Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Blues for Allah, Terminology Index

Upon request, I am going to define as many of the military terms as I figure are a problem. If I miss one you don't know, just post a comment and wait for an answer.


IA = Iraqi Army
AIF = Anti-Iraqi Forces (insurgents)
elements = people, teams, or assets, the board pieces in the chess game per se
Green 6, Warrior 5 = Each person involved has a call sign, like a CB handle, that identifies us on the radio
M1114 = HMMWV, a "hummer", truck
ODA = Special Forces
NB 077847 = Place on a Map
small arms fire = Fire from weapons, from hand carried weapons
NVGs = Night Vision Goggles
AC-130 = Attack Plane
medevac = Medical Evacuation, helicopters are called to retrieve casualties
Intel = intelligence, information that can be gathered
FOB = Forward Operating Base, like the base where I am
C4 = a kind of explosive
UXO = UneXploded Ordinance, anything like grenades, mortars, RPGs, mines
RPG = Rocket Propelled Grenade
KMTB = Kirkush Military Training Base, another name for FOB Caldwell
KIA = Killed In Action
WIA = Wounded In Action
flank = side
OH 58D = helicopter
OBJ = OBJective
F18 = fighter plane
MiTT = tactical teams
IMT maneuvers = buddy maneuvers, soldiers cover while others move
RCT = Regimental Combat Team
LZ = Landing Zone
bird = helicopter
M2 = .50 caliber machine gun. usually mounted atop the HMMWV

Blues for Allah, Part 3

This is the final installment of the report for "The Battle of Fort Sanders II".
I hope you've enjoyed and appreciated a chance to look directly in what goes on in battle, since what you get through the corporate media is far from accurate. I am hoping to be able to continue to report interesting and accurate events while I am here. I have also considered doing interviews with notable people if that idea appeals to anyone.

All IA soldiers were lined up along the road to sweep to the south west searching for remaining AIF elements. They pushed out 300-400 meters before pin-wheeling to the south and then moving east across the irrigation trench. Approximately 50 meters east of the irrigation trench, the IA soldiers came under heavy fires from the brush-line to the east causing them to retreat to the irrigation ditch. Green 6 and 7’s M1114s, behind the IA soldiers provided over-watch from the west. My team, Timberwolf Blue (LT Ruel), both Timberwolf Red elements and ODA provided over-watch from NB 077847 oriented southeast along the roadway. Warrior 6 and his security element were positioned vic NB 078846 securing the area to the southeast.

The IA soldiers moved forward again towards the brush-line. When the middle of the IA element was within 20 meters of the brush-line, small arms fire and grenades erupted from the ditches. Many of the IA soldiers turned and moved back towards irrigation trench. As night fell, those who were still in or near the brush-line on the southern end of the assault, pulled back to the irrigation trench and moved to re-consolidate at the vicinity of the M1114 vehicles.

At nightfall, one of the remaining AIF members ran from the brush-line eastwards, but was hit by my gunner who was watching the road with his NVGs. At 1930 hours, Warrior 6 still had contact with AIF in the canal system.

At 1950 hours, ODA confirms that the AC-130 has been launched to help provide over-watch. AT 2000 hours, medevac arrives for wounded IA soldiers. At 2045 hours, the defensive perimeter completed and coalition forces arranged for the night-time defensive position.

At first light 5 APR 2005, Warrior 6 and his security element swept the battle area from the southeast in a northwest direction and ODA swept the western half of the battle area from the north-west to the south-east confirming the area was clear. Captured weapons and the bodies of dead AIF were consolidated on an IA troop carrier. The area was searched for Intel. Warrior 6 departed with his COLT element to search the surrounding areas on his way back to FOB Caldwell. ODA used C4 to destroy all remaining UXOs. 1st CO and 4th CO IA with the 6/3 MiTT departed at approximately 1200 hours and traveled back up route Cowboys, then to route Taco and back to KMTB.

6th Battalion IA – 2 KIA, 14 WIA

6th Battalion MiTT – 2 KIA (SSG Dill, AST; SSG Kennedy MiTT) 2 WIA (2LT Ruel MiTT; SGT Betterton MiTT)

Monday, May 30, 2005

Blues for Allah, Part 2

This is the second part of a series which reports the events of a battle on 04 April 05.

I also received another gift from a supporter at BooksForSoldiers.com (link to the right), Thanks Janel! I encourage all my readers who wish to support other soldiers, to check out the web site and do what you can.

