November 01, 2004
Not Just Statistics
Some Final Thoughts from Two Actual E-mails:
On Friday, right before he came home, ____ was notified to be on stand-by for orders to Iraq expected to come down on or about 11/28. He believes he will be leaving for Iraq again between Christmas and the New Year. He just returned from Baghdad late last January. He was told that orders wouldn't come until after the election on Nov.2. I am begging you to please think very, very carefully about casting your vote. As some of you do (like ____ and ____), I too have a very personal investment in national security. I have a deep and abiding respect for the courage, unselfishness and bravery that our children, cousins, brothers and sisters in the Military demonstrate every day in Iraq and Afghanistan. And, in addition to the fighting they must endure, I know there are good things our troops have done individually and collectively. I am asking you to consider this before you vote - ____, ____ and I are willing to make permanent sacrifices on behalf of our country. I wish I was, but I am not, a pacifist. I believe in just wars. My request to you today is to carefully consider....is this the right war to end terrorism...is this the war that will truly contribute to the end of terrorism, therefore worthy of the great sacrifice in lives and injuries. ...what incites the dramatic increase in successful terrorist recruitment of the last few years...please think these and other critical security issues over very carefully. If I and thousands of other mothers must sacrifice the daily safety of each of our young sons and daughters... please let it be for the very best reasons, in a very wisely fought, well-prepared war that is truly winnable. What ever your conviction has been so far please look at it one last time on behalf of each young person fighting in Iraq.
Hi ____ (and everyone else!), Thank you so much for so eloquently putting into words how most of us feel about the "war" and the people who created it. I am the wife of a soldier. I sent him off to war while I stayed at home with our 4 month old son. When ___ left, (our son) wasn't even crawling. When he returned, (our son) was already walking. (My husband) came back a different person. We are still trying to heal from this and it will take a while. The part that is hardest to get over is the fact that these brave young men and women were sent to war, not as a last resort, but because of a few powerful people's agenda. People who are used to getting their way. People who hear only what they want to hear. People who don't like being told "No" or admitting mistakes. ____ and I were sent to the 3rd ID in January of 2002. He was in Iraq with the first wave in January of 2003. From the moment we got there, ____'s only duty was to get his unit ready for an invasion into Iraq. The problem is, they began preparing for this BEFORE the administration started making its "case against Iraq", before Iraq was really in the news... It takes a long time to get a division that size armed, trained and ready to fight - thus this was planned WAY ahead of time - before Hussein suddenly became this great threat. But as we watched the evening news, we would listen in disbelief as the sound bites and rhetoric started to mount, as officials started pulling things out of thin air, and with a straight face, make their "case" against Iraq. And as the focus turned quickly away from Bin Laden and 9/11... But the lies started to mount and we could no longer deny what was in front of us. Regardless of what the admin. was saying, we were going into Iraq one way or another. They weren't going to wait on the weapons inspectors. They weren't going to listen to anyone else. They were saying and doing whatever they needed to to bolster support for this farce. And we lived it every single day. We lived on post and went to sleep each night to the sound of mortar fire and tank rounds exploding for weeks on end as our troops prepared for the invasion. As Bush was saying "last resort", the 3rd ID's first and only agenda was to get to Iraq as fast as possible. My husband is a proud professional who has dedicated his life, his career and his family to this great nation. I thank God there are people who are willing to do this for the rest of us. They are the sole reason we can even engage in this dialogue. But what greater insult to those brave people than to willingly and knowingly place them in harms way for a personal agenda based on the flimsiest of evidence, evidence that has now proven as transparent as it seemed in the first place? I can see why people don't want to acknowledge the truth of the situation this administration has put us in. People have been bullied into believing that by doing so one would be disrespectful to our troops, unpatriotic and of course the dirtiest of all words, Liberal. It would mean questioning authority, it would mean thinking for ourselves, it would mean admitting that mistakes were made and that we are indeed fallible. It may even mean that the deaths and injuries of hundreds and thousands of our troops were unnecessary and as a result of irresponsible and selfish personal motives... A hard thing to say out loud because these brave people deserve MUCH better than what has been given them. But because they are the fine people they are, they go anyway, hoping and desperately needing to believe that it's for the right cause. And for those of us left behind, we have to believe that too, just to get through the day sometimes... But the truth is there - plain for anyone willing to see - as unfortunate as it is. I know staunch supporters of the current admin. will find ways to poke holes in what I have said. I will not debate them. They are scared too and will do what they have to to keep the fabric of their beliefs strong so they don't have to admit the truth... But I was there. I sent someone to war too. And I saw it with my own eyes every single day. We were lied to from the beginning. Now we are in a terrible situation that can only be made better with a new administration who is willing to admit mistakes and work very hard to repair the damage that has been done. Saying "I'm sorry" goes a very long way, but I know that we will NEVER hear that from this admin. because being right is more important than being human. It is easy to send someone you don't know to war. A faceless kid, raised with the myths that we all take as truth, ready to die for his beloved country... We owe our very way of life to kids like these... But a soldier's truest and fiercest loyalty, his willingness to die, is not to his commander, his government or political affiliation. It is to his unit and the person standing directly next to him. The other soldier who wonders why he is there and when he can go home... My husband is proud of his service in Iraq - not because he believed what the admin. told him - but because his presence there helped many young soldiers who were scared out of their minds stay calm, stay focused and come home in one piece. I vote because thousands have died for my right to. And these thousands probably wondered a lot of the same things the soldiers of today are... that is why I am voting for a change. Thanks ____! xo ____ PS - I didn't reply to everyone on your original list because I don't really know them and don't want to get into a political debate. My mind cannot be changed and I do not seek to change anyone else's... I just needed to tell my truth I guess... thanks for the opportunity. However - you can forward this if you want to. I'm very sorry to hear that ____ has to be deployed yet again... But know that he will be ok - and I know this because soldiers take care of each other!