The U.S. Military

This is great.  I borrowed it from Road Sassy who got it from Michael Leeden’s weblog.  This needs to get around!

From the weblog of Michael Ledeen, Why Do They Love Us?, comments on the US Military in Iraq by an Australian.

Before I came over here I thought we (the Australian Army) were pretty…hot….. was I ever wrong!….The Yanks (I hope you don’t mind me using that word) are so professional from the top to the bottom that it is almost embarrassing to be in their company, and to call yourself a soldier….don’t get me wrong, we are good at what we do but the Yanks are so much better…..they are complete at what they do, how they do it and their attitude is awesome….they don’t complain they just get on with the job and they do it right…..I carry a Minimi (SAW) so I am not real worried about a confrontation but I tell you I feel safer just knowing that the US Army is close by….If we got into trouble I know that our boys would come running and we could deal with it but they would probably be passed by a load of Hummers. No questions asked, no glory sought, the Americans would just fight with us and for us because that is their nature, to protect those in need of protection…..We use the American Mess so you could say that we are fed by the Americans…..they have every right to be pissed at that but they don’t bitch about that they just make us feel as welcome as possible….what gets to me is that the Yanks don’t walk around with a “we are better than you attitude” and they could because they are, they treat us as equals and as brothers in arms. If nothing else, coming here has taught me that the Americans are a truly great Nation and a truly great bunch of people…..Let’s face it they don’t HAVE to be here, they could stay in America and beat the shit out of anyone who threatened them, BUT THEY ARE HERE because they believe they should be here, and the Iraqis would be screwed if they weren’t here…..When I come home, you and I we are going to the US, we will buy some bikes and we are going riding….

So the question arises, why isn’t this sort of thing on the front pages of the various US newspapers? Silly question to ask I suppose.

Indeed!  Sadly, a very silly question considering the political leanings of our US Newspapers and most other media outlets!

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Comments

  1. Alex Armstrong says:

    I sincerely hope none of the media do run with it because it is fake. I’m certain there’s nothing more than liberals like more than patriots being made to look like suckers.

    There is a Peter Turner in Australia who is ex Aussie armed forces and is an official of the Cairns (Queensland State) es Service men association. Problem is, he’s an active member of the Australian Labor Party, on record as slagging off John Howard, George W. Bush and the Iraq war.

    The worst of all is this fake isn’t accurate in respect of Australian troop deployment. The Aussies came out almost as soon as the actual war ended. Some went back in to protect Japanese troops and left after they did.

    There are Aussie SAS in Iraq but they operate with the British SAS and these guys don’t eat in US messes…they don’t eat in British messes either…they’re separate.

    A give away is the slang…this letter is written by an American. For example in Aussie English ‘to be pissed’ is to be drunk, to be ‘pissed off’ is to be angry with someone.

    Why someone would write such a document is an interesting point? A liberal setting a trap or more unsettling a well-meaning citizen trying to boost morale?

  2. Alex,

    Your comment is very interesting and if you are correct, I think it is sad that someone would post such a “lie” on purpose.

    Typically, I would take the post down after finding out the information is false, but I think I will leave it up along with your comment to show how easy it is to be misled by things posted on the web.

    The liberals can have their chuckle I suppose … but at least conservatives are usually willing to admit a mistake … and not just flip flop like liberal usually do.

  3. I’m British and I’d agree that this letter doesn’t ring true in the sense it is not written by an Aussie (or a Brit). That’s not to say I don’t agree with many of the sentiments.

    America is a great country that is a force for good,in a world racked by intolerance, poverty and injustice. You’d think every right-minded person could sign up for that but you’d be wrong. One expects hatred from the enemy, the Islamic fanatics, the dictators, the Mafioso-state capitalists…it’s the home grown criticism that’s more difficult to take. A quick trawl around the internet and it’s pretty clear you have more than your fair share of defeatists, stooges and opportunists all ready to deride the US from within (plenty in the UK too). They are, to use Lenin’s term to describe the apologists for communism, ‘useful idiots’…they do a great job on behalf of all the enemies of freedom.

    Although the letter is probably a fake, the concept (a testimonial to the US Armed Forces) is a good one. Maybe it’s time to ask what the beneficiaries of US military support think. No, I’m not being sarcastic. The British army have just changed the tack of their recruitment TV advertising…instead of the usual ‘Learn new skills’, ‘Serve your country’ etc they now have a radically different approach. Each of the new ads feature civilians from the Bosnia and Kosovo conflicts. Each individual recounts (in Serbo Croat with English sub-titles) their experience. The brief cataloguing of the rape, torture, mutilation and mass killings is powerful Each individual explains how they they owe their lives to the Army. In a nutshell it explains what we’re about and it’s very difficult to argue with. It’s not going to win over the hard-line left-wingers over but for many middle-of-the-road types, it might.

