Letter to mom....

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Mom,

Be my voice. I want this message heard. It is mine and my platoon’s to the country. A man I know lost his legs the other night. He is in another company in our batallion. I can no longer be silent after watching the sacrifices made by Iraqis and Americans everyday.Send it to a congressman if you have to. Send it to FOX news if you have to. Let this message be heard please…

My fellow Americans, I have a task for those with the courage and fortitude to take it. I have a message that needs not fall on deaf ears. A vision the blind need to see. I am not a political man nor one with great wisdom. I am just a soldier who finds himself helping rebuild a country that he helped liberate a couple years ago.
I have watched on television how the American public questions why their mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters are fighting and dying in a country 9000 miles away from their own soil. Take the word of a soldier, for that is all I am, that our cause is a noble one. The reason we are here is one worth fighting for. A cause that has been the most costly and sought after cause in our small span of existence on our little planet. Bought in blood and paid for by those brave enough to give the ultimate sacrifice to obtain it. A right that is given to every man, woman, and child I believe by God. I am talking of freedom.

Freedom. One word but yet countless words could never capture it’s true meaning or power. “For those who have fought for it, freedom has a taste the protected will never know.” I read that once and it couldn’t be more true. It’s not the average American’s fault that he or she is “blind and deaf” to the taste of freedom. Most American’s are born into their God given right so it is all they ever know. I was once one of them. I would even dare to say that it isn’t surprising that they take for granted what they have had all their life. My experiences in the military however opened my eyes to the truth.

Ironically you will find the biggest outcries of opposition to our cause from those who have had no military experience and haven’t had to fight for freedom. I challenge all of those who are daring enough to question such a noble cause to come here for just a month and see it first hand. I have a feeling that many voices would be silenced.

I watched Cindy Sheehan sit on the President’s lawn and say that America isn’t worth dying for. Later she corrected herself and said Iraq isn’t worth dying for. She badmouthed all that her son had fought and died for. I bet he is rolling over in his grave.

Ladies and gentleman I ask you this. What if you lived in a country that wasn’t free? What if someone told you when you could have heat, electricity, and water? What if you had no sewage systems so human waste flowed into the streets? What if someone would kill you for bad-mouthing your government? What if you weren’t allowed to watch TV, connect to the internet, or have cell phones unless under extreme censorship? What if you couldn’t put shoes on your child’s feet?

You need not to have a great understanding of the world but rather common sense to realize that it is our duty as HUMAN BEINGS to free the oppressed. If you lived that way would you not want someone to help you?

The Iraqi’s pour into the streets to wave at us and when we liberated the cities during the war they gathered in the thousands to cheer, hug and kiss us. It was what the soldier’s in WW2 experienced, yet no one questioned their cause!! Saddam was no better than Hitler! He tortured and killed thousands of innocent people. We are heroes over here, yet American’s badmouth our President for having us here.

Every police station here has a dozen or more memorials for officers that were murdered trying to ensure that their people live free. These are husbands, fathers, and sons killed every day. What if it were your country? What would your choice be? Everything we fight for is worth the blood that may be shed. The media never reports the true HEROISM I witness everyday in the Iraqi’s. Yes there are bad one’s here, but I assure you they are a minuscule percent. Yet they are a number big enough to cause worry in this country’s future.
I have watched brave souls give their all and lose thier lives and limbs for this cause. I will no longer stand silent and let the “deaf and blind” be the only voice shouting. Stonewall Jackson once said, “All that I have, all that I am is at the service of the country.” For these brave souls who gave the ultimate sacrifice, including your son Cindy Sheehan, I will shout till I can no longer. These men and women are heroes. Their spirit lives on in their military and they will never be forgotten. They did not die in vain but rather for a cause that is larger than all of us.

My fellow countrymen and women, we are not overseas for our country alone but also another. We are here to spread democracy and freedom to those who KNOW the true taste of it because they fight for it everyday. You can see the desire in their eyes and I am honored to fight alongside them as an Infantryman in the 101st Airborne.

