John Rezzonico: Iraq coverage disturbs

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I am writing you to express my disgust once again in the way media stories are distributed to the American public.

It seems that if the story does not involve Americans dying or a negative spin on the situation in Iraq that the American public does not need to hear about it. Currently I am in Iraq working in support of the 1st Cavalry Division in Baghdad. On a daily basis, I observe amazing positives that I never hear about in the media. If you look hard enough you can generally find these feel-good articles buried in the back of a Web site somewhere. Meanwhile a simple search for Iraq will bring up copious amounts of stories involving death, destruction and our overall failure in Iraq.

Do you not remember that basic childhood lesson that there are always two sides to a story? Why do we only hear of one?

I am going to include a link to an article that CBS did involving an orphanage in Baghdad. When I heard of this I expected to see it plastered all over the news but in reality I had a hard time finding anything on it. In my time in Iraq I have seen human life disregarded on many levels but none have impacted me more than the disregard for the lives of their children.

I observed a protest in Boulder years ago where a young man was outraged by the war in Iraq and he stated "How would you like it if these were your children in Iraq and foreigners invaded?" Well, as a father I can definitively state that I would welcome it with open arms. If he could see the things I and many others have seen, I assure you he would not be up on that soapbox. Unfortunately he will never be exposed to this side of the story since the press seems to shelter the public from anything positive in the Middle East.

Children should laugh and play, not live in fear. Yes, life was good for the minority of children and families, the same families you see on TV complaining that things were better when Saddam was in power. But get away from the people who were protected by Saddam, the majority, and you hear a different tune, one of poverty, starvation and retribution. Remember children deserve to live their lives as children. This is reason enough for me to stand in harm's way.

Please review the attached article and print if you see fit. These soldiers deserve recognition and the people need to understand that human life is not valued here as it is in the U.S.: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/06/18/notebook/main2946477.shtml

John Rezzonico

Baghdad, Iraq

Comments

thalgard 7 years, 5 months ago

Scott, your service to our country is admirable to say the least, but , unfortunately, you are fighting a war that was started by liars and thieves; a war that is bound to fail and will undoubtedly be considered to be one of the greatest acts of folly that our Great Country has ever embarked upon. The moment "Rummy", Cheney, and that mass murderer Bush invaded that country, the moment they OK'd the torture and humliation of POWs, the moment our Marines raped and murdered little girls, that conflict was lost. The only question left is what will become of Iraq after we leave!

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John Rezzonico 7 years, 5 months ago

Thalgard,

First of all I want to thank you for proving my point in what I wrote. You are clearly a product of the media, you read your papers, I am sure the ones that spin it the way you want to hear it and you "Quote". What qualifies you to be able to state fact the way you do? You obviously read the headlines but do you ever further your knowledge on the situation? I would have to guess what you wrote the answer is no.

So please enjoy your coffee in Steamboat this morning and know that you can sleep well tonight while those Marines you so easily quantified into rapists in one quick sentence are laying there life on the line for you and your right to post what you want when you want.
Please feel free to visit Iraq and talk with the Iraqis, I think you will be surprised at what they have to say.

Have you ever even met an Iraqi?

You know, to sum it all up, re-read your post and realize that you are a product of the media, nothing more.

John Rezzonico, Not "Scott" Former SSgt United States Marine Corps Currently working in Baghdad

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dundalk 7 years, 5 months ago

Hey Rizzo! A little bird told me you are coming home soon! Hope to see you over the 4th. Do you ever see Dwight?

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John Rezzonico 7 years, 5 months ago

I will be home by the 4th!!! No, I tried to find him but had no luck, once again.....

