An open letter you can help me to debunk.




 
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January 31st, 2005  
Italian Guy
 
 

Topic: An open letter you can help me to debunk.


Good day everybody. As you might have noticed I haven't been around that much lately, and that is due to my lack of time: I've been and stiull being very busy with my last exam. I'm getting closer to completing my 5-yr-graduation in Diplomatic and International Sciences.
However I always deem these forums an endless source of information and a chance to meet people with huge skills, knowledge, documented opinions and experience. I've verified that many times now.
I need you guys one more time. As many of you know, there are several liberal, socialist, pseudo-pacifist thinkers in the world, specially in Europe, who write on magazines and preach about what is right or wrong in the world.
Most of them come from Leftinging background and still retain big prejudices in their writing.
I stumbled across one of these articles on a buddy's leftwing magazine the other day.
It's by a socialist writer who feigns pro-American and writes an open letter to an American soldier in Iraq.
His fakely caring letter is filled up with commonplaces, prejudices, and mistakes. I am going to publicly debunk this guy's work and I'm looking for your help on this.
I translated the whole letter for you and report it here; I'm aware it's full of errors and is not a perfectly correct English text. But you will understand. My comments and questions interrupt the article every now and there.
Can you please help me find what is wrong in here?
I'll leave the thread open for 7- 10 days and then use the material you've given me.
Here we go:


Open letter to the soldier in Iraq
From Il Venerdì di Repubblica, Jan 28, 2005.

“Dear John” that’s how all the sad letters to forgotten soldiers on the front start with, but this is not meant to be a farewell letter, forwarded to you who are Marine, GI, cop, mechanician, tankman, stretcher- bearer, cook, driver, jailor in Iraq on behalf of the United States of America.
It is meant to be a thanksgiving letter and - may it not sound weird now that so many hate you - a letter of love.
In these days, Jan 30, for the first time in history all those people will go to vote: all those people surrounding you on the streets of Baghdad, Falluja (if any is left), of Tikrit, people who may smile at you during the day, Hallo Amerika, and makes ‘improvised’ bombs at night (it is what the warfare marketing experts call them, just to make them sound cute).

Here, what's the ground for asserting that terrorists or guerrilla fighters are the same people who 'smile at' a US soldier during the day? It sounds to me like a way to make all the Iraqi people appear false and deceitful. What do you think?

In case they are able to do so, in case there is some hope for them in that slaughter- house, just like has happened to the Afghanis, they will owe it to you; you, who have been there for two years now, letting yourself get murdered and maimed in the middle of a sand of Sunnis, Shi’ites, Wahabis, Salafis, Kurds, Turkmen, Chaldeans, recycled Baathists (but how many were these damned Baathists? Quite a lot, it seems), and several terror salesmen.
People whose existence you weren’t even aware of, when at 17, with a useless State high school degree certificate in your pocket, you put your signature on a contract that was proposed to you on a Saturday afternoon in a shopping mall a recruiting seargent all dressed up in blue and with his polished shoes on; he told you tons of lies to have you in, just like those showmen out of night clubs who always have an easy 18- yr-old sister.

Sounds like the guy has watched Fahrenheit 9/11 too many times until he got his brain washed in the end. The scene of the recruiters at the shopping mall is directly taken from the movie and brings forth more than a commonplace: http://www.hollywood.com/movies/phot...v/3/id/2400981
Do all the recruiters do their job outside the shopping malls?
Can any of you guys from the US tell me how really 'useless' a State igh school degree is ?
Do any of you USMC members believe they tell lies only?


Only difference in your case was that sister was a bearded guy with a long coat, sandals, turban and a TNT load under his vest.

I'm not sure all a US Marine found in Iraq was a terrorist. I think he also found a fierce and fair people whom he went there to help, besides helping his Nation in the first place. This 'every Iraqi is a terrorist' thing begins to sound racist and annoying. The journalist pretends he's entering the soldier's mind: is he correct in his impressions of what a US soldier thinks?

I’m writing to you because almost everybody hates you, in the world, and even those whom you should have liberated cannot wait to get rid of you, because of that cocky look of yours, yet that gladiator’s frown, those cool Oakley Thermonuclear sunglasses, those 66 pounds you carry along, well they don’t cheat me, because you could be my son, who for some years played GI Joe himself, and for a matter of a couple of months is not there with you guys now, ready for a nice endeavour.

