AN OPEN LETTER TO THE RANK AND FILE TROOPS IN IRAQ
24 Aug 2006 20:25 GMT
IT IS TIME TO LEAVE IRAQ
Your Commander-In-Chief and Chain of Command have stabbed you in the back.
The politicians, Democratic and Republican, have stabbed you in the back and spit in your face.
The anti-war movement has failed you miserably.
Damn, the ball is in your court now. It is time to leave.
This writer usually relies on his own resources to distribute his commentaries. For this important commentary, he urgently asks for the help of anyone whether you agree, agree a little or for that matter violently disagree with the contents to disseminate it. Let the service men and women in Iraq decide what they want about it. If you have friends, relatives or know anyone serving in Iraq e-mail, fax, call or write a letter (if anybody does that anymore) to them about this commentary.
Brother and Sister Soldiers, Sailors and Air Personnel in Iraq, you and I need to talk. However, before we do so I want to come to the table with clean hands. Directly below are the headlines and first paragraph of a blog (dated, August 4, 2006- see my blog site at the end of this letter) written by me and placed on several Internet sites recently:
AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL ANTI-WAR ACTIVISTS- TAKE THE PLEDGE -SUPPORT THE TROOPS-HELL, NO!
THEY MAY BE OUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS BUT THESE ARE NOT OUR TROOPS! END THE OCCUPATION OF IRAQ NOW!! IMMEDIATE WITHDRAWAL OF UNITED STATES/ALLIED TROOPS FROM THE MIDDLE EAST!!!
“In light of the recent seemingly never-ending revelations concerning American military atrocities toward Iraqi civilians it is high time to set the record straight about the appropriate slogans that anti-war militants use to affect the political outcome of the situation in Iraq. For those militant leftists, including this writer, who have opposed the American war aims since before the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 our main slogan expressing our opposition to imperialism has been for the immediate withdrawal of all American and Allied forces from the Middle East. That continues to be the thrust of our political struggle today. But, more, much more, is necessary to accomplish that goal. It is no longer up to us-the ball is in the court of the rank and file service personnel in Iraq………”
As you can see it calls, in unambiguous terms, for all anti-war activists who have not done so already to renounce the Support The Troops slogan which has motivated many activists and declare forthrightly for Immediate Withdrawal Now- ‘cut and run’ if you will. This writer, an old militant leftist who has known army life, has opposed the Iraqi debacle from before its start under that slogan. I made no apologies for any of the above then and I make none now. But, hear me out.
It has become a truism but it bears repeating- Your Commander-In-Chief, President George W. Bush, abetted by your Chain of Command from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on down has lied to you the troops who have had to carry out their policy. Did you find, what now seems like an ancient question, weapons of mass destruction? No. Were you ‘liberators’ of the Iraqi peoples? No. Are you making the world ‘safe for democracy’? Hell, no. The Iraqi government, such as it is, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the United States government. The Iraqi government’s writ extends no further than the Green Zone, if there. Now, as of August 1, 2006, some of your fellow soldiers are being sent from other parts of Iraq to Baghdad, essentially as hostages, in the ongoing sectarian war. As of August22, 2006 President Bush has declared, as he has in the past, that the troops will not be withdrawn from Iraq on his watch. He means every word of that.
And how about the generals? This misadventure started out as a generals’ war. “Shock and Awe”. Remember? But, it sure in hell is not a generals’ war now. Look at the lists of those killed. I do. There are plenty of sergeants, corporals and PFC’s there but mighty, mighty thin at the officer level. Surprise, surprise. A look at the wounded lists would undoubtedly show the same thing.
Are your senior officers on the ground trying to keep your butts out of harm’s way and get you out of that inferno? Hell, no. They are at least smart enough to know not to leave the Green Zone-it is dangerous out there beyond the zone. Hell, you know that. Now, as of August 3, 2006 your senior command staff no longer believes in the mission. Before a Senate Armed Services Committee panel your day to day operational commanders have sounded the retreat. Read between the lines, please- the war is lost. Today, that idea is just in their minds, tomorrow for they will be moving on to the next adventure. But, you aint going nowhere. In short, your civilian and military leaders in the chain of command are stabbing you in the back-and they like it that way. As long as you don’t complain.
But something must be up because Marine Corps General Pace during the week of August 15, 2006 made a point of addressing his Marines in Iraq in person telling them essentially all is well and stay the course. Damn, you know these generals never talk to the rank and file soldiers unless they want something. Hell, yes you have questions about the mission in Iraq but do not expect a straight answer from the brass. They want something and it’s your butt on the line that they want. He, on the other hand, flew out of Iraq the next day. Get it.
The following has also become a truism-Your Congressional leaders, Democratic and Republican, the people who fund the war have stabbed you in the back. They continue to vote the war budget to keep you there- Read this from a recent blog of mine:
“Well the votes are in from various proposals for withdrawing from Iraq put forth by some Democrats. The results speak for themselves. On the parliamentary level anti-war militants are alone. Forget the ‘softball’ non-binding Levin-Reed proposal. Jesus, they all vote for those things as a cheap way to bolster their tarnished images. They can vote for that kind of proposition all day. No, I am talking about the Kerry proposal. That went down 86-13.
In this series the writer has been trying to hammer home the one real question that counts on the parliamentary level. Yes or No on the war budget. We had our answer on that one last week- 98-1 for the war budget. Enough said.”
Translation- these people do not want you out of Iraq anytime soon. While you are getting shot at, blown away and desert-addled they can wait until next year, or the year after or (my favorite) when the situation in Iraq becomes stabilized. Christ, your grandchildren will be fighting over there by then. Enough said, indeed!
And what about the anti-war movement? We, and the writer takes his fair share of political responsibility on this, did not have, and still do not have a political strategy that would stop this war. In the final analysis, the only way to do it is to change the government which started it in the first place. For what it is worth the only time that a war was stopped was when the workers and soldiers took over the government and stopped it in World War I. That event was the revolution in Russia in 1917. That does not help us right this minute, though.
Let me just relate one thing. The name Markin is a pseudonym I write under. Let me tell where it comes from. Markin was a working class sailor in the Baltic Fleet of the Russian Navy in World War I. As war-weariness developed and it became abundantly clear that Russia could not continue in the war and revolution was in the air Markin started organizing sailor and soldier committees to challenge the brass and ultimately the government. To make a long story short Markin, and eventually many other Markins were really the individuals who stepped up the plate and did the right thing for themselves and their buddies. Unfortunately it now is up to you. What are you going to do? Are there any Markins out there in Iraq?
I do not know whether this is still a part of basic training but when I was in boot camp during the Vietnam War the Drill Sergeant used to beat into our closely-shaven heads that the American army does not retreat. Bull! That pearl of wisdom is o.k. for green troops but any half-ass officer knows you damn well better have a retreat plan. Where do you think the word ‘skedaddle’ came from? Call it ‘skedaddle’, ‘cut and run’, declare a victory in Iraq, however, you want to say it- but it is time to leave.
I have said enough. Some talking head from cyberspace cannot do your thinking for you. Do this, though- talk it over with your girlfriends, boyfriends, husbands, wives, parents, children, anyone you care about and who cares about you. Then talk to your buddies in the barracks, on guard duty, at the PX, wherever. You know what the right thing to do is. But above all keep your own counsel. Markin in his time knew what to do. Be a Markin. When the troops in Iraq say Support the Troops-Hell, No! then you know the end of the war is near. Enough said, for now.
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