Region 8 Veteran Critical of War Critics

March 31, 2003
Posted at: 8:58 p.m. CST

JONESBORO, Ark. -- It seems as if everyone has an opinion on the progress of the war in Iraq, and one Region 8 retired member of the army doesn't like the "arm-chair quarterbacking."

You've heard many of the critiques: Some people say the "shock and awe" bombing campaign didn't work. Others say we don't have enough ground troops surrounding Baghdad. Despite civilians, and pundits, not knowing why the U.S. Central Command has chosen its military strategy or even what it is, Bill Brown says that military heads know exactly what they're doing, and there should be no doubt we're making significant progress in the war.

"General (Tommy) Franks and his team are doing an absolutely superb job and we appreciate it," said Brown, a former member of an Army special forces unit and Desert Storm veteran.

In recent days, war critics seem to have some pretty strong opinions. For example, journalist Peter Arnett. Arnett was fired Monday morning from NBC News after he was interviewed on Iraqi State Television, saying that the initial American war plan was a failure.

"You know, we can sit back and say: 'If we would have done this, it would have happened this way or this way,'" Brown said. "These guys and gals are experts with a tremendous amount of experience."

Brown says people should not be comparing the current war to the first Iraqi war in 1991. According to Brown, this war has a different mission, and changing war plans, if that's the case, is not necessarily a bad thing. Brown uses the ongoing negotiations, and ultimate denial of access by the Turkish government as an example.

"Things happen on the battle field all the time that you have to react to," Brown said. "Some of those changes take place strategically...and some of those changes take place tactically on the battlefield."