Monday, December 05, 2005

With John Kerry taking some flak (and here and here too) over his comments, let me try, yes try, to defend Kerry’s comments...

He didn’t say the Iraqis would do as good a job as our troops - just that they ought to be doing it themselves.

So how good do the Iraqis have to be before they can kick in some doors and ’terrorize’ the womenfolk and kids while they rummage through the house or hut looking for items or people of value?

Granted, if you were talking about the capabilities needed to mount a coordinated ground and air assault on entrenched enemy positions, then I would agree the Iraqis likely have a ways to go... and we have no choice but to keep using American soldiers for these missions.

But from this non-veteran’s perspective, kicking in doors and terrorizing some old ladies and kids - even if there is a chance of hostiles being present - is the type of activity that the Iraqis ought to have been trained well enough to be doing right now. Put another way, if they can’t handle some midnight searches by now, then they’re never going to be capable of handling more complex matters.

And if they screw up, by getting themselves killed, or killing the residents or excessively ’terrorizing’ the residents, so what? Better it happens to them than to our soldiers.