Saturday, August 21, 2004

I've been meaning to add MY WAR to the RSS portion of my sidebar for some time. Now it may be too late. If the author keeps posting I'll add it with a link to this, since these are a few of my favorite posts.

His latest post, entitled Stay Tuned, quotes the first amendment which mentions freedom of the press - without comment.

Stay Tuned

He has some great, gritty posts.

So my AG looks over at me and with a mischievous smile says, "Watch this!" and then he starts chanting: "U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!" over and over again, next thing you know all these little kids, 100's of them, started chanting U-S-A!! Over and over again, each time a little loader. We were both laughing and thought this was all funny until I saw the reaction on the older people faces on the side of the road. They didn't look too thrilled about that, once I immediately noticed that, I said, "Dude, that's not cool! Make them stop yelling that shit!" But it was too late, these kids were having too much fun chanting U-S-A! Next thing you know I saw an older middle eastern lady wearing all black pick up a rock and throw it at us, which of course started a huge chain reaction of rock throwing at us. We got out of that neighborhood in a hurry after that. Lesson learned. Anyways, we were now back in the same neighborhood where the infamous U-S-A incident took place. We dismounted and searched another car, didn't find shit again. Tons of stray kids hanging out on the street corners here observing us with a watchful eye. Like I said before, every kid here in Iraq looks like those kids you see on those TV commercials where they say "for only .99 cents a day you can help feed this starving child". A real low income part of Mosul. My Sqd Ldr was trying to talk to a crowd of little kids, asking them if they saw or heard anything, and while he was asking them this one kid comes running up to us with an old empty brass 105 artillery shell, and then this other kid comes running up to us with another expired artillery shell. Both demanded money for their discovery. "Give me Dollar!" they said. Then this other kid came running over to us with an RPG fin and a handful of dirty .50 cal bullets. These kids were just finding this crap off the streets. Amazing. Then all the sudden this really skinny Iraqi kid comes running up to us with a fucking HAND GRANADE in his hand. "HOLY SHIT!!! DROP THE FUCKIN HAND GRANADE!!! DROP IT NOW!!!" We all started yelling! The little kid, still with this proud smile on his face that said, "Look what I just found" just dropped the grenade on the ground, and walked over to my squad leader and said, "Give me money!" It was an old pineapple grenade that was all dirty and rusty, it looked like something left over from the Iran Iraq war. We asked him where he found it at, and innocently he pointed to this old abandoned house that was in the middle of a field that looked like a junkyard. We secured the area, and searched the house. Didn't find shit. Then the kids pointed to another house, this one owned by a wife beater undershirt wearing Iraqi with a massive facial beard and more body hair than teen wolf. We searched his house, again didn't find shit. Finally four blue and white ICP trucks showed up packed with Iraqi Police dressed in blue khakis and strapped with AK47's. They dismounted and asked where the hand grenade was, we pointed to them to where it was and they went over, picked it up, and they like kinda laughed at us, like "You're kidding, you guys called us over here for this?!" I could hear one ICP say in broken English, "This, No-good." They took the grenade and drove off. And we did the same. My Sqd Ldr then explained to me that when the 101st was here they would give the little kids in that area money and/or MRE's if they found weapons and UXO, which is why every time when they see US Forces they always drag over shit like that and say, "Give me! Give me!"

Here's part of the one about when his commander found out about his blog. Read carefully, don't assume that all the swear words mean he doesn't use words subtly. He manages to explain all the restrictions he's under to the reader while cheerfully telling his superiors he agress one hundred percent:

Then we discussed things, and he pointed things out, and told me things. I agreed with 100% of everything he was saying, and the final conclusion from what he told me was that I could continue writing, but maybe have my Plt Sgt read my stuff before I post. He stressed that he didn't want to censor me and that I still had the freedom of speech thing, as long as I wasn't doing anything that would endanger the mission. I totally 110% agree with him on that one. I thanked him and I told him that I of course would not want to do anything that would endanger anybody here or back home, which is of course true. He suggested that I should look into getting this stuff published and made into a book someday. Finally I walked out of his office, with a feeling that I had just dodged a full mag of AK47 bullets. I went back to my room, and my roommate was waiting for me all wide eyed and said "Well, what did he want?!?!?! What Happened?!?! You busted?!" I told him all about what happened. And then I said, "Well, the positive thing is that, at least he knows who I am now." And he looked at me and said, "That could be a good thing, or a bad thing."

And here's his views on the election.

"I can't say anything nagetive about my Commander in Chief so I won't says it all.I seriously wasn't planning on voting in this election, neither candidate excite me. I've voted in every election since I was 18, but I was planning on taking a break from this one, because I don't really feel like voting for the lesser of the two evils. The first election I voted in I was still in High School, and my father (who's a lot like the dad on that TV show the Wonder Years with Winnie Cooper) forced me to register and vote. He said, "Look you live in my house, you don't pay rent, you and all your deadbeat skateboarding buddies eat all the food my house, the least you could do for me is vote!" So I did, on Election Day, he woke my ass up and dragged me to the balloting place, which was some ladies house down the street. On the way there I asked, "Hey dad, how do you vote?" His answer, "Oh, voting is easy! All you do is vote for every single person that has the words: "Republican" next to it." I said, "But dad, what if the democrat is better than the republican?" His answer, "Impossible, there's no such thing as Democrat that's better than a republican, you figure the worst Republican is ten times better than the best Liberal." That was my first lesson in voting. Needless to say I'm a little bit, actually way more moderate than my father, but he taught me lesson, when its time to vote, you get off your ass and you vote.
I can't say anything negative about my Commander In Chief, so I wont. But I also can't vote for a person who threw his medals at the White House. You just don't do something like that. Like, if I did something like that, to protest this war, that would be a total slap in the face to all my brothers in my Platoon, all the people serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, all the people who lost their lives here, all the POW's, all the Vets, all the guys in all the other branches, and all my Drill Sgt's at Benning, and I wouldn't do something like that to them. It's hard enough as it is. Disagree with me all you want on this, but that's just how I feel.
The soldiers I know in the Army who are voting for Kerry in this election (which is a lot more than people would think) are voting for him because they're pissed off at Bush. They're pissed off because of Stop Loss, tour extensions, underestimating the amount of troops needed for Iraq, the Weapons of Mass destruction thing, the legitimacy of coming to Iraq, and they feel Kerry might also get us out of here faster. Stuff like that.
The soldiers I know who are voting for Bush are voting for him because they support him 110% on his Global War On Terrorism, and there is no shadow of a doubt that we did the right thing coming to Iraq. They feel Bush is doing a great job so far out here.

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