Wading Through Sewage Looking for Good News
I started looking for some reporting of positive events and developments in Iraq like school re-openings that are happening, power grid improvements that are being implemented, water treatment facilities work, etc. Call it a morbid curiosity.
To my surprise, I found one rather quickly from my favorite fish-wrap, the New York Times.
I braced myself…too good to be true. The New York Times??? No way.
Then I actually read it.
I was right. Too good to be true.
Before you read this tripe, allow me to set the scene:
Sadr City. The Shiite slums of Baghdad and home of Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mehdi Army (and 2.5 million people, half of whom support al-Sadr). Muqi (Mookie), as Marines in-country call him, likes to have his boys kill Americans from Baghdad to Najaf. You remember him, right? All-around nice guys, Muqi & Friends.
It turns out that a sewer line had broken and raw sewage was freely flowing through the streets and pouring into homes and through the houses. Picture your neighborhood’s sewage flowing through your own home, across your living room and kitchen floors. Imagine how in the world you are going to bring yourself to begin trying to clean it if it ever stops.
Well, the American military decided to take charge and repair the sewer main for the people of Sadr City. They hired Iraqi’s to perform the digging and repairs to the sewer main and tasked themselves with providing those workers security in the middle of a hot zone. They deposited themselves alone in the middle of a hostile and armed Sadr City. Willingly.
Muqi's boys kept their trigger fingers holstered. The sewage main was repaired and the free flow of human waste into homes was stopped.
Finally, a good story of something good for Iraqi’s that was actually reported...sort of.
Now, go read the article and see for yourself the ‘verbal sewage’ I had to wade through to extract this positive information.
If we do nothing for the Iraqi people, wordsmiths like Erik Eckholm and his NYT would make that loudly and plainly clear to us and the world. If we actually do good things for the people of Iraq, political poets like Erik Eckholm ignore it for as long as possible and finally concede with a headline like this one that reads, “Civil affairs projects become near obsession in Iraq.” You get the implication...We don't really mean it, we're just using them as a tool. Our servicemen cannot possibly actually care about people. They only want to kill them.
Good works must be framed with lines of tripe in their poem like, “It is hard to compare this modest project with the other, more menacing thrust of American power into sprawling Sadr City, the tanks and weapons-bristling Humvees that prowl the main roads or sit at major intersections and are often slammed by rocket-propelled grenades or buried explosives.” You see, this is only modest. What we really are is menacing. Gotcha.
My personal favorite was this lovely stanza: “How much good will, let alone allegiance, can be won with money and bricks, especially in hostile zones like Sadr City, remains to be seen.”
It seems to me that we were the ones demonstrating good will, not simply attempting to bribe good will from them with ‘money and bricks’. Can it ever simply be possible that our boys just did a good thing for a stricken neighborhood, one that would shoot the Americans dead if they weren’t conveniently cleaning up that very neighborhood's own slime?
It sickens me to read this tripe.
IF those soldiers had given Erik Eckholm a solid 24 karat brick of Fort Knox gold, he would have written that they had burdened him with the manual transport of heavy metal materials through the streets of Baghdad.
I wonder if any of our boys escorting this fool around have ever actually read what Erik submits to his editors. If he has written more than one article, I would venture to say that the answer is a firm "Negative, sir."
The New York Times
All The News That’s Fit To Wrap Fish In