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October 25, 2006 | South Carolina Headlines


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War Thoughts
Jonathan Pait
April 7, 2003

  • It is beginning to look like the biggest mistake we have made in Operation Iraqi Freedom is the fact that we did not start it twelve years ago. Over and over we are hearing from Iraqis who are hesitant to receive us because they remember what happened to them in 1991. We can still see this attitude soften if we reach our objective, but don't think it will disappear.
  • Thankfully, we are beginning to see some changes in the way the Iraqis are receiving us. Still, we have to wonder if that past will leave lingering concerns. The spector of Saddam may linger long after he is gone.

  • Do all journalists come from a country populated by their own species? You listen to some networks and their talking heads refer to our troops as though they were fighting for some foreign country. Then we find some reporters being harassed because they dare say "our soldiers" or "we" when speaking of American troops.
  • Let's just put it out in the open: FOX News Channel has taken the most heat for being too patriotic. Looks like FOX gets the last laugh. They are winning the ratings. It appears Americans want to listen to reporters not ashamed of their country instead of residents of La-la Land. If there really is such a country, Peter Arnett must be its president.

  • Iraqis and Americans don't think alike. If some hooligans handed a bunch of Americans guns and then told them to go fight someone coming to rescue them or their children would be killed, woe unto the enforcers! Remember Flight 97? I can hear the chambers being loaded as the terse command moves the sons, fathers, and husbands - "Let's roll!"
  • I don't say that to trash on the Iraqis. Their response is directly attributed to their lack of liberty. They have been controlled for so long they do not know how to begin to break from that control. The last time liberty was sought those who sought it died.

  • I've started wearing a lapel pin in support of our troops. I made it by cutting up one of my little girl's yellow hair ribbons and attaching it to my coat lapel with an American flag pin. It seemed a very small thing to do and it appeared on my lapel the first day of the war. However, the pin has brought new meaning to me.
  • I was recently greeting people as they arrived for a business luncheon. Several people commented on the pin, but one particular response brought a tear to my eye. He didn't say a word. As he and a friend approached he was smiling as he usually does. Then he turned to see me and his eyes went to the pin. He snapped a salute and continued on -- no longer with the smile. On his face I saw a combination of sadness and pride. To that former Marine with Vietnam ribbons, that yellow ribbon and flag represented far more than I can every know.

  • Getting back to the media. I've been watching the briefings for their entertainment value. I wonder if certain of the journalists (or are they commentators) know they are making fools of themselves? They seem to think the war was started just for them. They appear to operate on the premise that the briefer is automatically lying. I'm not just talking about Al Jazerra!
  • Ah, but the beauty of it all is that truth is winning in the end. Our soldiers, both on the field and in the command center are prosecuting this war with character and intelligence. They are winning the war against the Saddam regime and those who wish to judge this war with the ghosts of Vietnam and Mogadishu.

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