The Taste Of Freedom

November 18, 2005 — 21 Comments

This letter is one that you must not and can not miss. From a platoon in 101st Airborne in Iraq…they want their message spread.

Ladies and gentleman I ask you this. What if you lived in a country that wasn’t free? What if someone told you when you could have heat, electricity, and water? What if you had no sewage systems so human waste flowed into the streets? What if someone would kill you for bad-mouthing your government? What if you weren’t allowed to watch TV, connect to the internet, or have cell phones unless under extreme censorship? What if you couldn’t put shoes on your child’s feet?

You need not to have a great understanding of the world but rather common sense to realize that it is our duty as HUMAN BEINGS to free the oppressed. If you lived that way would you not want someone to help you????

The Iraqi’s pour into the streets to wave at us and when we liberated the cities during the war they gathered in the thousands to cheer, hug and kiss us. It was what the soldier’s in WW2 experienced, yet no one questioned their cause!! Saddam was no better than Hitler! He tortured and killed thousands of innocent people. We are heroes over here, yet American’s badmouth our President for having us here.

Every police station here has a dozen or more memorials for officers that were murdered trying to ensure that their people live free. These are husbands, fathers, and sons killed every day. What if it were your country? What would your choice be? Everything we fight for is worth the blood that may be shed. The media never reports the true HEROISM I witness everyday in the Iraqi’s. Yes there are bad one’s here, but I assure you they are a minuscule percent. Yet they are a number big enough to cause worry in this country’s future.

Read the rest.

Tim Sweetman

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Tim Sweetman is a 22-year-old writer, blogger, and student who lives near our nation’s capital, Washington D.C. He has been much more widely known by his “code-name,” Agent Tim. This name also served as the name of his popular blog, which received over 750,000 visits between 2005 to 2007. In 2005, he quickly rose to become a leading teenage spokesperson and cultural critic within the booming blogosphere, taking on issues such as MySpace, alcohol, homeschooling, pride, racism, tolerance, and other topics relating to our culture today. His blog has come to the attention of people such as Albert Mohler, C.J. Mahaney, Alex and Brett Harris, and La Shawn Barber. Tim’s written work has appeared in Lifeway’s Living With Teenagers (February 2012), Lookout Magazine, FUSION Magazine, The Brink Online, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Virtue Magazine, Regenerate Our Culture Online Magazine, and on many other blogs and websites across the internet like Marry Well and the Lies Young Women Believe Blog. He has also been featured in WORLD Magazine, The Towers Magazine, and Maryland Newsline. He is scheduled to have an article appear in Veritas Magazine this December. Most recently, his work can be found on Focus on the Family’s Boundless Webzine. His personal interests include writing (surprise!) and sports, both watching and playing. He is a die-hard Washington Redskins fan.

21 responses to The Taste Of Freedom

  1. Tim,

    I know we sit on the opposite side of the political fence, but I am fairly certain that this letter was NOT written by a soldier serving in Iraq.

    I’m fairly sure that it was written by a supporter of the war in America who has decided to release it to keep support for the war going – while at the same time duping its readers into thinking that the writer is actually a real soldier in Iraq.

    In other words – the letter is a lie written by a liar in order to gain support for the war.

    Not once in the letter does the writer begin to describe what actual battle conditions are like. Apart from the guy who lost his legs the other day, the soldier’s letter is free from any descriptions from a first-hand source of what was going on. Instead, the soldier seems to be very informed and opinioned about Cindy Sheehan and other things that most pro-war Americans know about already.

    Consider this paragraph:

    “Ironically you will find the biggest outcries of opposition to our cause from those who have had no military experience and haven’t had to fight for freedom. I challenge all of those who are daring enough to question such a noble cause to come here for just a month and see it first hand. I have a feeling that many voices would be silenced”

    Brian Van Reet served in Iraq for 12 months and has been honourably discharged. He is also very much against the war and the occupation. His website can be found here: http://www.oneveteransvoice.com/

    US Soldiers in Iraq are as politically divided as the US is at the moment. Many recent Iraqi veterans have returned and are fully supportive of the war. Others, including Van Reet, have returned to America and are opposed to the war. It is a fallacy to assume that anyone who goes over for a month will come back in support of the war. What this means is that the writer of the letter is simply painting anti-war people as being uninformed. This alone convinces me that the writer is not a soldier serving in Iraq.

