Saturday, August 26, 2006


These Americans do NOT support the troops.

By Anthony Ippoliti
USMC Infantry (letter to The Ridgefield Press)

Almost every week, I open The (Ridgefield) Press
and find an article or letter to the editors
denouncing the coalition effort in Iraq.
Invariably, the individuals behind these anti-war
letters and rallies mask their political agendas
by asserting that they support the troops but not
the war.

They read off the names of the dead and claim to
show support for our troops while urging lawmakers
to bring them home. They believe that the U.S.-led
coalition should never have entered Iraq. What they
are really doing is using our lives and the issue
of our safety and well-being as a means to achieve
a political end.

This is essentially a slap in the face to those in
the service.

I have never once received a letter from an
individual who claims to support the troops, not
the war. Not a single Marine I know has received
anything that could be considered remotely
supportive from any of these people or the groups
they represent. We have received phone cards,
hygiene supplies, food, etc. from members of
state and local government, radio stations,
schools, private individuals and organizations,
but never once from any group claiming to support
the troops, but not the war.

How can they support us if they are essentially
saying that our blood and sacrifices have all
been given in vain? How can they support us if
they say that our comrades and brothers who have
been wounded or killed in action have done so for
a hopeless and morally questionable cause?
They can't.

I see the Iraqi people every day. The protesters
do not. I speak with the Iraqi people every day.
The protesters do not. I don’t sit behind a desk
and do paperwork or resupply efforts in the
military. I am an Infantry Marine and I walk the
sewage-filled streets of this city every single day.

In Fallujah, the people watch Al Jazeerah.
However, they also watch CNN. A lot of them fear
that the United States will soon cut and run. The
people of Iraq see when our country is divided.
When they see rallies to Bring The Troops Home,
they see that as a sign that we will end our
efforts prematurely.

Furthermore, they know that the insurgents will
not end their efforts early. That leads them to
the conclusion that when we leave, the insurgents
will still be there. Therefore, if they help us,
their lives and the lives of their loved ones will
be in great jeopardy the minute we leave if we
don’t finish the job. Much that they see on
American television leads them to believe that we
intend to abandon our efforts before the new Iraqi
government is capable of defending itself and its

The actions of these aforementioned organizations
and the heavy media coverage their rallies often
generate serves as fuel for the insurgency.
Insurgents believe they can drive us out through
the idea of death by a thousand cuts. The longer
they persist in their efforts, the more the American
public becomes disenchanted with the coalition effort.

The insurgents aren't fighting simply to drive
America out of Iraq. They are fighting to destroy
any semblance of the Iraqi government so that they
can impose their will on its people.

Publicly protesting our efforts in Iraq fuels the
insurgency. Doing it under the pretext of supporting
our troops is disgraceful. Using deployed service
members as a mask to serve your purely political
purpose is downright shameful. If your desire is to
protest the war, then protest the war, but don't use
me or any reference to our troops as a tool to bolster
your purpose.


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