My Interview With Pete Hegseth

At the 2008 Republican Convention in Minnesota, I had the honor and privilege of seeing Pete Hegseth, the National Chair of Vets For Freedom.

I originally met Pete Hegseth earlier in 2008 in San Francisco at an event put on by the Republican Jewish Coalition.

I have either met or spoken to several members of the Vets For Freedom organization, including Jeremy Christiansen, Jason Meszaros, and Nathan Martin.

I interviewed several of these men including Pete Hegseth on the radio several weeks ago. Pete Hegseth was on his way to Iraq to assess the recent progress of the surge.

When I saw him on September 3rd, 2008, he had just returned from Iraq several days earlier.

Many people have opinions about Iraq. They develop those opinions from various “sources,’ such as third rate newspapers.

I get my information from men like Pete Hegseth, who were just there.

These young men are not politicians. They are soldiers. If they look me in the eye and tell me we are losing, I will report that. We are winning, as of last week.

With that, below is my most recent interview with Pete Hegseth.

1) Pete, what did you see?

PH: It was an incredible experience. I went back to Samarrah, where I was in 2006. In 2006 it was a different situation. Not a single shot was fired while I was there in 2008. I did not even wear a helmet. I walked around in a baseball cap.

I stood above the Golden Mosque and watched them rebuild. A couple of years ago that would not have been a place to stand. If I was a sniper, that would be an area I would target people. Now I am able to stand on top and watch the rebuilding.

For 30 minutes I was completely exposed. My only security was the people who had turned on Al Queda. They are now empowered, not intimidated.

There was a classic counterinsurgency in this city.

I actually sat across from and had drinks with a guy that had previously been on a high value target list. He is now on the Samarrah Rescue Council. He told me that in 2006, he was probably shooting at me and trying to kill me. I told him that in 2006 I was probably shooting at him trying to kill him. We laughed. He is now part of the government.

2) Are the gains sustainable?

PH: The gains made could be lost. We are winning, but it would premature to declare total victory. Those that want to declare victory and bring troops home now could reverse the gains. A premature withdrawal followed by a dismantling of the Sons of Iraq would be a major mistake.

3) How would you like to be remembered 100 years from now? What would you want people to say about Pete Hegseth the person?

PH: I would like to be remembered as someone who played a small role in making the United States of America safe. I was one small part of generations of AMericans, military and civilian, to help make America great.

One of the things that Pete Hegseth and other military leaders have stressed to me is that looking forward is what matters. I have met many soldiers, and in general they do not deal with politics. They will not tell me who they are voting for, and I do not ask. All they ask is that they be given the support of the American people. They define support as supporting their missions.

They do not armchair quarterback and ask what we should have done in the beginning, or whether we should have even gone into Iraq. They role up their sleeves in 100 degree heat, understand that we are there now, and do whatever it takes to get the job done, and get it done right.

There is universal widespread praise for General David Petraeus. He understood that insurgenices are about people.

As Pete Hegseth pointed out to me, we could have killed that one man in 2006. Another one may have taken his place. Yes, in war, you have to shoot to kill, but General Petraeus, who literally wrote the book on counterinsurgency, managed to flip the people away from Al Queda onto our side. Al Queda’s overreaching helped us, but the Iraqi people needed to see that we could be trusted. We gave our word, and we kept it. This is why a former enemy could share drinks with a Vet For Freedom as a co-fighter.

The surged worked. We are winning.

Thank you Mr. Hegseth. Thanks to you, the Vets For Freedom, and Veterans everywhere.

Thank you very much.


2 Responses to “My Interview With Pete Hegseth”

  1. infidel308 says:

    Pete’s good people, I can vouch for that.
    Isn’t it amazing what people have to say who have actually been to Iraq, instead of just parroting what they heard on CNN or Al Jazeera?
    *cough* *cough* JMJ *cough*

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