Uhm. Where did he desume 'almost everybody' hates the US soldier? Whats the source? Where's the poll?
Do US soldiers in Iraq wear those Oakley Thermonuclear? CAn you guys tell me more on this? Does he really carry a 66-pound-equipment or is that more or less than that?


But you did not ask for any war, you did not sign any crusade, did not read a rightwing or leftwing book, and- as one of you guys said, a chopper pilot in Indonesia after the Tsunami, would prefer to drop blankets and water supplies, rather than bombs.

I really find him so offensive. Typical snob of him to presume a US soldier has never 'read a [rightwing or leftwing] book', which means he cannot be interested in politics, which from my experience in this forum I strongly doubt he doesn't.
Again, is that such a surprise that a US soldier would rather drop blankets than bombs?


We all here, at home, put yellow bumper- stickers on our cars with the writing support our troops, we do charity to help the Veterans, we all put our hand on our chest during the anthem.
Who cares, we are 10,000 km from Falluja and we pretend to believe that “supporting” troops means sending 1,400 of you guys to die ( and the taximeter keeps going) and other 10,000 to the military hospital- maybe you would well do without that kind of support.

What's the point? The Country's support is false and hypocrite? People don't 'pretend to believe' that supporting means sending them to die.
Furthermore, is the US soldier really annoyed by the Nation's support?


Since you are a volunteer and a soldier by choice, as if all the José and Kim and Roberto and Dwayne whose faces today are on the obituaries on the Washington Post or the Cnn website really had the option to choose between a 4- yrs in Harvard or 4 in the Army, our conscience rests quiet.

Pretty undocumented line. Sounds like pretty much most of the US fallen heroes in Iraq come from minorities (Kim, Roberto, José). I don't think it's the case. The casualties number is larger in proportion among whites than among minorities, or at least even. Can anyone provide me with a source? Thank you.
And- hey- our conscience, with our guys fighting downthere, does NOT rest quiet.


Those who have no children in Iraq or Afghanistan, as no Secretary in the Bush administration has, or as no senator, no representative, no preemptive war scholar has, don’t lose sleep over that.

Pretty undocumented lines. That is lies. The guy watched Moore again. There are at the moment a number of congressmen sons deployed in Iraq http://web.naplesnews.com/03/04/naples/d930340a.htm and former Attorney General David Ashcroft's son was serving on the USS McFaul in the Persian Gulf.
Furthermore, how is he sure that high rank officers or politicians 'don't lose sleep' over that?


Suffices to hear what they reply if you dare ask when you will be able to go back home. “As soon as possible”, your Commander-In-Chief W reassures you, which sounds like a nice answer, as if a forniture store put a “As soon as possible” sign on the delivery date of a couch.
We know you’re sick of this, that there are signs of discontent everywhere, in the town of Paris ( irony of names), Ill., which out of 3,000 inhabitants suffered a loss of 5 KIA and 20 wounded, because the local high school principal encouraged the guys to go to war and now says in public- a bit late- that he has dreams of them at night.

Anyone got sources on this?

We witnessed the first suicide just to not go to war, a Marine in California who was about to be deployed in Iraq for his second time and pretended to make a stick- up in a winery and let himself get riddled with bullets by the police, without shooting a single bullet himself.

Anyone got sources on this?

We don’t even get deceited by those blogs from the front, those diaries written on the Internet who knows where and who knows by whom, where you talk like in a tv show, you swear you’re so proud to be serving the cause of liberty and you tell us you brought chalk and board to a bunch of schoolgirls who clapped their hands at you.

First: what's he questioning ? Sounds like he's saying all the blogs from the front are fake or a fruit of gov propaganda.
Second: he is trying to ridiculize a common effort of US soldiers, providing chalk or boards to school which is a largely documented help that we give http://www.usaid.gov/iraq/photogalle...y_19/ed18.html


But as a matter of fact, and if you’re lucky, you have the right to call home once a week. Nothing like sitting night and day in front of a wireless broad-band laptop, writing your memoirs.

How often is an enlisted allowed to call home?

