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Letters From Soldiers In Iraq
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Know Buddee
2004-10-07 11:00:19 EST
...My name is Tony Pietsch, and I am a National Guardsman who has been
stationed in Kuwait and Iraq for the past 15 months. Along with so
many other guard and reserve units, my unit was put on convoy escorts.
We were on gun trucks running from the bottom of Iraq to about two
hours above Baghdad.

The Iraqi resistance was insanity. I spent many nights lying awake
after mortar rounds had just struck areas nearby, some coming close
enough to throw rocks against my tent. I've seen roadside bombs go off
all over, Iraqis trying to ram the side of our vehicle. Small children
giving us the finger and throwing rocks at the soldiers in the
turrets. We were once lost in Baghdad and received nothing but dirty
looks and angry gestures for hours.

I have personally been afraid for my life more days than I can count.
We lost our first man only a few weeks before our tour was over, but
it seems that all is for nothing because all we see is hostility and
anger over our being there. They are angry over the abuse scandal and
the collateral damages that are always occurring.

xxxxxxxxxxx

I am an LCPL in the US Marine Corps and veteran of Operation Iraqi
Freedom. Mr Moore, please keep pounding away at Bush. I'm not some
pussy when it comes to war. However, the position we were put in -
fighting an enemy that used women, children, and other civilians as
shields; forcing us to choose between firing at "area targets" (nice
way of saying firing into crowds) or being killed by the bastards
using the crowds for cover - is indescribably horrible.

I saw more than a few dead children littering the streets in
Nasiriyah, along with countless other civilians. And through all this,
I held on to the belief that it had to be for some greater good.

Months have passed since I've been back home and the unfortunate
conclusion I've come to is that Bush is a lying, manipulative
motherfucker who cares nothing for the lives of those of us who serve
in uniform. Hell, other than playing dress-up on aircraft carriers,
what would he know about serving this nation in uniform?

His silence and refusal to speak under oath to the 9/11 Commission
further mocks our country. The Patriot Act violates every principle we
fight and die for. And all of this has been during his first term. Can
you imagine his policies when he doesn't have to worry about
re-election? We can't allow that to happen, and there are so many like
me in the military who feel this way. We were lied to and used. And
there aren't words to describe the sense of betrayal I feel as a
result.

============================

above is an excerpt of the following:

Published on Tuesday, October 5, 2004 by the Guardian/UK
Dear Dad, Iraq Sucks
by Michael Moore

Civilian contractors are fleecing taxpayers; US troops don't have
proper equipment; and supposedly liberated Iraqis hate them. After the
release of Fahrenheit 9/11, Michael Moore received a flood of letters
and emails from disillusioned and angry American soldiers serving in
Iraq. Here, in an exclusive extract from his new book, we print a
selection:

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/1005-22.htm

Several more letters from soldiers are there


SUPPORT THE TROOPS
QUIT MAKING THEM KILL INNOCENT CIVILIANS
DROP BUSH NOT BOMBS

<><><><><><><>

Know Buddee
2004-10-07 19:31:12 EST
...My name is Tony Pietsch, and I am a National Guardsman who has been
stationed in Kuwait and Iraq for the past 15 months. Along with so
many other guard and reserve units, my unit was put on convoy escorts.
We were on gun trucks running from the bottom of Iraq to about two
hours above Baghdad.

The Iraqi resistance was insanity. I spent many nights lying awake
after mortar rounds had just struck areas nearby, some coming close
enough to throw rocks against my tent. I've seen roadside bombs go off
all over, Iraqis trying to ram the side of our vehicle. Small children
giving us the finger and throwing rocks at the soldiers in the
turrets. We were once lost in Baghdad and received nothing but dirty
looks and angry gestures for hours.

