Many of us here get caught up in the same issues on the Internet. We visit various Internet boards that discuss the Military and politics. We read responses from the far right and the far left. We get caught up in debates from every direction.
Recently I became entangled in an on going debate. Is the Troops Surge really working?
The man I have been going rounds with shared this bit of ‘trivia’ with me:
Michael Ware, from inside Baghdad, on CNN skewers Senator McCain, the media’s favorite republican war hero fake.
McCain caught in a big lie, and on national television. No way this guy will ever get near any Whitehouse, unless he is invited by Bush or the next Democrat.
Arizona needs to send this guy away.
Of course I had to respond!
The following paragraphs are snippets from messages sent from a few of our Awesome Warriors of the 4-9!
Last month saw us taking over the Haifa Street region of Baghdad. Our arrival into this area was not exactly met with warmth and friendship. After many long hours, seemingly endless patrols, and those moments when seconds seemed to stretch into eternity, we quieted one of the most contested regions in all of Iraq. When we first assumed control of this sector, there was no one to be seen during daylight and at night everyone that we met had weapons and rather poor attitudes. At present, there are children playing soccer in the streets where only bullets traveled three weeks ago. There are stores open and doing business where before the doors and windows were covered with sheet metal left to protect the dream of a future. There are homes that, once again, have families living in them who are beginning to resume a daily life. The suspicious, frightened looks from darkened windows have been replaced with smiles and friendly waves. I have never in my life been more proud than I am of what these Soldiers, these men, have done here. Your sons, husbands and fathers have walked where angels fear to tread and have left it safe for children to play.
You have a lot to be proud about. Your husbands, fathers and sons have done an amazing job in a small amount of time in one of Baghdad’s most dangerous areas. If you watched the news back in January, you would have heard about the “Battle for Haifa St.” Haifa St. represented everything wrong with Iraq. Sectarian violence, major battles with coalition forces and terrible poverty and desperation. When Crazyhorse first took this mission there was no one in the streets, people were scared to leave their homes, murders averages over 100 a month and we were fighting insurgents on a daily basis. Today, there are literally hundreds of people out on the streets. People feel safe walking outside, schools and shops are opening up, the murder rate is below 10 a month and still dropping and attacks on coalition forces have been reduced to zero. That’s all due to your brave and extremely competent soldiers. This small Troop was able to do what whole battalions have failed to do in the past. They fought the insurgents and gained the trust and respect of the people. The poor, disadvantaged people of Haifa St. saw your husbands, fathers and sons as their protectors. We left Haifa St. the way it should be: at peace and well on its way to recovery.
Before we where on the mission set of the Haifa Street sector which was known as the worst place in Baghdad. Our Troop took this mission and ran it to the ground which led to the people coming out of the houses and opening there stores back up. The people were so scared to do that but since we took the mission we accomplished what others have tried. 1LT Cantu
As you all know we have had a very busy mission set this past month and a half, we started it all with a rescue Mission on Haifa Street, which was featured on CBS News. We then went into the Al Dora district of Baghdad to assist in the security of this sector so that the US Army Engineers could assist the residents in cleaning up all the trash in their neighborhood. Our follow on mission was a joint effort with 1-23 Infantry and the Iraqi Army to secure the infamous Haifa Street. Your soldiers were very detrimental in the success of all these missions. SSG Hoff
(I have dozens more like this!)
[ sarcasm on] I guess these men serving have no idea either. [sarcasm off]
To which he responded … and yes, this teed me off in the worst way:
Of course the soldiers always think they are doing the right thing, that’s how they stay sane in such a hell hole. My beef is not with them but with creeps like McCain.
What the heck? Did he just tell me that our Men and Women are clueless? They always think they are doing the right thing? So I zipped out an email to Michael Yon.
I am getting conflicting reports from Iraq. My son and his unit are telling me one thing and the media is telling me another.
I have friends who are telling me the Soldiers are not allowed to tell me the truth. Or even worse… “Of course the soldiers always think they are doing the right thing, that’s how they stay sane in such a hell hole.”
Does it appear as if the streets are getting ANY safer?
Thanks for your time,
And this morning I received a response from Michael Yon. The report from General Barry McCaffrey (Ret) is lengthy, but an excellent read. Pay special attention to section 4 :
General Petraeus and his people seem to be making progress here. I can actually see hope in the areas I go. Please click for the latest RUBS dispatch.
General Barry McCaffrey (Ret) has just released a report of his Iraq trip and it is also published on the website. All his trip reports are excellent resources for helping one understand the true situation here in Iraq. The man is blunt, and knows his business.
I greatly appreciate the reader support that comes in. Without it, my own mission of observing and reporting on the events unfolding in Iraq would fail. I cannot adequately express my gratitude, other than by sticking it out here.
Michael is now at FOB Falcon with the 1-4 Cav.
Today……. I am dedicating my fast to Michael Yon. One of the very few reporters I trust to give the War on Terror a fair voice. Be careful Michael. We wait for more truth from the Middle East.
*** A side note: I do believe my son and the men fighting at his side, much the same as I listen to Chris, MG, CT, and the many voices of our men and women in the battle!
The MSM is not our friend in the Middle East.