24 August 2007

Not fitting the narrative

Seven Iraq war vets and members of Vets for Freedom respond to the New York Times Seven, of the 82nd Airborne, whose op-ed column appeared in the paper this past Sunday. They respond in a terrific column for the Standard. Among the seven co-authors of the Standard column is our friend (and Minnesota native) Pete Hegseth. The column concludes:
We understand the frustration our fellow soldiers feel. All of us were in Iraq before the “surge” and lament never seeing a coherent, security-based counterinsurgency strategy. In truth, we were only clearing—not holding.

But we also know what’s possible when even small portions of counterinsurgency strategy are applied. Insurgents are exposed, leaders stand up, and stability occurs. General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker understand the principles of counterinsurgency and are applying them up and down the chain of command. It’s unfortunate that soldiers in the 82nd Airborne have not yet benefited from the new strategy, but it will ensure that their actions, and those of their fallen brethren, will not have been in vain.

Meanwhile, we applaud our brothers in the 82nd Airborne for their courage under fire, thank them for their commitment to our nation, and pray for the recovery of their injured co-author.
You have to read to the end to find this item of interest:
This Op-Ed was originally submitted to the New York Times, which declined to publish it.

Wouldn’t want that kind of thing in the paper of record, after all.

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Ready for the defeat parade

(2007-08-24) — Sen. John Warner, R-VA, yesterday called on President George Bush to start bringing troops home from Iraq “to show al Qaeda that the U.S. commitment to fighting Muslim terrorists overseas is not open-ended.?

“This is a two-way street,? said Sen. Warner. “We’ve kept our end of the deal, delivering crushing blows to the terror networks, but al Qaeda has refused to capitulate. It’s time to send a strong, clear message that our devotion to fighting the enemies of freedom is not a blank check.?

The influential member of the Senate Armed Services Committee said, “Usama Bin Laden and his minions need to see that we mean business, and that someday soon they won’t have the U.S. military to kick around Iraq anymore.?

The lawmaker added that best way to quell the violence against U.S. forces in Iraq is to remove them from Iraq.

“After we’re out,? he said, “if al Qaeda wants to kill Americans they’ll have to come to America to do it, where our troops will be enjoying a well-deserved rest at home and time with their wives and children.?

That’s kind of toughness we have come to expect from Congress.

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