A vehicle for venting on philosophy, religion, and the general state of things. Proprietor: C. W. Powell

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Why aren't these stories told by the talking heads on TV?

"Otwell and Lindner tour the building, which is cold and dusty. But inside several of the rooms are old products they can sell - hundreds of Iraqi flags they've sewn, dresses and pillowcases. Already the team has arranged for the factory to produce all the uniforms for Iraq's civil defense forces, and piles of cut brown pant legs line the floor.
Now the workers are getting $60 a month, part of which is spent on housing them at the factory. Otwell and Lindner promise to come back soon, and ask the workers to make a list of things that they really need, so maybe next year the factory can get some upgrades. On the way out, the workers jump and clap, as Lindner and Otwell escort the old boss - who had come back to the factory despite a previous arrest by Iraqi police for beating the workers - away from the building.
Across town, another mission is under way.
'Welcome, welcome to our school,' chants a line of 7-year-old girls in Arabic at the Abu Ghuraib Primary School, which the 490th Civil Affairs Battalion took under its wing to restore after it was badly looted postwar.
The now-bright-blue school has new equipment and new electrical wiring that feeds bright bulbs by the teachers' blackboards.
As each soldier walks through the entrance to the official ribbon-cutting, the girls chant louder in Arabic, 'Thank you, thank you, thank you.'
Inside, headmistress Ibistam Mahdi cuts a yellow ribbon, and thanks the men through a translator.
'For the 350 girls here, it is a lot better,' Mahdi says."
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