Wednesday, August 17, 2005

News Not In The News

August is a traditionally slow news month here in America. Eager for news stories the left-wing media has been all too happy to latch on to the Michael Moore sponsored protests of Cindy Sheehan. Sad as it is that her son was killed in Iraq the left-wing has been using this mother’s grief and her anti-war feelings to try and jump start the anti-war effort that so far has been unable to gain a foothold here in America. Backed up against the Sheehan story are the media driven low approval ratings of the President and the nightly body counts of Coalition and Iraqi forces giving the impression of defeat with no end in sight.

With nothing but this dreary news on night after night it is no wonder poll numbers for both the President and the war are so low. It is also a wonder that anyone even tunes in to the news or picks up a newspaper. So I thought I would bring you some news in this column about both Iraq and Afghanistan that you will not see on the nightly news or read in tomorrows newspaper and as you might of guessed it is not so dreary.

First from the front in Afghanistan:

On the 14th of August officials from the Afghan government reported that since this spring more than 45 commanders that have often clashed with security forces have now renounced violence, turned over their weapons, and are now using their influence to aid the Afghan government.

Also on the 14th Afghan security forces stopped an operation by terrorists to destroy the Kajaki dam and in the process uncovered a large cache of weapons.

A women affairs department was also opened in the Laghman Province on the 14th to promote women’s rights throughout the region.

On the 15th with the aid of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) a food processing plant has been established in the Parwan province. This factory has produced 1,000 jobs, 400 of which have gone to women, and now allows for the export of fresh vegetables to other countries.

On the 15th it was reported that a new institute to promote investigative journalism will be established.

On the Iraqi front:

It was reported on the 16th of August that working on a tip from Iraqi citizens multi-national ground forces destroyed a large cache of artillery shells that were apparently going to be used for Improvised Explosive Devices.

On the 13th of August Task Force Baghdad stopped three car bomb attempts within five hours in South Baghdad. This same force found and destroyed two large IED’s on the side of a major highway.

On August 12th Al-Qaeda Lieutenant Abu Zubair was killed in an ambush carried out by Iraqi Security Forces. Zubair was wanted for helping facilitate several suicide bombings.

From August 6th through the 12th Coalition and Iraqi forces captured three bomb makers, six foreign fighters, and found and destroyed 101 IED’s. With the help of Iraqi citizens Coalition soldiers stopped seven bomb attacks and captured eight terrorists. Also during this same time period Iraqi soldiers discovered five IED’s around a building in Rawah, a coalition EOD team destroyed the IED’s. Iraqi Security Forces EOD teams destroyed three IED’s in three separate cities on the same day. These IED’s were discovered by Iraqi police officers.

Approximately 18,000 Iraqi schoolchildren will have freshly refurbished schools this year. Over the last three weeks in Mosul over 1,000 Iraqi children have received medical screenings along with gifts of soccer balls and hygiene products.

The US Army Corps of Engineers project a finish date of December 25th for renovations to the Najaf Maternity Hospital. This 266 bed hospital is now operational even while renovations continue. 250 pediatric and 125 maternity outpatients are seen here on a daily basis.

Ninety-seven railway stations have been renovated. This was done through a joint effort between the Project and Contracting Office, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Iraqi Republic of Railroads, and local Iraqi workers.

These are just some of the good news stories you can find on the Pajwok Afghan News website, almendhar.com, mnf-iraq.com and many others. These are not propaganda sites they report the bad news right along with the good, but without them you would probably never know that anything good was happening in Afghanistan or Iraq. Sure there is a lot of tragic news coming from these war fronts and it is all newsworthy as are anti-war demonstrators here and abroad. Are any of the brief news accounts you read in this column any less newsworthy? I certainly do not think so. The left-wing media bias is hard at work and as in a previous column I encourage you all to do a little research and find both sides of the story.
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