Wednesday, May 05, 2004
Fraudulent soldiers?: He's avoided using the term recently, but Sen. John Kerry took to calling U.S. allies in Iraq part of a "fraudulent coalition." He never defined what a "genuine coalition" would look like, though one might assume it would be required to include France, Germany and Belgium.
Despite Kerry and his Democrat allies' disdain for them, the other nations troops have proved their worth.
NAJAF, Iraq — One of his friends was dead, 12 others lay wounded and the four soldiers still left standing were surrounded and out of ammunition. So Salvadoran Cpl. Samuel Toloza said a prayer, whipped out his knife and charged the Iraqi gunmen.
In one of the only known instances of hand-to-hand combat in the Iraq conflict, Cpl. Toloza stabbed several attackers swarming around a comrade. The stunned assailants backed away momentarily, just as a relief column came to the unit's rescue.
"We never considered surrender. I was trained to fight until the end," said the 25-year-old corporal, one of 380 soldiers from El Salvador whose heroism is being cited just as other members of the multinational force in Iraq are facing criticism.
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said recently that the Central American unit has "gained a fantastic reputation among the coalition" and expressed hope that the Salvadorans will stay beyond their scheduled departure.
Phil Kosnett, who leads the Coalition Provisional Authority office in this holy Shi'ite city, says he owes his life to Salvadorans who repelled a well-executed insurgent attack on his three-car convoy in March. He has nominated six of them for the U.S. Army's Bronze Star medal.
If you follow the link, you'll find a photo of Cpl. Toloza and his blood-stained knife. I would hope that the absence of "fraudulent coalition" from Sen. Kerry's recent speeches is a deliberate decision. However, it'd be better if he apologized for his disdainful primary rhetoric altogether.