Saturday, June 30, 2007

What a dead mouse and a car bomb have in common.

Blind hate.

The thwarted car bombs in London, and the ineffective attack at Glasgow have reminded those in Britain, and the West, that we are at war. But too much of the dialog, even here in the US, centers on the idea of "blowback" - the idea that these terrorists are somehow righteous in their attacks because of our invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, or our support of Israel. We are asked "listen to the people who attacked us and the reason they did it."

If you listen to the words of al-Qaeda and those they inspire - they are killing us because we are not Muslims (rather Sunni Wahhabi.)

The first thing that we are calling you to is Islam.

You are the nation who, rather than ruling by the Shariah of Allah in its Constitution and Laws, choose to invent your own laws as you will and desire. You separate religion from your policies, contradicting the pure nature which affirms Absolute Authority to the Lord and your Creator. You flee from the embarrassing question posed to you: How is it possible for Allah the Almighty to create His creation, grant them power over all the creatures and land, grant them all the amenities of life, and then deny them that which they are most in need of: knowledge of the laws which govern their lives?

Well you say, that could just be religious cover for their legitimate grievances, our support of Israel and the invasion of Iraq, and the oppression of Muslims everywhere. Maybe, but if you truly believe that, you need to Wake Up.

Why does the whole Muslim world tolerant the hate and violence being done across the world in Allah's name? While the West wrings it's hands in despair over Abu Gharib and Guantanamo, no one expresses horror at:

  • The 1,000s of Buddhists being killed by Muslims in Southern Thailand. (Buddhists being known war-mongers)
  • The at least 30 teachers who have been killed since the beginning of the insurgency there, including one shot and killed in front of a classroom of children.
  • The brutal beheading of 3 Christian school girls in Indonesian, for the sin of being Christian.(Indonesian school girls provide massive amounts of aid to Israel)
  • The massacre at Beslan.
  • The ongoing rape of women [warning: there are no images, but the truth is disturbing] around the world for not wearing headscarves. (Several prominent Islamic Religious authorities are on record that if is a women is not dressed modestly, she has no legal ability to refuse being raped.)

The Islamists do not simply want us to leave them alone, to live and let live. They want us to submit to the will of Islam, to abandon enlightenment and reason, humanity and civility. To live according to the tribal arabian cruelty that subjugates women, crushes dissent and dialogue, and takes away every freedom we have fought so hard to enjoy.

Where do they learn such hate? Is it from the American and Israeli gunships? No, it is from two of the most powerful institutions in any culture for shaping the minds of it's people - religion and education.

And that brings us to the dead mouse. There has been a Palestine TV show running that uses a Mickey Mouse look alike to teach Palestinian children the ways of Jihad. The character Farfur tells children to drink their milk and pray, but also sings about kids arming themselves with AK-47s and striving for world domination under Islamic leadership.

You and I are laying the foundation for a world led by Islamists.
- Farfur, the Hamas Mickey Mouse

Obviously, this caused an uproar in Israel, and in response, the TV program decided to teach the glory of martyrdom - showing the character, Farfur, being beaten to death by an "Israeli agent".

Hilter would be proud, the Nazi influence among the Arabs is alive and well.


Thursday, June 28, 2007

A vet's view - "It sucks"

When asked what he thought about war, Widge' said: "It sucks."

And a war in Iraq "double sucks because the place is like a sucking ass wound even without a war."

Does war suck - you bet. I would much rather not be going, but at this stage, my focus is on working hard to keep my friends alive, Allah be damned.

Clarification: Widge' is a buddy of mine who I deployed with to Bosnia. He went to Iraq shortly after we returned from that deployment. From time to time I may post his comments.

School yourself about the "surge"

Okay, this is a rant

I am tired of hearing from people who are against the war in Iraq and the War on Terrorism who have not done their homework. If you don't agree that we should stay in Iraq, let's talk about that. There are some good augments for leaving, but if all you can do is regurgitate sound bites from the Left I don't have time for that. And if you are against the war in Afghanistan (yes, there is still a war going on in Afghanistan) you need to get your head checked.

Look, I am not dogmatic, I understand that the near failure in Iraq is Bush's responsibility, and I get as irritated as anyone when people start blaming the Dems for failure in Iraq. Bush and his team started and ran this war and occupation. But if you are ready to dismiss the surge, first take the time to research what is going on. The so called surge represents a radical change in tactics for the U.S.

Maybe we were misled into this war, maybe it was run by a bunch of yes men, and neo-con monkeys. That doesn't change the fact that we are responsible for the mess in Iraq now. That doesn't change the fact that our defeat there will represent a major gain for Iran and al-Qaeda, or that by knocking off both of Iran's real threats, we have emboldened them to new levels of defiance. (see: is Cheney an Iranian agent.)

But, and it is a big one, that doesn't mean that the best course of action is to run away. General Petraeus is the first high level Commander to both get counter-insurgency ops and be willing to tell his superiors that their vision of reality was f'd up and things need to change. And to be fair - the stimulus for allowing him to be heard came form the American People during the election, which also led to the removal of DR, who pissed off alot of professional Soldiers.

So give him a chance, and, if you really care about what is going on, do your research. This is from one of the best counter-insurgency sites out there:

“I know some people in the media are already starting to sort of write off the “surge” and say ‘Hey, hang on: we’ve been going since January, we haven’t seen a massive turnaround; it mustn’t be working’. What we’ve been doing to date is putting forces into position. We haven’t actually started what I would call the “surge” yet. All we’ve been doing is building up forces and trying to secure the population.

