Saw an article that appeared like the army in Killeen invited some people from the local Muslim community to give them opinions about Iraq in a videoconference with the 4th Infantry Division. If you read the article casually, you might think that the Muslims expressing their opinion were, say, randomly picked from some group that lives in Central Texas.
American and Iraqi forces are improving essential services, which in turn, improves health and gives citizens jobs. People are empowered and stepping up to reclaim their land, Carter said.
"I'm shocked," Abdelazeem said of the improvements. "I'm really shocked to see some of that over there."
Ahmed was critical of the media, saying he didn't see these kinds of images on television or in newspapers. This is what people in his community need to see, he said.
While they don't see that change reflected in the media, a lot of American Muslims know good is being done, Ahmed said after he was asked how Muslims view the military's mission in Iraq. The community is happy Saddam Hussein's dictatorship is gone, he added.
I wondered who these ones were that participated in the conference. For one thing, I noticed that Col Hammond's chief cultural advisor, Alaa Abdelazim, has a very similar last name as one of the participants, Amr Abdelazeem. Mr. Abdelazeem has a contract with the US army, as his company provides translation services, among other things. (He also has a patent he filed with his company that benefits the Army, apparently. )(Here's another link that shows that Makeen Tech made some money in 2004 through government contracts.)
Looks like Wagdi Mabrouk was or is a Sergeant Major in the Army-from NCO list. Perhaps has a realty company in Killeen now.
Anyway, my point isn't what these guy's opinions are, it's that it ought to be clear from the article that they aren't just some random Muslim citizens that live in Central Texas but are closely affiliated with the Army and might be expected to, um, have a bias.