I doubt this one was the result of a Bush Administration effort. But it’s both wrong and dumb for the commander to do this, if he’s indeed the one.
It’s wrong because he has no business essentially setting a party line on how things are going, and encouraging his soldiers to parrot it in their letters home - regardless of their freedom to disagree. It’s still an abuse of position.
It’s dumb because it undermines the credibility of soldiers’ genuine letters home, which ought to be one of our better sources of info for how things really look on the ground there, day in and day out. (Similarly for this soldier, who, though apparently acting on his own, simply parroted Paul Bremer, rather than writing about the things he’d personally seen and experienced.)
**Memo to US soldiers in Iraq: **
- Write your own letters.
- Write about the things you actually see and know about personally.
This is where you have irrefutable credibility. Write about that in your letters to your local papers, and whether the news is good or bad, it will be believed, and will give us a better picture of what things are really like over there.
But when you participate in someone else’s propaganda efforts, even the most well-meaning ones, and it’s found out (which is increasingly likely, in the Age of Google), it’ll make people skeptical about not just your own ill-conceived letters, but about the legitimate ones as well.