Happy Memorial Day.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Timberwolf 6, ODA, and Red elements passed a car that had been previously engaged by our coalition fires and continued to the southeast. As we moved, both Green elements pushed southwest into the field towards the enemy’s flank while the main body pushed south along the roadway. Around 1600 we were taking fires from the southeast, southwest, and from the irrigation ditches from the northeast, which again consisted of small arms, RPG, and mortar fires.

At 1610 ODA reported that two OH 58Ds were on the way to provide air support. At this time Timberwolf 6 gave all of us an order to disengage and regroup at the northern end of the battle. At 1632 hrs we shifted and called the remainder of 1st and 4th Companies, from 6th BN forward from our initial OBJ. After the remaining 6th BN troops arrived at the engagement area, we gathered their commanders, gave them a situational assessment and suggested a course of action.

The AIF had fallen back to prepared positions around NB 077845 and NB 075846. At 1638 hours, ODA coordinated an air strike with an F18 which dropped a 500 pound bomb on the cars/trucks located approximately NB 078843. The bomb was very effective sending pieces of shrapnel flying. We continued providing suppressive fires, while a second air strike was conducted by two OH 58Ds using hell-fire missiles and machine gun-fire on the area surrounding the cars/trucks, located behind heavy brush.

At approximately 1650 hrs, members of 1st and 4th company lined up along the road orientated southwest and began dismounted ground operations. Both companies advanced less than 100 meters before enemy fires came from the southwest forcing most soldiers to drop to the ground. Fires were returned in the direction of the AIF positions. At the same time, part of the IA force moving with ODA, and 6th BN MiTT pushed southwest toward AIF positions clearing the irrigation trenches using IMT maneuvers. During our offensive assault we were taking heavy AK-47 fires and grenades.

Four 6th BN Mitt team members and 12-14 IA soldiers were wounded during the assault to clear the trenches. Re-enforcements were pushed out on the ground along with M1114s maneuvering to provide suppressive fires upon the trench line where the AIF fires were concentrated. At 1730 with coordinated IMT tactics from the ODA, 278th, and MiTT soldiers, several AIF were killed using close combat fires. Medics and other soldiers moved forward to aid the wounded. Litters were brought back to the Casualty Collection Point. SFC Rader and I helped with the wounded under SGT Dalton’s direction. We both assisted SGT Dalton with CPR on SSG Kennedy. SFC Rader and I helped with the landing and the moving of the WIAs, onto the helicopter. Bullets were whistling through the air all around us. My gunner never stopped watching and covering us during the fight while we were dismounted, assisting others.

Medevac was called in through 1/278 RCT Commander LT COL Hart (Warrior 6). Medevac arrived around 1810 and landed in a very hot LZ. Several soldiers helped load SSG Dill, SSG Kennedy and other seriously wounded soldiers. The bird flew out at 1825. The second helicopter came at approximately 1835 and lifted the remaining wounded out within 10-15 minutes.

To be continued............

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Blues for Allah, Part 1

I had referred to the ambush and ensuing battle that my friend Lt. Hancock was engaged in on 04 April 05. In an effort to provide real information from the war, I have obtained the official report that Lt. Hancock had submitted. This ambush and victory was not covered on the news, even though American causualties were taken. Since it is fairly lengthy, I will be breaking the report up into several sections, the first part will follow. The battle has been titled "The Battle of Fort Sanders II" in honor of the Civil War battle which took place in the home state of the 278th, Tennessee. If you find any reference to this event in any other media, please notify me.

"The Battle of Fort Sanders II"

(Timberwolf 2’s Perspective of the Fight)

By: 2LT Robert M. Hancock


On 04April2005, I (LT Hancock) went on my first mission in charge of the Force Protection element, 6/3 MiTT, code name Timberwolf 2. The 1st and 4th companies of the Iraqi Army, accompanied by ODA (Special Forces), departed the KMTB (FOB Caldwell) at approximately 1145 hours to conduct an area search for weapons caches, located at vicinity grid NB 03910 92020 south of Balad Ruz.

The patrol made an incorrect turn on the way to the objective at the approximate vicinity grid of NB 0160 9760 in a village just north of the OBJ. As we stopped, an individual was detained after running away from the road. We continued south to our objective.

