Sunday, October 08, 2006

Something For Hope

Reading the blog "A Soldier's Perspective" and other blogs linked to it, reminded me of some things I sometimes forget.

Every day when I pray to My Lord, I thank Him for the unselfish sacrifice of our soldiers, airmen, marines and sailors who are fighting to protect our country and spread freedom everywhere. It gives me hope and solice for the sometimes overwhelming job of dealing with the scum of the earth on a daily basis. It's a small part we dispatchers play in the overall plan to make the sometimes unappreciative citizens safe and secure at home. I often wonder how these brave men and women in Iraq, Afghanistan or around the world deal with the negative media, negative citizenry and negative politicians and still manage to walk into harms way every day for God and country. They're made of something special. Something we can only wonder at here at home. Never let anyone tell you anything degrading or negative about our guardians of democracy. They're there because that's where they choose to be because they have a higher purpose in life and feel the responsibility of citizenship, even if most of us do not. If they start some crap send them to me and I'll personally kick their asses.

Below please take the time to read a letter the new president of Iraq sends the American people. Then you'll know why we fight.

CJ says:

All we hear over and over again from politicians seeking political gain is how America, specifically President Bush and Sec. of State Rumsfeld, screwed up. So, I urge you to read this letter titled “Dear Americans” directly from Jalal Talabani, the Iraqi President and spread this to everyone that will listen. The media won’t tell us this, so it’s up to us to spread the word (all emphasis is my own).

Dear Americans:

As I am visiting the United States for the second time representing free and democratic Iraq, I felt it my duty to give you an update on what has been achieved in Iraq over the past year and on the challenges that lie ahead.

The first thing I would like to convey is the gratitude of all Iraqis, who are fighting for a democratic government and a civil society, to the Americans. Without your commitment, our struggle against despotism could not have made the progress that we have achieved. No _expression of thanks could be enough for those who lost loved ones in Iraq. We feel your pain, we honor your sacrifice and we will never forget you.

To those of you who have family and friends in Iraq today, we say: Your sons and daughters are helping us through a historic transition. We will always remember the enormous sacrifice that America is making for Iraq.

Thanks to the United States, we are transforming Iraq from a country that was ruled by fear, repression and dictatorship into a country that is ruled by democracy and has the values of equality, tolerance, human rights and the rule of law at its heart.

April 9, 2003, the day of liberation, heralded a new era in the history of Iraq and the region. That day triggered a sequence of events that laid the foundation of a modern Iraq that is at peace with itself and the world.

All segments of Iraqi society have benefited from liberation.

Under Saddam Hussein, the majority of the Sunni Arabs of Iraq were marginalized, Saddam and his gang were ruling in the name of this community. But in reality, the Sunni Arabs never had the chance to choose their representatives democratically and have a say about their future. Today, they have 58 deputies in Parliament, a vice president, a deputy prime minister and a speaker of Parliament; all were elected by the people of Iraq.

The Shia majority of Iraq was for decades oppressed and discriminated against. They did not even have the right to practice their religious ceremonies. Now, they are equal citizens and hold key posts in government and parliament through their democratically elected representatives. Kurds were second-class citizens. They suffered from genocide and chemical bombardment; now they are equal members of Iraqi society and active participants in the running of their country, Iraq.

The same applies to the Turkomens, Assyrians and other groups of Iraqi society.

Iraq finally has an elected and representative government, a huge contrast to the authority of a vicious tyrant. In other words, Iraq is no longer the property of a gang that ruled by fear and repression. Every Iraqi today feels they have a stake in the new Iraq.

With the regime of Saddam gone, the countries of the Middle East no longer worry about the threat of new adventures by Saddam and his army across Iraq’s international borders.

Every time that I visit the United States, I am convinced anew of the virtues and health of the American idea of government, and of the generosity of its people.

I was here around the same time last year. Here is what has happened between then and now, although I must say that I do not think that our situation can be understood simply by following the latest news. A much broader view of Iraq must be taken.

For this, I will start with the economy.

The economic conditions for most Iraqis have improved. The economy was liberated from the control of the state and we are now taking the first steps in creating a vibrant private sector.

Thanks to our independent businesspeople, our market places are bustling despite the unsettled security situation.

A new investment law is before our Parliament. It will further invigorate our private sector, streamline the procedures for starting a new business, and open the country to greater foreign participation and investment.

Salaries of government employees were raised 100 times or more. A policeman under Saddam received $2 to $3 dollars a month. Now a policeman is paid at least $200 a month .

The financial and economic boom is mostly noticed in the safer parts of Iraq. The city of Sulaymaniyah in Iraqi Kurdistan region now has more than 2,000 millionaires. Before liberation, the city had 12.

Politically, we had an eventful year. For the first time in Iraq’s history, we ratified a constitution that enshrines many of the democratic values of human rights, equality, rule of law and good government.

After three historic ballots that remain landmarks in the history of the Middle East, we now have a government that arises out of the people , instead of over the people, to use the words of a great American patriot, Thomas Paine.

Unlike the previous election, last December more people voted - 10.5 million - and a more representative parliament and a national unity government are now in place.

Taking part in the national election and referendum on the constitution were the first steps in our national reconciliation efforts; we opted for the ballots and not the bullets to resolve our differences.

We consolidated this by the National Reconciliation Plan of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The plan aims at bringing into the political process all elements of the Iraqi political spectrum that condemn terror and violence.

In the period between the election and the formation of the national unity government, the political blocs - which formed the government later - agreed on the political program for the government and agreed on forming the Political Council for National Security.

An important event that marked the new Iraq over the past year is the trial of Saddam Hussein and his aides for the crimes that were committed against the people of Iraq.

