Apr 15 2008

Michael Yon Transforms The Debate On Iraq

Published by at 10:44 am under All General Discussions,Iraq

This year’s must read by everyone who follows or makes a living in politics will be Michael Yon’s new book Moment of Truth in Iraq: How a New ‘Greatest Generation’ of American Soldiers is Turning Defeat and Disaster into Victory and Hope – which I am heading out today to purchase.

I want to give a huge hat tip to Powerline for noting this event and its impact on one key person – the publisher who writes this about the book:

From the Publisher

Michael Yon changed my mind about the war in Iraq, by making me understand it for the first time.

From the very beginning I was against the war. I thought it would be a disaster, another Vietnam. And until I had the privilege of working on this book with Michael I was always for immediate pull-out: why should one more American die for a doomed effort?

Michael–who is as close to totally non-political as anyone I know–showed me two things. First, because I judged by Vietnam, the war of my youth, I had radically underestimated what American soldiers could do. I knew they could blow away any regular opponent on any battlefield. But wage a counterinsurgency against an enemy with broad support in the population? Win the “hearts and minds,” to use the Vietnam era phrase that now can be used only ironically? That was asking too much, I thought.

I was 100 percent wrong. Today’s American soldiers excel at counterinsurgency, because they excel at the most important thing: winning over the people by inspiring them with their own courage and compassion, discipline and determination. Reading this book is like watching the movie Apocalypse Now, but in an alternate universe in which the opposite always happens. Every time our soldiers get into an incredibly tense situation with some Iraqis who might be friends or might be enemies or murderers, some situation in which what’s needed is amazing calm and courage to keep things from blowing up and ending in a blood bath, our guys pull it off!

Just wait until you read the Chapter “High Noon” (my favorite), the story of the American soldiers who have to arrest a corrupt but politically popular Iraqi police chief we had put in office in the first place because he had been a real hero in fighting the terrorists. He had to be removed by Americans to show the Iraqis we really did believe in the rule of law. The whole thing could have blown up into a one-town civil war with hundreds dead on both sides. Won’t tell you how it ends, but you will be amazed and very proud.

The other thing Michael helped me understand is the difference between terrorists we just have to kill (often foreigners, or local criminals) and local insurgents we should have been working with all along. For almost five years I could not tell from watching the news–and certainly not from listening to the Administration–who the enemy was, what they wanted or why they were fighting. Not surprisingly it turns out that understanding the various people we were fighting–some of whom have since become great allies–was the key to winning the war, which we are now clearly doing.

I am convinced that everything I once thought about the war was wrong. The truth is we are doing a great thing in Iraq, most of the Iraqi people really do want to be a united democratic nation and already consider America their greatest friend and ally. It would be a crime to turn tail now and abandon them now.

I owe all that to Michael’s book, which is why I believe publishing Moment of Truth in Iraq may be the best thing I have ever done for my country.

If the book has that effect on one person, then it can have it on millions. I am going to go out and get this book and share it with as many people as possible. We need an honest debate on Iraq, not the shrill silliness we have been getting from the SurrenderMedia and Surrendercrats. We need to see what is really happening on the ground to make informed decisions on which way to go. I also strongly recommend a post by Ed Morrissey today on the realities of the Iraqi decision process.

40 responses so far

40 Responses to “Michael Yon Transforms The Debate On Iraq”

  1. truthhard2take says:

    Still haven’t answered if you have any friends or kin at risk in the lost war which you pontificate about with a probable 5 year losing streak of inaccuracy.

  2. 75 says:

    And you haven’t answered any of my questions so?

  3. Whippet1 says:

    You haven’t answered if you’re a muslim either…tit for tat?

  4. truthhard2take says:


    America needs to butt its ass out,without conditions, after 5 years of failing to provide safety or install a puppet parliament.

  5. Whippet1 says:

    An article by another AP stringer in Bagdhad named Qassim Abdul-Zahra…hmmm you sure can pick em! I wonder if there’s any possiblility that this is another “reporter” who might be biased in some way…we may never know…but of course Truthy knows truth!

  6. Rick C says:

    It is not even just a stringer article. It is essentially guesswork on negotiations. More and more, I am convinced that Truth just doesn’t understand what he is pointing us to. If I were to consider engaging in a little propaganda war, I would get some people like Truth to hang out at various conservative places and raise a bit of a ruckus. But, it would help to have someone who actually understands the topic and could pick relevant links rather than the continuing series of nonsense links that Truth gives us.

  7. VinceP1974 says:

    Rick: That’s why I dont bother to read anything he writes.

    He’s only interested in putting down America. he’s not here to actually discuss anything.

    Why bother with him, i say.

  8. 75 says:

    Rick and Vince, some of it is terrific “coyote” humor though…if you like looking at things from the road runner’s perspective.

  9. ivehadit says:

    I trust Michael Yon ANYDAY over truthie/norm/sooth.

    The world that they seek to create is not a world I seek to inhabit.

  10. 75 says:

    I’d trust the Delta House with my daughter before I’d trust these idiots. (if I had one, that is) 😉

  11. Whippet1 says:

    Hmmmmm. Anyone wondering where soothie is these days?

  12. Soothsayer says:

    AJ has apparently banned any commentary from the Soothsayer.

    The truth hurts, don’t you know.

  13. 75 says:

    Probably been hanging with Kos or Huffpo for new material.

  14. Whippet1 says:

    Ugh, I had to ask

  15. 75 says:

    Sounds like the ‘truth’ only hurt Soothie! 🙂

  16. truthhard2take says:

    I suppose he trusts America to airlift him out when it leaves.

  17. 75 says:

    Isn’t that sweet…Truthy’s reliving his past Vietnam successes. Such a proud little Democrat.

  18. browngreengold says:


    I ordered the book last night and I made sure I used your link to get there.

  19. AJStrata says:


    Many thanks!