I have personally been afraid for my life more days than I can count.
We lost our first man only a few weeks before our tour was over, but
it seems that all is for nothing because all we see is hostility and
anger over our being there. They are angry over the abuse scandal and
the collateral damages that are always occurring.

xxxxxxxxxxx

I am an LCPL in the US Marine Corps and veteran of Operation Iraqi
Freedom. Mr Moore, please keep pounding away at Bush. I'm not some
pussy when it comes to war. However, the position we were put in -
fighting an enemy that used women, children, and other civilians as
shields; forcing us to choose between firing at "area targets" (nice
way of saying firing into crowds) or being killed by the bastards
using the crowds for cover - is indescribably horrible.

I saw more than a few dead children littering the streets in
Nasiriyah, along with countless other civilians. And through all this,
I held on to the belief that it had to be for some greater good.

Months have passed since I've been back home and the unfortunate
conclusion I've come to is that Bush is a lying, manipulative
motherfucker who cares nothing for the lives of those of us who serve
in uniform. Hell, other than playing dress-up on aircraft carriers,
what would he know about serving this nation in uniform?

His silence and refusal to speak under oath to the 9/11 Commission
further mocks our country. The Patriot Act violates every principle we
fight and die for. And all of this has been during his first term. Can
you imagine his policies when he doesn't have to worry about
re-election? We can't allow that to happen, and there are so many like
me in the military who feel this way. We were lied to and used. And
there aren't words to describe the sense of betrayal I feel as a
result.

============================

above is an excerpt of the following:

Published on Tuesday, October 5, 2004 by the Guardian/UK
Dear Dad, Iraq Sucks
by Michael Moore

Civilian contractors are fleecing taxpayers; US troops don't have
proper equipment; and supposedly liberated Iraqis hate them. After the
release of Fahrenheit 9/11, Michael Moore received a flood of letters
and emails from disillusioned and angry American soldiers serving in
Iraq. Here, in an exclusive extract from his new book, we print a
selection:

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/1005-22.htm

Several more letters from soldiers are there


SUPPORT THE TROOPS
QUIT MAKING THEM KILL INNOCENT CIVILIANS
DROP BUSH NOT BOMBS

<><><><><><><>

Michael
2004-10-11 17:57:12 EST
In article <52d3f97e.0410070700.5ec70a86@posting.google.com>,
know_buddee@hotmail.com (know buddee) wrote:

> ...My name is Tony Pietsch, and I am a National Guardsman who has been
> stationed in Kuwait and Iraq for the past 15 months. Along with so
> many other guard and reserve units, my unit was put on convoy escorts.
> We were on gun trucks running from the bottom of Iraq to about two
> hours above Baghdad.
>
> The Iraqi resistance was insanity. I spent many nights lying awake
> after mortar rounds had just struck areas nearby, some coming close
> enough to throw rocks against my tent. I've seen roadside bombs go off
> all over, Iraqis trying to ram the side of our vehicle. Small children
> giving us the finger and throwing rocks at the soldiers in the
> turrets. We were once lost in Baghdad and received nothing but dirty
> looks and angry gestures for hours.
>
> I have personally been afraid for my life more days than I can count.
> We lost our first man only a few weeks before our tour was over, but
> it seems that all is for nothing because all we see is hostility and
> anger over our being there. They are angry over the abuse scandal and
> the collateral damages that are always occurring.

You must tell your story to the Iraq President who apparently lied to the
UN and the United States Congress. Perhaps when you let the current
President of Iraq in on the 'real' situation, you can help free Saddam and
restore him as dictator for life.

--
May God Bless You
Michael
GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY. GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL.
We make a Living by what we get, We make a Life by what we give.

Michael
2004-10-12 14:17:48 EST
John Leo October 11, 2004
\ufffd\ufffd<http://www.wnd.com/columnists>www.wnd.com/columnists

America's mainline protestant churches are in trouble. One sign is
shrinking membership. Another is turning their political policymaking over
to fringe leftists whose deepest instinct is to blame America and pummel
Israel whenever possible. The latest disgrace is the Presbyterian Church's
plan for selective divestment in Israel--ending the church's investment in
multinational companies that the church believes bear particular
responsibility for the sufferings of the Palestinian people. For example,
the Presbyterians say they may divest themselves of Caterpillar stock,
because bulldozers made by that company are used to level Palestinian
homes in Israel's antiterrorism campaign. Of course, these bulldozers can
also be used to move debris after Palestinian suicide bombers have
finished blowing up another round of women, children, and other civilian
bystanders in Israel.

