A letter to the GOP primary candidates:
John McCain, Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, Mike Huckabee, and Ron Paul.
By J.R. Thompson: Iraq Veteran, and Small business owner.
First, To Rudy, Mitt, John, and Fred… I want to discuss some of my personal experience in Foreign Affairs.
I have seen the situation in Iraq go from crowds of kids wanting to know about Michael Jackson and Britney Spears, open-minded adults wanting to know about our social freedoms, American soldiers playing soccer with some of those crowds of kids, and sharing food with families in their homes, to aggressive patrolling of the streets, conducting road blocks, vehicle searches, bodily searching individuals, and searching houses, slowly eroding our goals of winning hearts and minds, and inspiring a motivated extremist insurgency.
It makes me wonder how long it would take me to move from a position of thanks for my despotic government being removed, to feeling like I lived in a conquered and occupied country if I saw foreign troops on the streets of my hometown Aberdeen everyday?
Add to this our having bases and troops in Turkey, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Egypt, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and Saudi Arabia, (I may have missed a few, we have approximately 700 bases in 130 countries) for decades, our Navy off their coast, our fighter jets in their sky’s , the CIA in business supporting monarchs, dictators and thugs, and our State Department treating rightfully elected leaders like irresponsible children, it’s no wonder moderate Muslims take to the streets shouting “Death to America” and a minority takes action against us. I would expect we would be doing the same thing if China had bases on our soil, and her Navy patrolled our coastline and Chinese fighter jets streaked across our sky. In short, this is all hard to admit, but our actions do have consequences.
Meanwhile, some of you are touting how we the soldiers want to “win” in Iraq, and I make three points.
1: I've been present for those Public Affairs forums for VIPs held in Iraq. The PA officers select soldiers who will say whatever the VIP wants to hear. In the case of Iraq, they usually pick the Senior Officers and their attendants who spend all their time in little offices inside green zones where the mortars don't fall, and the IEDs are just a graphic on the map. The soldiers beating the path on the ground such as myself see things differently, and we would be happy to come home to our families in one piece.
2: There is no such thing as winning a police action. We already won the invasion to depose Saddam. We won the oil fields for your campaign donors, see Federal Election Commission (FEC) facts below, and we won the gratitude of the Iraqi people. But we are losing all our gains by overstaying our welcome. Iraq is ready to take over her own internal security for better or worse.
3: Servicemen and Veterans really are supporting Ron Paul and Barack Obama with our wallets. See the website listed under campaign contributions below to source that.
I now want to discuss an important domestic issue.
In Kosovo, our troops patrolling the border with Macedonia had ammunition to defend themselves and the authority to apprehend anyone crossing the border illegally. National Guard units on our own border with Mexico have no ammunition, and no authority to apprehend violators. Instead, they have on several documented occasions actually had to retreat when facing fire from Mexican paramilitary groups, and can only call border patrol when they spot illegal violation of America’s sovereignty.
Why are we the world's policeman when our own country is being openly violated? No one in the Executive branch of our government is doing anything about it, and it makes me wonder why I ever joined the Army at all. I get myself in a knot again by thinking about what I knew our military had done to our own people in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina (disarmed law abiding civilians only trying to protect themselves when the police had failed to do so).
Why are we borrowing money hand over fist from nations not exactly our friends (China), just to spend it on our out-of-control foreign policy? I am starting to feel like the powers that be do not have America’s interests in mind at all. It’s starting to feel like our ruin is their objective. From our factories closing and moving overseas, to the plunging value of our dollar, America is crumbling. Yet I love her far to much to watch her fall apart.
Do you have the courage to stop this, or are you just marionettes, dancing to the tune of your contributors, your love of money and power trumping your love of American Freedom?