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Haider Ajina, via email:
Largest Public Works Substation Opens in Baghdad
Saturday, 28 June 2008
BAGHDAD — Iraqi Security Forces, civic leaders, local townspeople and Coalition forces gathered in the Ameriyah community in Baghdad's Mansour district June 25 for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to acknowledge the opening of the biggest public works substation in the Iraqi capital.
Public works substations provide essential services to local communities, such as trash pickup, street cleaning and other services necessary for proper community maintenance.
The opening of the Ameriyah substation marks an important milestone for residents of this area, who have not had these services in more than two years.
"These basic services used to be centralized into only one station located in the eastern Mansour district of Baghdad, creating a deficit in other parts of the city," said Army Col. Louis Fazeka, part of the provincial reconstruction team embedded with the 101st Airborne Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team in Multi-National Division- Baghdad.
"The focus of this mission has been to 'decentralize' and make substations throughout western Baghdad, making these services more readily available to those neglected parts of the city," Fazeka explained.
The colonel said that he hopes, in time, that these stations will aid in Ameriyah's security and stability by restoring the confidence of the people in their government.
"These people want these basic essential services that you and I take for granted back home," Fazeka said. "It boosts the peoples' confidence in the government."
With the help of contractors, the PRT went to work and cleaned up the area where the substation now stands, leveled the ground, fixed up the run-down house there and put concrete T-wall barriers around the lot to increase security for the workers and the equipment.
The project took 45 days to complete.
"This station has brought life back to 15,000 residents due to the reinstatement of these services," said Salwan Talal Latif, Iraqi public works assistant zone director, and a 30-year resident of Ameriyah.
"Seven months ago, we were hiding in our houses in fear for our lives," he continued. "But thanks be to God, ... all aspects of fear that we had [are] in the past, and our lives are open now, and so are our opportunities."
U.S troops transfer 1000 Humvees to Iraqi security forcesThe followng is my translation of a short article in Iraq’s Nahrain of June 28 08:
Baghdad - Voices of Iraq
Friday , 27 /06 /2008
Baghdad, June27, (VOI) - Senior Iraqi and U.S force leaders celebrated the handover of 1,000 up-armoured Humvees to the Iraqi security forces, a military statement said on Friday.
Attended by Moufaq al-Rubai Iraqi national Security advisor, and David Petraeus, commander of U.S troops in Iraq, the transfer of Humvees ceremonies took place in the U.S base at Taji, 35 km north Baghdad, on Thursday. “This is just another step to enable Iraq to be self-defending and self-reliant,” the announcement cited Rubai as saying in the ceremonies. The Iraqi official added “we look forward to that day when we stand alone to fight the terrorists and join our forces with the American forces to fight the global war on terrorism”. The announcement noted Gen. Petraeus praised the Iraqi Security Forces for their advancements, highlighting “the transfer of the Humvees will help make the Iraqi soldiers and police safer, more mobile and more capable”.
This ceremony marked the first transfer of up-armoured Humvees to the Iraqi Ministry of Interior under a program that began in March 2008. The goal is to transfer 8,000 vehicles to the Iraqi security forces by the end of 2009. Since 2007, the U.S army has started supplying its troops in Iraq with vehicles resisting roadside bombing, which U.S defence experts termed as the most deadly weapon for military troops in Iraq.
The Iraqi Government sues U.N. over oil for food program.Haider's comments:
Official spokesman for the Iraqi government Dr. Ali Aldabagh announced that the Iraqi government is filling law suites against individuals and companies involved in corruption and bribery in the “oil for food” program. This program has suffered large scandalous corruption and mismanagement. Many have collaborated with the Sadam regime by inflating pieces of goods and selling expired medication etc…., bribery schemes and supplying sub standard material in return for large bribes and pay backs.
The surge has provided the needed breathing room for the Iraqis to focus on development and getting their house in order. Going after the wrong doers in the ‘oil for food’ program is a long awaited action. The Iraqis will quickly find out who their real friend are. The scandal will be reopened and much will come out over the improprieties of those countries, individuals, U.N. and others, and companies taking advantage of suffering Iraqis under the Baathist regime.
Anbar province is in the midst of being handed over to the Iraqis. The ceremony will take place as soon as the current large sand storms settle down. Once this is done then ten out of 18 provinces will be under Iraqi control, just five years after the claps of the Baathist regime in Iraq.
Actually, Anbar will be number 11.
Due to the delay in the ceremony.
Qadisayah (Diwaniyah) turns over tommarrow (30 Jun)...
Despite all the defeatist noise and nonsense the US Armed Forces, and their familes and friends waiting at home, moved forward in quiet determination to victory.
I love them all so much.Posted by syn at June 29, 2008 08:09 PM
I stand corrected.
Diwaniyah has been postponed due to weather and politics.Aparently they want Anbar to be number 10 and Diwaniyah number 11 as planned...