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progress in Iraq
I mentioned that my 2nd Cousin is in Iraq. In a comment on his blog I asked:
Do those around you feel things are progressing well?
His answer:
yes, it is very evident to all soldiers here that we are making progress. In just a few weeks, the insurgent activity in our area has drastically decreased. That is due to a combination of combat operations, Iraqi Army and Police units assuming control, and increased civil affairs projects that improve the lives of the people. One big difference though is that these people are not used to freedom or democracy. They have little concept of civil duties and responsibilities. Most people are still only concerned in taking care of themselves (lack of greater good concept). We will be here a long time and as the President has said over and over, this is not an easy task and will not happen overnight. We are focused on training the Iraqi Army to assume most of the security operations which will help us to reduce our forces here, but we will probably never be completely out (look at Germany, Japan, and Korea - 60 years later and we are still there too)."
Most people that know me know how I fought against this war before it happened and know I'm interested in the US getting out immediately, if not sooner. Having someone I know there, a relative even, certainly makes me feel all of this with a more human face. The military personnel are now much more real to me than ever before.