Anderson is the part-time weekly newspaper writer from Frederic, Wisconsin who set off to write about the good news in Iraq. It turned out he wasn't exactly who McBride said he was, but he's there and writing his stories, so let's give him some credit and see what he has to say:
His first dispatch was filed from Kuwait City, where he randomly chose three members of the US military to interview. The first two are from Wisconsin:
They are sergeant siblings serving in the US Army with the 1157th Transportation Company. But if they were US senators they said they would vote to immediately pull the plug on funding the war and send the troops home.His other interviewee is more optimistic:
Dustin Louden, 28, and Nichelle Louden, 33, of Oshkosh, serve together honorably at a forward operating base in Iraq. Back home, he talked her into joining the Wisconsin National Guard for the good college benefits it provides.
Now this close sister-and-brother team, who came to Iraq together, sees little hope for this sectarian, war-torn country.
“I don’t think the Iraqis will ever be able to take it over, to run this country the way it should be run,” said Nichelle. “They want us here because we do everything for them. So of course they want us here. They don’t have to do anything.”
Her brother agrees in part, but hangs on to a thin thread of optimism suspended above a very complex situation.
“I think we’re doing good for the local populace,” said Dustin. “But there’s so many different religious groups… the government isn’t stable enough because there’s so many feuding groups...”
Lt. Col. Joseph Yoswa, a native of St. Paul, Minn., wants to make one thing perfectly clear.Yoswa, by the way, is a public affairs officer. In civilian terms, that's a flack.
“The war is not lost,” he said.
Despite past senatorial pronouncements, he said the war in Iraq is not lost and is in fact moving slowly towards victory.
So far, that's the good news he's found. Not an auspicious beginning.