Sunday, August 10, 2008

Soldiers-Turned-Reporters Eager to Deliver the Truth About Iraq

A article describes another encouraging development on the Iraqi front (something you're not likely to see on CNN or the New York Times):

A group of Iraq war veterans returned to Iraq last week as civilians to embed as reporters with their former units, to tell the story of recent successes in the war they believe the media is not accurately reporting to the American people.

Led by Pete Hegseth, chairman of Vets for Freedom, the group of eight citizen-soldier-reporters includes Spec. Kate Norley, who served as a medic in Taji and Baghdad during a 16-month deployment, and Vets for Freedom co-founder David Bellavia, author of "House to House: An Epic Memoir of War."

“The idea was to put vets back into the same places where they had served as soldiers before, to use their unique eye to get a level of nuance that’s badly needed” for the public’s understanding of the war.

In February, Hegseth was embedded in Baghdad, and was able to visit some of the same neighborhoods he had patrolled two years earlier when he was on active duty. The differences were dramatic, he said.

Asked the reaction among U.S. troops to the recent visit by Sen. Barack Obama, Hegseth said there was “a level of frustration that he had made up his mind before he came, so the whole thing was just a photo op, not a real fact-finding mission.”

He also noted that Obama “spent no time with line units, with infantry units.”

If he had, Hegseth said he would have seen that “things have gotten much better here. Violence is at an all-time low both this month and last,” he said.

What you've seen on this blog is less than half of the full article at

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