It has taken me almost two weeks to muster the motivation to write. This month has been a rough month for our troops over here. I'm sure the news keeps everyone "abreast" of the situation. Unfortunately, the "news" is a money making business...so of course you folks get to hear and see what they "want" you to hear and see. It bothers me to no end when the focus of the news is of the "carnage" over here. The fact that you and I see the reports of "May being one of the deadliest months" is appalling. I also can't stand the fact that they hang days and weeks on isolated incidents of tragedy or mistakes that our troops make. THIS IS A WAR PEOPLE. Don't get me wrong...I'm not advocating that we all turn a blind eye to our troops indiscretions...but give it a rest. One recent headline touted how a "U.S. tank kills 3 Iraqi children"...COME ON!!! How is that doing any good, by "newsing" that up. What they don't tell is how the Iraqi insurgency kills a large number of their own fellow Iraqis daily, including entire families and children. The other side of the tank issue: that tank crew is probably devastated by what happened. The troops over here are good people and are effected emotionally by devastating events too. These guys really are trying to do the "right thing" and the media, in some regards, is a bigger threat to the well being of our troops than any insurgent. I would recommend that a reporter or media venue...not come anywhere near me for a long while. I am just that upset with the whole ordeal. I would recommend that U.S. citizens not turn so much of their anger against our government but turn it against the media outlets. Their self-serving reports and constant "eye-poking" are the real reason things "are so bad" here.
I've posted a picture of a local area of Baghdad known as Sadr City. Some of you will recognize the name. This "neighborhood" is named after Moqtada Sadr. He's the Shiia cleric that recently reappeared in the media with much hoopla. Sadr City is a very large Shiia Muslim area of Baghdad that has a large number of Iranian supported militia-men. The militias are essentially gangs of punks that terrorize our troops and the citizens of the area. All this, thanks to good ole Moqtada and his anti-American rhetoric. Yet we have let him live in attempts to stabilize things. Maybe we have exhibited too much restraint here...I just don't know what this place will take to get itself fixed. Unfortunately, I think this will be a "long" summer for us.
R, K & G...I miss you and love you. You guys make my days brighter.