Veteran US war reporter, Joe Galloway, has let fly in a series of email exchanges with US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld's press secretary, Larry Darita. It's absolutely remarkable to see Galloway's deeply passionate attempts to knock some sense of reality into the Rumsfeld sounding board bouncing away without any chance of being heard. How would you respond to this:
"i like to think that is what i am doing also, and it is a struggle that grows out of my obligation to and love for america's warriors going back 41 years as of last month. there are many things we all could wish had happened. i can wish that your boss had surrounded himself with close advisers who had, once at least, held a dying boy in their arms and watched the life run out of his eyes while they lied to him and told him, over and over, "You are going to be all right. Hang on! Help is coming. Don't quit now..." Such men in place of those who had never known service or combat or the true cost of war, and who pays that price, and had never sent their children off to do that hard and unending duty. i could wish for so much. i could wish that in january of this year i had not stood in a garbage-strewn pit, in deep mud, and watched soldiers tear apart the wreckage of a kiowa warrior shot down just minutes before and tenderly remove the barely alive body of WO Kyle Jackson and the lifeless body of his fellow pilot. they died flying overhead cover for a little three-vehicle Stryker patrol with which i was riding at the time. i could wish that Jackson's widow Betsy had not found, among the possessions of her late husband, a copy of my book, carefully earmarked at a chapter titled Brave Aviators, which Kyle was reading at the time of his death. That she had not enclosed a photo of her husband, herself and a 3 year old baby girl. those things i received in the mail yesterday and they brought back the tears that i wept standing there in that pit, feeling the same shards in my heart that i felt the first time i looked into the face of a fallen american soldier 41 years ago on a barren hill in Quang Ngai Province in another time, another war. someone once asked me if i had learned anything from going to war so many times. my reply: yes, i learned how to cry."
Darita's reply was:
"I appreciate what you are saying but your continued implication that rumsfeld does not understand all that is at stake is wrong and offensive."