As support for Iraqi freedom wanes in the USA, the Iraqi people claim more and more progress in their danger-frought attempts to gain political power and wrest the country from oppression. Here's some of what our mainstream media aren't telling us:
1. June 14: Iraq's Shiite-led government received a vote of confidence from the Iraqi National Assembly. "The 37-member government led by Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari was overwhelmingly approved by a show of hands from the 275-member parliament."
2. June 22: Iraq restores diplomatic relations with four neighboring countries-- Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait -- for the first time in a decade."Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari announced that Egypt would be the first Arab country to upgrade its diplomatic representation by appointing an ambassador."
3.June 21:"The president of the Iraqi constitutional committee Mr. Humam Hamudi announced that the constitutional committee has completed 80% of the Iraqi constitution and is determined to complete its mission before August 15th. He added that the committee meets daily to take advantage of the wide Arab Sunni participation. Jawad Alamleki (a Sunni member of the committee) said that constitution will emerge with strong Iraqi personality and there are no serious disagreements in dissertation over its contents."
4.June 21: Something I wish would happen in the US: Iraqis catch Constitutional Fever. "Public conferences and sessions in Baghdad and other provinces seem to be endless nowadays; municipalities, NGOs and forums are all very excited about Iraq's top topic which is writing the Iraqi constitution and they obviously don't want to miss the chance to take part in the historic event.
Such activities play a good role in educating the population and activating the concept of public involvement in the state's decisive steps through organizing sending the people's suggestions and thoughts to the authorities and making sure they're being considered."
"In a statement, Sheikh Abu Manar Al Alami, president of the Council for Islamic Call and Guidance for the Salafi trend, called the Arab fighters to refrain from the martyr attacks. He confirmed the nullity of the religious opinions of Jihad in Iraq, which have been launched by some Salafi clergymen in Saudi Arabia. He strongly rejected accusing the Salafi trend of being extremist and adopting terrorism."
6. June 27:Steps are being taken to restore citizenship to Iraqis who were deprived of their nationality nationality under Saddam’s regime according to the "Bad Reputation 666 Act of 1980."
7. June 27: Even the European Union is getting into the act. The European Union mission for training Iraqi magistrates and senior law enforcement officials is set to begin on 1 July. The proposal was approved by the 25 EU members states in February, but the office of foreign policy chief Javier Solana has confirmed they have now received an official request from Baghdad. The request was made during a visit by three leading EU officials, including Solana, to Iraq last week."
8. June 20: Hussein left Iraq with a mind-boggling debt of $125 billion. So Iraq is negotiating debt reduction or forgiveness with a variety of entities. Canada signed the latest agreement and agreed to write off 80%, or US$470 million, of Iraqi debt. Slovakia will also forgive Iraq its debt amounting to 35.2 million koruna ($10.8 million).
9. June 10: The Iraqi stock market signs on more than 50 stock markets around the world and will join The International Federation of Stock Exchanges. "Taha Ahmed Abdul Salam, executive manager of the stock market, who participated in the conference, heading a delegation of the stock market, said that various participating international stock exchanges have expressed their desire to sign mutual agreements to develop the mutual work with the Iraqi stock market, which reinforces the chances of the latter to gain the necessary expertise in the electronic exchange and the modern methods of banking deposit."
10. June 12: And last in this list (but there's lots more), culture has returned to Iraq. It's not quite like attending a concert at the Kennedy Center but the symphony is back. "Iraqis packed the red upholstered seats in the darkened hall of the National Theater in central Baghdad on Friday night, while men with machine guns stood in the aisles. Two snipers perched outside on a second-floor balcony. Guards frisked concertgoers as they entered.
But as they listened with serene faces to the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra playing the first sweet strains of Beethoven's 'Egmont' Overture, Opus 84, it seemed they had, even if only for an evening, defied the chaos and killing that has rearranged so many lives here."
So, in spite of the naysayers, freedom is dawning in Iraq. As always, the price of a free society is sacrifice and pain and blood but the new day will bring safety and liberty for us all.
In a press conference just weeks after the attack on New York City -- October 20, 2001 -- President Bush said, "I think the American people now fully understand that we are in an important struggle, a struggle that will take time." We must not give up until the job is done.