Wednesday, May 19, 2004


You really should go read this entire piece.
Freedom does not come easily or without sacrifice. The upheaval that most Americans see on TV and read in the newspaper is not the complete story of Iraq. There is only a minority here who want to stop the progress being made and to keep others from having individual freedoms.

They have little or no value for human rights, let alone human life. They see an opportunity in this time of massive change to take control and dictate the lives of Iraqis.

They are cowards.

Instead, we have seen numerous examples of Iraqi citizens risking their lives to serve their country.

One of the first events we staffed was Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's visit to the Baghdad Police Academy in February. We were going to include one of the female cadets in a camera shot, but she refused because she said she was lying to her family about training as a police officer, instead telling them that she was working at a library.

Despite the obvious danger of serving on the police force, she still wanted the job. Since we arrived in Iraq, the academy, led by an affable 6-5, 350-pound Scot, has graduated three classes of officers, and more are being trained every day...

This week the Ministry of Foreign Affairs became the ninth department to be turned over, another significant step toward sovereignty.

We have helped coordinate the formal transfer ceremonies, which are generally well attended by Arab media and all but ignored by western journalists.

What's been most evident at these events is the national pride and joy Iraqis are experiencing, from the words spoken by each minister to the bright, inspiring voices of school children singing Mawteni (My Homeland), a stirring nationalistic song akin to America the Beautiful.

Rend Rahim, Iraq's representative in Washington, D.C., said, "We Iraqis have achieved an enormous amount of success so far. We now have the power to set the course toward our own chosen destiny."

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