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Letter from Iraq

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Freemason, Apr 7, 2004.

  1. Freemason

    Freemason Banned

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    Letter from Iraq

    April 5, 2004, 9:55PM

    A soldier assures us: Our progress is amazing

    By JOE ROCHE

    I'm a soldier with the U.S. Army serving in the 16th Combat Engineer Battalion in Baghdad.

    The news you are hearing stateside is awfully depressing and negative. The reality is we are accomplishing a tremendous amount here, and the Iraqi people are not only benefiting greatly, but are enthusiastically supportive.
    My job is mostly to be the driver of my platoon's lead Humvee. I see the missions our Army is performing, and I interact closely with the Iraqi people. Because of this, I know how successful and important our work is.

    My battalion carries out dozens of missions all over the city — missions that are improving people's lives. We have restored schools and universities, hospitals, power plants and water systems. We have engineered new infrastructure projects and much more. We have also brought security and order to many of Baghdad's worst areas — areas once afflicted with chaos and brutality.

    Our efforts to train vast numbers of Iraqis to police and secure the city's basic law and order are bearing fruit.

    Our mission is vital. We are transforming a once very sick society into a hopeful place. Dozens of newspapers and the concepts of freedom of religious worship and expression are flowering. So, too, are educational improvements.

    This is the work of the U.S. military. Our progress is amazing. Many people who knew only repression and terror now have hope in their heart and prosperity in their grasp. Every day the Iraqi people stream into the streets to cheer and wave at us as we drive by. When I'm on a foot patrol, walking among a crowd, countless people thank us — repeatedly.

    I realize the shocking image of a dead soldier or a burning car is more salable than boring, detailed accounts of our rebuilding efforts. This is why you hear bad news and may be receiving an incorrect picture.

    Baghdad has more than 5 million inhabitants. If these people were in an uprising against the United States, which you might think is happening, we would be overwhelmed in hours. There are weapons everywhere, and though we are working hard to gather them all, we simply can't.

    Our Army is carrying out 1,700 convoys and patrols each day. Only a tiny percentage actually encounter hostile action. My unit covers some of the worst and most intense areas, and I have seen some of the most tragic attacks and hostility, such as the bombing of the United Nations headquarters.

    I'm not out of touch with the negative side of things. In fact, I think my unit has it harder than many other Army units in this whole operation. That said, despite some attacks, the overall picture is one of extreme success and much thanks.

    The various terrorist enemies we are facing in Iraq are really aiming at you back in the United States. This is a test of will for our country. We soldiers of yours are doing great and scoring victories in confronting the evil terrorists.
    The reality is one of an ever-increasing defeat of the enemies we face. Our enemies are therefore more desperate. They are striking out more viciously and indiscriminately. I realize this is causing Americans stress, and I assure you it causes us stress, too.

    When I was a civilian, I spent time as a volunteer with the Israeli army. I assure you we are not facing the hostility Israelis face. Here in Iraq, we Americans are welcomed by most Iraqis.

    I'm not trying to sound like a big tough guy. I'm scared every day, and pray before every mission for our safety and success. This is a combat zone. We are in the heart of the world's leading terrorist-birthing society. I remember well how families of suicide bombers who attacked in Israel received tens of thousands of dollars from Saddam Hussein for their kin's horrendous crimes. A generation of Iraqis was growing up in a Stalinist worship of such terrorism.

    They are no longer.

    Instead, Iraqis today are embracing freedom and the birth of democracy. With this comes hope for the future.

    Yes, there are terrorists who wish to strike these things down, but this is a test of will we must win. We can do this, as long as Americans at home keep faith with the soldiers in this war. We are Americans, after all. We can and must win this test. That is all it is.

    Roche serves with the U.S. Army's 16th Combat Engineer Battalion in Iraq and is an adjunct fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative think-tank.
    Source

    This is typical from what is coming from our soldiers. They are disheartened by the anti-war rhetoric yet know they are doing what is right. They won't give up even though so many at home would.

    Hateful anti-war speach and anti-Bush speach is hurtful to these guys. And yet they keep going. That says a lot.
     
  2. Drosselmeier

    Drosselmeier IncGamers Member

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    So he wasn´t in the unit that slaughtered 40 human beings on hallowed ground I take it.

    OH MAN!!!! Stop it Smeg! You´re killing me! Stop it... I beg you :lol: :thumbsup:
     
  3. maccool

    maccool IncGamers Member

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    Not the ones I know over there, Smeg. Of course, a glorified chauffeur has a better handle on what's happenening than someone who's actually fighting. I'll pass this along to my friends; they'll get a kick out of it.

