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Operation Red Dawn: A Soldier's Perspective
December 19, 2003 1:19 PM   Subscribe

Operation Red Dawn: A Soldier's Perspective Those of us who would be playing roles in the mission went into the troop operations center and got ready for the briefing by the commander. He came in and announced that the mission for the night would be a location down Highway 24 outside of Tikrit and “one Saddam Hussein.”
posted by JJBotter (33 comments total)

 
There are prior examples of self linking that Matt deemed worthy. I have not read the link, but it sounds like this one might get a freepass.

/off to read.
posted by thirteen at 2:13 PM on December 19, 2003


JJBotter, you'd usually get flack for the self-link, but I would wager that you're going to get more than the usual amount for this because you dare speak in anything other than highly critical terms of the global war on terrorism. You'll probably regret making this post before it's all said and done.

Still, I'd like to take the opportunity to personally say thank you to someone involved. Thank you for what you did, and what you continue to do. And thank you for risking everything to make America a better place, including for those who would pile scorn on the actions that you are justifiably proud of.

Goodonya.
posted by jammer at 2:30 PM on December 19, 2003


JJBotter, you'd usually get flack for the self-link, but I would wager that you're going to get more than the usual amount for this because you dare speak in anything other than highly critical terms of the global war on terrorism.

Bullshit. The first criticism was from thomcatspike, who has a brother in Iraq himself, and is hardly a knee-jerk war critic. The second was from xmutex, who generally likes to snark it up at any opportunity. You can wager whatever you want, jammer, but your current bet is on some unsubstantiated nonsense.

And seeing as how JJBotter has fought and put his life on the line for something that you only see fit to anonymously and cowardly scream about, I would wager that he knows what he's doing and can hold his own, even without your protection and advice.

JJBotter-
Thank you for what you did, and what you continue to do. And thank you for risking everything to make America a better place, including for those who would pile scorn on the very principles which you were defending.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 2:39 PM on December 19, 2003


Kudos, JJBotter. To you and all of the other troops over in the sandbox. Us CONUS troops have nothing but respect and admiration for all of you.

And re: self-link. Phhft. In light of the content, I'm all for giving this one a pass. And if it does get deleted, would anyone have a problem with ME posting a link to it in a new FPP?
posted by davidmsc at 2:50 PM on December 19, 2003


This is exceptional.

On with the discussion...
posted by dash_slot- at 2:51 PM on December 19, 2003


JJBotter: what sort of approval did you have to get in order to publish this type of stuff? I assume the military doesn't want just any soldier publishing just anything.
posted by tippiedog at 2:54 PM on December 19, 2003


thomcatspike, who has a brother in Iraq himself,
"had"; home safely which I hope the same for ALL Soldiers in war.
posted by thomcatspike at 3:01 PM on December 19, 2003


JJBotter: if you can provide a permalink I'll buy you a TextAd.
posted by Tubes at 3:12 PM on December 19, 2003


And re: self-link. Phhft. In light of the content, I'm all for giving this one a pass. And if it does get deleted, would anyone have a problem with ME posting a link to it in a new FPP?

That's what I was thinking. Just e-mail someone with Part II, and they can post it, thus subverting the letter of the double-posting rule, though I don't think this FPP violates the spirit of the rule anyhow: no ads on your homepage or anything. And it's good writing, which sort of massages away worrisome guidleines.

And thomcat, I'm happy to hear your brother is back safely.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 3:15 PM on December 19, 2003


It is an interesting read.

This might sound like a gross misuse of human civil rights, but you have to realize that we find quite a bit of contraband in the most unlikely places. Unlike in America, everyone here is a suspect until proven innocent -- I’m not saying that I agree with it, but it’s definitely a requirement in order to provide adequate protection for my fellow soldiers.

I am troubled by this passage. Worrying about your safety is a no brainer, and I do not blame you, but I am curious how you can justify it beyond that? My brother is a Arabic/Farsi translator who has been thru Iraq once already, and is scheduled to go back again, and the last thing I want is for someone to hurt him, but I wrestle with the problem of his safety vs. their freedom. Other than superior power, where does the right to restrict the movement of people who owe no allegiance to our country come from?

