The Norman Transcript

Local news

May 5, 2006

Iraq veteran calls progress in rebuilding 'inspiring'

Deputy regional coordinator speaks to area Democrats

By Althea Peterson

Transcript Staff Writer

Iraq may not be as good as the Bush administration depicts it, but it's not as bad as what you see on television, according to one Marine who has been there.

Gary Anderson, deputy regional coordinator for the United States Mission in Iraq, said from his own perspective, conditions are improving in Iraq. Anderson, whose first tour of duty was July 2004 to January 2005 in the Foreign Service, said some days are better than others. Anderson spoke as part of the Tyner Corn Bread and Beans luncheon Friday at Los Dos Amigos.

"It took us five years to finalize our constitution and even then, there were revisions afterwards," Anderson said. "While (Iraq) isn't going well every day, it is getting better than it was."

Some of the ways Iraq is improving are safety on the streets and support from Iraq's groups, Anderson said.

"The Kurds and the Shiites are very motivated," Anderson said. "They're very energized to the progress going on. The Sunnis are sort of in the middle."

Anderson said while conditions are not always perfect, the progress from both the United States and Iraqis is "inspiring."

"The people over there are dedicated and professional," Anderson said. "They believe in an Iraqi nation."

Anderson said one of the major differences between Iraq now and Iraq under former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein is the freedom to vote, which is not something they take for granted.

"The look on their faces that day after they voted -- if you were there, you would see what it's all about," Anderson said. "Before, Saddam would say 'you're my guy, everybody will vote for you.'"

As for the future of Iraq, Anderson said it is not in the Bush administration's hands, nor is it in the hands of the soldiers fighting overseas. Rather, it is in the hands of the American voters.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local news
  • Bicycle Racks Five more bike racks installed downtown

    Public art was installed Thursday along east Main Street in historic downtown Norman. Five colorful art pieces aren’t just for looks. The musical notes, dream catcher, fork and spoon, scissortail flycatcher and a bent arrow also are bike ...

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Water Reclamation Wastewater upgrade under way

    Norman’s $63 million water reclamation facility upgrade is under way. Once known as a sewer plant, the facility’s moniker reflects the current trend in water reuse and treatment that’s crossing the United States....

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Meet the Sooners on Saturday

    Meet the Sooners Day will be Saturday at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. The annual, free event kicks off preseason practice and gives University of Oklahoma fans an opportunity to interact with their favorite players and ...

    August 1, 2014

  • Okla. City museum shows pigeons in positive light

    OKLAHOMA CITY — It wasn’t long after Lorrie Monteiro started her new gig as curator of the American Pigeon Museum that she started to wonder, “What have I done?” Monteiro had experience working at museums but knew almost nothing about the ...

    August 1, 2014

  • OKC man charged with rape

    After being brutally raped and kidnapped for four days, a woman escaped and called 911 last week, which led to charges against an Oklahoma City man. Zohaib Sahibzada Dastgir, 28, was charged with three counts of first-degree rape, two ...

    August 1, 2014

  • Parks officials set to fog for mosquitoes in Norman

    Norman parks and recreation officials will fog for mosquitoes Saturday night in northeast Norman....

    August 1, 2014

  • New natural gas plant coming to south central area

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A new plant projected to process 200 million cubic feet of natural gas per day is coming to the Grady/Stephens county area....

    August 1, 2014

  • Motorists should watch for pedestrians

    With another school year approaching, the Norman Police Department wants motorists to be mindful of the increase in pedestrian and vehicle traffic. During the month of August, the Norman Police Department will concentrate resources in the ...

    August 1, 2014

  • Crime briefs

    Man charged with rape A Norman man was charged with second-degree rape Thursday after a teen reported that she had been engaging in sexual activity with him. Stacy Lynn Thomas, 36, had numerous sexual encounters with the 15-year-old girl ...

    August 1, 2014

  • Police log

    Police responded to the following incidents Wednesday: · 1:36 a.m. burglary in progress, 3700 block of Barwick Drive · 9:54 a.m. larceny report, 500 block of South University Boulevard · 10:42 a.m. larceny report, 1400 ...

    August 1, 2014