Sunday, April 19, 2009

New Progress in the Old Hood

A recent piece on C-SPAN features a reporter embedded with a Stryker unit in Baqubah, the old stomping grounds of my unit and nearly every Stryker brigade since we left. Those familar with the area might laugh at using metal detectors in open fields and clearing the palm groves. Again.

Money quote: "It's a little bit difficult to figure out exactly who's the most honest people over in Iraq, but the soldiers are pretty much willing to deal with anyone who's not an insurgent."

I can haz shaky alliance?


bigD said...

Holla! All the honest people in the hizzy put your damn hands up!

The Usual Suspect said...

Leave them all to their own country, devoid of our presence, and let the shit fall where it may. Call me radical.

"But omfg newfag, we made this mess for them!" says random person.

Pffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffft. The dude who caused that shit had only one gunman to worry about, and that was his Vice President. Anyone who would want to argue with me on that point, well I'd gladly invite them to start their own Save Iraq Crusa- I mean "Campaign", all SIC-like, and I mean motherfuckin' HANDS ON, Doc Marten's on the ground, passing out the Phish and phreedom. Enjoy the massive flies and the aroma of stir-fried shit.

Motherfuckers want to tie a pretty bow around a dog turd. It doesn't work.

Also: how's it going, Alex?

Alex said...


I've always been a believer in the sink-or-swim method of success. If they sink in their shit pool, oh well - we tried, and they really didn't. I'm tired of being their training wheels.

The Usual Suspect said...

Plus let's be honest: it's HILARIOUS when kids spill on their bikes. I say hook up a metric fuckload of video cameras, Truman Show style, charge fifty bucks a month, and I'll sit in my underwear with a Single Mom With Three Kids Size box of Captain Crunch and watch the carnage of Haj vs Haj. Ratings through the roof, my man, we could be rich. All the hookers and blow you could ever imagine, til you can't tell the difference between your reflection and Tori Spelling.

The Minstrel Boy said...

alex, dude, i'd appreciate your thoughts on this...i don't go there often.

(my post code is gothrosi, if i recall she was this pale waitress on sunset with black nailpolish and lipstick)

themorethingschange... said...

I suppose those who come after us will disagree on the necessity of taking the fight to Iraq -- unless there's a "deep-throat" out there willing to write about it and set us straight.

I'm not doggedly political, hardly ever pay attention to what party a politican belongs to, tho I do pay attention to what s/he does -- can't count how many times I had to look up what party our former Governor (Napolitano) belongs to. Its easier now that she's working for President Obama. She's a democrat, right?!

When we went into Iraq I saw it as a "war-on-two-fronts" thing. We have a military force thats been chopped and whittled at since someone decided the Cold War was over and we won. Actually, I can remember RIFing starting while my husband was still in Vietnam.

Anyway, I was uneasy about expanding the effort when we weren't even close to cleaning up Afganistan--you know, Osama and his minions. We missed the shot in Iraq when Bush the Elder stopped short, hanging the Iraqis who'd counted on us out to dry.

But, we were there so I set out to learn all I could and began to wonder if people in the middle east have conflict in their DNA. It seems to be a way of life for them FOREVER. I've often been reminded of Psych 101 and folks who find comfort in chaos because it's the behavior they've always known. And the words of Gertrude Bell about WWI have stuck with me to; paraphrased - the Iraqis made deals with the Ottoman Turks AND the British. There was no nationalism involved they just wanted to be on the winning side and hung their hat with whomever was winning at the time.

Maybe Sadam was a stupid, sadistic, egotistical blowhard. Maybe there weren't MWD's. Maybe there were. Maybe he was a tactician who figured he could tie us up for a few years, wasting lives and money. If that was the plan, well....

The one thing you hear repeated over and over in the history of war - it's folly of the highest order to underestimate the enemy. So Sadam, we caught you in your little spider-hole. One for our side. But hey, what was that FOR? We've wasted precious lives for WHAT?

In that respect its another damn Vietnam. Another generation of Walking Wounded. My exhusband has never recovered.

Alex, Suspect - I respect you both. You've done your bit. My fondest wish is that the Army forgets it ever knew you.

***end of rant***

Kelsey said...

I'm reading Thomas E. Ricks' book "The Gamble: General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-2008," and I just came across a quote from you! It was completely unexpected, but a nice surprise to recognize one of the many people he mentions. It's a great book, by the way.

masterspork said...

I think I got to old war whore right after you left. We are not a combat arms unit so it would be safe to say my experience is different then yours. I think that we just cleared a lot of that area so from what I hear it is more open then it was.

Also your description of the humidity fits with what I have been told about from our guys that went there.

Also from one service member to another. Thank for your service.

Carla said...

Random Anti-Terrorism Measures in Effect.....that comes close to saying it all, but the reference to "inconvenience" really nails it.

Carla in ABQ

Demeur said...

A hat tip to you Alex on this Memorial Day weekend and a salute to Chevy. He would have been just a number had you not told us of his life.

Damn I hate war.

The Minstrel Boy said...

here's wishing you a peaceful and meaningful memorial day dude.

while others barbeque and drink, we'll be walking with our ghosts.

the timmy's and chevy's.

it's alright, i like their company more than i like the company of the living most days.