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Two U.S. Combat Officers Speak Out.
February 7, 2004 2:26 PM   Subscribe

Two U.S. Combat Officers Speak Out. "What I want to say as my final statement to America is 'Stop letting your proud men and women die so senselessly. If we are going to die for our country let it be for something we can really be proud of. I just don t see us making the US any safer from terrorists because of what we are doing in Iraq. Bring us back home so we can defend the US from real threats to our shores.'" "Yeah, I pretty much agree with that. I am proud to serve my country and even die for it. I know the risks of putting on the uniform and accepting command. But damn it, if we are going to die, make it for something that really is helping to defend the US. I agree that we are dying senselessly for an idea of democracy in Iraq that the US government will never really let happen. I just want to be able to look back on my service with total pride and that is not really what I feel right now. I hate the ones in power that have made me question my sense of duty and honor."
posted by fold_and_mutilate (89 comments total)

 
O1- I want to say one more thing to all the American people. I guess I just can t figure out when to shut my mouth.

WAKE UP! This war has become bogus if it ever had any legitimacy at all, and it is only when you speak out that you will hold our leaders accountable. Don t forget what this country was founded on. God Bless America! I hope that everyone listens to what I had to say. Don t just push my words off and go on about your daily routine. Ask yourself what could have been so bad that I would speak out like this. Ask yourself how bad it must be when I am willing to put my career on the line to speak out.

O2- Yeah, that about says it for me too. Just think about what could have possibly made me go out on a limb and do this interview. I am not ready to go back to Iraq and die, but I don t have much choice. I just want everyone who supports this war to think about this, and realize that it must be one hell of a mess to get us to say all this. I never would have thought I would be doing this type of interview. I would have laughed in your face a year ago if you told me it would happen.

posted by fold_and_mutilate at 2:27 PM on February 7, 2004


"With a heavy dose of fear and violence, and a lot of money for projects, I think we can convince these people that we are here to help them."
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 2:50 PM on February 7, 2004


Sounds like fabricated BS to me.
First of all, the "officers" don't sound like officers, they sound like the writer. Go ahead, write down a conversation between three people and see how much alike what they say, reads. A very uncommon thing.

They confess to a "war crime" right off the bat that most people would laugh at the suggestion that it is a "war crime", if they were even aware that some Belgian lawyer somewhere deems it a "war crime." Phooey.

Oh, HELL, the rest of this is so OBVIOUSLY sucked out of his thumb that it doesn't deserve comment...
posted by kablam at 3:30 PM on February 7, 2004


oh, go torture small animals or something.
posted by quonsar at 3:35 PM on February 7, 2004


"If the US did break the border that is a violation of the Geneva Convention and a whole list of international treaty declarations and charters. It violates the UN charter and goes contrary to NATO treaties and declarations also."

Cue false outrage. Doesn't anyone really care about this?


I say give the contractors our guns and send the troops home. If they want that oil, let them fight for it.
posted by john at 3:50 PM on February 7, 2004


* wipes tear *
* sings to choir *
posted by poopy at 3:51 PM on February 7, 2004


This writer is sooooo balanced. He jumps on their totally non-revealing revelation that the U.S. had units doing scouting and targeting before the invasion began as evidence of some great breach of international law. Of course there were units in Iraq covertly! Any general who didn't order that kind of reconnaissance would be criminally negligent. What a typical whiny bellyacher. Saddam Hussein commits genocide, murders his people by the thousands for years, and violates repeated UNSC resolutions (international law if ever I saw it), but this writer whines about special-forces reconnaissance before a war to remove him. Agree or disagree with the war, whinging about the "illegality" of military reconnaissance (which doubtless saved both American and Iraqi civilian lives) bespeaks a real anti-Americanism and moral idiocy. If "scouting and intelligence gathering and other missions like bomb targeting and artillery plotting" are illegal, then the law is an even bigger ass than this writer, and deseves to be ignored even more.
posted by Dasein at 3:57 PM on February 7, 2004


Dasein is right.

Removing Saddam was morally just. I can see that people may have problems with the specific path the United States took to get to that solution, but whining about such trivial details does not do anything in the way of usefully critiquing the Bush administration.

It pains me to see even an argument I disagree with made so badly.
posted by tiamat at 4:08 PM on February 7, 2004


The contractors have fully armored Hummers and the best body armor. The have us escort them in our lightly armored Humvees and they ride in heavily armored vehicles. That is bullsh.t and every American needs to know about it.

What if this is true.
posted by elpapacito at 4:19 PM on February 7, 2004


elpapacito: What if it's true that civilian specialists are treated better than army regulars? I wouldn't be surprised, this is the real world and in the real world not everyone can have all the best equipment.

Now if it were a case of army guys not being issued something that they absolutely required, that would be one thing, but if they're just upset because their armour isn't quite as thick -- I understand their complaint but it doesn't make for a great offense to the common man.
posted by tiamat at 4:23 PM on February 7, 2004


Assuming this is legitimate, what exactly is it supposed to mean to me?

News Flash: Some of the people in the military disagree with the policies of the government.

Is that the big revelation? I suppose this sort of thing carries more weight with the sort who spends their time complaining that everyone in the military is some sort of thug who just likes shooting "brown skinned people". They must think that if someone in the military would break ranks I should be impressed with how poignant it is.

Of course, no one but those sorts of people is so out of touch with the reality that the military is not some sort of homogeneous brute squad as to find this surprising.

No doubt during WWII some military folks were writing letters home in support of staying out of Germany or this "european affair". So what?

Lets skip the idiocy that covert scouting missions are supposed to be a no-no. Can you imagine the outrage if we HADN'T done them? Some talking head would have done an "expose" on how we mishandled the war because we didn't "scout, as is usual in this type of thing".

I have to tell you, I am not too crushed that before our military rolls in in force we have people covertly on the ground - I damn well hope we did. It's all part of war - get over it.

It simply amazes me that the same people who whine and whine about how bad we are for doing this (scouting) never seemed nearly as upset by the murders, oppression and brutality of the Iraqi regime.

Lets face it - for a vocal portion of the population ANYTHING the US does is bad... they have some sort of internalized guilt that leads to self flagellation for being a citizen of a super power or something.

Don't like the war? That's cool... hate it if you want. But try, just TRY and have something more sophisticated to hate it for than some simplistic idea that this is only about oil and that advanced scouting parties are a war crime.

