Iraqi Troops: The Art of the Possible

Our guys are training them. And they seem to be working very hard.

Running quietly down a pitch-dark dirt road outside Baghdad, Iraqi and U.S. commandos flowed from one house to the next, the red laser aiming devices of their rifles skittering over bushes, walls, and doorways. At each junction, they softly called out a code word to avoid shooting one another. Finding the man they sought, they went on to quiz his neighbors, a task made easier with Iraqis on the team. “It is much more effective when you have an Iraqi saying, ‘Get on the floor. Do you know this person?’ They are much better at picking up on the cultural nuances, on who is lying, and so forth,” notes the U.S. special operations forces commander.

Indeed, U.S. special forces are producing a twofer these days in Iraq. Not only are Iraqis working alongside them on sensitive operations; they are training the Iraqis to become special forces. The day before the raid, for instance, a suicide bomber had blown himself up at the back gate of their base, killing one and wounding three of their Iraqi guards. By 2 p.m. the next day the commandos had a lead on an Iraqi with knowledge of the plot. The Americans provided the imagery, but it was a 27-year-old Iraqi captain who drew up the assault plan and briefed his cohorts, using a terrain model his team built.

Suddenly…everything seems possible.

I have learned an awful lot in these three years, about courage and steadfastness, by watching President Bush. The whole world said: No. Impossible. Wrong. Stupid. Stubborn. Can’t. Won’t. Never happen.

And Bush kept saying: Yes. Possible. Right. Likely. Yep. Can. Will. Here it is.

You gotta believe. And you gotta have faith in God, and in the people. Experts don’t know everything. A smooth tongue talks a lot but does little else. One man standing on a principal and refusing to move can change everything. We’ve seen it before in history. I never thought we’d see it in our own time. God bless and keep President Bush, and all of our allies.

About Elizabeth Scalia