"had"; home safely which I hope the same for ALL Soldiers in war.
Very much agreed.
posted by thirteen at 3:22 PM on December 19, 2003


I am against the war on/profiteering from/occupation of Iraq, and I think that self-links should be strongly discouraged, but [This Is Good].
posted by majcher at 3:33 PM on December 19, 2003


They actually told you that the mission was to capture Saddam Hussein? Maybe it's the media/Pentagon filter, but the reports I read said that the soldiers were only told that they were going after a HVT (high value target). I'm ignorant on mission briefing protocol, but with recent reports of infiltration of U.S. operations by Iraqi agents I would think that the less said the better.
posted by Frank Grimes at 4:24 PM on December 19, 2003


"had"; home safely which I hope the same for ALL Soldiers in war.

Are you sure you don't mean all soldiers on our side in war? Wouldn't make much sense to have a war if everyone went home safe and sound.

(Sorry to be a pedant.)
posted by Dasein at 4:26 PM on December 19, 2003


... with recent reports of infiltration of U.S. operations by Iraqi agents I would think that the less said the better.

"Alright everybody, listen up. Tonight's target is... Hey look, that new guy Ahmed's taking notes! Always on top of things, that Ahmed. Boy, I don't know where he came from -- Jim you took care of his transfer papers, right? No? Musta been Charlie or somethin' -- But in any case, he sure is a damn fine soldier. Why aren't the rest of you more like Ahmed here?... So as I was saying..."
posted by whatnotever at 4:53 PM on December 19, 2003


"...I would wager that you're going to get more than the usual amount for this because you dare speak in anything other than highly critical terms of the global war on terrorism." - Jammer, I think you'll lose that wager. This popped up on Metatalk and I voted for it to stay- and I suspect that it falls into Metafilter's special "serving country in a war" exemption to the usual rule. [I just checked - "service to country" exemption does apply, so the link stays]

I look forward to reading it.
posted by troutfishing at 5:15 PM on December 19, 2003


Hello? Where's the skepticism? Where's the metaFILTER, where's Rummy's Office of Disinformation? Oh, here it is! Do you REALLY think a soldier would be allowed to print this stuff of his own accord? That he'd have the time and access from Iraq? I am deeply disappointed...
posted by airgirl at 5:32 PM on December 19, 2003


Hello? Where's the skepticism?
Here.
posted by dash_slot- at 6:00 PM on December 19, 2003


Fascinating entry and a pretty nice blog design too. Can't wait for part two.
posted by furiousthought at 6:54 PM on December 19, 2003


Still, I'd like to take the opportunity to personally say thank you to someone involved. Thank you for what you did, and what you continue to do. And thank you for risking everything to make America a better place, including for those who would pile scorn on the actions that you are justifiably proud of.

Thank you so very much.
posted by hama7 at 6:55 PM on December 19, 2003


Bullshit. The first criticism was from thomcatspike, who has a brother in Iraq himself, and is hardly a knee-jerk war critic. The second was from xmutex, who generally likes to snark it up at any opportunity. You can wager whatever you want, jammer, but your current bet is on some unsubstantiated nonsense.

I was wrong. I'm pleased. I apologize for the snark.

Maybe there's hope for MeFi yet...
posted by jammer at 7:39 PM on December 19, 2003


And thus did fractious Metafilter, the liberal ________ (fill in blank with characterization of choice) come together in patriotism....

It just goes to show, there are some things that transcend partisan ideological boundaries.

Or is it more that nationalistic sentiment combined with a really interesting story (plus a nice blog design to boot) is truly an unbeatable combination?
posted by troutfishing at 7:40 PM on December 19, 2003


Nice read.
Can't wait for part 2.

and

I was wrong.
posted by jammer at 7:39 PM PST on December 19


maybe there's hope for jammer yet...
posted by Espoo2 at 8:32 PM on December 19, 2003


JJBotter, you'd usually get flack for the self-link, but I would wager that you're going to get more than the usual amount for this because you dare speak in anything other than highly critical terms of the global war on terrorism. You'll probably regret making this post before it's all said and done.

I am not a fan of the war, in fact I think it was wrong in many ways, but I am not about to take it out on a Solider following orders in that war. And as the war is now a reality, I like to read different perspectives on it, especially from people involved, rather tham idiot news pundits sitting in a studio running what-ifs until the cows come home.