Every group trots out their little axe to grind. NPR says the war is about killing non-whites... feminists have said that it is about supressing womens rights (not sure how) and anti-capitalists are convinced the war was a sort of weird stock option game. The thing is, they all say the same thing about EVRYTHING and anything that happens.

Cry wolf.
posted by soulhuntre at 4:29 PM on February 7, 2004


"The have us escort them in our lightly armored Humvees and they ride in heavily armored vehicles"

P.S. can you imagine the outrage at the sort of spending that would be needed to equip every member of the US combat forces with top of the line body armor?

Or, the outrage if some contractors were killed and there was complaining that "non military" personel had to take a risk that was common for soldiers?

Damned if you do provide them better armor (there are a lot fewer of them) and damned if you don't - cause no matter what happens the worst possible spin will be put on it.
posted by soulhuntre at 4:32 PM on February 7, 2004


This guy claims to have interviews with five US soldiers at conspiracy planet:

USA - "I have a four year degree in the economics field and I am not a soldier all the time. I am Reservist who just keeps getting caught on long duty assignments. Believe it or not, I read authors like Noam Chomsky, Gore Vidal, and Jim Hightower, and went through three copies of Stupid White Men by Michael Moore while I was over there. I let people read parts of Mike's book and they were irate that Bush had screwed us so hard. I had parts of Best Democracy Money Can Buy mailed to me because I knew if I had the whole book it would get stolen in a heartbeat."

I'm experiencing a certain amount of skepticism here. As has been said, the voices of these soldiers are all rather similar. They repeat the same things. The casualties they report seem on the high side.... the reservist NCO he calls "USA" claims to have seen "over 30 of the men I had to keep safe die, and over 100 get wounded and not come back... one of our unit killed every twenty four hours". The same guy says "Let me tell you about the cluster bomb raid we saw wipe out a whole bunch of little kids."

When you put it all together it all seems a little too much. A Michael Moore-reading NCO who's had all these casualities occur in his unit, and has seen all these kids blown up by cluster bombs, and has had an Iraqi die in his arms sobbing about never being able to see his daughter? It would be nice to have more than the word of a unknown blogger for all this.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 4:34 PM on February 7, 2004


The usual gamut of perspectives from A to B on this one!

Removing Saddam was morally just.

Absolutely. The only thing is, why did we have to do it? We didn't. Aside from the moral reasons, and the economic ones (oil) there were no really sound political reasons for invading Iraq. I know, it surprises me to hear me saying this, but here it is: what the hell does the price of rice in Baghdad have to do with market rents amd unemployment in Fort Greene, Brooklyn? I sympathize with the ordinary Iraqi, but sending my nephew over there to sacrifice his life for that Iraqi is not high on my list of priorities when it comes to spending other people's blood. He could be renting my spare bedroom and working at the A&P to help out with the expenses while I look for a job, like a lot of other Americans these days.

Sounds like fabricated BS to me.

That's a pretty serious charge. Jay Shaft ("If that's really your name," as Peter Sellers says to Colonel "Bat" Guano) is a pretty prolific antiwar activist-journliast (if that's not a contradiction in terms) who has done other interviews of this kind. You're right, it's not unreasonable to raise questions about interviews with subjects who won't go on the record. On the other hand, active duty military personnel have a good reason to stay anonymous. So let's ask Shaft (freethoughtinmedia@yahoo.com).
posted by hairyeyeball at 4:34 PM on February 7, 2004


elpapacito: The contractors don't have guns to shoot back with, so they'd damn well better be able to last longer if they're getting shot at. It only makes sense that the people with the skills to rebuild the country are being carefully protected. How else is the country going to be rebuilt (at least until the "resistance" stops undermining the redevelopment effort)? And since when did grunts expect to be equipped with the best of everything, all the time? These guys have skins far too thin for the army, methinks.
posted by Dasein at 4:34 PM on February 7, 2004


"journliast"? oh why do i not spell check?
posted by hairyeyeball at 4:37 PM on February 7, 2004


it doesn't make for a great offense to the common man.

to the common man not being shot at in Iraq, maybe not.
posted by trondant at 4:45 PM on February 7, 2004


TheophileEscargot: I love that line you quote about the guy having seen 30 men die. No, even better, "over 30 of the men I had to keep safe," which implies that they were either subordinate to him (and he's an NCO) or closely linked to him. This means he has personally witnessed about 5.7% of U.S. deaths in Iraq to date, or 21.9% (one-fifth) of deaths before May. What is this guy, a human spy satellite? What utter hokum.
posted by Dasein at 4:47 PM on February 7, 2004


Also, this Jay Shaft guy writes for a site called Conspiracy Planet. Need we say more?
posted by Dasein at 4:48 PM on February 7, 2004


It simply amazes me that the same people who whine and whine about how bad we are for doing this (scouting) never seemed nearly as upset by the murders, oppression and brutality of the Iraqi regime.

Just like it amazes some of us that the people who are gung-ho about Iraq never seem nearly as upset by the murders, oppression and brutality of the North Korean regime...
posted by clevershark at 5:15 PM on February 7, 2004


tiamat: I'm not surprised as well , but on the contrary I think it is a great offense to the common man, the so called grunts or privates. And to the officials as well.

I don't see why a civilian contractor should have better equipment then a grunt. Who's most likely to be killed, the contractor that can flee anytime he wants or the grunt that, no matter what kind of steel is raining, is ordered to stay and hold the line or to contrast ?

Also, if we follow the "logic" of "the right tool for the job" we may see that, during an attack, the ones who are supposed to _protect_ the civilians are the grunts, who are likely to position themselves in the middle of fire line to protect the civilian while they attempt to make them leave the area.

Again who needs more armor and more firepower ?

Not mentioning that it is very likely that the grunts are spending more time in dangerous situations then contractors.
--------------------------------------------------------------
On preview: soulhuntre: yeah I can imagine the outrage like "govt spending trillions on soldiers, little on poor people at home". They're two faces of resources allocation problem.

Let's consider it from a money point of view: private enterprises pay taxes so they feel they can demand protection from soldiers because they paid taxes which buy weapons for soldiers and pay their wages.

True enough, but they don't pay entirely for the service as individual taxpayer money pays another portion of the costs. Therefore they do obtain protection services, but they don't entirely pay for it, while they retain profits coming from their enterprises ; of course they pay taxes on profits (ahah yeah sure) but they still retain an extra profit financed with people money.

