Sprightly619 informed me that the Houston Chronicle published an interesting letter yesterday. It comes from Joe Roche, an adjunct fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research, who is currently on Active Duty in Iraq with the 16th Engineer Battalion.
A soldier assures us: Our progress is amazingBecause Joe Roche works for a conservative think tank, his words will probably be ignored by the main stream media.
By JOE ROCHE
I'm a soldier with the U.S. Army serving in the 16th Combat Engineer Battalion in Baghdad.
The news you are hearing stateside is awfully depressing and negative. The reality is we are accomplishing a tremendous amount here, and the Iraqi people are not only benefiting greatly, but are enthusiastically supportive.
My job is mostly to be the driver of my platoon's lead Humvee. I see the missions our Army is performing, and I interact closely with the Iraqi people. Because of this, I know how successful and important our work is.
My battalion carries out dozens of missions all over the city — missions that are improving people's lives. We have restored schools and universities, hospitals, power plants and water systems. We have engineered new infrastructure projects and much more. We have also brought security and order to many of Baghdad's worst areas — areas once afflicted with chaos and brutality.
Baghdad has more than 5 million inhabitants. If these people were in an uprising against the United States, which you might think is happening, we would be overwhelmed in hours. There are weapons everywhere, and though we are working hard to gather them all, we simply can't.
Our Army is carrying out 1,700 convoys and patrols each day. Only a tiny percentage actually encounter hostile action. My unit covers some of the worst and most intense areas, and I have seen some of the most tragic attacks and hostility, such as the bombing of the United Nations headquarters.
I'm not out of touch with the negative side of things. In fact, I think my unit has it harder than many other Army units in this whole operation. That said, despite some attacks, the overall picture is one of extreme success and much thanks.
The various terrorist enemies we are facing in Iraq are really aiming at you back in the United States. This is a test of will for our country. We soldiers of yours are doing great and scoring victories in confronting the evil terrorists...
I am not trying to say that Fallujah or Samarra are problem-free, but that the left-wing is trying to turn Iraq into Vietnam more than the Iraqis are...