More Good News From Iraq– Coalition Transfers Security Responsibility in Diyala to Iraqis
Local Iraqis from gathered to cheer on their favorite Masafee team, July 31, during the Rashid Olympics Masafee Hayy Championship Game, a community-led sports program for local Iraqis in the Rashid District of southern Baghdad. Local leaders from the Rashid District Council worked with Soldiers from the 1st Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Multi-National Division – Baghdad, to promote the event for the Rashid community. (DVIDS)
Iraqi-American Haider Ajina sends the following good news from Iraq with comments:
Haider Ajina comments:
Agriculture in Iraq during the latter part of Saddam’s rule nearly came to a standstill. Many canals were dry and the marshes almost totally decimated. Since the liberation of Iraq from the Baathists, most canals have been restored and the Marshes have recovered 70-80% of their 1970s area. Recently thousand of fish have been reintroduced to the Marshes, in phase III of the restoration project headed by U.N. Environmental Program. The draining of the Marshes (by Saddam’s orders) was one of the world’s worst environmental disasters. Much of this disaster went unreported and unconfronted by environmental groups and the world media. The restoration has received some media attention, disproportionate to the tremendous effort and success of the restoration however.
The MNF report on handing over security to Iraqi forces shows the tremendous progress brought about by our training and equipment supply to Iraqi forces. Political reconciliation and cooperation is at the highest levels since the last national elections in Iraq. The Iraqi parliament is wrestling the new provincial elections bill. The debate is heated as is the debate over the fate of Kirkuk. This is not a sign of divisiveness or fracturing of the political process. It is a sign of the health and commitment these parliamentarians have to the groups they represent and the Iraqi constitution. Debate and compromise is the healthiest sign of a Parliament.
The report by the U.N. secretary General’s office (on August 1 2008), reports, ‘A combination of political and military efforts has led to continued improvements in security across Iraq in the past three months’. The “Surge” and “Political Reconciliation” have obviously worked. The report also points out the hard work ahead in economic and infrastructure improvement. It adds, “The gains made so far need to be sustained through meaningful political dialogue and national reconciliation.” National reconciliation is progressing and is measurable all over Iraq. The report by the U.N. secretary General’s office adds; “The fact that a growing number of Arab States have expressed their willingness to re-establish a diplomatic presence in Baghdad is a positive development, and the decision by the United Arab Emirates to forgive Iraqi debt is a strong step that he hopes is taken by others in the region.” These Arab states would not be doing this unless they noticed political progress in Iraq.
As is noticeable the U.N. has many personnel back in Iraq due to the improved security and political environment. The U.N. pulled out of Iraq after suicide bombings of its offices in fall of 2003.
As my father told me in a phone call Saturday, “Matters have Improved 100%.” Improvement and construction projects are popping up by the dozens daily.
All this is now possible because of the hard work and back breaking efforts of our men and women serving in Iraq and Iraqis embracing this opportunity.