Friday, September 30, 2005

Ain't That Good News?

In January of this year, I decided the Mainstream Media (MSM) had neglected to tell us some of the very good news that had been going on in the world, and I made a list of a few of the greater events taking place that week. And, in the amount of time it takes to gestate a human from conception to birth, I have seen little change from the MSM (not that I expected a change. It takes more than war, two major hurricanes, and several media scandals to put them off their self-destructive track).

Here are a few of the best news items from the past month:

In Iraq:
    1. US Special Forces removed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's second-in-command, one Abu Azzam, from the face of both the war and the earth. Abu Azzam was, according to official accounts, one of the top al Qaeda terrorists in Iraq, and one of many in positions of "leadership" in their ranks to be helped on his way to meet Allah. From one Fox news report: "The U.S. military said it is continuing to make progress dismantling Zarqawi's operations. Officials credit much of the success to the increasing number of tips coming from Iraqi civilians." Which brings us to...
    2. Iraqi citizens, in increasing numbers, are getting fed up with the terrorist tactics of al-Zarqawi, and are passing on tips, giving up for capture over 200 "insurgents" in a single week, and yielding several large weapons caches.
    3. Intelligence sources say that al Qaeda recruitment has dropped dramatically. They are having a hard time selling the remaining intelligent young men on the promise of those virgins in the afterlife.
    4. A Constitution is drafted. Its delineation of freedoms, rights, and responsibilities of citizens looks a bit like ours, but in a language that suits its land.

In and around Afghanistan:
    1. see #3 above.
    2. Democracy is working. National Assembly elections were held, with women on the ballot, and no candidates were flogged or killed. Indications are, the same can be said of the voters. So, now they have the beginnings of a government of, by, and for the people.
    3. Pakistan's President Musharraf has come forward with more men, more assistance in rounding up members of Taliban and al Qaeda who have been dodging back and forth across the border. He has also begun to shut down madrassas where recruitment takes place. Bangladesh is following suit.
    4. Establishing the memorial to the Bamiyan Buddhas has begun, with artist Hiro Yamagata designing a dynamic laser light show to run weekly. He has designed the project to run economically, as well, using solar power and windmills. The Taliban may have blasted away the stone statues, but they did not long dim the illumination.

In our Gulf states, after both hurricanes:
    1. While private property damage was -- in many places -- total, the evacuations were (with a few notable exceptions) successful. Our hurricane warning system works, when people heed it.
    2. The National Guard and FEMA applied unprecedented speed in responding, in all regions where they were requested. They were in place, doing their jobs, almost 20 per cent faster than they had done after last summer's series of storms in Florida -- with more than five times the land mass and population to cover! They werent perfect, but they were better than the MSM would have us believe.
    3. Private aid organizations have shown themselves to be superior, providing for the immediate needs of evacuees. Reports indicate the fastest and most effective have been the Salvation Army and the United States Red Cross.
    4. International response, offers to us of personnel, money, gasoline, and equipment were immediate, and mostly unaccompanied by political nonsense. To name just two such gestures, Germany and the Netherlands sent many planeloads of people and pumps to help clear out the flood waters from New Orleans.

Toward Washington, D.C.:
A growing movement at the grassroots level, fed by internet discussion about where assistance funds for the Gulf States will come from, has forced some members of both House and Senate to reconsider their pork-laden budget. Already, bills have been introduced placing limits on how spending bills may be written. It's a start. We can all further it, by contacting our elected representatives and urging them onward.

I know, the standard practice at most MSM offices is, "If it bleeds, it leads," but, wouldn't it be nice to hear from them that not everything in the world is bleeding? They say it takes a village to raise a child. I say, it takes a greater village to raise one's spirits. Spread some good news today, starting with some of this.