - 70% (Per CNN.com, July 30, 2007)

In early 2004 the Ministry of Public Works announced that the average daily water service availability was one hour above pre-war levels. While the vast majority of Iraq's urban population has access to water, the quantities per capita are deemed to be insufficient. Although over half of the overall population has access to potable water, leaking pipes have contaminated those networks in many areas.
http://www.iraqdevelopmentprogram.org/idp/industry/water.htm


Water Treatment Plants Rehabilitated - 22%
http://www.grd.usace.army.mil/news/factsheets/docs/January_2007.pdf


RESULTS OF POLL Taken in Iraq in August 2005 by the British Ministry of Defense (Source: Brookings Institute)

Iraqis "strongly opposed to presence of coalition troops - 82%

thats old news,
THE U.S. – Views of the United States, while still broadly negative, have moderated in some respects. Just shy of half, 49 percent, now say it was right for the U.S.-led coalition to have invaded, up by 12 points from August; the previous high was 48 percent in the first ABC News poll in Iraq in February 2004.
http://www.uniraq.org/documents/Poll_Iraq_five_years_later_March2008.pdf


Iraqis who believe Coalition forces are responsible for any improvement in security - less than 1%

THE SURGE – On a national level, as noted, 36 percent of Iraqis say security has
improved in the last six months; that’s jumped from just 11 percent in August. Of them, 82 percent express at least some confidence improved security will continue, although fewer, about a third, are “very” confident of it.

http://www.uniraq.org/documents/Poll_Iraq_five_years_later_March2008.pdf


Iraqis who feel less ecure because of the occupation - 67%
BAGHDAD/ANBAR – As noted, it’s Baghdad and Anbar, focal points of the surge,
where many of the changes have been greatest – but where conditions still lag in real
terms. Ratings of local security have improved by 43 points in Baghdad (from nil in August) and by 32 points in Anbar (nil in March). They’ve advanced more slowly in the rest of the country, by 10 points since August, to 68 percent positive – still much higher than in Baghdad.


Iraqis who do not have confidence in multi-national forces - 72%

http://www.uniraq.org/documents/Poll_Iraq_five_years_later_March2008.pdf

again, your information is old and very outdated. Things are looking up tremendously in Iraq. But, like Obama, you choose to see what you choose to see. Only now is he admitting the surge worked. Maybe your talking points will catch up with his newfound understanding soon?

ana said...

ummmmm, wow.
i hardly think that posting some stats is "bringing america down"

it makes me sad that you would think that of me.

amazing.

Michelle said...

Ana, I think that there are WAY too many people who post old and outdated information, and do not choose to see progress because their politics depend on the United States being the agressor, the enemy. You have a choice, follow blondly along and refuse to see the truth, or seek it out, find your OWN truth, and adjust your opinions. I dont hate anyone, but I also have zero respect for people who post nonsense on forums (do you KNOW how many times your exact stats have been posted as gospel online?) If we are EVER to make any progress, we have to acknowledge the truth. The truth is this: war sucks. No question about it. But sometimes, it is necessary. and ALWAYS it is imperative that we see the truth, no matter our political persuasion.
You didnt post anything but some tired old stats, no thought or feeling to back them up. I am sorry you are saddened by my response, but the truth is, I am just as saddened by the rhetoric and lies told by the left to discredit good American soldiers doing their jobs. People will refuse to see the truth, because it benefits them politically, and that is a travesty.

Michelle said...

"blindly" not "blondly"....although I got a chuckle out of that :)

ana said...

ok, but it wasn't rhetoric or even my opinion. it wasn't MY talking points. it was stats.

i don't know why i would need my feelings to back that up.

sorry it upset you so.
and sorry you see it as nonsense.

i haven't even told you my opinion on anything.
and i'm not even an obama supporter, fyi.
so it makes no sense to me why you are accusing me of all of this.

but fine.
i'm not going to be posting any more in your journal because it confuses me to be so attacked.

again, sorry to upset you.

have a nice day.

Michelle said...

Ana, thats my point. Why would you come and post this, if it WASNT your feelings, your politics, etc? Why would you not do a little basic digging and find the truth? If you are not willing to form your own opinions, then you are being used as a propaganda tool, spewing out "facts" that simply arent true. THAT is what Im angry at, not you. I think that it is so important for people to FEEL the things they say, not just to post talking points to try to shoot down anothers thoughts. My thoughts are that this young man has some VERY valid points, and I wanted to honor him. To have someone come in and do exactly what he is fighting against...make assumptions, post half truths, is exactly the point. Why would you want to post this if not to denigrate what we are doing over there? By posting those false stats, you DID take a stand. I am simply taking one too. If that means you cannot post here, then thats cool.
But dont make it seem like this is so one-sided, and I am being uncharitable to you just for fun. I think what you have done by posting these stats blindly, without doing your own digging, is DANGEROUSLY irresponsible. If you really believe in them, back them up, contradict me, show me where Im wrong. But BELIEVE what you post, dont be part of the problem. And for the record, I AM sorry if I hurt your feelings. I am very protective of this country, and I hate to see good people buy into the BS.

