Moment of Truth

Of all of the journalists who have covered the Iraq war, Michael Yon is the most credible. His new book, Moment of Truth in Iraq: How a New ‘Greatest Generation’ of American Soldiers is Turning Defeat and Disaster into Victory and Hope, has risen to a remarkable #45 on Amazon’s best seller list, notwithstanding the fact that Yon works for no media company, has no organization and has supported his journalism largely through online donations.

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The best tribute to Moment of Truth comes from Yon’s publisher:

I HAVE NEVER BEEN PROUDER TO PUBLISH A BOOK

Michael Yon changed my mind about the war in Iraq, by making me understand it for the first time.

From the very beginning I was against the war. I thought it would be a disaster, another Vietnam. And until I had the privilege of working on this book with Michael I was always for immediate pull-out: why should one more American die for a doomed effort?

Michael–who is as close to totally non-political as anyone I know–showed me two things. First, because I judged by Vietnam, the war of my youth, I had radically underestimated what American soldiers could do. ***

I was 100 percent wrong. Today’s American soldiers excel at counterinsurgency, because they excel at the most important thing: winning over the people by inspiring them with their own courage and compassion, discipline and determination. ***

Just wait until you read the Chapter “High Noon” (my favorite), the story of the American soldiers who have to arrest a corrupt but politically popular Iraqi police chief we had put in office in the first place because he had been a real hero in fighting the terrorists. He had to be removed by Americans to show the Iraqis we really did believe in the rule of law. The whole thing could have blown up into a one-town civil war with hundreds dead on both sides. Won’t tell you how it ends, but you will be amazed and very proud.

***

I am convinced that everything I once thought about the war was wrong. The truth is we are doing a great thing in Iraq, most of the Iraqi people really do want to be a united democratic nation and already consider America their greatest friend and ally. It would be a crime to turn tail now and abandon them now.

I owe all that to Michael’s book, which is why I believe publishing Moment of Truth in Iraq may be the best thing I have ever done for my country.

A stunning tribute. The Glenn and Helen Show has an excellent interview with Yon; Glenn writes:

We talk to Michael about independent blogging, the situation in Iraq and how it’s changed since he started reporting in 2004, and his new book. Plus, advice for the Presidential candidates on what to say, and do, about Iraq over the coming year.

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