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Special Feature: Letter from Iraq

| 20 Comments | 10 TrackBacks
Got this through one of the email lists I'm on, sometimes they send interesting things. This letter didn't come to me direct, but I know which list member it came from and believe it's from a Special Forces soldier in Iraq right now. Read and enjoy. (JK: I've done some backchecking via other sources, and I believe that this does indeed come from a SpecOps trooper.) Date: Tue, 01 Jul 2003,11:09:09 GMT Hey Guys, sorry it's been so long since I've sent anything but a quick note to you individually. However things have been pretty hectic since the end of hostilities and the start of the real war. Despite what the assholes in the press like to say over and over:
# We did expect some armed resistance from the Ba'ath Party and Feydaheen; # It isn't any worse than expected; # Things are getting better each day, and # The morale of the troops is A-1, except for the normal bitching and griping. My brief love affair with the press, especially the guys who had the cajones to be embedded with the troops during the fighting, is probably over, especially since we are back being criticized by the same Roland Headly types that used to hang around the Palestine Hotel drinking Baghdad Bob's whiskey and parroting his ridiculous B.S. I'm in Baghdad now, since [deleted] relocated here [deleted]. It looks, sounds and smells about the same but at least you can get Maker's Mark at the local OC. We came up [deleted] set up operation Scorpion and Sidewinder. It represents a major (and long overdue) shift in tactics. Instead of being sitting ducks [deleted] we now are going after the worthless pieces of fecal matter. I'm no longer baby-sitting the pukes from CNN and the canned hams from the networks, but have a combat mission coordinating a bunch of A teams, seeking, finding and rooting out the mostly non-Iraqis that are well-armed, well-paid (in U.S. dollars) and always waiting to wail for the press and then shoot some GI in the back in the midst of a crowd. The only reason the GIs are pissed (not demoralized) is that they cannot touch, must less waste, those taunting bags of gas that scream in their faces and riot on cue when they spot a camera man from ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN or NBC. If they did, then they know the next nightly news will be about how chaotic things are and how much the Iraqi people hate us. Some do. But the vast majority don't and more and more see that the GIs don't start anything, are by-and-large friendly, and very compassionate, especially to kids and old people. I saw a bunch of 19 year-olds [deleted] not return fire coming from a mosque until they got a group of elderly civilians out of harm's way. So did the Iraqis. A bunch of bad guys used a group of women and children as human shields. The GIs surrounded them and negotiated their surrender fifteen hours later and when they discovered a three year-old girl had been injured by the big tough guys throwing her down a flight of stairs, the GIs called in a MedVac helicopter to take her and her mother to the nearest field hospital. The Iraqis watched it all, and there hasn't been a problem in that neighborhood since. How many such stories, and there are hundreds of them, ever get reported in the fair and balanced press? You know, nada. The civilians who have figured it out faster than anyone are the local teenagers. They watch the GIs and try to talk to them and ask questions about America and Now wear wrap-around sunglasses, GAP T-shirts, Dockers (or even better Levis with the red tags) and Nikes (or Egyptian knock-offs, but with the "swoosh") and love to listen to AFN when the GIs play it on their radios. They participate less and less in the demonstrations and help keep us informed when a wannabe bad-ass shows up in the neighborhood. The younger kids are going back to school again, don't have to listen to some mullah rant about the Koran ten hours a day, and they get a hot meal. They see the same GIs who man the corner checkpoint, helping clear the playground, install new swingsets and create soccer fields. I watched a bunch of kids playing baseball in one playground, under the supervision of a couple of GIs from Oklahoma. They weren't very good but were having fun, probably more than most Little Leaguers The place is still a mess but most of it has been for years. But the Hospitals are open and are in the process of being brought into the 21st Century. The MOs and visiting surgeons from home are teaching their docs new techniques and One American pharmaceutical company (you know, the kind that all the hippies like to scream about as greedy) donated enough medicine to stock 45 hospital pharmacies for a year. Safe water is more available. Electricity has been restored to pre-war levels but saboteurs keep cutting the lines. And The old Ba'ath big shots are upset because they can't get fuel for their private generators. One actually complained to General McKeirnan, who told him it was a rough world. The MPs are screening the 80,000 Iraqi police force and rehabbing the ones that weren't goons, shake-down artists or torturers like they did in East Berlin, Kosovo and Afghanistan. There are dual patrols of Iraqi cops and U.S./ U.K./ Polish MPs now in most of the larger cities. Basra has 3.5 million inhabitants. Mosul is a city of 2 million. Kirkuk has 1 million. How many and hundreds of other small towns have not had riots or shootings? The vast majority. The six U.K.cops were killed in a small Shiite town by the ex-cops they were re-habbing. According to a Royal Marine colonel I talked to, the town now has about twenty permanent vacancies in its police force. [deleted], he's a big potato eater from Belfast named [deleted] and knows how to handle terrorists after twenty years fighting with the IRA. He sends his regards and says he'd love to have you here. Thinks you'd make a great police chief, even though the cops would be more frightened of you than the local hoods (then he laughed) I heard one