View Full Version : The Secret Letter From Iraq

10-30-2006, 02:58 PM
From the WSJ Editorial Page, publishing a letter to the editor purportedly from a MI NCO in Iraq:

A View from Iraq (http://www.opinionjournal.com/best/?id=110009148)

...This breakneck pace with which we're trying to push the responsibility for governing and securing Iraq is irresponsible and suicidal. It's like throwing a brick on a house of cards and hoping it holds up. The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF)--a joint term referring to Iraqi army and Iraqi police--are so rife with corruption, insurgent sympathies and Shia militia members that they have zero effectiveness. Two Iraqi police brigades in Baghdad have been disbanded recently, and the general sentiment in our field is "Why stop there?" I can't tell you how many roadside bombs have been detonated against American forces within sight of ISF checkpoints. Faith in the Iraqi army is only slightly more justified than faith in the police--but even there, the problems of tribal loyalties, desertion, insufficient training, low morale and a failure to properly indoctrinate their soldiers results in a substandard, ineffective military. A lot of the problems are directly related to Arab culture, which traditionally doesn't see nepotism and graft as serious sins. Changing that is going to require a lot more than "benchmarks."...

10-30-2006, 05:10 PM
Newsweek Magazine - A Centurion's E-mails (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15458906/site/newsweek/) by Dan Ephron and Christian Caryl.

... His job there was one of the toughest in Iraq: making raw Iraqi recruits ready and able to take over the fight against the militants. Secher found the task exasperating and often discouraging; in e-mails and letters home, he expressed doubt that the Iraqi military would ever be ready for a handover, and criticized the way the Bush administration had directed the war. "Without the U.S., this army will fail and get eaten alive by the insurgents," he told his father in an e-mail this past April. Chatting with a friend during a brief leave five months later, he spoke of suspicions that some of his trainees were loyal to Moqtada al-Sadr and would have no compunction about betraying their American instructors if the radical Shiite cleric told them to.

At other times Captain Secher's messages expressed fondness for his Iraqi trainees and respect for their courage. He was no pacifist. His parents describe him as an unswerving Republican, and his own dispatches consistently defend the invasion of Iraq even as he anguishes over its dwindling prospects of success. "Don't mistake us for Cindy Sheehan," Pierre Secher told NEWSWEEK at his Memphis home (a reference to the California woman who became an iconic opponent of the war after her son's death in Iraq). "To me, pacifism could have led to Hitler's victory. We might have all been speaking German and Japanese right now." But as President George W. Bush speaks positively of setting benchmarks for Iraqi troops to "stand up" and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld declares that their training is going well, Captain Secher's messages from the front give a more complicated picture. His e-mails have been edited for space, and some typos have been fixed for clarity, but the words and feelings are entirely his own...

11-02-2006, 04:27 PM
Sorry if this has been posted before I just ran across it....


All: I haven't written very much from Iraq. There's really not much to write about. More exactly, there's not much I can write about because practically everything I do, read or hear is classified military information or is depressing to the point that I'd rather just forget about it, never mind write about it. The gaps in between all of that are filled with the pure tedium of daily life in an armed camp. So it's a bit of a struggle to think of anything to put into a letter that's worth reading. Worse, this place just consumes you. I work 18-20-hour days, every day. The quest to draw a clear picture of what the insurgents are up to never ends. Problems and frictions crop up faster than solutions. Every challenge demands a response. It's like this every day. Before I know it, I can't see straight, because it's 0400 and I've been at work for 20 hours straight, somehow missing dinner again in the process. And once again I haven't written to anyone. It starts all over again four hours later. It's not really like Ground Hog Day, it's more like a level from Dante's Inferno.

Rather than attempting to sum up the last seven months, I figured I'd just hit the record setting highlights of 2006 in Iraq. These are among the events and experiences I'll remember best.

Much more at the link...

SSG Rock
11-02-2006, 08:10 PM
I couldn't help but notice that in the letter, this Marine mentions the fact that the MSM has it all wrong on Iraq. But he noted that Bill O'Reilly is the biggest offender. I wonder why that is? I wonder what O'Reilly has been saying that makes this Marine consider him the biggest offender?