How do the Presbyterians go about adopting stances like this? Apparently
they cast a stern moral glance around the world, look for possible abuses
in China, North Korea, and Iran, and seeing nothing disturbing there,
decide to focus once again on Israel. The conservative Institute on
Religion and Democracy (IRD) released a measured and devastating report on
the human-rights efforts of mainline churches and groups--the United
Methodist Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Episcopal Church,
and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), plus the reliably leftist National
Council of Churches and World Council of Churches. The report, covering
the years 2000 to 2003, found that of 197 human-rights criticisms by
mainline churches and groups, 37 percent were aimed at Israel and 32
percent at the United States. Only 19 percent of these criticisms were
directed at nations listed as "unfree" in Freedom House's respected annual
listing of free, partly free, and unfree nations. So Israel was twice as
likely to be hammered by the mainliners as all the unfree authoritarian
nations put together. The fixation on Israel left little time and
inclination for these churches to notice the most dangerous violations of
human rights around the world. Not one nation bordering Israel was
criticized by a single mainline church or group, the IRD report says. No
criticisms at all were leveled at China, Libya, Syria, or North Korea.

Human-rights groups are normally accorded great respect for the work they
do. But the rights work of the mainline churches is basically a one-sided
expression of ideology--America is essentially viewed as a malignant force
in the world, while Israel is seen as nothing more than a dangerous
colonial implant of the West. The IRD report says the mainliners'
"pervasive anti-Americanism is demonstrated time and again in their
public-policy advocacy, and one need not investigate far to find it."
Later, the report says, "When U.S. policy cannot be blamed, the mainline
denominations seem less interested in speaking up for the victims."

Anti-Americanism is an old story in the mainline church bureaucracies.
During the 1970s and 1980s, these churches generally ignored human-rights
abuses in the Soviet Union and focused instead on the United States as the
primary source of abuse. One result was to scorn dissident movements, such
as Solidarity in Poland, which were pressing Moscow for more freedom. The
persistent folly of the World Council of Churches on this issue made news
in July when its former president, Konrad Raiser, apologized for not
supporting freedom movements during the Cold War. At this rate, a future
president of the World Council might decide he's finally ready to
apologize for ignoring severe abuses in today's vicious dictatorships, oh,
sometime maybe around 2030.

The Presbyterian divestment plan seems to be an obvious effort to get an
anti-Israel bandwagon rolling among the churches. The Episcopalians
quickly obliged, letting it be known that divestment in companies doing
business with Israel is now up for discussion. A high-level group from the
church recently toured the Middle East, meeting with Yasser Arafat but not
with any Israeli officials. Par for the course. The divestment movement is
a pretty big issue on some college campuses, supported by Muslim students
and aging professors committed to blaming the West for all the world's
evils. As part of this effort, Israel is routinely equated with the
apartheid regime in South Africa and, by implication, with the Nazi regime
in Germany. Despite all the inflammatory and one-sided rhetoric, no
university has ever come close to supporting divestment.

Many Jews see the divestment movement as an instrument of anti-Semitism.
Maybe it is, but the efforts of the woeful mainline churches are better
seen as classic knee-jerk leftism, an expression of hard-core loathing for
the United States and the West, with Israel as a stand-in for America. The
mainline churches believe they still stand for high moral purpose in
politics. They don't. They can no longer be taken seriously on politics or
human rights.

--
May God Bless You
Michael
GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY. GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL.
We make a Living by what we get, We make a Life by what we give.

