Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Berkeley comes to the "Green Zone"

You need to go and read as much of Jane Stillwater's blog as you have time for - especially you Commissar.
"When I first came to Iraq," I told one of the reporters in the press room today, "my thinking was very cut and dried -- that we needed to withdraw American troops from here immediately, like, next week. But now that I've been here for a while, I've come to realize that the situation here is a lot more complex." It is VERY complex. It's time for me to sit down and really think about this. Should U.S. troops stay in Iraq? Or should they leave? At this point, it seems pretty much like a coin toss to me.

One U.S. soldier I talked to said, "I think that the situation here in Iraq is very similar to back when the mob ruled Chicago in the 1930s and the Untouchables had to go in and clean up the town. We can't leave here until we've cleaned the place up."

And another soldier I talked with agreed. "I wouldn't be here if I didn't believe in this mission. We just can't leave right now. There'd be a bloodbath."

So I got to thinking that maybe it IS a good thing for American troops to stay here. But then I got a wake-up-call from my friend Angela. "Jane, did any of the soldiers you talked to ever ask you about what is going on in the rest of the world and why everyone -- besides Bush and the neo-cons -- wants the Americans out of Iraq? And what about torture and all? Was anyone willing to comment on that? What about the more than one million dead Iraqis -- any comment there? And what about the two million who have left the country and fled?" Good grief! I forgot about that. Am I being brainwashed over here? Am I being lured into accepting the Bush version of the occupation by all that fabulous food served at the DFac?

I need to be fair and balanced! I need to interview an Insurgent! "What are my chances of getting an interview with The Other Side?" I asked a fellow reporter.

"Just about zero. Unless you are willing to tie yourself to a stake in the Red Zone and wait to get kidnapped...." Hummm. Exactly how far am I willing to go for a story?

"What about if I go out interview an insurgent out at Abu Ghraib?"

"You wouldn't even be able to get near the place." So I settled for taking a spin around the block in a Humvee. Those things are so cool. When you are behind the wheel of one of those puppies, NOBODY gets in your way!

When I got back from joy-riding, I talked with a journalist who had been kidnapped by Islamic fundamentalist extremists about a year ago and he said, "Basically those guys are psychopaths and will kill anyone who gets in their way -- Muslim or non-Muslim."

"What makes them like that?" I wondered.

"Many of them, like Saddam Hussein himself, grew up in the streets, practically feral. These guys don't want to TALK to anyone. They don't want to negotiate. Basically, they really just don't care." And we want to leave and abandon Iraq to these guys? I think not.
Jane sounds to me like what I call an honest Leftist. Why honest? Becasue she wants to see the truth, and isn't afraid to face it and evaluate her positions based on the truth. Not ideology, not spin, not a desire to have the "correct" ideas so she is like by the "correct" people. Just the truth.

Like many of the Left though, once they start to see, their peers try to throw the blinders on them. She is trying hard though. Is she now part of what I would call the "pro-victory" crowd? No, far from it. What is important is that she has moved from the Moonbat Left to perhaps the far-Left. That is progress, and in many ways, she should be given credit for going to see for herself.

I still believe Michael Yon and Bill Roggio are much better and more clear headed - but as for Jane; thanks for giving yourself a chance to look at the problem up close.

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