Before now poetry has taken notice
Of wars, and what are wars but politics
Transformed from chronic to acute and bloody?
from "Build Soil"
Robert Frost

Saturday, July 14, 2007

/Rant

I got up this morning and went to breakfast. I sat and ate eggs and half of a grapefruit, while the tv news helped Sen. Reid tell me I'm a failure. The surge is not working, the newest current strategy is not working, and the war is lost. I gathered via the internet today that he later stepped back from some of his harsher statements- I don't know for sure whether that is true or not. If so, it only adds to my disgust. I also learned that Congress approved a resolution forcing a troop withdrawal to begin within 120 days, down to a "minimal number" by April 2008. The resolution does not specify what Congress considers a "minimal number", which appears to leave the interpretation up to the President. Good job, Washington! Way to send a message! Is there perhaps a reason that your approval rating is lower than our beleaguered president? Those who are both opposed to the Iraq war and in a position to do something about it, our elected leaders, are too scared to act on their beliefs. That is an insult that cannot even be applied to our enemies- in fact, it applies to them least of all, for they are involved in a mortal struggle over their beliefs.

It is an individual decision to support or oppose the war- and once made, that decision is worthless unless backed up with action. It is impossible to make a worthwhile decision without becoming properly informed, and that is the source of another rant in and of itself:

Some news outlets report the facts- sometimes grudgingly, and sometimes with a negative opinion following, but they still manage to report facts. Some "news" sources neglect facts altogether, and attempt to sway opinion through some sort of delusional haunted-house fairy tale, filtering current events through the ugly memories of past failures.

Take the following as an example:

On June 17th, the Village Voice published a warning of the deteriorating situation in Falluja, decrying the mistreatment of aid workers by US forces, as well as the punishing curfew imposed on the city, and implying that we were bombing hospitals in Falluja. The article also predicted a repeat of the Nov. 2004 assault on the city.

Almost one month later, the assault has still failed to materialize. This seeming lapse in the warmaking decision process cannot be due to the lack of resistance in Falluja. After all, violence is up, hospitals are being bombed, and legitimate residents of the city are fleeing the city in fear. IEDs are being found in record numbers, and the torture houses are open for business again.
The preceding paragraph is of course sarcasm, albeit sarcasm that the Village Voice would likely prefer to believe. When I was a child, my father used to sarcastically tell me that "If the facts aren't on your side, speak louder and pound the table".

The Village Voice fails to mention the reason for the vehicle curfew in the city of Falluja- it was a decision made by the mayor of Falluja. Iraqi Security Forces maintain responsibility for the city of Falluja, and they have done a good enough job that the main threat in the city became strikes by VBIEDs brought in from outside the city. VBIEDs strike soft targets like tribal gatherings, traffic checkpoints packed with civilians- anywhere thorough vehicle checks are hard to perform. From Febuary through late May, when the vehicle ban began, Falluja was rocked multiple times by VBIEDs that killed civilians and police, and shredded the downtown area that Iraqis have worked hard to rebuild. The logical response was to ban intra-city vehicle traffic until a solution could be found.

Vehicle traffic inside the city persists at a much lower level- most civilian vehicles do not cross the city boundary, buses roam the city to serve the population, and heavy goods are moved by bongo truck (the unmistakable middle eastern version of the pick-up truck) or young boys selling handcart services. The city officials have taken the opportunity afforded by decreased traffic, and formed work crews to clean the streets- a job that badly needed done.

I do not sense the nasty undercurrent to the city that the Village Voice alleges is there. Lest anyone say that the people would restrain their opinion in the presence of men with guns, I would encourage you to ask an OIF or OEF veteran whether he or she could tell when the people didn't want you there. The people will glare, shoo their children inside, and move away as you pass. They won't wave, they won't answer to a simple "as salaam alaikum". What I see in Falluja is quite different. Today, for instance, I saw a thing I had never seen before in Iraq- a woman on a cell phone. The terrorists have taken to blowing up cell towers, because they fear the people having an instant connection to security forces more than they value the utility of a cell-phone detonated IED. Women hold their babies up to see us wave to them. Children play soccer in the streets and wave as we drive by. The markets have people, and relative to others I have seen, they are well stocked. I can't speak with authority on the subject of electricity because I have never spent a complete 24 hours in the city and watched the blackouts roll, but I'm sure that the new power plant under construction will help.

I could keep ranting, and I may, at a later time. I'll stop now, with a final message that all of you should already know: don't believe everything you hear.

24 comments:

  1. Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 07/14/2007
    A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention updated throughout the day…so check back often. This is a weekend edition so updates are as time and family permits.

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  2. Anonymous14/7/07 13:18

    Thank you for your service and for your eyewitness reports! What you do is a desparately needed alternative to the MSM lies. Keep up the good work in the field and on your blog and God bless you.

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  4. "Things are seldom what they seem;
    Skim milk masquerades as cream!"

    HMS Pinafore.

    And the MSM manages to make cream look like skim milk; all it takes is a little judicious gate-keeping.

