A let­ter to our sol­diers in Iraq

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary -

Dear Amer­i­can Sol­dier in Iraq: There are a few things you should know about how tens of mil­lions of us back home feel about you and the fight you are wag­ing. Th­ese things need to be said, es­pe­cially now, given the fact that the head of one of Amer­ica’s two ma­jor po­lit­i­cal par­ties has an­nounced that the war in Iraq is lost.

This war has not been lost. What has hap­pened is that many Amer­i­cans, for all sorts of rea­sons — some out of sim­ple fa­tigue, some be­cause they do not be­lieve that war solves any­thing, some out of deep loathing for the present ad­min­is­tra­tion — do not be­lieve that what you are do­ing is worth do­ing.

You know that what you are do­ing is worth con­tin­u­ing. You see on an al­most daily ba­sis the faces of peo­ple who count on you to help them make a freer so­ci­ety than they have ever known. You know that your pres­ence in Iraq is all that stands be­tween num­ber­less men, women and chil­dren and a hor­ri­ble death. But, for what­ever rea­sons, the fate of th­ese peo­ple and their coun­try do not mat­ter to those who feel you are wast­ing your time and our na­tion’s re­sources in Iraq.

You know that the fight you wage is worth wag­ing. You know that you are not, by and large, fight­ing Iraqis who do not want you there but fight­ing peo­ple from other coun- tries who come into Iraq in or­der to blow up and maim as many in­no­cent Iraqis as pos­si­ble.

You know that you are fight­ing the most vi­cious and prim­i­tive ide­ol­ogy in the world to­day. It is the be­lief that one’s God wants his fol­low­ers to maim, tor­ture and mur­der in or­der to spread a sys­tem of laws that sends so­ci­eties back to a moral and in­tel­lec­tual state that is pre-civ­i­liza­tion.

You know that the war you wage against th­ese peo­ple and their to­tal­i­tar­ian ide­ol­ogy is also nec­es­sary be­cause a so­ci­ety un­will­ing to fight for its val­ues does not have val­ues worth sus­tain­ing. And for that rea­son, you in Iraq and many of us back home are wor­ried about Amer­ica.

You know that there is real good and real evil in the world. You have seen both more than any of us at home will prob­a­bly see in a life­time. Why so many in Amer­ica and the West gen­er­ally no longer be­lieve that there is good and evil, let alone in the im­por­tance of hav­ing good van­quish evil, is a sub­ject for a book. But that is the prob­lem here. So when, God will­ing, you re­turn healthy and vic­to­ri­ous, you will have an­other bat­tle to wage — on be­half of moral clar­ity. In that re­gard we are los­ing our way. Mil­lions of our fel­low Amer­i­cans — of­ten the best ed­u­cated — do not un­der­stand that those who send young peo­ple to blow up wed­dings, kinder­gartens, mar­ket places and col­lege li­braries in the prom­ise of a par­adise filled with young women are the Nazis of our time.

You know all th­ese things. And tens of mil­lions of us back home also know th­ese things.

We see you as the best and bright­est of our so­ci­ety. Even The New York Times, one of the main­stream me­dia publi­ca­tions that do not un­der­stand the epic bat­tle you are wag­ing, ac­knowl­edged in an ar­ti­cle by one of its embed­ded cor­re­spon­dents that few Amer­i­cans of your age can come close to you in ma­tu­rity, wis­dom or lead­er­ship abil­i­ties.

It is un­for­tu­nate that the bat­tle for moral clar­ity and moral courage in Amer­ica is as di­vi­sive as the bat­tle for free­dom is in Iraq. But that is the na­ture of the world we live in. And it has ever been so. “Woe unto those who call evil good and good evil,” wrote the Prophet Isa­iah about 2,500 years ago. Not much has changed in two and a half mil­len­nia.

So Isa­iah would be proud of you. In­deed, as a re­li­gious per­son, I be- lieve with all my heart and soul that your work to up­root the great­est evil of our time and en­able a peo­ple to build the first free Arab Mus­lim coun­try is as holy, if not holier, as al­most any­thing a min­is­ter, priest or rabbi does back home.

You prob­a­bly knew all this. But you need to hear it any­way.

That, and thank you. Thank you very much.

Den­nis Prager is a na­tion­ally syn­di­cated colum­nist.

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