I have a number of conservative friends. When we get together socially, we do not tend to talk politics for obvious reasons, although we know where each other stands on this issue.  However we do tend to email pieces back and forth that tend to support our various views. I suppose we do this just to let each other know that we have not changed politically.

Anyway, today’s latest conservative piece is a supposed letter from a medic soldier in Iraq supporting the surge. This letter has the usual conservative good, evil, democracy, freedom, only us, fight them there instead of here stuff in it, but it also gives a view of what may be happening over there, at least in this guys mind.  

I cannot vouch for the authenticity of this letter, but I do think it represents what many Americans still feel.  Even if a majority of Americans now do not support this Iraq effort, I believe it would not take too much more talk like that which is in this letter to bring that majority down.  I wonder what is the best way to fight such potential changes in beliefs, and what aspects of this conservative mantra are most damaging to potentially ending the war (see poll)? Here is the letter:

>> All,
>> Below is an email from a Medic in Iraq explaining the situation and why
>> the surge in force is necessary from his perspective.  This was sent out
>> by our 3 Star Admiral John Cotton as an informative piece.  I assume the
>> source is valid along with his perspective.
>> From the net…
>> From a medic in Iraq.
>> Following the article I sent about Bush’s national address and
>> troop
>> increase, I thought it was a good idea to let you all know what
>> the
>> perspective is over here. I’m tired of hearing the media’s
>> skewed
>> version, the politicians squabbling over what they read in a
>> report, and
>> the average ill-informed American ranting about things he knows
>> about.
>> I’ve been over here a couple of months now, and I’ve learned
>> more about
>> this country than a year’s worth of watching CNN. I’ve sat in
>> mission
>> briefs with Colonels, talked with village elders, had tea with
>> Sheiks,
>> played with the kids. And I agree with the President. We need
>> more
>> troops and we need to take greater action.
>> There are 3 major factions here. The Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds.
>> The
>> Shiites are in the majority, but Saddam was a Sunni, so he kept
>> the
>> Shiites in check. Everyone hates the Kurds, who are Christian
>> and in the
>> vast minority. The Kurds received the brunt of Saddam’s
>> murderous
>> tyranny. Now that Saddam is gone, the Shiites have taken control
>> of
>> Baghdad. The largely peaceful Sunnis are now the victims of
>> radical
>> Shiite terrorism. So the young Sunni men, who can no longer go
>> to work
>> and support their families, do what all young men would do. They
>> join
>> the Sunni militia and battle the Shiites. And thus the country
>> sits on
>> the brink of civil war.
>> But this war is between them. They largely do not concern
>> themselves
>> with the U.S. troops. The insurgents who battle the Coalition
>> Forces are
>> from outside the country. And the biggest problem down here
>> isn’t the
>> insurgents. Its the politicians. The local politicians. Even
>> though the
>> country is controlled by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki,
>> downtown
>> Baghdad is controlled by radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.
>> The
>> Shiites follow al-Sadr and thus the Prime Minister does what
>> al-Sadr
>> says. Think of it as if a warlord controlled New York and
>> blackmailed
>> the President into diplomatic immunity.
>> When 1st Cav (mainly 2/5 Cav) came here in 2004, they took
>> downtown
>> Baghdad (known as Sadr City) by force. It cost many lives, but
>> after a
>> year, we held an iron grip on the largest insurgent breeding
>> ground in
>> Iraq. The insurgents were afraid of the Horse People, and
>> rightfully so.
>> But when 1st Cav left, al-Sadr influenced the Prime Minister to
>> kick out
>> the Coalition forces from that area of Baghdad. He said the
>> Iraqi
>> military forces could hold the city. But all that happened was
>> al-Sadr
>> regained control of his city, and it is now a heavily guarded
>> fortress.
>> A place where insurgents and terrorists can train and stockpile
>> arms.
>> And we cannot go back in because the Prime Minister won’t let
>> us. Our
>> hands are tied.
>> So where does al-Sadr get his backing? From Iran and Syria. Iran
>> supplies him with money and Syria supplies the terrorists. The
>> insurgents that battle the Coalition Forces are from Syria,
>> Somalia and
>> dozens of other places outside of Iraq. Iraq is literally a
>> terrorist
>> breeding ground. They have terrorist and sniper schools here.
>> Why not?
>> They train by teaching them to attack the military forces here.
>> And they
>> have an endless supply of these training tools. They have
>> factories
>> setup in Sadr City to build bombs. Both Iran and Syria have
>> openly
>> proclaimed their number one goal in life is to destroy the great
>> Western
>> Devil and the little Western Devil (America and Britain). Iran
>> wants to
>> control Iraq to further this purpose. Al-Sadr will get to “run”
>> the country and live like a king, but in reality Iran will pull
>> the
>> puppet strings. Iran will have access to thousands of radical
>> Shiites
>> who will do whatever al-Sadr tells them to. And Iraq will be
>> used as a
>> breeding ground for terrorism. Terrorism that will be targeted
>> directly
>> at America and Britain. The Iraq Study Group advised we should
>> let Iran
>> and Syria help with rebuilding? Bravo to President Bush for
>> striking
>> that idea down and vowing to keep those two countries out of
>> Iraq.
>> So how do the Iraqi people feel about everything? Of course they
>> don’t
>> want the Americans here. But they would far rather have us here
>> than the
>> Iranians. My platoon visited an average Sunni village on a
>> patrol a few
>> days ago. Their only source of income was to farm, as they could
>> not go
>> to the city to work for fear of violence. Many of the young men
>> had
>> already run off to join the militia for no other reason than to
>> feed
>> their families. They had no school or hospital near them and the
>> community was dying. The village elder’s granddaughter was very
>> sick and
>> I was able to treat her. Afterwards he invited me and my Platoon
>> Leader
>> to sit in his house and have tea with him, and we talked about
>> the
>> situation.
>> The people want peace. The Shiites kill the Sunnis because
>> al-Sadr tells
>> them to do so. The Sunnis fight back because they have no
>> choice.
>> They are glad Saddam is dead (Sunni or not), but do not want to
>> replace
>> him with another dictator in a politician’s clothes (which is
>> what
>> al-Sadr will become). And they especially don’t want Iran in
>> charge.
>> Many innocent Iraqis will die if this happens. These are the
>> words that
>> came out of the elder’s mouth:
>> “We do not want America here, and America does not want to be
>> here. But
>> you cannot leave because the militias control the country.
>> America must
>> use the might of its giant army and sweep through, root out and
>> destroy
>> the militias. Then Iraq can be free and you can leave.”
>> What appears to have happened within our diplomatic community,
>> is that
>> Prime Minister finally realizes that his days are numbered. If
>> al-Sadr
>> remains, he will be kicked to the curb. So hopefully he is about
>> to
>> allow us to reenter Sadr City, root out and destroy the enemy. A
>> dramatic troop increase will allow us to do this. And the Horse
>> People
>> are back and ready to finish what they started over 2 years ago.
>> If leave now, it will be a failure for democracy. Iran will con
>> toll
>> Iraq and the end result will be more terrorist attacks on
>> America. The
>> American people don’t want soldiers dying over here, but its better than American civilians dying over there.
>> C. Do NOT forget 9/11. They
>> will do it
>> again. The moment we loosen our grip on the noose, they will do
>> it
>> again. And the only way to root out the evil here is to stop beating around the bush, increase troops and destroy the insurgents once and for all. The Iraqi government cannot do this on their own. The Iraqi
>> security forces are inadequate for this task. We are the only
>> ones who
>> can stop al-Sadr.
>> Feel free to share this with whomever wants a real soldier’s
>> opinion
>> about the war.

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