Sunday, September 11, 2005

Yon interviewed in Pittsburgh-Tribune

While I'm still unsurprised but disappointed that Micheal Yon hasn't been interviewed by the WaPo, NYT, Fox News, CNN, etc., I am very glad to read that he's getting some MSM exposure which should bring him to the attention of the common American. They - we - need to hear his stories badly. Bill Steigerwald at the Pittsburgh-Tribune wrote up a nice column about Yon and I deeply appreciate it. Read it and you'll see why.

Two key exchanges in their interview show some real thought on Steigerwald's part and it needs to be repeated far and wide.

::::::::Yon makes no bones about whose side he's on in Iraq -- ours. He went in January, on his own dime, to do something personally about the "disconnect" between what's really going on in Iraq and what the mainstream media are reporting.

Last week, I sent Yon an e-mail. "What is the major thing you and soldiers over there know about the direction of the war that we consumers of mainstream media do not know?"

"That very real progress is being made," Yon replied, adding that while Iraq could still fall apart, it is getting stronger.

Based on his dispatches, I told him, I had learned the enemy is tough and smart and American soldiers are incredibly brave, dedicated and trying to do the right thing. What else should I know?

"The Iraqi people and the Coalition are making this work. The enemy is brave, but so are the new Iraqi police and army. The enemy is smart, but so are many people who are stopping them.

This is critical: that an enemy is deadly does not make him superior nor does it make him a winner - unless you allow it to.

::::::::Finally, I told Yon that his excellent reporting and photos reinforced my prewar belief that we were stupid to send 150,000 of our best and bravest to Iraq and that we should get out ASAP. "Am I wrong?" I asked from the safety of my ivory tower.

Yon, writing from a place where he himself has written "progress is measured while the flesh and blood of the newly dead dries on the pavement," said, "You are wrong. If you run, they (the terrorists) will follow. They will kill you."

Yon understands and he's there. Fortunately for all of us.