Wednesday, August 24, 2005

answering a few questions

I received an e-mail today, from a woman in Seattle. The text of it is below:

I hope you are doing better! I just found your blog and I think it is great. I have a question for you and your guys/gals in Iraq....Should you all come home? All the editorials in my paper (liberal Seattle Times) are calling for a pullout, (Mrs. Sheehan has stirred things up). I am a Christian, and I am not sure that the Lord would want us all fighting. But I want to know, do the Iraqi people want us out? And if not, then where are they, why arent they speaking up? When I get paid in Sept I will send you guys a care package. Thanks for all you do.

I'm officially asked me basically four questions.

1. Should you all come home?

Yes. Every last American soldier should come home in one piece happy and healthy back to their families... as soon as the job is done. We are soldiers and not the ones to decide when that job is done. Only our
President and our elected officials can do that. He decides when where and what we do; Congress decides if they're willing to pay for it. So yes, I truly believe our soldiers should come home when the job is done. The President clearly outlined our mission, and that is simply hunt down and kill terrorists. The sidebar of that is to build a constitutional democracy in
Iraq; which would limit the ability of the terrorists to grow in Iraq and would also scare the hell out of the Syrians and the Iranians who tend to breed and grow terrorists as well. You see, I really don't think the war is about oil. If you put a constitutional democracy, one that actually accepts Western ideals and values, (you know, values like liberty, equal rights, freedom, things like that) in between Iran and Syria. I really honestly and truly think that it will bring those two theocracies if not to their knees, then possibly to the point where the "citizens", are wondering why they, too don't have liberties like their neighbors to the east or west respectively.

2. I am a Christian, and I am not sure that the Lord would want us all fighting.

I'm a Christian too, and I'm sure the Lord wants us to fight for liberty of people to choose their own religion, to live free, and not be persecuted for the way they choose to worship. But that just my opinion, that's a funny thing about faith. It's all in how you interpret it.

3. But I want to know, do the Iraqi people want us out?

The ones that're shooting at us and trying to blow us up; the ones that attack police stations and polling sites; the ones that execute police in training; and the ones that pay and support them; they want us out. They make up a very small minority of the population of Iraq. As a matter of fact, some of them are foreign fighters that come in from those very porous borders of Syria and Iran.

4. why aren’t they speaking up?

Don't know, ask the mainstream media why they are not speaking up. As for the Iraqi major that was my counterpart, he told me one day that he considered me to be a brother, one of his brothers. When his headquarters was attacked with a car bomb and rockets and machine guns, he ended up in the hospital. I drove an hour and a half with five of my Humvees to check on him and his soldiers that were wounded in the attack, to make sure that his soldiers that were wounded were separated from the attackers that were wounded, and a check on him. He was ready enough to leave the hospital, so I offered him a ride in my Humvee. I didn't have an interpreter in the truck, so we basically rode in silence for an hour and a half all the way back. When he heard that I was injured and had been sent all the way back to America for treatment, he stated that when I returned to Iraq, he would pick me up in his car and drive me back to the FOB. He said this to my commander, and some of the other senior officers in the Battalion. Although it may seem like a little thing back here in the states, in Iraq it really meant something. Why aren't they speaking out, or speaking up? They are, but they're only speaking to the people that are there helping them. How many reporters do you think go from Iraqi to Iraqi until they get the 15 second sound bite that they want... And then use that one on the nightly news.

And finally, she mentioned Cindy in Texas. I figured it was about time I weighed in on that for the loyal readers of this blog...

Nobody held a gun to my head 13 years ago when I signed the papers to join the Army. It's an all volunteer force, and I reckon her son forgot to mention that he volunteered to join the Army. He wasn't a conscientious objector when he went, more than likely he was excited to go, and he was going with his buddies... buddies who would soon become like brothers.

I doubt that he would be proud of what his mother was doing right now.

I know that my mom respects my choice to be a soldier; I know that my wife understands why I do what I do. As much as it hurts them to see me lying in bed in pieces, literally blown apart, they also understand why when I wake up in that condition, my first thoughts and my first questions are about my men, my concern for them, and my desire to return to them as soon as possible.

Mrs. Sheehan and has my deepest sympathies. She's lost a son. Her son died on the altar of freedom. The medal that they pinned on my chest and they gave her when her son was put in the ground is the same, and did little to ease my pain, and I'm sure it did little to ease hers. I always looked at my command as the care of 63 sons. There were 126 mothers and fathers out there, who had loaned their boys to me. I would take care of them as best I could, and I would hope that I can return them back when it was all over. But the first sad fact of war is that young men die-- and the second sad fact of war is that nobody can do anything to change fact number one.

People call her "crazy cindy”, people make fun of her, people say mean things about her and people generally try to drag her through the mud for trying to understand, trying to ease her pain, trying to scream out into the void because nothing seems to help... she lost her son. How many people can say that they understand what she must be going through? You can sympathize, you can empathize, but how many people can say that they understand? That they know how she feels?

But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.


No comments: