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October 28, 2004
A Voice From The Front, Part III

The final part of the interviews with "Mike".

Q. How much play is our upcoming presidential election getting in Iraq?

A. Its huge. Its critical. The left-wing media has been spewing a lot of crap about how the Iraqis want us out of there as soon as possible. We all want to get out of there as soon as possible which is going to be several years from now. Anyone who wants to be realistic about the whole situation knows that its not going to happen in a few months, its going to happen in a few years. At the point where Iraq is finally on its feet and rebuilt, able to keep terrorists out and any other despot that might want to take control of the government, then well leave. But right now, whats really happening is that the Iraqis who want to provide a better life for themselves the majority of the people they not only dont want us to leave right now, theyre petrified that thats exactly whats going to happen. The reason for that is that John Kerry keeps saying we never should have been there in the first place wrong war, wrong place, all the stuff you heard during the debates.

Its wreaking terror in the hearts of the good Iraqis who want to come forward and govern their country the way it should be governed. Their perception is that we could just leave; we could just leave as soon as Kerry gets elected. Then the murder rate, which is already through the roof right now, would skyrocket. Contrary to popular belief, the majority of the victims are not Americans, but ordinary Iraqis who just want to come to work for us and with us, and stepping up to take charge of their country. Thats the majority of people getting killed over there by terrorists. Once we leave, their fear is that retaliations will begin and theyll be slaughtered. Theyre exactly accurate about that.

Q. Its been suggested that we dont have enough troops in Iraq to provide a stable security situation there. Whats your opinion on that?

A. Its a complex topic. The simple response is we dont. We dont have enough troops to provide absolute security. We probably would have been better off if wed declared martial law as soon as the war was over, but we couldnt do it because we didnt have the people to enforce it. How is that the current sitting presidents fault, when Clinton is the one who cut our military down to two-thirds of what it was prior to his coming into office? So now this hypocritical argument that Kerry uses Well, we should have had more troops, we should be having this, we should be having that thanks to the Democrats, we dont have enough troops to go into every country and take full control. We also have the rest of the world to cover. We need people in Afghanistan, and weve got them. We need troops on the ground in the Philippines, Indonesia, and the other fifty different places around the world where we have a presence we need to maintain. We cant just strip one area and send the forces to Iraq.

Besides, our whole mission in Iraq is to turn it over to the Iraqis, so our role right now is to train the Iraqis to take control of the situation. And theyre doing a great job. Im actually surprised that as many Iraqis are continuing to come forward to be police officers in their own country or enlist in the new Iraqi Army when they are being targeted by terrorists, some of which dont even come from Iraq, for doing exactly that.

Q: What are the real sentiments of the typical Iraqi? Whats it like for Iraqi civilians?

A: Most of my interpreters actually, all of my interpreters were educated Iraqis. Usually they were English professors from Iraqi universities, which made them perfect for interpreters. They made three dollars a month from Saddam, and now teachers and professors make two to three hundred dollars a month there. When they work for us, they make six hundred dollars a month as interpreters. So I was dealing with the intelligentsia of Iraq; a couple of these guys were doctors, medical doctors trained in Iraq, and they would work a week for us as interpreters and then a week in an Iraqi hospital, making nothing.

For four weeks I was in An Najaf, which is 100% Shiite, and after that I was in Tikrit and Fallujah, which are mostly Sunni with a few Shiites and Kurds, all working together, all getting along, working on the job with us. None of them wanted us to leave quite the opposite; theyre terrified were going to leave because of idiots like Kerry saying we never should have been there in the first place.

I dont know why anyone comes forward to help us, or help themselves really, because they become a target. Most of the people getting killed now are Iraqis trying to do something with their lives and cooperating with us. They love us. Far from hating us and wanting us to leave, most Iraqis love us. It doesnt matter whether youre talking with Shiites, Sunnis, whatever. Thats the fact that doesnt get reported.

Q. Its been claimed that the US has lacked a plan for winning the peace in Iraq. Is that what youve seen on the ground there?

A. No, there were great plans. [Chuckles.] I mean, there are 18-wheelers by the thousands pouring into Iraq to rebuild that place. I dont know if you noticed or not, but up until about March, we did a pretty good job of securing that country. There were isolated incidents before, but after March it got worse, and it got worse for a couple of reasons. One, predictably, [the terrorists] are turning up the heat just before the elections, so they can overturn the elections in Iraq and they can overturn the elections here in our country. Im going to be very surprised if there isnt a major cataclysmic event that takes place in our country just before the election, just like they did in Spain.

Naturally, youd expect them to be turning up the heat right now. But one other thing took place, and that was Abu Ghraib. I have no doubt that the low-level Army guys were way out of line, and theyre going to be court-martialed and their lives and careers are over. But the amount of media attention that that one event received, thats what our president was not prepared for. He was not prepared for an American senator running for office, saying the kinds of things he is. I mean, the terrorists could not be writing a better script for John Kerry if they tried. He and all the people like him are giving comfort to the enemy. Boy, hes exceeding himself.

Q: Sounds like a replay of 30 years ago.

A: I didnt even know he existed until this year, but throwing his medals onto the White House lawn and whatever he said thirty years ago is nothing compared to the damage hes doing right now.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 28, 2004 5:14 AM

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