It takes a lot of guts for a Soldier to speak out and tell us what he feels our country is doing. Tim Predmore is in the elite 101st Airborne Division and has been in the Army for five years. He is right now stationed in Mosel, Iraq.
Five years in the service tells us he is making it a career and by speaking out he is risking the wrath of the Pentagon. When you read Predmore's letter you will see that this is just the type of person we want in our Armed forces. The man is intelligent, writes well, and thinks about what he is doing. I know the military wants people who follow orders, but they also want people that are able to think clearly and this young soldier sounds like he can.
From high school in Peoria, Illinois, to an American battlefield. This young man is a fine example of our troops. We don't want to lose this type of soldier by sending him into a war with no end in sight. We owe it to those serving to have an exit plan. We should be able to tell them what they must do to win. If things continue on in Iraq the way they are now, we will have thousands of young men and women leave the military.
Our troops mush have faith in the fact that Washington is telling the truth and sad to say, they haven't been
U.S. soldier in Iraq wonders: "How many more must die?"
August 24, 2003
By TIM PREDMORE
"Shock and Awe" were the words used to describe the
awesome display of power the world was to view upon
the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. It was to be an
up-close, dramatic display of military strength and
advanced technology within the arsenal of the United
States and the United Kingdom's military.
But as a soldier preparing for the invasion of Iraq, the
words "shock and awe" rang deeper within my psyche.
These two great superpowers were about to break the
very rules they demand of others. Without the consent
of the United Nations, and ignoring the pleas of their
own citizens, the United States and Britain invaded
"Shock and Awe"? Yes, the words correctly described
the emotional impact I felt as we prepared to
participate in what I believed not to be an act of
justice but of hypocrisy.
From the moment the first shot was fired in this
so-called war of liberation and freedom, hypocrisy
reigned. Following the broadcasting of recorded images
of captured and dead U.S. soldiers over Arab
television, American and British leaders vowed revenge
while verbally assaulting the networks for displaying
such vivid images. Yet within hours of the deaths of
Saddam's two sons, the American government released
horrific photos of the two dead brothers for the entire
world to view. Again, a "do as we say and not as we
As soldiers serving in Iraq, we have been told that our
purpose here is to help the people of Iraq by providing
them the necessary assistance militarily as well as in
humanitarian efforts. Then tell me where the humanity
was in the recent Stars and Stripes account of two
young children brought to a U.S. military camp by their
mother, in search of medical care? The two children
had been, unbeknown to them, playing with explosive
ordinance they had found and as a result were
severely burned. The account tells how the two
children, following an hour-long wait, were denied care
by two U.S. military doctors. The soldier described the
incident as one of many "atrocities" he has witnessed
on the part of the U.S. military.
So then, what is our purpose here? Was this invasion
due to weapons of mass destruction as we so often
heard? If so, where are they? Did we invade to dispose
of a leader and his regime on the account of close
association with Osama bin Laden? If so, where is the
proof? Or is it that our incursion is a result of our own
economic advantage? Iraq's oil can be refined at the
lowest cost of any in the world. Coincidence?
This looks like a modern-day crusade not to free an
oppressed people or to rid the world of a demonic
dictator relentless in his pursuit of conquest and
domination but a crusade to control another nation's
natural resource. At least for us here, oil seems to be
the reason for our presence.
There is only one truth, and it is that Americans are
dying. There are an estimated 10- to 14-attacks on
our servicemen and women daily in Iraq. As the body
count continues to grow, it would appear that there is
no immediate end in sight.
I once believed that I served for a cause: "to uphold
and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Now, I no longer believe; I have lost my conviction, my
determination. I can no longer justify my service for
what I believe to be half-truths and bold lies. My time
is done as well as that of many others with whom I
serve. We have all faced death here without reason or
How many more must die? How many more tears must
be shed before America awakens and demands the
return of the men and women whose job it is to
protect them rather than their leader's interest?
Tim Predmore is on active duty with the 101st Airborne
Division near Mosul, Iraq. A 1985 Richwoods High
School graduate and native Peorian, he has been in
Iraq since March and in the military for about five