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Location: LaGrange, Kentucky, United States

The opinions and interests of a husband, analyst and Iraq war veteran.


Friday, January 05, 2007

On the value of embedded reportage

Bill Ardolino's first dispatch from Iraq is up at the Examiner:

[Navy Corpsman Jerad Jurgensmier:] "I do a lot for [new Iraqi policemen] and give them a lot of medicine. Some of these guys have seen a doctor once, maybe twice in their life. I’m getting a guy medicine for his mother’s diabetes; another guy medicine for his kid who has been sick with the flu for about a week. I’m doing it not only to help them, but because if I help them they feel like they owe me something, and that’s good for the team. They come back with information, they’ll turn someone in or actually start doing their job. I’ve had it happen a couple of times — one guy brought in a list of names of possible insurgents in the area and where they live. In the beginning I just wanted to help them, but it turned out that they have an impressionable mentality. If you do something for them, they feel obligated to do something in return. And when it gets in their head that we’re here to help them, they start helping us."

[Emphasis mine]

That paragraph alone was worth the trip, Bill. I can't remember the last time I read such a succinct plan for victory in an American news organ. This one Corpsman has a better grasp on the way to win than most of our DC eggheads combined. This is the stuff that doesn't often make it out of the Green Zone, folks. This is why most vets won't trust the media to report from the battlefield.

What's the value of embedded reportage? Warm and accurate quotes that showcase the savvy intelligence displayed by our men and women in uniform and refute the boneheaded pronouncements of anti-military politicos like Rangel and Kerry. That's the value of embedded reportage.

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