Greg (Jerusalem Prize) Sheridan, foreign editor of The Australian, ejaculating on ABC Television's Q & A 0n 12/4/10:
"Well, Tony, I would say that I agree with Kevin Rudd 100% that throughout history, overwhelmingly the US has been a force for good. Every American soldier I've known, and I've known a lot of American soldiers, has been a very fine human being and I can tell you that on a number of occasions in south-east Asia in tsunamis in Aceh and all over the world where the happiest sight on the horizon is a US soldier."
And he's right, of course. Take Afghans for example. Nothing makes them happier than the sight of an American soldier on the horizon. No, they don't exactly dance in the streets whenever these beacons of goodness appear. Their preferred method of celebration is to pick up a gun and shoot them:
"US troops have withdrawn from a notorious valley in eastern Afghanistan that has seen some of the worst fighting of the war... The fight for Korengal Valley officially ended yesterday after the last US soldiers were airlifted from a ridge above a collection of stone buildings and sandbagged bunkers. A low-key press release announced the 'realignment' of US forces out of the valley where 42 US soldiers have been killed and hundreds wounded since 2005. US troops had fought their way up and down the cedar-studded slopes of the valley. The intense fighting in the area was portrayed in a film, Restrepo, named best documentary at the Sundance Film Festival in February, and has sparked at least one book and a video-game scenario. In one famous incident, a US soldier was photographed fighting off an attack in his underwear. The Americans pulled out because they determined that instead of bringing stability to Korengal, they had largely proven 'an irritant to the people', said the top US commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal. 'We're not living in their homes, but we're living in their valley', General McChrystal said last week as the withdrawal was getting under way. 'There was probably much more fighting here than there would have been' without a US troop presence." (US leaves Afghan valley of death, The Times/ The Wall Street Journal/ The Australian, 16/4/10)
Funny people those Afghans.