So they either should pay their own private militia or find a way to pay back for the service they received, but not entirely paid for ; which could translate in them paying more taxes for the service they enjoyed.

Guess somebody will think that they should receive the service for free because private companies create jobs which benefit the entire economy : how much money does exactly creating a job position cost ? How much does it cost to maintain it ? Are the jobs positions created to compensate the service they received kept even if they're not obtaining profit from the job ?

Remember, companies everywhere in the world like to privatize profits and socialize costs and risks, and it seems to me that having grunts doing the dirty job for them is another way of socializing costs and shifting risks.
posted by elpapacito at 5:17 PM on February 7, 2004


"over 30 of the men I had to keep safe," which implies that...

...he's one dangerous sonofabitch.
posted by quonsar at 5:17 PM on February 7, 2004


I have to tell you, I am not too crushed that we violated the neutrality of Belgium. It's all part of war - get over it.

I have to tell you, I am not too crushed that we bombed Pearl Harbor without a formal declaration. It's all part of war - get over it.

I have to tell you, I am not too crushed that we looted, raped, and pillaged our way through the known world, razing any cities that resisted and slaughtering the inhabitants. It's all part of war - get over it.
posted by languagehat at 5:20 PM on February 7, 2004


Also, this Jay Shaft guy writes for a site called Conspiracy Planet. Need we say more?

This is why professional journalists pooh-pooh bloggers, you know ... Guilt by association and innuendo. Look, we have the guy's e-mail address. I wrote to him and am awaiting a reply. why don't we call his pinko ass on the carpet and find out whether he made the stuff up or not. I mean, if it was making the charge, isn't worth finding out? In the process, I'll admit, we could clue him in on a little tip: editorializing is reeeeeeeeeeeeeally annoying in an interview. If it's worth reading, then what the interviewee is saying is all the reader really wants or needs.
posted by hairyeyeball at 5:30 PM on February 7, 2004


Right, because if he made it up and we e-mail him, he's bound to admit he made it all up.

Come on guys, read the articles. Wistful yearnings from dying soldiers? 5% of total casualties occurring in the platoon of a reservist NCO? Air raids on children? Obsessive Michael Moore reading? All happening to the same guy?

Plus soldiers complaining that by scouting in advance scouts the military are violating precious sovereignty...

I can't believe anyone is swallowing this stuff.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 5:52 PM on February 7, 2004


I really don't care if it's true or not. This war is a waste of money and lives. We were better off with Saddam in power.

Supprt the troops - Bring them home.
posted by y6y6y6 at 6:27 PM on February 7, 2004


Supprt the troops - Bring them home.

isn't there a banner or something to that effect? or are we just repeating ourselves?
posted by poopy at 6:37 PM on February 7, 2004


For those of you who would like to hear what *real* military men talk like:

Mr M, SPC McLain

(officer) Jason Van Steenwyk

Blackfive (not active duty, but good anyway)

Citizen Smash

Oh, and one Iraqi's opinion:

Iraq the Model

which can be very touching at times. I highly recommend it to the cynical.
posted by kablam at 6:37 PM on February 7, 2004


And since when did grunts expect to be equipped with the best of everything, all the time? These guys have skins far too thin for the army, methinks.

Yeah! They obviously don't deserve to be in Iraq. We should bring them home. You know, as punishment.
posted by Ptrin at 6:50 PM on February 7, 2004


I saw that Hackworth was mentioned in the article and after all the calls of fraud (even though I don't understand how reading Moore is evidence of that) I started to wonder if this interview was drawn from the huge number of letters he receives from troops in the field.


Hackworth has written about some troops not getting enough training, which might be fueled by ammo shortages. He also wrote about how the troops are not all getting the modern flak jackets. The reason:
The reason for this Pentagon criminal negligence is twofold: first, the $310 million Congress approved for the vests got parked at various places, where bucks were siphoned off for noncombat-related items; and second, the Army has treated the vest issue the way it handles routine requisitions, such as portable toilets and tent poles.


Kablam, I'll check those sites too, but why would people in the military have to talk a certain way? We've got reservists in there now too. Would they only sound military on weekends?
posted by john at 7:14 PM on February 7, 2004


Extraordinarily fascinating responses. A veritable mirror, I'd say.

Of course, neither I, nor you, nor anyone except supposedly the author and the interviewees know the details of this putative interview. That seems to be the way interviews generally work (except for those broadcast interviews over the last year or so that resulted in punishment for American servicement who dared speak their minds).

But how endlessly intriguing the refusal of some to believe that American troops (the ones actually shedding blood) might be a little less gung ho than the brave chickenhawks cheering them on from the safety of monitor/keyboard, and Oval Office.

And tell us: how was the beer you rascally -but-hardened skeptics stepped out for back when GW et al were "interviewing" (and obviously influencing with their own editorial view) those who supposedly had a handle on the Iraq WMD thingie? I mean...a little healthy skepticism back then might have prevented us from going to war needlessly, right?

~chuckle~
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 7:41 PM on February 7, 2004


C'mon, fold_and_mutilate, that's to pretend that WMDs ever really mattered to those who were so eager to get us into this little adventure. It's been about projecting American power and showing the little brown people they can't fuck with us from the get-go. WMDs were just the convenient excuse.
posted by kgasmart at 7:43 PM on February 7, 2004


P.S. can you imagine the outrage at the sort of spending that would be needed to equip every member of the US combat forces with top of the line body armor?

Well, it's only outrageous to the extent that we were promised that the occupation would be cost-free (remember: we were going to be welcomed as liberators, and Iraqi oil wealth was going to pay for the whole thing, anyway). As it turns out, I think we need to spend whatever it takes, even if that means raising taxes, to this right. I don't think we can afford to fuck this up.
posted by electro at 7:51 PM on February 7, 2004


john: whoever they are, think "total immersion" in a situation where they are *doing* 24/7, or something is wrong. That is, total interaction with other military personnel with always more jobs to do. In such circumstances, you develop a jargon. Subordinates are not "your guys"; officers do not have "buddies"; mission orientation is total--if you are told to do something, it is not open for discussion--you are supposed to execute your orders with competent efficiency--most of which are boring, routine and repetitive.
Privates, junior NCO's, senior NCO's, junior, mid-grade and senior officers all have their ways of behaving and talking--depending on who they are talking to, including civilians.

