Iraq the Untold Story
Iraq the Untold Story
The following is an email message sent to all First Marine Air Wing and
Marine Wing, Support Squadron 171, from Lt. Col. Scot S. Seitz, Commanding
Officer, on Monday, December 1, 2003. It's worth reading and sharing.
Marines and Sailors,
As we approach the end of the year, I think it is important to share a few
thoughts about what you've accomplished directly, in some cases, and
indirectly in many others. I am speaking about what the Bush
Administration and what each of you has contributed by wearing the uniform.
Because the fact that you wear the uniform contributes 100% to the
capability of the nation to send a few onto the field to execute national
policy. As you read about these achievements you are a part of, I would
call your attention to two things:
1. This is good news that hasn't been fit to print or report on TV.
2. It is much easier to point out the errors a man makes when he makes the
tough decisions, rarely is the positive as aggressively pursued.
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 over1,500 schools-500 more than scheduled. Teachers
earn from 12 to 25 times their former salaries. All 240 hospitals and more
than 1,200 clinics are open. Doctor's 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 vaccinations to Iraq's
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 connections by
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 world's 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
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
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 Qusay 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
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, 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.
Yet, little or none of this information has been published by the Press
Corps that prides itself on bringing you all the news that's important.
Iraq under U.S. led control has come further in six months than Germany did
in seven years or Japan did in nine years following WWII. Military deaths
from fanatic Nazi's and Japanese numbered in the thousands and continued
for over three years after WWII victory was declared. It took the US over
four months to clear away the twin tower debris, let alone attempt to build
something else in its place.
Taking everything into consideration, even the unfortunate loss of our
brothers and sisters in this conflict, do you think anyone else in the
world could have accomplished as much as the United States and the Bush
administration in so short a period of time?
These are things worth writing about. Get the word out. Write to someone
you think may be able to influence our Congress or the press to tell the
Above all, be proud that you are a part of this historical precedent.
God bless you all and have a great Holiday.
Lt. Col. Scot S. Seitz