Tony Snow Wants You (If You Are a Reserve Officer Who Supports the Surge)

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A reader sends this email he received today from a retired Marine general addressed to members of the Reserve Officers Association of the United States. Reserve officers of the supposedly non partisan association are invited to share any “positive (and negative)” developments in Iraq they believe the press may have failed to report.

Dear [xxxx], President Groskreutz and I recently had the opportunity to participate in a White House teleconference conducted by Press Secretary Tony Snow. Mr. Snow reinforced the President’s message about the preliminary report of Ambassador Crocker and General Petraeus on the progress being made in Iraq since the “surge” of additional forces earlier this year. Mr. Snow repeatedly stated that he believed the country does not fully understand the critical nature of the threat in Iraq, and that the press has failed to report many of the positive things that have been happening. The press secretary asked that we use our best efforts to enable the men and women who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan to come forward with their own accounts of what they saw and experienced in combat, their own assessments of the nature of the threats facing our Nation, and their view on the need for our presence in these theaters of war. Many ROA members have a truly unique insight into the “ground truth” in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sharing those insights with the American people and with our governmental leaders will help everyone to better understand the complex situation in which we find ourselves.

Do we have vital national interests in Iraq? Afghanistan?

Is the “surge” of forces working?

Are there positive (or negative) things happening that the press fails to report?

It’s important that the views of the men and women who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan are heard. To facilitate this, we’ve created the “ROA Deployment Blog” as a vehicle for our members to share their experiences and views. ROA will do several things with the submissions we receive. We will publish a report outlining the range of responses, highlighting key trends, and quoting from the your submissions. (If you withhold permission to quote you by name, we will honor that direction and your submission will remain anonymous.) ROA will also send this report to the White House, DOD and the Congress. The ROA Deployment Blog ….can be accessed from the links in this message or from the front page of the ROA web site. As an alternative, responses may be sent to me by mail or e-mail. …

LtGen [XXX] USMC (Ret)

Reserve Officers Association of the United States

Washington DC 20002

The recipient of the email sent an accompanying note, “Oh, this is great. ROA is becoming a shill for the White House…..!” And later informed me that he is resigning his membership in the group.

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THIS IS BIG FOR US.

And we won't beat around the bush: Our fundraising drive to finish our current budget on June 30 and start our new fiscal year on July 1 is lagging behind where we need it to be.

If you value the reporting you get from Mother Jones and you can right now, please consider joining your fellow readers with a donation to help make it all possible. Whether you can pitch in $5 or $500, it all matters.

If you're new to Mother Jones or aren't yet sold on supporting our nonprofit reporting, please take a moment to read Monika Bauerlein's post about our priorities after these chaotic several years, and why this relatively quiet moment is also an urgent one for our democracy and Mother Jones’ bottom line—and if you find it compelling, please join us.

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