The good, the bad, and the lazy

Caroline Glick of the Jerusalem Post shifts her focus from a real quagmire — the road map to peace — to the pseudo-quagmire in Iraq. During the invasion, Glick was an embedded reporter, moving through southern Iraq with the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division. Recently, she caught up with her old unit at Fort Stewart, Georgia. Their leaders were disgusted with the efforts (or lack thereof) of the reporters who replaced the intrepid war correspondents. Said one officer of the replacement press corps: “They were all living in the Palestine hotel and did not want to leave. We had to beg them to come out with us. And on a number of occasions when they did come, and we knew that they had written up what they had seen, we found that, for whatever reason, their newspapers did not publish their stories.”
Glick tells the mostly unreported story of the work of her heroes: “That work was vast. They opened schools; they paid civil service employees; they purchased school supplies; they hired contractors to fix and build sewage, electrical and water lines; they secured vital installations; and they cultivated ties with Iraqi citizens who were capable of providing services to the citizenry and information and intelligence to the US forces. Much of this work was conducted in the blazing summer heat when the soldiers themselves were living in substandard conditions with sporadic electricity and water supplies. In the meantime, they conducted surprise sweeps and raids in search of arms, fugitives and terrorists. How were they able to make the transition from fighters to administrators? According to the men, the main reason was the warm welcome they received from the Iraqi people.”
The success story that Glick reports through the eyes of her comrades is corroborated by polls of Iraqis and what little statistical data is being reported regarding conditions on the ground. But, despite this success story, Glick concludes on a pessimistic note: “If the American public is deprived of a view of its heroes, who won the war and are winning the peace, they will, sooner or later, abandon the fight.”

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