How Strange: Conservative Town Thinks US Troops Are on "Our Side"

Metro reporter Paul Vitello made the A-section Wednesday with his visit to Gen. David Petraeus's hometown of Cornwall-on-Hudson, N.Y. for "Worried Town Recalls a Young Petraeus."

"People here share an obvious affection for the local boy who went to nearby West Point and became the top commander of American troops in Iraq. But the affection only enhances the apprehension many say they also feel about the daunting, in some views impossible, task facing that commander, Gen. David H. Petraeus."

It's a favorable profile of local boy makes good, but in a revealing sidelight, Vitello found it worth noting that the peopleof Cornwallactually considered U.S. troops to be on "our side."

"Some said they were aghast at the dimensions of the problem, some awed by General Petraeus's seeming grasp of the wildly irregular forces in play; but almost none seemed to foresee a happy result for 'our side,' as many in this conservative, Republican-voting place put it."

And how do liberal, Democrat-voting places (like the Times) put it?