26 August, 2007


Why is stabilizing Iraq so hard? Why are Iraqis so slow to stand up and grasp what America is offering them? Why is "winning hearts and minds" so important? What do soccer fields matter? Why does what some American politicians say hurt the effort so much? Why must the American military stay?

Embedded journalist Michael Totten goes visiting in Baghdad and stumbles upon some of the answers:

“When you came and liberated this country,” he continued, “Iraq had 25 million Saddams. America is turning us back into human beings. That soccer field is not for a specific person. It is for everybody. We appreciate that. We believe that if Americans have something that is ours, they will return it to us. If the Iraqi government has something that is ours, we forget it.”

Our host for the evening nodded in agreement.

“We support you,” the man continued. “You support our back, we support your back. But you must understand: If you pull back, we will pull back. I will have no choice but to pull back if I can’t depend on you. It will be much harder for us to stand together. But as long as you stand firmly behind us we will support you against Moqtada al Sadr and the other bastards in the area.”

Still don't know why? Your answer is right there.

[H/T Blackfive]