Monday, April 04, 2005

Nothing to be proud of in Iraq

Nope, nothing at all.

While we typically only hear about all of the "hell" the United States has wrought in Iraq, we finally learn of the story of one Army Sgt. 1st Class Paul Ray Smith, who will posthumously receive the Medal of Honor exactly two years after his heroic actions on the battlefield.

Today, President Bush will present Seargeant Smith's surviving 11-year old son, David, with the Medal for the selfless actions of his father, recounted below:

The Iraqis, perhaps as many as 100, attacked with rifles, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades, or RPGs. Smith threw a grenade over a wall to drive back some of the Iraqis, then fired a rocket. Incoming RPGs battered the Bradley, which retreated. Then a mortar struck the M113, wounding the three soldiers inside and leaving its heavy machine gun unmanned. After directing another soldier to pull the wounded M113 crewmen to safety, Smith climbed into the machine gun position and began firing at the tower and at the Iraqis trying to rush the compound. His upper torso and head were exposed as he manned the gun. "This wasn't a John Wayne move," said Command Sgt. Maj. Gary J. Coker, the top enlisted man in the 11th Battalion, who was near the battle. "He was very methodical. He knew he had the gate and he wasn't going to leave it and nobody was going to make him leave it." Still, Coker said, "it was absolutely amazing to stand up in that volume of fire." During a stretch of 15 minutes or longer, Smith fired more than 300 rounds as Pvt. Michael Seaman, protected inside the M113, passed him ammunition. Then he was struck by enemy fire and mortally wounded. At almost the same time, 1st Sgt. Timothy Campbell ended the threat from the tower with a grenade, and the surviving Iraqis withdrew. Medics tried to save Smith, and he died about 30 minutes later. He and his comrades are credited with killing between 20 and 50 Iraqi soldiers.

Of course the unhinged Left will likely point to today's ceremony as yet another self-congratulatory Mission Accomplished Bush moment. These are the same folks who blame Fox News for the lack of traction their "ideas" have with the American public. But do we even really know what their ideas are? Do they bring anything to the table? Or are they just frustrated table-pounders with a penchant for mud-slinging and irresponsible Michael Moore conspiracy theories?

Perhaps if these cynical contrarians spent more time studying the example of all of the Seargeant Smiths and translated their emotions into tangible ideas and actions, they wouldn't be so disconnected from the pulse of the country. Perhaps the opposition would once again assert its important responsibility in our democracy. Ironically, the Left could learn some important lessons from the missions and actions of those it so easily derides.

God bless the soul of Sergeant Smith, his surviving family, Private Seaman and all of those who are sacrificing on behalf of this nation and the Iraqi people. When this chapter of the history books is finally written, even some members of the unhinged Left will want to jump on the bandwagon. Bet on it.

1 comment:

Paul Hogue said...

It's called P-E-R-S-P-E-C-T-I-V-E!

I'm reminded of watching Thomas Barnett of "The Pentagon's New Map" fame making a visual presentation of that material at the War College last year. In an aside he just ripped people for making "historical" assessments of Iraq while we're still going through the "process". The gist of the argument of course being you can't proclaim results while the process is still on-going.

The Nattering Nabobs on the left don't seem to understand that.

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