10/11/06 — The real story: Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry tells story from the trenches

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The real story: Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry tells story from the trenches

Over the next few months, there will be a whole lot of finger-pointing, blame-throwing and all manner of posturing about what is succeeding and what isn’t in the Bush administration’s policies in the Middle East.

And although, for now, Iraq is the focus, there has been and will be plenty more talk of whether or not the current policies have brought this nation any closer to lessening the threat of terrorism around the world.

That is a debate that is not a simple one — or one that could or should be answered in the halls of Congress in the middle of a political power scramble.

Decisions made under the influence of a mid-term election are suspect at best — on either side.

If our leaders wanted to know what is going on — really, they would be asking those who are serving on each of these fronts. They would listen to the good and the bad — what’s working and what isn’t.

And they would guard against any partisan thinking or sensationalism that just might be skewed enough to present only half the story.

Lucky for Wayne County, today, residents got to hear firsthand what the battle is like in Afghanistan from the leader of the forces fighting there.

Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, commander of the U.S. troops in Afghanistan, has a policy. He tells his troops to share some of their experiences in Afghanistan as part of the effort to bring freedom and stability to that nation with their hometown media.

So, because he has counseled them to share their stories, he offered some thoughts of his own when he came home to visit his ailing father in Goldsboro this week.

He did not paint a picture of an easy fight. The commander knows that there is a long, hard road ahead, but he shared many of the successes that lead him to believe that there will be peace and stability someday in Afghanistan.

He is proud of the work his troops are doing — and the cooperation and international effort that will one day turn the tide in that country. It is a mission that is succeeding — and worthy of this nation’s support, he said.

The general should take back to his troops that their nation stands behind them and believes in the work they are doing.

He should also know that his hometown wishes him well and couldn’t be prouder.

Published in Editorials on October 11, 2006 11:10 AM