Michael
2004-10-12 16:40:42 EST
In article <52d3f97e.0410070700.5ec70a86@posting.google.com>,
know_buddee@hotmail.com (know buddee) wrote:

> ...My name is Tony Pietsch, and I am a National Guardsman who has been
> stationed in Kuwait and Iraq for the past 15 months. Along with so
> many other guard and reserve units, my unit was put on convoy escorts.
> We were on gun trucks running from the bottom of Iraq to about two
> hours above Baghdad.
>
> The Iraqi resistance was insanity. I spent many nights lying awake
> after mortar rounds had just struck areas nearby, some coming close
> enough to throw rocks against my tent. I've seen roadside bombs go off
> all over, Iraqis trying to ram the side of our vehicle. Small children
> giving us the finger and throwing rocks at the soldiers in the
> turrets. We were once lost in Baghdad and received nothing but dirty
> looks and angry gestures for hours.
>
> I have personally been afraid for my life more days than I can count.
> We lost our first man only a few weeks before our tour was over, but
> it seems that all is for nothing because all we see is hostility and
> anger over our being there. They are angry over the abuse scandal and
> the collateral damages that are always occurring.

You must tell your story to the Iraq President who apparently lied to the
UN and the United States Congress. Perhaps when you let the current
President of Iraq in on the 'real' situation, you can help free Saddam and
restore him as dictator for life.


--
May God Bless You
Michael
GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY. GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL.
We make a Living by what we get, We make a Life by what we give.

Sh'ma-Yisrael
2004-10-13 00:04:28 EST
m*t@ix.netcom.com (Michael) wrote in message news:<mikeburt-1210041417040001@192.168.1.101>...
> John Leo October 11, 2004
>   
>
> America's mainline protestant churches are in trouble. One sign is
> shrinking membership. Another is turning their political policymaking over
> to fringe...

<SNIP>

Well duh! Any time a Church gets itself (as an organization) in
politics, it devalues itself into being a social activism group. Both
the lefties and the righties are playing it up. Usually the wiser
Christians look at that and say "How stupid does (Bush/Kerry) think I
am?" These guys might sell their souls for just 4 more years in
office. When people start putting their "Christian level" on the same
shelf as their politics (or polititians) they are most likely in
bigger trouble than they realize.

SHALOM!

Ben Hopkins
2004-10-13 01:20:44 EST
Sh'ma-Yisrael wrote:
> mikeburt@ix.netcom.com (Michael) wrote in message news:<mikeburt-1210041417040001@192.168.1.101>...
>
>>John Leo October 11, 2004
>>
>>America's mainline protestant churches are in trouble. One sign is
>>shrinking membership. Another is turning their political policymaking over
>>to fringe...
>
> <SNIP>
>
> Well duh! Any time a Church gets itself (as an organization) in
> politics, it devalues itself into being a social activism group. Both
> the lefties and the righties are playing it up. Usually the wiser
> Christians look at that and say "How stupid does (Bush/Kerry) think I
> am?" These guys might sell their souls for just 4 more years in
> office. When people start putting their "Christian level" on the same
> shelf as their politics (or polititians) they are most likely in
> bigger trouble than they realize.

I have a couple of problems with this. First, I cannot find that
content in Michael's posting in this thread.

Second is the assumption that "trouble" is identified with "shrinking
membership."

Scripture continually refers to the church in the world as a "remnant."

"The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty
God." (Is. 10:21)

"Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate:
it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant
of Joseph." (Amos 5:15)

"Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children
of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved." (Rom. 9:27)

"Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to
the election of grace." (Rom. 11:5)


etc. etc. etc.

Also there is the picture of the broad and strait gates: "Enter ye in
at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that
leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because
strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and
few there be that find it." (Matt. 7:13-14)

You have "many" going into the broad gate, and "few" finding the strait
one. The churches that are growing fast are to be suspect: are they
offering a wide and broad gate?

Oh, by the way, amen about the politics.

Reuben Hick
2004-10-13 07:59:09 EST
"Ben Hopkins" <XbenXhopkins@XmindXspring.Xcom> wrote in message
news:MW2bd.2887$SZ5.2653@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net...

