Monday, September 25, 2006


We knew it was coming all along...the extension of the 1BDE, 1AD. We have officially been extended to stay in Ramadi because there is no unit that could replace us without violating "dwell time" standards. For OPSEC reasons I wont say which unit or for how long we are extended but it's shorter than most extensions, considering last time 1AD was here it was for 15 months. This news comes on the day when I find these headlines on Army Knowledge Online or AKO for short:

Army Warns Rumsfeld It's Billions Short
An extraordinary action by the chief of staff sends a message: The Pentagon must increase the budget or reduce commitments in Iraq and elsewhere.
By Peter Spiegel, Times Staff Writer

They chose this goddamn war now they want to starve the military that's fighting it. Remember Mr. Secretary, we all know now this was a war of CHOICE. So, you better come up with the fucking money to fight it right.
Washington Times: September 25, 2006
Army Considers More Combat Units For Iraq
Escalated deployments eyed to tackle violence
By Rowan Scarborough, The Washington Times

Escalated deployments such as for the unit replacing us.
"We'll be greeted as liberators." 2003
"Major combat operations in Iraq have ended." 2003
"I think what we are seeing here is an insurgency in its last throes." 2004
New York Times: September 25, 2006
Unit Makes Do As Army Strives To Plug Gaps
By David S. Cloud

A story about 3ID training with minimal equipment and time because all of their equipment was torn up by the last deployment, or it got left behind as what is called Theater Provided Equipment. The Army version of hand-me-downs.
Washington Times: September 25, 2006 Pg. 1
U.S. Soldiers See Inept Output By Iraqi Troops
By Antonio Castaneda, Associated Press

Look these Iraqis are never going to take over their own country they are too afraid. I talk to the Iraqi soldiers here in Ramadi and they are not from here. They are from completely different regions of the country. They tell me that "Ramadi is no good. All Ali Baba." Ali Baba is the word for a thief or a bad person. They dont like the people here and have no reason to want to defend them because they are outsiders just like us being attacked by them. On several occasions I've been asked to attach IA convoys to mine and have refused on the grounds that this is their country and if they are too afraid to drive a convoy at night in their own country then they are never going to take over and we are never going to leave.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

February 2003

I remember it like it was yesterday. It was another cold and brisk, but sunny February day in Muncie, Indiana in 2003. At the time I was attending college, an institution of enlightenment, I was in my second to last year. I was a telecommunications major with emphasis in television, radio, and film production, with a minor in military science. I remember leaving to go pick my future wife up from class right as Secretary of State Colin Powell stepped up to the microphone at the United Nations Assembly. I listened to the local NPR station as they carried the broadcast live. I yelled and screamed, to my wife, or anyone that would listen, “There it is, the proof, he’s laying it all out for you. How can we not go to war now? We must defend America from this grave and serious threat. How can the nations of old, most proximal to this threat, allow it to exist past today with this mountain of proof?” And it was not as if I had no skin in the game because I had been enlisted in the Army Reserve since 1999, and knew how much they relied on the Reserve in the support function in the last war in this same desert. Two life-changing events happened within the next month. On March 8th 2003 I married a woman who would also become an officer, and March 17th the US invaded Iraq.
The most important fact was that my wife and I were both going to be officers. Shortly thereafter I signed my Senior ROTC contract committing me to 8 more years, 3 of those on active duty, to an Army at war. At the time we were being told that the war would be over in no time. I remember seeing pictures of Chalabi, and stories on the Iraqi National Congress. I thought if there is someone willing to take over, let them. Take out the dangerous dictator; put Chalabi, who at the time I did not know was an international felon, in the charge of this country. I signed the line based on the promise of the civilian leadership of the military, and this country that we would be in and out quickly, and the Iraqis would quickly take the reigns of their own country. I was so naïve that I even remember lamenting, with my fellow cadets, that I would be in the Army from 1999 until 2012 and I would miss the chance to go to war. Yet, here it is 2006 and I have been deployed almost a whole year.
I can’t really recall what happened but I woke up. I can’t recall the exact incident or time, but I realized everything that I had been told was bullshit. I know it was later in the year of 2003 when I came to realize I had been duped. It could have been the information that I was gradually getting off the internet since none of the major news networks carried it. Maybe it was because we had been in country almost 9 months, by that time, and there was no sign of WMD’s that were supposedly parked in everyone’s garage, and under every floor mat. Maybe it was because NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING the administration had said had come to be true. Maybe it was because I saw my Commander-In-Chief stand on the deck of a ship and declare “Mission Accomplished,” but my brothers and sisters in arms were still fighting and dying in Iraq, and casualties were mounting in greater numbers than they did during the invasion.
I was not the type of person to question my government, or my commanders but by the end of 2003 a cynic was born, and I realized the grave mistake I had made. My wife and I had both signed the line to fight a war that we were told would be over long before we hit the force. It was a war that I had rooted for. I had gone so far as to counter-protest with my signs stating the facts given to me by Colin Powell. I wasn’t trying to avoid going to war, but if my leadership got so many things, perhaps everything, so wrong about this war how could I trust them for the rest of my tenure as an officer.
If the reasons they had stated to go to war in the first place were all false then why did we go to war in Iraq? If I can no longer trust the intentions of my leaders then how can I continue in this profession? Of course, I had already signed the line; I had and still have no choice but to continue until the end of my obligation. What I once thought was a noble profession, being a leader in the military, has been muddied inside of me by the same inalienable values and convictions that make this profession great, and those who do it great leaders. My conviction to moral principles and dedication to my subordinates and my country are at odds with my duty to obey orders of the Commander-In-Chief, and my superiors. With all the evidence against them, how can I trust what they say is true? How can I know that the orders I get are lawful and legal when the character of their producers is at the very least suspect, if not in violation of my own and the military’s moral code of principles and ethics? I’m sure if I thought about it, in my view, I would find violations of all of the Army’s 7 Core Values by the Commander-In-Chief; Loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage. What are they to them but words that keep me loyal, and to me convictions that keep me bound to service in a conflict where their anithesis is their creator.