Freedom is not free, but yet it is everyone’s right to have. Ironic isn’t it? That is why we are here. Though you will always have the skeptics, I know that most of our military will agree with this message. Please, at the request of this soldier spread this message to all you know. We are in Operation Iraqi Freedom and that is our goal. It is a cause that I and thousands of others stand ready to pay the ultimate sacrifice for because, Cindy Sheehan, freedom is worth dying for, no matter what country it is! And after the world is free only then can we hope to have peace.

SGT Walter J. Rausch and 1st Platoon
101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)


D

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[snip] I have one request: end this insane war. We are not wanted here, and it is only for oil, not for freedom, not to stop terrorists, not for anything that Billy O says on Faux news…


Why would one soldier’s plea be worth more than another’s?

In any case, I doubt the authenticity of both quotes. :)

my fellow american,
you are not free as long as you kill others to be free-depriving them of every freedom,including life.your argument is the same as anyone in history in a war.it’s surely time for something higher.you are defending the most affluent lifestyle on the planet,and it’s "right "to not share the world’s resources,and a very complex military-industrial(or now ,corporate)empire.nothing is ever that simple…the iraqis are not “free” now…i believe ms.sheehan is entitled to her opinion,her loss is equal to anyone else’s…you are not enlightening us to any truth,your opinions are well represented…think about it …peace is all there is

(diogenes-you’re looking in the wrong place)

Where did this chain e-mail come from all of a sudden? TG posted it too. Not quite sure what to make of it…He contradicts himself. We re fighting for your freedom to criticism the government… but whatever you do, don’t criticise the government. Huh?

And he is yet another person who doesn’t understand why people are pissed about being in Iraq… It has to do with an American public who felt they were lied to in the motives for going. Had they sold it originally as “we’re going to save these poor folks from Dickweed and his opressive regime”, there would have been no argument after the fact. YOudon;t hear any complaining about Kosovo, WWII etc because we knew the reason for being there up front. People will complain forever about Vietnam and Iraq because motives were not clear and seemed to change as things progressed. Many people feel a bait and switch was played on them and people don’t like that even if the outcome is for the better.

As for Sheehan, to her, I think she doesn’t think Iraq is as valuable as her son’s life was. In the same situation, I don’t know if I would think much differently. Having no children of my own, I would have to imagine your child is more valuable to you than anything else and if that child were to die at war, it had better be for a good reason. See my bait and switch comment above. I betcha ole Cindy would have a different tune if it was sold differently up front. Selling has very little to do with the product and everything to do with expectations. Or as the saying goes, under promise and over deliver.

I agree with his sentiment becuase I like my Levis, cable TV, and my ability to complain (after voting of course… :) ) but this guy is all goofed up on why people are thinking and feeling the things they are.

I’m not quite sure what the point of the letter is.

Presumably; Freedom is worth dying for?

Possibly, although I’m not sure how you enjoy it afterwards.

And presumably too, Freedom is worth killing for? Or is the writer a medic who goes around using his rifle solely as part of a stretcher?

Gandhi talked about things that were worth dying for, but he was curiously reticent about things that are worth killing for.

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And after the world is free only then can we hope to have peace.


Ok, this is unreal. No-one who’s been in the #### of war says things like that, well, only nuts anyway.

It’s about survival sunshine, just wait, you’ll find out, if you’re lucky.

And if not, read some history books.

We (the human race) have been there, done that.
The more freedom we have, the more inclined we are to slaughter out fellow human beings.

But, I suppose if you’re in a war, then you have to justify your being there, otherwise how do you sleep at nights? :(

Notice that while most people now feel betrayed about Iraq, hardly anybody questions the intent or value of the operation in Afghanistan (management and success thereof - is another matter). This is because a lot of people do actually understand that Freedom isn’t Free (and you don’t need to be a soldier to understand that), and will support a war effort where it does actually make sense in the context of ‘defending freedom’. Afghanistan makes sense in that context, because that’s where the 911 bad guys were based.

Iraq doesn’t make sense in that context, for all the reasons that people are slowly catching on to. If you need yet more proof of the actual objective for the Iraq adventure, you only have to look at the ongoing construction of the PERMANENT US military bases in Iraq. The PetroGovt has no intention of leaving Iraq without a permanent US military presence, albeit smaller than the current deployment. This has nothing to do with freedom for the Iraqi.