> Second is the assumption that "trouble" is identified with "shrinking
> membership."
>
> Scripture continually refers to the church in the world as a "remnant."
>
> You have "many" going into the broad gate, and "few" finding the strait
> one. The churches that are growing fast are to be suspect: are they
> offering a wide and broad gate?

As one Calvinist to another said as they stood in the entrance of a huge
"fast growing" mega church, "Perhaps they are not preaching the true Gospel
of Jesus Christ here."




Franklin Tennyson
2004-10-13 10:11:17 EST

"Reuben Hick" <reubenhick@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:hM8bd.5000$Al3.2642@newssvr30.news.prodigy.com...
> "Ben Hopkins" <XbenXhopkins@XmindXspring.Xcom> wrote in message
> news:MW2bd.2887$SZ5.2653@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net...
>
> > Second is the assumption that "trouble" is identified with "shrinking
> > membership."
> >
> > Scripture continually refers to the church in the world as a "remnant."
> >
> > You have "many" going into the broad gate, and "few" finding the strait
> > one. The churches that are growing fast are to be suspect: are they
> > offering a wide and broad gate?
>
> As one Calvinist to another said as they stood in the entrance of a huge
> "fast growing" mega church, "Perhaps they are not preaching the true
Gospel
> of Jesus Christ here."

Franklin: Hate it when someone "snips" out the former posts, don't you?

As a minister who recently resigned a church I had pastored for thirteen
years I have found it very hard to consider pastoring yet another
"traditional" church. We had a lady say things about a group of our youth
one night. After church, on the way home, I said to my wife. I need to go to
her house, find a dresser with a mirrow, clean of the top, set up a copy of
"Mrs. Manners" 1910 edition, Sears catalogue of proper clothing, 1840's
edition, a picture of her former pastors when she was growing up, her
parents, her family, put on a "Gospel" radio station, and light candles for
her. Then she could kneel and look in the mirrow and at the other things and
worship her true gods, saying her favorite phrase, "I just wasn't raised
that way".

Another member had gotten himself elected to the office of Treasurer, chair
of the Budget Committee, and the Property Committee, and Chair of the Board
of Directors, and his wife as chair of the Benevolence Committee. In all
they held six key positions that "controlled" spending. The church voted to
clear land it owns and do some work to make the building visible from a main
highway. This man, as he had done in many other situatiions, used his
control to make sure nothing was done. He and his wife get upset when
someone "uses the church" for non-religious purposes, yet they use it
without permission for their family gatherings and events. To them all
things revolve around their family. He just cannot turn loose of a dollar of
"God's money" and wants it to be used "Correctly" but if it benefits his or
his wife's family he is all for it. For him I would have to put pictures of
his wife, paper money in all denominations, himself in a priest robe,
pictures of family members, and he could look in the mirrow and worship his
gods.

Another man in the church, a deacon, decided we needed to get back to the
"old time religion". He meant Calvanism. Any message I preached not
Clavanistic he criticised, and he kept it up in Sunday School, in Deacon's
meetings, etc. He wanted foot washing, and a "hell and Brimstone" legalistic
attitude toward any thing he termed an indiscretion. As pastor due to his
continual interference and politicking I simply had lost all hope of leading
the church to reach the lost, serve the community, get the youth and young
adults involved, and get anything accomplished that would revive and regrow
the church. He wants to "purge the church" of the "ungodly" who are not
super Clalvanist. At one point we ran over 100 now the church runs about 25.
Guess who the 25 are? Guess how long it has been since the church "Baptised"
anyone on profession of faith? Hint, he started his crusade eight years ago.

