We've got nation building by the U.S. military, and that's not a mission for the U.S. military. I've said this over and over again: They're not good at nation building. You've given them a mission which they cannot carry out. They do the best they can, but they can't do it.Well, while the good Rep. Murtha is sitting on his ass in Washington, these guys say:
Rep. John Murtha, from a Lay-Z-boy somewhere in Washington, DC, USA
On this side of the world, saying something and coming through and doing it means a great deal. Iraqis know that we mean what we say by staying and helping them get on their feet.I think that Rep. Murtha should consider retirement now that he seems to have fully discredited himself.
U.S. Marine Maj. Neil F. Murphy Jr., Camp Fallujah
As we prepared to visit the Iraqi units and polling sites in Mosul, I noticed the ink stained fingers of all the soldiers who voted early. I turned and looked over to the division sergeant major in the vehicle next to me and he was grinning from ear to ear. I held up my finger to see his, and he showed me his ink-stained finger and then a quick thumbs up. I'd never seen him so happy. Genuinely excited. He felt safe enough to go shopping last week, and now to vote on top of that? The optimism among the Iraqi soldiers and the Iraqis as we drove around Mosul is contagious.
U.S. Army Major Chris Hanna with the 5th Brigade, 87th Division (Training Support) in Al Kindi
I've seen more smiles than anytime ever before. There seems to be an uplift of the spirits of all the individuals we pass from most everyone and all ages. I believe that the Iraqi people are seeing that the impossible might become the possible after the election. The vast majority of the populace seems to appreciate, not only the Iraqi soldiers, but us.
Sergeant First Class Larry Bull, 5th Brigade, Mosul
Parents and their children are "walking the streets waving at the Americans and Iraqi-army patrols as they pass by."
Sergeant Major James Keesee, Mosul
The streets are filled with children playing soccer.
Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Cooney, Mosul
This is huge. The Iraqis have worked so hard to make this happen. The American soldiers are simply going to make sure this happens.
Capt. Kelly Lewis, 3rd Infantry Division, Baghdad
Most of the Iraqis I've talked to in the Tigris River Valley area are genuinely optimistic about this election. What gives me hope is that most of the Sunni Arabs I've talked to, at least in this area, have voiced their support for [former Iraqi Prime Minister] Iyad Allawi - a Shia Arab - because of his stance supporting a united Iraq.
Major Mike Doherty with the 5th Brigade, Mosul
We can always say we were here. It's like the whole country is holding its breath right now. Everyone is anticipating this chance to change the direction of their country. This is truly an incredible time to be here, to be witness to something that is historic in so many ways.
Lt. Col. Frederick P. Wellman, Baghdad
This is where we turn the corner; where the Iraqi people make the decision to collectively put the insurgency in the ground.
Lt. Col. Scott Morrison, 5th Brigade, Mosul
Now, we will witness the power of the individual Iraqi citizen as they slough off the burdens of their past; discount the present feeble attempts of the terrorist and assume responsibility for their future.
Col. Michael C. Cloy, 5th Brigade, Mosul
With the exception of a child, freedom is the greatest gift one human being can give another.
Master Sergeant Barry Kerby, 5th Brigade, Mosul
Sometimes it feels like we're beating a dead horse, but maybe this here today will be the culmination of it all.
Staff Sgt. Jason Scapanski, 101st Airborne, Salahuddin province
I am proud as an Iraqi because our country is becoming a center of attraction for all Arab countries. The new situation in Iraq, the democratic system, is starting to put pressure on the Arab systems to make some changes toward democracy.
Mohammed Wadi, Shiite schoolteacher, Baghdad
It is a national wedding day. We are all happy because we will choose a parliament that will last for four years. I hope we can choose the right people to achieve our dreams.
Jalal Talabani, Kurdish President, Sulaymaniyah
TAGS: Murtha, Iraq