So while I respect any soldier for doing their awful duty, and I acknowledge that their view of what is happening right there on the spot is much better-informed than mine, I still don’t think that guy is better-placed than me or anybody else to evaluate and judge the political machinations behind the whole adventure. ‘I am just a soldier’ is a cop-out really, it’s an excuse to not think too deeply about these big questions. That soldier has every right and reason to put those issues out of mind, because bullets are flying around his personal space, but he is incorrect about the big picture.

The letter came from HERE.

Bubba, Diogenes is my alter-ego. I often am accused of being a cynic. Diogenes is a cynics cynic from the Roman era.

As for all the responses… interesting, very interesting…

TG

Alter ego… you sneaky monkey. Didn’t I say a while ago that I am not good at recognizing when folks change names? What did you go an do that fer? Though, you are a cynic. Don’t ever change that.

I firmly believe had the war been sold differently, there would be no national debate at this point and everyone could feel good about what has been done in Iraq in regards to the removal of Saddam etc. instead of second guessing motives. That is really what it is all about. It is like tricking your cat into going to the vet. It may be in their interest, but your cat ain’t to happy about it considering they expected a tuna fish feast in the little cat carrier.

Though kymarcus brings up a good talking point. The military trains people to fight. As part of that training/military existance is it not in the military’s interest to keep their morale up and a good part of morale is having a justification for killing folks? I am not a conspiracy theorist, but it is something to consider. The military is out of buisiness if their folks are asking to many questions and second guessing their reason for being. Could the military culture severly skew one’s objectivity? Though, I don’t doubt us comfy dopes state side don’t see a lot that would change our thinking as well.

The further I get in life the more I realize the more something is presented as a polarized issue, the more likely the answer is somewhere in the middle.

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if that child were to die at war, it had better be for a good reason.


#### right.

Ky, I think your comparison of Afghanistan and Iraq is dead on. Actually your whole post puts it very well.

i think you hear less protest against the war in afganistan because you hear less about afganistan.the bombers were saudis who had worked for the us before in africa.do you really think osama is in afganistan and we just can’t find him?it’s about an oil pipeline they’ve been planning for a long time.9/11 was indeed the"pearl harbor-like incident"called for in cheney & wolfowitz wrote about years before it happened.i don’t see how this “protects” our freedom.we can live without the oil,we can live without the occupation.we need to consider being a good neighbor in the world,that’s moderation.i don’t hear one word lamenting the loss of any iraqi or afgani.these are people ,too.their families suffer,too.it’s only zenophobia to only think of us.compared to how people live under occupation,things are amazingly peaceful and easy here.war begats war.the us policy willmake it much harder un the future,when our technological advantage is lessened,and population centers shift.consider peace

I hear you audiobru, but in the protecting our freedom, there are some reasons as to how. The middle east is a powder keg (think WW1 in Europe) and there is a lot of reason to be concerned about it getting out of control with the likes of Iran and Syria there, especially with e nuclear potential. The last thing we or anyone else needs is a corrupt regime holding the rest of the world hostage. I see Afghanistan as the kind of crack house on the block… easy to take down and surely sending a signal to the rest of the region. Iraq however, is not so cut and dry as it has become quagmire-ish and shows that we can be bogged down with guerilla fighters. I don’t think it is a futile stuation… but it certainly can give others bad ideas as to how to be a pain in the US military’s arse.

good point,Bubba,things are complicated…i’d have to support peaceful alternatives in all these areas…most of these conflicts we end up involved in have been ongoing for sometimes centuries,it’s hard to say what would help…war itself is an old answer,and must be used as a last resort.many times it makes no difference…the us is something new in the world,an experiment,an alternative to the old ways.the american dream of freedom must exsist in a “global village”.i believe we are ready and capeable to find new ways to deal with the world(peace)…i really appreciate this forum,one of the most articulate i’ve found…and i appreciate all the contributors deep thoughts and the sharing of them.i learn alot here

I think the Iraq adventure is futile, and counter-productive. Consider this, our previous military foothold in the area is the US Bases in Saudi. Ostensibly located there as a bulwark against Saddam’s expansionist tendencies, but really as a threat to all the region - ‘don’t mess with our oil supply’. While not sparking a civil war in Saudi, the existence of US bases formed the #1 reason for the very establishment of Al Qaida. OBL’s primo beef with the US is the fact that its troops were based on his holy land. A direct result of this military presence is 911, an actual attack on the USA. Remember how many of the 911 attackers were Saudis.

