Thursday, November 24, 2005


We had a great Thanksgiving meal at the dining hall today. Real turkey, cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and pumpkin pie. I was so stuffed that I almost had to ride in a wheelbarrow to get back to my living quarters!
We had some distinguished visitors from the states (can't say who - OPSEC) and it was nice to see some elected officials give up Thanksgiving with their families to be with us. We did the same for them.
Oh, and Matt from Froggy Ruminations has a great post about President Bush's surprise trip to Baghdad for Thanksgiving two years ago. The president's speech then is even more applicable today.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Here's another Blinding Flash of the Obvious (BFO) for you: Iraq troop withdrawals driven by politics.
The U.S. military will recommend the number of troops that can be prudently withdrawn from Iraq -- if any -- but the final decision for the American military presence there will be up to policy officials in Washington. And they will consider political factors as well when they craft a final plan, a top U.S. general in Iraq said Tuesday.
. . .
Putting the Iraq troop question through the Washington policy process -- particularly now that debate has reached such a level of bitterness that members of Congress nearly came to blows on the House floor last week -- is cause for real concern among military officers serving in Iraq and others in the Pentagon.
"Tell them not to pull us out until the job is done," said an Army battalion operations officer in Iraq. "I'd rather stay here another year than have to come back three years from now and start all over."
Troops at the fighting level -- brigades, battalions and companies -- are eager to return to the United States, but many in interviews across the country told United Press International that they did not want to do so at the expense of allowing Iraq to slip into a civil war, or to fall into the hands of thugs, or to be weakened to the point that the central government does not have positive control over every inch of the country.
Any of these possibilities pose real danger of a forced return engagement of American forces, and next time it will be against an even more deeply entrenched enemy.

Amen. None of us over here want to leave the job unfinished, even if it means staying longer or dying over here. Almost everyone in the armed forces volunteered to do a job that no one else wanted to do because we know that "someone" needs to do it. Well I volunteered to do this so some other new father wouldn't have to.
Most importantly, it's important to me to win this one for the guys who have already given their lives for this cause. It's something the American public in general and the politicians in particular don't understand. If it's worth committing American forces to battle over, it's worth seeing it through.
When the US withdrew from Somalia in 1993 after the 3rd Ranger Battalion's harrowing fight in October (of "Blackhawk Down" fame), the Clinton administration was basically saying that all those guys died for something that wasn't worth it.
There's a difference between "wasting" a human life and "spending" a human life. All the men who gave their lives in the Revolutionary War "spent" their life for a worthy cause: 200+ years of freedom for us. I don't want us to "waste" over 2000 lives for a cause that wasn't worth seeing through to victory.
I hope that the politicians listen to the soldiers on the ground. Let us finish what we started, win this thing, and come home with pride.


From an Article in the Wall Street Journal:
Americans' confidence that "Iraq will be successful in developing a democratic and reasonably stable government" has declined sharply since August . . . Three months ago, 40% of U.S. adults were confident that Iraq would be able to develop a stable democratic government, but now only 32% say they are confident that this will happen, according to the recent telephone poll of 1,011 adults.
Majorities -- little changed since June and August -- continue to believe that "overall life for Iraqis" is getting better (68%), the "overall infrastructure of Iraq" is getting better (62%), and that the "security of Iraqi civilians" is getting better (52%).

What the heck, over? Things are getting better, but we're going to lose anyway?
Things are getting better, but we should cut and run anyway?
Why are we talking about withdrawing our troops when most people think that things are getting better (and they are from everything I hear over here).
I have way too much invested in this thing to stomach losing this war. It's like breaking your leg during the superbowl only to have your team lose anyhow. I've given up so much to be here (luckily my buddies and I haven't had to give up body parts or ourselves here) and if the American public forces us to withdraw, I'm never going to forgive them.
Let's see this through. We're making progress. Democracy is happening, but it takes time.
Be patient people!!! Like the patience I have to excercise when thinking about how long it will be until I get to play with my son again.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

SPOT report

Still here. Nothing to report. Busy with 12-hour+ days and not much relief. Not an excuse, just an explanation.
nothing follows...

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Linker vs. Thinker

When I was back in the states, waiting to come over here, I used to read milblogs every day. I had easy and regular access to my personal computer and the internet. I read Blackfive every day and Matt posted serveral times each day. I checked Firepower Forward daily, too, but Brian didn't post that much... only once a week or so. I enjoyed Brian's posts so much, I found myself wishing that this guy would post more.
Now that I'm over here in the same theater as Brian, I see why he couldn't post as much as I wanted him to. There's a war on and we work some long hours to fight the logistical battles behind the scenes. When I'm done with work, all i want to do is email my wife, watch a video or two of SixPointFive playing with his toys, and then rack out. I really don't have much energy for pontificating on the military life and politics at the end of the day. That's not whining, just showing respect for all the milbloggers over here who do find the time and energy to not only read the news and keep up with world events, but to trudge over to an internet connection, pay the AAFES fees, and blog about their experiences and thoughts. Thanks for your efforts, guys (and girls).
The debate has long raged in the blogosphere over "linkers" vs "thinkers." That is, there are bloggers who primarily link to the work of others and bloggers who primarily write down their own throughts, experiences, or analysis. I would like to think of myself as a Thinker who does some linking to quality work every now and then. The problem with original thought is that it requires time and effort, which as I mentioned before, is in scarce supply over here.
So, for all of you who regularly check this blog even after I deployed here, I want to say "thanks for sticking with me." I hope to keep posting original material here with an insight to what life is like in this theater and some commentary on military events and politics. I think it'll be more of a weekly basis than a daily basis like it was before I got here. The job's gotta come first. Then family. Then sleep. Then blogging. Oh, and a hot shower in there every now and then.