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07-09-06, 02:39 PM #1
A heak of a read from Rolling Stone: Fort Apache, IRAQ
Spent Thrusday 'noon at other watering hole and they had this wk's Rolling Stone (071306 issue)) article on IRAQ. Written by a Konnuke and after reading article I was impressed. Y'all read and see watt y'all think.
Bout time that some konnuke see the error of their thinking :40: :40:
video of same:
Sum quotes that I found to be profound:
"To understand the war in Iraq, you first have to understand the people who are fighting it. And the way to do that isn't to burst in with your head in a point, *****ing about WMDs and croaking passages from Arab-history books. Jump in the truck and shut your mouth; get on board, literally and figuratively. In America, everyone has an opinion about Iraq, even me -- but if you're going to take the step of actually going there, you've got to give it a chance."
"What happened? I got blowed up," said Matthews, who told me right up front that he disliked the media. "I blew up at this one reporter," he snarled. "She was like, 'So you saw an IED?' And I was like, 'Mother****er, I touched an IED.' I got six pieces of shrapnel in my face, so don't talk to me about seeing."
In many ways, being embedded with U.S. troops in the liberal-media/Michael Moore age is sort of like being asked to march into Sunday services in a Lexington, Kentucky, megachurch wearing an assless biker-dominatrix costume: One is conscious of having been the subject of many past sermons. In the Army mind-set, the relative success and failure of the Iraq War is all a matter of perception, and if you follow that calculus far enough, which a certain unmistakable minority of soldiers will, all of the bombings are actually the media's fault.
Any journalist in Iraq who does not regularly feel the urge to puke his guts out from conscience-sickness is probably not in the right line of work, because increasingly, almost anything he does here is a gruesome betrayal of someone or other -- the soldiers and their mission if he tells too much of the truth, himself and the public if he does not.
Except in rare cases, Iraqis are not really welcome on the FOBs, and even in those instances -- like the case of the "host-country nationals" whom the Army hires to clean up garbage inside the walls of Abu Ghraib -- they're likely to be kept under constant surveillance by Cool Hand Luke-style walking bosses who can have them changed into yellow jumpsuits at the snap of a finger.
We went to the cafeteria for dinner. Listening to the conversation between Stake and Hennes, fresh from an afternoon of combat, made me powerfully aware of the gulf that separates soldiers and civilians. Whatever our reasons for doing so -- whether it's academics anxious to test beloved theories, or politicians making gambits out of self-interest, or even patriotic civilians voting for sacrifices that others have to make -- whenever society makes life-or-death decisions, the burden always ends up with these guys, right here.
(My $0.02: always has been. FOOT ON GROUND BEST WEAPON)
One last long night in the hooch. I read a military-equipment magazine with an article about the psychological importance of leaving a big hole in the enemy when you shoot him. "A big hole is more devastating than a little pucker," it noted. I wrote that down, for future reference.
No Way Out as a Way of Life
The Iraq war, the central political event of this generation, this crazy flash point that will find a way to touch the lives of almost everyone in the world before it's over, is here to stay. We must come to grips with the reality of this monstrous, rapidly expanding thing that is fast taking on far greater dimensions and meaning than a mere foreign-policy blunder.
This is the place where two existential dead ends have come around in a circle to meet in an irreconcilable explosion of violence -- the bureaucratic ennui and intellectual confusion of modern civilized man vs. the recalcitrant, prehistoric fanaticism of Al-Qaeda's literally cave-dwelling despotic mob. Human history has traveled in two exactly opposite directions for the last thousand years, and the supreme irony is that both paths led straight here, to this insane stalemate in the Mesopotamian desert.
Nothing like that abject savagery is evident on the American side. But there is something very unsettling in the way that the war effort has re-created the cozy isolationism of the American suburbs in its giant military outposts. It's a concentrated dose of our culture, where Mom, her tennis lesson awaiting, sends the kids off to school and Dad, the sweetest guy you'll ever meet, brings home a paycheck earned on the backs of industrial slaves from China.
Life is good and happy down the rabbit hole, but outside it, something is going terribly wrong. What's horrifying about Iraq is that none of our people, not even the ones running things, seem to understand why that might be. It's a terrible thing to be blind. Terrible -- and frightening
Here are comment by readers on the article, some written by the soldier's relative, it is also a good read:
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