2.3.08

Angelina Jolie Wants Troops to Stay in Iraq

Hollywood celebrities are known for supporting candidates who campaign on the promise to bring the troops home from Iraq.

But Angelina Jolie, in her capacity as a UN Goodwill Ambassador, visited Iraq and had the opportunity to meet with the military genius responsible for the success of the “surge,” General David Petraeus. And the actress-diplomat is now distinguishing herself from most of the Hollywood Left.

In an op-ed titled, “Staying to Help in Iraq,” Jolie writes about speaking to the general and how she is “pleased that he has offered that support.”

“General Petraeus also told me he would support new efforts to address the humanitarian crisis ‘to the maximum extent possible’ -- which leaves me hopeful that more progress can be made.” Jolie adds.

As for the surge, Jolie explains, “I can only state what I witnessed: U.N. staff and those of non-governmental organizations seem to feel they have the right set of circumstances to attempt to scale up their programs. And when I asked the troops if they wanted to go home as soon as possible, they said that they miss home but feel invested in Iraq. They have lost many friends and want to be a part of the humanitarian progress they now feel is possible.”

Sounding like Bill Krystol, Jolie asks: “Can the United States afford to gamble that four million or more poor and displaced people, in the heart of the Middle East, won't explode in violent desperation, sending the whole region into further disorder?”

It appears as though Jolie is affirming what military leaders have been saying; that not only will humanitarian progress be halted if the U.S. pulls out, a humanitarian calamity will ensue.

James Hirsen is a media analyst, Trinity Law School professor and teacher of mass media law at Biola University.

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