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One of the more loyal readers of CQ, LoveMyMarine, sends me two e-mails today regarding her husband, who is currently deployed to Iraq. The first e-mail is her response to my post on the death of Sheik al-Sharmi, the "spiritual" leader of Zarqawi's murderous thugs, and the second is a message from her husband. Both messages underscore the frustration our fighting men and women feel at the relentlessly negative coverage of our efforts in Iraq. I'm redacting names and select passages to keep identifications confidential.
Thank you for today's post. I get so frustrated when I hear the continual slamming of the Intel community in the press; it's a popular pasttime, and it's not like they can fight back to defend themselves.
I would have to say, yes, not only is the intel getting better, but so is the focus. As you know, Gen Natonski has taken over at the last change of command. ___ arrived Aug 6th. At the beginning of Sept he told me there was a major shake-up and work reassignment. He sounded very pleased and positive with how things are going. I have not heard from him via e-mail or phone in the last few days, when we last spoke, he told me he was sleeping on a cot in his office because they were working on a major project. So, hopefully, stay tuned for more good news in the future. This is a profession where often you don't see tangible fruits of your labors.
___ is currently ... with 1stMarDiv; if there is any good news I can report I will pass it along.
This comes from her Marine:
...There are some things that cannot be bought with money or engineering expertise or a boatload of good intentions. There are reasons we are here that transcend all the babble that the media love to spew. It is worth it.
... The goal of the conventional mindset is quantification. More & betterer. That will not necessarily win this. We are already on a level so far and above what they can do, we are in our own world. They cannot compete in our realm, so they do what they can. They will expire in droves, like flies at the first bite of frost.
I do not know how to put a happy spin on it, as the topic is deadly serious. I do think ... that less protection and less deadly is patently stupid. This war cannot be looked at in an attritionist way, to do so dehumanizes the conflict and makes it some dry affair. There will be monuments to this conflict that will out of necessity be large.
The work that I tried to do at the Lab I hope has some real meaning here. My intentions were to save lives by giving them the training that they need to succeed in this environment. The conventional mindset will not suffice here.
Thank you for your concern, but spare time is no more. I wish I had spare time. Today, I got up at 0400 and ran 4 miles then went to the gym for a half hour. I worked the rest of the day and am still here at 920 pm. The war grinds onward.
What would I like? A copy or 2 of fine homebuilding and/or fine woodworking would be nice. I do not have time for in depth stuff. My energies and concentration go to my work, which is to ideally stop the human vermin in this country and remove them from the equation.
I'm doing the King's work here. Be well and try not to worry. Remember - I wear armor all the time and all of my friends are armed to the teeth. Things will be OK.
No one's looking at this through rose-colored glasses, but the men on the ground in Iraq see progress and the necessity to ensure it sticks. So far, the only people who wail and gnash their teeth are the reactive media elite, who consider any engagement not an opportunity to eliminate more of the terrorists who would otherwise be engaging us here, but as a defeat even before it begins.
It is incredibly frustrating to hear people like John Kerry declare that we are fighting the wrong war at the wrong place at the wrong time because terrorists are attacking our troops. It's a position whose logical conclusion is that the only way to deal with terrorists is to retreat.
I hate to consider what this world would look like had John Kerry and his ilk been in power in July 1942. After being attacked by Japan and driven out of the eastern Pacific, we took our first action not against the Imperial Navy but on the shores of North Africa, where we fought against the Vichy French for three days. Our first action against the Nazis came at the Kasserine Pass, a military disaster of the first order. In that one engagement, we lost twice as many men in battle deaths as have died in Iraq since the invasion began through poor generalship and a highly amateur corps of soldiers.
Did we cut and run? Did we argue that we should fight Japan alone, and worry about the Nazis later? No, nor did we after Dieppe, nor after Anzio, nor after the Winter Offensive in the Ardennes. But had the collection of Nervous Nellies we have today been in charge then, we would have reached an accomodation with the genocidal Hitler and avoided the "chaos" of postwar Germany -- much the same as Kerry laments the toppling of the genocidal Saddam Hussein and the purported "chaos " of post-war Iraq.
Addendum: Take a moment to read this editorial in today's Tennessean by Tim Chavez, which covers the same territory:
These are the best of days to be a terrorist.
If you can convince a wacko desiring 70 virgins to detonate himself and a car bomb in Iraq, you're guaranteed to see your handiwork leading the nightly news from America.
Then, the Democratic Party candidate wanting to replace the U.S. president you hate for standing up to your madness will personally cite your actions as proof that America is failing in Iraq and more than 1,000 of our heroes died in vain.
It doesn't get any better than that in the terrorist world. Compared to this propaganda weapon that detonates nightly in U.S. households and psyches, RPGs and IEDs are mere slingshots. And it's impossible for our sons and daughters in uniform to fight that kind of advantage thousands of miles away back home.
I disagree -- it's not impossible. I'm going to offer our fighting men and women and their families a way to make their voices heard. If you are on the lines in Iraq or Afghanistan and want to share your perspective, or you have communications from a family member or friend stationed there, please e-mail them to me at frontlines-at-captainsquartersblog.com. I can't promise we'll use every story we get, but we'll try to keep them coming. CQ will not identify the servicepeople or their families unless requested to do so, but we will need identification and a valid return e-mail to verify the authenticity of the stories. Please do not forward the e-mails of third parties as the volume will swamp out those who haven't already been heard.
Let's see if we can't make their voices heard over the wailing of the mainstream media.Sphere It View blog reactions
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The Blogosphere has taken on the MSM on Rathergate and won. Now Captain Ed is proposing a higher calling:No one's looking at this through rose-colored glasses, but the men on the ground in Iraq see progress and the necessity to... [Read More]
Tracked on September 22, 2004 2:17 PM
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