Monday, November 28, 2005

Can you name a hero in Iraq?

Pretty tough? But, boy, Cindy "Mother" Sheehan rolls off the lips, eh?

David Brooks [Times Select only] writes about Christopher Ieva, a Marine captain who is the third straight generation in his family to have served in the United States military. Captain Ieva led an attack on Ubaydi, a town on the Iraq-Syrian border that was a haven for terrorists. The action netted 75 KIA for the head-choppers and 17 captured.

But we won't hear about this action or many other actions because:

...The casual courage he and his men displayed is awe-inspiring, but most Americans couldn't name a single hero from this war. That's because despite all the amazing things people are achieving in Iraq, we don't tell their stories back here. That's partly because in the post-Vietnam era many Americans - especially those who dominate the culture - are uncomfortable with military valor. That's partly because some people don't want this war to seem like a heroic enterprise. And it's partly because many Americans are aloof from this whole conflict, and couldn't tell you a thing about Operations Matador and Steel Curtain and the other major offensives.

Captain Ieva, who is now serving at Camp Lejeune and has earned his own Bronze Star, has it right: "We're always painted as victims. But we assaulted them." This is a culture that knows how to honor the casualties and the dead, but not the strength and prowess of its warriors.

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