Laura Ingraham in Iraq

Posted: February 12, 2006 in International, Politics
 

     Laura Ingraham is in Iraq, and this is part of her journal; she has a vastly different pov vis a vis Iraq than does Christiane Amanpour.

Day 3: Feb. 7th, 2006  I started the day with a pre-patrol briefing for an 18-soldier Humvee convoy to a local village near Camp Victory. When we arrived at the village, children swarmed around our vehicles, waving and laughing. The kids were absolutely gorgeous-especially the girls with their big, curious, almond-eyes. I became their instant new American friend when they saw I had my helmet filled with Tootsie Pops. (Big mistake to bring only two bags!)

I then observed CPT Mike Tess and LT Emily Siegert in a meeting with the local mayor about ongoing infrasture projects-a new water tower, secondary school, and sewage pipes. This village doesn’t look so hot by our standards-shabby buildings and bad drainage-but it it’s very liveable by Iraqi standards. Mayor Abdul Hyder told me that the life now, compared to life three years ago, was “like a dream” for most Iraqis. “Yes, there are problems,” he said,” but there is also freedom.” His gratitude for all that Coalition forces have done for Iraq seemed heartfelt. At the same time, he told the patrol leaders that villagers were sometimes afraid when troops they didn’t yet know well entered the village on foot patrol, rather than in vehicles. (This particular unit had recently moved from a very dangerous region in Iraq and were still getting to know the locals.) This sort of one-on-one diplomacy is critical to the long-term success of the mission here.

When we returned, I hit the mess hall with more soldiers from 1-320 FAR, and heard about some of their toughest battles when they were deployed at Camp Taji. The unit lost six brave men in their two months, but in that same time period, also found and destroyed the largest amount of munitions by any artillery unit in Iraq. These kids-and some older than I am-are soft-spoken and humble, yet more deserving of praise and acknowledgment than all the celebrities in Hollywood. I capped off a fantastic day with broadcast in front of a group of rowdy soldiers from as far away as Iskandaria. Many of you had the chance to talk to them directly on air. This has never before been done on national radio. I saw up close that they really appreciate the support and prayers. They believe in what they are doing here-and they know how hard it is better than anyone.

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