Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Michael Yon - A Three-fer Tucked Into A Two-fer

Not a rose by any name. From “Why We Write”. Photo Credit: Michael Yon

Two dispatches from Michael Yon show the contrasts of fighting a war to win (Iraq) and fighting a war to show a momentary (Afghanistan) effect.

The first highlights how Iraqi security forces are responding to the training and conviction our military forces are imparting to their efforts. Stories from Baquba with link and full credit going to the Washington Times and their correspondent Maya Alleruzzo.

Excerpts from Michael Yon: Online Magazine –

One More Reason For Hope

An Iraqi Warrior is fighting for new life in America after an assassination ambush by insurgents riddled his body with a dozen bullets but failed to extinguish this soldier’s force of life. I’ve been paying close attention to this story for months, having heard many of the “behind the scenes” events that eventually led Iraqi Captain Furat to American soil. The following series of photographs was shot by Washington Times correspondent Maya Alleruzzo as the platoon of Iraqi soldiers with whom she was traveling was ambushed by insurgents in Baquba.
I was told that a battalion of our own soldiers at Fort Benning recently gave Captain Furat a standing ovation for his courage and sacrifice in the war to rid Iraq of terrorists.

Please read this story, and know that if it were not for the Washington Times and their correspondent Maya Alleruzzo, along with those quiet Americans, this Iraqi hero would be dead.

But today he lives. In Georgia.
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The second dispatch deals with the developments in Afghanistan and the reasons why some reporters write.

Excerpts from Michael Yon: Online Magazine –

Why We Write

Soldiers on the ground hold our helicopter pilots in extreme regard. I’ve never heard a real combat soldier calling pilots “fly boys” or anything disrespectful. If I were willing to share my closest combat helicopter photos from Iraq, folks would understand just why the infantry loves our helicopter pilots.
I’ll be thinking about our troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, Africa and so many other places while I go into seclusion to write. I’ve written pointedly about Afghanistan recently, and will post a couple more dispatches about the place before getting settled. My remarks about Afghanistan have angered many readers and I understand that. I appreciate that many folks have strong political aspects; certainly, they have been blunt sharing their viewpoints, so I knew many would be angry before posting those words, but I was speaking important truths. I care about our soldiers and our people and will not go silent when a man should speak.
Many people in my generation and younger — keep asking me about this “
Joe Galloway” who I keep saying people should listen to. Joe Galloway is one of the finest war correspondents our country ever produced. Joe ranks with Ernie Pyle, but Joe is a lot meaner than Ernie. Plus, Ernie had the “advantage” of dying in combat with our Marines. Joe has somehow survived all his extreme bouts with combat. Joe lived with the soldiers and told their stories, eventually writing an incredible book called, We were Soldiers Once… And Young. My copy is here on the desk beside me. So when Joe talks, old sergeant majors and old generals — and most of current top military leadership — listen. And when these old veterans talk, we should all listen. They know war. We should listen more to our veterans than to politicians. We are more likely to get straight answers about war from warriors than we are from politicians and most of the media.
Like Ernie Pyle once noted, nobody is more plainspoken than combat soldiers. The ones I met in Afghanistan call that the “forgotten war” but unless things change dramatically, 2007 will be a year everyone remembers in Afghanistan.

I figure my part is telling what I saw when I was there.
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