We offered him the justice that he denied Iraqis for decades. The trials, the testimonies of the witnesses and those of the defendants are stark reminders and indications of what Iraq was like in the past and what the new Iraq is about.

Through the constitution and other legal means, we are redefining the foundations that Iraq was built on and are rebuilding what the country’s bloody past has destroyed. We have no choice but to succeed.

Our enemy attempts to destroy and disrupt any part of the political process, not because they disagree with the tenets of the Iraqi constitution, but because they do not want a constitution.

This contingent of international terrorists and the supporters and beneficiaries of the old regime - the devotees of Saddam Hussein - constitute the driving force of our enemy.

They attempt to turn Iraqis against each other, and take Iraq back to its brutal and bloody past.

Their tactics of suicide bombings and beheadings make it obvious that they mean to govern by inciting terror and fear, just as Saddam did. Although portions of Iraq are already safe and secure, certain parts are still coming under attack from the vicious, bloodthirsty enemy.

With the support of the citizens of Baghdad, the government started its Baghdad Security Plan. This plan is already showing signs of success, with a marked drop in the reported incidents of violence over the last month.

The battle in Iraq today is not between the various communities. Their elected representatives have agreed on a government of national unity and on national reconciliation. Nor is it a battle between civilizations, as some have seen it.

It is a war “about civilization” as Prime Minister Tony Blair has phrased it so well - the conflict is between those who believe in having a civilization and those who don’t believe in having one at all .

As you no doubt already understand, we are fighting a terribly difficult war in Iraq. We are doing everything within our power to protect our people from this clear form of fascism that seduces them into civil war.

The calculated crime of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his henchmen in bombing the Shrine of Samarra, one of Iraq’s religious and cultural treasures, is a prime example of their agenda. They wanted to slide the country into civil war.

Thanks to the presence of the U.S. forces in Iraq and the wisdom of my colleagues in the leadership of Iraq, that plan was thwarted and the short spate of violence was contained.

I want to be frank here. In order to rid Iraq of the constant threat of violence, we still need your help. As long as we are determent[sic] to outlast and outsmart our enemy, we shall reach our common goals.

Iraq is slowly gaining the ability to fight this war with its own soldiers, evidenced recently by the relinquishing of complete control of coalition forces to the Iraqi government. The coalition now employs more soldiers from Iraq than any other nation.

Slowly but surely, Iraq will be able to protect itself on its own.

The stakes of Iraq are enormous, world-shifting even. This is why our country should be a point of concern for every democratic country of the world.

I can assure you that the immediate departure of coalition forces would only unleash tensions between different communities; the prospect of a safe Iraq would be completely lost; and the previous descriptions of a civil war would seem insufficient and tame compared to the bloodshed of an Iraq that loses its international support.

And although I cannot promise when or how the American presence will completely end in Iraq, I can promise that American soldiers do not fight in vain.

We in Iraq recognize that an incredible amount of American resources have been offered to us. And we understand that many Americans are frustrated with the course of the war, and we understand that doubt naturally coincides with difficulty.

I realize that many Americans were apprehensive about the decision to go to war.

But I ask that you put this behind you in favor of supporting a democratic and free Iraq, and a future for Iraqis that excludes the threat of violence and extremism.

I ask that you consider what the terms of failure in Iraq would actually look like, and what they would mean for Iraq, the United States and the international community.

I would venture to say that the interest of Iraq and the United States are one in this matter.

The United States carries a heavy responsibility in helping us. As complicated as the relationship may be, America and Iraq are now siblings in the world.

Jalal Talabani is the President of Iraq. He wrote this for McClatchy Newspapers


Blogger Wadical said...

I'll just bet that this letter was never broadcast nor published on any mainstream media outlet in these United States. Yet the very concept of an open letter to the citizens of our country from the President of a free and soveriegn nation literally drips with newsworthiness.

It doesn't fit with the agenda of the liberal left which has a virtual choke hold on nearly every major Newspaper, Radio, and Television outlet in this country. We can't give this man 10 minutes of air time to praise our brave servicemen and women for the exemplary job they've performed, yet when a Communist clown like Hugo Chavez addresses the United Nations on our very soil and calls our president the "Devil" the media can't get enough of it and they shove it down our throats.

What a slap in the face to a duly elected leader of a free democratic nation to not allow his message to the American people to be heard! What an insult to stifle his effort to rally Americans to a just and righteous cause simply because it doesn't cast the President of the United States in an unfavorable light!

These people are slime. You see, the war is all they got. They're banking everything on the war. If they can convince Americans that the war is a mismanaged, soldier killing money pit then maybe they can win a few seats in Congress and tip the scales in the favor of their majority. How pathetic that anyone would sell out their country and the brave men and women who serve so valiantly to protect and defend its interests for some perceived political advantage.

Long gone are the days of a unified war effort and a public commited to victory as we saw during WWII. Long gone are the ideals of selfless service and personal sacrifice. Our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines are still cut from the same mold....but our fat lazy citizenry have become all to accustomed to having their cake and eating it too.....and having it spoon fed to them by the liberal left via opinionated professors in the academic community and biased reporters in the media.

Our colleges TEACH 'em to be God hating athiests, anti-patriotic, appologetic for even being American, and sympathetic to her enemies. Then our media TELLS 'em how evil and oppressive we are to the rest of the world and how we are money hungry tyrants who wish nothing more than to subdue the globe in an effort to feed our consumerism.

Meanwhile good hearted, flag waving American patriots stand idly by and do nothing....God Bless America but shame on us all for allowing these morally bankrupt people to take control of our educational system and for continuing to feed like starving little puppies at the tainted tit of a biased leftist media!

6:29 AM  
Blogger PJ said...

Well said Wadical, and welcome back.

1:45 PM  

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