Now, part of the proposed ‘solution’ to Islamic extremism is to basically relocate that permanent US military footprint from Saudi Arabia to Iraq. We are supposed to believe that this will decrease the terrorist threat to the USA. Also note that the main reason why the insurgency goes on in Iraq right now is the simple fact that our troops are there - on their holy land. This is not going to change a thing, we are still a huge thorn in the side of those people, and they are still going to want to attack us because we are there. So, in the context of preserving freedom from ‘terror’ (even just for Americans) it is the very definition of futility.

The thing I find encouraging is that more and more people are coming to understand “what’s really going on.” Even a year ago when I mentioned PNAC to people mostly I would get “huh?” Now folks are beginning to realize that Cheney and Rumsfeld and the rest of the PNAC crew had this planned at least since 1997, and that they have used 9/11 as an excuse to do what they wanted to do for other reasons.

This is good, because it means that we can finally turn to the really important discussion - the one you guys are having right now. For my part, I would (again) merely echo ky’s points.

Well, it depends what part of the Iraq conflict we are talking about when we say futile. I think eventually from a combat standpoint things will get under control and that is what I meant by it isn’t futile. Now, attitudes toward the US, making the powder keg upset more than settled, etc are a whole other issue. This is something we will see panning out over the next few years with the government in Iraq (does it succeed, fall apart…) how elections in other Arab states work out (see the recent developments in Egypt), the Israel Palestine situation etc. The Israel/Palestine issue shoul dbe interesting. If everyone gets to a point where they are more or less happy (settlments gone, west bank starightened out)… will the violence continue and if so, what will be the supposed reason/excuse for it this time?

Probably a total non sequitur but this discussion put me right in mind of the following exchange from Easy Rider.

(It’s my own transcription so it may be inaccurate - but you’ll get the sense of it)
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GEORGE
You know…this used to be a heII of a good country.
l can’t understand what’s gone wrong with it.

BILLY
Everybody got chicken, that’s what.
We can’t even get into a second-rate hotel.
l mean, a second-rate motel, you dig?
They think we’d cut their throat.
They’re scared.

GEORGE
They’re not scared of you.
They’re scared of
what you represent to them.

BILLY
All we represent to them
is somebody who needs a haircut.

GEORGE
Oh, no. What you represent to them…
is freedom.

BILLY
Freedom’s what it’s all about.

GEORGE
Oh yeah, that’s right.
That’s what it’s all about.
But talking about it and being it…
that’s two different things.
lt’s real hard to be free
when you are bought and sold
in the marketplace.
Don’t tell anybody that they’re not
free, because they’ll get busy
killing and maiming
to prove to you that they are.
They’re going to talk to you
and talk to you…
about individual freedom.
But they see a free individual,
it’s going to scare them.

BILLY
Well, it don’t make them
running scared.

GEORGE
lt makes them dangerous.


I always thought that was the essential point of the film wrapped up in one scene.

ky says it well-
TomS-yes,more people seem to be catching on -the evedence is overwhelming…the amount of coincidence the admin wants us to accept around9/11 is incredible…but as my 78yr old father says “ican’t believe any of it because i’d then have to believe all of it.”

Interesting thoughts guys and Ky does make some good points except for this…

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'don’t mess with our oil supply’


That should be “don’t mess with the WORLDS oil supply”. The US gets the bulk of its crude from Canada.

Bubba hit it with the Middle east being a powder keg. The US and it’s allies are in a damned if we do, damned if we don’t situation. If everybody just pulled out of the Middle east the place would literally explode. I don’t want to see that happen not because of money or oil but because those non-fanatics over there should not die because of a bunch of nut-case fundamentalists who at the end of the day are just greedy thugs acting under the guise of “Holy War”.

D
Quote (Diogenes @ Nov. 23 2005,11:00)
bunch of nut-case fundamentalists who at the end of the day are just greedy thugs acting under the guise of "Holy War".

Yup. And I question how fundmentalist the thugs are. I wonder if religion is no tjust the tool they have found works best to get people to do their bidding.