Friday, October 14, 2005

Rehearsed Conversation?

The AP wrote a story about how President Bush's speech to 10 US soldiers in Iraq. And the way the headline reads, "Bush Thanks Soldiers In Rehearsed Talk" makes it seem like the whole thing was a giant publicity stunt. But even a half effort at reading the article makes you realize that it wasn't scripted. The amount of rehearsing in that talk was about the same as in the Presidential Debate. This person was assigned the first questions, then this guy gets the next and so on. The only question specific hand-offs were on issues of training with Iraqi soldiers, as well as the relations with people in Tikrit. But how is that such a bad thing? Obviously you're going to want a person to answer that question who at least knows something about it. I mean who do you want to ask why your toilet is flooding? Jim-Bob mechanic from Jiffy Lube, or the plumber?

Another section in there HAD to highlight the fact that in an AP poll, only 40% of people agree with how the war in Iraq is being handled, and slightly over 50% say that is was a mistake to have gone in the first place. But one thing, do you really expect people to believe that a good deed is being done when the only views they have are what the media want you to believe is going on with doom and gloom stories from the press?

And to think, something like this wasn't considered scripted?

So to counter-act that, I'm taking stats that have been at least semi-proven on snopes here, and here

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1...
.. the first battalion of the new Iraqi Army has graduated and is on active duty.
.. over 60,000 Iraqis now provide security to their fellow citizens.
.. nearly all of Iraq's 400 courts are functioning.
.. the Iraqi judiciary is fully independent.
.. on Monday, October 6 power generation hit 4,518 megawatts - exceeding the prewar average.
.. all 22 universities and 43 technical institutes and colleges are open, as are nearly all primary and secondary schools.
.. by October 1, Coalition forces had rehab-ed over 1,500 schools - 500 more than scheduled.
.. teachers earn from 12 to 25 times their former salaries.
.. all 240 hospitals and more than 1200 clinics are open.
.. 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.
.. the Coalition has helped administer over 22 million vaccination doses to Iraq's children.
.. a Coalition program has cleared over 14,000 kilometers of Iraq's 27,000 kilometers of weed-choked canals which now irrigate tens of thousands of farms. This project has created jobs for more than 100,000 Iraqi men and women.
.. we have restored over three-quarters of prewar telephone services and over two-thirds of the potable water production.
.. there are 4,900 full-service telephone connections. 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.
.. 95 percent of all prewar bank customers have service and first-time customers are opening accounts daily. .. Iraqi banks are making loans to finance businesses.
.. the central bank is fully independent.
.. Iraq has one of the worlds most growth-oriented investment and banking laws.
.. Iraq has a single, unified currency for the first time in 15 years.
.. satellite TV dishes are legal. .. foreign journalists aren't on 10-day visas paying mandatory and extortionate fees to the Ministry of Information for minders and other government spies.
.. there is no Ministry of Information.
.. there are more than 170 newspapers.
.. you can buy satellite dishes on what seems like every street corner.
.. foreign journalists (and everyone else) are free to come and go.
.. a nation that had not one single element - legislative, judicial or executive - of a representative government, now does.
.. in Baghdad alone residents have selected 88 advisory councils. Baghdad's first democratic transfer of power in 35 years happened when the city council elected its new chairman.
.. 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 Iraqi government regularly participates in international events. Since July the Iraqi government has been represented in over two dozen international meetings, including those of the UN General Assembly, the Arab League, the World Bank and IMF and, today, the Islamic Conference Summit. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs today announced that it is reopening over 30 Iraqi embassies around the world.
.. Shia religious festivals that were all but banned, aren't.
.. for the first time in 35 years, in Karbala thousands of Shiites celebrate the pilgrimage of the 12th Imam.
.. the Coalition has completed over 13,000 reconstruction projects, large and small, as part of a strategic plan for the reconstruction of Iraq.
.. Uday and Queasy are dead - and no longer feeding innocent Iraqis to the zoo lions, raping the young daughters of local leaders to force cooperation, torturing Iraq's soccer players for losing games, or murdering critics.
.. children aren't imprisoned or murdered when their parents disagree with the government. .. political opponents aren't imprisoned, tortured, executed, maimed, or are forced to watch their families die for disagreeing with Saddam.
.. millions of longsuffering Iraqis no longer live in perpetual terror.
.. Saudis will hold municipal elections. .. Qatar is reforming education to give more choices to parents.
.. Jordan is accelerating market economic reforms.
.. the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded for the first time to an Iranian and a Muslim woman who speaks out with courage for human rights, for democracy and for peace.
.. Saddam is gone.
.. Iraq is free.
.. President Bush has not faltered or failed.

And that's just one set of information.