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Third Anniversary (Ollie North)
GOP USA ^ | 3-17-2006 | Oliver North

Posted on 03/16/2006 9:19:35 PM PST by smoothsailing

Third Anniversary

By Oliver North

March 17, 2006

It began in the middle of the night, like so many other battles I've experienced. Here in the United States, it was still March 19 -- but along the Iraq-Kuwait border, it was already the 20th. My hastily scribbled notes for that night, scrawled in my reporter's notebook using night-vision goggles, recorded what my video camera was capturing: "Aircrew Final Briefing ... fully-loaded Royal Marines waiting for liftoff ... heavy artillery fires to northeast of LZ," and the fateful, "Dash Two down in fireball. No survivors."

Inadvertently, my camera's night lens caught the event on videotape -- the horrible image of the first 12 allied deaths in OIF -- Operation Iraqi Freedom. Four U.S. Marine airmen and eight Royal Marine Commandos perished instantly -- just minutes after the war started -- when their CH-46 helicopter crashed en route to the Faw peninsula. For several hours afterward, I incorrectly believed that Griff Jenkins, my FOX News field producer and cameraman, had also been killed on the doomed bird.

Twenty days -- and more than 100 "news feeds" later -- Jenkins and I would cover the 5th Marines' final assault on Saddam's Palace, perched beside the Tigris in downtown Baghdad. The euphoria of the Iraqi people as they tore down the giant statue of the deposed dictator in Firdos Square was unmistakable. So, too, was the exhilaration of U.S. troops -- for the capture of the dictator's capital allowed us to remove the hot and heavy chemical-biological protective suits we had worn nonstop since the start of the conflict. Then, seemingly within hours, nearly all of the "embedded" journalists disappeared.

The mainstream media -- which had forecast "thousands" of U.S. casualties and predicted that it would "take months" to capture Baghdad -- apparently didn't need to see any more. Thus, Jenkins and I were the only broadcast coverage team accompanying the 3rd Battalion, 66th Armor of the 4th Infantry Division as it advanced through Samarra and Tikrit to start reconstruction in that sector of Iraq. Since then, U.S. media outlets have increasingly depended on local "freelance" stringers for videotape and written reports on the war.

Understandably, these "local" journalists are not invited to accompany U.S. military units on actions like "Operation Swarmer," conducted this week in and around Samarra by the 101st Airborne Division. Nor do the "locals" cover the local clinic, school, electrical grid and water purification system repairs being made by U.S. Navy Seabees, Army Engineers and Marine civil-affairs units. In short, about the only thing making its way into American homes is the bad news from the war.

That all wars have plenty of bad news is indisputable. War is ugly, nasty, bloody. Terrible things happen in war. Those who fight in war have horrific things happen to them. Anyone who has ever really been to a war can verify those descriptions. Yet, they can -- if asked -- also tell of extraordinary courage, remarkable acts of self-sacrifice, merciful compassion and epic examples of perseverance. Three years ago today, those of us who were fortunate enough to be embedded with U.S. and British forces as they crossed into Iraq had countless examples of these virtues. Some of them were even reported -- but not any more.

In the three years since coalition forces charged into Saddam's despotic fiefdom, it has become the norm to report stories of misfeasance, malfeasance and incompetence, rather than the good that American troops have done. An errant bomb warrants more ink and airtime than the well that was dug or the child who was rescued by a U.S. medic and nursed back to health. This is not simply a perception of imbalance -- it is reality in Iraq.

Since U.S. troops entered Iraq three years ago this week, the Iraqi people have held three nationwide elections, written and ratified a constitution and formed their first imperfect but democratically elected government.

Yet, compare the number of Google or Lexis-Nexis entries for "Iraqi Elections" with the entries for "Abu Ghraib," and it is amply evident what American editors and publishers consider important news.

It should not, therefore, be a surprise on this third anniversary of OIF's "D-Day" that American public opinion on the war -- whether it is winnable and how it is being managed -- has fallen through the floor. Opponents of the commander in chief are pointing with glee at his sinking poll numbers. His "friends" are running for cover.