Friday, September 01, 2006

A Quick Observation

If things are getting better shouldn't my chances of getting blown up when I roll out the gate decrease, not increase? Just thought that might be a good measuring stick for progress. Throwing it out there. You decide.

Who's the Fascist?

I want someone who advocated the abuse and torture of prisoners to talk to me about fascism. I want an administration that is classifying documents at the highest rate in our history, in a supposedly open government, to speak to me about totalitarianism. I want to be lectured by a government that solves all problems through military force about the dangers of power run amok. I want a government that spies on 20 million of its own citizens to define the fight against despotism. I want a man who has spent his time in public office, in the name of my country, supplying brutal dictators with chemical and biological weapons and contra soldiers to define, for me, the global struggle against fascists. I think the first person to speak out against fascism should be a government that is stripping its own people of “certain unalienable rights” that it hypocritically tries to spread around the world as a guise for its imperialist ambitions. I want a government that has more citizens imprisoned than any other nation in the world to speak of fascism. In a country where peaceful protestors are wrangled into fenced off areas to redress their grievances against their government. It is in this country that political dissenters are put on no-fly lists and harassed by executive law enforcement agencies. It is in America where political protestors have been shot, maced, and gassed without provocation by representatives of the executive branch of our government. A government where day after day the executive violates rules and laws they swore to uphold. The same government that imprisoned its own citizens for years after 9-11-01 with no due process should know full well the dangers of fascism. I want an executive that uses religion to justify its political stance against life saving medical procedures to lecture me about the dangers of religious fanaticism. The fight against fascism needs to start at home. These Orwellian “newspeak” speeches given around the US to unite people in a struggle against the supposed fascists on the outside, while we forget the tactics we use to fight this “enemy” are the creation of the fascists on the inside. These people we fight are not fascists; they are missing one important ingredient…the corporations. Fascism by definition is the blending of corporate interest with public government. I can’t think of anyplace on the planet where it is more the case, than it is in the US. In a country where you are hard pressed to find legislation that is not bought and paid for by corporate interests. Or try to find the individual senator or congressperson that isn’t bought either; it will be a hard find. Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. If we are going to fight an all out war on fascism we should start at home. Only then will we have the moral authority to demand and end to totalitarianism around the world.