I have been reading a register -only blog by civilian head-contractor Rick Clay (www.rickclayblog.com). Part of his job is to work with villages on construction projects. They gather the local tribal leaders and find out what projects they could use. They then hire sometimes more than 1000 locals to work, bringing pride and needed pay to the people of the villages, along with the new building and infrastructure (water, roads, etc) projects. They train them in the more up-to-date American construction ways.
The usual forces that try to disrupt and intimidate the villages that are progressing in this manner try to kill children and workers to scare the villagers. But when the local leaders and villagers see the projects getting completed and the workers paid, they are very grateful. Often the perpetrators are turned-in and captured. Sometimes high-value targets are also turned-in and processed.
In this way, village by village, person by person, the Iraqi’s learn that indeed the coalition is here improving their lives and that swift and certain action is taken against those that seek to kill and intimidate Iraqis. Iraqis are trained in modern construction knowledge. They gain skills to help pull themselves out of poverty.
There are tragedies along the way, but it is interesting to see Americans like Rick Clay with great talents and valuable skills give up perhaps safer and greater opportunities to do something for people often formerly considered America’s enemies.
Another interesting note: Mr. Clay tells about the women really like Americans because they are kind and respectful towards females. I can’t help but think that they, as mothers, will also influence the next generation to respect women and Americans.