December 14, 2005
Letter to an American SoldierBy Vasko Kohlmayer
For some time now, we have sought to underplay the strife in Washington to reassure you that despite our differences we are all united behind your mission. It is no longer possible to do so. Sadly, there are some among us whose worldview is so skewed that in their minds you are worse than the murderous terrorists intent on our destruction. To them you are the bad one while they are freedom fighters. These people think we cannot and deserve not to win this war.
Such notions almost invariably come from the political Left, often from the highest echelons of the Democratic Party. Let me give you a few examples.
On June 14, 2005, Dick Durbin, the second highest ranked democrat in the U.S. Senate, compared the actions of our military personnel at Guant�namo Bay to those of the Nazi, Soviet and Pol Pot regimes.
Following the disclosure of the Abu Ghraib photos, Senator Kennedy kept pouring oil on fire for months through condemnatory speeches and denunciations. When the storm was abating at last, he reminded the world of it once again by speaking of 'the first anniversary of Abu Ghraib.'
On December 6, 2005, Howard Dean, the chairman of the Democratic Party, asserted that 'the idea that we are going to win this war is just plain wrong.' This only one day after John Kerry claimed on national television that you go 'into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and children.'
As a naturalized citizen and someone who grew up under communism, I am keenly aware of just how great and wonderful this country is. While living in America, I also became conscious of the all around goodness and big—heartedness of the American people. It therefore pains me greatly when I see someone throwing mud at America's best.
I will not stand by when John Kerry and his ilk compare you to the Nazis and terrorists. John Kerry betrayed his comrades 30 years ago, and now he is trying to do it again to the latest generation of heroic Americans. There is only one word that can describe such a man: traitor.
When I kiss my little girl good night, I do so knowing that many have paid — and many are paying still — a heavy price so that I can partake in this wondrous moment in freedom and peace. The thought that so many laid their lives while making it possible is almost too painful to bear. Tied to you with a bond forged by your sacrifice, I acknowledge its lopsided nature — I get the benefits while you bear the cost.
The nature of our existence is such that for almost everything that is good and precious we depend on the labor and goodwill of others. Of this I become especially cognizant when I think of you. I do not know why our lives take the course they do, but of this I am certain: God is just and with Him no noble sacrifice is ever in vain.
You come from the greatest nation that has ever been and you defend the great idea on which it stands — that men may be free. You fight that others too may have the freedom to live up to their God—given potential and pursue happiness in the way they see fit. Freedom is after love the greatest gift a man can give. And you, dear friend, give both in a measure infinitely abundant.
However severe the hardships you now face or sharp the pain you now endure, one thing can never be in doubt: we will win this war. We will win it, because we have the best military in the world. We will win, because America does not cow before head—chopping terrorists. We will win, because win we must.
We will not let darkness prevail over light, and good will not run in the face of evil. Those whom you have liberated will stay free, and those who would enslave them will meet with the fate they deserve. Once your mission is accomplished, you will come home to a thankful nation leaving behind a country that will never be a threat again.
Embittered and seething with rage, those who speak ill of your toil loathe their own country and attack you, because it is you who makes America strong. Rarely angry with our vicious foe, they are always quick to chide and belittle our military. But do not let that disturb you. They only represent a small number in this land. America brims with grateful people who appreciate your sacrifice, who love you, and who pray for you.
I also want you to know this. We will hold the traitors accountable regardless of where they are or how high their office. We will not allow them to sully your honor or your service. We will not allow them to throw mud into the blood you have spilled. We will not allow them to smear the reputation or the memory of the bravest among us. We will call them on their lies, and we will call them for what they are. And in the end they will go down in shame that their words and actions rightly deserve.
May God bless you and keep you safe.
With abiding appreciation for your service and sacrifice,
I remain gratefully yours,
Vasko Kohlmayer defected from communist Czechoslovakia at the age of 19. He lives in London and works in the publishing industry. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.