A word from Major E.

Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal carried an article by Yochi Dreazen and John McKinnon about Move America Forward, “a media-savvy outside advocacy group that has become one of the loudest — and most controversial — voices in the Iraq debate”: “Some conservatives return to old argument.” (Click here for a synidicated version of the article that appeared in the Portsmouth Herald yesterday.)

The article profiles the organization from an unfriendly perspective, raises questions concerning its tax-exempt status, and identifies its principals, including Howard Kaloogian, “a Republican former state assemblyman seeking the congressional seat of former Rep. Randy ‘Duke’ Cunningham, who resigned recently after admitting to taking bribes from defense contractors.” Here are two sentences full of sinister innuendo:

Move America Forward has no discernible formal ties to the White House or the Republican National Committee, and the group says it operates independently from the Republican Party establishment. Still, the organization provides a clear benefit to the administration by spreading a pro-war message that goes beyond what administration officials can say publicly.

Well done! Major E. writes to the Journal from Washington to comment on the article:

Dear WSJ: Thank you for writing about Move America Forward, and its co-founder Hon. Howard Kaloogian. I met him in Baghdad during the Voices of Soldiers tour several months ago. He and several radio personalities sacrificed treasure and risked personal safety just to hear what the soldiers on the ground had to say.

As a reservist who was on the ground in Iraq for most of this year, I am one of many who are frustrated with the media’s relentlessly negative coverage of Iraq, which often fails to include a troop perspective at all. Well, Howard Kaloogian impressed me by not only wanting to know what the troops have to say, but by coming all the way to Baghdad to do so. I thank Howard for his dedication to serving the troops and being honest about Iraq’s danger to the US, and think he would make a fine congressman. Since he was not interviewed for your article, I encourage readers to learn more about him at Kaloogian for Congress.

I also served as a weapons of mass destruction analyst during the run-up to the liberation of Iraq, so I not only appreciate Howard’s efforts, but also those of his organization to offer a voice of reality regarding Saddam’s regime and the danger that Iraq posed to the US. There is no question that WMDs have been found in Iraq–just not ‘weaponized,’ meaning ready for a conventional military employment, so the press feels justified in saying that there are none.

But out of almost two tons of reported enriched uranium discovered there, how many pounds would Al-Qaeda need to set off a dirty bomb in a major US city or port and achive the devastation and economic paralysis it seeks? The answer is just a few, so the “weaponized” distinction is a red herring.

Similarly, the press trumpets the 9/11 Commission’s finding that no “operational” link existed between Saddam and Al Qaeda. Again, word games. The thinking goes that even though Saddam supported AQ with sanctuary, safe meeting places and training grounds, that he did not send Uday and Qusay on 9/11 flights makes the relationship “non-operational.” Still, it would be just as accurate to say that Saddam and AQ had a key relationship where the former provided indispensable support to the latter, so I am glad that Move America Forward is speaking out.

Very Respectfully,
Major E.
Washington, DC

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