So I'm sure you've seen the news by know that ol' Rummy stepped down yesterday. Reaction has been somewhat mixed. Some have seen it as knee jerk reaction to the Democrats taking control of Congress. My personal opinion is that it probably isn't a bad idea to have a change at the top. After over 3 years it may be good to get another set of eyes on the problem. It will be interesting to see what changes will be made in the strategy.
In bigger news, the Democrats are poised to have control of both the House and Senate. I'm curious to see how Congress and the Executive Branch will get along. This article details the President and Nancy Pelosi, the soon to be Speaker of the House, making nice. Pelosi is as liberal as they come and the fact that she is so far left, and not a more centrist Democrat, makes me wonder how much the new Congress will look to change. I think you can trust it will be a lot. The worry for me is that the Congress will move swiftly to bring the troops home. As much as I would rather be home, there is still much work to be done here to stabilize the country.
This fact really hit home the other day watching a 60 Minutes report on the hospital here at Anaconda. Beans and I were getting breakfast before doing the mail run, and the story came on the TV. It gave a really nice overview of the entire medivac procedure from the time a soldier is wounded until they get home to the states. They had interviews with the staff of the hospital in addition to wounded soldiers. It was a powerful piece on the dark side of war.
What really affected me and I think everyone watching that morning (I didn't see one person in the chow hall leave or not watching during the entire segment) was the wounded Iraqis they showed. Over half of the hospitals patients are wounded Iraqis, and the vast majority were wounded by suicide bombers or sectarian death squads and not coalition forces. They profiled an infant wounded by a bomb and a 12 year old girl injured by shrapnel. The baby ended up making a recovery, but the little girl was beyond help due to a traumatic brain injury. If we leave before Iraqi security forces are competent, many, many more women and children will die needlessly. Regardless of how we got here, I believe we have an obligation to the Iraqis to finish what we started and set them up for success, and not for failure. In this way we can honor the lives of the approximately 2800 US Servicemen and Servicewomen that have given their lives, in addition to enabling a fledgling democracy to stand on its own.