    All too often our own ‘propaganda’ is too strident, too ‘gung ho’ and whilst giving all us ‘freedom types’ a nice warm feeling, doesn’t actually score any points with the fence sitters.

    Maybe you already have advertisements like the British Army ones…if not you maybe should have?

  4. Phil,

    Thank you for your comments. I agree with a lot of what you say and it saddens my how we have so many “useful idiots” in America.

    I know that, unfortunately, you have your share of “useful idiots” in the UK as well. But Great Britain, along with Australia, has been a staunch ally in the defense of freedom.

    So, here is a heart-felt THANK YOU from one true American!

    Darren

  5. I found these comments on the original post by Michael Leeden. I thought I would post them here, because they develop into a fairly interesting discussion:

    Pete Siracusa :

    I just spent two days on the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan. Too bad every American can’t see what I saw. Incredible morale, high spirited, confident young men and women on their way to deployment. Proud Americans who sacrifice daily for the rest of us…

    Apr 11, 2008 03:21 PM
    Rich Patras :

    Reading this…I couldn’t help but get tears in my eyes. Me, a hard veteran of the Navy, who deployed to many places of the world and did the job we were in the military to do.

    The Aussies are a group of people I have always been proud to call allies. A brief week on board HMAS Melbourne was an eye-opener. All port visits in Australia were like going to the Garden of Eden.

    It is people like the Australian soldier whose letter was cited, that make many sacrificies worthwhile in the life I lived as a professional military man.

    Apr 11, 2008 07:13 PM
    Stuart Koehl :

    Michael,

    Thanks so much for this piece, which says something that badly needed to be said. When I hear people–mainly American politicians–talking about the need to rehabilitate our image abroad, I always try to remember that what they mean is their counterparts in other countries think of America the same way they do. They know little and care less about the opinions of ordinary citizens, both here and in other countries. in other words, such comments are products of the trans-national elite’s echo chamber, nothing more.

    Apr 11, 2008 08:38 PM
    Fletcher Bistle :

    A very moving tribute.

    Apr 11, 2008 09:47 PM
    Anna :

    That was wonderful to read. So many people like to think of our soldiers as either brainwashed and naively patriotic, or violent, arrogant and greedy. I’ve been around military men and women all my life and have yet to meet anyone who fits those characteristics.

    Apr 11, 2008 10:33 PM
    Keith :

    That letter made my heart soar. And I was about to email it around, but just one question. Where did you get it? Why would he ask his father (presumably an Australian) if he minded his son calling Americans “yanks?”

    I want and hope this letter is real. Do you have any other info on it?

    ML:

    That line seems to me to be his father’s; remember the letter is from the father, describing a conversation with the son. sorry if that wasn’t clear.

    Apr 12, 2008 12:02 AM
    Susan :

    Thank you. We hear so much about how we have no reputation, etc…no one likes us, etc. But when we hear from the soldiers of other nations that are there with us…(sally field moment) They like us, they really do! 😀 It was lovely, thanks again.

    Apr 12, 2008 11:29 AM
    Catherine :

    I dont think the line about the yanks is from the father, he said he hoped you dont mind ME using that word. But the word was used by his son sopposedly, not the father.

    I like feel good stories as much as the next guy, but this doesnt ring true. It feels more like a propaganda peice to get supporters for the war and for recruitment.

    Apr 12, 2008 03:30 PM
    Brett_McS :

    Catherine, the “(I hope you don’t mind me using that word)” is like an editor’s comment from the father, breaking into the son’s narrative (which the father is transcribing).

    It would be formatted as [ed – an editor’s remark] in blogs or articles.

    Apr 12, 2008 04:59 PM
    Nigel :

    Catherine

    I am an Australian. I have visited the US, worked with yanks (I am currently working for an American company, so I have to deal with you lot every day) and met sailors and marines from visiting carrier groups in both Sydney and Perth.

    My view is that the yanks are the friendliest, nicest group of people you’ll ever meet (after us Australians of course).

    I also served in the Australian Army Reserves during the 1980’s. Back then, our army had a collective feeling of superiority over the US Army, because yours was getting over the problems caused by Vietnam (we never had the same view of the Marines however).

    Having spoken to friends who have served with the Australian Army in Iraq and Afghanistan, I can tell you that the spirit of the letter rings true. Most of my mates like and admire the US. We don’t want to live there, but we think it’s a pretty great place, and that the yanks are a pretty good bunch.