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thalgard 7 years, 5 months ago

John, I, first of all, apologize for butchering your name, but I do not base my opinions on what the media says, I am extremely well travelled and educated enough to know that our mission in Iraq is doomed because they will never accept any type of hegemony from us...as Halliburton gets rich and our wounded soldiers come home to half-assed veterans care, Bush the war criminal fantasizes in his little mind about commencing the Great Armageddon so he can ascend to whatever form of heaven he imagines...yiou can categerize those of us opposed to this conflict any way you feel comfortable...we represent 70% of the electorate in this country...but don't forget, we, as a country, are responsible for destroying that country...we as a country are responsible for the half a million or more innocents killed so far, and we, as a country, will bear the responsibility for what final nightmare results from this horribly failed fiasco.

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dundalk 7 years, 5 months ago

Sbvor: You failed to inquire as to how thalgard feels about the millions of Iraqis that are being dug up in mass graves throughout Iraq, or the horrendous but very much Talibanistic practice of female circumcision, or the millions of Iraqis who are missing appendages thanks to hellraiser supreme Saddam, or the Jihadists who continue to live among us on our OWN SOIL, while our military soldiers continue to thwart those deadly efforts.

But hey, liberals seem to forget all those pleasures!

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thalgard 7 years, 5 months ago

ooh, Al Quaeda, how scary...right here in our valley. For a seemingly intelligent person, sbvor, your an idiot.

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dundalk 7 years, 5 months ago

You stay up for 16 hours He stays up for days on end.

You take a warm shower to help you wake up. He goes days or weeks without running water and washes up with a wet one.

You complain of a 'headache', and call in sick.

He has blisters on his feet from walking miles in full gear and keeps going.

You put on your anti war/don't support the troops shirt, and go meet up with your friends.

He still fights for your right to wear that shirt.

You make sure you're cell phone is in your pocket. He clutches the cross hanging on his chain next to his dog tags.

You talk trash about your 'buddies' that aren't with you. His buddies are closer then a brother and he would lay down his life for anyone of them.

You walk down the beach, staring at all the pretty girls. He patrols the streets and mountains, searching for insurgents and terrorists.

You complain about how hot it is. He wears his heavy gear, not daring to take off his helmet to wipe his brow.

You go out to lunch, and complain because the restaurant got your order wrong. He gets to eat a cold MRE or beef jerky.

Your maid makes your bed and washes your clothes. He wears the same things for weeks, but makes sure his weapons are clean.

You go to the mall and get your hair redone. He doesn't have time to brush his teeth today.

You're angry because your class ran 5 minutes over. He's told he will be held over an extra 2 months.

You call your girlfriend and set a date for tonight. He waits for the mail to see if there is a letter from home.

You hug and kiss your girlfriend, like you do everyday. He holds his letter close and smells his love's perfume.

You roll your eyes as a baby cries. He gets a letter with pictures of his new child, and misses the sound of its cry.

You criticize your government, and say that war never solves anything. He sees the innocent tortured and killed by their own people and remembers why he is fighting.

You hear the jokes about the war, and make fun of men like him. He hears the gunfire, bombs and screams of the innocent that he is trying to protect.

You see only what the media wants you to see. He sees lives experiencing freedom and democracy for the first time.

You are asked to go to the store by your parents. You don't. He does exactly what he is told.

You stay at home and watch TV. He takes whatever time he is given to call, write home, sleep, and eat.

You crawl into your soft bed, with down pillows, and get comfortable. He tries to sleep but gets woken by mortars and helicopters all night long.

You sit there and judge him, saying the world is probably a worse place because of men like him. If only there were more men like him

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dundalk 7 years, 5 months ago

thalgard:

Did you know that prior to the attack by Al Queda operatives on September 11, 2001, two of those terrorists flew in to YVRA? Do you know why? Doesn't it concern you to know that the very real possibility still exists for our enemies to disable us via attacks on power plants, electrical plants, dam systems, transportation systems, etc.

Don't believe me. Please read the 9/11 Commission Report and find out how real terrorism is.

If you don't want to buy it, I am more than happy to give you mine.

You should be scared of Al Queda. Remember Daniel Pearl? Maybe you can discuss your arrogance with his widow.