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  5. i believe senator reid should be tried for treason. thanks for telling the truth td. stay safe my friend...

    smiles, bee

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  6. Happy Anniversary and Bastille Day! I think you give us a clue when you say that the enemy is engaged in a mortal struggle over their beliefs. We, apparently, are not. For what it's worth, I value your commentary highly.
    Aprille

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  7. Excellant post as always TD.....I will definately be sharing this one. Thanks for keeping us up to date with what is going on there.

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  8. TD,

    I don't know if us civilians in the US can be as successful as you and the Military have been in Iraq, but like you I will keep trying. I appreciate your service and I thank you.

    Those of us sitting in our comfortable abodes also feel your pain and share your frustration with some of our politicians. I will do whatever I can to support you and the mission.

    Thank you and yours again. Stay safe and take heart that some of us don't appreciate Senator Reid and the rest of the Surrendercrats.

    Murky Research
    http://murkyresearch.blogspot.com/

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  9. I thank Al Gore daily for inventing the internet !;-})

    So I can get the facts from those with boots on the ground.

    Thank You

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  10. You are part of a replay of history my friend, sometimes we do not learn our history lessons and are therefore destined to relive it.

    Our politicians responded to the Vietnam war much the same as they are today, we cut and ran and millions of our friends were left to face torture, prison, death, much the same will happen to the Iraqi people if we follow people like Sen Reid.

    This is a great post TD, stay safe my friend.

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  11. Sarge Charlie sounds a lot like my Dad there.
    Thanks for doing what you do TD, and what you do "above and beyond" for bringing us this window into your world. Even if it's through a straw it's clearer and more honest than what we get on the nightly news.

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  12. TD-

    Thanks you for relating the facts as you experience them day to day. Please continue to let us all know what it is that you see and hear in real time. Opinions of others don't hold a candle to the real world experience of those on the ground like you.

    As to Harry Reid, worry not as he is increasingly viewed by most Americans as a partisan fool who regularly embarasses his party, his state, and himself. Very few view him as a thoughtful man operating in the best interest of the nation. History will not judge his time a majority leader of the Senate very kindly. If it is actually possible, Harry Reid gives politicians a bad name!

    Although most Americans are not happy with the situation in Iraq, a significant majority fully support our troops and the effort you are making to do the right thing in the midst of horrific circumstances. Keep the faith with the American people and ignore the partisans who seek personal and political gain at the expense of our troops and the rest of us here at home. You are great and brave Americans. God bless you all!

    www.greensrealworld.blogspot.com

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  13. Were it not for bloggers in theater, military and otherwise, we wouldn't have a clue what is actually happening in Iraq. There are reporters who are honest enough to report objectively, but they are rare as hen's teeth. What an indictment of the media!

    Those of us who endured the same in Viet Nam understand your frustration. At least we now have a method of getting the word out in spite of the quislings and other traitors. Thank you for doing double duty. You have my respect and best wishes.

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  14. madconductor15/7/07 22:17

    Great post TD. Like others who have commented, Reid is treasonous - not for what he thinks but for what he actually does. We can all have opinions but to announce our 'defeat' and tell the enemy when we will leave is treasonous - aiding and abetting the enemy and all. So believe those who tell you that Reid is becoming nothing more than an oxygen thief.

    BTW, your coments, taken as a whole, reflect the same type of comments other boots on the ground echo - and more of that has happened over the last six months than the previous two years. It means to me that you and your brothers in arms appear to have made more progress in the last six months than the totality of the efforts that were made from late 2004 to mid 2006 (Fallujah and Anbar Province nothwithstanding). And the interim report the dumocrats seized on like mad dogs after a caged rabbit was not a surprise to anyone. So keep up the good work and good luck to you. There's a lot of support for you guys AND for the mission back here in the states. While we would all like to spit on Congress for their leadership failures, your efforts are magnificent. Good luck to you and try to keep safe.

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  15. Thank you for being unselfish.

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  16. Bee sent me here; a wonderful post.

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  17. Thank you so much, not just for serving, but for telling the rest of us what is really going on. The news is beyond unreliable and it really helps to get first hand accounts like yours.

    Take care and be safe.

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  18. Just came over via Empress Bee...wanted to send you a sincere Thank You for what you do! I have two small children and I know that because of the hard work of soldiers like you their future looks bright.

    Thank you so much.

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  19. Came by from Empress Bee's blog and just wanted to say take care and thank you for believing in what you are doing. I am thoroughly disgusted with all of the politicking going on here in the States and just wish that they would let you do your jobs so that we can end this War the right way and not by pulling out after no resolution at all.

    May God look over you and your fellow soldiers.

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  20. Great post. The media can be so biased sometimes it's frustrating. Thank God for the Blogosphere, we get to hear some of the good news coming from Iraq!

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  21. I, too, came over on the "Bee Train," to thank you for your service and to let you know how much I appreciate your "rant." I wish the average joe on the street could have an hour with you! All they know is the junk they hear on the news, and unless they're listening to that small minority, they're certainly not hearing the truth!
    God keep you safe!
    ~~~Blessings~~~

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  22. Hi! Let me start by saying that I support and truly appreciate everything you are doing over there for the Iraqi people and for us. And, I have to agree with Bee, Sen. Reid should be tried for treason - he's a joke.

    God bless and Godspeed.

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  23. we can't go with everything the media is showing us...that's why we need to read you. Thanks.

    God be with you and yours.

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