Thursday, May 05, 2005

The "Brave Iraqi Resistance", and An Update on USAID in IRAQ..........


Via Michael Yon : Online Magazine, who is currently in Iraq taking pictures and I assume researching for whatever he's writing these days, comes this heartbreaking picture along with the story behind it.


Major Mark Bieger found this little girl after the car bomb that attacked our guys while kids were crowding around. The soldiers here have been angry and sad for two days. They are angry because the terrorists could just as easily have waited a block or two and attacked the patrol away from the kids. Instead, the suicide bomber drove his car and hit the Stryker when about twenty children were jumping up and down and waving at the soldiers. Major Bieger, I had seen him help rescue some of our guys a week earlier during another big attack, took some of our soldiers and rushed this little girl to our hospital. He wanted her to have American surgeons and not to go to the Iraqi hospital. She didn't make it. I snapped this picture when Major Bieger ran to take her away. He kept stopping to talk with her and hug her.

The soldiers went back to that neighborhood the next day to ask what they could do. The people were very warming and welcomed us into their homes, and many kids were actually running up to say hello and to ask soldiers to shake hands.

Eventually, some insurgents must have realized we were back and started shooting at us. The American soldiers and Iraqi police started engaging the enemy and there was a running gun battle. I saw at least one IP who was shot, but he looked okay and actually smiled at me despite the big bullet hole in his leg. I smiled back.

One thing seems certain; the people in that neighborhood share our feelings about the terrorists. We are going to go back there, and if any terrorists come out, the soldiers hope to find them. Everybody is still very angry that the insurgents attacked us when the kids were around. Their day will come.

"Brave Iraqi Resistance" indeed. Killing innocent children is no way to gain momentum for a political movement Mr Zarqawi. I suggest a less abrasive technique, like suppressing womens rights, look how well that worked out for the Taliban.

Oh wait, never mind.

In other Iraqi news you won't hear about in the newspapers or on the Television, I give you the following report from USAID's operations in Iraq- (Via LGF)

Iraq Reconstruction Accomplishments: A Brief Overview

Working in close cooperation with the Iraq interim government to improve the lives of Iraqis, USAID is devoting substantial resources throughout the country to restore critical infrastructure, support the delivery of healthcare and education services, expand economic opportunities, and improve governance.

1. Restoring Essential Infrastructure
Objective - Rebuild and rehabilitate the vital components of Iraq's infrastructure

Key Accomplishments

-Generated 4,518 MW on October 6, surpassing the pre-war level of 4,400 MW.
-USAID is working to add 827 MW of capacity through new generation and rehabilitation projects.
-Conducting water and sanitation projects worth $183 million that will benefit 14.5 million people.
-Rehabilitating three key bridges (Khazir, Tikrit, and Al Mat) critical to the flow of passengers and goods throughout Iraq. Al Mat Bridge was the first to be completed and reopened March 3.
-Reopened Umm Qasr seaport on June 17. Approximately 40 ships offload cargo per month.
-Completed emergency work to prepare Baghdad and Basrah airports for operations. -More than 5,000 flights have arrived and departed Baghdad International Airport since July, which now averages more than 20 non-military movements per day.
-Restored international calling service and activated more than 140,000 subscriber lines in Baghdad.

And that just part 1. Click the link to learn about-

-Supporting Essential Health and Education Services
-Expanding Economic Opportunity
-Improving Government Efficiency and Accountability
-Humanitarian Assistance

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming........

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