Monday, August 29, 2005

View from the ground

We keep hearing about all this doom and gloom in Iraq, from pundits, "experts" and reporters, many of whom have not stepped foot in Iraq, or perhaps have spent a few days in Baghdad. It is time we start hearing more from those with boots on the ground. I am going to post a commentary by Col. Jimmy Jaye Wells, who has his boots firmly on the ground in Iraq. The commentary is from the Dallas Morning News, to which you have to be an on-line suscriber, so I will post both the link and the commentary in full. My comments will be in blue, as always.

'Col. Jimmie Jaye Wells: View from the ground

Much has been and continues to be accomplished in Iraq. It would be a mistake to withdraw.

Because I have been serving for nearly 18 months in Iraq, I have a greater sensitivity to the debate in the media about the war.

It seems it is an obligation that I should share a different perspective from what the media focus on. My views are not those of someone who has "visited" Baghdad for a few days, as some pundits have. I serve in the day-to-day, sometimes monotonous battle for freedom. As a simple grunt colonel, I don't have the power of the press, but I certainly have the power and responsibility to express my perspective and opinion.

So many of those writing negative stories about Iraq, have never left the safety and comfort of their own beds. Take some one like Frank Rich, for example. Here is a leftist drama critic who now fancies himself an expert on military and foreign affairs matters. He is totally clueless and really should stick to reveiwing plays. As far as I know, he has never stepped foot in Iraq.

I'm concerned by the recent wave of attacks on President Bush, Congress and others for going to war and, now, for pursuing it to a successful conclusion. Several factors seem to be contributing to the criticism, including the political motivation of the critics and the "instant news" in this shake-and-bake, ever-flattening world.

It has been nearly 28 months since Operation Iraqi Freedom began.

But insurgencies take years, not months, to overcome – and Iraq is different from your garden-variety insurgency. Most of the various enemies/opponents have no plans to govern, only plans to disrupt, create chaos and gain from that imbalance. Iraq is also different in that it serves as the battleground in a much larger war of worldwide terror.

Remember now, Sheehan and her leftist friends call these terrorists "freedom fighters". Natuarlly these same leftists do not consider this one of the battles in the larger war on terror. Some of them, like Fat Mikey Moore, claim there is no terrorist threat.

The tools of war are another factor in this insurgency. Our ability to concentrate the fight and limit fratricide and collateral damage continues to improve. This allows for fewer soldiers to do the job – but that has the effect of making this "someone else's war." Only 138,000 soldiers are serving in Iraq, which pales in comparison with, for example, Gen. John Pershing's command of 2 million soldiers in World War I.

The impact at home certainly pales as well. Folks back home seem more interested in the saga in Aruba than in the development of successful governance and essential services in place like Fallujah, Najaf and Sadr City.

The leftist media tried to portray Fallujah as victory for the terrorists, until they could no longer sustain that line because of the facts. So, you cannot expect them to show the turn around in Fallujah. After all, it would not fit with their quagmire rants.

I have been fighting alongside troops, diplomats and civilians from Iraq, Britain, Denmark and dozens of other nations. I am convinced we are like-minded in the just cause of this conflict. Seeing the combat from this side of the argument tends to bring some things into greater focus.

The naysayers continue to press the legitimacy of the war, but let me say that the legal aspects of this conflict are indeed just. There were and continue to be a just cause, the right intention and the legitimate authority to initiate and prosecute this conflict after a reasonable exhaustion of peaceful remedies. And there is a reasonable hope of success.

Some people attempt to fit the assumptions of 2005 into the questions of 2003. In doing so, they feel justified advocating that the U.S. abruptly withdraw from Iraq and leave the Iraqi people to fend for themselves. To do so plays into the terrorists' hands.

Iraqis are tired of the Baathist regime's – and now the terrorists' – use of torture, executions, rapes and bullying. They are in the good hands of competent Iraqi leaders who are marching forward in the face of intense adversity. It is we, as freedom-loving Americans, who should be shoulder to shoulder in supporting them.

Once again, these are the very some miscreants that Cindy Sheehan and her ilk, support as "freedom fighters". "Freedom fighters" do not intentionally target civilians, women and children, mosques, markets funerals or weddings. Terrorists do that. Murderers do that. These people that Cindy Sheehan is throwing her support behind, killed her son.

To do otherwise is less than honorable, panders to the terrorists and has slim legal underpinnings.

Col. Jimmie Jaye Wells is a long-time San Antonio resident, commander of the 208th Regional Support Group and a U.S. Army War College graduate. His current assignment is Deputy for Operations Support in the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. His son is serving in the U.S. Army Reserves in Al Asad, Iraq. Col. Wells' e-mail address is'

The good Colonel hits the nail squarely on the head. Do not look for any news such as this from the leftist media. It does not fit into their agenda. Besides, they are too busy kissing Cindy Sheehan's ass, at the same time keeping any of the truth about her that is not in the best light, buried. Good job, Colonel! - Sailor

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