On top of it all, there are clearly times when you only talk business, and times when you only talk about anything *but* business. There are LOTS of forbidden topics that are not mentioned, depending on who is around. And "Sir" or "Sergeant" is very appropriate in casual conversations with NCO's and officers. A good officer actually tries to avoid conversation with Privates, as that can put pressure on their NCO, their boss.

Though political discussions are often a faux pas, most officers are affiliated with the Republican party, or have strong leanings to either that or conservatism. Among senior officers there are almost no admitted liberals or even democrats (and YES, I most definitely abhor this situation as dangerous.) It would be foolish to assume that there is no active prejudice or discrimination against an officer who is an avowed liberal or democrat.
(Wesley Clark is viewed by many as an outcast.)

I might also mention that the two "gentlemen" in the "interview" both have foul mouths. This is not encouraged in officers, as it can be bad for morale and discipline. It is not frowned on for moral reasons, but because it interferes with mission accomplishment.
posted by kablam at 8:17 PM on February 7, 2004


kablam,

I read those sites. What's military about the way they talk? Most of them sound no different from anyone else. McLain sounds like a jerk, but otherwise nothing stands out.
posted by john at 8:18 PM on February 7, 2004


clevershark, you wrote: Just like it amazes some of us that the people who are gung-ho about Iraq never seem nearly as upset by the murders, oppression and brutality of the North Korean regime...

Fair enough. I'll be consistent (though more often than not in international relations, consistency is a dangerous thing). I think that if it can be demonstrated through rock-solid intelligence that North Korea doesn't have a nuclear weapon, or that we could prevent the use of its nuclear weapons without ourselves having to use nuclear weapons, that we should liberate North Korea. The recent revelations about concentration camps in the north put me over the top. Assuming that it doesn't have nukes, I say let's deal with these bastards before they do get them, which would foreclose the option of liberating the most oppressed and unjustly impoverished people in the world. This doesn't mean we overthrow every evil regime, but North Korea is unique. Its crimes are worse than any other country's in the world.

So fuck Kim Jong-Il. Do it with a cruise missile, right up his tight little cognac-drinking, Bomb-building, country-raping, gas chamber-loving ass. Invade.

Happy?
posted by Dasein at 8:28 PM on February 7, 2004


I have to tell you, I am not too crushed that we violated the neutrality of Belgium. It's all part of war - get over it.

I have to tell you, I am not too crushed that we bombed Pearl Harbor without a formal declaration. It's all part of war - get over it.


Um, there is a large difference between bombing the hell out of something and performing reconnaissance.

I don't feel sanguine about this administration's policies, but I'm with the folks in this thread who would have seen this as criminally negligent not to do.
posted by weston at 8:31 PM on February 7, 2004


fold_and_mutilate: I look forward to Ann Coulter interviewing two anonymous "senior Democratic Senators" on why they want to repeal the 13th and 19th Amendments to the Constitution, legalize organic heroin, mandate gun ownership by all adult males, and lower the age of consent to 12.
Now, whether or not there are Democrats that support such things (maybe in Utah), the fact that an "interview" was conducted hardly means that the topics within are still valid for debate as "Democratic Platform ideas."
I wonder who those Senators *really* are?
posted by kablam at 8:33 PM on February 7, 2004


>Removing Saddam was morally just.

Well, as far as 'the ends justify the means' is just, which is to say not at all.
posted by skallas at 8:35 PM on February 7, 2004


skallas: By what other means do you suppose we might have achieved that moral end?

Sometimes, not always, but sometimes the end absolutely does justify the means.
posted by Dasein at 8:39 PM on February 7, 2004


For those of you who would like to hear what *real* military men talk like:

fuck...i guess i don't count, hmm?

i certainly don't speak like a "real" military man, much less an officer. and i'm way too liberal, so that doesn't help.

I wonder who those Senators *really* are?

deep south senators, prolly...those who should be republicans but are too conservative to switch sides. zell miller, for one.
posted by taumeson at 8:39 PM on February 7, 2004


Let me change that. The page you linked to and I read was by M. I guess he's not an officer with that potty mouth.

Making these statements would mean these guys don't support themselves. I learned this from Smash.
His opinion confuses me. I thought we already won. Isn't it now a peace-keeping matter that's more suited to the UN?
posted by john at 8:45 PM on February 7, 2004


Removing Saddam was morally just.

I don't see anyone arguing for his reinstatement. The question is, was it worth it? Or alternately, could it have been accomplished with less bloodshed/damage to our country's ability to function in the world, etc.?

BTW, I am not a pacifist, merely a pragmatist.
posted by jonmc at 9:01 PM on February 7, 2004


I've talked to two officers who were there and share the sentiments in the article. There are a lot of people doing your dirty work who aren't happy about this mission. But by all means, continue to ignore them, and let's see how the ranks look in about 5 years or so.
posted by 2sheets at 9:26 PM on February 7, 2004


It simply amazes me that the same people who whine and whine about how bad we are for doing this (scouting) never seemed nearly as upset by the murders, oppression and brutality of the Iraqi regime.

I've noticed the same of people who didn't give two purple shits about Iraq until bush said we should blow it up.
posted by mcsweetie at 9:33 PM on February 7, 2004


I've noticed that neither side gave a crap except for how they could turn the situation to their political advantage.
posted by jonmc at 9:46 PM on February 7, 2004


Foldy, come on down here to Bragg and we'll find you some real soldiers to talk to. I'm sorry, that article just sounded fake as hades. If there really was an interview, the reporter totally rewrote it.
posted by konolia at 9:52 PM on February 7, 2004


Thanks for the invite, konolia, but I daresay your take and that of the rest of the war apologists seems pretty biased. I have talked to some "real soldiers" myself (and not rear area types like the blogging Lt. Smash)...probably more than anyone else in this little forum...and it's real odd that these soldiers all think this cowardly little war stinks like olive-drab, oil-soaked fecal material.

Oh. And no doubt these other soldiers in the news are just a bunch of fakes, or just pinkos as well:

Taken together, these documents tell a story of an unexpectedly hard small war that has been punctuated by casualties that haunt the writers. At the same time, they show how a well-trained, professional force adjusted last year to the first sustained ground combat faced by U.S. troops in three decades, relearning timeless lessons of warfare and figuring out new ones.