doofus on MSNBC the other night talk about how "nearly 60" GIs have been killed since 01 May. The truth is that 21 GIs have been killed in combat, mostly from ambush, from 01 May through 30 June, Another 29 have been killed by accidents or other causes (two drowned while swimming in the Tigris). The MSNBC idiot is the same jerk who reported on the air that "dozens of GIs" were badly burned when two RPGs hit a truck belonging to an Engineer Battalion that was parked by a construction site. The truck was hit and burned, three GIs received minor injuries (including the driver who burnt his hand) and three warriors of Allah were promptly sent to enjoy their 72 slave girls in Paradise. Hell of a way to get laid. A mosque in that shithole Fallujah blew up this morning while the local imam, a creep named Fahlil (who was one of the biggest local loudmouths that frequently appeared on CNN) was helping a Syrian Hamas member teach eight teenagers how to make belt bombs. Right away the local Feyhadeen propaganda group started wailing that the Americans hit it with a TOW missile (If they had there wouldn't have been any mosque left!) and the usual suspects took to the streets for CNN and BBC. One fool was dragging around a piece of tin with blood on it, claiming it was part of the missile. The cameras rolled and the idiot started repeating his story, then one of my guys asked him in Arabic where he had left the rag he usually wore around his face that made him look like a girl. He was a local leader of the Feyhadeen. We took the clown in custody and were asked rather indignantly by the twit from BBC if we were trying to shut up "the poor man who had seen his mosque and friends blown up." I told the airy-fairy who [deleted] was and if he knew Arabic (which he obviously didn't) he'd know he was a Palestinian. I suggested we take him down to the local jail and we'd lock him and his cameraman in a cell with the "poor man" and they could interview him until we took him to headquarters. They declined the invitation. Guess what played on the Bullshit Broadcasting System that evening? Did the Americans blow up a mosque? See the poor man who is still in a state of shock over losing his mosque and relatives? Yep. Our friend the Palestinian. Our search and destroy missions are largely at night, free of reporters and generally terrifying to those brave warriors of Allah. The only thing that frightens them more is hearing the word "Gitmo". The word is out that a trip to Guantanimo Bay is not a Caribbean vacation and they usually start squealing like the little mice they are, when an interrogator mentions "Gitmo". No wonder the International Red Cross, the National Council of Churches and the French keep protesting about the place. They know it has proven to be very effective in keeping several hundred real fanatical psychopaths in check and very frankly would rather see them cut loose to go kill some more GIs or innocent Americans, just to make W. look bad. We have about 200 really bad guys in custody now and probably will park them in the desert behind a triple roll of razor wire, backed up by a couple of Bradleys pointed their way, if they decide to riot. Maybe a few will get to Gitmo but most are human garbage that wouldn't take on your five-year old grandson face-to-face. The more we go after them and not vice-versa I think we will see the sniper attacks go down. Yeah, they'll get lucky now and then, but it's showtime, fellows. Our first objective is to get the die-hards off the street (or make them too scared to come out in them) and destroy their caches of weapons (we have collected more than 227,000 AK-47s and that is only the tip of the iceburg; Curly bought nearly a million of them from our pal Vladimir), then cut off their money supply, mostly from Syria and Lebanon. We must continue to get public services up and running, so the local families can get water, sewage and garbage service; electricity, public transportation; oil fields and refineries working and a dinar that won't halve in value every month. It's going to be a long haul (remember it took 10-15 years in Japan and West Germany) but if we don't stick with it, nobody else will, and we'll have some other looney running the place again. This place has greater potential than Saudi Arabia (bunch of goat-herders who struck black gold) or Iran (weird dudes who can't run a rug bazaar much less a major country). [deleted] Enough of that cheery speculation. The good news is that General Schoonmaker is going to appointed Chief Army and [deleted] is coming to Tampa to run the SpOps desk at CentComm. He's tops and will be getting his second star. To me it means that SpOps will be more predominant in future operations and after 18 years as a GB maybe I'll have a shot at a bird-level combat command. [deleted] but I told him after I spent four months changing the diapers of the media types, I wanted to go back to action. Hence, my current gig. As the movie quoted old General Patton, "God help me, I love it." I do. Nothing more satisfying than working with the BEST damn soldiers in the world, flushing real human poop down the drain and giving some folks a chance at trying freedom for a change. They may learn to like it and then my great-great-grandson won't have to worry about some maniac trying to destroy the planet. My tour is over at the end of August, and I plan to return [deleted]. Just like any other family. It will charge my batteries before I end up back in some other interesting and challenging location. I hope to see most of you and ask for some advice, not support. I know I've had that all along. Thanks. Now about that Maker's Mark. God Bless America. P.S. A couple of you asked me about Curly and his two sons, Dumb and Dumber. I still think we got him and one son, but the slugs may have gotten away. If they are alive, I can't believe they are hanging around here. Even Curly isn't that stupid ... then again. He might be in Syria or Lebanon. If he is, he's too moronic to keep quiet, then we'll get him. I promise. UPDATE: Promise made, promise kept.