We arrived at the objective and began searching around 1400 hours. 1st and 4th companies spread out online to begin searching the objective after setting an outer cordon. Timberwolf 6 (MAJ Curwen) and I followed the dismounted troops in 2 M1114 gun trucks. Around 1430 hours ODA, Timberwolf Red 6 (LT Tiedeman), and several 1st Co gun trucks left to conduct a sweep around the objective from the north in a clockwise direction. At approximately 1510 hours, we received a situation report on the sincgars radio that ODA were in contact and receiving small arms fire, RPGs, and mortar fires at vic grid NB 06690 85797. Upon receiving the report we assembled Timberwolf 2, Timberwolf 6, Timberwolf Green 6 (LT Ferrell), and Timberwolf Green 7 and approximately 6 IA (Iraqi Army) gun trucks from 1st and 4th companies. We drove as fast as we could southeast towards the contact.

When we arrived on the scene around 1525, both ODA and Timberwolf Red 6 were engaging individuals to their immediate front (south) and right side (west). ODA pointed for us (Timberwolf 2) and both Green elements to the southwest and hit the AIF (Anti-Iraqi Forces) from their left flank. My M1114 turned west into the brush and went straight towards the AIF’s position. The Green element continued farther west and took up positions along the southwest side of the AIF. We then pushed forward in a southerly direction taking fire from several directions.

My gunner (CPL Cartwright) fired at visible AIF popping up and out of irrigation ditches with a 249SAW. The enemy actions consisted of machine gun fire, small arms fire, RPGs, grenades, and mortar fires. I continued to relay sit-reps to ODA and maneuver both Green elements into a flanking position to take out AIF 20 meters directly in front of our position. Green 6 and Green 7 responded quickly using their M2s pounding the AIF’s left flank. With the help of Green 6 and 7, we took out several AIF. We had been engaged by a grenade, RPGs, and AK fires at approximately 1550. The fires subsided and an AIF individual was spotted and shot running across the road. Timberwolf 6 and both Red elements pushed southeast with small arms fires from their immediate front.

To be continued..................

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Shadrach, Mishach, Abednigo

Well, I have spent the last three days doing three different convoys. I've been all over our AO (Area of Operation) in the last 72 hours. The missions have been pretty uneventful but haven't gone without some drama.

The first convoy we did was to Warhorse. Very uneventful and long. The truck we drive doesn't have air conditioning. Also, after 20 minutes, the entire truck heats up enough that all metal parts become too hot to touch. It isn't pleasant but you get used to it. The inside of the truck must reach temperatures approaching 150 degrees...and the windows must remain closed because we use bullet-proof glass. A couple hours in there and I am soaked with sweat. Funny, but I really have gotten used to it. (Now do you get the reference to the title?) While we were at Warhorse we get some anti-IED devices installed and some training on them, but mostly we waiting hours in the sun.

Yesterday's convoy was a little more interesting. There was a rumor that the locals had gone to the front gate of Echo to warn the soldiers there of an impending attack. Apparently there is a plot to overrun the small base since it is closing down. We drove to Echo to retrieve soldiers. No hostile contact during the convoy but while we were loading up, a Staff Sergeant and a PV2 got in each others face. It was almost a throw down as the E-6 took out a knife and cut the rank off his collar in a gesture of "don't let my rank stop you from tryin'". Nothing came of it except some chest thumping and the fact we called the E-6 a Private the rest of the day.

Today we went north along the border of Iran to that very scenic spot I posted pictures of previously. Again our mission was to retrieve soldiers. The mission was unnoteworthy until a small sparrow flew in front of the truck and smacked into the windshield. It lay there dead on the hood. I figured that was a bad omen. About ten minutes later, as I was driving, there was a sound like the sound those little fireworks called 'jumpers' make, like a zzzzzziiiiiiiiimmmmmmffffffff. The TC, Kessler, and I looked at each other as I said, "What the hell was that?" Kessler looked out the door and told me we had a flat tire. There we are, third truck in a convoy of three in the middle of this wide open barren area, with a flat tire. Kessler radioed ahead several times before the forward trucks responded and turned around. For a few tense moments we were stranded in the middle of a highway, alone, with cars approaching from behind. We got out of the truck to pull security, to prevent attack, until the other two trucks came back to box us in. Once they got to us, we secured the area and were able to replace the wheel. During that time, as I said, we were all pulling perimeter security in this wide vista. I estimate we were able to see for at least 5 kilometers around us before the rim of hills blocked our view. I looked to my 11 o'clock to see an explosion and a cloud of white smoke rise up, probably 2 km away. A few seconds later the muffled boom hit. An IED.

