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3.10.2007

The kind of news we should be hearing from Iraq

Bill Ardolino interviews a Civil Affairs Marine serving in Fallujah. Where is the MSM with this kind of great reporting?

INDC: So, overall how do you assess the state of your mission. Have you made progress? Where you at? What's your opinion of Fallujah?

Belshe: "My opinion of Fallujah?" (laughs)

"As far as progress - I can only speak for my little team out here - I think we've seen some good progress. We set pretty lofty goals when we got here, not fully understanding what's going on in the city and not being able to foresee some of the events that have unfolded."

"But I think we've been pretty effective, as far as what we have. Have we had failures? Yeah, we've had failures along the way. But it's those little projects. When you go in and you talk to students and just giving them that 15-20 minutes to stand up and speak their minds. And a lot of times you'll ask them. You'll sit there and say, 'go ahead, tell us anything. We don't care. This is what it's about to have freedom of speech. You can stand up and say anything.'"

"And, the teachers will try to control them and say, 'no, don't say that, don't say that,' but our interpreter's pretty good about telling them, 'Hey, back down. This is what we want. We want them to engage with us. We don't care if they spit in our face, they yell at us. We want them to start exercising that.' And just to have one girl stand up and really express herself, or one small boy or one adult finally express himself ... I think that's worth the seven months I've been here."

"We don't measure our success by the money we've spent. Our measure of success is whether or not peoples' lives are affected in a positive way."

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