I assume I'm not the only one who feels that way.
posted by sycophant at 8:40 PM on December 19, 2003


I also thought the soldiers were only told it was a target of high value and not that it was Saddam specifically. Sounds like the logical way to go about such a sensitive operation if you ask me. I can't think of a reason why that account of events would be told to the media unless it was true, which makes me slightly suspicious of this supposedly firsthand account. Good read nonetheless...
posted by Onanist at 9:10 PM on December 19, 2003


maybe there's hope for jammer yet...

Hey, I'm man enough to always admit when I'm wrong.

I'm just very rarely wrong... ;)
posted by jammer at 12:51 AM on December 20, 2003


I appreciate all the comments from everyone.

To answer the question about whether or not we were told that we were going after Saddam that night -- the answer is yes, we were. I can't speak for the soldiers from the 1st BCT, but I know that our briefing and the briefings for Task Force 121 made it a fact that we were going after Saddam. My unit has been pursuing leads on Saddam for several weeks and they even managed to get a pretty spot-on description the week before the raid even happened.

As far as whether or not I'm allowed to post the story -- there's quite a few things that were in the original draft of the story that I had to take out, such as the actual person who gave out the location of the farmhouse and items of that nature. I am clearing the posts with my superiors, and really, I'm not going to give you any information you don't already likely know...I'm just giving my perspective on the whole thing in a more detailed manner. I started writing the story just so my family could read it, but my NCO said it was good and I should look into publishing it, so I figured I'd include it on my site.

Thanks again for the comment, and thanks to MeFi for letting the post stand. I'm touching up Part Two and the photographs right now, and I'm planning on posting it on Monday evening.
posted by JJBotter at 11:29 AM on December 20, 2003


Jeremy, you mention your photo album a few times on your site without linking to it. It's here, for anyone nosy enough to go looking for it (me).
posted by iconomy at 4:01 PM on December 20, 2003


So, when's the movie scr___

OK, that's quite premature. Still, I can't help it - writer.....story.....


But that's your call, obviously. It must have been an exciting assignment - was the actual result a letdown? No struggle, just a bedraggled old man....I hope there was a celebration back at your base.

And yet - a stunning strategic success. He still could have slipped away.....

All war criminals should meet this justice.
posted by troutfishing at 9:05 PM on December 20, 2003


Not that he's actually met justice yet. But I know what you mean.

And jeremy: Great stuff; thanks for posting it!
posted by languagehat at 7:00 AM on December 21, 2003


I often think about what I would say to an active soldier in Iraq. I see the action figures and the propaganda spots, and I think, well, how would you set them straight?

I'm not a Vietnam-era war-hater. I pity the soldiers, and that makes me angry. Pity is a terrible feeling and it serves no one. It makes me mad to see such beautiful young people, such strapping physical specimines with focus of spirit stepping up to carry the mantle of this horrible corporation, literally walking into a slow meat grinder. What are you advancing? Freedom? Do you see more freedom anywhere?

My brother is a soldier, and I love him dearly as one can only love his brother. I think of every single soldier of the Army as a proxy brother, and I weep for their deaths.

What they're dying for is not worth it.
posted by squirrel at 1:17 PM on December 21, 2003


squirrel - don't give up hope yet. You may be right, but good has a funny way of arising, at times, from evil. And vice versa.

Further, what if Iraq works out? Then the initial evils associated with the invasion might be redeemed through the eventual success. We'll see. As much as I dislike the Bush Administration, failure in Iraq would be worse for the World than success on Bush Neocon terms, I think.

But this of course depends on the level of opposition US forces there experience in coming months.

I still think the US should try to enlist the UN, in some capacity. But then - I'm a liberal.
posted by troutfishing at 3:27 PM on December 21, 2003


"had"; home safely which I hope the same for ALL Soldiers in war.
Are you sure you don't mean all soldiers on our side in war?

"never judge a book by its cover": serving/protecting one's country, no other Honor.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:47 PM on December 22, 2003


Hey, I'm man enough to always admit when I'm wrong.
Jammer, no you're not: there is no wrong, just missing information:)
posted by thomcatspike at 2:50 PM on December 22, 2003


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