Boortz points this one up today, and calls it required reading. I concur.Arthur Chrenkoff in the WSJ

Meanwhile, the BBC offers this vox populi from Iraqi women. While the concern about security is a common thread, another one is a strong streak of optimism. Says Essraa, an 18-year old student: “The most important development to come out of the war was freedom. We were denied it, especially freedom of thought. This to me is very important. Another important consequence was our ability now to access modern means of communications, such satellite and computers. Satellite television was banned under the previous regime because Saddam wanted to keep Iraq isolated from the rest of the world so he could have total control over Iraqis. Computers were available before the war, but the prices were prohibitive. Now, thanks to our ability to access the internet, we are able to contact our relatives abroad and to talk to them without fearing the eavesdropping of the ‘mukhabarat’ (the previous regime’s secret intelligence service).”

Samira, a 31-year old engineer, adds: “In my view the impact of the recent war, despite its many negative sides, was less severe than that of earlier ones. I think the negative aspects that have come to the surface were not caused by the war as such or by the American occupation alone. Rather, these things happened because of the change of the governing regime. A fall of a regime is not a small matter. ”

Fawzia, a 36-year old teacher, says: “On the positive side, we saw an increase in our incomes. Teachers, too, have enjoyed a rise in their salaries, with the result that the practice of private tutoring is on the decline. Teachers now do want to teach and look after their pupils. Among other positive developments have been the refurbishment of school buildings, the printing of new school textbooks and the provision of free stationary to pupils. The cost of food is lower now too and we are now free to say what we want to criticize without fear.”

And this from Um Samir, a 51-year old housewife: “The last war was not as big a catastrophe for our people and for my family as the Kuwait war, which brought us much pain. And despite the fact that electricity is in short supply and that there is fear because of the security situation, our material situation has improved a lot.”

In a similar vein, Ahood Aabass, 42, who became one of Iraq’s first elected officials and the first woman elected to the new governing council in Basra, and who is now visiting the United States together with Tamara Sarafa Quinn, director of the Women’s Alliance for a Democratic Iraq, reminisces about Saddam’s days:

Jer children went to schools that were without windows, doors and toilets, and where teachers made as little as $3 a month to teach. Water in her city of Basra had worms in it, and women had little, if any, right to freedom. . . .

Both women said great strides have been made in education, human rights, health care and infrastructure improvements. Iraq has seen schools reopened, refurbished and re-painted. Some 159,000 new desks were distributed to the schools, millions of new textbooks have been printed and 20 million Iraqi citizens now have clean water and sanitation amenities they didn’t have before. Teachers are also now making between $300 and $500 a month to teach, which Quinn said is a great deal to the Iraqis.

Aabass and Quinn have this to say to the people of the United States:

We have very good things happening in Iraq because of help from America. I am very thankful and grateful for our liberty and our freedom because with (America’s) help, we can get Saddam Hussein out of our country. I feel very sorry for the families who gave their sons and their daughters who were killed in our country. They are putting their lives on the line to help us.

Now, do you suppose you’ll hear these voices on the CBS Eveining News with Dan Rather?

Cherenkoff gets into some serious detail.. the article is long, but worth the read, but bottom lines at: The US pres aside from Fox, will not give you the real story in Iraq.  What they will give you does seem to fall directly in line withwhat John Kerry and his team are tring to sell the American people about Iraq, however.

And what do you know… Chrenkoff is a fellow BlogSpotter