Here's an email that I received through the Marines (thanks Seamus and Colonel B!). It's verified authentic.
It's from a Marine Officer in Fallujah who is trying to balance harsh reality with what we are getting (shoveled) from the media.
Subject: Reorienting and Driving ForwardAs a former Paratrooper (Soldier) and current MilBlogger, I'm damn proud of our military - especially, the Marines in Fallujah and the Soldiers in Najaf. They need to know that we're behind them 100% and that Teddy Kennedy and Dan Rather can kiss our @$$es!
As you all probably know by now, we are turning Fallujah over to the Iraqis.
This will give us an opportunity to focus on other areas, and hopefully to build a new Iraqi Army with some of the folks that are feeling alienated right now. We're all painfully aware of the various issues associated with this move, but there's no point in discussing them. We'll make this work, just like we make everything else work to the best of our ability. The Marines fought hard in Fallujah and took a lot of very evil people out of the fight. That effort, and the associated loss of Marine lives, was not in vain. We're already seeing a significant decrease in the enemy's ability to attack our forces. The supply lines are open again and everything is flowing freely through the country. Their efforts to cut us off in order to break our willpower failed. The Iraqi people are tired of the enemy and they are turning them over to us left and right.
I'm going to discuss a subject that I know does not apply to most of you...We're reading that everyone back home is starting to lose faith in our efforts in Iraq. The last CBS poll put the numbers under 50% for the first time. I know that doesn't mean a loss in support for the troops, but supporting "the troops" while not supporting the mission doesn't do much for us. If we're over here for nothing then vague "support the troops" statements carry little weight.
The Marines are in high spirits. The troops in Fallujah are doing what Marines do best, and they're true professionals. Everyone else is driving forward, wondering what all the fuss back home is all about. We don't feel that we're losing anything - in fact, we're finally addressing issues that should have been addressed some time ago. The world seems to have forgotten what war looks like. It's not supposed to be pretty and happy. Force is used to kill those who are perpetrating evil on the people of Iraq. The images need to be put in perspective, something the news agencies just don't have time for.
It would be interesting to see someone track all the dire accounts and predictions that were issued over the past three weeks to see if they've been accurate. I read reports that we were cut off and couldn't get supplies. Reality: Not true, they failed. A popular revolution was taking place in the south and Sadr was leading a new Shia revolt. Reality: Not true. Shia militia are killing Sadr's folks in Najaf because they don't respect him and they're sick of him. He's the same buffoon he was last month. Falloujah would ignite the Arab world (how many times have we heard that one). Reality: Despite the best efforts of Al-Jazira to make us look like Atilla the Hun, there has been no explosion of populist anger. The same problems exist that existed last month - no better, no worse.
Please pass the word that we're doing great and the Marines are victorious in every battle. The enemy is a disconcerted, disparate group of disenfranchised dissemblers who have little power outside the realm of
localized intimidation and the support of complicit al-Jazira reporters. We will be able to settle this place down and help the Iraqi people back on their feet if we're able to ignore the hysteria on T.V. and recall the national willpower we had in the 1940's. What happened to our country?
Have we really become so addled and weak-willed that we can't stick something out through a little rough patch?
I have faith that we'll get the backing we need to finish our work in Iraq.
Please have that faith with me and support our mission as much as you support our Marines.
Semper Fidelis -
As I've said before, if you can't pick up a rifle, then do SOMETHING to help our men and women fighting this war.
Semper Fi, Captain!!!