And if you try, and you call home with your private cellphone, you get a 1,500 dollar bill, one month’s pay- To pay for it a sergeant whose wife expected a child and who ruined himself by calling her in Washington State, has had to ask his hometown for help.

Anyone got source on this? 1,500 dollar regular pay?

You have done your share of disgusting things, dear John and dear Jane, we know, we saw it all in Saddam Hussein sickening jails, which some important jerk back in Wash DC had decided to keep functioning, rather than levelling them up.
Some of your colleagues is going to jail for 10 yrs, like Private Graner, certified torturer, who among his occupations found the time to make colleague England pregnant. She is on trial for torture as well.
And it’s heartbreaking to think of that poor child when he grows up and they will have to explain him that mom and dad conceived him at Abu Grahib and are now in jail as torturers.

So what's that to do with 129,990 US troops work in Iraq? The guys is using generalization and still hiding behing his own tricks.

But as far as sickening things, little or big, all fighting armies do a large amount of them.
“War is bad and there’s no way to make it good” did Federal General Tecumseh Sherman say while he set Atlanta on fire.
And USAF General Curtis LeMay, the one who used to order everynight the fire bombing of a Japanese city, knew that pretty well too, when he told Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara:”Bob, if we had lost the war we would all be brought to trial as criminals”.

Everything correct?

In the fog of war everybody got lost, and if it’s a colonial or religious guerrilla, so much the worse, just think of the French in Algeria or the Italians “the good people” in Ethiopia, with their mustard-gas used against the Negus’s troops.
But if on the night of Jan 30, your Commander-In-Chief George W, he who has seen war on tv only, and at the officers’ clubs in Texas and Alabama, well if he can announce that the light of democracy has come out over Iraq’s mass graves and everything’s proceeding right as scheduled (just wonder, Johnny, what would have happened if things in Iraq hadn’t gone right as scheduled), if your America still hasn’t completely lost his dignity to that over 1 billion muslims we are suupposed to convert to the cause of western morality, we should thank you, who fought the temptation of shooting in the middle of a crowd, of killing every bunch of people walking before your 50 cal, the heavy machinegun you guys got on the tanks.

Why does he think US troops in Iraq have the task of 'converting the Iraqis to Western morality'? Who gave him this wrong info?
Secondly, how does he make the point that a US soldier in Iraq works with the constant temptation of shooting havoc or mass murdering the people? Is this intrusion in his mind correct? I find it terrible: "...the temptation of shooting in the middle of a crowd, of killing every bunch of people walking before your 50 cal".


You are showing more head, more nerves, more civility than those who sent you into the fight putting your life in jeopardy, and today dares even insult you, like that Secretary of yours, that Rumsfeld,when he explained about the occupation turmoil: “You go to war with the army you have”. Like saying, these soldiers we have, what can I do bout it?
For 20,000 $ a year, a salary as high as a precarious Italian employee (but ours don’t at least find nice surprises under their bikes), they also call you ‘rotten apple’, when something sounds embarassing to your bosses and officers.

20 K $ for a regular private. How much accurate is that? And then, what services does he have free?

For 24,000 $, if you’re an officer and were as unlucky as to be part of the Reserve, they took you away from your civilian occupations, for six months at first, then a year, then six more months, making you a regular fighter out of a Sundays’ volunteeer (that’s how Reservists are called), even though there was nothing like that on your contract, but the President can violate contracts as much as he likes.

Questions: 24 K $ accurate number? Right details about the procrastination of return? Is that how Reservists are called?
How is the President entitled to violate contracts? Under what laws or prerogative?


But you, dear John, you still resist, without getting high with pot or heroin, like your dad in Nam would do, because you’re still convinced, we don’t know how long for, that dying for Falluja means spare your wife from dying in Houston under a terrorist attack, that in Baghdad you are avenging Manhattan, that taking Iraqi citizens to vote, training local militias that have no intentions of getting trained and seeing some local ayatollah seizing Iraq while trying to persuade the others that he is a new De Gasperi or a new Adenauer, convinced that it means making the world safer for your future kids.

