A Menagerie of Outspoken Opinions on Science, World Politics, and Geek Culture

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Speaking From Experience

FOX news recently put together an article of collected opinions from military personnel and veterans about staying the course in Iraq. These are not the words of politicians, special interest groups, or the media. These are soldiers who have served in this war (or in another) and simply volunteered a response to the question posed.

I think this quote sums up a lot of what is on these soldier's minds (and does so really well):

“I am a veteran returned from Iraq, and I believe we should stay the course. I spent a year-plus running a security crew for convoys, both with armor and without it on our Humvees. If the media would report on the improvements there instead of just the attacks, injuries, and casualties, I think the country would be behind the troops and the president a lot more than they are. The problem is the average person doesn’t get the whole story. They look at the headlines and take it for what it is without knowing there has been a huge decrease in the number and type of attacks. They see that there was another attack. That point alone would help the American people see the progress that U.S. soldiers have and they’d stand behind it more. People need to be patient, look at how long we occupied Germany after WWII, and we are still there. The same thing is true for Korea. Rebuilding a nation does not happen overnight, but the chance for hope does, and the Iraqi’s now have a chance.” — Stephen (SFC, Army National Guard – Columbus, OH)

I don't know how many times I've heard something very similar from other soldiers, either in an e-mail, a comment to this blog, or an interview given to a mainstream media outlet. "The media reports the bad news and ignores the good news. They do it all the time. They are hurting the war effort and breaking morale". It's hard to find an Iraq war veteran who doesn't say that. One begins to wonder if it's mere sensationalism on the media's part, or if it really is something darker and more purposeful.

Anyway, read the opinions in the article. All are quite interesting.