10 TrackBacks

Tracked: July 21, 2003 3:40 PM
Reporting from Iraq from porphyrogenitus.net
Excerpt: The straight dope that one won't get from our news media.
Tracked: July 21, 2003 10:11 PM
A Letter From Baghdad from Occam's Toothbrush
Excerpt: Winds of Change’s Trent Telenko posts a letter from a Special Forces soldier in Iraq that’s worth reading. (so is...
Tracked: July 21, 2003 10:35 PM
AN ON-SCENE REPORT from Pejmanesque
Excerpt: Trent Telenko has postedan e-mail from a serviceman in Iraq that states that the situation in the country is much better than the press is making it out to be. About the only thing I disagree with in the serviceman's...
Tracked: July 22, 2003 1:26 AM
Letter From the Front... from The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler
Excerpt: Before you throw your remote at the TV, you might want to read this. It's guaranteed Rather (...than truth) Free™...
Tracked: July 22, 2003 2:20 AM
You Won't Hear This on CNN from The Eleven Day Empire
Excerpt: Via Winds of Change, a letter from Iraq: My brief love affair with the press, especially the guys who had
Tracked: July 22, 2003 3:11 AM
More Gitmo from VRWC
Excerpt: In relation to Annika's post here from over the weekend, we have an opinion on Gitmo from the front lines in Iraq. The name of the soldier is not given, but it is believed to be a SpecOps trooper doing...
Tracked: July 22, 2003 3:41 AM
Blog Days of Summer from Oscar Jr. Was Here
Excerpt: If anyone's noticed, I apologize for the inactivity of this blog of late. Real life (in the form of work) has interfered with this little hobby. I expect things to return to normal in a few days, with new updates...
Tracked: July 23, 2003 5:24 AM
Letter from Iraq from Sgt. Stryker's Daily Briefing
Excerpt: Trent Telenko has an email fron the front, excerpt: I'm no longer baby-sitting the pukes from CNN and the canned hams from the networks, but have a combat mission coordinating a bunch of A teams, seeking, finding and rooting out the mostly non-Iraqis t...
Tracked: July 29, 2003 4:34 AM
A Letter From Baghdad from Occam's Toothbrush
Excerpt: Winds of Change’s Trent Telenko posts a letter from a Special Forces soldier in Iraq that’s worth reading. (so is...
Tracked: January 31, 2004 4:30 PM
GI upset with Media from billgraziano.com
Excerpt:

20 Comments

Has anyone pursued confirmation of this letter's legitimacy?

I saw a slightly different version a few days ago on another site (who knows where, I read too many). Notable omissions I remember include no mention of the Democrats or references to Hillary Clinton.

