Friday, December 23, 2005

"The Prince of Peace In a Time of War"

I receive The Conservative Voice email newsletter and it often has very interesting articles. This particular piece caught my attention simply from the above title. Then I read it. It is an excellent piece by Oliver North. It is a news story that you will not see in the MSM and it will not be listened to nor heeded by the liberal left.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- "What do you want for Christmas?" the young Marine asked. It was the middle of the night, and we were standing atop a heavily sandbagged "strongpoint" known as "Outpost Horea" in downtown Ramadi, Iraq -- long the bloodiest city in this very bloody country. In the dark, the Iraqi soldier standing watch beside the American looked toward us as a cold breeze rustled through the camouflage netting over our heads.

"What do I want for Christmas?" I repeated, somewhat surprised by the question. "I want you to get home safely."

The 21-year old Tennessean, girded in 65 lbs. of armored flak jacket, a night-vision equipped helmet, grenades and several hundred rounds of ammunition reflected on that for a moment and replied, "so do I."

Then, quietly, from the young Iraqi soldier beside us, words in broken English that stunned me: "As do I -- but not too soon."

That exchange -- just a few days ago in Iraq -- reflects a dramatic transition sweeping through this war-torn country and a fraction of the good news that is so under-reported from the war on terror. While politicians and the mainstream media here at home focus on negative news and attacks on President Bush, young Americans and their Iraqi counterparts are quietly going about the dangerous task of building a new nation from the ashes of Saddam's dictatorship and the ravages of Jihadist terror. (...)
He speaks of the cooperation that has grown between the Americans and the Iraqis. The Iraqi soldiers look forward to the day when they will defend their country on their own and the Americans go home, but they are not pushing them out the door. They know they are not ready to take on total security for their young democracy, but they are learning. They just need their "training wheels" for a while longer.
(...) When I asked Lt. Col. Roger Turner, commander of the 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, now on his second tour in Iraq, to reflect on the sacrifice made by so many in this war, he responded, "Sure, this is still a dangerous place. But we're making it safer every day. We have an extraordinary stake in a safe, secure and democratic Iraq. This isn't the time to stop."

Meanwhile, here at home, the president's critics demand the impossible. No one election and no single act of government will turn Iraq from violence to peace overnight. Even the birth of our Lord and Savior did not result in the end of violence. After the Baby Jesus was born, King Herrod, after being duped by the Wise Men, ordered the execution of all males under two years of age to "ensure" the death of the One who could challenge Herrod's authority.

"Goodwill on earth and peace toward men," is the message of Christmas. It is a goal toward which men and women of goodwill work and for which we pray. Nobody wants peace more than the young American warriors serving in harm's way in Iraq. They know what the politicians in Washington and the potentates of the press seem to have missed: that progress toward peace must be judged over time. These troops have been away from family and friends for many months and look forward to coming home -- but not before their job is finished. Supporting them in their mission as we pray for their safety would be wonderful gifts in this Christmas season.
Our men and women in uniform are so awesome. Their chosen path has taken them away from their families this holiday season, yet their sacrifice is a testament to their honor, loyalty, and patriotism. They know that what they are doing in Iraq is right. It gives them such a sense of pride and accomplishment to help these Iraqi soldiers defend their own country; to help them find freedom and democracy just as the Colonials did for us.

No comments: