"Fisking" A "Captain"
Over at Democratic Underground, they're very excited about a letter that appeared in the European and Mideast edition of Stars & Stripes yesterday. This letter, allegedly from a Capt. Jeff Pirozzi (no service or unit given, only that he's in Camp Taqaddum, Iraq), is quite a piece of work. Some excerpts:
"Weapons of mass destruction? I’m still looking for them, and if you find any give me a call so we can justify our presence in Iraq. We started the war based on a lie, and we’ll finish it based on a lie. I say this because I am currently serving with a logistics headquarters in the Anbar province, between the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi. I am not fooled by the constant fabrication of “democracy” and “freedom” touted by our leadership at home and overseas.
"This deception is furthered by our armed forces’ belief that we can just enter ancient Mesopotamia and tell the locals about the benefits of a legislative assembly. While our European ancestors were hanging from trees, these ancient people were writing algebra and solving quadratic equations. Now we feel compelled to strong-arm them into accepting the spoils of capitalism and “laissez-faire” society. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy watching Britney Spears on MTV and driving to McDonald’s, but do you honestly believe that Sunnis, Shias and Kurds want our Western ideas of entertainment and freedom imposed on them? Think again."
Interesting. Let's have a closer look at his "fact-filled" diatribe, shall we? OK, his description of the "logistics headquarters" he serves at as being between Fallujah and Ramadi agrees with this web page. This also provides us with a clue to his branch of service; Anbar province is a Marine area, and the web page linked above says there's a Marine Logistics Group (the 2d MLG) at Camp Taqaddum. Based on that, and the way he abbreviates "Captain", I would guess he's in the Marines; the Army uses CPT. He could also be in the Air Force, since they abbreviate Captain the same way.
Let's look at the "fact" he presents to demonstrate the superiority of Iraqi culture over Western: "While our European ancestors were hanging from trees, these ancient people were writing algebra and solving quadratic equations." Could be a good point, except that algebra was invented in 820 A.D., several hundred years after the height of Greek and Roman culture -- a little bit past the "hanging from trees" period. Quadratic equations? Sorry, discovered by an Italian (Lodovico Ferrari) about 1545 A.D. Not too good on the research there, "Captain".
It'll be interesting to see what happens as people start to try to figure out who this Captain is, and if he really exists (or if Stars & Stripes got taken for a ride)... There's at least one mil-blogger at Camp Taqaddum; we'll see if they have anything to say.
Staying at PD...
Update 0111 29 Nov: I looked half-heartedly through the ALNAV Marine Captain promotion messages for the last several years, and didn't see his name, so he might not be a Marine; or, as I stated, he might not really exist.
Update 2250 29 Nov: In response to one of the comments, I don't think the writer of this letter, if they really are a military officer in Iraq, should be punished. People in the military have a right to express their opinions (within limits); I just think it's bad form, especially when anyone who's even semi-informed would realize that this could become a big deal politically.
I also realized that I had left some of the stranger statements in the letter un-Fisked. I was surprised that such a progressive person would imply that Americans have "European" ancestors; not very inclusive to a society whose citizens have ancestors from six continents, not just the one he mentions.
Later on, though, he gets to the heart of his argument -- why we're really in Iraq. Any guesses? Here's what he says: "...our ultimate goal in 2003 was the security of Israel and the lucrative oil fields in northern and southern Iraq." Of course! It was the jooooos! And, while he doesn't mention it specifically, we're probably stealing all the oil to give it to the jooooos...
Update 2318 01 Dec: Four other officers (three in Iraq, one in Afghanistan) respond to Capt. Pirozzi. None of them liked his letter too much. Wonder if DU will have much to say about those letters...