A Soldier's Story

I don't often offer my opinion on the current situation in Iraq.  It's not that I don't care--on the contrary, I really do--it's just that I don't think I have much to offer. 

I very firmly believe that stable democracy is not something that can be imposed--societies either want it badly enough to fight for it or they're not ready for it yet.  Thus, I think some of our basic premises for being in Iraq are flawed.  At the same time, I don't think there's much good to be had from pointing fingers and casting blame at this late stage.  I think the key at this point is to focus on the solution.

Since I haven't seen anyone come up with much in the way of magic bullet solutions--and I certainly don't have one of my own to offer...well, what's there left to talk about?

But Major Bill Edmonds does have something to say, and he says it well.  In his article, A Soldier's Story, he discusses the basic cultural communication problems that make his work--and ultimately finding a workable plan in Iraq--so difficult.  He doesn't tie the whole thing up with a neat little bow at the end, but he does at least suggest what some of the next steps should be.  And perhaps more importantly, he manages to do all of this without either vilifying Iraqis or making light of the real danger that U.S. soldiers are reacting to each day--something that seems to be getting rare as people get more and more polarized on this issue.  Go read.