Chief Wiggles
June 7, 2003 6:39 PM   Subscribe

Chief Wiggles -- Straight from Iraq. Lost amid the writings of Salam Pax and Lt. Smash, a small voice, an author with a depth of feeling quietly leaves his words on the web for family and friends to read. His prose evoke feelings and draw you into his world of flies, heat and sand. A worthwhile read for all. (via Brain graze.)
posted by Baesen (21 comments total)
After finding this site, I didn't move until I had read all of his writings. I was very touched by what he had to say and by the way he said it. I felt like I truly understood what it was like to be there. I often find the writings of Lt. Smash to be stilted and I have a hard time understanding its popularity. This is the kind site I have looked for, one that doesn't mind making mistakes and letting us see them. One unafraid to show his frustration, his emotion. All this time I have enjoyed Salam's writings, I've finally found one on the US side that I enjoy. I know you won't all agree with Chief Wiggles, I just hope you enjoy the opportunity to see the war from a different perspective.
posted by Baesen at 6:40 PM on June 7, 2003

Today we thought would be a good day to play Good Luck Fairies again. I felt the urge, felt the wings sprouting and I thought it would be fun. So we started out by coming up with a large box of apples, ok we stole them, no we procured them, along with a few small bags of ice and took it out to the prisoners, the high-ranking officers. It is worth doing just to see the looks on their face. Of course this is all part of our strategy to win their hearts and minds. We were also able to locate a few bags of pita bread to go with the other stuff.

No irony, no nothin'. This guy's either the US Military's blogbot or it's being filtered by small minded chumps who think everybody in the world are also small minded chumps. This is absurd.

We have 150,000 Americans over there in the opressive heat, far from home, have been so for a long time, miss their families, weighed down with layers of gear, facing off 20 million uncertain Iraqis, in a country as big as Texas and Chief Wiggles somehow gets an organic blog to squirt through to the rest of us untouched by a war machine in the throes of damage control?

Color me skeptical.
posted by crasspastor at 7:38 PM on June 7, 2003

Wow. I was taken into his world with comments like this:

Good morning Iraq. Another day of uninterrupted sweating, dripping from every pore like a leaky faucet all day. From the minute I wake up in the morning until I lay down at night, my clothes are soaked with sweat. I have been running every morning, around 6:30 with a fellow officer, running and then working out doing some pushups and sit-ups. After really getting heated up it takes most of the rest of the day just trying to cool down enough to stop the sweating. Fortunately, they have set up a mess hall that has air-conditioning, so at least while we are eating we are cooling down. But, even now as I am sitting here in my room, I am sweating and it is only 0930 in the morning. My back is soaked, my t-shirt is dripping, and it isn't really hot yet. My salt stained cloth folding lounge chair is proof that a whole lot of sweating has been going on here. Normally that would be a good sign that a whole lot of calories are being burned but I am sure it is just the loss of water. We end up drinking about 6 or 7 of the 2-liter bottles of water a day. There have been many mornings where just a simple task like putting on my boots will begin the process and within a few minutes have the sweat just dripping off of my forehead. It is so dry and hot here, that even though I mopped the floor of our room just a few minutes ago, the water has already dissipated. I washed my pillowcase about an hour ago, but you would never know it by touching it, because it is already totally dry.

And other comments like:

There are two sides to our world over here. There is a good side, with good people who really do want Iraq to be free, with all the freedoms that we enjoy. There is also a bad side full of the most evil parts of society. The way our attitudes form here is based on the type of interaction we have with the people we come in contact with. There are many of my friends in Baghdad having a much different experience than I, due to the fact that they see all the bad stuff that is still going on in Baghdad and this alone has jaded their attitude about this country.

The war of good and evil goes on day after day. The very worst of this society in all of its appetites, greed and lust, is still fighting against the goodness that is trying to rear its head after being suppressed for so long. There are still many evil men that have other plans for this place and have begun to fill the void left with Saddam's departure. Evil barely skipped a beat, transforming itself into another form or figure in order to continue the fight against what is good. It is as if evil's goal is to control the minds and will of all people, controlling another human being, which translates into power and wealth.

Organized crime took over the minute Baghdad fell. They were up and running in so many parts of this society, snatching up opportunities to exercise unrighteous dominion over another person in order to get personal gain. It is just amazing the number of groups of opposing organizations that exist here, that are in constant turmoil, jockeying for position.

