"Let no freedom be allowed to novelty, because it is not fitting that any addition should be made to antiquity. Let not the clear faith and belief of our forefathers be fouled by any muddy admixture." -- Pope Sixtus III

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Chrenkoff: More good news from Iraq.

Arthur's latest, and apparently, one of his last. (Thanks to Dadmanly for the heads up.)

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Good news from Iraq, part 33

Note: As always, also available from "The Opinion Journal" and Winds of Change. Thank you to James Taranto, Joe Katzman, and all of you dear fellow bloggers and readers, regular and irregular, for your support for the series.

Conservative activist and commentator L. Brent Bozell III recently wrote about an encounter with a veteran:

My son's friend Todd Jones just returned from a tour of duty in Iraq. At a celebratory gathering at his parents' home, we chatted a while, and I asked him what he thought were the biggest problems facing the military. Without hesitating, he shot back: "The terrorists and the media."For Bozell, this pretty much confired what many others, on both side of the camera, have been saying lately:

In a rare moment of balance on CBS, Army Capt. Christopher Vick echoed that sentiment: "I think it's hard for Americans to get up every day and turn on the news and see the horrible things that are going on here, because there's no focus on the good things that go on. What they see is another car bomb went off." This kind of coverage is exactly what the terrorists are seeking to achieve, believes Vick.Mark Yost, who served in the Navy during the Reagan years, caused a stir in media circles for stating the obvious in an editorial in the St. Paul Pioneer Press: "to judge by the dispatches, all the Iraqis do is stand outside markets and government buildings waiting to be blown up."On CNN's "Reliable Sources," host Howard Kurtz asked Frank Sesno, a former Washington bureau chief for CNN, about the Yost column. Sesno acknowledged you get more depth from print coverage, but suggested "even then, the bias is towards that which is going wrong, that which is blowing up and that which is not working." He said Americans ask: "Is anything getting rebuilt? Are they really democrats over there? How engaged are the Sunnis? Could I see an interview with any of these founding fathers and founding mothers of this new emerging country? Can you find that? You'll have a hard time doing it."The question is not whether bad things happening in Iraq should be reported back home - they should, and there are clearly many of them; a fact that no one is denying - but whether there are some positive developments taking place that should also be receive the media's attention. Judging by the coverage, the media's answer seems to be, not very often. Whether that's because such positive developments are objectively rare, or whether it's because they are deemed not important and consequential enough, remains an open question.But just in case the media has made a wrong judgment in this matter, here are the past two weeks' worth of under-reported and often overlooked good news stories from Iraq.

SOCIETY: With the constitutional process underway, and another election on the horizon, there are growing efforts by the Sunni leadership to make sure that this time their community does participate in the political process:

Sunni preachers have called on Iraq's Sunni Arabs to take part in upcoming elections, signalling a possible new trend towards joining a Shi'ite dominated political process that Sunni insurgents have rejected..."It is a duty for all those here to take part in the upcoming elections so that we are not politically marginalised," imam Abdul-Sattar al-Jumaili told a crowd of some 600 people in Falluja, a former insurgent stronghold west of Baghdad."I call upon you to register your names in Falluja and other cities. You should not feel awkward about voting since you will be helping to remove the occupiers and embarrass those who benefited from the last election," he told a packed mosque.Many prominent Sunnis have said the January boycott was a mistake since it limited their ability to influence the future shape of the country, now run by a Shi'ite-led government...A message similar to that in Falluja was delivered at the "mother of all battles" mosque in Baghdad."We have to be engaged with our brothers in this country by a calm dialogue," imam Mahmoud al-Sumaida'i told a congregation at Friday prayers in the large shrine."Therefore let us all participate in this dialogue in order to rebuild Iraq."

Iraq the Model blog has more on this topic.

More broadly, public participation in the constitutional process has been encouraging:

Nearly a quarter of a million Iraqis of all ethnic and religious groups have taken part in meetings to help draft their country's new constitution, despite security challenges and problematic day-to-day living conditions, a preliminary United Nations report issued today said."This is nothing short of extraordinary when difficult living, transportation and communication facilities are exacerbated by an equally demanding security situation," it said of the schedule of meetings during the run-up to the 15 August deadline to complete the draft.Tallying the participation so far at more than 220,000 people, the report said: "The United Nations salutes the bravery of Iraqis who have often risked their lives in order to contribute to the constitutional process"...The highlights included radio and television debates. a conference of 1,500 Imams and a forum of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) which had distributed questionnaires on federalism, Shari'a law and women's rights. In these venues members of the CDC and the Transitional National Assembly listened to people's views, the report said."Women's groups have been particularly active, with literally dozens of conferences demonstrating that, although they have a great variety of views, Iraqi women have a common aspiration to increase their level of participation in politics," it said.In the last several weeks, addressing "important gaps in the activity," the CDC also met with some 20,000 participants in the north-eastern Anbar, Ninevah and Saleh al-Din governorates, where there had been "a hunger for information," it said.

My Two Cents:

Thank you, Mr. Chrenkoff. Thanks for all the time and effort you have given to the cause of freedom.

Remember, kiddies, when you are right, your efforts are never in vain. They are their own reward.

May God bless you and protect you Arthur (Sorry, but you seem like one of the family.) in all your endeavors.

1 comment:

MPH said...

from kirazalan.net

If this National Assembly does not have the mindset required to produce a meaningful Iraqi constitution, then it is best to dissolve and re-elect the assembly than settle for a prop. It is more important to get it right, than to get it “right now.”

As Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari noted, “We should not be hasty regarding the issues and the constitution should not be born crippled.” The constitution must be meaningful – a living, breathing document that can be a foundation for the long road towards a real democracy in a united Iraq.

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