A Soldiers Thoughts On The Election
Heidi @ Euphoric Reality just sent this via email. It's a letter sent in to the Rusty Humphries show written by a soldier currently serving in Iraq. He is angry and rightly so, he and his mates feel repudiated and scorned, it's a tough read...(I will have some comments at the end.)
“I hope you are satisfied with what you have done…I would give anything to reassure this individual that this isn't true, but I can't because a lot of it is. But not all. Let me explain, one of the lessons we were supposed to have learned from Vietnam was that one doesn't pursue political goals with the military. Hence the fighting of a "limited war" which was a failure in every way except militarily. But in the grand scheme of things the military aspect of a war may be the least important aspect as crazy as that sounds.
Today in the mess hall, where there is usually jovial conversation, there was silence, long faces, and broken spirits… Everyone, to include all American soldiers, marines, sailors, airmen, Iraqi Nationals, Bulgarian Soldiers, etc, etc… was speechless, tired, demoralized and stunned…. all ate in eerie silence…..
Last night, while we watched the press conference with the President, there was utter disgust, and the common feeling amongst us all that we soldiers are now the loneliest people on Earth…. we fight an enemy over here, and we have a country full of enemies to go home to that are our countrymen. We watched President Bush say his own political funeral, our commander and chief… as well as ours….. He tried so hard to spin it, but… well.. there is no way to soften such a morale blow.
While you sit and Monday morning quarterback what we work so hard to do for you out here, just know that the spirit of your team is wounded….. YOU liberals, you America have done a great job of demoralizing us… Thank you.
Do us a favor though, when we do come home, spare us the ceremony……. We all now know that it is a bunch of crap, and what you think of us…….
I have to say that right now, I would rather be a pussy ass Frenchman, even though they have no will to fight, at least they have the balls to make a decision and stick with it…… They stuck to their guns about staying out of this war, even if it was the wrong decision……America on the other hand, goes off half cocked, and when the decision appears to be a hard one, or something that might cost a little bit, they turn tail and run…..
WHAT A NATION OF PUSSIES!!!!
This week I am NOT proud to say that I am an American……….I think it is obvious why… See, we just have told the world that we are not a nation of people who are tough, and will fight for what we believe in… We have told the world that we are a giant coward that will shy away from any difficult challenge…
So, while you eat your cheetos, and sit there and watch your lazy ass get fatter, dumber and happier Joe Citizen.. Just remember this, I, and all my comrades payed a dear price to come this far and have you decide that we should fail…
Realize this, because of your action this week America…. do not expect so many men to be so willing to stand up for your next little whim just to be cut down in the middle of it all…………
Realize this also… you have just put a heavy price on the heads of us all…… Now that we are branded as cowards, we are an easy target, oh so inviting for the taking……. I swore to protect your children in your beds…. yet you fling the door wide open in spite of me to invite the scourge…. Well…. have it your way then.
Because of this, September 11th will soon be overshadowed by these same enemies… my advice to you is get your lazy, self centered ass up and make peace with your God, and your family… cause, time will come when they may not be there for you…………….Because you kicked me in the teeth, and so many others, I know I won’t any more.. ”
So in Iraq we began another limited war and have met precisely the same problems once again. Not that we're losing, we can't lose ,militarily, it is impossible, but that we're making the same mistakes LBJ did and paying the same price. You cannot take and retake the same hill, with men sacrificing themselves gallantly with no apparent gain, without people asking what the hell the point was. Fallujah comes to mind, along with Maqtada Sadr.
There are things you can ask a military to do, and things you can't. Democratizing a nation is not necessarily the job, purpose or mission of the United States military forces. It sounds great, it stirs the heart, but it is also as a practical matter not something the military is well suited to do. I'm not suggesting that the only purpose of a military force is to break things, though in many ways that is true, but I am saying that when you set nakedly political goals for our fighting forces, you place victory in the hands of others, and that should never, ever be allowed.
Right now victory in Iraq is primarily dependent on them choosing to not act like savages, to put a more fine point on it, our "victory" is dependent on Iraqi's choosing certain things that they very well may not choose, or may not see as being in their national interests.
This is an untenable position in which to place our fighting men and women. Victory should be assured by their valour and skill, not the desire of a tribal people to "want" democracy. This is my primary complaint with this war, we are repeating political mistakes we have made in the past and by god should have learned from by now.
I understand and feel this individuals fury, but that is why we have civilian control on our military. Of course the soldier who has bled and and seen his comrades die, who is courageous beyond measure doesn't want to give up. But sometimes it is entirely correct to "give up." Especially when it isn't giving up at all, in my estimation our forces have performed so far beyond the expectations as to be ridiculous. They have fought with honor, humility and humanity, no more can be asked of any warrior.
But the time comes when the job is done, not by a political timetable, but in cold hard truth. Sometimes the fight is won and nobody notices because they are still attempting to reach a goal that is ephemeral. A goal that is beyond anything mere nations can accomplish.
Am I saying that I want Iraq to descend into chaos and carnage? Of course not, but the harsh truth is at some point they need to decide what they want to do. We have done all we can, and in my opinion we can leave now with full honor, reality may demand it.
We think of WWII as a war we won, and we did, yet in the aftermath we were forced to make choices and agree to things that were hardly our desires such as the partition of Germany and the huge strides made by communism.
One more point to the writer of this letter. This election was no repudiation of you sir. A staggering majority of this country loves you and respects what you do deeply. You will be honored on your return, there will be ceremonies and you will have the respect of your countrymen. You and your comrades have fought bravely and well and are deserving of every honor.
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