Unfortunately all this drama was not captured on tape. I had been recording our missions again for another video, but when things get real it isn't easy or smart to be worrying about getting the camera to work. Now I am back, not doing another convoy for more than a week. I will be spending my time now preparing for the promotion board on June 9.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Hugs for Haji

In an effort to deflate the hate and increase the peace, I have concocted an international program to make many liberal Americans' foreign policy a reality. The program is based on the State Police's famous program "Hugs Not Drugs" in which a State Trooper, while arresting Mommy or Daddy for DUI or speeding, would hand little Timmy or Jane a small stuffed bear. Similarly, when soldiers come in contact with insurgents, a small stuffed eagle, holding a Koran under its wing, will be handed over. The hope is that this overt act of compassion and tolerance, a symbol of unity, will overpower the hatred in the insurgents' hearts. I call this new program, Hugs for Haji.

If you would like to participate, please make a large donation using the link on the right side of this page. If you can't afford a monetary committment but would like a Haji pen pal, please post your name, address, phone number, photo, and credit card number (with expiration date) in the comments section. Someone will definitely be in contact soon.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

A Hitchhiker's Guide to Religious Tolerance

Let me begin this entry with two ideas. First, the idea that this is not designed to give you, the reader, any conclusion on the topic. I am challenging you all to clearly express your positions and reasonings. Second, I cannot overstress the Stockholm Syndrome. It is a key principle that gets very overlooked in popular thought today.

To begin, I was contemplating the idea that maybe I am not 'tolerant' enough for American society. So, I am fair. I am not afraid to examine any issue from all sides. Religion in America has become a nearly fanatical conflict with no sides truly clearly defined. Most of the arguments come over the principle of Separation of Church and State. This principle won't be found in any of the founding documents, nor the Bill of Rights, nor any legislature. It was a promise Jefferson made to a Baptist church in 1802. The reason Jefferson choose the expression "separation of church and state" was because he was addressing a Baptist congregation; a denomination of which he was not a member. Jefferson wanted to remove all fears that the state would make dictates to the church. Jefferson was promising the Church that her would protect it from the government, not vice versa. The term and its reach have been well taken out of context and expanded to meet the needs of many an activist. It has mutated into Separation of Church FROM State really. But let's examine it's orthopraxy.

Every year, around Xmas (yes, on purpose), the news is rife with new stories on how someone discovered a 75 year old statue that now signals the impending doom of state-sanctioned christianity. Why? What happened to the freedom afforded us in the Bill of Rights to practice our religions freely? Why is it just anti-Christian sentiment? When was the last time you heard of someone demanding a Star of David removed, or some New Age symbol of Paganism? Please don't misunderstand, I am not being biased. This is not a statement on the oppressed Christians in America, but America was founded on Christianity so there are bound to be historical landmarks and sites littering the landscape. There are tons in Europe and no one complains, they call it heritage and culture there.

What makes a religion, and are all religions good / bad? Religion is at its essence a belief accompanied by practices. So where do we draw the line? In this story, this groups religion includes practices illegal in all states. So, do we not tolerate religions that violate laws? Do you evaluate it by how heinous the broken law is? I find it interesting also as aside note, that the terms Satanic and Cult are used to describe this group's religion. These two words easily craete a knee-jerk reaction, a negative emotional response before we even think of it rationally. How about this for PC....non-Jesus based small sect.

There was another famous 'cult' in recent hostory called 'Heaven's Gate' in which all the members peascefully dressed up, killed themselves, and rendezvoused with the comet-following mothership. They broke no laws nor hurt anyone, but met with much disdain and ridicule. Why were they a cult? What is the difference between a cult and religion? Is it subjective? If not, what is the standard?

Some Native Americans practice religions that involve the use of peyote and mushrooms in an effort to commune with the Great Spirit. Because of prevailing drug laws, many of these faithful are forced underground or have their churches destroyed completely.

So what if you had a group that claimed to recognize a supreme being that communicated directly with humans to produce literature. A group that travels to worship a big rock. A group that kills people in the supreme being's name. A group that institutionalized misogyny. So far, this group sounds much more unbearable than a bunch of computer geeks that put on their new nikes and laid peacefully down under their purple blankets for the ultimate mothership teleport. How many murders have been committed by this group this very day? Just view any news channel, website, or newspaper and you will see the effects of this group of which I speak. I am sure by now you guessed it is Islam.

