Monday, December 19, 2005

Bellavia Nails It!

Rep. Murtha is causing casualties

Posted: December 16, 2005
1:00 a.m.

Eastern Editor's note: David Bellavia is a former U.S. Army staff sergeant who served in the First Infantry Division for six years. He has been recommended for the Medal of Honor by his leadership, and has been nominated for the Distinguished Service Cross. He has received the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, the Conspicuous Service Cross (New York state's highest combat valor award) and was recently inducted into the New York State Veteran's Hall of Fame. His Task Force 2-2 Infantry has fought on such battlefields as Al Muqdadiyah, An Najaf, Al Fallujah, Mosul, and Baqubah. His actions in Fallujah, Iraq, were documented in the Nov. 22, 2004, cover story "Into the Hot Zone" by award-winning journalist Michael Ware. He is 30 years old.

© 2005

As the debris continues to settle from the explosion detonated by Representative John Murtha's, D-Pa., continued rapid fire defeatist comments this past week, I wonder how he expected his statements to be perceived. As an infantryman whose boots are still caked with blood and dust from Iraq, I am beyond confused with the Democratic Party's "Prada Pant Suit Posse" of Reps. Nancy Pelosi and Louise Slaughter's insistence that he preserve his title as a combat visionary.

As rancor and hyperbole have reached its peak, we continue to be fed bastardized statistics and a complete denial that Iraq – according to al-Qaida intercepts – is indeed the front line in the War on Terror. Murtha's outrage seems to be concerned with the massive amount of American youth far from home and in harm's way. There is no outrage that we have 1,700 troops patrolling Kosovo's tranquil streets. No complaints from the left when asked about the 3,000 troop presence in Bosnia or why there is a need for 1,754 troops in Iceland. "Mr. President, bring home our boys from Iceland NOW"!

When President Clinton sent 15,000 troops into post-hostile Bosnia to get the job done, it was the equivalent of keeping 585,000 troops in Iraq post invasion, when equating terrain and population. Tellingly, the silence from the left is deafening. To the leftists in America, Clinton understood war like no other. The template is simple: Pull out when the blood starts to flow (Somalia) and over commit when there is no chance of loss (Kosovo and Bosnia).

As Congress jockeys for their individual credibility in who has eaten more meals at Halliburton chow halls, Murtha stands and wears his lone Bronze Star with Valor (BSV) as his badge of authority. On behalf of every veteran of Iraqi Freedom who has exchanged hot lead with this enemy, allow me to state: "Mr. Murtha you don't know 'Jack' about the mujahadeen."

Rep. Murtha quotes an unscientific poll that concludes arrogantly that "80 percent of Iraqis want us out." I am no John Zogby, but I conclude 100 percent of Iraqi's want us out ... eventually. They very much want us there while Islamo-fascists continue to blow them up as they worship and apply to serve the cause of freedom.

My peers are not appreciative of the Sen. Kennedy and Kerry elitists who daily attempt to uncover mistakes made by this administration, while my brothers under fire bleed to death thousands of miles from their homes. In the era of digital satellite, these senators have put us on daily trial for executing a war as it unfolds, without delay and in its entirety.

Iraqi veterans are without apologies for not finding weapons of mass destruction today in Iraq. As former administrations ignored the present danger in this region for years before 9-11, we in the trenches pay the price for our past inability to confront our brazen enemies. Each day, the enemy hopes that one more 10-plus death toll inflicted against the coalition via a roadside bomb will be the last straw of the American collective will.

Voting against the immediate pull out of the troops and then carpet bombing every TV program that offers an invite by supporting Murtha's ignorance is a political attack that is aiding the enemy. Congress has had multiple opportunities to pass official articles of war against al-Qaida and her assets to end once and for all the bipartisan bickering of why we fight in Iraq today. They have yet to act.

Make no mistake: This is a middle- to lower-class war, fought by volunteers of the greatest generation of American Warriors ever born. I personally have written over 47 Bronze Stars with Valor awards for the members of my 34-man infantry platoon. The BSV is alarmingly growing more and more common during this fight and yet my peers cannot use their awards as a platform to defend their noble struggle, because they are still deep in the fight. Neither Mr. Murtha, nor any other congressional representative, has held a position in a skirmish line under fire in Iraq, yet they pontificate to the masses from "their war" experience.

Not one has borne witness to the extreme close quarter nature of this fight or commented on the tearful thanks from a deserving and proud people who need us to stay the course. Yet Rep. Murtha has the extreme audacity to call my peers "broken."

