Saturday, October 07, 2006

A Marine's Letter from Iraq

I've said before that the American service personnel I've met and known struck me as a special class of people: dedicated, smart, personable, and decent. Not at all like what you see in Hollywood. There's a culture of plain-speaking and down-to-earth humor that you can't help but appreciate.

There's a lot of that in a letter from a Marine in Iraq that apparently has been getting read all around Washington, which is a good thing. If I were in some relevant capacity in government, I would make sure to tune in to what the boots on the ground were saying. Here's the letter. Here's some highlights:

* Rounding up midgets... just read it. It's surreal.
* The farmer in Iraq who, when asked by a Marine if he had seen foreign fighters said "Yes, you."
* It's a lot worse in Ramadi, which you almost never hear about, than Bagdhad.
* Iraqi police are showing up big time in Al-Anbar province. Yeah, I was surprised about that, because the impression you get in the media is that they are corrupt and/or intimidated.
* The insurgent who pinched a cool $7 million from a bank right under the noses of Marines, waving at them as he left.
* Units that just returned from Iraq have the highest enlistment rates. It's a measure of the honor and comraderie of these men and women that one of the most difficult things that they bear is having thier fellow soldiers in theater while they are home.
* A small-town mayor, in the midst of an abduction attempt, took a machine gun away from his would-be captors and shot five of them dead.
* Marines captured all the kidnappers of Jill Carroll, a journalist who spent 82 days in captivity in Iraq.

The whole story is never on the news, and it especially isn't in official press releases. I hope that all leaders, no matter where they are on the ladder, listen closely to what their people on the ground are saying.


At 8:42 PM, Blogger shelly said...

I hope the administration reads this, too. I also hope everyone who supports this administration reads this.

At 10:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds an awful lot like propaganda to me. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if this story was a fabrication "leaked" by the Bush administration. After all, isn't this the same administration that has admitted to placing favorable stories in the Iraqi news media? Why would it be any different here?

At 11:14 AM, Blogger Zeke said...

Reporters from Time Magazine confirmed the soldier's identity. Besides, this letter is hardly full of administration talking points.


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