Judy’s e-mail will be in blockquote and mine will be in parenthesis. She begins by quoting me.
"I have never met an opponent of the war in Iraq who could grasp the
magnitude of what is at stake."
"What a deal for Mr. and Mrs. America! They are now experts on American
foreign policy in the Middle East and it is obvious to them America is
losing the war because they get to watch America’s soldiers getting shot."
"Why should we stay and get things done the right way when the whole
world and all of our enemies are counting on America’s weak population
to vote us out of Iraq? Come on, let’s quit! If we do what they want us
to do, they’ll like us again!"
Dear Mr Miner:
Thank you very much for your service to our country... I appreciate the
courage and professionalism of the US troops.
I agree with you that our news media are doing a pathetic job of
covering the war in Iraq. I, for one, would like to get a sense of what
is actually happening there on the ground. This is why I read military
blogs, and Iraqi blogs, and many other news sources, like the reports of
Dahr Jamail. The American people are paying billions every week for this
war, and we have a right to see and hear the truth, no matter how brutal
it is to look at and hear.
I stumbled upon your blog today, and I note that you are upset with
Senator Kerry. Well, I can tell you that you needn't worry about his
remarks. I have followed the Senator for a long time... I used to live
in Massachusetts... and I can assure you that he does not think our
troops in Iraq are uneducated or unintelligent. He was a soldier,
himself, you see. In my opinion, President Bush has a lot of things he
should be talking about, and it is obvious that in talking about Senator
Kerry, he is just trying to avoid talking about the issues he should be
In fact, many intelligent high school and college grads, who have not
found a niche in life, are falling for the aggressive tactics and
signing bonuses offered by recruiters. A friend of mine has a brilliant
daughter who was just recruited... she was told that she WILL NOT BE
SENT TO IRAQ. Baloney! As a mother, I find these tactics criminal and
disturbing. Most highly qualified, professional soldiers were not
recruited in this dishonest manner, and if recruited dishonestly, the
contracts they sign should not be legally binding.
I'm curious why you would focus on CNN (I agree, that it isn't very
good!) as a source for inaccurate news? FOX is much worse, and the
biggest problem we have are the entertainers, like Rush Limbaugh, who do
nothing but spew pure fantasy for three hours a day. Americans who go to
these sources for their news, are actually immersing themselves in
fiction... some of them end up blathering-on like brainwashed fanatics.
God forbid that these people are voting based on the illusions Rush
spins for them.
Since you were offended by Senator Kerry's remarks, I would like to
point out, respectfully, that your remarks, which I have quoted above,
are somewhat insulting to Mr. and Mrs. America. You would be surprised
how clever we are, and how quickly we learn to recognize propaganda when
we see it. By the way, I noticed that you read Iraq the Model, and as
Iraqi blogs go, I have this one at the top of my propaganda list. The
truth is, that most Iraqis now see American Troops as occupiers, because
we can't protect them, and we have killed many innocent Iraqis. The more
Iraqis who lose friends and family to this war, the more hatred toward
America grows, and the more enemies we have to worry about.
(Before I answer these questions I want to make a few clarifications. First of all, John Kerry does not have any respect for the troops. His military experience is irrelevant. Since he got out he has lied and slandered our military. He has voted against us. His words and his actions display nothing but disrespect toward us.
Second, You should thank God that brilliant Americans are joining the military to protect you. I doubt that the commentary between the recruiter and your friend’s daughter went anything like you say it did. The daughter may have told you and your friend she wouldn’t go to Iraq because she didn’t want to hear your smug and presumptuous opinions on the military or the war. I have worked in a Recruiting and Retention Battalion for the military. There are stringent ethical standards. No military recruiter would ever dare say such a thing. Your claim of their “aggressive tactics” is overdramatic and you know it. And if such an unlikely story were true, then your friend’s brilliant daughter should have read the contract. Black text on white paper doesn’t lie. Nobody made her sign the line.
Third, Fox News is not worse than CNN. It is by no means an exemplary example of journalism, but compared to CNN it is a consummate source of information. I find Rush Limbaugh’s assessment of the War accurate.
Fourth, the only American’s that my writing will offend are the ones that need to be offended. I am offended by them. I am offended that they care so little for this country that they are unwilling to educate themselves on this War. I am offended that they are so entrenched in partisan politics they refuse to acknowledge the successes in Iraq. I am offended at their apathy. They are destroying this country and they will not realize it until it is too late.
Finally, how dare you presume to know the thoughts of the people of Iraq! How long were you there? How many Iraqis have you talked with? How do you know their perception of us? You don’t! And clearly, you never will based on the sources you are relying upon. You then have the audacity to tell me that an Iraqi blogger, who was born there and lives there is providing propaganda?!?! Who are you to make such distinctions?)
So I'd like to ask you a few questions, and I would sincerely appreciate
answers to these questions:
----You mention the "magnitude of what is at stake." We do understand,
but what I'd like to know: Now that Iraqis are forming militias just to
protect themselves, their children, their neighborhoods... how do you
know who the enemy is? Now that the Iraqi police and military are
participating in some of the sectarian kidnapping and violence... how do
you know who the enemy is? Now that Iraqis (who were living together
peacefully before the war) are killing each other, how do we know who
the enemy is? And why are we killing so many innocents "by accident"?