Whats the source for US troops in VNam using drugs all the time? Sounds very offensive, what do you guys think?
Iraqis militias want to get trained by US personnel. Weird, seeing hundreds of them getting killed while lining up for the recruiting made me think of the opposite.
Third: Ayatollah al- Sistani is not anything like Iranian teocratic mullahs. He's been supporting elections and rejecting the idea of a separation between politics and religion, and calling those who were killed trying to vote 'martyrs'.


The kids you will have when you return home and finally find the right payback of a grateful Nation in military hospitals to which the government keeps cutting funds and in a hamburger restaurant, where your buddies will rise their eyebrows to the sky – oh- not again, John!- everytime you you will try to tell about what nights in Baquba and Sadr City were all about.

The hospitals funds cuts in a lie , as Dave Kopel explains while debunking a similar assertion made by Moore: "Bush "supported closing veterans hospitals" says Moore. The Bush Department of Veterans Affairs did propose closing seven hospitals in areas with declining populations where the hospitals were underutilized, and whose veterans could be served by other hospitals. Moore does not say that the Department also proposed building new hospitals in areas where needs were growing, and also building blind rehabilitation centers and spinal cord injury centers. (For more, see the Final Report of the independent commission on veterans hospitals, which agrees with some of the Bush proposals, and with some of the objections raised by critics.)
Second, why does the author think the Veteran's friends will rise their eyebrows and make fun of him in the future? Quite offensive for both him and the Country.


Nor there will be for you, you who really thought you were walking on the same footsteps as John Wayne at Tarawa or Tom Hanks in Normandy, a Robert Capua who immortalizes you while you bend low before a little Sicilian ploughman who points his finger at where the Germans are ambushing.
You fight a blind war, with no poets or cameras ready to sing about it, because journalists have no obligation for suicide or for following you in a door-by-door chase.

Well, some touching photos we do have, actually: http://www.thewednesdayreport.com/tw...rII-images.htm

They say you smoke your packs of cigarettes, like fathers and grandfathers did, but they don’t show you while lighting up, since we must not bring up the youth badly, with all those bad images of vices.
They will surely build you a monument, in the usual square of Washington DC, between marble Lincoln and the more and more frequently full-of-wars Congress, and you will walk by with your wife and kids reading the casualties names, while your chiefs will be remembered as heroes.

So he's trying to argue that regular private soldiers are not going to be remembered as heroes, while politicos are. Is that the way things really are all about?

But we know that if really, one day, out of this thing that is called Iraqi elections, that are anyways always better than a great dictatorship, something good for them and for us comes out, we will owe it to you, to Private Johnny and Private Jane.
Good luck and get back safe and sound, from head to toes, on your feet.
Don’t forget what super General MacArthur said: “Old soldiers never die”. He forgot to add: young ones do, though.
Take care.

By one who could be your father.
Vittorio Zucconi.

I'm sure you guys will be of huge help, and please feel free to add your comments on every issues raised by me above here but also about non-marked details.Thank you.
January 31st, 2005  
03USMC
 
 
I'll answer what I can. The Marine in question concerning the robbery was named Raya. He was a member of the Norteno's Street Gang in Ceres California. Raya had a long criminal history as a juvenile and had strong ties to his set of the Norteno's.

The Norteno's control a large portion of the illegal drug trade in the southwest and are in a perpetual state of war with their rivals the Serano's.

On the night of 10 January 2005 Raya and others committed armed robbery on a liquor store in Ceres Ca. The robbery was reported by silent alarm and Ceres PD units responded . Raya was positioned outside the business in an ambush position.

The first responding units were taken under fire by Raya who was armed with an SKS semi automatic carbine. The fire brought to bear on Ceres Police resulted in the death of Sgt. H. Stevenson CPD and critically wounded Patrolman S. Ryno CPD.

At this time Raya fled the scene and took a barricade position in a residence 3 blocks from the ambush sight.

At this time Ceres PD deployed their SWAT team to contain the area and negoiations were attempted , Raya opened fire and was engaged and killed by CPD SWAT Officers.

Far from the Suicide by Cop scenerio that the lib's would have you believe.

The facts. Yes Raya was in Iraq as a Truck Driver. His unit took no causalties and was not involved in direct combat action.

