Under a sweltering Iraqi sky, [Lt. Gen. James N. Mattis,
commanding general of Marine Forces Central Command] asked for questions from
Many were reluctant, but Marine Lance Cpl. Jack Kessel, 19, of
Raleigh, N.C., stepped forward. Something had been gnawing at him as he and his
buddies go about the business of winning hearts and minds in al-Anbar province:
“How are we supposed to fight a war when people back home say we’ve already
...Mattis told the Marines to believe their own eyes rather
than news accounts about who is winning the war. Don’t be discouraged by
politicians and pundits who haven’t been to Iraq: “Don’t hold it against them.
The only reason they have that freedom of speech is because you’ll fight for
There are fewer bombs going off in Baghdad, so the bombers are
trying to make each one count more. Thus, in the last week, three truck bombs
took out bridges and overpasses, seeking to make life miserable for an many
Iraqis as possible. This is because, despite all the dismal news from Iraq, what
doesn't get reported is that most of the country is quiet, and there has been
4-5 percent growth in the overall economy for the past four years.
"No depth too low to stoop for partisan victory, no price too great
to be paid for defeat of the United States."
Reid also disparaged Army Gen. David Petraeus, head of Multinational Forces in Iraq."