Reply from an American Solider to Hammorabi
Below is a letter from an American solider in Iraq in reply about my letter to an American solider published before in this site. I replaced the name with letters to keep his ID protected but I haven't changed anything else!
From: ** * ** ** **/*** <********@***********>
Sent :19 May 2004 22:45:34
To : firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject : An American soldier... response to your letter...
I am responding to...A Letter to an American Solider!
I am an American soldier and would like to comment on what you say in your letter.
I think what you are trying to ask here is, how we feel when we go into a foreign country... regardless of the reason.
I know that I myself, and most of my friends all feel the same, we have enormous respect for Iraqi civilians whether you see it or not. We believe that Iraqis are a very proud people of dignity and honor and whose ancestors created the foundations of modern civilization. We believe that Iraqis are sacred in many ways; your ancestors are the subjects we read about in our most holy book, and whose words created the bible from which our religion is based. We believe that you are a very intelligent people who deserve above anything to have a healthy democratic form of government that respects its people instead of abuses them.
We believe we came to your country to liberate you from Saddam Hussein, we believe he was a very bad person. We believe we are there now to make sure you receive a healthy democracy that you can be proud of. We understand that we are not perfect, we are only human beings, we have made mistakes... we also understand that as we realize our mistakes we will do everything we can to stop doing it wrong, and get it right.
We honestly do try to respect your religion and your customs, sometimes it is not easy though, there are so many things about you that we don't know, many things you see as disrespectful are done out of either ignorance or the lack of funds/personnel, please forgive us for this. We are not trying to be mean. Also, as for your holy places, we do try as often as possible to respect that too, but you have to admit, sometimes the people who are trying to ruin your chances for democracy use these places in very UN-holy ways.
Something else I am sick of hearing and reading that is not true, WE DO NOT WANT TO CHANGE YOUR RELIGION, WE DO NOT CARE WHAT FAITH YOU PRACTICE, IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH WHY WE ARE THERE, BEING MUSLIM IS NOT A HINDER TO DEMOCRACY, BEING CHRISTIAN IS NOT A HELP, IT SIMPLY DOES NOT MATTER.
We are ALL disgusted by what happened in the prison, NO human at ANY time should EVER be treated like that. That was wrong and I hope the people that did that get far worse than what their victims received. Americans are not happy with what happened. The vast majority of us believe that the whole chain of command responsible should be punished appropriately.
You are correct, human beings are all the same in many ways, we have families, loved ones, fathers, mothers, and friends... we all want one thing and that is to live in a world where we can wake up every morning in our own house, go to work and make enough money to feed our families, come home to our cute kids and beautiful wives, and go to bed feeling safe and happy.
We American soldiers are not completely stupid, we can imagine ourselves in your place, how would we feel if a Muslim nation invaded the states to free us from an evil dictator, and then seemed to turn out at times as bad as the evil dictator said they would be.
Honestly, we would not be that happy either.
Even though you may not LOVE us, please understand that we ARE there to help you... We get pulled quite harshly from our happy lives, from our happy homes, from our happy families, so we can go to a strange country of strange people and do a job that no one in the world seems to want... We turn on the news and we watch the whole world act like we are so bad and that Saddam was such a saint. We miss our families and our homes. We honestly HATE wearing these hot uncomfortable uniforms that were NOT made for your climate. We can't understand you when you talk. We honestly are interested in your culture, food, and history, but have to have this chance to learn about you ruined by people endlessly shooting at us, or shouting hateful things at us. All this and we still go there because deep in our imperfect but good intentioned hearts we believe you, not matter how bad you hate us, deserve a govt that respects and treats you good. No matter how hard it is for us there, no matter how many of our close friends have to die, we will NOT give up until Iraq is returned to being a leader of science, education, and civilized ideals like it once was. Japan was once ruled by a tyrant, it was changed into a democracy and now is an economic world leader and a regional superpower, German was once ruled by a tyrant, it was changed into a democracy, and is now an economic world leader and regional superpower, I believe with all my heart that Iraq will be one of the greatest economic world leaders, a regional superpower, and the flagship of human rights and Arab progressiveness.
Nothing comes without a price, nothing comes in the snap of a finger... please have patience, in the end you will all have won more than you can imagine or even dream.