While the right side of the blogosphere has been a vocal and powerful mainstream media critic, it is important to point out pieces of good journalism. The story of the much maligned Iraqi Army is a case in point.
Four US Army soldiers died when their Humvee (without lights for security) missed a turn and fell down a concrete embankment into frigid water. A US Air Force firefighter lost his life as well trying a rescue attempt to recover the bodies. The Washington Post story, by Steve Fainaru, gives a great detailed account of brave actions and growing respect between the US and Iraqi forces:
"What happened then, however, has transformed the relationship between the Iraqi soldiers and the skeptical Americans who train them. Using a tool they welded themselves that day at a cost of about $40, the Iraqis dredged the canal through the cold afternoon until the tan boot of Spec. Dakotah Gooding, 21, of Des Moines, appeared at the surface. The Iraqis then jumped into the water to pull him out, and went back again and again until they had recovered the last American. Then they stood atop the canal, shivering in the dark.
'When I saw those Iraqis in the water, fighting to save their American brothers, I saw a glimpse of the future of this country,' said Col. Mark McKnight, commander of the 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, which had overall responsibility for the unit in the accident, his eyes tearing."
The story is one of courage and honor about not leaving a fellow soldier behind. It shows the best of humanity. Abdul Mutalib, 34, one of the Iraqi Army soldiers who was in the first Gulf War, came with about 29 fellow soldiers to help after noticing US helicopters circling overhead. He stripped down from his uniform and went in the freezing water to help the Americans.
"Asked why he now felt so strongly about helping the Americans, Abdul Mutalib said through an interpreter: 'These people come 10,000 miles to help my country. They've left their families, their children. When we get hurt, they help treat us and take us to hospitals. If we can give them something back, just a little, we can show our thanks.'"
It is a long article in the Washington Post, but if you have the time, it is well worth it.