But I am told they need understanding and compassion rather than rejection and elimination. We Americans couldn't bear the Waco clan having weapons. That American intolerance was shown in the deadly raid on the compound by the ATF. But when loudly proudly proclaimed-muslims flew jetliners into the Pentagon and World Trade Center, we were initially outraged, though the cries to understand the terrorists came eerily too soon. Not long after, news stories of people demanding tolerance and understanding for muslims and respect for Islam came. We didn't even have all our dead extracted from the rubble when we as a media-fueled nation became concerned with the civil rights of the ilk that perpetrated such unthinkable acta. Stockholm Syndrome.

Why is it that we are told to be tolerant, sensitive, understanding, and compassionate toward a culture and religion that embodies everything Americans have fought for decades to overcome? What are the rights of women in muslim society? What about the notion of equality? Civil rights for homosexuals? How successful are their societies as a whole? Muslim cultures propagate intolerance towards any non-muslim. We are infidels that need converted or destroyed, says the Koran. It is a peaceful religion, we are told, that happens to be in violent bloody conflict with every neighbor it borders, and even within its own confines. Environmentalism isn't even a concept in these cultures. The countryside is frequently covered in rubbish here in Iraq. Factories spew out uncatalyzed sulfur fumes from brick factories nearby. The land is desolate, even in areas where it should be fertile, because of agricultural mismanagement. Muslim culture is decidedly unamerican and we are told to support it through tolerance. Would it be unreasonable for a doctor to ask a patient to tolerate a cancerous tumor on their neck? Ridiculous. Then why should Americans be expected to tolerate the blight of anti-American sentiment and culture on the face of the world? Tolerance has allowed it to spread to civilized countries. Research Sweden's view of the muslim influx it now suffers from. There is a common thread that should not be ignored or tolerated any longer.

I say if we Americans and citizens of the other civilized countries are involved in the reconstruction of the Middle Eeast, we must demand that human rights be safe guarded and cultural changes be made to protect the indigenous. Otherwise, we just strengthen the monster.

The New Format

I woke up today.
I skipped breakfast, went to work.
Said the Pledge of Allegiance (used the word God in it), did morning briefing.
Checked email and blog. Made comments on blog.
Did work. Rested. Watched some TV news.
Saluted an Officer, stood at Parade Rest for a senior NCO.
Wrote blog entry, this one.
Recited Soldier's Creed.
Went to bed.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Boiling Frogs

Looking back on American History, many of us can easily remember the famous wars we have fought Gulf War, Viet Nam, WWI, WWII, Civil War, Revolutionary War. But taking a more academic look, one will find that in the history of America as a recognized nation, it is difficult to find a decade that is without conflict. Through the Gulf War, we Americans have focused on fighting a traditional type conflict; well-defined enemies, political motivations, clear territorial lines, a declaration of war and a declaration of peace. Since the Gulf War, we have become mired in a new sensibiltiy of armed conflict. You can't call it war anymore since the only similarity are the casualties produced. Our motives have become convoluted, our leaders displaying less interest in moving America into a time of domestic equilibrium while becoming more blatant in their self-serving actions. Our wars have little but a headline's worth of meaning at their declaration, and their conclusions are found only on government issued stationary. The war I am currently fighting is by no definition a war like any other, even Viet Nam was better defined. Statistically, this war was over 2 years ago, so says a piece of paper that allowed our government to generate some interesting numbers like a bar bat between friends on who could kick Saddam's ass more efficiently. This war, when it was officially considered a war, produced less casualties than the Gulf War, was over in relatively the same time, and was able to topple a government while getting some good PR photos of Saddam in a spider hole. I guess this administration wins.

Previously, a declaration of the end of hostilities would be followed by an exit and or reconstruction plan. The Marshall Plan is arguably the most famous and effective. After WWII, reconstruction began on Europe. America played a huge role in rebuilding infrastructure (roads, buildings, power plants, etc) and governments. Our current war has no such exit plan. Donald Rumsfeld was asked about how long we would stay involved in Iraq. His response was, "sooner or later they (the insurgency) will get tired of being killed." I have been witness to our "reconstruction efforts". The current push is to "commercialize". That sounds good in conversation but how is it being effected? After 2 years since the end of the war, we have civilian contractors commercializing one of the largest bases in Iraq with high-speed laser based wireless networking and internet using the latest Cisco hardware. The juxtapositioning bewilders me. The country is near a stone-age level quality of life, except for urban areas, with sky-high illiteracy rates, incomplete electrical power grid, barely driveable roads where roads are available, no drinkable sources of water in rural areas. This is the infrastructure chosen to be emplaced now. The surrounding infrastructure off-base is unable to support such a technology. Maybe in the larger cities like Tikrit and Baghdad, high speed internet would be a good third-phase feature, but now it shines as a monumental lack of priorities. American citizens need to demand to know where the war budget is being spent. Eighty-two billion dollars and no one is holding the reconstruction process accountable for reponsible progress. The Marshall Plan took 7 years.