"We had to learn the hard way," Capt. Daniel Morgan, an infantry company commander in the 101st Airborne Division, writes in an essay that is rocketing around military e-mail circles.

Like most of the 28 documents reviewed for this article, Morgan's is relentlessly specific. One of the most striking lessons the 1992 graduate of Georgetown University passes on: Every soldier in the unit should carry a tourniquet sufficiently long to cut off the gush of blood from major leg wounds. "Trust me," he writes, "it saved four of my soldiers' lives."

That no-nonsense conveyance of small but crucial details permeates the commentaries, in which today's Army talks to itself in blunt, sometimes ugly language. There also is a life-and-death urgency to many of the commentaries. "There was too much crap I saw over there that guys just don't understand, and it meant soldiers' lives," Capt. John Wrann, a 4th Infantry Division engineer, writes in an essay that was posted on www.companycommand.com, which began as a private Web site by and for junior Army officers but is now sponsored by the Army and has semi-official status.

Although some of the commentaries argue that progress is being made, as a whole they tend to paint a harsher picture than the public statements of senior officials. In his advice to incoming troops, Capt. Ken Braeger, a company commander in the 4th Division, which is headquartered in Tikrit, in the middle of the Sunni Triangle, states that "what they have to understand is that most of the people here want us dead, they hate us and everything we stand for, and will take any opportunity to cause us harm."

In part because of unvarnished comments such as that, the documents are provoking controversy within the military. Some senior officers at the Pentagon argue that by bypassing the chain of command, the authors may violate security procedures and could tip off the insurgents in Iraq.


Seriously. Can you believe all that? Is there any way to just shut all these damned traitors up? Don't they know it's all supposed to be "Mission Accomplished!" and "Bring 'em on!"?

~wink~
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 1:44 AM on February 8, 2004


fold_and_mutilate: yes, the Washington Post story reporting moderate criticism of the command is credible.

The Jay Shaft interviews describing hitherto unknown atrocities involving "hundreds of dead children", Halliburton conspiracies and soldiers apparently reading out the front page of Indymedia, are not credible.

Can you really not tell the difference?

Just a tip, but I think you'd raise your own credibility by leaving out the ~winks~ and the ~chuckles~. Remember you're purporting to believe in cluster-bomb air strikes on children; hundreds of dead kiddies; war crimes that make My Lai look like a church picnic. Atrocities that have been ignored or covered-up by mainstream sources like, uh, the Washington Post. You really ought to try for more outrage if you want convince us you actually believe all this.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 3:12 AM on February 8, 2004


Red herring. Whether atrocities have been committed or not -- and it's certain they have, dead fucking certain, by both sides of this nasty little war, just as in all wars -- is immaterial to discussion of whether this war should have happened, and what it means that it continues, and gets bloodier and spiked with deeper hatred.

Or discussion of how many of those who are fighting it do not believe that they were put in harm's way for reasons that had nothing to do with honor or mercy, decency or any of the other things for which America is supposed to stand.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:40 AM on February 8, 2004


stavrosthewonderchicken: and so yet another Metafilter thread trudges to its predictable end: an admission that the original post was an utter lie, but it doesn't matter because it served the great anti-war cause ;-)
posted by TheophileEscargot at 4:06 AM on February 8, 2004


I've noticed that neither side gave a crap except for how they could turn the situation to their political advantage.

jonmc-
I realize that you're evangelically disillusioned, but what does that mean? Are the "sides" in question here just politicians or something, or regular people? If the latter, I find it odd that you would describe wanting to prevent (at one time) or effectively steward and mitigate the effects of a clusterfuck of a war as seeking "a political advantage." It's not like everybody who held a sign at a pro-war rally got $10 when the bombs started dropping. Nor did every smelly hippie in America grow rich and powerful from having bet early against the Vietnam War in some geopolitical futures market.

Also, keep in mind that many of those evil leftists who you rip on for hypocritically not giving a shit about Iraq before the war are also ripped on from the right for hypocritically opposing the sanctions. It's hard work giving a shit, I guess.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 4:15 AM on February 8, 2004


an admission that the original post was an utter lie

What the fuck are you talking about, TheophileEscargot?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:44 AM on February 8, 2004


(Also, tangentially : well, that's 10,000 non-American (and thus unimportant) corpses. God bless America!)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:46 AM on February 8, 2004


come on down here to Bragg and we'll find you some real soldiers to talk to.

let us go, then.
let's hear it from a real soldier:


For three days we sit in our rec room and drink all of the beer and watch all of those damn movies, and we yell Semper fi and we head-butt and beat the crap out of each other and we get off on the various visions of carnage and violence and deceit, the raping and killing and pillaging.
...
smiling because if they don't smile, the fighters might kill their pigs or burn their cache of rice. We rewind the rape scenes when American soldiers return from the bush after killing many VC to sip cool beers in a thatch bar while whores sit on their laps for a song or two (a song from the fifties when America was still sweet) before they retire to rooms and fuck the whores sweetly. The American boys, brutal, young farm boys or tough city boys, sweetly fuck the whores. Yes, somehow the films convince us that these boys are sweet, even though we know we are much like these boys and that we are no longer sweet.
...
We are all afraid, but show this in various ways - violent indifference, fake ease, standard-issue bravura. We are afraid, but that doesn't mean we don't want to fight. It occurs to me that we will never be young again. I take my seat and return to the raging battle. The supposedly antiwar films have failed. Now is my time to step into the newest combat zone. And as a young man raised on the films of the Vietnam War, I want ammunition and alcohol and dope, I want to screw some whores and kill some Iraqi motherfuckers.
Jarhead by Anthony Swofford

posted by matteo at 7:19 AM on February 8, 2004


stavrosthewonderchicken: well, if you are a democrat, then you may be one of those democrats who agree with the two senators. You see, "it's the seriousness of the charges that matter, not the facts."
Which I think indicts all the democrats and democrat-sympathizers posting in this thread. How do you refute what two anonymous Democratic senators told Ann Coulter? What credibility do you have left being faced with such charges as wanting a return to slavery, disenfranchisement of women, legal heroin, and the other stuff?
What percentage of the democratic party agree with the senators? How can any democrat support their party, knowing that two of their senators and who knows how many of their rank-and-file support such ideas?

How can they justify ever having been democrats?

