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Vet Reporter: Leave Iraq

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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 12:41 AM
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Vet Reporter: Leave Iraq
http://www.alternet.org/mediaculture/21089 /

No one can accuse Joe Galloway of being anti-military, "French," or unpatriotic (although some may try). Few reporters speak more convincingly of loving the men and women in uniform. Now a special correspondent and columnist for Knight Ridder, he served four journalistic tours in Vietnam and was the only civilian awarded the Bronze Star during that war, for rescuing wounded American soldiers. He's covered numerous conflicts since, including the Gulf War and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He also co-authored the acclaimed book "We Were Soldiers Once ... and Young." So when he says the United States should declare victory in Iraq and start to withdraw, it has a certain credibility. snip

A stern critic of how the war was fought from the beginning, Galloway last year called for the dismissal of Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz. Those who reject withdrawal, he warns, continue to embrace the Vietnam syndrome maybe the war was a mistake, but now we're there and we have to make the best of it.

"I say, bullshit, we can start to leave now," Galloway declares. "We can argue we overthrew Saddam and freed Iraq. This would give us a fig leaf to cover our nakedness as we get out." He points out that Robert McNamara recognized our cause in Vietnam was futile in 1965 but told President Johnson we could not cut and run. "We only had 1,100 dead in Vietnam then, less than we have now in Iraq," Galloway says, bitterly. "That's just one panel on the wall of the Vietnam Memorial. Instead, we 'stayed the course' and now there are 58,000 names on that wall."

Yet he doesn't expect the press or the public, still reflecting a "9/11 mentality," to suddenly rise up against the war. The United States finally had to change course on Vietnam because of the draft and the high casualty rate. Soldiers in Iraq have not yet rebelled, partly because they are not draftees, and partly because, Galloway explains, "the ordinary soldier sees his friends die and he has to believe it is for something. Even if no one can explain what cause he is fighting for he will fight and die for the other guy."

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