  2. “US Soldiers in Iraq are as politically divided as the US is at the moment.”

    For what it’s worth, 75% of our overseas soldiers voted for Bush in the 2004 election…

  3. Just so there’s no confusion– I checked out this page because I saw on my statcounter that someone had linked to me here, and there’s no collusion going on between me and one salient oversight (other than ideologically).

    I too question the veracity of this letter, mostly because it is not signed. Why would a Sergeant in the US Army be afraid to express a pro-war view? Doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. The letter is definitely devoid of too many details (where in Iraq the guy’s stationed, what his MOS is, ect), which is also a little suspect. In either case, there’s no proof of fraud, but my gut instinct says it might be.

    The military is certainly a pretty conservative institution, especially among the officers, but there is quite a bit of internal debate among the soldiers as to whether we should be in Iraq. It’s not appropriate for active duty servicemen to be publicly critical, and that hasn’t happened too much, but a good number of soldiers do not agree with the policies of the nation that they are fighting for. The amazing thing about our military is that they all, at the end of the day, volunteered, and they do their job anyway because it is what they swore to do. They are professional soldiers doing a job. Period. My grandfather, an Iwo Jima veteran, was fond of saying “There is no dishonor in a tactical retreat.” Leaving Iraq does not conceed the war on terror. Far from it. I, and others like me, believe that it will allow us to more effectively prosecute the war and terror.

    My two cents.

  4. Well, it’s too late at night here to start talking about the war in Iraq, but I’ll do more on that later. For now, if you do want something that is absolutely real, check out this story about Marines trying to get their stories out.

    I looked up this email on Snopes, and it didn’t (or hasn’t) come up, so I will assume it’s true.

    “Many recent Iraqi veterans have returned and are fully supportive of the war.”

    Perhaps a soldier really needs to see progress. Van Reet, I’ll check out your site and your message.

    I’d reccomend checking out Iraq The Model, which is quite a blog. For now, I’m off to bed.

  5. ‘I’m fairly sure that it was written by a supporter of the war in America who has decided to release it to keep support for the war going – while at the same time duping its readers into thinking that the writer is actually a real soldier in Iraq.
    In other words – the letter is a lie written by a liar in order to gain support for the war.’

    That is personally sickening on many levels. Before you call me ‘unqualified to talk about the subject’, let me inform you of my background: Members of my family have served in WWII, Vietnam, and in peacetime. My Great-Grandfather, who served in WWII, served in the field in the Pacific Front. He had his eye blown out by a grenade. He was a HERO. My Grandfather, who served in Vietnam, cooked meals for men in the field. And I would like to inform you that he was not drafted, but ENLISTED. He was a HERO. My Dad served for four years and was honorably discharged after an ankle injury. He was a HERO. I think you will agree that I am qualified to talk about this issue.

    It is personally sickening when I here people talk about how President Bush lied, and soldiers died. I am personally angered when I here that military recruiters are not even allowed on-campus in certain parts of our country. It is discusting to me when HEROES are called baby killers. Every account I have heard from soliders has been one of hope, freedom, thankfullness, and rebuilding. Visit http://www.theotheriraq.com for PROOF from the Kurds of Iraq.

    The cowards who flew airplanes into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon on 9/11 and tryed to fly a fourth one into who knows where but got stopped by heroes on that flight are the same cowards that blew up subways in London in July. Those being the same cowards that attacked the hotels in Jordan earlier this month, who are the same cowards that now are trying to break the peace in Iraq.

    WE CAN FIGHT TERRORISM AND RING THE BELL OF FREEDOM IN THE MIDDLE EAST, OR WE CAN SURRENDER TO THE TERRORISTS AND HAVE THE LAST BEACON OF TRUE FREEDOM FALL. Those are your options.

    God Bless our troops, and God Bless the USA.

  6. Neo,

    Re: The 75% of servicemen voting for Bush. Thanks for the correction. I may have been wrong in my numbers, but there are still 25% who didn’t. Essentially that means that the basic thesis of the unknown letter writer is still wrong (ie come over here and see what it is like and those ignorant liberals will change their minds)

    Bill,

    Your comments add nothing, nothing, to this conversation. No one, including those “Godless liberals”, are calling Iraq soldiers baby-killers. This is Vietnam-war era stuff you’re trawling out.

