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    13 May 2004
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    So I wrote this:

    My cousin Thomas claims to have received this from a “friend of a friend of a friend.” The truth is this e-mail has been floating around the net for some time now; in fact, I’ve been waiting for someone to send it to me.

    This was created to cater to those people who live in a Rupert Murdoch, Fox News, fantasy world. Let me wake-up these right-wing, cut ‘n paste, unenlightened, close-minded, conservative republican shills and get rid of this excellent piece of creative writing once and for all. I’ll start with the author, who I believe is a real soldier:

    Ray Reynolds, SFC
    Iowa Army National Guard
    234th Signal Battalion

    He is in fact real and an exceptional patriot; he is a soldier, as well as a firefighter in Iowa. He reported for active duty with his battalion on Saturday, March 15th, 2003.

    (www.iowanationalguard.com/PAGES/pub_affair/NEWS/234%203654%20Mob%202%20Mar%2003.html)



    The Iowa Army National Guard’s 234th Signal Battalion is scheduled to Return Home May 6, 2004.

    (www.iowanationalguard.com/pages/Pub_Affair/news/IowaArmyNationalGuards234thSignalBattalionReturningHomeMay_6_2004.html)



    First sentence:

    “As I head off to Baghdad for the final weeks of my stay in Iraq, I wanted to say thanks to all of you who did not believe the media. They have done a very poor job of covering everything that has happened.”

    But supposedly makes a later statement when confronted by a “nice screaming liberal”:

    “I wrote it while at home because I felt that too many people were exploiting the violence in Iraq to sell papers and gain votes. Sometimes the silent majority need to be awakened to respond to the bad things in our world. I am passionate about our President's decision and support this rebuilding whole heartedly I am a fire fighter in Denison, Iowa and to verify, call Mike McKinnon of the Denison Iowa fire department.”

    Hmmmmmmmm. . .



    Now to the body of his fairytale:

    > “Over 400,000 kids have up to date immunizations.”

    I hope this was written on a leave of duty because if in May of 2004 only 400,000 kids had up to date immunizations in Iraq that would be a disaster. In fact, to help Mr. Reynolds, Sergei Danilochkin writes:
    “Some 3.5 million Iraqi children were vaccinated this week in a campaign organized by Iraq's Health Ministry, the United Nations Children's Fund, and the World Health Organization.”
    (. . . )
    “Thousands of medical personnel have been working in Iraq for the last three days to vaccinate children against the most common preventable diseases. The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) has supplied 25 million doses of vaccines to Iraq to help prevent the spread of polio, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, measles, and tuberculosis -- considered the main killers of children in developing countries. This week's campaign was the third of its kind in Iraq and will be followed by three more through the end of the year. There are some 4.2 million children in Iraq under the age of five, but officials say it is impossible to reach every one of them during each vaccination round.”
    (www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/iraq/2003/09/iraq-030924-rferl-160009.htm)

    > “Over 4.5 million people have clean drinking water for the first time ever in Iraq.”
    But according to the Christian Science Monitor’s Ilene R. Prusher:
    “There are many things about life here that have gotten worse since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime six months ago, and Iraqis find them easy to spot: much less electricity, for example, and far more crime. And then there are things that are almost impossible to see, unless you're a man like Steve Palmer, a water and waste-management engineer. Only then would you know that Baghdad's water is 25 percent more polluted than it was before the war. You would realize that an injection of sewage into the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers makes the flow of water to the south so dirty that long-forgotten diseases are reemerging.”

    (www.csmonitor.com/2003/1010/p09s01-woiq.html)



    > “School attendance is up 80% from levels before the war.”

    But UNICEF reported in April of 2004 that:

    “In mid-May 2003, an assessment by Save the Children, a UK-based NGO, of three Baghdad schools found attendance to be less than 50 percent” . . . “School attendance had increased by the first week of June to approximately 75 percent.”

    And then continues Quoting:

    " ‘We don't have specific information on what is happening now, but when violence increases parents keep children at home, we know this goes on and anecdotal reports tell us this,’ "

    “‘In the long term when children are not in school they become vulnerable. For example, they are out on the streets and exposed to unexploded ordnance and abuse and trauma associated with it,’ she stressed, adding that the disruption in education would affect the child's development and employment opportunities . . . communities in Iraq had already suffered from a lack of education due to previous wars and although significant gains were made in school attendance after the recent war, to oust Saddam, much ground had been lost.”

