Surgin’ Surgeons
[Fred Schwarz]

The Associated Press reports on a U.S. military hospital that is now also treating Iraqi civilians, many of them victims of terrorist bombings. This is yet another example of America’s warriors winning over the populace by waging peace. It wasn’t long ago that critics were saying every attempt to suppress terror would create a swarm of new terrorists. In fact, the reverse has been true: The surge gained momentum when Iraqis got good and sick of Al-Qaeda and appreciated the dramatic contrast presented by our military.

I knew a nurse who served in Iraq a few years back. She was on the staff of one of America’s best hospitals, but she volunteered to spend a year in the desert working 12-hour shifts, five days on and one day off. Her job involved caring for detainees, which meant she sometimes lay awake at night listening to IEDs go off, then had to get up and change the bandages of allies of the people who were setting them. Through all the stress, she never lost her professionalism. I can’t say for sure whether she and her fellow nurses made any terrorists change their minds, but some Iraqis must have noticed the difference between how we treat our prisoners and how the militias treat theirs.

One point that the War on Terror has brought home is the importance of using carrots as well as sticks. And that’s why some of the war’s greatest heroes have been those who work tirelessly to show the people they’re defending what peace can mean to them.