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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

Victor Davis Hanson at NRO Nails This

When war actually starts, the efficacy and professionalism of the American military tend to silence rather than incite its critics, as the example of brave soldiers seeking to free Iraq makes a sorry contrast with “Not in Our Name,” ANSWER, and the assorted likes of Peter Arnett, Hans Blix, and Dominque de Villepin. Americans always prefer to see brave young men fighting for ideals than pampered critics for a few minutes vomiting in public in San Francisco or staging die-ins on the pavement in Washington — before driving home to resume their comfortable lives only made possible by those sleeping now in the sands of Iraq.

Several of those brave young men and women are quoted in today's NY Times:

"People back home should stop protesting and start supporting this effort," said Sgt. Jason Franco, 26. "Did everybody forget the twin towers already? I think there's Al Qaeda in there, so here we go."

Go ahead, Fisk him. But he has a gun, and lots of buddies.

There is a New York contingent here. The commanding officer, Col. Richard Mills, is from Huntington, Long Island. Captain McSweeney is from Manhattan and Sergeant Franco is from Astoria, Queens. The unit is carrying the banner of the Port Authority Police Department, which lost 38 officers in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11.

These young marines have every intention of coming home. They have already made plans. A perch fry on the sands of Lake Michigan. A motorcycle ride through the desert of Arizona. A big beer party in Oklahoma. A slice of Koronet Pizza in New York. Marry a pretty girl.

"Me and every guy out here's coming home," said Pvt. Wally Washlow, 21, of Edison, Ill. "But before all that, we're going to prove that what we're doing is worth doing."

I often think we have better soldiers than we deserve. Good luck to them, and God bless them.

UPDATE: "Where do they get young men like this?"

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