Open Letter from a Soldier in Iraq - Page 2 - U2 Feedback

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Old 09-25-2003, 09:50 PM   #16
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Yep, with the more conservative view in here, what's the point. I definitely learn things and try and keep an open mind. I also agree on both sides of the fence on issues, so it helps to hear all sides.

have a good night everyone.
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Old 09-25-2003, 10:24 PM   #17
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I'm not sure I can hold a candle to my conservative bretheren.

As always, thank you one and all for the kind words and thought provoking discussions.
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Old 09-26-2003, 03:33 AM   #18
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Hello,

I searched around a little bit on Snopes.com and the letter is mentioned there.
http://www.snopes.com/politics/war/rydbom.asp

Here are the findings of Snopes.com:
Quote:
Origins: This item is "true" in the sense that Eric Rydbom is indeed an engineer stationed in Iraq with the Army's 4th Infantry Division, and he sends monthly e-mail dispatches such as the one quoted above to fellow members of his congregation at the First Lutheran Church of Richmond Beach in Shorline, Washington. This piece was one of those messages, forwarded to the church's prayer chain and thence to the larger world via the Internet.

The version being circulated on the Internet closes with the following line, which was not part of the original letter:

WMD is an important issue. We have to find them wherever they may be (in Syria?), but that is not our real motivator. Don't let it be yours either.

Last updated: 23 August 2003
So it indeed seems to be genuine.

C ya!

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Old 09-26-2003, 10:16 AM   #19
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I do appreciate reading thoughts that differ from mine. After all it comes down to each persons beliefs.

From the opposite point of view. This has been confirmed by many other sources.

"We are facing death in Iraq for no reason

A serving US soldier calls for the end of an occupation based on lies

Tim Predmore
Friday September 19, 2003
The Guardian

For the past six months, I have been participating in what I believe to be the great modern lie: Operation Iraqi Freedom.
After the horrific events of September 11 2001, and throughout the battle in Afghanistan, the groundwork was being laid for the invasion of Iraq. "Shock and awe" were the words used to describe the display of power that the world was going to view upon the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. It was to be an up-close, dramatic display of military strength and advanced technology from within the arsenals of the American and British military.

But as a soldier preparing to take part in the invasion of Iraq, the words "shock and awe" rang deep within my psyche. Even as we prepared to depart, it seemed that these two great superpowers were about to break the very rules that they demanded others obey. Without the consent of the United Nations, and ignoring the pleas of their own citizens, the US and Britain invaded Iraq. "Shock and awe"? Yes, the words correctly described the emotional impact I felt as we embarked on an act not of justice, but of hypocrisy.

From the moment the first shot was fired in this so-called war of liberation and freedom, hypocrisy reigned. After the broadcasting of recorded images of captured and dead US soldiers on Arab television, American and British leaders vowed revenge while verbally assaulting the networks for displaying such vivid images. Yet within hours of the deaths of Saddam Hussein's sons, the US government released horrific photographs of the two dead brothers for the entire world to view. Again, a "do as we say and not as we do" scenario.

As soldiers serving in Iraq, we have been told that our purpose is to help the people of Iraq by providing them with the necessary assistance militarily, as well as in humanitarian efforts. Then tell me where the humanity is in the recent account in Stars and Stripes (the newspaper of the US military) of two young children brought to a US military camp by their mother in search of medical care.

The two children had, unknowingly, been playing with explosive ordnance they had found, and as a result they were severely burned. The account tells how, after an hour-long wait, they - two children - were denied care by two US military doctors. A soldier described the incident as one of many "atrocities" on the part of the US military he had witnessed.

Thankfully, I have not personally been a witness to atrocities - unless, of course, you consider, as I do, that this war in Iraq is the ultimate atrocity.

So what is our purpose here? Was this invasion because of weapons of mass destruction, as we have so often heard? If so, where are they? Did we invade to dispose of a leader and his regime because they were closely associated with Osama bin Laden? If so, where is the proof?

Or is it that our incursion is about our own economic advantage? Iraq's oil can be refined at the lowest cost of any in the world. This looks like a modern-day crusade not to free an oppressed people or to rid the world of a demonic dictator relentless in his pursuit of conquest and domination, but a crusade to control another nation's natural resource. Oil - at least to me - seems to be the reason for our presence.

There is only one truth, and it is that Americans are dying. There are an estimated 10 to 14 attacks every day on our servicemen and women in Iraq. As the body count continues to grow, it would appear that there is no immediate end in sight.

I once believed that I was serving for a cause - "to uphold and defend the constitution of the United States". Now I no longer believe that; I have lost my conviction, as well as my determination. I can no longer justify my service on the basis of what I believe to be half-truths and bold lies.