Yes Raya was slated for another Deployment.....Not to Iraq but to Okinawa.
January 31st, 2005  
A Can of Man
 
 
Italianguy, let me tell you that this "open letter" tactic is very common and popular with the communists.
They are distrubuted by paper and also through the airwaves as radio or also as audio. Often backed by a soothing, female voice (though not so much the case in North Korea).
It goes on to ask how they're doing, aren't things not what they promised? How does this war even involve you? The higher ups are simply using you as pawns.
Brainwashing of prisoners comes under a similar kind of method I think. First they break you, then they treat you well, then they as if you are doing well. They'll talk about your family and daily routine like they care.
They'll act like they feel sorry for you, which by this point, it's the sort of thing the people under stress want.
Basically summed up it's psychological warfare at work. This letter isn't an innocent letter. It's a weapon and the guy who wrote it knows it.
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January 31st, 2005  
03USMC
 
 
Yeah it's propaganda. The good thing is the guys in the Military Service know it. It's like Baghdad Betty broadcasting.


"To the Marines . While you are far away from home and lonely. Bart Simpson is sleeping with your wives and Girl Friends."

That dad gum Bart. But it's good for a laugh.
February 1st, 2005  
Italian Guy
 
 
Thank you lots, guys. You are being a precious source of information, and I never had doubts about it.
Thanks especially for the Raya story. Accurate and to the point. hope more of you will help.
February 1st, 2005  
Charge 7
 
 
"For 20,000 $ a year, a salary as high as a precarious Italian employee (but ours don’t at least find nice surprises under their bikes), they also call you ‘rotten apple’, when something sounds embarassing to your bosses and officers. "

Q: 20 K $ for a regular private. How much accurate is that? And then, what services does he have free?

A: An E-3 or Army PFC (Marine at that level is a Lance Corporal) maxes _base_ pay at $19,692.00. Most make it to E-4 fairly soon. They get a minimum of $19,353.60 and max out at $23,493.60 or damn close to what that idiot says an officer makes. There are many other entitlements that bring that pay up much higher such as hazardous duty pay and the like as well as of course things civilians have to pay for themselves like health benefits and housing. There's even a clothing allowance.

"For 24,000 $, if you’re an officer and were as unlucky as to be part of the Reserve, they took you away from your civilian occupations, for six months at first, then a year, then six more years, making you a regular fighter out of a Sundays’ volunteeer (that’s how Reservists are called), even though there was nothing like that on your contract, but the President can violate contracts as much as he likes."

Q: 24 K $ accurate number? Right details about the procrastination of return? Is that how Reservists are called? How is the President entitled to violate contracts? Under what laws or prerogative?

A: The minimum _base_ pay for an 0-1 or 2nd Lt. is $28,123.20 a year. A Captain can make as much as $60,998.40 and that's an Army or Marine Captain not a Navy one which is of course much higher ($102,960.00 max for them if you're interested). Officers get most of the same benefits as the enlisted except they do not get a clothing allowance. Some units have been away about a year but absolutely nobody has been "taken away" for 6 years much less more than that. All reservists and National Guardsmen _are_ regular fighters in so far as the requirements of schools and combat abilities entail. We meet the same tests as active duty. I have NEVER been called a "Sundays' volunteer" by anybody. I've heard the term "weekend warrior" but not that fond of it and those who use it don't know what they're talking about. Contract? I gave the same oath of service as my active duty comrades. It was _always_ made very clear that should the need arise you could be called to active duty. Anybody who ever thought otherwise was a 10%er anyway and not a professional. They don't last. So the President didn't violate a goddamn thing!
February 1st, 2005  
Italian Guy
 
 
Thanks Charge_7, this is exactly the kind of comment I was looking for. I hope more will come. I carefully check all of them. I'm exposing this guy's lies soon and report the article to you.
Thanks.
February 1st, 2005  
mandi
 
wow...it never really occured to me that people would use a tactic such as this to protest the war, or bring down morale, or whatever they're using it for...thats such a sickening thing to read, knowing that someone actually sat down and took the time to write it
February 1st, 2005  
Italian Guy
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mandi
wow...it never really occured to me that people would use a tactic such as this to protest the war, or bring down morale, or whatever they're using it for...thats such a sickening thing to read, knowing that someone actually sat down and took the time to write it
Makes me sick too, man.
February 1st, 2005  
SHERMAN
 
 
playing as the devils advocate, its just pscyc warfare, not really sickening...