"Baghdad at Sunrise" refers to the dawn of a new era in Iraq and, one hopes, the Middle East itself. Col. Mansoor's book helped me understand better the missteps and challenges that faced America in the "post-war" Iraq, but before the so-called surge. In fact, his book helps one understand why the "surge" was really the only sensible strategy. Even so, after reading the book the best quote I can share is the one that was quoted in the book review that initially interested me in the book. Near the conclusion, Col. Mansoor writes:
Fifteen months after my return from Iraq, I was invited to a cocktail reception on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. After discovering that the son of the host and hostess was interested in military affairs, I suggested that since the United States Military Academy was just upriver from New York City, perhaps he should consider applying for admission. The hostess blanched, put her arm around her son's shoulders, and replied, "No, no, no! He has much more important things planned for his life." She then patted me on the arm and said, "But I'm glad we have you people to protect us." Such attitudes among the nation's elite, if unchecked, could in time lead to a crisis in civil-military relations in the United States, defeat in the long war against Islamist extremists, and the eventual collapse of Western civilization. (p. 352)
The condescending attitude toward what was once the most honorable of all educational paths is discouraging. But it also reminds me of a parallel attitude in spiritual matters. Do we have that mother's attitude about our kids when it comes to their spiritual calling?