The Gates of Fire


If you want to get a true idea about what our servicemen are facing each day in Iraq, please read the dispatch from Michael Yon in Iraq. Michael is an author and journalist chronicling the events which will lead to a stabilized democracy in Iraq.

Excerpt:

Combat comes unexpectedly, even in war.

On Monday, while conducting operations in west Mosul, a voice came over the radio saying troops from our brother unit, the 3-21, were fighting with the enemy in east Mosul on the opposite side of the Tigris River. Moments later, SSG Will Shockley relayed word to us that an American soldier was dead. We began searching for the shooters near one of the bridges on our side of the Tigris, but they got away. Jose L. Ruiz was killed in action.

Although the situation in Mosul is better, our troops still fight here every day. This may not be the war some folks had in mind a few years ago. But once the shooting starts, a plan is just a guess in a party dress.

Reading the accounts in this dispatch and seeing the combat photos are more realistic and exciting than any war movie you might see. The men in our armed forces are truly remarkable and are truly heroes.

He concludes with:

Iraqi Army and Police officers see many Americans as too soft, especially when it comes to dealing with terrorists. The Iraqis who seethe over the shooting of Kurilla know that the cunning fury of Jihadists is congenit[al]. Three months of air-conditioned reflection will not transform terrorists into citizens.

Over lunch with Chaplain Wilson and our two battalion surgeons, Major Brown and Captain Warr, there was much discussion about the “ethics” of war, and contention about why we afford top-notch medical treatment to terrorists. The treatment terrorists get here is better and more expensive than what many Americans or Europeans can get.

“That’s the difference between the terrorists and us,” Chaplain Wilson kept saying. “Don’t you understand? That’s the difference.”