Two Sides to the Picture in Iraq

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With all the stories of Iraqi soldiers refusing to fight, you may have missed this story buried deep inside the news cycle.

Two weeks ago, U.S. Marines and members of the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps (search) were on a joint patrol near Fallujah when they were ambushed from the rear.

As a Marine was cut down, his Iraqi partners closed ranks around the downed Marine and began returning fire.

They did not try to run away from the line of fire. They stayed with their Marine and with bullets and RPGs flying all around them, the Iraqis pulled the wounded Marine behind a wall, where a Navy corpsman began to treat the Marine.

The Iraqis rejoined the fight and the enemy was dispatched.

The Iraqis received two Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medals and three Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medals, each of which included combat "Vs” for valor.

One of the Iraqis spoke of the incident:

“I feel very, very bad the Marine was shot because they are like my brothers now, but I'm ready to go out again. I'm always ready."

Lord knows whether this example of bravery represents the current situation better than examples of cowardice. But fair and balanced, there are two sides to the picture in Iraq, one of which is positive and heroic.

And that's the Observer.