The immortal words of 2LT Mark Daily live on. The Los Angeles Times has picked up the story: “Mark Daily wrote on MySpace that he joined the Army to help the suffering people of Iraq. In death, his words have become a call to service.”
A small sample:
In a 2005 videotape of his officers’ commissioning ceremony, Daily told the crowd that the U.S. Army is one of the few militaries in the world that teach not only tactics but also ethics. “I genuinely believe the United States Army is a force of good in this world,” he said.
He was not blind to military transgressions and fumed to his father that the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. soldiers at Abu Ghraib was a failure of leadership. But that was exactly why he needed to get over there, he said. He was going to make sure that his men upheld Army values of integrity and honor.
So that is why I joined. In the time it took you to read this explanation, innocent people your age have suffered under the crushing misery of tyranny.
Don’t forget that human beings have a responsibility to one another and that Americans have a responsibility to the oppressed. Assisting a formerly oppressed population in converting their torn society into a plural, democratic one is dangerous and difficult business, especially when being attacked and sabotaged from literally every direction.
So if you have anything to say to me at the end of this reading, let it at least include “Good Luck.”
Daily touched down in Iraq on Nov. 19 and was sent to the northern city of Mosul. In calls and e-mails home, he began asking for presents for his new Iraqi friends: cigars for the soldiers, candy and soccer balls for the children. He vividly described his adventures with them: a Thanksgiving Day game of musical chairs, a rooftop cigar session; his first Kurdish meal, his first local haircut.
In one video he sent, Iraqi soldiers surround him with grins, crowning him with a turban as a gesture of friendship.
In typical fashion, he sought out new points of view. In one discussion, he wrote that he asked a Kurdish man whether the insurgents could be viewed as freedom fighters. The man cut him off. “The difference between insurgents and American soldiers,” Daily said the man told him, “is that they get paid to take life — to murder — and you get paid to save lives.”
“That Kurdish man’s assessment of our presence means more to me than all of the naysayers and makeshift humanists that monopolize our interpretation of this war,” Daily wrote in a Dec. 31 e-mail.
Meanwhile, Hillary sets her 90-day cut-and-run deadline.
JD Johannes says: “Support the troops. Let them win.”
Mohammed Fadhil, PJM’s editor in Iraq, reports that it’s too early to celebrate, but the “surge” is showing signs of success and hope.
Investor’s Business Daily takes on Murtha’s “unparalleled perfidy” and publishes these latest poll results:
Power Line has combat veteran/former POW Rep. Sam Johnson’s floor speech. John Hinderaker writes: “If you can watch this with dry eyes, you’re a tougher man than me.”
A Hot Air commenter quips: “Hume was speaking truth to coward.”