This alternate version may might be a copy of the version I saw before. (no mention of date, but parallels what I remember seeing)

I want to believe this, but it does say just about everything supporters of the war want to hear. The earlier version may have been edited to appeal to a broader political audience or this page's version might have been expanded to reinforce a more conservative, republican-leaning audience. Either way, the differences are troubling and I would hate for this to be a hoax.

I just got forwarded a copy of this letter. It appears to be the same except that my copy is missing the first few paragraphs and begins with the line "I'm no longer..."

Inspiring letter, - and I mean that with all sincerity.

Perhaps it is time to re-embed the press, and report a more multilateral documentation of the ongoing nationbuilding enterprise, or the guerilla insurgency, or whatever you want to call our activities in Iraq. in the arab world gleefully send their teenage sons and daughters to slaughter, and be slaughter, - America sends our soldiers to defend freedom and combat crimes against humanity, and we grieve for every single soldier lost, or wounded.

The US military is unchallengeable. Yet, one of the least mentioned, but truly great triumphs of the lighting strike on Baghdad was the restraint and humanity American, and coalition soldiers exhibited during and after the resounding, swift, and ferocious victory.

The glaring contrast between the professionalism and humanity of American military operations and soldiers; the precise and exceptionally lethal strikes directed at specific threats and intent on minimizing collateral damage, - and the obviously quite different savagery, unholy depravity, perverted inhumanity, and mayhem, practiced by the malignant mass murderers of jihadist islam, was not unappreciated by other muslims and the entire world. Parents of slamic jihadist murderers in the arab world gleefully send their teenage sons and daughters to slaughter, and be slaughter, - America quite contrarilty sends our soldiers to defend freedom and combat crimes against humanity, and we grieve for every single soldier lost, or wounded, and some of us even dare to grieve for our enemies.

The American military is unchallengeable and honorable.

Iraq is a secular nation, and many Iraqi’s do not support, nor do they accept the insane mutation of islam proselytizing the death of every infidel as this soldier indirectly suggests. There is a significant difference between the malignant mutation of islamofascist ba’athist islam, and the other malignant mutation of islamofascist jihadist islam, and the two gangs are essentially adversarial and separate. These natural enemies will put aside their hatreds and blood lust for each other however, and happily join claws in killing Americans, or jews. There is also a significant difference between these perverted bloodthirsty murderers and the rest of islam. We must all remember this important truth. Our enemies are not arabs or Iraqi's, or muslims – but the "islamofascist" ba’athist and jihadist islamic mass murderers, and those that aid and abet them.

I trust, - with soldiers like these, our mission - whatever it may be in Iraq - will be well executed and accomplished with professionalism and humanity.

I wish Bush would be as honest as this soldier and square with America openly, sans embellishments and evangelism - and offer some candid explanation of the objectives, cost estimates, and timeframes, of the nationbuilding enterprise in Iraq.

Our military, and the American people deserve no less.

The American military is unchallengeable, and the best of us. Our leadership on the other hand is a bit shady, suspect, and suffering currently in the area of credibility.

What are the objectives in Iraq?

Nice link Emperor Misha I. I will sleep well tonight.

I will believe this is true before I will believe anything our media says. Their objectivity and truthfulness is in the toilet as far as I am concerned and too bad I can't reach the handle from here.

I have received similar letters emailed from the front, none this recently, but a similar series of trustworthy, on-the-spot first-person accounts can be found at Kim du Toit's blog...

My sources came from children of ex-spooks I know and share with... children who are serving on-board one of the aircraft carriers; children who are on the ground near An-Nasiriyeh; children who're stationed in Baghdad...

Overall, I find nothing to disbelieve in what's reported here. Sooner or later we 'are'-'in place of' (be-lief ; to be, in place of someone else), and I can be-lief this reporter. His comments run in close congruence to what Mark Steyn observed and reported, and what my other in-country/in-theater sources have reported:

"Its tough, but we're making headway on ALL fronts, against the ongoing cowardice and brutish anger of holdouts who (e.g.) cut the waterlines after we've repaired them..."

"Iraqis, teens prominent among them, see with their own eyes that we are compassionate, courageous, committed and caring... and they are attracted to us."

Fine in my book. I'm proud to be an American, in support of these efforts in Iraq and elsewhere.