    ”UNICEF states that in many cities across Iraq, children are unable to lead a normal life. "They are not just unable to attend school and get decent health care and clean water, but far too often they are paying the ultimate price," said UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy. "The ongoing instability and fighting is hitting children the hardest," she added.”

    The first sentences in this particular piece states that “Attendance at school has always been high in Iraq as primary education was made compulsory by Saddam Hussein. Under his rule some 82 percent of children were being educated”

    (www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=40706&SelectRegion=Iraq_Crisis)



    > “The country now receives 2 times the electrical power it did before the war.”

    As of February 2004 a Kuwaiti Investment House reports that “power output exceeded pre-war levels for the first time during the month of October. Output reached a peak load of 4,518MW on October 6.”

    So if lets say pre-war levels were approximately 3000MW then 6000MW would be 2 times the noted level. This is a level set for May of 2004 by USAID back in February. I hope that it is well above this level by now.

    (www.ameinfo.com/news/Detailed/34537.html)



    > “100% of the hospitals are open and fully staffed compared to 35% before the war.”

    The Washington post on March 5th this year:
    “‘We are dealing with a crisis,’ said Abdulwadood Talibi, director general of the State Company for Drugs and Medical Supplies, which is in charge of ordering all goods for the 240 public hospitals and 1,200 health centers in Iraq.”
    “There are shortages of basic items such as cough syrup and also of critical items such as diabetes medications, anti-cancer drugs, intravenous lines, tuberculosis test kits and ventilators, say doctors and nurses at Iskan, the Medical City Center, Yarmouk Hospital and other facilities.”
    “The U.S.-led occupation is preparing to hand over administration of the health care sector to the Iraqi government, perhaps in a few weeks. The Health Ministry will be among the first to have operational independence. Health Minister Khudair Fadhil Abbas said about 90 percent of the hospitals and clinics have been brought back to the same poor conditions as before the war but that the others will take more time to reach even that low level.”
    “Iraq's hospitals were once the envy of the Middle East. Wealthy businessmen used to fly their relatives in for everything from heart transplants to plastic surgery, and Iraqi specialists traveled the world lecturing about their research. But medical care deteriorated under the economic sanctions imposed after the Persian Gulf War in 1991. . . ”
    “Doctors, nurses and Iraqi officials said some things have improved since the war -- especially the infrastructure of some hospitals and clinics that have been rebuilt. But in other respects, conditions are worse.”

    Larry Johnson of the Seattle Post also notes that the use of depleted uranium in ammo used by the liberation forces of 1991 has prompted a “rise in cancer, primarily in southern Iraq.”
    He quotes a Basra hospital employee,
    “‘I worked here in this hospital in 1980 and never saw much cancer, but after 1991, I started to see many more cancer cases. . . ‘She said that because the incubation period for cancer is about five years, the effects of the latest war should start showing up in 2008. ‘I think the number of cancer cases will be as much as 10 times or more higher.’
    Johnson continues writing:
    “On a tour through one of the wards, Hassan points out a little girl with leukemia, one of the most common cancers around Basra. The girl is the second child in her family to get leukemia. A brother died from it recently. In another bed, a 10-month-old boy with bone cancer has a huge swollen area across his chest. He twists in pain and whimpers. Everywhere in the ward there are children with leukemia, bone cancer and tumors.”
    (www.seattlepi.nwsource.com/iraq2003/126059_iraq11.html)

    And finally.
    > “The country had its first 2 billion barrel export of oil in August.”
    NO! NO! NO! Basic Math! Bad Conservative!
    This is impossible, and if it were true oil would not cost $40+ a barrel. In August of 2003 the invasion/occupation forces and their highly paid mercenary army had just began to pump oil from the oil-rich northern fields.
    Iraq “has largely kept up production of 2.5 million barrels a day and exports of 1.8 million bpd despite the ongoing violence between the U.S. military and insurgent forces.” (May 12 2004)
    (www.forbes.com/business/manufacturing/newswire/2004/05/12/rtr1369731.html)

    So if this guy claims that there was a 2 billion barrel export and the rate of 2.5 million barrel’s per day is correct then they would have to keep this rate up for 800 days, over two years.
    Iraq did not make this export last August and will not this August.
    That is why this “hasn’t made the news!!”

    Thanks for your time, and have a great day!!

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