Live from Baghdad

My adventures in Iraq.

Monday, February 21, 2005

The "Good" News

You hear a lot over hear about how the media is distorting the situation in Iraq by not telling the “good news stories.” However, I believe the media has every right to be critical of the overall mission in Iraq. The original objective was not nation-building or bringing democracy to Iraq. It was not even to dethrone Saddam Hussein. The basis of the invasion was to protect the American people from WMD. As we all know now, and many people suspected back then, this was, at best, based on faulty intelligence.

Saddam and his cronies were evil men and they deserve to be tried in court. The Iraqi people have suffered through 3 wars caused by Saddam and, like people everywhere, deserve peace. There is great poverty in a country that is blessed with abundant wealth. The US would be well served by a moderate ally in the Middle East. Access to Iraqi oil would undoubtedly help the US economy. I will not deny any of this. However, none of these were cited as a reason to invade Iraq. I doubt the American people would have agreed to spend 155 BILLION dollars and sacrifice over a thousand US soldiers lives in pursuit of these goals.

Please don't get me wrong, the soldiers who have served in Iraq are brave and the greatest majority have served honorably, including my brother-in-law and my best friend. Likewise, my fellow government civilians, contractors, and even PSDs all deserve praise for risking their lives to fulfill their various missions. Every day, these people work to promote freedom, restore the economy, and provide basic services for the Iraqi people. I'm here because I have an opportunity to help. I have a mission to restore infrastructure and provide clean drinking water to Iraq. There's a need for this and, at the moment , there's funding for it. But clean drinking water is not enough to justify the invasion or our continued occupation.

I don't have all the answers, heck, I don't even know most the questions. But the reason the good news stories are not going home is because there are some hard questions that still need to be asked about our reasons for being here. That's the media's job. Let's leave the good news stories for the bloggers.