Former Ft. Stewart Commander on Iraq - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

04/01/04

Former Ft. Stewart Commander on Iraq

There's been yet another attack on Americans in Fallujah. Someone detonated a roadside bomb, wounding three American soldiers. Then other Iraqis torched the soldiers' Humvee, and celebrated around the wreckage. This just a day after other insurgents attacked, killed and mutilated four American contractors in the same general area.

These pictures and horrific attacks hit close to home. Hinesville's Third Infantry Division led the way through Iraq and into Baghdad, and they will likely be back in country by the end of the year. Even so, a former Fort Stewart commander says the recent rash of violence shouldn't be that discouraging.

We spoke with retired Lt. Gen. Donald Rosenblum. He says he is confident in US forces and believes our men and women are well trained for this mission. "We have to get tougher with the Iraqi people who are bad over there," he said. "We've got to start firing at them."

With the Third Infantry possibly heading out to Iraq at the end of this year, he says our troops are the best of the best. "You motivate a soldier by telling them, 'You are a soldier with a capital S,'" Rosenblum said. "'You joined the Army to defend your country and do what your commander-in-chief told you to do.'"

With more and more people dying in the country, the general say that's the unfortunate side of any war. "If we hunt or kill the wrong people at some time, I'm sorry, but better them than ours," he said.

And as the US government is vowing the US won't be run out of Iraq, Rosenblum says leaving Iraq would be a mistake. "We got to show the bad guys, we're going to stay, find them and destroy them," he said.

The top US administrator in Iraq is Paul Bremer. He says the deaths in Iraq will not go unpunished.

Reported by: Hena Daniels, hdaniels@wtoc.com

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