(It is very difficult to know who the enemy is. That is what makes this war so challenging. That is why American forces do not fire until fired upon. Clearly, if you are getting shot at, it is safe to assume that the shooter is your enemy.
I don’t find your statement that Iraqis are forming militias to protect themselves accurate. The militias that have been formed were created to obtain political objectives. Al Sadr and his militia are a sufficient example. The Iraqi police have had problems with corruption. However, these problems have occurred far less than the media would like you to think. On the other hand, the Iraqi Army has done extremely well and has had minimal problems with such issues. I have had the privledge of working with them for several months. They are passionate and they are motivated. They are disciplined fighters. Iraqis are joining the Iraqi Army in droves. For every Iraqi that joins a militia there are ten that join the Army. They are sick of these terrorists disrupting their progression as a nation and they are doing something about it.
Since the invasion of Iraq, foreign fighters have been infiltrating Iraq’s borders with the mission of destroying the country’s progression. They are terrified of what a Democratic Middle East will do to extremist Islam in that region. Sure, Iraqis are killing each other. There is also support from outside countries such as Iran and Syria, providing fighters, weapons and money. Our enemies in Iraq are the enemies of Iraq. The enemies of Iraq are those who fight against the people and the government of Iraq. They are losing and they know it.)
----"...it is obvious to them America is losing the war because they get
to watch America’s soldiers getting shot." Do you think that Americans
don't have the right to see, or shouldn't see, images of soldiers
getting shot... or of wounded and dead Iraqis?
(No, American’s do not have the right to see American soldiers getting shot. And what a ridiculous presumption of a right! The last thing our military needs to be worrying about is their loved ones watching them get killed on CNN. Is the fear of death not enough? Why do you need/want to see it anyway? Do I have the right to watch your loved one die in a car accident/of cancer/of murder/of whatever??? Additionaly, such videos are obviously distributed by our enemies. For them to have the ability to get their propaganda distributed not only throughout the west, but the world, is an advantage that they do not and should not have. Why would you want to assist the enemies of your nation in their recruitment? The wounded and dead Iraqis don’t need to be displayed either. If they are dead enemies, that is another story. I couldn’t care less. I don’t think it needs to be on network news, but, if someone desires to see them, I don’t see why it shouldn’t be available.)
----You mention "getting things done the right way". Could you please
define for me what winning would look like? The president keeps talking
about "winning". What does that mean? He told us we were going there to
disarm Saddam, and that job was apparently done before the war, so...
what are we trying to achieve now? Just to undo the chaos that the war
has created? You speak of "terrorists" and "insurgents", but I see
little evidence that there are many of either in Iraq. You speak of "the
enemy"... who is that exactly? How can you tell, now that every Iraqi is
armed to the teeth just for self-protection? Are you beginning to see
Iraqi citizens as the enemy? Are Iraqi citizens beginning to see U.S.
troops as the enemy? (In my reading of the blogs, I sense that the
answer to this last question, is yes). If U.S. troops have become the
enemy... what can we possibly achieve there?
(Winning means we continue to press forward in Iraq. If CNN focused on every violent act that occurred in the state of California and aired it continuously, it would look terrible. While there certainly is violence in Iraq and security problems, there has been consistent progress there. We continue to build schools and strengthen infrastructure. Their economy continues to grow and their technology continues to advance. See my article Staying the Course for more detail.
Nothing was “apparent” prior to the invasion other than the potential threats that were in Iraq. We won the war against Saddam Hussein in Iraq and now fight the war on terrorism in Iraq. The United States didn’t create the war. Terrorists did when they attacked the United States and Saddam Hussein did when he refused time and time again to cooperate with the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council. Had he cooperated and verified his claims that he had no weapons, things would have been different. But he refused, and the United States had an obligation to ensure the security of the American people. Your cherished John Kerry agreed Saddam was a threat. He supported the invasion. And Saddam was certainly a threat.
How can you say there is little evidence of “terrorists” and “insurgents” in Iraq? What was Zarqawi? He was a self proclaimed leader of Al Qeida in Iraq! There are dozens upon dozens of terrorist groups in Iraq. Who do you think is killing Iraqi government leaders? Who do you think is blowing up civilians in the markets? Who do you think is launching mortars into crowds of women and children?
Every Iraq is not armed to the teeth. The Iraqi government has specifications on what weapons are authorized for the general public. Certain weapons are permitted for self defense, and upstanding Iraqi citizens abide by the laws. Of course the Iraqi citizens are not seen as the enemy. Nor are the Iraqi citizens viewing our troops as the enemy. There is certainly frustration. More than anything the people of Iraq fear what will happen if the United States leaves prematurely. They know they will be slaughtered as foreign funded militias and terrorist groups fight for control of the country. They know what is at stake and want to see their country succeed just as bad as we do. They are far more intelligent then you give them credit for and their resolve certainly is stronger than yours.)
Enough for now... if you have answers to these questions, I'd sincerely
love to hear them.
Judy, you need better sources of information. I regret to inform you that you are, I believe, a fine example of the Mrs. America I was referring to. Nonetheless, thanks for the letter and good look on your quest for the truth.