After a few false starts, the new Iraqi Army is a force to be reconed with. While no doubt some units are still not up to speed or are not aggressive enough, many are doing their part and then some.
But armies consist of individuals, and as such there are many new heroes in this new Iraqi army, risking life and limb every day, whether they are on the job or at home visiting loved ones.
One of these new heroes is Captain Furat. ...
We would never have known about him had it not been for the brave reporting of Maya Alleruzzo of the Washington Times.
Last year, she went out with him on several very dangerous missions, one to act as a decoy in order to divert the terrorists attention from convoy that was transporting election materials. The decoy succeeded; Captain Furat's unit was attacked. He and his unit fought back bravely, fighting off the terrorists.
However, when visiting his family, he wasn't so lucky. The terrorists ambushed him, and although he fought back, one of their bullets severed his spine and paralyzed him below the waist. He was brought to the United States, and is now being treated pro bono at Atlanta's Shepherd Center.
Here's the update from the Washington Times. And here's Michael Yon. Go read it all.
Tarin Kot, Afghanistan. Now in Afghanistan, Michael Yon reports on the bumpy road ahead. Go to the link to see the photos, and read about what one Pakistani engineer did that surprised everyone. Yon observes that
There is deep distrust between Afghans and Pakistanis, yet the Afghans seem to hold Indians in high-regard, and when an Indian was murdered here recently, there was uproar in both India and Afghanistan. The Afghans who are not actively trying to kill Americans seem to hold us in high regard. Many Afghans – just like many Iraqis, especially the Kurds – asked me to tell the American people “thank you” and “please don’t leave yet.”
Why we fight. Greyhawk at Mudville Gazette brings us a refreshingly truthful article from the Washington Post:
Civilians. After the war, they seemed so different, no matter how many war movies or how much CNN they had watched.
Sometimes, they'd ask something so crazy there just wasn't any way to respond, such as when a friend asked Monika Dyrcakz, "Did you go clubbing in Iraq?"
"Some people have no idea," she said.
Sometimes they said: I support the troops but not the war. Or: Do you think we should be over there?
Which is such a dumb question, Tanner, the Army captain, would think. Soldiers don't make those decisions. They do what they're told. They bitch and moan, sure. But when the call comes, they pack their bags and go, knowing they may not come back.
But Tanner doesn't say all that. Instead, he responds this way: "Oh, so you were over there? Because you said, ' We .' Because, I mean, I know I was over there."
Be sure to read Greyhawk's post for some final comments.
Cross-posted at Dreams Into Lightning - TypePad.