Interesting to note that our motivation at the time of port-WWII reconstruction was to establish 'free' nations, but not one government was modelled after the government we've used for over 200 years. Germany, for example is a Socialist Democracy. Germany has not seen conflict since 1945. Socially, Germany is very stable also. As in most of Western Europe, there is a nationalism that is the common bond amongst its citizens; Germans are Germans, French are French, without fear of their pride. If a German doesn't like France, that German doesn't have to live or visit there, they can go back to their respective homeland. We Americans have partially disposed of such sentiments. We are afraid to say it, guilty for feeling it. There is no American birthrite because we have been so shamed into believing that we owe everyone something for our past actions. Because there seems to be an endless tap pouring out reparations for past national sins, we've been split into essentially two groups. The first group is those that feel entitled to something for free; like a warranty return on the American Dream. Something bad happened to their Grandaddy and their lives aren't ever the same unless the government supplies them a handout. Their efforts go into getting more and more 'civil rights' instead of working toward and honorable and productive life. The term 'civil rights' has lost its preiously lofty meaning and been commonly used in place of the term 'free government money'. This group is commonly recognized as the hyphenated-American; African-American, gay-American, muslim-American. Hyphenation means they can keep ahold of what gives them the guilt-foothold on American society, but still identify with the rest of the nation byleaving on the predicate.

The other group, formed by our national shame, is the folks that are paying, quietly, for our demise. Whether they have been scared into silence, realized the futility of politics, or have been so programmed by liberal propaganda that they truly will hand over the farm to anyone they feel sorry for, they all fit the bill of the grand enabler. Inaction is this groups characteristic. Like a huge dysfunctional family, this groups sits by and watches the alcoholic parent abuse the kids in silence. Maybe it is the general delusion generated and spoon fed to them by the corporate media (notice the use of the term) that placates them into the cow-eyed stupor they sustain while paying increasing tax dollars to fund the first group, while accepting increasing numbers of American casualties with no apparent national gain at the completion of the occupation in Iraq, while they sit and watch reality on TV as the time honored institutions that society has been based upon are eroded to eleviate the shame felt by the extreme minority.

This is the modern day invasion. A social takeover of systematic desentization in which our minds, bodies, society, and our children are at stake. Gay marriage, child abductions, body modification, self-effacing guilt from 9/11, the bastardization of current 'civil rights' movements, these are all symptoms of a national sickness, the decay of an American Standard, our fear to fight to keep it. There is no peace when preparing for, or recovering from, an invasion. Ours is a social invasion by an endless stream of minority groups refusing to adopt the American dream in lieu of the American handout.

How does the American occupation of Iraq have anything to do with the social decay in America? Simple, it is the largest symptom evidenced by our depravity. A new, insidious, and subtle form of imperialism that has been widely accepted through the inaction of the American public. We have accepted the idea of an open-ended, money-funnelling, war when we were first sold on the idea of a War on Drugs. Ridiculous premise. Now we have an unwinnable War on Terror. What standard will that war be measured on? How is one identified as an enemy? How does a nation erase the ill-will it feels, when terrorism is bred and held in the hearts of men? We alienate ourselves as Americans by minority rule and endless hyphenations. The ethical majority has been muted with fear or shame, and our dysfunction has spread throughout the world in the form of the oxymoronic "armed peacekeeping missions". We are unhappy with ourselves as a society and are looking to be distracted by a common enemy. Those enemies, like bin Laden, do exist. But if he is caught, without that emblem of evil, might we have to focus on policing ourselves?

Saturday, May 21, 2005

A Seinfeldian Moment

Let me paint the picture....
I decide to shower today, so I walked over to the shower trailer. I walk inside and it is completely empty, 10 showers along the on wall. I chose #8. Before I shower, I typically shave my head. Why I shave it is a different story (no I am not close to being bald). So I turned 180 degrees to start shaving at the sink. Now here's where it gets curious.

Moments after applying the shaving cream, another guy walks in, walks right up to where I am standing, turns and puts his towel over the rung on shower #7. OK. I stood there wondering why in the hell any guy would break the unwritten rule of nature. For you women, us guys don't pee in the urinal next to another guy unless the rest are all used. But this guy has a choice of 9 other showers, 6 acceptable ones really.

