Michael Fumento

After crisscrossing Fallujah by foot and Humvee in May, I reported on tremendous progress being made to restore “the city we had to destroy to save.” Actually fighting left most of the town unscathed; most damage was from three decades of neglect under Saddam Hussein. And rebuilding began almost immediately.

Good news from Iraq rarely gets a single story compared to the many thousands on a war protestor’s stake-out in Texas. Yet it occurs nonetheless. The following is from an e-mail by Navy Lt. Cameron Chen, head of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit of the 8th Engineer Support Battalion at Camp Fallujah, with which I had a short embed. You’ll see Chen doesn’t wear a mini-skirt and shake pom-poms but he’s certainly optimistic.

“The city is slowly rebuilding and returning to life. Some report that it's now the safest city in the Sunni Triangle due to the heavy presence of Iraqi police and army.  Every major intersection now has unarmed Iraqi police directing traffic in crisp short-sleeve button down shirts, white gloves, black flack vests, and dark blue pants. More frequently we’re responding to IEDs [improvised explosive devices] reported by local children, police and informants.

“The 10pm-5am curfew is still in effect.  But people can be seen on the streets up until the last minutes before 10. The streets remain unlit at night although there are green neon lights around the minarets of the major mosques.  Lines at the gas stations can be over a hundred cars long. Ironic since we are in the heart of oil country.”

Michael Fumento

Michael Fumento is a, journalist, and attorney specializing in science and health issues as well as author of BioEvolution: How Biotechnology is Changing Our World .

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