If you're a soldier serving in Iraq and have a downbeat view of the troop surge, Time's Joe Klein is itching to have the Left adopt you as a poster boy. But should you be a soldier in Iraq and you think the surge is working, well, obviously you're just a tool of those vile neocons at The Weekly Standard, willing to "trash" fellow soldiers.:
Well, I suppose it was inevitable that the Weekly Standard would figure out some way to trash the 7 enlisted men from the 82nd Airborne, who wrote the courageous Op-Ed piece about the unreliability of our Iraqi allies in the New York Times last Sunday. At least the piece is written by other Iraq war vets and the tone is respectful...although the neocons continue to try to use Anbar, an all-Sunni province, as an avatar of what will happen in the rest of Iraq, which is utter nonsense.
But where on earth are the Democratic politicians on this? Why haven't they embraced the grunts from the 82nd the way the Republicans have embraced the "liberal" Brookings scholars? It's just very frustrating and truly outrageous.
Let's rewind a bit. Klein insists that the Weekly Standard is attempting to "trash" the 82nd Airborne soldiers, but then backpedals and says the tone was "respectful." Yet a cursory read of the Standard piece shows anything but malice or loathing for the decidedly anti-surge position of the 82nd Airborne soldiers (emphasis mine):
We understand the frustration our fellow soldiers feel. All of us were in Iraq before the "surge" and lament never seeing a coherent, security-based counterinsurgency strategy. In truth, we were only clearing--not holding.
But we also know what's possible when even small portions of counterinsurgency strategy are applied. Insurgents are exposed, leaders stand up, and stability occurs. General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker understand the principles of counterinsurgency and are applying them up and down the chain of command. It's unfortunate that soldiers in the 82nd Airborne have not yet benefited from the new strategy, but it will ensure that their actions, and those of their fallen brethren, will not have been in vain.
Meanwhile, we applaud our brothers in the 82nd Airborne for their courage under fire, thank them for their commitment to our nation, and pray for the recovery of their injured co-author.
Oh, and one other teeny tiny thing Klein failed to mention. According to the Standard, the pro-surge soldiers' op-ed was submitted to, but rejected by the Left's newspaper of record:
David Bellavia, Pete Hegseth, Michael Baumann, Carl Hartmann, David Thul, Knox Nunnally, and Joe Dan Worley all served with either the Army or Marine Corps in Iraq, and are all members of Vets for Freedom. This Op-Ed was originally submitted to the New York Times, which declined to publish it.