~chuckle~
posted by kablam at 7:27 AM on February 8, 2004


It's not like everybody who held a sign at a pro-war rally got $10 when the bombs started dropping. Nor did every smelly hippie in America grow rich and powerful from having bet early against the Vietnam War in some geopolitical futures market.

Ignatius, by "political advantage," I basically meant that most people, by the time they reach a certain age, have already calcified into a certian viewpoint or 'ism," and tend to contort the events of the universe into something that reinforces their already held view of the universe.

I suppose I am "evangelically disillusioned," but only because that's the smart way to be. It's simply brrn my experience that politics brings out some of the worst traits of the human animal: sanctimony, self-righteousness, power hunger, etc. and that I could quite frankly do without.
posted by jonmc at 8:15 AM on February 8, 2004


jonmc: Those things are bad, but there are worse things, like war and repression. That's why even people who don't enjoy sanctimony &c. force themselves into the political arena from time to time. Even disillusionment can be taken too far.
posted by languagehat at 8:57 AM on February 8, 2004


"Just like it amazes some of us that the people who are gung-ho about Iraq never seem nearly as upset by the murders, oppression and brutality of the North Korean regime..."

I am all for clearing out that little bastard. As a pragmatist a number of things need to come together though - the cost/benefit has to be right and the strategic risk balance needs to be good. Neither of those things are true in N. Korea at the moment.

The term is "enlightened self interest".

Besides, given how much wailing and gnashing of teeth is happening over Iraq I can only imagine we would have a full fledged freak out among those who think everything we do is wrong if we went after N. Korea.

"Again who needs more armor and more firepower ?"

The contractors are a much smaller group, and in many cases they are providing a specific service the government or military need - they have not enlisted and as such may well need to be promised extra protection to enter a war zone.

You want to equip all the soldiers with only the latest/best versions of vehicles, armor and equiptment? So do I... but since the money for that would never be a practical reality and the political will of this nation has a blind spot in this area it simply won't happen.

In the end what we have is a vocal subset of the population that hopes to influence policy simply by feet dragging. They seem to hope if they crticize everything and make every single move and decision as hard as possible that the harsh realities of the world around them will no longer apply.

They are wrong, and their credebility gets shot as time goes on.

If these contractors had the best armor, they complainers speak up of course. Complaint is not a problem, dissent is a valuable part of democracy... but when the dissent is simply semi-rational anger and route distrust it loses its power.

If the contractors had had no armor their would have been a rash of "Haliburton murders own employees by not protecting them" outrage.

If the military decided to upgrade all the armor the complaint woudl be "the US is spending billions to upgrade the armor of the troops and people are starving".

Why all this concern for the troops anyway? Isn't it hypocritical on a place (Mefi) where when US soldiers changed the policy of how they dealt with suspicious vehicles at checkpoints to avoid getting blown up the general concensous was that as soldiers it is their job and choice to take risks that would be unacceptable in other places and if they die they die?

When it suits the activist/pacfist the US soldier is a expendible corporate racist lacky - and then when they need sympathy they stay up all night worrying about "our boys".

Once it becomes clear that anything that happens will be slotted into the capitalist/new world order/blood for oil conspiracy theory worldview otherwise useful voices become just another tinfoil hat victtim.
posted by soulhuntre at 9:11 AM on February 8, 2004


soulhuntre - Your characterizations of those of us who oppose the Iraq war borders on delusionary. I thought you were a pragmatist? Or do you get to cherry pick where that gets applied?
posted by y6y6y6 at 10:19 AM on February 8, 2004


"...your take and that of the rest of the war apologists seems pretty biased."

That sounds like a pot that's so densely black that not even light itself can escape.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:58 AM on February 8, 2004


Soulhuntre,

I think you missed this comment that explains we had the money and decided to spend it on other things. Sorry to take the air our of your imagined complaint.

So far there is nothing to support the idea that this was made up. Ann Coulter has lied so many times that it's not a fair comparision. I don't buy the military talk line at all.

I have been trying to find more information to determine how truthful the interview is and found some things to be right on the money and I linked to them. Of course, it's easier to dismiss things rather than do the homework.
posted by john at 11:09 AM on February 8, 2004


Removing Saddam was morally just.

Then the support of Saddam in the past and doing business with him was 'ok'? Why is doing business with Saddam 'ok', but is yet the kind of guy who has to be ousted.
posted by rough ashlar at 11:37 AM on February 8, 2004


As a pragmatist a number of things need to come together though - the cost/benefit has to be right and the strategic risk balance needs to be good. Neither of those things are true in N. Korea at the moment.

Are the cost/benefit and strategic risk analysis things that reasonable people of good will could disagree on? And does this same standard apply to Iraq?
posted by Ptrin at 12:11 PM on February 8, 2004


Then the support of Saddam in the past and doing business with him was 'ok'?

Good times.
posted by homunculus at 12:32 PM on February 8, 2004


jonmc-
I don't know why I'm always arguing with you--a
Mefite who I think I would rather like in real life--other than that it's fun to argue with someone who tries to make sense. Keep that in mind during the following personal attack. :)

I basically meant that most people, by the time they reach a certain age, have already calcified into a certian viewpoint or 'ism," and tend to contort the events of the universe into something that reinforces their already held view of the universe.

I suppose I am "evangelically disillusioned," but only because that's the smart way to be.


I can't tell if you're talking about the politically active folks you like to mock or about yourself. You seem so enthralled by "anyone who cares about anything is full of shit-ism" that it keeps you from embracing ideas and opinions of yours (you've said many times something to the effect of "I agree with X position, but everyoine else who believes it is goofy so I can't get involved.").

Is this the "smart" way to be? If politicis is the process of the stewardship of society, and you can't see fit to compromise and cooperate with others who would see it steered in your preferred direction, then exactly who is the ideologue? Once indifference becomes a platform in and of itself, it ceases to be an escape and starts to be a hindrance to the rest of us.

I guess what I'm getting at is that I don't even entirely buy the disillusioned thing coming from you. How is it less of an affectation than some cartoonishly hypercharged liberalism or conservatism?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 1:13 PM on February 8, 2004


I guess what I'm getting at is that I don't even entirely buy the disillusioned thing coming from you. How is it less of an affectation than some cartoonishly hypercharged liberalism or conservatism?