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dundalk 7 years, 5 months ago

Sbvor:

How truly sad for those who think that Jon Stewart, Bill Maher and Chris Matthews, as well as NPR and Air America are the authority on national security and what is best for our country.

I'll stick to the news that Ann Coulter has a new book coming out that will send people running to the lingerie section of Saks or Dillards...to purchase new panties to replace those who are victims to the old "panties in a twist" phobia.

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dundalk 7 years, 5 months ago

Sbvor:

Yes. Ann played off a comment which stems from some liberal windbag who said that maybe it would be better if Cheney was killed by terrorists. Ann punned that comment and simply made a joke (cleverly) about Edwards meeting the same fate. If you watched O'Reilly tonight, Ann did a great job comparing how liberal media can say whatever they want but God forbid a conservative makes the exact same comment. (Lest we forget the Isiah Thomas remark about sexual orientation, or Imus comparing a garden implement as a remark about hoop girls, or one of the many, many remarks made by liberals)

I might add that while I wish Mrs. Edwards victory over her cancer, she has made some rather nasty and disparaging remarks about her next door neighbors in the past.

"Panties in a Twist", "Knickers in a Twist"...something my Dad would say when someone worked themselves into a frenzy over nothing.

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spukomy 7 years, 5 months ago

John, Thanks to you and every soldier that has ever served. Thanks for fighting for the freedoms and liberties we all enjoy everyday.

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JazzSlave 7 years, 5 months ago

thalgard:

Thanks for the heads-up on the Globe link. It is, however, just more of the same. Democrats & media excoriating Bush & Cheney for noting proven contacts between Iraq & al-Queada, while begrudgingly conceding that the administration has never held Saddam responsible for 9/11.

You wrote: "What about Iraq [according to the Bush administration] being responsible for 9/11?"

Were you planning to substantiate that assertion?

You don't plan to answer any of the questions I asked, do you? I'm not surprised. When ever I've raised those issues with liberals, they've reacted precisely as you have: deflect, accuse, and obfuscate - anything to avoid addressing the issues head-on.

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markb 7 years, 5 months ago

Hi all, just wanted to dove tail onto this discussion... I served in Ramadi, Iraq from last fall through this spring as a Civil Affairs officer with the Marines. I was in a unique position that allowed me to work with a broad spectrum of people: local Iraqis from Anbar province, Iraqi politicians, some of the leading sheiks in Anbar province, Iraqi and US contractors, plus some of the US state department people and other decision makers.

I was able to meet a few reporters while I was there but I gotta tell you: Many of our reporters are living in Baghdad and write about things 2nd hand from their hotel rooms. The picture of what is going on in Iraq is very complex and there are some bad things going on in Baghdad - BUT THIS IS NOT THE WHOLE PICTURE. I urge any of the readers to review multiple sources before jumping on a bandwagon that is being fueled, in my opinion, in great part by upcoming elections in this country. My point is not to lambaste our press; thank God we have them. However, most of them don't get out of Baghdad & some of the ones that do only do quick drive by reporting. I was interviewed three times during my 7 months there and only one reporter was interested in some of the good things that were going on; the other two just cut me off and went off to find other service members who would give them the quotes they wanted.

This link below appears to be broken today, but its to a good newsletter that I'm subscribed to - its interesting material that I'd recommend to you. Hopefully if you check back in a day or two the link will be back up: https://www.mnstci.iraq.centcom.mil/advisor.htm

While I was over there, I saw a few people that were just there for a paycheck and didn't give a rip about making a difference. HOWEVER, the vast majority of Americans both in uniform and in the Dept of State were very intelligent people working their butts off trying to make that place better than when we found it.

