Friday, December 29, 2006

Two Tours in Iraq Strenthen ER Doctor's Support of Iraq Conflict

Two Tours in Iraq Strengthen ER Doctor's Support of Iraq Conflict

BS Ranch Perspective:

Well, it looks like more and more of what I have been saying is being confirmed by people that actually have served time there in Iraq and know what the Political Climate is all about there. Dr. Jeff McInturff an Army Doctor Reservist, who just finished two tours in Iraq, says that leaving will allow the country and the government that is just now getting set up to fail. These are words that I have been saying. He also says that, We have only allowed this country Three Years to get their Government up and running, and that is just not enough time!!

The Insurgents are Political activists from Iran, and other neighboring countries that are trying to make the government that we have just gotten started there fail, it is something that would make their countries stronger. We have to leave Iraq, in a state that they can defend themselves from Iran and the neighboring Countries, because they want to move in and Take over the country and the Oil Supply that Iraq Haas. After all Iraq has the biggest Oil Reserve then even the Saudi Arabia Country does, they have the larges in the region according to the geologists that have gone in for Shell, and Chevron and the like.

So, we started Something that is bigger then the Democrats think!! They think that this is a small Potato's War that we can just pull away and there will be no consequences to the United States, I feel that they are Very Wrong and if they Pull Us out We will find out what they have done. And once Again we will have a Republican Run Congress and House, as well as a Republican President. That is what will happen if they pull out to quickly and our gas prices go up to $6.00 a gallon because they control the Iraq Oil Field and hold us hostage with that Oil!! We will have the Democrats to blam!



Two tours in Iraq strengthen ER doctor's support for war

By Blair Anthony Robertson - Bee Staff Writer

Published 12:00 am PST Monday, November 27, 2006
Story appeared in METRO section, Page B1

Dr. Jeff McInturff works at Kaiser Permanente Roseville Medical Center on Friday. The emergency room physician, who served with the Army Reserves, says pulling out of Iraq wouldmean more Iraqi deaths. Sacramento Bee/Randall Benton

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Jeff McInturff is a 39-year-old emergency room doctor who twice put his life on hold for stints in the war in Iraq.

Moved to re-enlist in the army after the horror of Sept. 11, McInturff first served with the Army Reserve in Kuwait in 2004, troubled only by the notion that he felt underutilized working at a combat support hospital. A year later, he was in southern Iraq for an additional four months, tending to sick and injured detainees at a prison camp.

McInturff did all that as a statement about his commitment to his country and to the cause. While he has remained steadfast in his support for the war, the country has changed around him. McInturff initially served three years in the Army to fulfill the obligations of a military scholarship.

Back in 2003, when The Bee chronicled the physician's choice to renew his Army ties, the president's approval rating was 57 percent and six in 10 Americans supported going to war. These days, President Bush's approval rating is 33 percent, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll, and about the same percentage of people back the war.

The Nov. 7 election was seen as a referendum on Iraq and the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld signaled the Bush administration was responding to voter outcry.

A recent visit to McInturff's four-bedroom home in a Granite Bay gated community found a doctor more determined than ever to support the war and more frustrated at American impatience with the military campaign.

On the heels of an election that swept the Democrats into power in the Congress and suggested the nation had moved toward the political center, McInturff's views seem practically missing in action in the media in recent weeks. He doesn't support a military withdrawal. He doesn't want to hear talk of a timetable.

"Patience is a big issue," he said, seated with his back to a living room window that looks out to a wooded meadow where wild turkeys and peacocks roam. "Fortitude and patience are what win wars. I don't know if it's a consequence of our current lifestyle in which everything is fast -- made-to-use, ready-to-eat. We live in a very fast society. It's good for our lifestyle, but it makes us ill-prepared for the long haul."

McInturff paused to reach down and pet his 11-year-old Labrador retriever, Dave, who was lying at his feet. Nearby, Cody, a 13-year-old lab, napped on a dog bed. Signing up for medical duty in the war meant saying goodbye to the aging dogs, and putting on hold his job in the ER at Kaiser Permanente Roseville Medical Center. A bachelor, McInturff took videos of the dogs on a walk and watched them overseas whenever he was homesick.

At one point in his first four-month assignment, McInturff succumbed to feelings that he wanted to quit, to go back to his hospital job in Roseville and say farewell to the military. It was at Thanksgiving two years ago that he was jolted out of that mood.

"I was sitting at a table with an enlisted soldier from Kentucky. He was telling me about his life -- he ran a pet store and he just bought a house. I was feeling down because I felt like medically I was being underutilized. I didn't feel like I was accomplishing much.

"As I was talking to him I realized here this kid was the embodiment of the American dream, starting without much, he had built up his life and was serving his country. During that dinner I realized I can't walk away. It sounds silly, but I felt like I couldn't leave this guy's health care to someone else. That's when I stifled that desire to get out."

McInturff has never wavered in his belief that the United States must be in it for the long haul, that victory must be the only answer.

Asked what argument he would make to the many who have changed their minds about Iraq, McInturff thought for a moment and said, "What I would ask those individuals to do is try to set aside our whole purpose for going to war and ask yourself today, 'Do I want to win this war? If you don't want to win this war then you have to ask yourself why and what are the consequences if we choose to walk away. I think the clear consequences are more Iraqi deaths. You're going to see increasing influence over Iraq by neighboring countries like Iran and Syria, which I think we can all agree isn't beneficial."

When it is mentioned that many Americans no longer see victory as a possibility, McInturff replied, "Realistically, we have to have a long-term vision. I mean, our own democracy took a long time to find itself. One hundred years after we had a supposedly great start, we fell apart into a civil war. We had a great functioning democracy, and yet we started killing each other in untold numbers. While democracy is clearly the best alternative I've seen, it's not without its flaws and foibles.

"We've really only given these people three years to establish one. There's no adding water and, bingo, instant democracy."

During his months in Iraq, McInturff's only television exposure was watching the news during his meals. He became so angry at what he was seeing that he began writing a rebuttal -- an argument for being in Iraq and finishing the job. Still in progress, he expects it to be 30 typed pages when he's finished.

"We've been distracted in the last 100 years by our conflict with fascism and communism," he said. "Prior to that, one of the major conflicts was, sadly, East versus West. Going back to 700 AD there's been a constant struggle between the Christian empire and the Islamic empire. We've kind of forgotten about that conflict because we had our own internal conflicts. We're really getting back to the realization that this conflict didn't resolve itself."

Opponents of the war, however, have argued that the unresolved -- or unresolvable -- conflict is also a good reason for getting out of Iraq.

About the writer:

Jeff McInturff, a military-trained doctor working in Roseville, says victory is possible in Iraq. "We have to have a longterm vision," he said. "I mean, our own democracy took a long time to find itself." Sacramento Bee/Randall Benton

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