TODAY’S LETTERS: Readers Respond to General Petraeus and Column About Dead Iraq Soldiers

By: E&P Staff

Today we got a letter from a soldier in Iraq who disagreed with some feedback we received about General Petraeus. Others quickly wrote in about a column we ran yesterday about two Iraq soldiers who died shortly after penning an op-ed about the war.

Soldier in Iraq Disagrees With Petraeus Criticism
As a soldier currently serving in Iraq and a journalist in civilian life, I
must take offense with Mr. W.D. Gray’s (Letter to editor 12 SEP 07)
assertion that General Petraeus is a “traitor”. I could not disagree more.

To say that Gen. Petraeus, a man who has given well over three decades of faithful service to his country, is leading a “mercenary” military, unfairly discredits the 160,000 troopers under his command in Iraq. Without exception, every soldier I have met here in Iraq (six months so far) who has heard about General Petraeus has spoken highly of him. This is no small feat and to me, an indication of the confidence of the dusty boots on the ground in the stars in the military firmament, and a measure of the loyalty such a man instills in his subordinates.

Also, no one who has served a day in uniform would ever call military pay and allowances exorbitant. Certainly, there are benefits for deserving servicemembers — that’s why people sign up — but these perks do not come without a heavy price. The countless training weekends, 18-hour days, yearlong deployments and the strictures of military life can leave any compensation seem like a paltry sum.

The General’s detractors will do well to examine the incredibly complex
factors and difficult at play in Baghdad, and submit their complaints about health care and retirement pay to the Pentagon or the VA. Let General Petraeus wages his battles with the enemy, not with slanderous foes on the home front.

Very respectfully,

Tony C.K. Yang
TPT 1044 Assistant Team Leader
Kirkuk, Iraq

Deaths of Soldiers ‘Brings It Home’ For ‘NYT’ Editorial Page Editor

Congrats on your news sense returning.

Finally, you have written about something that readers would find interesting, the tragic loss of life of men who were involved in a unique journalistic outing.

But you do neglect one matter, that Shipley did a “great deal of editing” and how these men in diverse units were brought together to sign the letter. The right wing bloggers went after this heavily, and while I think many of their points were silly, it does beg to ask how much of this was written in New York and how much in Iraq.

Mark Simon

This should be shouted from every rooftop in America!

Thank you for this column.

Gene Manon
Hagerstown, Md.

I just came across your story about the two soldiers who were killed that had written the NYT Op-Ed piece. This story is another in a long line of tragedies. I’m an intern for an online marketing website called and, after reading this story felt compelled to tell you about something we’re doing.

Beginning next week, we are launching a campaign with our sponsor coComment called “Iraqnophobia–Let the Truth be Told” in which people can send in their opinions/stories/blogs regarding the news we are fed by the media and what is really happening in Iraq.

For every 5,000 entries we receive, coComment will donate $1,000 to Operation Gratitude. I can’t help but think that the soldiers who wrote the Op-Ed article would have supported this public dialogue.

Ben Shore

Follow by Email
Visit Us

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *