Friday, January 28, 2005

Iraq - View From the Ground

Here is another view from boots on the ground in Iraq.

I found it quite ironic to hear her say she couldn’t wait to get back to Baghdad. I called her on the irony, and we both acknowledged the changes we had gone through since leaving home. We were accompanied on our trip north by the celebrity news anchor Peter Jennings. I’ve never been a fan of his slanted commentaries, but it was nice to meet the man.

I introduced him to my commander, and true to what I believed, he attempted in conversation to get her to say something adverse about the war. Boy, was he talking to the wrong person. She accurately and with passion described what most soldiers here believe: what we have done and are continuing to do will make a positive difference in the country of Iraq, the region, and the world. I don’t believe he will air her point of view.

You can bet your pay check on it.

At one of the hangars that I spent time in waiting on a flight, I spoke to an American civilian whose mission was to establish police academies in the country. He spoke of the complete difference the Iraqi men have in comparison to us. It was his experience that when the Iraqis receive positions of authority, they perceive it as a right to profit from that position and from those they are to lead. That is opposed to our leadership, which in positions of authority means the responsibilities to care for those we lead. I could tell he was struggling with the solution to this problem, and I admired his commitment to make it work.

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