Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Appreciate Your Freedoms

Detroit Free Press
August 23, 2004

An American Soldier Has A Unique Perspective On Iraq

By Mort Crim

The story of Iraq is a tale of two countries.

There's the one we see in the news: fighting, killing and conflict. That Iraq is all too real, but so is the other Iraq -- one our soldiers see every day. And we need to know about this other Iraq to fully understand what's happening there.

Rocky Eady of Greenville, Ala., knows about that Iraq. He's just returned from 14 months there, assigned to transportation with the Army. And what did he transport around the country? Not missiles or bombs or guns. Rocky and his unit moved food and water to the people of Iraq. Their job was to ease the hunger and pain brought on by months of war.

But Rocky Eady discovered another kind of hunger among the Iraqis: a deep hunger for freedom.

They may practice different religions and wear different kinds of clothing, but behind those differences, Rocky discovered Iraqis are very much like us. They want what people everywhere want: A chance to raise their children in a safe environment, to have a job, to achieve their dreams. They want to be free and Rocky got the distinct impression that most of them are glad we came and appreciate what we're doing.

Today's thought: Nothing makes us appreciate our freedoms like living among those who've never had them.


Blogger 91ghost said...

I am soliciting your professional opinion on what to do about the mosque in Najaf. Myself, my gut reaction is to turn it into rubble...and I know that when cooler heads prevail, this may or may not be the wrong decision. They have had chance after chance after chance to resolve the situation peacefully and yet they continue to in effect hold that Mosque hostage and use it as a weapon. I think the longer we let them remain there, the weaker that shows us to be to the middle east. I understand the rage that would result from destroying/or atleast going into it to fight, but hell, it's not as if the middle east is particulary enamored with us anyways.

Also, I have scrutinized some of the press coverage of the "rebels" or "insurgents" or "militia fighters" as the press deems our enemy, and to me it seems as if the tone and tenor of some the coverage is as if this enemy is some kind of "salt of the earth" type of "freedom fighter"--a grassroots effort, if you will, against the big bad U.S. Machine. It's kind of sickening. None of these journalists have focused on what one Marine said so succintly: "How many schools have they built?"

9:47 AM  
Blogger redleg said...


my personal opinion is they need to grind the mosque into dust if that is what it takes. But than Iraqis must do it, and preferably a shiite one. That way Sadr doesn't get to be a cultural martyr. That seems to be the road they are heading down. My feeling is that is what they are being advised to do by us, but they have to make the call to do it. We can't make it for them. Then, they had made their stand against their extremeists and democracy can begin. They already have a tremendous start but they gotta put this punk into his place first. And that place is in a body bag. Give him any more breathing room and he just breed more extremeists. The Iraqis need to see that extremist Fundamentalism has a definite downside-- meeting Allah up close and firsthand much sooner than you reckoned. Free debate is fine, but not once you pick up your RPG-7V or AK. Then you just die.

My experience with the media in the theater has been (unless they are embedded) is that they show up knowing what story they want to write and they are waiting for the correct circumstances to happen for them to write it. They wish to show the Iraq effort as failing, so that's the kind of quotes they find. I wonder how many of these reporters actually got out of the green zone to interview a Marine or an ING, or if they are trusting to their translators to give them the scoop. These reporters usually vanished after a day and you saw their bylines a week or so later.

Lazy journalists. Not worth a private you are chaptering for drug use. I prefer some honest Taliban or AQ that will actually be honest about his efforts to kill you or undermine your mission. You can respect that. But most journalists, not worth a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut. The media is not telling you the story as its unfolding over there. You have to live it to understand it, and the media does not have the patience to do that. CB is probably one of the best, most honest reporters we have and he is not making more than a good Specialists pay. And he can't go home until its time.

Hope that helps a little bit.

11:01 AM  
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9:23 PM  

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