With age comes wisdom, and at 36 years old I am no longer so blindly led as to believe without question. From my arrival last November at Fort Campbell, in Kentucky, talk of deployment was heard, and as that talk turned to actual preparation, my heart sank and my doubts grew. My doubts have never faded; instead, it has been my resolve and my commitment that have.

My time here is almost done, as well as that of many others with whom I have served. We have all faced death in Iraq without reason and without justification. How many more must die? How many more tears must be shed before Americans awake and demand the return of the men and women whose job it is to protect them, rather than their leader's interest?

Tim Predmore is a US soldier on active duty with the 101st Airborne Division, based near Mosul in northern Iraq. A version of this article appeared in the Peoria Journal Star, Illinois"

On another side note Iwas aware the budget sent by the admin. had a reduction in combat pay and family separation allowance. I wasn't aware they were so steep.

Yes, that's right. Adding insult to injury, the Pentagon issued an interim budget report in July recommending a dramatic 47 percent drop in combat pay and family separation allowances for our soldiers.

Combat pay is to be cut from $225 a month to $150 a month, and family separation allowances (which support soldiers' families back home) are to be cut from an already inadequate $250 a month to a truly pathetic $100 a month.

Wow.
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Old 09-26-2003, 01:18 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Scarletwine
Adding insult to injury, the Pentagon issued an interim budget report in July recommending a dramatic 47 percent drop in combat pay and family separation allowances for our soldiers.

Combat pay is to be cut from $225 a month to $150 a month, and family separation allowances (which support soldiers' families back home) are to be cut from an already inadequate $250 a month to a truly pathetic $100 a month.
How patriotic.

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Old 09-26-2003, 04:13 PM   #21
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I'd be interested to find out what our veterans think. I think Dubyah broke another guiness record as the first President to seek a pay cut in a time of war.
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Old 09-26-2003, 05:17 PM   #22
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Scarletwine,

Perhaps if you and others were for heavier increases in defense spending there would be no reduction in combat pay. The Pentagon is working within the Budget it has been given, indeed that should be increased, but the people on the left side of the isle are not for that.

As for what most vets think, all of my friends and their workmates have been 100% behind the effort. Certainly there are some services members that oppose the effort, but that has been true of every war the USA has fought in its history. There was one service member who early in the war brutally attacked a tent with several officers in it killing two of them.

One of my friends spent 6 months in Afghanistan last year, when we according to liberals had left. He then came home, helped prepare a number of logistical requirments for transport of the 1st Marine MEF to Kuwait and in 3 months he, several of my friends and 20,000 other Marines were on the ground in Kuwait. After conducting the largest land offensive in Marine Corp history covering 900 KM, the last of the Marines was just recently withdrawn from Iraq. My friends will be home in a few days. Spanish and Polish soldiers have taken their place in Southern Iraq.

Most members of the Military support politicians that support them the most, in terms of funding. Since 1980, that has overwhelmingly been the Republicans. The Democrats have not been the favored party of the military since 1965.

Although protest and various political opinions are VITAL to the survival of any democracy and my friends understand that and were fighting for that for the Iraqi people, most of them were very disheartened and depressed by all the anti-war demonstrations that occured in the USA and Europe in the lead up to the war in Iraq. They understood what they were doing and how vital it was to US and global security and they were amazed out how many people were willing to let Saddam dupe the world again.
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Old 09-26-2003, 05:39 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2

Perhaps if you and others were for heavier increases in defense spending there would be no reduction in combat pay. The Pentagon is working within the Budget it has been given, indeed that should be increased, but the people on the left side of the isle are not for that.
I don't agree with a president that wants to increase nuclear production and start testing while he's cutting combat pay. It's called money management, I don't think these pay cuts are as simple as the left doesn't want to increase defense spending.

Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
As for what most vets think, all of my friends and their workmates have been 100% behind the effort. Certainly there are some services members that oppose the effort, but that has been true of every war the USA has fought in its history. There was one service member who early in the war brutally attacked a tent with several officers in it killing two of them.
I think the question was what vets thought about the pay cuts, I don't think they are all 100% behind that.

Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
One of my friends spent 6 months in Afghanistan last year, when we according to liberals had left. He then came home, helped prepare a number of logistical requirments for transport of the 1st Marine MEF to Kuwait and in 3 months he, several of my friends and 20,000 other Marines were on the ground in Kuwait. After conducting the largest land offensive in Marine Corp history covering 900 KM, the last of the Marines was just recently withdrawn from Iraq. My friends will be home in a few days. Spanish and Polish soldiers have taken their place in Southern Iraq.
Glad your friend will be home. But I never heard any of us dumb liberals saying we had left Afghanistan. I think the consensus was that we declared victory too soon and maybe shouldn't have pulled out so many with Bin Laden not found. But hey might as well just generalise it as we all thought we left.

Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
Although protest and various political opinions are VITAL to the survival of any democracy and my friends understand that and were fighting for that for the Iraqi people, most of them were very disheartened and depressed by all the anti-war demonstrations that occured in the USA and Europe in the lead up to the war in Iraq. They understood what they were doing and how vital it was to US and global security and they were amazed out how many people were willing to let Saddam dupe the world again.
I have friends serving as we speak, some are for and some are against, but I think most of them (at least from talking to them) understood we were protesting the administrations actions and not them.
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Old 09-26-2003, 06:16 PM   #24
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Bonovoxsuperstar,

"I don't agree with a president that wants to increase nuclear production and start testing while he's cutting combat pay. It's called money management, I don't think these pay cuts are as simple as the left doesn't want to increase defense spending."

Nuclear production, could you please show me in the latest defense budget that amount of money allocated to building new nuclear weapons and for testing? Guess who put in the largest increase in overall military pay for US military personal and successfully passed it? Guess where the majority of the opposition to the pay increase came from?

"But I never heard any of us dumb liberals saying we had left Afghanistan. I think the consensus was that we declared victory too soon and maybe shouldn't have pulled out so many with Bin Laden not found. But hey might as well just generalise it as we all thought we left."

To my frustration and shock, I heard plenty of people here at FYM maintain that the US had left Afghanistan when a good friend of mine had just returned from being there for 6 months. There are more US troops in Afghanistan today, 3 times as many, than when the Taliban fell from power in November/December 2001.
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Old 09-27-2003, 12:39 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2

Nuclear production, could you please show me in the latest defense budget that amount of money allocated to building new nuclear weapons and for testing? Guess who put in the largest increase in overall military pay for US military personal and successfully passed it? Guess where the majority of the opposition to the pay increase came from?

There are more US troops in Afghanistan today, 3 times as many, than when the Taliban fell from power in November/December 2001.
I haven't seen the latest defense budget, I was just going by what came out of W's mouth and what he wanted, as he was cutting combat pay.

Why do we have 3 times the amount of troops in Afghanistan today then when we declared the Taliban fallen, is this normal procedure, or this due to a huge reconstruction procedure? I'm not being sarcastic, I'm just curious. I admit I haven't had the time to keep up.
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Old 09-27-2003, 07:16 PM   #26
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The US military had about 3,000 military advisors and forward observers for US military aircraft conducting bombing during the war with the Taliban on the ground. It was the Northern Alliance that had all the ground combat troops. After the Taliban were defeated, the numbers of US troops on the ground in Afghanistan started to increase as the search for Bin Ladin continued. Right now there are 9,000 US troops on the ground in Afghanistan looking for Bin Ladin. There are 5,000 NATO troops engaged in other rebuilding and security task in Afghanistan.
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Old 09-28-2003, 03:57 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
Scarletwine,

Perhaps if you and others were for heavier increases in defense spending there would be no reduction in combat pay. The Pentagon is working within the Budget it has been given, indeed that should be increased, but the people on the left side of the isle are not for that.

Defense ore attack force ?
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Old 09-28-2003, 03:42 PM   #28
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Sting2,

I'm definitely not for an increase in the defense budget, it's too large a portion of the total as is. I'm for better accounting within the department, the last report said it was unauditable because of bad accounting and lack of control. So I'm sure there are ways to save money that doesn't have to cut pay. Cut the top branches pay a little if necessary not the soldiers.

I also don't think veterans are 100% behind the pay cuts according to their websites.
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Old 09-28-2003, 04:39 PM   #29
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The argument that liberal cuts in defense spending, or the desire for them, are responsible for the cut in combat pay is completely ridiculous. Bush is not a President, nor is the current Congress a legislative body, who bows to political pressure from the left. Whatever the reason for the cuts, liberal wishful thinking was not it. Most liberals I know, regardless of their position on the war itself (and let us not forget that some liberals supported the war), do not support the underpayment of our uniformed men and women.
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Old 09-28-2003, 08:08 PM   #30
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Scarletwine,

I can agree with you that better accounting and auditing is needed for the Pentagon Budget and for that matter several other parts of the Federal Budget. While reforming that is important, at the same time were talking National Security, and its something that in my opinion should not be underfunded or contstrained despite the problems that exist with accounting.

The members of the military that get payed the least for the comparable work they could be doing in the Civilian sector are the Generals. If anything, their pay should be increased, especially when one considers the number of years of service it takes to make General.
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