    You love your country – that is true. I can’t deny that. But the facts are, at least at the moment, that the majority of Americans now believe that Bush duped America into this war. Not convinced if that assertion is factual? http://www.pollingreport.com/iraq.htm

    To argue that the Iraq war is wrong and to argue that Bush has misled the country is neither unpatriotic nor unsupportive of US troops.

  7. I am fed up with liberals ignoring facts. I have heard tesimony on MSNBC of military recruiters being called baby-killers. You libs want what happened in Vietnam to happen in Iraq. If you believe the accuracy of those polls, then, well, WOW. Remember all the polls before the ’04 election? How they all had Sen. ‘I voted for it before I voted against it’ Kerry winning the election? The polls are not accurate. #1 way to support troops? Support the mission. I watched coverage of last night’s vote on C-SPAN. A rep., who had been a POW for 7 years in Vietnam, said so last night before that vote. He knows we can’t make the same mistake twice. ‘Supporting’ the troops without supporting the mission = hypocrisy.

  8. This is the PERSONAL VIEW of an ROTC cadet.

    I do not pretend to understand how it is in Iraq. I have never been there. However, I have spoken with some soldiers who have been there, and they all support the war.

    Why didn’t the soldier include his name? From the website this appeared on:

    “UPDATE: Some have called for the disclosure of the letter writer’s name to add credibility to the letter. Understanble. I did not enclose his name or unit for OPSEC reasons as we must remember that he and his platoon are in a warzone in a fight for their lives against a very savvy enemy. I emailed the young sergeant to let him know the response his letter is receiving and that many have requested permission to forward it to their representatives in Washington D.C. After checking with his commander regarding OPSEC, you’ll be glad to know that SGT Walter J. Rausch has authorized anyone to send his letter to whomever they see fit in helping to get his word out.”

    I find it quite interesting that, while the enlistment rate has faltered a bit, the reenlistment rate is higher than normal. That says something.

    Mr. Van Reet, I don’t know where you served in Iraq, but I spoke with a Sergeant who served a year in Iraq all over the country (including at least one ambush in which there were fatalities). He said that it was nothing like what was portrayed by the media. According to him, the general feeling among US troops was “This is good here. The terrorists are coming to us. Let them come; we have freedom to kill them here.”

    Just my two cents. :)

  9. I received an email from an faithful reader on behalf of the Sgt’s mom with his letter attached. I asked my faithful reader for verification at which time said mom emailed me with his name and unit but had concerns about publishing it. I accepted the verification and published the letter by SGT XXXX. I’ve since received an email from the author of the letter, stationed in Iraq and have gained permission to publish his name.

    http://sgthook.com/2005/11/19/the-letter/

    I’ve also verified his story of via his witnessing of a fellow soldier within his battallion losing his leg from a friend who is a medic at the CASH and treated said soldier. I would not have published this letter if I didn’t believe it to be legit, sorry to disappoint some of you.

  10. “I’m fairly sure that it was written by a supporter of the war in America who has decided to release it to keep support for the war going – while at the same time duping its readers into thinking that the writer is actually a real soldier in Iraq.

    In other words – the letter is a lie written by a liar in order to gain support for the war.”

    BTW, Sgt Rausch was mentioned in article published in The American Enterprise by Karl Zinsmeister back in Feb 2004. Mr. Zinsmeister referenced a letter Sgt Rausch had written to his parents during that his first deployment to Iraq.

    http://www.taemag.com/issues/articleid.17810/article_detail.asp

    No the letter is not a lie, and was not written by a liar. I find that accusation to be offensive to Sgt Rausch and all who wear the uniform. Oh, One Salient, I wouldn’t recommend you calling any other soldiers a liar to their face, you might not like the response you get.

  11. Sgt Hook,

    The references you’ve given me still do not convince me. There have been plenty of true letters coming out of Iraq from soldiers who have attached their names to the article. Operational Security has got nothing to do with this.

    So I stand by my assertion that this letter is not genuine.

    “Oh, One Salient, I wouldn’t recommend you calling any other soldiers a liar to their face, you might not like the response you get.”

    Well, I don’t deify soldiers. They are ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Nevertheless they can and do make mistakes. Even if the biggest, burliest Marine was lying, I would call him on it.

    Until the letter gets more verification, it should not be propagated.

