Monday, January 31, 2005

Before And After The Election

January 29 , 2005

First and foremost, I would like to thank the ever-present media for really boosting the insurgents’ message. I can't tell you how aware the media made me about how dangerous it would be for the Iraqis to get out and vote. We get to watch a few select channels here, and every station represented in the country was putting the "fear factor" in the minds of those who were thinking about voting. They even televised the leaflets the insurgents were passing out. How do you like that for free publicity?

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for freedom of speech, but I was always taught that there was a limit to that freedom, and it came when it causes harm to others. How does their message cause harm? They bolster the fact to the insurgents are threatening anyone who votes, out of fear not enough people participate in the process, the insurgents gain strength, and the U.S. Soldier's stay here gets extended. There is where the harm comes in.

I'm writing this on the eve of election day, so only time will tell how well the insurgents' message was received by the Iraqi people. Again, thanks to our very own American news broadcasters for getting out the insurgents’ message.

The soldiers and the leadership are all holding their breath hoping that tomorrow goes off without too many hitches. We do expect that VBIED's (vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices) and suicide bombers will be their mode of destruction, so the units outside the wire are on a heightened state of readiness. We've even limited actions here on post to maintain full accountability of our soldiers and limit our exposure to hazardous areas.

January 31, 2005

What a great day to be an American and even a greater day to be one of those in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Despite the pain and anguish it caused the broadcasters to show the people of this country celebrating in the streets over the chance to vote, you know that the next step in getting this country on its own two feet occurred yesterday. History was made, and the U.S. leadership along with the young men and women of our armed forces made it happen.

While watching the success stories on the TV and hearing about the gratitude the people at the polls had for the troops, I couldn't help but think of the soldiers that weren't here to see the results of their efforts. The soldiers that made the ultimate sacrifice, so that another human being could experience the freedom that they and their family enjoy each day. I don't believe that each of them fully understood the magnitude of what they were doing at the time of their death, but I do believe that their spirits were present yesterday, and they were glad in the moment they helped create. I hope everyone at home is as jacked up as we are about how things went yesterday.

Take Care and God Bless