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‘If Iraqis want us gone, why stay?’

This article is over 20 years, 5 months old
THERE IS growing anger in the US as the death toll of soldiers in Iraq rises. Already more have been killed since Bush declared victory on 1 May than during the war itself.
Issue 1877

A US group, Bring Them Home Now, is made up of military families, veterans, those on active service, and reservists.

It says it was ‘galvanised to action by Bush’s inane and reckless challenge to the armed Iraqis resisting occupation to ‘bring ’em on’.’

It aims to mobilise people to demand an end to the occupation in Iraq and the immediate return of US troops.

Some of the letters posted on its website are printed here.

To: Bringthemhome From: A very angry spouse, New York Date: 6 November 2003

‘The day is ending and I check one more time before I go to sleep to make sure nothing new has emerged about another soldier getting killed.

I have made my bed on the couch and made sure the volume is up on the computer, just in case my husband logs on to tell me he made it through another day of uncertainty in Baghdad.

The next morning I wake up to my husband alerting my messenger to see if I can hear him. He tells me about his day and what to expect the next day and how nervous he is.

Mr president, do I get to speak to my husband the next day? You don’t know the pain that myself and thousands of other military families feel on a daily basis. Our brave men and women are over there in Iraq fighting for a purpose that is non-existent.

Leave the Iraqi people alone. If they want us gone, then why stay?’

To: Bringthemhome From: Military wife Date: 3 November 2003

‘I am a wife of an army reservist who is serving in Baghdad. Although my husband is a lieutenant in a support unit I fear for his life on a daily basis. My husband left home in February after eight years of inactive service to the military.

We never expected to get a call to go to war. He has not had formal military training. Before he left I never even seen him near a gun as we don’t believe in armed weapons in the home.

I sometimes wake in the middle of the night to read the headlines so I feel secure waking in the morning that he is OK.


To: Bringthemhome From: Jeffrey L Myers, Florida Date: 29 September 2003

‘I just recently returned from Iraq. When we landed in Ramstein, Germany, there was no one to greet us or welcome us back.

There were soldiers that lived up to six hours away. These soldiers had to ride in a taxi back to their unit. A friend of mine spent almost $250 just on the ride home. That’s how much the army cares.

I have soldiers I had to leave down in Iraq-that was the hardest for me. Most of them are just young kids unaware of what really goes on in the government and military.

I had to do CPR on a soldier that didn’t have identification on him but had a wedding ring. That haunted me for nights on end.

Our goal in Iraq has been destroyed-it is non-existent. We need to bring the soldiers home.’

To: Bringthemhome From: Name withheld Date: 7 October 2003

‘I am a veteran of the Korean War serving 19 months over there during the war.

I think all of the troops need to be brought home now, because this war was brought on by the lies of George W Bush and his gang members. The mainstream news media lied to and deceived the American people in support of Bush and his lies.

Just this year Bush cut spending for the war veterans by 25 billion dollars, and every member in the Republican congress voted for it, and the news media didn’t even report it.’

To: Bringthemhome From: Thomas Jelf Date: 26 October 2003

‘I lost many friends during the Vietnam War and have opposed this ‘invasion’ of Iraq since its insidious beginnings.

We currently have a young friend, a specialist named Dustin, in the 82nd Airborne, who was deployed to Iraq in August.

He is only 21 and joined the army as a means of obtaining a college education.

He has called us twice from Iraq. I am so troubled as he says the business owners have large signs in front of their businesses stating: AMERICANS WILL PAY FOR OUR OIL WITH THEIR SOLDIERS’ BLOOD.

Dustin says they hate us over there, as does my friend’s son, who recently returned from Tikrit.’

To: Bringthemhome From: Father of soldier in Iraq Date: 27 September 2003

‘We whine about anyone not with us being against us, or how peace marchers are unpatriotic.

We make ourselves feel justified by labelling ‘terrorist’ an enemy who by virtue of having no opportunity to fight us on an equal footing must instead resolve themselves to tactics which require a willingness to die.

We have a political leadership who has passed several pieces of legislation undermining the Bill of Rights.

The war in Iraq is unconstitutional on several points. A soldier would do well to question where the enemy is: foreign or domestic?’

To: Bringthemhome From: Name withheld Date: 28 October 2003

‘My husband is with the Murfreesboro TN National Guard MP Unit 269. This unit have been deployed from home since December 2002.

Families here have been without loved ones for 11 months already and we have seven more to go.

I feel this war has become senseless and we are losing people when there is no reason for it.’

To: Bringthemhome From: Will Coley, USAF med ret Date: 10 October 2003

‘A friend of mine who is a nurse and a reservist was called up to go to Iraq. She was in Baghdad on patrol when a bomb exploded and she was hit by shrapnel.

She is now in Washington undergoing exploratory eye surgery on her left eye. It is mostly likely she will be blind in that eye.

War is blood. War is death. We should never go into one under false pretences and blundering.’

To: Bringthemhome From: Sheila, Wisconsin Date: 6 October 2003

‘My son is serving since May in Kuwait. It is a reserve unit and is undermanned and poorly equipped.

My own personal anguish over this is magnified by my experience during the Vietnam War.

I also volunteered to serve as my son did. I was an artillery officer and lawyer in the army from 1969-71.

I taught international law-Geneva conventions-at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and learned first hand that violations that injured or killed non-combatants occurred frequently in ‘Nam-even on our side.

I was at Sill when the prosecution of the My Lai cases began. I refused orders to Vietnam based on what I learned while representing enlisted soldiers in the military justice system.

I attempted to resign my commission and was eventually discharged as an in-service conscientious objector.

This country has been run for too long on secrets and lies in the name of freedom.

I want to fight for my son’s safety and that of all our troops.

With new weapons like the Patriot Act the government can silence many of us. There is not much they can do to me and I think I owe my son a chance to live in a better world.’

To: Bringthemhome From: Susan Moran, nurse, California Date: 12 October 2003

‘I just got off the phone to my son. I asked him about Rumsfeld’s visit to the Baghdad airport.

My son said that on an average day there are Iraqis around the airport doing different chores.

He said that none were allowed at the airport during Rumsfeld’s visit. More disturbing, my son said there were sharpshooters on the roofs of all the buildings.

He said they were for the SOLDIERS! He said they were all warned that anyone that went on a roof would be SHOT!

My son said several of his friends live on the upper floors of these buildings. He said they generally go up on the roof to smoke, etc.

I find it shocking that the morale is so low for the troops that the upper brass don’t trust them.’

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