Does that fit with your reality? What about this quote from a blogger who lives in Baghdad:

There's more than numbers for those who want to understand

The results so far have been astounding, and please allow me to say that I'm proud of the change in attitude many of my fellow Iraqis are showing. Even if numbers don't suggest so because the change is happening but it will take time-perhaps beyond September-before this change will show in numbers.

A nation is not a corporation and when we deal with a nation we are dealing with a society; a mass of people with ever changing hearts and minds and that's why numbers alone can't be enough to assess the situation—thoughtful insight and looking at the bigger image are also required.

For over a year the media and many officials were spooking us with the exaggerated ghost of civil war. I wonder what they have to say now! I think their silence is more telling than anything they would've said.

Iraqis are awakening, one very telling example can be seen in the ongoing operation in Diyala; members of the 1920 revolution brigades, once bitter enemies of the US military and Iraqi government are now assisting US and Iraqi military in fighting al-Qaeda even though the majority of the Iraqi soldiers and officers are Shia.

There has been a real turn around in al-Anbar, a place the Media was ready to write off as an insurgent haven, but that hardly gets reported. If you aren't praying for success (while demanding accountability) where do you really stand?

If you are against the war, or for the war, please get literate on the reality, take time to read (TV doesn't count) before you open your mouth. As a fighting man, I believe I can ask that much of you, those who I would kill and die for to keep safe.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Nashville Rocks

We finally got some real time off after several weeks of no weekends, and did we make up for it. Ft Campbell where we are is a short trip from Nashville, which we had heard from the guys stationed here to have a good music scene. So of course we piled into a van and headed into the city.

First we had dinner at a traditional German restaurant, something any of us who were ever in Germany appreciate, although we weren't served by traditional Frauleins. Even so, me and T threw back a pitcher each of some of the best Czech beer this side of the Atlantic, Staropramen. Mam to velmi rad!

Apparently the place to party in Nashville is 2nd Ave, and thankfully there weren't many Joes there. See Joe is usually drunk, or looking to fight, or both. Joe is typically young and all HOOAH. Well that's not how we roll.
joe [joh] -noun Term used by Soldiers to reference to the average Soldier; term used to referred to Soldiers in general; commonly derogatory: no matter where you look, there's Joe acting stupid

The scene reminded me a lot of Austin - live music, friendly people, lots of jumpin' bars. The blues and rock bands were awesome. We probably hit 6-7 bars that night with the obligatory stop at Coyote Ugly. I really hate that place, although I will admit they have a great if simple business model - get lots of money from drunk guys.
Needless to say we had a lot of fun and partied like Rock Stars (in our own minds at least.) That's one thing the guys in this unit know how to do well - we work our asses off, and then we go have a good time. While I'll have to spare the specifics, it is what you might expect from this kind of unit.

At one point in the night, we were in a pool hall and spotted a midget:
  • B: Holy s#@t, there's a midget in here
  • Bartender: Her name is Rachel
  • B: I don't care, she's a midget! I love midgets.
  • Bartender: Well she's single, go talk to her
  • B: I don't want to date her, but I will ask her to ride around in a clown suit on a tricycle!

If you were drunk and there at the time, you'd have been laughing so hard. So the night goes on and on like that until we're all rounded up by the DD (yes we're sort of responsible) and got lost on the way back. I do remember there being an stop at McD's for an endless bag of Cheeseburgers.

So that was Nashville - can't wait to go back.

Monday, June 25, 2007


From time to time I do use jargon that may be confusing to my civilian readers. Of course the military is filled with jargon and acronyms. This is not done to obfuscate the meaning of the conversation (although it may have that effect), but to speed communication by keeping things terse. A good place to check acronyms used here is or feel free to drop me an e-mail.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Trying to leave Louisiana

Well, I am done here in Louisiana - it has been hot and muggy most of the time, accompanied with afternoon thunderstorms which you would hope would cool things down, but really just make you soaked and hot.

The training here is the best you can get without actually going into a combat zone, there are whole villages with real people role-playing Iraqis, and a US Army unit that plays the insurgency, and the best laser-tag system in the world.

Our team had never worked together before, so there were lots of issues to work out and team building to be done. By design or not, our commander has managed to alienate all the enlisted, thereby causing us to bond together in our frustration with his style. I will not go into any rants at this point, as I am inclined to give the man some time to grow into what is after all a new role for him too.

The group of men I am serving with are from California and Colorado units, with some men from other States including Arizona, Wyoming, and Texas. The last time I served in a composite unit it turned nasty with the MN parent unit having a lot of disdain and lack of understanding of the Cali Soldiers attached to them. This time there is nothing of the sort, but the Active Duty unit we are attached to does have quite a bit of institutional bias against Guardsmen.

Rant: The fact that most of the Guard guys have more military experience and vast civilian skills seems lost on them. And without exception Guard Soldiers work much harder than Active Soldiers, who seem to think they are on some form of workfare.

We were supposed to fly out of here today on a C5, but the Air Force couldn't get all the engines to start, so we are stuck here tonight and will try again tomorrow.

And lastly, this absurdity of the week:

Do you have thoughts of killing others?
- from a pre-deployment mental health survey

Answering yes to this will earn you a trip to a psychologist. I'm confused, we're getting ready to deploy, we spend all day practicing how to killing the enemy. WTFO?