April 6, 2004

They are really aiming at you back in the United States...

Take a look at this letter from a soldier, published in the Houston Chronicle:

...This is the work of the U.S. military. Our progress is amazing. Many people who knew only repression and terror now have hope in their heart and prosperity in their grasp. Every day the Iraqi people stream into the streets to cheer and wave at us as we drive by. When I'm on a foot patrol, walking among a crowd, countless people thank us — repeatedly...
Remember the scorn, the sneering contempt expressed about Cheney's saying that we would be greeted by cheering crowds? But if you read what the soldiers write, they show it to be the simple truth, again and again.
...I realize the shocking image of a dead soldier or a burning car is more salable than boring, detailed accounts of our rebuilding efforts. This is why you hear bad news and may be receiving an incorrect picture.

Baghdad has more than 5 million inhabitants. If these people were in an uprising against the United States, which you might think is happening, we would be overwhelmed in hours. There are weapons everywhere, and though we are working hard to gather them all, we simply can't.

Our Army is carrying out 1,700 convoys and patrols each day. Only a tiny percentage actually encounter hostile action. My unit covers some of the worst and most intense areas, and I have seen some of the most tragic attacks and hostility, such as the bombing of the United Nations headquarters.

I'm not out of touch with the negative side of things. In fact, I think my unit has it harder than many other Army units in this whole operation. That said, despite some attacks, the overall picture is one of extreme success and much thanks...

It wouldn't take much effort for our newsmedia to convey that success, even IF the nature of the news business demands they focus on bad news. (I doubt that, but I'm an oddball, and anyway get my news on the Internet.) But good news is good for Bush, so it's doled out very sparingly.
...The various terrorist enemies we are facing in Iraq are really aiming at you back in the United States. This is a test of will for our country. We soldiers of yours are doing great and scoring victories in confronting the evil terrorists.

The reality is one of an ever-increasing defeat of the enemies we face. Our enemies are therefore more desperate. They are striking out more viciously and indiscriminately. I realize this is causing Americans stress, and I assure you it causes us stress, too.

When I was a civilian, I spent time as a volunteer with the Israeli army. I assure you we are not facing the hostility Israelis face. Here in Iraq, we Americans are welcomed by most Iraqis...

"Keep moving folks. There's nothing going on here. It's just a sideshow, the terrorists are all in Afghanistan. They don't care about Iraq, no siree..."

Posted by John Weidner at April 6, 2004 7:51 AM
Weblog by John Weidner