Well, a lot of it is, the stuff I said before about politics bringing out the worst tendencies of humans (sanctimony, self-righteousness, power hunger, etc.). The rest of it is personal experience: when I was younger, like a lotta people, I discovered that the world was a fucked up unfair place, so I hung around people who had strong political opinions, (on both sides of the fence), all of them could cough up horror stories to support their positions and the oppostition could cough up just as many to support theirs until you just wanted to throw your hands up and say to hell with it. Not to mention, most people get extremely agitated if you question their position.

If politicis is the process of the stewardship of society, and you can't see fit to compromise and cooperate with others who would see it steered in your preferred direction, then exactly who is the ideologue?

From what I've observed politics is about the acquisition and preservation of power. And I don't really care to have anymore power than that over my own life, and even that's probably and illusion. History goes on, we're mostly just helpless witnesses.

So there in somewhat incoherent fashion, is why I consider politics a big, snake infested pile of dooty.


For my next act I will demolish art, sex, science and commerce.
posted by jonmc at 1:38 PM on February 8, 2004


From what I've observed politics is about the acquisition and preservation of power.

Indeed. And isn't that what makes democracy cool--that in moments of real success or efficacy the power is wielded by the people themselves and in pursuit of the public interest. If you think that issue-oriented political activism is about power for the activists, then you must really be underestimating their intelligence. Even the most naive activist must realize that they could get power better by embracing whatever ills they are decrying and sucking up to power.

So there in somewhat incoherent fashion, is why I consider politics a big, snake infested pile of dooty.

Sounds like a self-fulfilling prophecy. As long as reasonable people like you (who are not committed to a larger ideology or platform) stay away, this statement is true. I wonder, does this standard of purity apply only to poilitics? Do you refuse to take a job if it seems that one or more of yoiur co-workers is a dork? Would you refuse to eat in a restaurant because it is frequented by stupid vegans who don't really have it all figured out?

I'm sorry that you met a bunch of idiots when you were younger. I did too. We all did. Personally, I was an idiot when I was younger, and I was reasonable happy, so I can only assume that I'd found other idiots to cavort with. But don't you detect the irony in the fact that in trying to avoid those idiots' pitfalls you have effectively allowed them to determine your social role and posture?

For my next act I will demolish art, sex, science and commerce.

Waht, you're going to give the puppies a free pass?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 1:49 PM on February 8, 2004


"So far there is nothing to support the idea that this was made up."

I am not even sure it IS made up... of course the idea that 20% of all US casualties are from this single unit doesn't really gel... but lets get past that.

The thing is, it doesn't matter even if this is a letter from a real bone-a-fide(tm) serviceman. The fact that some people in the service feel angry, annoyed and betrayed is inevitable - and will always be true.

Military personnel aren't clones, they aren't all in lockstep and they don't all share the same political views. Why would this be surprising?

I am amused at the huge weight to this letter has when a similar letter in support of this war would no doubt be dismissed by the anti-war crowd? Again, we see how hypocritically silly it is to only lend weight to those things that support our views.

"I think you missed this comment that explains we had the money and decided to spend it on other things. Sorry to take the air our of your imagined complaint."

Hardly missed it - I just don't see it as being the sole problem. Remember that the original outrage was not only about vests but about upgraded top of the line fighting vehicles - and further complaining that the US fighting man didn't have the absolute top of the line of every single item they carry.

$310 million? Not even a drop in the bucket.
posted by soulhuntre at 5:50 PM on February 8, 2004


Another viewpoint.
posted by konolia at 6:39 PM on February 8, 2004


soulhuntre: my annoyance is that these two fictitious individuals are portrayed as "officers", a position of authority and respect that this writer has no right to fabricate.
Now, there are no longer a lot of people who deserve considerable respect from civilians, but service members, serving honorably and at personal risk, deserve more than such slander.
This article is so transparently fake and mean spirited that I hope this writer is exposed as a fraud. Judging from the 'Axis Mission' statement, I suspect that his editors are more than willing to publish patent lies, if it's "for the cause".

And spare us his "Bringing the boys home" cynicism.
posted by kablam at 6:40 PM on February 8, 2004


"I suspect that his editors are more than willing to publish patent lies, if it's "for the cause"."

Absolutely... but that is true in most extremist movements of course. Anytime a group of people hook into something primarily because of their feelings of alienation (extreme anti-westernism, extreme feminism and extreme religions etc...) it becomes clear that they will twist anything or outright falsify to prove their point.

It would be nice to expose this fraud if it is... but it won't change anything, their supporters will simply congratulate them on their excellent tactic to bring home "the message".
posted by soulhuntre at 8:28 PM on February 8, 2004


Subordinates are not "your guys"; officers do not have "buddies"; mission orientation is total--if you are told to do something, it is not open for discussion--you are supposed to execute your orders with competent efficiency...

Jeez, kablam, pull your pants up. All that tugging isn't going to make it any bigger.
posted by squirrel at 11:30 PM on February 8, 2004


squirrel: no, I'm not reveling in homoerotic fantasy; I'm stating a fact. Military people in a combat theater are busy! They are preoccupied with their jobs.

A Private's job is to do; an NCO's job is to supervise; an officer's job is to stand back and see the big picture and coordinate with higher authority. When an officer interferes with what a Private or NCO is doing, they are not helping, they are getting in the way.

If a Private walks up to an officer to complain, there has been a breakdown in "the NCO chain of command"--a bad thing. The officer will be obliged to correct the situation, yes; but then he has an additional responsibility to find out *why* the problem was not handled by the NCO in the first place. For this reason, many good NCOs are bothered by their officers talking at all to their subordinates. NYJ, sir.

A good military saying is that "If you are not busy, then you are wrong." Unless personnel are actively resting, then they should be occupied with something, or else morale problems may develop. The military recognizes that they are in a stressful situation, and excessive contemplation of bad things is rarely therapeutic. Even "make-work" is better then idleness. And MOST of what the military does is routine, boring, and repetitive.

So, once again, let me assert that this article is a fraud.
posted by kablam at 7:38 AM on February 9, 2004


you guys are all forgetting one important fact: things are going AWESOMELY in Iraq! they love us and are glad we shock'n'awed them and their buildings. therefore this interview is a fabrication.
posted by mcsweetie at 7:50 AM on February 9, 2004


kablam, I know how it's supposed to be in the military. I have family and friends in the service and therefore I'm just as qualified as you or anyone here to say that the unsoldierly-tone disqualification you're attempting is wrong: there is in fact a wide variety of attitudes and ways of speaking among our soldiers. Keep trying, though... all the way up to Bush's perp walk. You'll probably call that a victory lap.