    —–

    Bill,

    If I remember rightly, the polls before the election were fairly tight. There were periods, months before the election, where Kerry had a lead – but in the final weeks it tight but Bush had the lead.

    Now, of course, the majority of Americans think they made a mistake. Even hardened Republicans are beginning to think this way.

    Dolce et decrorum est, pro patria mori. (not)

  12. It’s about time the Republicans recognized this, considering that Bush has shown himself to basically be a Democrat in his six years in office.

  13. It’s about time the Republicans recognized this.

    Recognized what?

    , considering that Bush has shown himself to basically be a Democrat in his six years in office.

    I wouldn’t say in his 6 years of office. He’s been more moderate the past 6 months NOT the past 6 years. Look at history–look at the majority of his judicial nominees (not just the Supreme Court).

  14. I have to confess that I don’t really know what Derek is saying either.

    As for being a conservative – Bush is certainly a social conservative but not an economic conservative. The Republicans who aren’t evangelicals are now beginning to get very worried. Read George Will and Charles Krauthammer from the WaPo for evidence of this.

    The Economic conservatives are small-government, low-tax, fiscal responsibiilty type people. Since Bush came to power in 2001, the US government has been anything but fiscally responsible – and this with majorities in both houses.

  15. I’m getting burned by the President daily on issues like Education, Border Security, and relations with the Far East. And please don’t get me started on the budget. But overall, it has come down to the lesser of 2 evils on the ballot. I’ll take a guy who will (more or less) stand up for what he believes in than a waffler who will openly admit he voted for a bill BEFORE he voted against it. I can see it now: “I signed the bill, BEFORE I vetoed the bill.”

  16. _I wouldn’t say in his 6 years of office. He’s been more moderate the past 6 months NOT the past 6 years._

    Let’s go through some of this stuff on an individual basis here. Let’s start with, oh, I don’t know, the topic of _gay rights._ In October 2004, (over a year ago, and not six months ago), President Bush declared his support for civil unions between gays and lesbians on national television. Here is what Bush said word for word: “I don’t think we should deny people rights to a civil union, a legal arrangement, if that’s what a state chooses to do so.” As I’m sure we all know, “civil unions” is a cop-out that involves giving gays and lesbians pretty much all the rights and benefits of marriage without actually referring to homosexuals’ relationships as “marriage.”

    Tim, your definition of a “moderate” is a person who favors allowing civil unions for gays and lesbians? Then I would politely suggest that you are not actually a conservative.

    We can go through a whole list of things point by point, if you wish.

  17. Note: Here is a more thorough description of what Bush said:

    _In an Oct. 24 interview with ABC correspondent Charlie Gibson, Bush claimed he disagreed with the Republican Party platform opposing civil unions of same-sex couples and that the issues should be left up to the states. “I don’t think we should deny people rights to a civil union, a legal arrangement, if that’s what a state chooses to do so,” Bush told Gibson during the interview. Gibson then noted that the Republican Party platform opposed civil unions, to which Bush replied, “Well, I don’t.” Gibson then asked, “So the Republican Party platform on that point, as far as you’re concerned, is wrong?” “Right,” Bush said._

  18. Dear All of you Naysayers who say the letter is a fake, etc….
    I am Sgt Walter Rausch’s Mom…..Walter’s post is authentic as is his character and honor in serving this country where you can rant and rave without fear of retribution….FREELY I might add….As far as not disclosing his location, etc….why oh why would you think that would make the letter more authentic??? I don’t remember his letter mentioning anything regarding a discussion about certain missions, etc….this was a letter to voice his opinion on the importance of his assignment in Iraq…agree with it or not…it’s your choice….No one will throw you in prison for voicing your opposition against his letter…do ya get it now??????

  19. No one’s interested in discussing President Bush’s support for civil unions for gays and lesbians? ‘Tis a shame.

    Admin: Derek, it’s an interesting thought. I have looked into it. It is debatable whether or not Bush in that statement was talking from his personal view, or from the view of the law.

  20. “It is debatable whether or not Bush in that statement was talking from his personal view, or from the view of the law.”

    No it’s not. See: _Gibson then noted that the Republican Party platform opposed civil unions, to which Bush replied, “Well, I don’t.” Gibson then asked, “So the Republican Party platform on that point, as far as you’re concerned, is wrong?” “Right,” Bush said._

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