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Sunday, July 17, 2005

Soldier captures his would be murderer and gives him medical aid

The Army Times via Trey Jackson and Instapundit

During a routine patrol in Baghdad June 2, Army Pfc. Stephen Tschiderer, a medic, was shot in the chest by an enemy sniper, hiding in a van just 75 yards away. The incident was filmed by the insurgents.

Tschiderer, with E Troop, 101st “Saber” Cavalry Division, attached to 3rd Battalion, 156th Infantry Regiment, 256th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, was knocked to the ground from the impact, but he popped right back up, took cover and located the enemy’s position.

After tracking down the now-wounded sniper with a team from B Company, 4th Battalion, 1st Iraqi Army Brigade, Tschiderer secured the terrorist with a pair of handcuffs and gave medical aid to the terrorist who’d tried to kill him just minutes before.

Check out the video.

As much as these terrorists don't deserve the treatment they got, the story still fills me with hope. These are exactly the values we have to be promoting -- by example first. The message must be that we operate differently: by the rule of law. If we abandon that, the war is lost.

I've also been impressed lately by the public relations effort by the forces in Iraq nowadays. Perhaps it's only for the TV cameras, but I've seen several clips over the past few months of soldiers being extremely polite and understanding in the face of screaming-mourning Iraqi women and men, complaining about lost loved ones and the lack of progress. The soldiers showed patience and understanding, even apologizing for the inconvenience, as well as sharing their own hardships ("I've lost seven buddies that were like brothers to me, we're all in this together") in order to demonstrate empathy.

They don't have to do this, and traditional military tactics don't involve such delicate behavior. And though it may seem a slow process, that behavior builds trust (something which humans build up slowly anyway, even moreso in such difficult circumstances). That's in our interest in Iraq. The more they trust us, the more everyday citizens will be willing to help and cooperate with us, and hence the quicker we defeat the terrorists and get Iraqi security forces back up on their feet.

For those WS readers less familiar with the blogosphere, both Instapundit and Trey Jackson are conservative bloggers. Their point on the story is that it's not getting the deserved media attention. I agree.


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