    The US Military of today is not the same military that John Kerry “served” in. It’s not 1973 any longer. Get over it.

    Apr 12, 2008 05:45 PM
    j green :

    Thanks Michael for this wonderful post! This is very uplifting and very gracious of the Aussie to say. All of them are heroes.

    Apr 12, 2008 11:18 PM
    Catherine :

    I am not “on” anything that I need to get over.

    I am questioning the authenticity of the letter. How was it obtained? Why isnt the authors name included? Why and how would a letter from a son to a father become “public” by someone other than the author himself?

    Why are people inserting their own explanations for the “the Yanks (I hope you don’t mind me using that word)” as if those explanations are fact? We dont even KNOW who the author of the letter is.

    Sorry, I actually question all information. Especially when it comes with nothing to give it validation. In fact, it even offers some reason to suspect its false (the line mentioned above).

    Apr 13, 2008 03:10 AM
    Tim :

    I would also question the authenticity of this letter. It has a distinctly un-Australian sound to it. It sounds as though it has been doctored heavily and the paraphrasing seems to have made the letter unrecognizable. I do not doubt that the soldier was generally impressed with the professionalism of the American army however this “letter” reeks of propaganda and even poetic licence.

    Apr 14, 2008 10:54 AM
    John :

    The paraphrases are helpful to understand the context and the term Minimi, which is not common in American English. “Yank” can be friendly or derogatory, whoever is the author wants to avoid sounding derogatory.
    Catherine, the veracity of your existence and name and your comments are in doubt, your whole posture seems to be that of a lackey of a larger unpatriotic effeminate irresponsible chicken-run movement that abandons allies and derides valor and comradeship.
    Tim, not every Australian is anti-US. Better to be poetic than self-celebrating.

    Apr 14, 2008 04:33 PM
    David M :

    Catherine,

    I’m not sure where Michael received his copy of “the letter,” most likely it showed up in his in box just like it did for me. However, unlike Michael I did post the entire letter not just the excerpt of the paraphrased son’s conversation. And yes just like you others have challenged the veracity of the letter and the provenance as well.

    I’ve heard people claim it couldn’t possibly be written by someone from OZ and still others from down under claim that it is valid.

    Come on over and read the entire letter for yourself and then make your own judgment. I “snoped” it and found nothing meaning that it is either true or just too new to have any meaningful research completed, so the truth is up to you to either believe or not.

    As Michael stated though, you’ll never find a soldier below the rank of LTC talk in wide sweeping terms they will tell you exactly what they saw no sugar coating and blunt.

    Stop by, read the letter and form your own opinion…if your biases force you one way or the other then so be it, but be aware of them and be honest about them, its all we ever ask of you.

    The letter can be read here in its entirety: [thunderrun.blogspot.com/2008/04/…]

    ML:

    Thanks . And while there, everyone should take the time to roam around; it’s a wonderful blog.

    Apr 14, 2008 08:43 PM
    Jerry :

    Hum, where is the US news media. We hear how bad it is for us to be there and yet other nations commend us. De Oppresso Lebra (To Free The Opressed).

    Apr 15, 2008 08:06 AM
    David M :

    Michael,

    Thank you so much for the compliment. After posting my comment I noticed that the tome was less than exemplary. Thank you for ignoring it, I had no intention of directing it towards you, as you so rightly surmised.

    David M
    Editor: The Thunder Run

    ML:

    Never entered my mind. I do love Thunder Run, I should have pointed it out long since (although I did link to it regarding Gen Kelly’s speech).

    Apr 15, 2008 03:01 PM
    John F Not Kerry :

    Catherine and Tim, it’s so nice of you to question the letter’s authenticity, especially worrying about it as “propaganda.” As if the negative lies the MSM has been spreading (Koran in the toilet, anyone) weren’t enough, you probably are surprised that anyone likes us.

    Apr 16, 2008 06:18 PM

  6. Anonymous says:

    It isn’t authentic for a few reasons.
    1- American spelling ‘realize’ as opposed to ‘realise’ ‘centered’ as opposed to ‘centred’
    2- If its a ‘telephone conversation’ why the heck does it sound like an essay? Read the supposed son’s words. Does that sound like a telephone conversation between a soldier and his dad or a 3 minute monologue on the greatness of the United States of America?
    3- Australians don’t say ‘pretty shit hot’, ‘pissed with’ (pissed means drunk Down Under), don’t say ‘was I ever wrong’, ‘army buddies’ would be Army mates

    Australians also don’t tend to start a letter with a long patriotic spiel about how ‘I thought there are no better people than Australians’ and Australians don’t ‘thank God’ and ‘God Bless You’ It just isn’t written in with Australian vernacular.

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