A Letter From A Solider In Iraq
From RWN reader RtWingNtCase,
Just thought I’d drop you a line from Iraq. I post on your site under RtWingNtCase, although, obviously, I haven’t had much of a chance to do so recently. I deployed here just over two months ago and “the busiest I’ve ever been” would be the phrase I’d use to describe it here. There’s barely enough time to come up for air.
I don’t really know what I was expecting over here because the news never gives the full story, and it had been nearly five years since I’d last been here (OIF-1). However, things here are better than I thought they’d be.
Most of the Iraqis I meet are inordinately grateful for what’s happened. I’ve met a few of the families that Saddam tore apart, and it’s always heartbreaking. Since I have a little girl of my own, talking to the families that saw kids get killed by either that madman or blown up by AQI/ISI is the worst. A close second is running into folks who were part of the weekend long rape parties that Uday used to have. Most of those girls were 12-13 when that happened; they are now seen as outcasts by even their own family(bizarre culture over here) and don’t look like the happy 20-22 year old women we have in the US. Just reaffirms we did the right thing, regardless of the aftermath.
Most of the folks here have expressed optimism with what’s happening. The SoIZ(Sons of Iraq) have done a great job kicking the terrorists out of their neighborhoods. Most aren’t the most savory of characters, but if you want an idealistic solution, watch a movie.
I can walk around mostly without worrying about the folks here. We keep constant security, but most of the people here just want to get on with their lives and be let alone. A very tiny minority are the problem, and we have that in America. Even in Mosul, which is where most of the fighting is left, it’s like walking around a bad part of Chicago at night. Enemy attacks have been reduced to harrassing stuff, like shooting a few rounds and running, or placing rockets on a timer and hoping they hit us. IEDs, which is what I was REALLY worried about coming over here, are down to nearly nothing. We clear more before detination now than go off, and it’s down a great deal since the peak. We’re targeting their networks and they keep having to put up worse and worse guys to face us. Think of an NFL team that gets decimated by injuries – they are not as good with the guys from the practice squad.
Bottom line is that I don’t even think Barack Obama can screw this up now, although I’m sure he’ll take credit for the victory that we’ve won. The Iraqis are about to go into their Provincial Elections, which they are in the lead for. We are providing oversight like ISR and QRF, but they lead the security convoys carrying ballots and will be guarding the polling sites. They’ve got a TON of candidates up here – it’s almost like a democracy or something!
I get to check the site a little bit, but not as often as I used to due to my current billet. I hope you help keep us from going totally socialist back there and keep the heat on the Republicrats who think the voters exist to keep them employed instead of sticking to conservative principles.