I guess I just don't understand where you are coming from. In these writings, I see the human side of the soldiers we have there. They get frustrated, angry, sad, tired, the entire range of emotions. This includes the comment you quoted and the idea of charity towards others, even if there is an ulterior motive.

I've found the writings to be fascinating.
posted by Baesen at 8:58 PM on June 7, 2003

Gee Baesen - Interesting all of the Self postings in this thread,

Another Blog from what seems to be another soldier, or their ilk who wants the world to know "Gee it's like 'complex' or something" over here, and I'm hot and lots of people hate me and I drink lots of water!", So What? What's next, Spider racing?!? I've been there done that, Hell I Even "really" Been there and done that in 91, We went to war over BULLSHIT and he wants the world not to hate him, good for him, but So what?
Frankly if people don't know this by now, they ain't worth talking too. and this guy whining about it ain't gonna help anything.

HEY KIDS, new Idea! Lets quit invading places, then folks wont hate us! whatcha think?!?
posted by Elim at 12:13 AM on June 8, 2003

Is there any question as to the conditions of all the lives involved in and around Iraq? I'm not impugning you Baesen nor am I impugning Chief Wiggles. But his perky giving pitas to the prisoners bullshit is bullshit. Pitas are goddamn Greek! How dare he insinuate how laid back he is by intimating that he "liberated" some of the good stuff (like pitas) from the rations of our soldiers to give to the prisoners he simultaneously, whether we want to admit or not, oppresses? How Spunky! Atta Boy! This shit going on over in Iraq is not some fucking fluffy character filler story on KRAP 10@Ten. This is real life and death stuff for all lives involved. Why doesn't Chief Wiggles give guest blogging status to one the imprisoned Iraqis? I mean if they deserve a pilfered pita or two, why not their voices?

Shills wear uniforms too.
posted by crasspastor at 12:20 AM on June 8, 2003

I have to agree Crasspastor I too call Shenanigans
posted by Elim at 12:37 AM on June 8, 2003

It looks like Chief Wiggles has disappeared (at least for the moment). In case anyone needs it here is the google cache from June 6.
posted by taz at 1:11 AM on June 8, 2003

We went to war over BULLSHIT

Are you talking about 1991? Because lots of kurds and Kuwaitis might disagree pretty thoroughly with that, and probably lots more Americans who were also there.

I thought Wiggles was an interesting read, and I appreciate your having found it, Baesen. Thanks.

I hope the troops can get out of there as soon as is humanly possible.
posted by hama7 at 1:31 AM on June 8, 2003

Are you talking about 1991?

And if you mean now, there are and were plenty of good reasons for the removal of Hussein, genocidal tyrant and his terrorist supporting regime.
posted by hama7 at 1:33 AM on June 8, 2003

crasspastor, it's possible that the blog may be bogus, or "sponsored", but pita bread is indigenous to the area, so there's nothing odd there...
posted by taz at 1:37 AM on June 8, 2003

Are you talking about 1991?

Then, now, it matters not, Back then we did not go to war to free the Kurds or any one else, we went to ensure kuwait's oil supplies were not interrupted for any length of time first, and now "Who the hell knows"

Bush says one thing Ari another and the Wolfowitz, comes outta nowhere as says OIL again,

I call Bullsh*t.... Removing Saddam seems just to be a side benefit.

Now we STILL don't want the Shia or the Kurds to create their own nations - so it ain't about that,

We Had/have no credible proof he helped Al Qaida, "that was Saudi and Paki help there" so that ain't it....

We basically knew we wouldn't find WMDs, so that ain't it,

We put Saddam Back in power in 91, so it ain't regime change,

We took away our promise of an elected government to be created right away "And their free press too" so the idea of it bringing US democracy goes,

We didn't give a damn about Kurds, and Iraqi freedom 12 years ago, and I just can't see Bush jr giving a damn now, So I doubt it's that

Hmm what are we down to? ... Oh yeah Bullsh*t thats what...
posted by Elim at 1:52 AM on June 8, 2003

there are and were plenty of good reasons for the removal of Hussein, genocidal tyrant and his terrorist supporting regime.

'"Well, would you have left Saddam in power?"

This is the right-wing question de jour because they believe it puts opponents of the war in an impossible position. Say "yes," and it doesn't matter what else you say, the attack machine has you in its cross hairs. Say "no," and the obvious response is "so what you are bitching about?"'

posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:48 AM on June 8, 2003

Well, I just shot my argument in the foot!

The pilfered goods to be given to what I thought to be Iraqi prisoners is actually to officers upon closer reading. Hahahaha. . .

