Tuesday, May 02, 2006

John Wayne Lives in Iraq

I guess they could probably use a hero about now. He ought to keep his head down though.

Iraq's cowboy general

At 38, General Talabani is the youngest general in the history of the Iraqi army.

Last week Talabani was on his stomach shooting back at insurgents who were firing rocket-propelled grenades at the Buhritz police station, just south of the provincial capital Baquba. He also led a chase of attackers in Udaim, north of Baquba -- he was the first through the door of the house where the attackers fled. He wounded one insurgent in the ensuing firefight and captured another.

"His personality drives the brigade," said U.S. Lt. Col. Frank Muggeo, the Military Transition Team commander. "But we worry if he runs around the front he's going to get himself killed."

Talabani believes in the future of Iraq.

"This country needs time," he said after a long sigh. "We need to work not like before; we need to work for a new Iraq. By fighting nothing will be fixed. These are soldiers who were killing my people, I can lead them now because we forgive. If everyone can forgive his neighbor we can forget the problem. Day by day we see things getting better."

Well, how about that.