April 26-28, 2007
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Great newspaper article of the book, Gun Totin Chaplain and interview with author.

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    One Father's Thoughts on Iraq
From E-mail
A US soldier smokes a cigarette as he patrols an area at Baghdad's al-Mansur district. Democratic lawmakers are poised this week to send Iraq war funding legislation to US President George W. Bush, who has vowed to veto the measure if it includes a withdrawal timetable.(AFP/Wisam Sami)
(AFP/Wisam Sami)
Correspondence with a friend whose son is in Iraq. Name withheld for reasons of security.


It took me a long time to come to a conclusion about Iraq. I would not have thought that it would become this complicated. I should have paid more attention to the book, THE ARAB MIND.

It is difficult for me to believe the decisions that this administration has made. I became aware fairly quickly that Rumsfeld wasn’t the man, however, I am somewhat amazed that the leadership of the military seems to be so political…going along with the whole mess.

I have a tremendously difficult time believing that those who are supposed to be very much aware of Arab history, their thinking (State Dept. Personnel, military intelligence whoever) have either been totally marginalized or they just didn’t have it right.

Father, Vietnam Vet, and retired military


What an awful war, an urban guerilla war. I will have to be honest, I don't know a single thing about Iraq that I don't consider a colossal mess. I will never forget a guy I served with at Forscom (Forces Command in Atlanta) who had been an advisor to the Israeli Army. He was one of the smartest guys I ever met, a Rhodes scholar, academy graduate, earned a PhD on his own. He told me once that what he discovered after spending years in the Middle East is that all the people there deserved each other. I think of his comments when I think of someone like your young commander son. Here he is and sees it all: actually came up with a plan to keep the Iraqis from killing each other--he sees the mistrust, the politics of it all.

With soldiers, it is different, they kind of see what is in front of them. They do what they are told but for your son, I surmise, and many like him, it becomes an intuitive dilemma. Do the job the best you can, protect your soldiers and get the hell out as soon as you can. Now, of course, the "get out" has been extended. Another part of the mess.

I don't mean to be a downer but so feel for your son and those like him. I relate to it as when I was in Vietnam. I didn't know my ass from a hole in the ground but I had been there about three months when I realized, "this is crazy and stupid, I'm figuring this out but this BS about giving these people freedom is idiocy." I look at Iraq and think that Vietnam was not in the same galaxy when compared to Iraq in terms of idiocy.

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