BTW, is it just me or did Bush, in his Russert interview, look like he'd just eaten a box of chalk?
posted by squirrel at 1:00 PM on February 9, 2004


gee, squirrel: you realize of course that what you just said sounds a lot like "a lot of my friends are black people, I just wouldn't want my sister to marry one."
Personally, I think John Kerry is a dishonorable scumbucket who is far from the hero he portrays himself as.
posted by kablam at 1:08 PM on February 9, 2004


"This article is so transparently fake and mean spirited that I hope this writer is exposed as a fraud. "

Please stop selling this myth of a monolithic officer mentality. It's the least impressive reason to get to the truth about what's going on over there.

Exposing and eliminating systemic failures in military management is far more important. If there is a large gap between their mission and what they are trained for then we got to confront the situation. If they are not properly equiped without a good reason, we need to put pressure on the Pentagon to do a better job.

You like to cast doubt, but seem unconcerned about finding out the truth about the larger issues raised by the interview.
posted by john at 1:14 PM on February 9, 2004


john: what about the larger issues raised by the Ann Coulter interview of the two Democrat Senators? Huh? I think it serves as an indictment of ALL democrats that some (how many?) of their number support such un-American proposals.

The bottom line is credibility. Michael Jackson may raise some truly profound issues about kindness to children; but has has no credibility. The writer of this faux "interview" *could* have raised legitimate issues honestly, but he chose to couch them in a lie.

For that reason, he doesn't help his cause, he hurts it. He *might* have persuaded, instead his writing comes across as a lame attempt at propaganda and disinformation.

And while *you* might want to discuss the issues he's raised, he has already *tainted* any objective discussion.

So, dead his "issues" will remain, until someone else, someone with credibility, raise them again, using facts that can be supported, argued and debated honorably.

A "friend" who lies to you is less a friend than an "enemy" who tells you the truth.
posted by kablam at 2:52 PM on February 9, 2004


I fail to see how what a couple of Senators think compares to a situation where lives are on the line. Ann Coulter outed herself a long time ago as someone full of crap, but if she's telling the truth in the case of the Senators, it doesn't bother me one bit. The Democratic party is starting to make libertarians look sane. Their only saving grace is the irony that they might waste less money than the Republicans.

You come up with no evidence other than conjecture and offer up this as an excuse to avoid talking about a "tainted" issue. Fine. I'll drop it.
posted by john at 3:37 PM on February 9, 2004


I kid the libertarians.
posted by john at 3:52 PM on February 9, 2004


gee, squirrel: you realize of course that what you just said sounds a lot like "a lot of my friends are black people, I just wouldn't want my sister to marry one."

How's that, kablam? I haven't expressed bias against anyone. Here's what I said:

I know how it's supposed to be in the military. I have family and friends in the service and therefore I'm just as qualified as you or anyone here to say that the unsoldierly-tone disqualification you're attempting is wrong: there is in fact a wide variety of attitudes and ways of speaking among our soldiers.

Please make sense of your remark, if you can.

posted by squirrel at 4:35 PM on February 9, 2004


.
posted by squirrel at 4:35 PM on February 9, 2004


OK. One more. It's taint-free kablam. But who cares?
posted by john at 5:34 PM on February 9, 2004


Bottom Line is this:

Iraq was sold to the public under the "Imminent Threat", "Weapons of Mass Destruction", "Mushroom Cloud over New York" labels. So far none of these are demonstrably true and some are patently fabricated.

So far it's cost us 100 Billion dollars (not likely the end of the bill), over 500 American Lives, Thousands of American casualties, and a huge diversion of our Military and Intelligence Agencies away from Afghanistan and Al Qaida. Not to mention the fact that we broke International Law and alienated a lot of allies in the process.

This was the price tag to remove someone who most everyone considers a pretty bad man, though certainly not the only bad guy of his stature on the planet. Now the thing you have to ask yourself realistically is this: Will Joe America be happy of the result based on the cost?

I think ultimately this is the question we will be faced with over the course of the year.
posted by aaronscool at 5:38 PM on February 9, 2004


aaronscool - That's a very succinct and plain-spoken bottom line.
posted by troutfishing at 9:50 PM on February 9, 2004


God, I hope so, aaronscool.
posted by squirrel at 9:56 PM on February 9, 2004


Sorry, no gimmees here, squirrel.
To start: John, please *try* to distinguish between fact and fancy. TV drama is not reality, fiction is not reality, ridiculous assertions are not true just because they are in print.
Ann Coulter wrote no such piece. It is ludicrous to think she did. Even more ludicrous to assume that Democratic Senators would say such ridiculous things. It is NOT TRUE. It is NOT REALITY. And, most importantly, it is not reasonable to debate nonsense topics because they were suggested in a ridiculous and sarcastic manner.

In his "interview", which I also assert is fiction, the author claimed many things, many of which are fabrications, some of which are perhaps true. But he ruined his opportunity to be an advocate when he lied.

When you followed up by a different article asserting what I would call a minor point, it does nothing to improve the credibility of the writer or his "interview". One truth does not absolve 100 lies.

Oh, and squirrel. While some of your best friends may have been military personnel, I and lots of my family and friends and co-workers and community have been military.
Family going back to a Bavarian Division which fought under Napoleon and a US Civil War Union General, officers in WWI and WWII. Army, Air Force, Army Air Corps, Marines, Navy. No Coast Guard, however.

I have known hundreds of officers, including one of the Comptrollers of the Army under General Douglas McArthur, at least four Lieutenant Generals, dozens of Brigadiers and full and light Colonels, British, German, Greek, Jordanian, Egyptian, and South Korean officers.

And yes, if I had a sister, I would be proud if she married a soldier.
posted by kablam at 10:48 AM on February 10, 2004


Move to Massachusetts and you can marry a soldier yourself, kablam. ;^) But seriously, look at you exulting in your perceived reflected glory. How pathetic.

And none of your baffling list-making comes close to addressing my original point that soldiers express themselves in a variety of ways.

To review, you claimed that the interviews must be fake because "real military men" talk a certain way. I countered that I know many soldiers, and they have a variety of ways to express themselves.

Can you get it together enough to challenge my claim?
posted by squirrel at 12:30 PM on February 10, 2004


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