Nearly two years ago, Jonathan Aponte left the Bronx for Iraq, a private with the First Cavalry of the United States Army.So, Aponte did his first stint in Iraq without any problems, but after coming back to the States and getting married during a 10 day leave, decided the night before to stage an incident where he'd be shot and therefore unable to deploy back to Iraq.
And on Friday, he was, at long last, home for keeps — but not from the war. He was just back from an eight-month stay on Rikers Island.
Mr. Aponte went to jail because he arranged to get himself shot in the leg on a Bronx street corner in a staged robbery, hoping for an injury that would be just bad enough to keep him from going back to Iraq. That part worked. But it was just one act in a Bronx soap opera that in many respects seemed to be a scaled-down version of the delusional ambitions of the Iraq war itself.
The whole plot collapsed, and he admitted to staging a robbery in order to get shot to avoid returning to Iraq to complete his service.
And yet, the New York Times wants people to think that this is somehow connected to how or why we're in Iraq today?
The Times would like you to think that US ambitions for Iraq are delusional. Interesting. They apparently think that denying al Qaeda a base of operations is delusional. They apparently think that giving Iraqis a shot at democracy is delusional. Curious.
They haven't exactly been paying attention to the news in their own paper, which has been forced to admit that the experiment with democracy has been working there as political benchmarks have been reached, the Iraqis are standing up and dealing with the insurgency themselves in greater numbers, and al Qaeda is on the run and unable to find safe havens in the country where they'd be free from repercussions from either the Iraqi people or the US military.
Mr. Aponte escaped indictment by telling the grand jury of the horrors that he said he had witnessed in Iraq. Because no kind deed — especially a bullet to the leg — goes unpunished, Ms. Gonzalez and Mr. Padilla were indicted on charges of felony assault. They are awaiting trial.That's right - the reporter Jim Dwyer thinks that committing criminal acts should go unpunished because the ultimate goal - keeping Aponte from going back to Iraq was the okay. Gotcha. He certainly is held up as a hero by the delusional left. Or, they're calling him a victim of the Bush Administration's war.
Either way, this man failed his fellow soldiers by attempting to cut and run from his service. That was a dishonorable thing to do, and his arrest, admission of guilt, and prison time all attest to the stupidity involved. He is no hero for trying to avoid returning to service in Iraq.
I will leave it to others to determine whether Aponte actually saw what he claimed to have seen in Iraq. It is certainly plausible that he saw all manner of horror in Iraq. I'm sure the military will mete out an appropriate judgment on Aponte's capacity to remain in the service. At best, he failed his fellow soldiers in his unit.