Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Here Are the War Heroes

I have been asking recently why our newspapers and television reporters aren't presenting more articles on the many war heroes who are proving their mettle in Iraq, so I was very happy when I saw the article below. This article is great for another reason: it focuses, not on heroes who died, but on those who lived, primarily courageous and fast-thinking Marine Lance Cpl. Joshua Butler.

Those war heroes who have given their last full measure in Iraq do indeed deserve to honored. But the glory of the American approach to warfare is that we don't do most of the dying. We do most of the winning. As General Patton put it (cleaned up a little for mixed company): no one ever won a war by dying for his country; he did it by making the other guy die for his country.

Hence the best line of all in this report: "Husaybah townspeople later reported 21 insurgents dead and 15 wounded. No Marines were seriously hurt."

"Pa. Native Thwarts Car Bomb Attack," Elliot Blair Smith, USA Today, 4/17/05

"The daylight attack on this remote US military base fits a pattern of recent insurgent attacks on US military strongholds. On Saturday, a mortar attack at Camp Ramadi killed three servicemembers, and there was a coordinated assault two weeks ago on the US-run Abu Ghraib prison on the outskirts of Baghdad. US forces have repelled each attack, inflicting large losses on the insurgents while incurring few casualties. The base commander at Camp Gannon, a former Iraqi customs and immigration post at the edge of one of its most dangerous cities, credits Butler with preventing massive deaths here. 'Butler—that day, that Marine—that's the critical error the insurgents made,' Capt. Frank Diorio says. 'They thought they could keep the Marines' heads down. But he gets back up.' "