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  • Propaganda for the Home Front?

    Interesting article.




    Papers all get same letter from Iraq
    Signed letter appeared in Advance-Register
    By Ledyard King
    Gannett News Service

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    WASHINGTON -- Letters from hometown soldiers describing their successes rebuilding
    Iraq have been appearing in newspapers across the country as U.S. public opinion on the
    mission sours.

    And all the letters are the same.

    A Gannett News Service search found identical letters from different soldiers with the 2nd
    Battalion of the 503rd Airborne Infantry Regiment, also known as "The Rock," in 11
    newspapers, including the Tulare Advance-Register.

    The five-paragraph form letter talks about the soldiers' efforts to re-establish police and
    fire departments, build water and sewer plants in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk where
    the unit is based.

    "The quality of life and security for the citizens has been largely restored, and we are a
    large part of why that has happened," the letter reads.

    It describes people waving at passing troops and children running up to shake their hands
    and say thank you.

    "The majority of the city has welcomed our presence with open arms," the letter reads.

    It's not clear who wrote the letter or organized sending it to soldiers' hometown papers.

    Six soldiers reached by GNS directly or through their families said they agreed with the
    letter's thrust. But none of the soldiers said he wrote it, and one said he didn't even sign
    it.

    Among those who signed the letter was Spc. Myron Tuttle of Tulare.

    Responding to a reporter's query, Tuttle, a member of the 503rd, said he didn't know
    where the letter originated. A former Eagle Scout, Tuttle, 24, is a graduate of the Tulare
    Union High School.

    Sgt. Christopher Shelton, who signed a letter that ran in the Snohomish, Wash., paper,
    said Friday that his platoon sergeant had distributed the letter and asked soldiers for the
    names of their hometown newspapers.

    Soldiers were asked to sign the letter if they agreed with it, said Shelton, whose shoulder
    was wounded during an ambush earlier this year.

    "Everything it said is dead accurate. We've done a really good job," he said by phone
    from Italy where he was preparing to return to Iraq.

    Sgt. Todd Oliver, a spokesman for the 173rd Airborne Brigade, which counts the 503rd as
    one of its units, said he was told a soldier wrote the letter, but he didn't know who.

    He said the brigade's public affairs unit was not involved.

    "When he asked other soldiers in his unit to sign it they did," Oliver explained in an e-mail
    response to a GNS inquiry. "Someone, somewhere along the way, took it upon themselves
    to mail it to the various editors of newspapers across the country."

    Lt. Col. Bill MacDonald, a spokesman for the 4th infantry Division that is heading
    operations in north-central Iraq, said he had not heard about the letter-writing campaign.

    Neither had Lt. Cmdr. Nick Balice, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Fla.

    A recent poll suggests Americans are increasingly skeptical of America's prolonged
    involvement in Iraq.

    A USA TODAY-CNN-Gallup Poll released Sept. 23 found only 50 percent believe the
    situation in Iraq was worth going to war over, down from 73 percent in April.

    Critics have focused on the cost of the Iraq war and President Bush's recent request for
    $87 billion for continued military operations and rebuilding.

    Bush and his top aides this week began vigorously defending operations in Iraq in
    speeches across the United States.

    The letter talks about the soldiers' mission, saying, "one thousand of my fellow soldiers
    and I parachuted from ten jumbo jets." It describes Kirkuk as "a hot and dusty city of just
    over a million people."

    It tells about the progress they have made.

    "The fruits of all our soldiers' efforts are clearly visible in the streets of Kirkuk today.
    There is very little trash in the streets, many more people in the markets and shops, and
    children have returned to school," the letter reads.

    "I am proud of the work we are doing here in Iraq and I hope all of your readers are as
    well."

    Karen Tuttle, Myron's mother, said she agrees that there ought to be more publicity
    about what soldiers are accomplishing.

    "Our guys need support," she said. "Myron believes they're doing [good] things there."

    Sgt. Shawn Grueser of Poca, W.Va., said he spoke to a military public affairs officer
    whose name he couldn't remember about his accomplishments in Iraq for what he thought
    was a news release to be sent to his hometown paper in Charleston, W.Va.

    But the 2nd Battalion soldier said he did not sign any letter.

    Although Grueser said he agrees with the letter's sentiments, he was uncomfortable that
    a letter with his signature did not contain his own words or spell out his own
    accomplishments.

    "It makes it look like you cheated on a test, and everybody got the same grade," Grueser
    said by phone from a base in Italy where he had just arrived from Iraq.
    Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

  • #2
    Hi Pierre! See my Astroturf! thread in the other forum.
    I have no problem at all with being proved wrong. Especially when being proved wrong leaves the world a better place, than being proved right...

    Comment


    • #3
      lol !!

      The title threw me off. I never even checked that thread out.
      Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

      Comment

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