    By the way, speech doesn't contain an 'a'. You do know there is difference between supporting our troops and questioning our government, right? That is to say, my heart strings remain unplucked. :sleep:
     
  4. Draconis

    Draconis IncGamers Member

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    Hrrrrmmmm...
     
  5. smokey[dead]

    smokey[dead] Banned

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    Any evidence to back up what your trying to say? Sure there's bad things that are going to happen in a war, collateral damage... And the conflict in falluja, they were using a mosque to provide Iraqi troops with weapons and ammunition inside the church, what we did was no less honorable then what they have been doing in the past decades. These terrorists justify their war with a religion, nothing justifies the killing of innocent people. All of the things we see on TV is negative about the war. Here is a brief list of accomplishments we've done in Iraq over the past year.

    http://www.chronwatch.com/content/contentDisplay.asp?aid=5211
    that's my source
     
  6. Draconis

    Draconis IncGamers Member

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    Oh look a totally original list we haven't seen dozens of times, what a convincing
    argument.

    <edit> Curses, desired effect pwned by all-caps-prevention-mechanism...
     
  7. smokey[dead]

    smokey[dead] Banned

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    okay, where's yours?
     
  8. maccool

    maccool IncGamers Member

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    I'd be more interested in seeing a list for the last 11 months.

    Oh, and the other list is in a thread around here somewhere. I care too little to look for it.
     
  9. Drosselmeier

    Drosselmeier IncGamers Member

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    It doesn´t matter if someone was passing out weapons or ammo inside the Mosque compound. Civilians were there, worshiping. They were fired upon indiscriminately by US troops. I don´t know about you, but it sure makes my stomach turn. The fact that you or someone else has been doing it for decades is a pretty weak defense.

    I hope you´re not calling the resistance fighters terrorists. I bet you are though, aren´t you?
    Did you know that it´s perfectly legal for an Iraqi to shoot and kill americans in Iraq. That is, according to international law. Fighting the americans in Iraq does not make you a terrorist.
    And yeah, nothing justifies the killing of innocent civilians. That was pretty much my point.

    I´m not saying the US hasn´t done anything good at all since the invasion. I´m saying that some of its methods in trying to "pacify" the people are a bit questionable.
    I could dig up a load of nasty things the US has done in Iraq since the invasion and we could sit around and compare lists forever... but I won´t. I´m not going to be a part in this thread sliding down that debate hole we´ve all been to the bottom of one to many times. Let´s try to keep this discussion focused on the present.
     
  10. Freemason

    Freemason Banned

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    Our men were fired on first. That makes even a mosque fair game.

    Sources? Who do you know over there? Name and unit so it can be verified will do.
     
  11. maccool

    maccool IncGamers Member

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    I don't have permission from the family of my friends over there to blab about it to some strangers on the internet. I will keep that information to myself; thank you for respecting their wishes of privacy.
     
  12. Yaboosh

    Yaboosh IncGamers Member

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    But mac! He won't believe you now! For gods sake, get permission!
     
  13. Freemason

    Freemason Banned

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    That's right, I don't believe it. Unnamed sources saying the opposite of the truth sounds like the load of horse **** I hauled in my truck last week
     
  14. maccool

    maccool IncGamers Member

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    Well, if it comes down to pleasing an anonymous right-winger or breaking the trust of long time family friends, I reckon Smeg will just have to call me a liar and I'll just have to take it. I'm OK with that.
     
  15. Yaboosh

    Yaboosh IncGamers Member

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    Are you crazy? Your REPUTATION is at stake. Your family friends will forgive you, but you are risking everything!
     
  16. Any1

    Any1 Banned

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    This makes your source just a little biased. Regardless, anti-war or anti-bush speech, at least IMHO, doesn't detract from the support for our troops. These guys are in a very difficult environment doing the best job they can. They are following orders. They have no choice in the matter of their assignment and duties. My problem, personally, is with the people who put them in that position to begin with, and the motivation behind those decisions.

    I'm sure this'll be interpreted as "liberal"/"hateful" drivel, and flamed by the usual "cadre".
     
  17. IDupedInMyPants

    IDupedInMyPants Banned

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    This isn't typical of anything coming home from our soldiers from any conflict ever in the history of us having soldiers and conflicts. This is a campaign speech, not a letter written from a son and sent back home to mom and pop. Why did Joe decide to call it "A Soldier Assures Us: Some Crap" when he was himself that soldier?
     
  18. Freemason

    Freemason Banned

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    That's asinine. Attacking the guy over there as being biased.
     
  19. Vorzheva

    Vorzheva IncGamers Member

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    So...I take it you're for the war Freemason :lol:
     
  20. Drosselmeier

    Drosselmeier IncGamers Member

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    Even if the guy over there is working for someone who wants the war dressed up and shown off in a positive light?
     

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