January 30, 2005

Iraqi Election

Lt.Col. Mark Smith USMC 2/24, "the Mad Ghosts"/ Indiana State Police Trooper

A home town Marine brings a view contrary to what the MSM puts out.. If you listened to them, the Iraqis don't care if they vote or not, it's exchanging one set of "invaders" for a "US puppet government", Yada, Yada,Yada.

According to the Iraqi Sheik in this story though, the election means a great deal to the average Iraqi; thats why the insurgents Islamofacists are so determined to disrupt the process.
The Islamofacists know that if the Iraqi people know that the power to rule themselves is truly in their own hands; that their reign of terror is finished.

Be SURE to click on the "Extended Entry" and read LtCol. Smith's e-mail. He has layed out the reasons why we are in Iraq as well as anyone ever could.


Very good evening to all of you. It is my sincere hope that this letter continues to find you in high spirits, good health and filled with motivation for the challenges that lie ahead. I fully realize that with
over half of the deployment behind you, the stress grows even more intense as your longing for your loved one morphs into an intense desire. This is ultimately good, but also can bring with it side
effects that can be very challenging. Well, just for example, my email in-box was filled this week with hate mail for me on decisions that I had made, that several wives and girlfriends were in bitter opposition to.

Now, I have always shot straight with my beloved ladies of 2/24, and have always said to feel free to contact me with questions or concerns, but I do wish that when I receive hate mail that it be based on facts, and not on decisions I never made!

See, many people were spun out of control by a rumour concerning liberty in Germany. This rumour, and the emails that bombarded my wartop computer as a result are but a bug's flatulation in the grand scheme of life, but are symptomatic of a larger, and potentially more devastating effect. The effect of lack of understanding. You see ladies, I will be addressing redeployment and homecoming within the next week or two. And, I have no doubt that some of the decisions and RESTRICTIONS that will surround the Battalion's redeployment will not be welcome news for many of you. But, what I need all to understand, is that like all other decisions, the manner in which
we handle redeployment and reunion issues will be based on what is best for the Marines, and what is best for the families. Even if it does not appear that way, that is what it will be. It will be that way because, despite my boyish looks (HA!), I am forty years old. And, in that forty years, I have twenty three in the beloved Corps. I have mobilized three times and deployed to war twice. In that time, I have learned a few things from my master, the USMC. And folks, I have to tell you, my master is very good at what she does. And, one of the things she does is deployment and redeployment. We know what we are doing. AND AGAIN, we will do it in a manner most beneficial to the YOUR MARINE and to YOU! Even if it does not appear that way to you. However, the details of which will have to wait for a few days, because total focus right now, hate mail notwithstanding, is the elections.

Now, for the elections. Rest assured that your Mad Ghosts are working hard to shape for successful elections in our Area of Operations. They will bring to the people of the "triangle of death" there first chance at self-determination. With our brothers-in-arms at large, we will bring to the Arab world, for the first time in history, its chance at self-determination. Did you hear that? For the first time in its history, this region of the world will experience its FIRST CHANCE AT SELF-DETERMINATION! Imagine that. Very hard for you to do, isn't it? Very hard to imagine because we take for granted the RIGHT to determine our government. Very hard to imagine because we take for granted that the social contract MANDATES that people be governed by consent, not by decree and force. Very hard to imagine because as Americans we make assumptions about the rest of the world being just like us, when in reality they are worlds apart, literally and figuratively. Well, for the Iraqi people, it is very hard to imagine as well. It is very hard to imagine for them because they HAVE NEVER HAD THIS OPPORTUNITY! Their entire lives they have been governed not by rule of law, but by law of force. Brutal, unrelenting, unmerciful force! And, as they seek to break the chains of oppression, the vacuum of Sadam's henchman has been replaced by the maniacal and insane philosophy and violence of Osama Bin Nothing and Abu Musab Al Zarpunkery! They are faced with the hate and terror that brought you Sept 11 and a declared Jihad on everyone in the world who dares think like a rational, free human being. Why just today an IED detonated in our zone that killed two Iraqi citizens and critically wounded eight others. Posters were placed in one area that said that anyone that voted violated the laws of Allah and would be killed for it and to remember that "the Americans and Bush will not be here for long."

Yes, once again, this enemy shows his hand for what he is, an absolute COWARD whose only goal is to terrorize and break the will of the people. The Iraqi people and the American People. He is an enemy who fights 4th Generation Warfare, which has as its core belief that it accepts from the outset he cannot win militarily, so he targets the will of the people! Now, to be brutally honest, I could not for one milli-second question the Iraqi people if their wills were broken. They sustained thirty plus years of unspeakable brutality and oppression at the hands of Sadam and his EVIL empire. That has been followed by two years of occupation by foreign armies, and a relentless and deadly assault from radical and maniacal groups led by AMZ, his Wahabi bretheren, and a consortium of thugs, bandits and criminals. After that, saying "uncle" would be understandable. But, they are not. Now, we will see, but I believe on Sunday they will come out and they will vote. They will come out and vote despite all of this, because they have seen something they have never seen before. They have seen compassion. They have seen generosity. They have seen strangers risk, and lay down their lives for them. Why? They have asked this question of me. They have asked me as the "American Commander," why do your Marines protect us. They say we are told that the Americans are only here for the oil. Yet we see them. We see them living in our towns and
we see them living very hard lives. We see them out on patrol and raiding houses of what we know are "Ali Baba." We see them bandage our wounded, play with our children and try to help. We know that they have families that they love and miss, and yet they are here.