Michelle said...

PS I spent literally HOURS finding the current stats, researching each individual claim you posted. HOURS looking for the truth, even if I didnt like what I found. It would be so much easier for me to just post some easy retort: "you're wrong". I would much rather show you how it is NOW, and try to make you see that by being so quick to believe the lies, you are avoiding the truth. People want you to believe the lies, it serves their purposes. The truth is worth the time it takes to find.

ana said...

of course i have an opinion and i have feelings.
and i am insulted that you are insinuating that i am a propaganda tool.
again, they were stats, not lies.
i also spend hours (days, weeks, months, years) SCOURING things, everything to get the the heart of things.

if you would like to talk about lies then why is mccain lying all over the place in his campaign ads?
if you don't know what i mean, then just look into it. everyone all over the net is talking about it and not just "the left" so it is easy to find out this information. it is common knowledge.
he is being called out for his lies everywhere.

it would be nice to have an actual civil discussion about all of this with you, if that were possible.

and it would take volumnes to do so.

but the way you have treated me just by posting stats makes me very wary of getting into this with you. i don't have the energy for it.
so i am going to decline.

you are right, the truth IS out there for those who seek it.

you say you are already seeking it.
then good for you. keep going.

i am seeking it as well.

and with that i am leaving this discussion now.

good luck with you life and thank you for sharing with us the stories of your daughter.
that is what brought me to this blog in the first place and that has been really nice.

i'm not going to be returning to this blog again because it's just too much for me right now.

Michelle said...

how convenient is that "McCain is lying, Im not gonna tell you about what, exactly, you can find out for yourself". No, I dont think McCain is lying about anything important right now. I do think the media is very one-sided. Do you not think that some of what is claimed in the MSM is outright lies? I do. And yeah, maybe its best we end this discussion.

Shelley said...

I try as much as possible to stay away from arguments about what is really going on in Iraq...especially when people post a bunch of negative facts that they got from a media that has it's own agenda. However, when I see people say that the "quality of life" for the Iraqi people is WORSE now...well, that does need a response. As the wife of a soldier who has BEEN THERE...who has DIRECTLY INTERACTED with the people of Iraq...let me assure you that the vast MAJORITY of the people of Iraq are very thankful that Saddam is gone and that things are on the road to PROGRESS in their country. Are things in Iraq perfect right now? Nope. But, as my husband always points out....how long did it take OUR country to get to a point where we had what people today call "quality of life". How many years after this country was formed did it take before EVERYONE had EVERYTHING? I distinctly recall reading in every history book I ever studied that there were times when entire communities starved to death and did without for the sake of the freedom of this country and the desire for democracy...and even more recent, the desire for EQUALITY.
Improvements are being made EVERY SINGLE DAY in Iraq. Electricity is CORRECTLY being wired to houses that used to receive their electricity by splicing into the town supply(very unsafe). Sewage systems are being put in place to provide clean drinking water and proper disposal of waste where before children played in the wastes that sat in their streets. Schools are being built and supplies are being given to the children....ALL children, boys and girls. Hospitals are being built and those that were already in place are being updated with modern equipment and medicine. Police officers are being trained in the CORRECT way to police their country...not using hate and fear to get citizens to comply. Soldiers are being trained to be their own military force....again, in the CORRECT manner. Things are moving FORWARD. It is slow. And yes, at times that is frustrating. But change doesn't come overnight.
My husband was there during the initial invasion of Iraq. And he was there again when the people of Iraq held their first election. He was there when men AND women came out and VOTED...and he saw them believe, some for the first time, that they could make a difference in the direction of their country.
It is my prayer for the people of Iraq that they will one day be able to go to the grocery store without fear of a suicide bomber. It is my prayer that they will one day be able to go about their daily lives without fear of kidnappings and roadside bombs. It is my prayer that there will come a day when the children of Iraq can play outside without fear or worry....and without knowing what an American soldier looks like.
One other thing my husband always says is that to truly build an Iraq that it's people can be proud of, it's going to take more than this current generation of adults.
This generation that grew up believing that corruption and intimidation were the correct way to govern it's people. It's going to take the children of Iraq growing up and wanting something better for their home land.

I know that there are many, many different opinions on the situation in Iraq. I know that there are many facts floating around out there and there is always a media outlet waiting to report all that's going wrong for Iraq. And yes, as a soldier's wife, it is hard for me to see this struggle drag on and on for years. As an American, who is often spoiled because we have so much instant gratification in our country, it is hard for me not to stomp my foot and say "fix it now!". But as a mother, I know in my heart that the children of Iraq deserve a country where they can live in peace. They deserve to be able to think for themselves without fear of death or torture.

And one final thought. In this election, people need to stop thinking about what the candidates are saying...and they need to look at what the candidates DO. We're talking about electing the next Commander in Chief. He MUST be knowledgable and competant...and pretty words won't cut it when commanding our fighting forces.