To his credit, President Bush is once again taking his argument on why winning in Iraq is of vital importance to the American people. Hopefully he will continue to do so -- reminding both allies and adversaries alike that he has always said that this would be a long, hard fight.

And because this is indeed going to be a protracted struggle -- not unlike the long-drawn-out "cold" war against communism -- it is important that those who are doing the fighting be given greater recognition. Between now and the "Fourth Anniversary" of OIF, the administration must make a concerted effort to let the American people see the bravest of the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Guardsmen and Marines who are fighting this war. They are called heroes. We're going to need more of them.

---------

COPYRIGHT 2005 CREATORS SYNDICATE INC


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: kayak

1 posted on 03/16/2006 9:19:36 PM PST by smoothsailing
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To: cgk
Col.North *ping*
2 posted on 03/16/2006 9:20:31 PM PST by smoothsailing
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To: smoothsailing

Great read, as always, from Ollie North.


3 posted on 03/16/2006 9:25:23 PM PST by pcottraux (It's pronounced "P. Coe-troe.")
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To: smoothsailing; Old Sarge; Bahbah

Ping


4 posted on 03/16/2006 9:28:10 PM PST by StarCMC (All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing...thank you Sarge.)
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To: tiredoflaundry
I was reading this article by Col. North and this caught my eye:

For several hours afterward, I incorrectly believed that Griff Jenkins, my FOX News field producer and cameraman, had also been killed on the doomed bird.

Is this the same Griff that Tony Snow talks about? (I think I'm remembering right?)

5 posted on 03/16/2006 9:33:29 PM PST by CAluvdubya (The ignorant defeatocrats have declared war on the War On Terror!)
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To: smoothsailing

Thanks Ollie. We needed that.

:-)


6 posted on 03/16/2006 9:36:23 PM PST by Ramius (Buy blades for war fighters: freeper.the-hobbit-hole.net --> 1100 knives and counting!)
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To: smoothsailing
I still back the war and I have nothing but contempt for the MSM's relentless negativism about our accomplishments in the Iraq theater. Our heroes need to be commemorated and far from being consumed by misplaced remorse, we need to remember why we went into Iraq in the first place three years ago.

(Denny Crane: "I Don't Want To Socialize With A Pinko Liberal Democrat Commie. Say What You Like About Republicans. We Stick To Our Convictions. Even When We Know We're Dead Wrong.")

7 posted on 03/16/2006 9:36:40 PM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: smoothsailing

Thanks for the post. Colonel North is right on again.


8 posted on 03/16/2006 9:37:29 PM PST by jazusamo (:Gregory was riled while Hume smiled:)
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To: smoothsailing

Great post and great article bump! I (heart) Oliver North, and love watching his series on Fox.


9 posted on 03/16/2006 9:38:06 PM PST by Theresawithanh (Always remember that you're unique. Just like everyone else.)
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To: smoothsailing; Jen's Mom; holyscroller; bunches; GregB; jazusamo; Phosgood; TomasUSMC; trimom; ...

Ollie ping!

Photo credit: FReeper Jen's Mom's daughter Jen with Ollie in Iraq!

Please FReepmail me if you would like to be added to, or removed from, the Oliver North ping list...

10 posted on 03/16/2006 9:39:36 PM PST by cgk (I don't see myself as a conservative. I see myself as a religious, right-wing, wacko extremist.)
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To: smoothsailing

Good post, ss. Thank you.


11 posted on 03/16/2006 9:42:40 PM PST by Herford Turley (Conservatism will save America)
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To: smoothsailing

I love Ollie North. A great American ,and a great patriot!


12 posted on 03/16/2006 9:44:22 PM PST by Bush gal in LA
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To: smoothsailing
Thank you Col. North...you are a great American.
(If you had left out the poll bs the article would have been perfect)

...the administration must make a concerted effort to let the American people see the bravest of the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Guardsmen and Marines who are fighting this war.