Closing comments: I agree that the reporting coming out of Iraq is pretty skewed and it doesn't give an overall picture of what is going on over there. There are bad things in Baghdad and there are still insurgents that are targeting civilians. HOWEVER there are amazing success stories over there too that you are not getting access to. Successes by US troops and by, more and more, Iraqi security forces. Even if you are dead set against the current US administration realize that there is a lot going in in Iraq that the US can do and is doing right. The Iraqis are learning how to "own and operate" their government and its a monumental and world altering event. Urge your politicians to support the US's end game in Iraq and don't tie Washington's hands based on your view of the current administration. President Bush will be judged by history one way or the other; don't lose site of the task we have as a generation of Americans to now help a fledgling democracy get to its feet in the Middle East.

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JazzSlave 7 years, 5 months ago

John Rezzonico & markb:

Thank you for putting your keisters on the line. You are each better men than I, and I'm not afraid to admit it.

thalgard: Who are the liars, and what lies did they tell? Full disclosure - I don't expect thalgard to answer the question. Most liberals never do.

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thalgard 7 years, 5 months ago

hmmm, jazzslave, what about those mysterious WMD's? What about "mission accomplished"? What about Iraq being responsible for 9/11? What about the missing 200 billion dollars allocated to KBR and Halliburton for "reconstruction"?what about "we don't torture people"? What about the fact that you morons started a war that has done more to destabilyze the region than anything Saddam could have done...the end result will most likely be a divided country based upon sub-regional alliances, with a pissed off Turkey to the North, an even more powerful Iran to the east, and a wonderful place in southern Iraq run by a Taliban-like fundamentalist entity in the south...just brilliant....we have now empowered Iran by removing her most bitter enemies, you people really are completely clueless! I know that you wrong wingers will probably never get a clue, probably half of you couldn't name 5 of the over a hundred different ethnic groups in Iraq and probably more than 3/4 of you could't find Iraq on a map, most of you don't know the difference between an Alawite, a Sunni, or a Shiite...a Kurd, a Persian, or an Arab

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JazzSlave 7 years, 5 months ago

thalgard:

WMD - Did John Kerry, John Edwards, both Clintons, Al Gore, Robert Byrd, Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Gerhard Schroeder, Jacques Chirac, Vladimir Putin, et al, lie when they made identical assertions and much more declaratively than President Bush? Did Senator Edwards lie when he characterized Hussein (to Wolf Blitzer on CNN on 2/24/02) as an "imminent threat to our country" (something the President never claimed)?

Are these people liars? If not, why not?

Haliburton
Name another firm capable of executing the mission Haliburton was engaged to do.

Iraq responsible for 9/11
I know of no administration official who made that claim. Prove me wrong, please. And kindly cite sources more credible than Mother Jones or Daily Kos or Democratic Underground or Jon Stewart.

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thalgard 7 years, 5 months ago

Executing the mission...you mean bilking the taxpayers out of billions of dollars!

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thalgard 7 years, 5 months ago

jazzslave, here you go, a quick google search http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0314/p02s01-woiq.html, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A50679-2004Jun17.html, http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2003/09/16/cheney_link_of_iraq_911_challenged/; I hope that the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, and the Christian Science Monitor are conservative enough for you, I know that they might use some big words though, I hope you can handle it!

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thalgard 7 years, 5 months ago

jazzslave, Impeach Bush, impeach Cheney, bring our troops home! Mission Accomplished! We left a nation in ruins while Cheney's pals at Halliburton got rich...wooo hooo!What a resounding success!

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thalgard 7 years, 5 months ago

seventy percent of the electorate, mr. piggy, seventy percent disagree with you and your kind, and by the time the level of their disgraceful duplicity is finally revealed, unfortunately, those bastards will be on the lecture circuit!

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Hadleyburg_Press 7 years, 5 months ago

Fair enough Thalgard. How would you go about dealing with radical Islam and its followers? Are you aware of its intent to kill you and all of your family lest you convert? Help me to understand your vision or are the monsters in your reality only Americans? Many a folk like you in the past watched passively as people less fortunate then themselves were put into cattle cars. Less fortunate that is until the insatiable appetite of tyranny came knocking for them. Do you really believe that the brutality and selfishness of man is of a democratic origin? Have you really been out in the world? Your fear of the unknown palpable.