We decided after I resigned to check out a "Modern" church, it was
non-denominational, and featured "praise worship". During the "song service"
where the song leader rallied the troops like a side show barker and got
everyone stirred up, all I saw were the buts of those in front of us, since
when he entered the "stage" everyone stood up, started doing the wave and
clapping, with the kids visiting one another, mothers going in a steady
stream to the restroom, and the fathers looking around to be sure everyone
saw they were "worshiping". Then the pastor delivered a speach on how good
God is and everyone went home. Guess what their gods were? Recently that
church is having problems, They have a hugh "building fund" and no plans to
build which was promised but has not materialized, the pastor does not
thiink the time is right yet. Meanwhile, the Elders, without vote of the
church or seeking the pastor's blessings, changed the doctrinal statement of
the church, and half the Elders, Deacons, and a large number of members left
statin they could not support the new doctrine. Meanwhile, the Ministry team
members wh are left are jockying for positions of power and control of the
church, and the pastor is starting to preach "negative" sermons about those
who depart the faith. Already I have been approched to "start a new church"
from those who are planning on leaving, since the church has lost its "love
feast" and excitement and energy.

We then went to a more established mainstream lithurgical church. It was all
about their lithurgy, their rites, their rituals, their correctness. It was
cold in that we did not feel like anyone really wanted us there. It seemed
from the stares we broke "the spell" so to speak. The service was beautiful
and emotionally moving in the sense of watching a rainbow; but without any
more substance. We learned the age of the building, it was a historical
landmark. That was the highlight of that adventure. The sad thing, for them,
is they may have to close their doors soom and merge with another local
congreagation with an older building and more glamerous history. After all,
there has to be a proper attitude kept on what is important in making such
decisions.

So, I look up a Messianic site on the net that is close. I e-mailed the
Rabbi for information, and he never returned my mail. I called the number
but after talking to the secretary I knew nothing that was not on the web
site, it was all "Canned and standard issue". When they found out I was a
minister it seemed they did all they could to discourage me, politely, for
attending, so I did not. Recently their Rabbi was in hot water for rileing
the Jewish community, and the Christian community snickered since what they
teach is totally unlike any thing "traditional churchs" teach. Now they are
awash in conroversy, and I hear some Jewish Law believing Messianic gentile
fanatics are trying to wrest control of the church from the founding
Messianic Jews and Rabbi. Seems they had reasons to fear a gentile who
claimed to have a "call from God".

Why is Christianity declining? In my opinion we are worshiping too many gods
and are totally quenching the Holy Spirit and the spiritual ledership of the
ministers. We "Christians" have become totally "self-absorced" and only want
a "church" that satisfies our desires and lust. This even extends to the
"Messianic Movement". Huh, guess we reap what we sow.



Sh'ma-Yisrael
2004-10-13 12:18:15 EST
Ben Hopkins <XbenXhopkins@XmindXspring.Xcom> wrote in message news:<MW2bd.2887$SZ5.2653@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net>...
> Sh'ma-Yisrael wrote:
> > mikeburt@ix.netcom.com (Michael) wrote in message news:<mikeburt-1210041417040001@192.168.1.101>...
> >
> >>John Leo October 11, 2004
> >>
> >>America's mainline protestant churches are in trouble. One sign is
> >>shrinking membership. Another is turning their political policymaking over
> >>to fringe...
> >
> > <SNIP>
> >
> > Well duh! Any time a Church gets itself (as an organization) in
> > politics, it devalues itself into being a social activism group. Both
> > the lefties and the righties are playing it up. Usually the wiser
> > Christians look at that and say "How stupid does (Bush/Kerry) think I
> > am?" These guys might sell their souls for just 4 more years in
> > office. When people start putting their "Christian level" on the same
> > shelf as their politics (or polititians) they are most likely in
> > bigger trouble than they realize.
>
> I have a couple of problems with this. First, I cannot find that
> content in Michael's posting in this thread.
>
> Second is the assumption that "trouble" is identified with "shrinking
> membership."

I agree. It's sort of the "prosperity theology" of MORE PEOPLE IN
CHURCH equals BETTER CHRISTIANS.

> Oh, by the way, amen about the politics.

Thanks. That was really my only point.
SHALOM!
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