A Response to a Reader


An anonymous reader posted this in the comments to my “Burying the Truth” blog. It is important, so I post it in its entirety:

I initially began reading your website because I was interested in the Blakely v. Washington opinion. I believe now that I regret wasting my time. I deeply resent your flippant attitude regarding both the issue of Iraq and politics. My beloved nephew is a black ops Green Beret for some 19 years now. It has been HIS honor to fight and defend this great nation of ours to ensure that YOU and others like you have the right to make ignorant statements. If you should believe for one moment that the same intelligence provided to the armed forces AND the Hill is provided to you … you have a fantastically inflated opinion of yourself. You initially appeared to be a deep thinker, but upon reading further; I believe that perhaps you are only interested in bashing (AND, only from your perspective) some one or some thing. If you are truly, the wonderful attorney that your website touts you to be, you do yourself a great injustice. AND, you insult all the soldiers and their families who have placed their lives on the line daily for YOU. Please don’t think that I am upset because you are an attorney (albeit one that gives other attorneys a bad name) … my son is an attorney.

Anonymous,

I clearly tapped into some great well of feeling for you.

The insult to our troops and their families that you found in my writing is not one that I intended. I am absolutely not flippant about the issue of Iraq. It is a deadly serious issue.

If I insulted our troops, I am sorry. If I insulted the chickenhawk civilians that sent them to risk death and disfigurement in Iraq, good.

I have extreme respect and honor for the people like your nephew who have risked being killed or crippled in Iraq. I have no respect for the government that sent them there for a lie.

I support our troops wholeheartedly. I cannot support the government that sent them so far from home without proper equipment.

It is our government that is flippant about Iraq:

Sending young men and women to die for a lie is flippant.

“Bring ’em on” is flippant.

“Mission accomplished” is flippant.

Claiming that things are going well in Iraq when our troops there know it is not true is flippant.

Denying them the body armor and vehicle armor that would save their lives and their limbs is flippant.

If the administration took the war and the sacrifices made by our brave men and women in uniform half as seriously as I do, the president would have attended at least one soldier’s funeral by now.

You talk about “the Hill” having intelligence not provided to the American people. I’m sure you’re right. That’s probably why Republican Senators on the Foreign Relations Committee are saying that the administration’s handling of Iraq is “incompetent” (Sen. Lugar) and “beyond pitiful, beyond embarrassing; it’s in the zone of dangerous” (Sen. Hagel).

It is dangerous to pretend for another day that our invasion of Iraq had anything to do with weapons of mass destruction, or with 9-11, or with my right to speak out. The last foreign enemy that was even arguably a real threat to my right to make ignorant statements was the Soviet Union. Now the only people with the power to take away our fundamental rights are the ones we give that power to — the government. You mention Blakely; there’s no difference between the government that is sending people to prison for long stretches and the government that’s sending people to be maimed and killed in Iraq. It’s the same government, and we should challenge its motives in both cases. (A clue: it’s not the children of elected officials that are going to prison or to war.)

Our troops deserve our respect. They deserve our love. They deserve a hero’s welcome when they come home. They deserve the support they need to do their job. The military leaders recommended 450,000 troops to finish the job in Iraq. Rumsfeld and the civilians in the Pentagon thought (flippantly) that they could do it with 150,000. We sent troops to Iraq without body armor and without up-armored Hummvees. We’re keeping them there with stop-loss orders, holding people in the military beyond their contracted term. Civilian and military leadership is incompetent and corrupt.

I know you won’t take my word for it. If you want to know what’s really going on in Iraq, not the censored and spun news we get on TV, go to www.hackworth.com. Read that war hero’s weekly columns. Read the letters from our troops, complaining about all that I mention above, and more.

Or troops know the truth. They deserve to have us tell the truth.


3 responses to “A Response to a Reader”

  1. Well put, Mark. One can simultaneously “support the troops” and criticize their commanders who put them in harm’s way. It’s been said a million times, I know, but the best way to support the troops is to get them out of harm’s way. I guess people disagree on the best/quickest way to do that.

    Michael Badnarik, the Libertarian candidate for president, wants to bring home the troops immediately. I’m as libertarian as they get, but I wonder about this. Thanks to the U.S. invasion, Iraq is BUBAR. Does the U.S. have an obligation to “fix” things, whatever that means, before pulling out? Maybe so, but if the past is any indication of the future, I wouldn’t count on the U.S. government being able to fix anything. The U.S. government is very good at destroying things, killing people, etc., and not much else.

    Also, good point about the same government that locks people up for long periods of time, being responsible for the mess in Iraq.

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