Courageous Police Recruits, Chatting With PM's Spokesman, Combat Hospital

November 13th, 2006 12:41 PM

What a day. We learned that the IED we heard yesterday killed 35 police recruits. As fate would have it, this morning I interviewed Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hunzeker, who heads the Civilian Police Assistance Training Team. You should find a full report on our conversation over on CNSNews in the next day or so, but I will pass along the fact that Iraqis show a tremendous determination to serve in the police despite the violence. Recruitment and training goals have been achieved, and as tragic as it is, when some recruits have fallen, others have stood up to take their place.

Later we visited the US Embassy within the Green Zone and spoke with folks from the GO operation, a press project designed to bring good-news stories to the attention of the media and to get people out to the field to cover them. Example: our S. Korean allies have created a vocational training program in the north, helping Iraqis gain skills in everything from auto repair to plumbing. These are people who will now have jobs and a stake in society. A thrill for me: I was permitted to tape a couple minutes of a special edition of my TV show, 'Right Angle,' from the embassy studio!

Later we visited the 28th Combat Support Hospital. More later, as I am getting the signal from Maj. Hernandez that our helo to Fallujah is waiting. I'll just say that the dedication and bravery of patient and staff alike is very moving. A sidenote: insurgents wounded in battle are given the same treatment as our own troops.

Quick update: as I typed the body of this report, Sen. Levin was up on a wide-screen TV speaking somewhat crankily of the security we have provided the Iraqis in the Green Zone. It was surreal to be sitting in the Green Zone at the time. Also, literally as I typed, my trip-mate Dave Kelso was out in the parking lot filing a report via sat phone with his radio station back in Oklahoma City when an IED went off, startling the producer on the line back home. Turns out our helo to Fallujah is running late, and I've ducked back into the Embassy to add this postscript. Got to take internet access when you can get it!