Monday, August 29, 2005

Measures of Effectiveness.

Sunday morning on Meet The Press, retired army General Wayne Downing criticized the way most media reports the war. Merely as a list of US casualties. He cited this as a major factor eroding public support for the war.

Downing pointed out that the Army isn’t taking casualties just for the sake of patrolling the roads. Troops patrol those roads to achieve important goals. Political and economic objectives, that are the key to ending the casualties and bringing our troops home.

The president’s recent initiative at re-building support for the war is a response to this bias. For much of the last two years war reporting has generally been negative. Casualties are the most common stories. But casualties are far from the only stories in Iraq.

A Company 2-108th Infantry spent ten months in Iraq, much of it in a city called Ad Dujail. Prior to our final move into Iraq, our commander summed up the entire mission in Ad Dujail, in three points.

First, help the citizens of Ad Dujail. Second capture or kill enemy forces. Finally protect everyone else. Despite our casualties A co. managed these tasks well.

According to the company commanders mission summary we conducted hundreds of patrols. And scores of raids. We contributed to our battalion’s success in keeping a fifteen mile stretch of Highway One open and secure. We denied the enemy sanctuary in Ad Dujail. We protected all of our city’s key leaders during our deployment. In ten months we captured hundreds of enemy personnel. Without seriously injuring bystanders, or worse. All prisoners were treated with dignity and respect.

We conducted hundreds security missions supporting civil affairs missions sometimes participating directly in those efforts. All the local schools were renovated. Numerous civil construction projects were completed. And our security efforts allowed the Bechtel Corporation to rebuild the water purification system.

Most importantly we trained “the most effective Iraqi National Guard force in the Salah Ad Din province.” Our soldiers put in hundreds of hours training Iraqi soldiers and recruits. With realistic and challenging training, we created fit, competent warriors, who we were comfortable fighting alongside.

The company captured one important member of Saddam Hussein’s regime, the Sheik Abdullah Raweed. This Sheik was a participant in the now infamous 1982 murders in Ad Dujail. His capture allowed us to initiate an investigation into those murders. This resulted in the prosecution of Baath party leaders including Saddam Hussein for involvement in these crimes.

We treated hundreds of Iraqis for various medical problems. From household burns to bullet wounds we gave first aid and more. Twice, I provided first aid to gunshot victims of Iraqi hijackers.

Our most rewarding medical mission was the story of Abul Jabar, a seven year old who lived near Ad Dujail. While treating him for burns, our battalion surgeon discovered the boy’s potentially fatal heart condition.

The unit in a combined effort with charities, families and doctors sent Abul to a Tampa area hospital for treatment. One soldier’s parents even visited him in the hospital, bringing a soccer ball, the preferred toy of all Iraqi kids.
We did suffer casualties. The worst was the death of Spc Segun Fredrick Akintade on 28 Oct 2004. He died when ambushed by the enemy while returning from a mission in the desert region west of Ad Dujail.

Segun 34, a Nigerian immigrant, businessman, CCNY student, and a new citizen was the most sympathetic soldier we had, to the Iraqi people. His background might be why he truly believed in our mission.

His story, like so many other casualties has been told. The hundreds of successes our company achieved in ten months have taken longer to come out. This is what General Downing was talking about.

This is also what President Bush has been saying. But the opponents of the war, and their liberal allies in the media would rather tell you about casualties then successes. Those casualties occur on missions with a purpose. One company’s success is duplicated many times over. From one city’s fresh water, to elections and a new constitution, hundreds of stories are left to tell.

See Also:
Right Wing news
Mudville Gazette
Betsy's Page


Blogger NYgirl said...

This is the problem with reporting casualties as a mere list. They are never put into perspective. How many insugents died, what the mission was, what has been accomplished by that company in that area.

All we hear is the bad, never the good.

Mon Aug 29, 07:41:00 PM 2005  

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