Sunday, September 16, 2007

Peace of mind

It hurts to know trhat in some small way the lives lost here might well have been wasted. Gaurding a gas station for several hours strait while people act like idiots can certainly feel that way. Also having the BC called "killer K" well that adds a load of confidance. but in the end you can only look to your platoon for answers and peace of mind.

Comming in for refit feels good, especially with the prospect of no expectations or missions for the next couple of days. But of course that won't last forever. Eventually you have to "get your shit on" and roll out for more pointless missions. It doesn't help to know the facts, the simple truth is that in my sector at least what is politically prudent has replaced what is tactically or reasnonably prudent. oh hell

The truth is, depite the trouble i always find myself in at the hospital, it is always a relife to come back to rusty. I can get away, and i often do. Though roaming the FOB may seem to some like a lonely mans way of passing the time, it's actually a great way to blow off steam. of course, as i always do, i keep a running monolouge. All the things I'd LIKE to say, and never will. All the Angst and frustration said aloud, but ultimatly drowned out by the droning sound of the generators that never turn off.

Talking on the internet is also important. It is not that i don't get it out at the COP, but having a bunch of dudes breathing over your shoulder can put a damper on any conversation, intamte or otherwise. Alos it's nice to find out what's going on in the world, and even better, it's noce to see all those sites that were blocked by the web monitors. To those prudes reading this yes i am talkign about PORN! i'm a soldier not a saint.

Finally, it's noce to have no need to report in. You can come and go as you please. the whole battle buddy thing was way over rated. If you got hurt by a mortar attack, chances are your battle buddy got hurt to. beside your CoC will find out soon enough anyway.

It's not much but any chance to get peace of mind is a Godsend in this hell hole.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

six years later

I can still rember where i was, and what i was doing, my expressions, and the disbelief i felt on september 11th 2001. If i hadn't deployed to Iraq twice part of me might think it had been just a bad dream. But the truth is that in two of those six years i was in this country. I was in VERY hostile teritory, and it was a direct result of September 11th. Where do we stand now? one can only hope that things have changed for the better but the truth is it has become apparent to the people of America, just how widespread and terrible this "Global War on Terror" can be.

The question was put to me "do you think we can win" i didn't respond at the time, thinking that i wanted to talk about something, anything else, but the truth is that eventually we will. My reasoning is simple, extremeism in any for is it's own worst enemy. Eventually the followers will become disenchanted. It has already happened, suicide bombers are chained to the Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (VBIED) and sedated so they are not fearful for their life, so they don't rethink their position. But just incase that is not enough there is always a secondary arming mechanism that can be remotly triggered.

Another fine example is Sadr. In recend days Jaysh al-Mahdi has fractured. Some wanting to fight the US till the bitter end, some wanting nothing more than to kill sunnis, and some others that want to set up a fundamentialest government. All are at odds with eachother, and eventually some will find Sadr lacking the nessisary qualities. It has happened to Malcom X, and (though he wan't exactly extreamist in the current use of the word) Mahatma Gandi. The lesson history teaches us is that if you leas extreamists you should damm well have a target you're ready to unleash them on, and if not you better have a plan to deal with them.

Although the war seems so widespread (it has baisically become an "us vs. them" of the three abrahamic religions) the truth is that eventually it will falter unde it's own weight. All the West needs to do is engage hotspots, and put out a message that there is a better way. It's not hard, as anyone from the former Soviet Union will attest, many were the lectures about the evils of America but in all the news reals shown they were all driving cars so how bad could it be? Ignoring a fundamental truth. . . people WANT to be comfortable. In the end hate is a temporary thing. Though at a moment it might be easy to feel, it is far more difficult to maintain.

Unfortunatly as The US embassidor to Iraq pointed out yesterday, there will be no clear "we won" moment and turning points will only be noticed and understood in retrospect. So it will be with this war. Iraq is a front, nothing more. It may be looked upon as a focal point, but soon i have no doubt it will move elsewhere. The world may seem a far more dangerous place since the "Iraq War" started, and since 9/11. It's not. It was always this dangerous and deadly. Americans just woke up to it, and sadly they need to keep being reminded. Eventually they will return to the blissfull ignorance that is part of the American experience, but in this world, there can no longer be such a thing as isolationism. If our ememies know this then we to must accept this as fact or we are doomed.

There is always a tragity that occures before upheval. There are no words to convey the horror of that day, or the monumental evil that caused it. I fear America will grapple with this tragity for many years to come, but eventlually we will move foward toward the bright and shinning future we all hope for, and get a little bit closer to with each generation.