Saturday, October 27, 2007

One small voice from Iraq.

I'm stealing this comment from over at Ace's at this post, because I can. Because I loved it. Because I love hearing things straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak: (emphasis mine and my lefty commenters might want to take note)

Maybe I can help. I've got a great job, helping to build the Iraqi Air Force. Not that thats special, but I work with these guys every day, and we've had some big success'. It is far more difficult to build an Air Force than an Army, but we're really making good progress; we had the first sortie of the first Flying Training school that has been totally through the "westernized" system that has been jointly (USAF and IqAF) built. They've been through english training, officer training, and now they are in flying training. The starting class was very small. They are marked men and they know it. The conditions of their schooling was substandard to say the least. They didn't have electricity for much of the day (summer was a bear) water was bad (one got body sores), and to top it all off, they didn't get paid for about 3 months. Plus they get the standard mortaring/rocketing along with the knowledge that if the wrong people found out what they were doing, they would be killed. They stuck it out, and are now flying training sorties in body armor. They know they are the foundations of the IqAF, and maybe, have their hand on the tiller (in some small way) of this society. They love us here (Army/USAF/USMC). I am humbled to serve with them. We had a guy go back to the States for some training; smart, westernized, really "got it". When he got back, the wrong people got ahold of him, brutally killed his family (first). Still they come in.

Humor too. One of the Cols I work with was reminiscing about his favorite car that Saddam had given him for missions flown in Iran. He went on and on about how he loved this car. I think it was a Regal. He told story after story of the memories in that car. He then showed me a picture of it. All that was in the pic was a burned out hulk. A second photo shows the VIN number carefully framed, the soot rubbed off. I asked what happened to it.. He looks at me and says..." You guys bombed it". Uncomfortable silence. He then says..."Thank you for coming here".

Theres not a day that goes by that my heart doesn't leap into my throat over something like this.

When I get out of the service, I will be able to express my pitiless anger over the left in this country, and the members of one particular party who desperately want this to go wrong. Against the people who use us for political gain, not considering the type of work we do. (Both of the guys from my state signed the stupid Rush letter). Please understand, it is changing here. If there were 100 guys with explosives, machine guns etc running around New York with random bombings etc, there would be chaos. But only a small number of bad actors. Thats what its like here. The guys I work with say it is getting better, even in Bdad. Now, I dont go outside the wire very often, about once a week on the ground, and about the same in Iraqi helos, so I'm no expert ( a la Beauchamp) but that sounds good to me.

Sorry so long, got carried away.