Why? Boy, that is the million dollar question, isn't it. Well, I think I know why. And, I know the attacks will come at me fast and furious. But the why is BECAUSE THIS CAUSE IS RIGHT, AND IT IS FRONT AND CENTER ON THE WAR ON TERROR! Simply said, if the Arab world tastes freedom, even so much as gets a whiff of what self-determination is all about, it will be the beginning of the end for the terror network. If for a fraction of a second they can break the chains of oppression and life by edict, those who have held sway over them for so long will be on the run. They will be on the run from a people who now have the most powerful weapon known to mankind, the weapon of freedom. For all men, regardless of religion, race, color or creed have an unqueachable thirst to live free, to choose their own destiny, to walk their own path. The Iraqi people have seen this. They have seen it in your Marines! They have seen men who do not worship as they do, who do not speak as they do, who do not eat what they do, but have bled, killed and died for them. They have realized that they do this for the Iraqi people, and not only for themselves. These Marines have done this to show the Iraqi people, and more importantly THE WORLD, that the only hope for humanity in the long run is free people seeking to live, not dominated people seeking to survive. There is no attempt by anyone to convert the Islamic world from their religion, just a sacred attempt to lift the saddle of tyranny from the backs of the Arab world so that they may seek peace. For in this, the War on Terror will ultimately be won.

This is a two front War. Violence against the combatant, liberty to the oppressed. We carry forward the Flag, and in the end, success will depend on two visions: for the people of the Arab world the Flag must represent the best of who we are; for the enemy, the Flag must represent the violence we can bring. Those two fronts are being fought simulatenously by your Mad Ghosts, and their success on both fronts will bring out the people, and they will vote. They will vote and they will choose essentially a "consitutional convention" that will lay the cornerstone for a free Iraq. It will be the first step, a milestone, in a long journey that will set this part of the world on an unstoppable move towards freedom, and with freedom will come tolerance and progress. But, they will choose more than a constitutional convention, they will choose a destiny. One where rights will mean more than religion in governance. One where law will mean more than Jihad!

In thinking about this and YOUR Marine's place in it, let me offer you two quotes. The first is from Abu Musab al Zarqawi (Zarpunkery) (AMZ):

January 24, 2005; Al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi has released an audio tape on the Internet, where he declares, "We have declared a bitter war against the principle of democracy and all those who seek to enact it." He declared that anyone who voted on January 30th would be seen as an infidel (non-Moslem).

The second is from Thomas Jefferson on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence:

"May it be to the world, what I believe it will be, (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all,) the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition has persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government.....All eyes are opened or opening to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few, booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God. These are grounds of hope for others; for ourselves, let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an undiminished devotion to them."

On whom do you want the hope of the world to rest? AMZ or Thomas Jefferson? For me, this is a no-brainer! The Arab world must be shown freedom. This is their "signal of arousing men to burst the chains...and to assume the blessing and security of self-government..."

I fully realize that this stands in stark contrast to other's opinions, and squarely calls out most of what is portrayed in the mainstream media, but YOUR Marines are not fighting and in some very unfortunate cases, dying, for anything less than this. Let this final story be the final truth. I know most of you probably saw many news stories about a week ago concerning a suicide car bomb dressed as an ambulance that detonated on a wedding party in our zone, near Yusufiyah. The bomb killed 18 Iraqi's and severely injured several more. This wedding was not unlike any wedding you would go to in the good ole' US of A. It was a feast. It was a celebration. It was a gathering of family and friends to toast the union of a man and a woman. There were men, women, boys and girls. They were outdoors eating and celebrating. Yup, not at all unlike a reception in the good ole' US of A, save an ambulance drove down the canal road in front of the house, turned into the drive and detonated a high explosive. Not at all unlike a reception in the good ole' US of A, except for those milli-seconds of violence when shrapnel flew through the air at thousands of feet per second, and accompanied by a shock wave that pounds anything in its lethal path with a ferocity you
cannot imagine.

Now, what you did not hear reported in the news was that it was YOUR Marines that responded to the scene. It was YOUR Marines that conducted the scene analysis. It was YOUR Marines that apprehended several terrorists STRONGLY believed to have been involved. No, that ain't
news. However, to the Sheikh of the tribe, who is a very powerful Sheikh, the Marines are a BIG part of the story. I, Maj Mann and CWO5 Roussell met with him days after the attack. What he told us would not square with the reasons the media told you the wedding was attacked. No, when I asked him why he thought his tribe was attacked, he looked at me with the look that let you know why he is the Sheikh, and said:

"Because I have prepared my tribe to vote. I have educated them. I have signs throughout all my villages telling them to vote. We do not want a Shia government, a Sunni government or a Kurdish government. We want a government of the people."

"A government of the people." Where have I heard that before?

Pray for the success of YOUR Marines and their historical mission! 30 Jan is the first step in a journey of a thousand paces, but it will chart the course of a ship destined for free waters, and will ensure your children and grandchildren never hear the words terror or terrorists. I don't know about you, but I see that as my sacred duty for my two Angels!

May God Bless and Keep the Magnificent Families of 2/24.

- Lt. Col. Mark Smith

Posted by Delftsman3 at January 30, 2005 04:25 AM

The election is over and it went much better than expected. Not like what the Kennedy's and Kerry's wanted it was a success. There is hope now that they will reject the terrorists domination of their people and form a representative form of government.

Posted by: Jack at January 30, 2005 06:33 PM
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