I found another letter from a soldier in Iraq. This one's posted at the blog Little Green Footballs, a favorite of right-wingers. It's from an Army major, and he thinks conditions are pretty swell:
The stuff you don't hear about on CNN? Let's start with Electrical Power production in Iraq. The day after the war was declared over, there was nearly 0 power being generated in Iraq; 45 days later, in a partnership between the Army, the Iraqi people and some private companies, there are now 3200 mega watts (Mw) of power produced daily, or 1/3 of the total national potential.
I love the fact that he uses as his baseline the day after we declared the war essentially over; it's sort of like saying you've really kept crime down in L.A. because it's way lower than it was during the Rodney King riots.
The major boasts of improvements in water purification and, yes, oil production, and I'm sure he has a point -- I'm sure a lot of hard work has been done and some things have really been accomplished. But even he must realize that what we're seeing on TV isn't an illusion, because he says, somewhat defensively (and sounding a bit like General Buck Turgidson in Dr. Strangelove),
all of you please realize that 90% of the damage you see on TV was caused by Iraqi's, NOT by us and not by the war. Sure we took out a few bridges from military necessity, we took out a few power and phone lines to disrupt communications, sure we drilled a few palaces and government headquarters buildings with 2000 lb. laser guided bombs (I work 100 yards from where two hit the Tikrit Palace), he had plenty to spare. But, ANY damage you see to schools, hospitals, power generation facilities, refineries, pipelines, was ALL caused either by .. the Iraqi Army in its death throes .. or from much of the Iraqi civilians looting the places.
Could we have prevented it? Nope.
Really? We couldn't have prevented this? How about if we hadn't fought the war?
The major's own life, we learn, isn't so bad:
I'm living in a "guest palace" on a 500 acre palace compound with 20 palaces with like facilities built in half a dozen towns all over Iraq that were built for one man.
Interesting. Remember the first soldier's letter I posted a couple of days ago, from hackworth.com?
I do know there are people living in areas with running water and A.C. That, of course, is not us... although my COL lives like that. I do believe he was shielded from the reality by his staff for a while. As we crammed 50 soldiers in to two medium frame tents near a pond of dead fish which was also infested with mosquitos and there was absolutely no field sanitation support for miles, he was living in his own room inside an air conditioned building, had his own king size bed, his own bathroom, his own refrigerator, and his cappuccino machine.
And remember the letter from SFTT.org I posted yesterday?
We are steadily providing bottled water to the citizens of Iraq though, and you can bet your next paycheck that anyone who is of any rank that allows them to work on a brigade or higher level staff position hasn't had to drink warm sanitized water lately. As a matter of fact, I have witnessed several "higher ups" in my particular unit with private shower facilities, private porta-johns, and ice chests full of bottled water and potable ice in their immediate work areas while their subordinates (meaning the soldiers) are struggling every day to get a cold bottle of water.
So, yeah, I guess life is good if you're living like Saddam before the war.