By Rick Pearcey
Here are a few passages from Michelle Malkin's latest column. Malkin just returned from Iraq on an embed tour with HotAir colleague Bryan Preston.
* Unexpected: "I came to Iraq a darkening pessimist about the war, due in large part to my doubts about the compatibility of Islam and Western-style democracy, but also as a result of the steady, sensational diet of 'grim milestone' and 'daily IED count' media coverage that aids the insurgency.
"I left Iraq with unexpected hope and resolve."
* Peace Activists, Bush Missteps: "The troops I met scoff at peace activists' efforts to 'bring them home now.' But they are just as critical of the Bush administration and Pentagon's missteps -- from holding Iraqi elections too early, to senselessly breaking up their brigade combat team, to drawing down forces and withdrawing last year in Baghdad and Fallujah, to failing to hold cities after clearing them of insurgents."
* What It's About: "Winning the counterinsurgency battle is not just about keeping Iraqis safe. It's about keeping Americans safe -- by sending a message that the mightiest military in the world cannot and will not be outwitted and outlasted by the fleas. On the emblem of the Dagger Brigade are two imperatives: 'Continue mission!' and 'Duty first.' These troops are committed to their mission. They deserve our commitment to them."
Malkin's entire column is here. Video reports of Malkin and Preston's time in Iraq can be seen at HotAir.com.
Michelle Malkin in Slums of Baghdad
Rick Pearcey is editor and publisher of The Pearcey Report.