Playing it cool, I decided to just take my time shaving my head,maybe he'll get done and leave. 3 minutes later, another guy walks in. Guess what, right to shower #10. Now my end of the trailer is getting crowded. Is it my natural unshowered musk? I won't ask, hopefully they won't tell. I kept slowly shaving my head. After a while, my strategy worked as both guys left.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Iraq Video, get it and see for yourself.

Ok, no it is NOT a video along the same lines as the Priceless picture. This is a video I put together from footage I shot during our convoy to Central Iraq. As some of you know, I have volunteered to be a gunner on a convoy team. On this mission I was a TC, which is commonly known in the civilian world as "riding shotgun". I monitor radio communications. We were the last truck in the convoy, the one that gets hit most by attacks. No exciting attack footage though.

The video is encoded using Xvid, so you must have a Divx decoder present on your system or you will get a codec error when trying to view the file. I suggest using ffdshow (less than 2 Megs) since it is free and faster than any other codec. click the link to get it. Once you download the file to your computer, run it, install it using all the default settings....just keep clicking Yes and Next until it is done. Then try viewing the video again. I may make it available on DVD once I compile a few more videos, at a much higher quality of course.

Be aware that my friend's server may be offline occaisionally. If you get an error about it not being found, just try later. The file is 21 Megs. You should right-click on the link, then choose Save Link As.... Do not try to view it as a streaming video.


Thanks to Mark and Frank at for hosting the file.
On another note, May has been a very demanding month for me. I have been through a lot of personal strife, a lot of professional trials, and more than enough stress. Through it all, my true friends have shown themselves. My friends, this blog, and my new blog-friends have been the only things to keep me sane and focused through it all. I thank you all, sincerely.

This month I have done a convoy, produced a video, completed a mid-term exam and a mid-term paper for my master's degree class, managed the support shop for our unit that supports the eastern 25% of Iraq, and am preparing for another convoy within days. The drama of my personal life takes the motivation out of my day. Like we were taught in Basic Training, I just "drink water and drive on."

Sunday, May 15, 2005

I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.

HATE : 1 a : intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury b : extreme dislike or antipathy : LOATHING

I have recently been accused of hating. What caught my attention was that the implication was that hate is a universally bad thing, that hate should never occur, is completely unjustifiable, and is the root of the world's problems. I can think of nothing but how we Americans have been so mind numbed by political correctness and fear of our own emotions that one can't express an aversion to what he/she feels is wrong. Repression of feelings is psychologically unhealthy and social neutralizing. We come from a rich tradition of being able to defend ourselves,our families, or property (2nd Amendment). But anymore the cow-eyed public bows to criminals and bullies for fear of hate. Mind you, not the fear that the bad guy hates the victim, but the fear that the victim may feel the appropriate response of hatred toward the perp. The victim spends their time more often now trying to discover what makes the criminal do what they do, or how the criminal feels. I say, who the hell cares? Punish antisocial behavior, raise our children with the proper emotional tools to survive instead of encouraging our children to be sheep waiting for the wolves.
When I was a kid, if someone started to bully another kid, a fight usually started. The bully usually got the crap knocked out of him and that ended the tough-guy attitude. Nowadays, principals want to arrest 7 year olds for defending themselves physically. But, you say, "Oh Dorman, you stepped into a trap! You just equated hate with violence." Well, hate does not equal violence but it can fuel it. Hate does not equal anger either. All are normal healthy emotions that fall on the spectrum of the human psyche.
Hate has a use. What do you folks think we soldiers do while we are at war? Is American society that out of touch to think that we are driving around acting as humanitarians and embassadors of good will? Is there a compassionate way to kill someone attacking you with a rocket propelled grenade? Some people have earned hate.

I say to everyone, blind hatred is wrong because it is based on ignorance. Hatred based on experience is a powerful and decisive tool, not to be feared by the bearer, but used discriminately and sparingly.

Title quote by
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Monday, May 09, 2005

Gott weiss Ich will kein Engel sein.

After kicking the hornets' nets a little with the Priceless entry, I figure I should take this time to explain a little more. I did comment on that blog entry but there is more.

“Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” Link

First, posting this picture, in my opinion, does not make me a horrible person nor should it change the opinion you had of me prior. I am a man that is passionate about everything I do, I have never been accused of not having an opinion. But my opinions are well thought and I welcome any debate. Some have been surprised at my apparent inconsistencies, how could I post my earlier comments and then post something horrific and disgusting as that. Easy. It is reality. This is what we soldiers do in war. This is what we are trained for. The joke part of it was my addition to maybe wake some people up. Why? Well, we all like to turn our faces away from the ugly parts of life. The victim in the photo was not posed, nor was the picture taken with the intent of me making a joke of it. It is an authentic photo, all else is my addition.

The proliferation of 'reality' TV shows are a reflection of how the media does a wonderful job of helping us live in denial and focusing on the most ridiculous topics. But how many times have you asked yourself how the media has shaped your own opinions? For instance, the battle that priceless picture came from produced 4 American fatalities, 4 men I shared a dining facility with. I saw nothing on any news channel or web page. I did see death tolls for Iraqis killed by insurgents, though. What is the message there? Are they trying to blur the lines of our opinions? The bastards, like the crispy one in the picture, are baby killers. They bring the fight to us and fully deserve the results. In their circles, they find honor in their actions. There is no honor in their lives nor in their cause. I was partially motivated to do this picture to publicly *dishonor* them further, for they are my enemy and I see them clearly.

Be thankful there are soldiers that continue to see them, our self-proclaimed enemy, the way I do. I was disgusted after 9/11 when some of my fellow Americans promptly felt the need to embrace those that attacked us, with some bleeding heart idealogy they want to understand and help them. Then those same Americans started to build a case that somehow we Americans asked for it because of our insensitivities, or the fact we are successful and happy. Our American-guilt caused it. How sick is that? Does a battered wife "ask for it"? How about a rape victim? Then do not allow yourselves to become the mindless drones that the corporate media wants you to be. Don't believe that the story you are told is the whole story. Don't believe that the face of war has changed into a kinder, gentler war. The face of war has never and will never change. Our purpose here is the same as in other wars, this situation is nothing new. The only difference is availability and manipulation of information. In WWII there was no doubt in any American's mind that the Nazi movement was wrong. We are attacked in the name of Islam and muslims somehow gain more rights and compassion than they had before. They are winning the battle for hearts and minds when fellow Americans stand up to argue that Islam 'is a peaceful religion' and muslims gain additional civil rights based on their religion.

There is as much evidence to point toward the fact that Nazis were a peaceful nationalistic movement. Sure there are many muslims that haven't strapped a bomb to their chest, but not every German killed a Jew either. (That ought to get people stirred up). If anyone argues that the philosophy behind Islam is peaceful that it is just the people that take it to extremes, I will thank you for continuing to prove my analogy. I also agree, not every muslim is responsible for the insurgents actions, but every muslim is responsible for not cleaning house and eliminating these negative influences from their culture.

No, I am not here to fight a war against Islam, nor do I undeservedly hate. I do not propose anyone become a vigilante against muslims either; as a matter of fact I have several friends that are muslim. My suggestion is that everyone become more suspect of the information they accept as true, to investigate the motives of their opinions. To not allow the issues to become too complicated, because they aren't.

And finally, as a sign of the subtle yet profound effect of American compacency, am I the only one that has found it dusturbing that Peter Jennings states in a recent ABC commercial that, "you are more free to express yourself here (in America) than almost anywhere else in the world." Almost? When did we loose ground? and to whom?

Friday, May 06, 2005


**WARNING** Do not show this to kids. This is totally tasteless and may not appeal to some people's humor.

This is a real picture and my contribution to that American institution - Priceless!! pictures. I didn't do the kill, but I know who did.

Click on the thumbnail below for the real size picture.

(Image Temporarily Unavailable)

Runaway, farther.

Ok, she might be kooky and wrong for reporting herself as kidnapped. But can you blame Jennifer Wilbanks for trying to get away from this guy? Come on America, look at her (ignoring the persistent 'deer-in-the-headlights eyes')
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
then look at him.
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
You'd run too! The expression on her face in every picture of her is the same, 'Someone save me, I've been abducted by a goofy looking slob!'

I saw an interview with him on national TV in which he was sitting in his apartment in a T-shirt and boxers, the room undecorated and messy. As the interviewer is talking, I can't help but notice the clutter on the dinner table behind them with an open box of Slim Jims. Nice hair, good diet, snappy dresser, great taste in art, brilliant smile; they guy has it all. Ya, right.

Oh, and are the answers to this pseudo-drama about as obvious as the irony of Terry Schiavo? A bulimic euthanized by the removal of a feeding tube?