The Daily Demarche
Friday, December 24, 2004
Hope- part 2.
Not much time to work on my last piece today, but I did find two other similar themes on some of my favorite blogs.

The first, Some Thoughts on Iraq from The Sundries Shack offers the following explanation of what we are doing in Iraq today. This is just a small excerpt, check out the whole piece:

We’re not fighting a war. We’re not there as occupiers. We’re there in a far more important, but infinitely more dangerous role: bodyguard.

Think about it for a moment. The Iraqi people are, right now, weak and unable to defend themselves against the enemies who want to take over their country. They’ve been made weak by decades of horrific abuse, conditioning that tells them that only the strongest brute in the crowd should be the leader, and supposedly benign nations who took advantage of them to the tune of billions of dollars. They have no army - it fell apart as soon as we defeated it (since it was made up primarily of conscripts who had to be forced to serve and lackeys of the former regime). They have no idea how to stand up on their own and run their own affairs. They don’t know how to build a democratic government, though they very much want to. In short, even after a couple of years they’re easy meat for the ravening wolves howling around them.

All they have is us and those who have chosen to stand with us. They need us desperately to stand between them and those who want them so badly to fail. They need us to stand there and take the mortar attacks and suicide bombers and roadside IEDs because, quite honestly, they can’t take that load yet. They need us to suck up the damage that would collapse their nation in a heartbeat while they learn how to be strong and proud again.


I welcome any liberal comeback to that passage. Please explain to me how you can opppose an action that meets this description. Once we have helped the Iraqis to build a stable, solid democracy we can send plane loads of malcontents to Fallujah to teach them how to exercise the rights our nation's finest are securing for them today. Until then, I'll keep the image of bodyguard close to hand.

I found the second, "A Little Girl Saved Them", on the Power and Control blog (they got it from LGF. who got it from Blackfive.) The story is credited to "Mark" A USMC GySgt in Iraq. There is, of course, no way to verify this story, but it's Christmas, and I want to believe it. There is also no way to provide a piece of this without ruining it, so here is the whole story (but please visit the linked sources too, worth the read):

Just wanted to write to you and tell you another story about an experience we had over here.

As you know, I asked for toys for the Iraqi children over here and several people (Americans that support us) sent them over by the box. On each patrol we take through the city, we take as many toys as will fit in our pockets and hand them out as we can. The kids take the toys and run to show them off as if they were worth a million bucks. We are as friendly as we can be to everyone we see, but especially so with the kids. Most of them don't have any idea what is going on and are completely innocent in all of this.


On one such patrol, our lead security vehicle stopped in the middle of the street. This is not normal and is very unsafe, so the following vehicles began to inquire over the radio. The lead vehicle reported a little girl sitting in the road and said she just would not budge. The command vehicle told the lead to simply go around her and to be kind as they did. The street was wide enough to allow this maneuver and so they waved to her as they drove around.
As the vehicles went around her, I soon saw her sitting there and in her arms she was clutching a little bear that we had handed her a few patrols back. Feeling an immediate connection to the girl, I radioed that we were going to stop. The rest of the convoy paused and I got out the make sure she was OK. The little girl looked scared and concerned, but there was a warmth in her eyes toward me. As I knelt down to talk to her, she moved over and pointed to a mine in the road.


Immediately a cordon was set as the Marine convoy assumed a defensive posture around the site. The mine was destroyed in place.

It was the heart of an American that sent that toy. It was the heart of an American that gave that toy to that little girl. It was the heart of an American that protected that convoy from that mine. Sure, she was a little Iraqi girl and she had no knowledge of purple mountain's majesty or fruited plains. It was a heart of acceptance, of tolerance, of peace and grace, even through the inconveniences of conflict that saved that convoy from hitting that mine. Those attributes are what keep Americans hearts beating. She may have no affiliation at all with the United States, but she knows what it is to be brave and if we can continue to support her and her new government, she will know what it is to be free. Isn't that what Americans are, the free and the brave?

If you sent over a toy or a Marine (US Service member) you took part in this. You are a reason that Iraq has to believe in a better future. Thank you so much for supporting us and for supporting our cause over here.
Semper Fi,
Mark
GySgt / USMC


More to come on this.

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dé·marche 1) A course of action; a maneuver. 2) A diplomatic representation or protest 3) A statement or protest addressed by citizens to public authorities.

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