Monday, December 22, 2008

The benefits are real

The Below is an Awesome Letter from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about the truths so often ignored by the Iraq War's many critics:

In response to the Dec. 17 letter "The pain is real" from Patricia Mitchell regarding President George W. Bush's "less-than-serious reaction" to the shoe-throwing incident and his "delusion" regarding the war in Iraq: I, too, wish that Bush had had a different response.

I wish he'd told the world that five years ago had someone thrown a shoe (or a disapproving glance) in the direction of a foreign dignitary in the presence of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, the shoe thrower would have been tortured in indescribable ways and, if lucky, his body may have found its way to a mass grave.

I wish Bush had told the world he went to a meeting with Iraq's democratically elected leader, outside the protection of a U.S. military installation, and the worst thing that happened was a shoe flew by his head.

I wish Bush had pointed out that the journalist who threw that shoe was only there because the Iraqi government now allows a free and uncensored media to cover the details of what agreements its government enters into and with whom.

I wish Bush had said a lot of things about what is going on in Iraq. But I doubt Ms. Mitchell ever would have heard the president's words if he had said those things. Because, as she admits, all she reads in newspapers are reports of death and despair.

I'd like to tell Ms. Mitchell that while she is reading about the evils in Iraq, a half a world away, our day is coming to a close. A day in which I will have seen Iraqi children running off to school with SpongeBob backpacks and a desire to learn. I will have driven past hospitals that treat Iraqis on the basis of the severity of their illness, not on a connection to Hussein or the Baath Party. A day in which I will have spoken with hundreds of prisoners, not one who will claim to have been tortured by the police or had their confession coerced. And most of all, a day in which I will have spoken to numerous Iraqi citizens proud of what Iraq has become, content to be free from the yoke of oppression and excited by the prospects of an open and democratic future.

Civilian Rule of Law Adviser
Provincial Reconstruction Team
Forward Operating Base ----------
----------- Province, Iraq

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