Raging Right Wing Republican

For those of us who are politically informed, and therefore Republican.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Reflections from the Iraq War

Via Michael Fumento: Reflections from the Iraq War
I traveled to Iraq essentially for two reasons. First, I believed the mainstream media for whatever reason were missing many important stories. Second, I believed you had to see the war to truly understand it. I was fed up with the pompous pontificating pundits who can go to Iraq anytime but prefer the comfort and safety of home. I paid the price for my trip; a part of me will always remain in Iraq - literally. But I was right on both counts.

I observed that troop morale in even the most hostile areas was better than I would have believed. Unless I identified myself, nobody knew I was a reporter. Troops didn't hold back antiwar feelings on my account. Yet I heard none. I also carefully fastidiously read the ubiquitous graffiti in the portable toilets and only once found a negative scrawling - a Bush bash. But three other scrawlings ambushed that first one....

The only real complaints I'd heard were about "the kindler, gentler military." Political sensitivity - enhanced by shenanigans such as Newsweek's - are tying at least part of an arm behind our backs.

Opposite me in the Baghdad hospital recovery wound was an Iraqi with two gunshot wounds received a week apart. I was told he was shot running away from an improvised explosive device (IED) trigger but had nonetheless been treated and released, partly in hopes that American hospital hospitality might give him a change of heart. Tough luck. A week later he was again shot running away from a trigger. "Now he's being released to Abu Ghraib prison," I was told.

The professionalism of these men and women is almost indescribable....

The Iraqis are fighting and dying for their country. We need vastly more of them and their training must continue to improve. Yet they are the key to ultimate victory.

Overall - and this is based both on observation and outside study - I'd say the war is ours to lose. But I don't think we will. In a true guerrilla conflict, time favors the insurgency. But progressively this war has shifted to one waging non-Iraqi terrorists against primarily Iraqi civilians, secondarily Iraqi military and police, and last against Americans.

Indeed, on one IED mission I joined MPs nabbed two men in track suits and tennis shoes running away from the trigger. Both wore head scarves with non-Iraqi-colors and they had Jordanian features.

It's perfectly understandable that Iraqis resent any foreign troops on their soil. But they know the suicide bombers randomly turning Iraqi civilians into shredded wheat are also foreigners. They're skeptical about a U.S. withdrawal; but they see the American route appears to be leading to independence. And they know the Jihadist route is one too horrible to contemplate.
If only the media would portray the Iraqi conflict with the same honest reporting about our troops as provided here.

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