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JazzSlave 7 years, 5 months ago

thalgard:

I note with amusement, but not surprise, that you have studiously refused to answer a single question I posed. You link to a CSM piece (I can only assume that because the CSM has "Christian" in its name that you automatically regard it as a bastion of Bush-loving rednecked knuckle-draggers) which despite the author's obvious bias, is forced to concede that "Bush never pinned blame for the attacks directly on the Iraqi president."

The WaPo piece is nothing more than competing sound bites: Bush, Cheney, and Powell vs. John Kerry and the New York Times.

The Boston Globe link you provided appears to be dead.

Let's see if you can focus, and answer the questions put to you (I'm not holding my breath):

1.John Kerry, John Edwards, both Clintons, Al Gore, Robert Byrd, Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Gerhard Schroeder, Jacques Chirac, Vladimir Putin, et al, warned of the Iraqi WMD menace, in far stronger terms than the President ever used. DID THEY LIE? That's a yes or no question, by the way. Think you can manage it?

2.You clearly disapprove of Haliburton's involvement in the rehabilitation of the Iraqi oil industry and domestic infrastructure. What other company would you recommend that is equipped to undertake such a massive assignment?

3.You cite the WaPo piece (I presume) as a devastating riposte to my challenge for you to provide evidence that the administration viewed Iraq as the author of 9/11. It cites administration officials noting well established & proven connections between Hussein & al-Queda, but never asserts that the administration held Iraq responsible for 9/11. Care to try again? Surely, with all the archived quotes and statements available via the www, you can come up with at least ONE administration official who blamed Iraq for 9/11.

The empty cavity in my heartless conservative chest awaits your ministrations.

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thalgard 7 years, 5 months ago

hadleyburg press...those people being loaded into cattle cars were my relatives...which is exactly why points of view like sbvor's concerns me, his/hers ability to group people together in gross classifications such as "liberal" or "dimocrat" is, in my opinion, not so far from "jew", "muslim", "communist" or whatever; we are all Americans...whatever our political point of view...more importantly, we are all Human Beings...sbvor...that Boston Globe link is the victim of a typo on my part, remove the semicolon and your in there...out of time..gotta go

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dundalk 7 years, 5 months ago

thalgard:

It just came to me that this would be the most lovely time of the year to visit the U.K. They are wonderful with the tea and crumpets and over the past two days have been besieged by the big bad scary Al Queda that you have made mention of.

I bet the Brits have a perfect job for you - Auto test driver.

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stillinsteamboat 7 years, 5 months ago

Ya, Ann Coulter is the real authority on global affairs. LOLOLOLOL!!!!!!

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Hadleyburg_Press 7 years, 5 months ago

Thalgard, I am sorry to hear about your relatives. As a young man I once read a book titled "Where were you, Adam?" by Heinrich Boll and Leila Vennewitz . It was a powerful message about how ordinary people stood by and watched the final solution unfold without ever doing anything to stop it. Many could have prevented it before their own personal safety was in jeopardy and many would have had to make a moral decision that could have cost them their lives. Regardless, I ingrained the message and have always tried to be vigilant against tyranny. As annoying as SBvor can be with his/her postings, I respect them for their vigilance against tyranny. Tyranny is real and it is probably the natural equilibrium point for most humans. Can it hapeen here in this country? Absolutely. Is it happening now? No, because market forces are too great. Capitalism is one of the few things that can keep it in check. I respect the fact that you are vigilant as well. I would suggest that your emotions have gotten the better of you. What you can't seem to control, in terms of reality, must be dark, forboding and conspiratorial. I have faith that as you you travel and grow you will awaken to a new mental paradigm that will cast this country and it's politics in a new light. Is it perfect? Far from it, but compared to the hideousness of the rest of the world I am so damn greatful that I am an American.
Okay, so once again, I will ask, how would you go about dealing with Islamic Extremists determined to annihilate you, your parents, siblings, friends, neighbors, and children?

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