Friday, January 28, 2005

The Spirit of America 

This morning's letter:
Dear Spirit of America friends and supporters,

This message has updates on:
* Ground-level coverage of Iraq's elections by Friends of Democracy and Spirit of America.

* Our conference and broadcast on Iraq's elections in Washington, DC this Sunday, Jan. 30.

* A good news story - Marines in Iraq and "Operation Spirit of America"

First, our deepest condolences to the soldiers, sailors, Marines and Iraqis who have been injured or lost their lives. On Wednesday, 31 Marines died in a helicopter crash in Iraq. Every day Coalition forces and courageous Iraqis put themselves at great risk in the struggle for freedom, free expression, self determination and the right to vote -- things we often take for granted. They are up against the worst kind of enemy. Our thoughts and prayers are with them and their loved ones.


Spirit of America has been supporting Friends of Democracy in Iraq to provide a ground-level view of the election from the people and bloggers of Iraq. It seems that major media often focuses on the violence and terrorism. Given the historic nature of this election we think people deserve better. The goal is to offer a full picture of the elections from the perspective of Iraqis. There are lots of good reports already on the Friends of Democracy site at Friends of Democracy. It is not "candy coated" - it includes good news and bad. Take a look now and make sure to check it on Sunday.

Friends of Democracy is using Spirit of America's Arabic blogging tool (aka Arabic Internet publishing tool) to publish election information for people in Iraq. Background on the Iraq election news project is here.


We are hosting a small conference in Washington, DC on Sunday (Jan. 30) from 1.30pm to 4pm that will provide a consolidated picture of Iraq's elections featuring prominent Iraqis, special guests (e.g., Cliff May from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and Christopher Hitchens), live call ins from the Friends of Democracy correspondents and bloggers, photos, video and stories. It will provide a picture of Iraq's elections people will not get anywhere else.

The event will be webcast (check the Friends of Democracy site on Sunday) and we hope it will be picked up by C-SPAN. This is described in more detail here.


This is a good news story. Please read the whole story about what the Marines called "Operation Spirit of America" involving distribution of medical supplies and equipment from Spirit of America that were generously donated by Triad Hospitals. The medical benefits are just the beginning of the story. As one of the Marines involved in the project, Staff Sgt. Richard Suttles, points out in the article, "I saw proof that the Iraqis are going to be okay without us."

Read it here.

Thank you for your support.
Jim Hake and the Spirit of America team


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