11/22/2005 12:40 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

A Letter from Ramadi--"I Wish Every American Could See This for Him/Herself"

A healthy debate about how and when America should get out of Iraq is now underway in America. Better late than never. The catalyst for this new dialogue is the courageous Congressman John Murtha.

It is perfectly reasonable (and extremely vital) that America discuss and debate the merits of Murtha's proposed plan for withdrawl. However, some critics have attacked Murtha on the validity of his statements about what is really happening inside Iraq. Statements like, "We cannot win this militarily. Our tactics themselves keep us from winning."

Do you think Murtha is wrong about how things are going in Iraq? Do you feel he is exaggerating what our military is really up against in Iraq? Well, let me give you something to think about.

Recently, I got an email from a very close buddy of mine currently serving as an officer in Ramadi, Iraq. He speaks with a candor and level of frustration that you won't hear from the Generals regurgitating White House talking points on TV. Check this out:


I wish I had the time or energy or memory capacity to describe to you how wrong this whole thing has gone. It's just as you described it a couple years ago. We *can* make a difference here, and i believe in the mission as it looks on paper. But your president and his brain-dead colleagues aren't even trying to give us what we need to do it. the add-on armor HMMWVs are a joke. The terrorists target them b/c they know they offer no protection. The M1114s have good armor, but every time we lose one (i had one blown up monday, driver had his femoral artery cut -- will recover fully -- b/c there apparently is no armor or very weak armor under the pedals) it's impossible to replace them. So now I have to send yet another add-on armored vehicle outside the wire daily. The M1114s also have certain mechanical defects, known to the manufacturer, for which there is apparently no known fix. For example, on some of them (like mine) if it stalls or you turn it off, you cannot restart it if the engine is hot. We have to dump 3 liters of cold water on a solenoid in order to start it again. Not that much fun when your vehicle won't start in indian country. I wonder if DoD is getting a refund for the contract. Speaking of contracts, KBR is a joke. I can't even enumerate the problems with their service, but I guarantee they do not receive less money based on how many of the showers don't work, or how many of us won't eat in the chow hall often because we get sick every time we do.

There is so much. I could go on forever. the worst thing, which we have discussed, is that they are playing these bullshit numbers games to fool America about troop strength. If they stopped paying KBR employees $100,000 to do the job of a $28,000 soldier, maybe they'd have enough money to send us enough soldiers to do the job. As it stands we have no offensive capability in the most dangerous city on earth. General Shinseki should write an Op/Ed that basically says, "I told you so." Idiots.

Where are the AC-130s? The apaches? They have them in FAR less active AOs (areas of operations). All we ever get is a single Huey and Cobra team, both of which are older than I am. it's such a joke. They're not even trying. At all. They have apaches in Tikrit but Hueys in Ramadi.

I wish every american could see this for him/herself. Registering your frustration at the ballot box isn't nearly enough. There should be jail terms for this.