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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-28-2007, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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Letter from Iraq

I will lead off saying I do not know for sure it is factual.

----- ----- Original Message -----
From: Bryant Shurley
Sent: Thursday, January 11, 2007 2:17 AM
Subject: My view of 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 NOTHING 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 Shieks, 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 cty, 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 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 controll 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 contoll 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. 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.


SPC "Doc" Shurley
2/5 Cav, 1st CB
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-28-2007, 06:20 PM
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-28-2007, 06:33 PM
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Yes, the arrogance of some people.
post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-29-2007, 12:56 AM
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There is a lot of truth to this assessment. If you are already balancing on a tight rope, which way do you go, forward or back?
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-29-2007, 01:08 AM
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I have talked to two soldiers on leave who have been and are returning to Iraq and they say it is a crap shoot, that they trust no Iraqis, and that they see no way to win the war with so few soldiers versus so many anti-American nut jobs. They say it is WORSE than the media portrays. They say either obliterate the country and scare the Iraqis to death or flat leave. I will take in person responses versus this deeply one sided memo anyday.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-29-2007, 05:56 AM
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The guy is a real expert. Kurds are "Christians". I bet that will be news to them. "Ill-informed Americans" he says. HA!

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-29-2007, 06:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane
I have talked to two soldiers on leave who have been and are returning to Iraq and they say it is a crap shoot, that they trust no Iraqis, and that they see no way to win the war with so few soldiers versus so many anti-American nut jobs. They say it is WORSE than the media portrays. They say either obliterate the country and scare the Iraqis to death or flat leave. I will take in person responses versus this deeply one sided memo anyday.
That is exactly what I hear from them as well. The officer's corp of the current military is a Republican Cadre. They enforce silence on pain of imprisonment. The enlisted people, when they can talk in private tell the real story: Iraq is ungovernable, and we help to keep it that way by our presence. And it just takes us back to Sherman's theorems of warfare: people only accept occupation peacefully when you are there to protect them from some outside force. If you are there for strictly your own reasons, you must be prepared to commit genocide, but even more importantly, you better have a damn good moral reason for being there in the first place to justify the terrible things you may be forced to do.

But read what this guy is really saying: he wants us to take sides in a civil war, and to contradict ourselves in the process. We claim to have come to Iraq to set up majoritarian democracy. But the majority (60%) in this fictious, madup country is Shiite, a group that has sided with the Iranians for a thousand years. He claims Sunnis don't want an "Iranian takeover", yet the Shiites of Iraq have voted time again for exactly that, and they are the majority. So now we are to slaughter people who have done nothing more than what we claimed to represent: voted for what they perceive as their best interests, in a democratic election, where they voted against democracy itself. They wish to be ruled by Shiite Sharia. That is their right, and has little to do with us.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address

Last edited by FeelTheLove; 01-29-2007 at 06:09 AM.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-29-2007, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Zeitgeist
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The minute he says " and what do the Iraqi people want"? I know it is bullshit. There is no such fucking thing. He says "the moment we loosen our grip, more terrorists attacks will come to America". When were we attacked by Iraq? Typical rightwing agitprop, a sweeping generalization with no evidence presented as truth.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-29-2007, 07:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FeelTheLove
The guy is a real expert. Kurds are "Christians". I bet that will be news to them. "Ill-informed Americans" he says. HA!
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-29-2007, 07:47 AM
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"Today the majority of Kurds are officially Muslim, belonging to the Shafi school of Sunni Islam. Mystical practices and participation in Sufi orders are also widespread among Kurds[82]. There is also a minority of Kurds that are Shia Muslims, primarily living in the Ilam and Kermanshah provinces of Iran, Central Iraq (Fayli Kurds). The Alevis are another religious minority among the Kurds, mainly found in Turkey.

It is been said that Kurds "hold their Islam lightly", meaning that their faith tends not to be as assertive as it can become in other areas[83]. One consequence, for example, has been the greater freedoms enjoyed by Kurdish women have enjoyed more freedoms; they do not cover their faces, thier hijab is less restrictive and they do not wear full-cover garments such as the Iranian chador or Arabic abaya[84] [85]."

Kurdish people - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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