Thanks for getting the message out. The 'media' have rung their own death knell... may they choke with shame for their duplicitous, slanderous, defamatory and calumniating efforts world-wide!

Keep up the good work!

(Did I mention obfuscating, equivocating, pusillanimous, whining, mean, fear-driven, cowardly and two-faced in regards to the media? I didn't think so...)

Don't know where your friend is from or what his background is. But if he's in the NYC area and has any background with databases tell him to e-mail me. I might know a couple of possibilities. At the end of the day, it never hurts to give a hero a shot.
WCD

Please try to confirm this letter.

There’s a variant of this letter at Free Republic. The opening is a bit garbled (Point 1 is missing & part of its content is incorporated into the immediately preceding paragraph.) There is different editing of curses. But especially toward the end there are differences. For instance, the Winds of Change version has the comments about Hillary, the Free Republic one doesn’t. (Or didn’t, when I looked at what was posted there this afternoon).

I have worked to confirm this letter. I can't come forward with sources, but based on my investigations I am confident that a Special Forces soldier did indeed write this letter.

What I cannot yet confirm... that every part of the letter is genuine and that it hasn't been altered aqt any point. The Hilary bit, can't say. You'd think that would be left in the Freep version for sure. I've removed it for now as being of dubious authenticity.

Trent?

I would have to say that it's legit. I received it from the unofficial SOA Net directly. Next I emailed the retired operator (CrocSix) who sent it in to the unofficial SOA Net. The version I have on my blog includes the write-ups from the men who sent it in.

De Oppresso Liber,
Jennifer Martinez sends

Outstanding. I just wish someone could read this on TV -- even Ollie North would do -- just to counteract all the Vietnam-era carping that's starting to emerge.

I got a reply to a postcard I sent an old high school alum who rejoined the Marine Reserve just in time to get called up late last year. He's working in the shiite south. Other than having to rescue some ORHA reps when a mob thought they were meeting with a Baathist big shot, and the occasional pot shot at night, it's all been hard core civil assistance and infrastructure rebuilding. He misses his family, but he's glad to be there, and wouldn't miss an exerience like this for the world.

Straight_Talk: this letter was sent to and leaked by a member of the press. The media is not your enemy.

I have a question.
I read this line ...

"... maybe I'll have a shot at a bird-level combat command."

Does this mean that he is hoping to be promoted to a Colonel? Or that he is a Colonel and wants a combat command version of it?

Either way, he's rather high up for a land-based military.

I have "adopted" numerous soldiers in Iraq, and the letters I get from them all echo basically the same theme. American media is exploiting the bad news, instead of pumping up the good news. There is a level of resistance in the north. It has subsided since the death of the sons. The soldiers that e-mail/write to me are finding WMD's all over the country now that the Iraqis feel safe, and are now just waiting out the Pentagon until the powers in charge decide to go public with definitive information. It will come out, and war will be justified, if for no other reason than we have liberated a nation. Anyone remember Hitler?

Why was the paragraph about the Democrats, Hillary and Bill Clinton deleted? Either print it in its entirety or leave it alone. This is why people have their doubts. They read it first with all the paragraphs, and then they read with words and paragraphs deleted. I read the "entire" letter on a military website and I believe it. Having served 25 yrs on active duty and in combat I know all about reporters and the press, the only difference between now and then is we were told "no interviews with reporters" if they ask you any questions you say "no comment". That was in the "old Army".

For anybody who wants to read the "entire" letter from Iraq click on www.militarycity.com/letters, to the right click on "Post a Message to Deployed Troops", then click on "Retired Military Network Info" by Richard Anderson and you can read the "entire" letter, nothing deleted.

I'm sure the site administrator of this website had his reasons for deleting that paragraph and I will respect his reason and not post the "deleted paragraph" on this site, but you can log on to the above website and read it for yourself, and then draw your own conclusion about the "entire" letter whether you think its legit or not. But for us who are not over there how do we know what is going on? and therefore how can we decide whether this letter is a hoax or for real?

I would bet this letter is authentic, and if its not, it's based on a real letter. My neighbor is a Marine in Iraq, and his family has given me access to his letters home and they are very very similar to this letter.

We have set up a site with many letters direct from Iraq. These Letters Home tell the truth about the good things or solders are doing today in Iraq! www.therealiraq.org

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