How is the administration supposed to do this?

13 posted on 03/16/2006 9:44:28 PM PST by Just A Nobody (NEVER AGAIN - Support our troops. I *LOVE* my attitude problem! Beware the Enemedia.)
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To: smoothsailing
Thanks for the post SS.

the bravest of the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Guardsmen and Marines who are fighting this war.

They are called heroes.

Image hosting by Photobucket

14 posted on 03/16/2006 9:49:27 PM PST by Just A Nobody (NEVER AGAIN - Support our troops. I *LOVE* my attitude problem! Beware the Enemedia.)
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To: smoothsailing
This also marked the beginning of the upending of terror in the world, and reversal of decades of financial, diplomatic and logistical support to terror organizations desperately trying to acquire nuclear technology.

The world may condemn GW, and his conservative supporters may question him. But in the end, studious observers will find that he bought this civilization another 50 to 100 years of survival, in the face of nuclear terror anarchy
15 posted on 03/16/2006 10:03:56 PM PST by Wiseghy ("You want to break this army? Then break your word to it.")
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To: Justanobody; StarCMC; jazusamo; Herford Turley; Theresawithanh

Charlie Daniels and Ollie North meet for the first time at the 2003 Freedom Concert

16 posted on 03/16/2006 10:17:19 PM PST by smoothsailing
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To: CAluvdubya
Yep, that's the same Griff, otherwise known as "Surfer Boy".

When I went in to visit Tony at the DC studios, Griff showed me his screen saver, a picture of him surfing. Great shot!<>P BTW, he's also a hottie! Whew!

17 posted on 03/16/2006 10:19:02 PM PST by TruthNtegrity (What happened to "Able Danger" and any testimony by Col Schaffer?)
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To: smoothsailing
I was in an EMEDs in the country of Oman, I was just thinking today, about what I was doing when it kicked off. I was eating dinner in the chow tent.......with some really good friend.
18 posted on 03/16/2006 10:19:07 PM PST by marmar (Pray for our Warriors...they are the greatest there are............)
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To: smoothsailing

A photo of 2 true American patriots, thanks.


19 posted on 03/16/2006 10:23:08 PM PST by jazusamo (:Gregory was riled while Hume smiled:)
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To: smoothsailing

Ollie Bump


20 posted on 03/16/2006 10:25:39 PM PST by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: TruthNtegrity
Wow, I had forgotten that you got to visit Tony! I am sooo jealous!

Griff has quite a job and some great friends!

21 posted on 03/16/2006 10:29:29 PM PST by CAluvdubya (The ignorant defeatocrats have declared war on the War On Terror!)
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To: smoothsailing
What a great photo of two American patriots! Thanks!
22 posted on 03/16/2006 10:36:13 PM PST by Just A Nobody (NEVER AGAIN - Support our troops. I *LOVE* my attitude problem! Beware the Enemedia.)
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To: smoothsailing

Good post! Thanks!


23 posted on 03/16/2006 11:22:30 PM PST by Shery (S. H. in APOland)
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To: TruthNtegrity; smoothsailing; cgk
Griff Jenkins , Halloween, 2001. "Could we really do anything else this year?"
;o)


"In accepting the prize for best costume,
Mr. Jenkins declared: 'I have a message for
Osama bin Laden — come anthrax this.'"

24 posted on 03/17/2006 12:54:23 AM PST by Watery Tart (Feingold (CFR-WI): "[W]hy (were my) actions necessary, appropriate, or legal?" Censure whom?)
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To: CAluvdubya
Yes, that would be our Surfer boy.
25 posted on 03/17/2006 3:46:46 AM PST by tiredoflaundry (I'll admit it , I'm a Snow Flake !(Snoq) The rest of my tagline redacted by court order.)
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To: smoothsailing

Bump


26 posted on 03/17/2006 6:57:16 AM PST by TexasTransplant (NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSET)
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