Nevertheless, this is not funny or light or anything Chief Wiggles makes it out to be. I'm not even there, but I was nauseous throughout March and April, barely able to eat a thing. I was worried about them. All of them.

Pro Troops, Anti-War as they say.
posted by crasspastor at 3:01 AM on June 8, 2003

'"Well, would you have left Saddam in power?"

Nobody asked that, but since you linked to antiwar, you might be interested to know that they have interesting bedfellows, including other anti-war conservatives like Pat Buchanan who has some intreresting ideas about Jewish conspiracies and things, which nudges him toward the list of People Whose Opinions Should Be Overlooked, and closer to the folks at, who could find a Jewish conspiracy behind a boiled egg.

Antiwar also is anti-Israel, and anti-logic it seems sometimes.

Anyway, there is plenty of evidence pointing to Hussein's support of terrorism.

Still, some are still willing to give supposedly credible evidence the benefit of the doubt, and wait for the search for weapons to be completed. Time will tell, and Wiggly and the guys are the ones to hear the news first.
posted by hama7 at 3:18 AM on June 8, 2003

This is a post about a blog, folks. The interesting questions are "is the blog for real?"; assuming it is, "are there other GI-bloggers out there?"; "What do you think of this guy's experience?", etc. Just about the only uninteresting discussion that can come of this is another pro-war/anti-war sludge pit. Really. Please.
posted by taz at 5:38 AM on June 8, 2003

HEY KIDS, new Idea! Lets quit invading places, then folks wont hate us! whatcha think?!?

Actually, I'm rather pleased to be hated by corrupt dictators, murderous and bigoted theocrats, and the bloodthirsty, ignorant and anti-semitic 'street'. To be liked by people like that would be embarrassing.

Don't you agree?
posted by Slithy_Tove at 5:56 AM on June 8, 2003

Oh, dear Heaven, not again.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 6:09 AM on June 8, 2003

Don't you agree?

I do.
posted by hama7 at 6:16 AM on June 8, 2003

No irony, no nothin'. This guy's either the US Military's blogbot or it's being filtered by small minded chumps who think everybody in the world are also small minded chumps. This is absurd.

Or maybe he's just a "small minded chump" himself, naturaly free of the desire to be snarky. Ya think?
posted by delmoi at 6:18 AM on June 8, 2003

No I don't think. There is no way any skeptical snarky voice on the ground in Iraq is going to be allowed out by the Managers of this invasion. Therefore reading it isn't all that informative, nor all that heartwarming. I want to hear about the mature feelings of unlikely lives touching one another in ways nobody's mother would have imagined their child would be doing twenty years on. I want to make sense of this shit as an adult, not as yet another episode of "we're right, you're wrong and you need to appreciate it as such."

Nope. Not a chance. We're not idiots. Actions have consequences. I want to hear about the consequences, because when the shit settles at the bottom of the bowl that's really all that matters. We can't roleplay this ineffectual crap anymore. Lives are being changed and destroyed. I simply think we'd better get a mature view on things lest we annihillate ourselves in the belief of the fleeting existence of our own fantasy land.
posted by crasspastor at 2:15 PM on June 8, 2003

Hello folks. I suppose I need to make a comment here. First, to condemn my bro-in-law for posting this. I'm sure he felt that since it was making the rounds of some of the larger blogs, it was safe to post here. He did not warn me before he posted the thread or I would have stopped him, especially because I know the cynical attitude and comments it would garnish.

I am the person that is managing the blog,

Chief Wiggles is a real live part-time US soldier. He has been one for over 30 years. He is one of my best friends. He is well educated with a wonderful family. He is one of the nicest, most generous people you could ever meet.

Chief Wiggles was originally writing in his journal and sending it by email to his wife and family. They began sharing his thoughts, feelings and experiences with others.

When Chief Wiggles mother passed away, he was granted a short compassionate leave to come home and bury her. During this time, he and I talked about his journal and I suggested he post it to the web where it would be easily accessible to family and friends. With my help, he has done so.

These journal entries are not fabricated and I spend a quick time editing out any names he might accidently include. Other than that, there is nobody looking over his shoulder at what he writes.

To be blunt, I'm considering removing it from the web as I don't want him to have any problems. I don't think he has written anything that would get him in trouble though, I'm leaving the final decision up to him for now.

For what it's worth, that's the whole story.
posted by Plunge at 5:14 PM on June 9, 2003

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