Interesting that the Washington Post publishes an article with soldiers expressing their feelings about the election the day before the election.
I've been gathering their thoughts as well in order to be prepared for a BBC FIVE radio interview tonight. Here's some responses that are typical of the over 100 emails I've received about the elections:
From a US Army Infantry Sergeant First Class in Iraq:
...First, the obvious, is the fact that when the enemy's propaganda matches the talking points of a political party, there is something wrong. The fact that so many, especially those in positions to influence voters (think MSM here), have no problem using enemy propaganda or will gleefully cover enemy activities while glossing over the hard, diligent work of their own military should be a giant red flag waving in the face of voters. I am dismayed that any campaign races are even slightly close when one of the candidates presents a position even mildly against the war. Further dismay comes when I see that too many people just don't understand what is at stake in this war.
Out here, in the day-to-day grind, the majority Soldiers aren't paying much attention to the election mayhem back home. We have jobs to do, we have missions to accomplish, there are people who need our help and protection. My commander has stated that the increased number of attacks in October had everything to do with the US elections and nothing to do with tactical battlefield gains. I have no doubt that he is absolutely correct...
From a Marine Sergeant on his second tour Iraq:
...People in the US who want to support the troops, who believe we are engaged in a war, and who recognize the long term consequences of failure need to look past all other issues and vote Republican. Democrats have no policy and can not be trusted. But, even worse, they display no apparent understanding of the dangers to our western civilization presented by the enemy. Their actions since 2001 indicate they are willing to sacrifice the safety and integrity of the USA in the future for short term political gains today.
Ironically, I say this, not as a Republican - (I am Libertarian) - but as a person who recognizes that islamicist fundamentalism is the single greatest threat to our western society in the modern era. I say this as an atheist. I say this as someone who is apalled by the anti-science bias of the Republican party. I say this as someone who doesn't give 2 shits about abortion, suppressing gay-rights, or activist judges. So, as you can tell, the majority of Republican issues are anathema to me, and I still fervently hope they retain control of the Govt...
From another US
Army soldier Marine in Iraq:
...If the Democrats gain even a squeaker majority in the House, I strongly believe we will suffer greatly for it. The Jihadists here have been pulling out all the stops here just to affect the election. A Democrat victory in congress will validate their tactics, and spur them to push harder.
Furthermore, a Democrat Majority will have 3 main goals that will be relevant here. 1)They will throw about investigations and subpoenas like a fire truck throwing candy in a parade. It will be virtually impossible for the executive branch to get any real work done. 2) They will begin impeachment proceedings which, while going nowhere, will further embolden our enemies. 3) They will cut funding to the war in Iraq, in a childish show of control over a Commander in Chief.
If the Republicans win, me and my fellows here will be allowed to continue doing our jobs. In time, all the hard work here will show, and we will win...
This last one is from a pal of mine - a
Marine US Army company commander in Iraq:
Will the election make much a difference in the troops eyes? I don't think so.
On the one hand you have the GOP and I don't care what anyone else says, I think even the troops that support this thing from the political perspective know that it has been manged poorly. The President always says he gives the Generals what they want, but it seems to me and others that I have talked to that he sort of manges to put it in such a way that Generals know that more troops simply won't happen. Everyone I have talked to here in MNF-W characterized this as an "economy of force" operation; i.e. we really need more ground pounders to get it done. So although like most Soldiers I know we tend to be conservative, there is not a lot of love lost for the ruling party, they want victory and they want it on the cheap.
But whatever the sins of the GOP are they pale in comparison to the Dems. John Kerry's latest gaff only reinforces what I think many of us know to be the truth; the Dems and the Left in America have nothing but disdain for those of us in uniform. That is unkindest cut of all, they show their lack of respect and then claim to care about us; veterans and military service members by and large do not want to adopt a victim mentality, and that is what the overreaching programs of the Dems appeal too. The Dems don't get and will never get those of us that serve.
So given the binary system we have, I would say that most would rather see the GOP remain in control, but the next patrol looms closer than election results.
Last note: it seems the Kerry apologists have no idea the nerve that was struck by that comment. I walking around the MEF HQ the day that came out and people were talking about it in every office. It made quite an impression.
So there you have a sense of what's been flooding my inbox. The last email sums up what I thought I'd hear, but the first two are more like the vast majority of the responses.