The testament to the American soldier is the attrition on the other end of the battlefield in Iraq, and it is almost biblical in proportion. Hundreds of thousands of Iranian-trained Hezbollah, Chechnyan, Wahabbi and local mujahadeen militants have been pacified by our young patriots and their continuation of the legacy of the American Warrior Ethos. Funny how a man like Murtha – who made his career on detailing his heroism under fire – is the first to chip at away at my generation's valor.

As my peers continue to bleed for the acceptance from a growingly cynical media, it must be stated: We are not "broken," we have never "terrorized Iraqis in their homes" and we are most certainly not "living hand to mouth."

Each day, the Iraqi War veteran grows closer to the embarrassing disrespect of the Vietnam warrior. Each day, legislators like Rep. Murtha move us closer to losing a winnable war and abandoning a worthy ally. Democratic leadership feels the need to apologize for our nation's ability to deliver unrelenting prudent lethality onto our deserving enemies. Instead of supporting the cause of my peers, they stoke the fires of the al-Jazeera faithful, who would see a pullout in Iraq as a greater victory than the Soviet retreat in Afghanistan.

Though soldiers bleed for the very right to dissent from the truth, we must remember that at times our dissent will embolden our desperate Islamo-fascist enemy when they read accounts of the growing fecklessness of the American people and her policymakers.

"Staying the course" isn't a campaign slogan – it is a life-support message to my peers. Congressman Murtha – above all others – should know the perils inherent in dictating military policy from across the Potomac in a time of war. I imagine he can still taste the hated partisan spittle of the war protestors 30 years ago. Like Vietnam, the American soldier cannot be defeated on the field of battle, only by the failure of the political class to stomach the hardships of combat.

David Bellavia


Letters in response to above letter:


Bellavia nails it

[Former Staff Sgt. David Bellavia's letter on Murtha] is one of the most awesome articles I have ever read. I have never responded to an Internet article before. I could not refrain from responding to this one. Mr. Bellavia nails it.

Howard Price
BSV, Purple Heart Recipient
Republic of Vietnam

My kind of guy

I may not know [David Bellavia] personally, but I know he is the kind of American I understand, trust and respect. A man who has historical and political perspective – unlike the political Left.

He has confidence in himself and his country, while the Left always seems to have a wishy-washy and unstable policy of cut and run. Their song is always the same, and it's always off key. I wouldn't trust the Left to run my washing machine, let alone my country.

Former Staff Sgt. Bellavia, I salute you and want to thank you for your service to this county, past and present. And if I were a couple years younger, sir, I'd ask you to marry me. You're my kind of guy!

Joyce Romano

Remarkable people

I have just read the "Letter of the Week" by David Bellavia. What remarkable and wonderful people we have serving in our military. A copy of this should be sent to everyone in the House and Senate, the editors of the "elite" newspapers, and the news networks. Thank you so much for having this letter for us to read.

Gail Parker

Thanks for the truth

Very well said. Thanks for the straightforward truth of what is really going on. We need more letters like [David Bellavia's] to help overcome the treasonous media and Democrats.

It is beyond my comprehension or why the Democratic freaks do not support our troops. There is no need for apologizing that you have not found weapons of mass destruction. Every normal person in the United States who supports the cause fully understands the fact that Saddam used them in Iran and on his own people. One truckload of this nasty [material] can be easily hidden in a nation the size of California.

Steve Roman


Soldier's pen mightier than sword

I may not be able to write the "Letter Of The Week," but I can compliment David Bellavia with all my heart for a job well done and for an article written from his heart which is so tempered by the things he has seen and done on America's Field of Valor – which is any place an American soldier stands in defense of people anywhere who yearn for and deserve freedom, liberty and their very lives!

How well we know that some men so easily forget the things that may have motivated them as youngsters, that enabled them to fight their wars and pursue their dreams, that kept them going when "the going was rough" and enabled them to stand and fight rather than run and hide, only to grow old and fat while living the easy life as ex-Marine Murtha seems to have done!

America has had her Benedict Arnolds in every war of her existence and will continue to have, I suppose, but let us deal with the current one! Murtha's voice is one taken up by a brand of coward that seems to be peculiar to America. Fat with the excesses of our liberty and lazy in our so hardly won freedoms, we see them choose to "cut and run" while the David Bellavias struggle and fight an incredibly U.N.-balanced war on foreign shores.

Sir, I salute and thank you with all my heart for a job well done. Apparently, it is not yet completed, and I do pray that you will continue to fight here on these shores as you are doing. Certainly, in many ways the "pen" is indeed "mightier than the sword!"

Fight the good fight!

Sam Sayger