The perspective of a soldier in Iraq

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Lucrum, May 1, 2004.

  1. Lucrum


    First of all despite any assumptions you may make about my cut and paste of this I'm not necessarily trying to promote any particular agenda. We all hear a lot of "ivory tower" and "arm chair" opinions and perspectives on the war in Iraq. I just thought it was interesting to hear what someone actually in the thick of things thinks.
    While it was certainly debatable as to whether we should have invaded Iraq the fact is we did and we ARE there now.
    It seems to me the debate should be : Do we do what it takes to win the "peace" or do we let the insurgents win not on the battlefield but here at home, by swaying public opinion through the media much the same as the Vietnamese did 30 years ago.

    "My question is, how long are the American people going to let the news media dictate how they feel about things? All of you have power, but you have to use it instead of being apathetic."

    This was written by 1st Lieutenant Robert F. Nofsinger USMC, from Ramadi, Iraq.

    For those on the All Hands who may not know, a 1st Lieutenant is usually about 23 or 24 years old. This young man is squared away!

    Thanks and Semper Fi, Colonel,

    Subject: FW: Email from 1stLt in Iraq

    Hello Everyone, I am taking time to ask you all for your help. First off, I'd like to say that this is not a political message. I'm not concerned about domestic politics right now. We have much bigger things to deal with, and we need your help. It seems that despite the tremendous and heroic efforts of the men and women serving here in Iraq to bring much
    needed peace and stability to this region, we are losing the war of perception with the media and American people. Our enemy has learned that the key to defeating the mighty American military is by swaying public opinion at home and abroad. We are a people that cherish the democratic system of government and therefore hold the will of the people in the highest regard.

    We love to criticize ourselves almost to an endless degree, because we care what others think. Our enemies see this as a weakness and are trying to exploit it. When we ask ourselves questions like, "Why do they hate us?" or "What did we do wrong?" we are playing into our enemies' hands. Our natural tendency to question ourselves is being
    used against us to undermine our effort to do good in the world. How far would we have gotten if after the surprise attacks on December 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor, we would have asked, "Why do the Japanese hate us so much?" or "How can we change ourselves so that they won't do that again?" Here in Iraq the enemy is trying very hard to portray our efforts as failing and fruitless. They kill innocents and desecrate their bodies in hopes that the people back home will lose the will to fight for liberty. They are betting on our perceived weakness as a thoughtful, considerate people.

    Unfortunately our media only serves to further their cause. In an industry that feeds on ratings and bad news, a failure in Iraq would be a gold mine. When our so-called "trusted" American media takes a quote from an Iraqi doctor as the gospel truth over that of the men and women that are daily fighting to protect the right to freedom of press, you know something is wrong. That doctor claimed that out of 600 Iraqis, that were casualties of the fighting, the vast majority of them were women, children and the elderly. This is totally absurd. In the history of man, no one has spent more time and effort, often to the detriment of our own mission, to be more discriminant in our targeting of the enemy than the American military. The Marines and Soldiers serving in Iraq have gone through extensive training in order to limit the amount of innocent casualties and collateral damage.

    Yet, despite all of this, our media consistently sides with those who openly lie and directly challenge the honor of our brave heroes fighting for liberty and peace. What we have to remember is that peace is not defined as an absence of war. It is the presence of liberty, stability, and prosperity. In the face of the horrendous tyranny of the former Iraqi
    regime, the only way true peace was able to come to this region was through force. That is what the American Revolution was all about. Have we forgotten? Freedom is not free and "peace" without principle is not peace. The peace that so-called "peace advocates" support can only be brought to Iraq through the military. And we are doing it, if only the
    world will let us! If the American people believe we are failing, even if we are not, then we will ultimately fail. That is why I am asking for your support. Become a voice of truth in your community. Wherever you are fight the lies of the enemy. Don't buy into the pessimism and apathy that says, "It's hopeless," "They hate us too much," "That part of the world is just too messed up," "It's our fault anyway," "We're to blame," and so forth.

    Whether you're in middle school, working at a 9-5 job, retired, or a stay-at-home mom you can make a huge difference! There is nothing more powerful than the truth. So, when you watch the news and see doomsday predictions and spiteful opinions on our efforts over here, you can refute them by knowing that we are doing a tremendous amount of good. Spread the word. No one is poised to make such an amazing contribution to the everyday lives of Iraqis and the rest of the Arab world than the American Armed Forces. By making this a place where liberty can finally grow, we
    are making the whole world safer. Your efforts at home are directly tied to our success. You are the soldiers at home fighting the war of perception. So I'm asking you as a fellow fighting man: Do your duty. Stop the attempts of the enemy wherever you are. You are a mighty force for good, because truth is on your side. Together we will win this fight and ensure a better world for the future.

    God Bless and Semper Fidelis,
    1st Lt. Robert L. Nofsinger USMC Ramadi, Iraq
  2. After 20 years with DOD, I think it is without a doubt that hawkish talk is a great way to make rank in the service and you don't have to know your ass from a hole in the ground to do it. :D
  3. Guty


  4. Another perspective
    Correspondent Dan Rather talks to one soldier, Staff Sgt. Camilo Mejia. 60 MinutesII

    "..he started to have doubts about what his unit was doing in Ramadi, a hot spot in the Sunni Triangle.."

    “When you look at the war, and you look at the reasons that took us to war, and you don’t find that any of the things that we were told that we’re going to war for turned out to be true, when you don’t find there are weapons of mass destruction, and when you don’t find that there was a link between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda, and you see that you’re not helping the people and the people don’t want you there,” says Mejia. “To me, there’s no military contract and no military duty that’s going to justify being a part of that war.”