This soldier, who says he's spent time "baby-sitting the pukes" from TV networks, also maintains that the more Iraqis see that our soldiers don't start any violence, and try to be friendly and compassionate to children and the elderly, the more their hostility dissolves. "I saw a bunch of 19-year-olds from the 82nd Airborne not return fire coming from a mosque until they got a group of elderly civilians out of harm's way. So did the Iraqis."
When some enemy combatants rounded up women and children as human shields, the soldiers negotiated their release. When a young girl was discovered thrown down the stairs after the standoff, "the G.I.s called in a MedVac helicopter to take her and her mother to the nearest field hospital. The Iraqis watched it all, and there hasn't been a problem in that neighborhood since. How many such stories, and there are hundreds of them, ever get reported in the fair and balanced press? You know, nada."
The soldier's missive is long, bitter and instructive. He is stunned that the American press is so hostile to the U.S. mission. He oughtn't be. This is the American media at its most typical.
Steve Hayes of the Weekly Standard has just returned from Baghdad, where he found "Most Iraqis are overjoyed about their liberation. The American troops I spoke with, even those from units that have suffered postwar casualties, said they have received a warm welcome from their hosts. But most surprising were the strong words of praise for postwar Iraq from (non-government organization) leaders. If even some of what this delegation heard is true, the reconstruction of Iraq is going much better than reports in the American media suggest." Another journalist on the trip, the Wall Street Journal's Paul Gigot, reported that Iraqis are "petrified" that President Bush will lose office and U.S. troops will leave too soon.
These accounts do not match the daily drip-drip-drip of our Bush-bashing press, always focusing on failures -- real, alleged or invented. There is one failure they ignore: their own failure to recognize the public's -- and the military's -- growing disdain for the nattering nabobs of negativism.