JINSA Editorial Note: Mindful of the time it took American occupation forces to begin to straighten out Germany and Japan (civilians starved to death in the winter of 1946 in Berlin and the Marshall Plan wasn't operative until '48), we have been reluctant to criticize post-war Iraq. Also, we aren't there and are skeptical of the media that is there, so we haven't said much about the day-to-day operations. Receiving this via a JINSA Flag & General Officers Trip participant who vouches for its authenticity, we thought we would show you what real soldiers think. (We excerpted from a longer letter and cleaned up the language a little bit.) It reinforces our basic belief that what we are doing in Iraq is the beginning of a better life for the people there, and that our soldiers are a terrific advertisement for America.
Things have been pretty hectic since the end of hostilities and the start of the real war. Despite what the press like to say:
1) We did expect some armed resistance from the Ba'ath Party and Fedayeen;
2) It isn't any worse than expected;
3) Things are getting better each day; and
4) The morale of the troops is A-1, except for the normal b****ing and griping.
I'm in Baghdad now. It represents a major (and long overdue) shift in tactics. Instead of being sitting ducks now we are going after the worthless pieces of s**t--seeking, finding and rooting out the mostly non-Iraqis that are well-armed, well-paid (in U.S. dollars) and always waiting to wail for the press and shoot some GI in the back in a crowd. The reason the GIs are angry (not demoralized) is that they cannot touch, much less waste, those taunting bags of gas that scream in their faces and riot on cue when they spot a camera man from one of the networks.
A mosque in Fallujah blew up this morning while the imam (one of the local loudmouths that frequently appeared on TV) was helping a Syrian Hamas guy teach eight teenagers how to make belt bombs. Right away the local propaganda group started wailing that the Americans hit it with a TOW missile (If they had there wouldn't have been any mosque left!) and the usual suspects took to the streets for the cameras. One guy was dragging around a piece of tin with blood on it, claiming it was part of the missile.
The cameras rolled and the idiot started repeating his story. One of my guys asked him in Arabic where he had left the rag he usually wore around his face. He was a local leader of the Fedayeen. We took the clown into custody and were asked indignantly by a twit from BBC if we were trying to shut up "the poor man who had seen his mosque and friends blown up." I told him who the guy was and said if he knew Arabic (which he obviously didn't) he'd know he was a Palestinian. I suggested we take him down to the local jail and we'd lock him and his cameraman in a cell with the "poor man" and they could interview him until we took him to headquarters. They declined.
Guess what played on the Bu**sh**t Broadcasting System that evening. "Did the Americans blow up a mosque? See the poor man who is still in a state of shock over losing his mosque and relatives?" Yep; our friend the Palestinian.