As the scenes of euphoria in the streets of Baghdad play out on televisions around the world, many viewers have turned to the Internet to express their reaction.
One website designed as an online forum to support American armed forces in Iraq has experienced increased traffic over the 12 days since it was posted.
href="http://www.uscenter.com">“Salute Our Military!” offers anyone who wishes the ability to send “25 words to our
heroes.” All the messages sent in are available for reading on the site.
Website creator Robert Ginzburg posted the site in reaction to the negative press that coalition troops were receiving overseas and on the home front before the fall of the Iraqi capital changed the spin on the headlines.
“The site is not for the war in Iraq – not the politics of it,” Ginzburg told WorldNetDaily, “but for the people who are in the military, who are our defenders on the frontlines where their country told
them to go and serve.”
A member from the 621st Air Mobility Group Tanker Airlift Control Element
waits for a C-130 to take off.
Despite the lack of any significant marketing on Ginzburg’s part, more than 100 people have discovered the website and submitted their messages of support.
“I just want to tell you guys that there are many people supporting you even if there are idiots out there protesting. God protect you all!” wrote Charlene Sanders from Hot Springs, Ark.
“Congratulations, You stand on the threshold of a great moment in military and Middle Eastern history. Your efforts may forever affect the course of civilization,” wrote retired U.S. Air Force Maj. Ron Drew.
“We are so very proud of you the American fighting machine. The best military in the world you men and women are doing a superior job keep up the good work, thanks and God Bless America,” wrote Ray from Creedmoor, N.C.
Members of the 86th Combat Support Hospital (CSH) from Fort Campbell,
KY, load injured U.S. soldiers onto a C-130 aircraft for medical evacuation.
A half-world away from home, American troops are concerned about what the public thinks of the fighting in Iraq.
“Everyone remembers or sees news clips of soldiers returning from Vietnam, and some of those images still linger,” Capt. Will Griffin of the 3rd Infantry Division support command told the
Christian Science Monitor. “We look for validation of what we do. We want to know what the public thinks.”
As WorldNetDaily reported, soldiers have expressed concern to their loved ones that they weren’t getting the truth of what was
happening in Iraq from foreign media outlets like the BBC.
“The news is all full of crap so don’t believe too much of what you hear,” Marine Lt. Jon Wicklund wrote to his wife in an e-mail from the frontlines. “Saddam and his [fighters] are really bad people, and the civilians get killed if they don’t help. We’ve had people raise white flags and pretend to surrender, then open up on us. They use women and children as human shields. It’s horrible what these people have had to endure over the last 20 years.”
Ginzburg said he had received a few negative e-mails, which he refuses to post. He told WorldNetDaily he responds to every one on the soldiers’ behalf.
“Our military is the best in the world – the best people and the best machinery in the world. What’s missing is our love for the military,” Ginzburg complained. “What concerns me is that
people look at it as a business and say, ‘We pay you, you fight,’ like military service is the same as car repair.”
Ginzburg’s online forum evolved out of the website the small businessman created to sell products he designed to improve the status of the military in the mind of the American public. These
include gold USA flag lapel pins and “Salute Our Military” holograms and screen savers.
On his website, Ginzburg proudly displays a letter he received from President George W. Bush thanking him for the campaign and sample pins he sent to the White House.
“We were unable to absorb all the e-mails that were coming into the website, so we created the ’25 words to our heroes,’” he said.
While critics may argue Ginzburg is cashing in on the war in Iraq, the South Floridian maintains the endeavor, which he says has cost far more money than it has made, is a labor of love for his
The effort also serves as a wake-up call of sorts to America.
Ginzburg emigrated to the United States with his family from Russia in 1989. Having been born and raised in a totalitarian regime, the former university professor said he can better appreciate the freedom enjoyed by citizens of democracies than those born on American soil.
“I know what it means when bombs are dropping around you. I know what it means to see relatives killed, but people born here don’t understand,” said Ginzburg.
“To have the best [society] in the world and to take it for granted, is a terrible thing. Don’t take it for granted. It can be changed overnight. It’s a daily process, a daily fight to keep it wonderful,” he continued.
The well-wishers who have postings on Ginzburg’s website express similar sentiment.
“WE are SOOO PROUD OF EACH OF YOU. THANK YOU for your dedication, service, and support of our freedoms. We pray for you daily and look forward to your return home. GOD BLESS YOU,” wrote Mrs. Rowland Moore of Bakersfield, Calif.
“We are honored by your valor and proud to be Americans. Please continue your hard work and return home safely. You are what makes this country special!” is the message from the Chris
McCoy family of Roswell, Ga.
A soldier from the 422nd Civil Affairs Battalion speaks with a boy while bags of rice and wheat are delivered to a village near the city of Najaf in central Iraq.
And from John Ranaudo: “From me and the rest of my family, may God bless you and keep you safe. You are fighting for a just cause and are supported by many! Root out the evil, clean up the
mess, and come home safe.”
And this from Al Queba in Baghdad: “Thank you America for saving us from that brutal dictator Saddam Hussein! May Allah bless your land!”