Thursday, August 25, 2005

Iraq is no Vietnam – How’s Troop Morale?

Video link thanks to CigarJoe
Matt Lauer Today Show How's Troop Morale in Iraq

Hat tip read Jeff Jacoby’s Boston Globe August 25, 2005 column
"Iraq is no Vietnam".

"But of all the ways in which the Iraq war is not like Vietnam, perhaps the most telling is the attitude of the troops.
Indeed it will, as the ''Today" show's Matt Lauer discovered when he visited Baghdad last week. He tried valiantly to coax some Vietnam-style disillusionment out of the soldiers he met, but as NBC's transcript makes clear, the troops weren't having any of that:"

Lauer: We've heard so much about the insurgent attacks, so much about the uncertainty as to when you folks are going to get to go home. How would you describe morale?

Chief Warrant Officer Randy Kergiss: My unit morale's pretty good. . . . People are ready to execute their missions, and they're pretty excited to be here.

Lauer: How much does that uncertainty of knowing how long you're going to be here impact morale?

Sergeant Jamie Wells: Morale's always high. Soldiers know they have a mission, they like taking on the new objectives and taking on the new challenges. . . . They're motivated, ready to go.

Lauer: Don't get me wrong, I think you guys are probably telling me the truth, but there might be a lot of people at home wondering how that could be possible with the conditions you're facing and with the insurgent attacks . . .

Captain Sherman Powell: Well, sir, I tell you -- if I got my news from the newspapers also, I'd be pretty depressed as well.

Lauer: What don't you think is being correctly portrayed?

Powell: Sir, I know it's hard to get out and get on the ground and report the news. . . . But for of those who've actually had a chance to get out and go on patrols . . . we are very satisfied with the way things are going here. And we are confident that if we're allowed to finish the job we started we'll be very proud of it and our country will be proud of us for doing it. . . .

Lauer: How would you feel about US forces being withdrawn before -- you're shaking your head -- before the insurgency is defeated?

Powell: Well, sir, I would just tell you . . . as long as we continue to have confidence that we are supported and people have our back, there is nothing we cannot accomplish.

Lauer: So you would rather stay here longer and defeat the insurgency then be pulled out earlier . . .?

Kergiss: Yes, sir.
Wells: Absolutely.

See prior posts: What’s Happening in Mosul, Iraq Facts from Iraq
Did Cindy Sheehan Sign Casey Up for the Army?
Casey Sheehan Did Not Die in Vain - Killed in Sadr City Now a Bright Success


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