State Senator plans to analyze Iraq

Friday, October 17th 2008, 6:06 pm
By: News 9

By Melissa Maynarich, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- State Senator Steve Russell left Oklahoma City Friday to travel back to the war zone with Time Magazine.

The retired Lieutenant Colonel is heading to the Middle East to compare and contrast what Iraq is like now with what Iraq was like 5 years ago.

Senator Russell said he's eager to return to the front lines of the war on terror.

"There's concern about are we really making the progress? We believe that we are, and we aim to show that to the American people, Russell said.

The Lt. Colonel led the hunt and capture of Saddam Hussein in 2003. Five years later, he wants to see the difference it has made. He'll be there to document his findings with Time Magazine.

"We want to talk to key leaders in the military. We want to talk to key leaders in the Iraqi government, certainly the Salah ad Din province if we can," Russell said.

He also wants to know the attitudes of Iraqis on the streets, post-surge.

The Lt. Col. said they're also interested in talking to Oklahoma soldiers stationed in the country, to get their perspective on the war and feed their findings back home.

Russell believes the journalist accompanying him in and around areas of combat will do the story justice.

"Brian Bennett from Time Magazine, he covered a lot of these operations. It will be a good thing to contrast his news stories from those earlier reports," Russell said.

This project is in collaboration with Vets for Victory and Vets for Freedom, organizations dedicated to winning the war on terror. It's reported Russell and Time Magazine plan to also examine Iraqi and soldier responses to the election for the U.S. President.