Thursday, September 30, 2004

A Cry for Help

I had all these great plans for today's blog, but then I found an urgent email in my inbox. It's from one of my old buddies at the 101st (Captain Eric Simon) who served as a staff officer with me in the 159th Aviation Brigade. He also happens to be quite the filmmaker:


Hey bro, I hope life after Campbell is treating you well. The documentary premiered at Fort Campbell back on September 1st with a good response from everyone in the surveys they filled out. We're still editing, adding last minute stuff and making the final cut.

I'm still looking for footage and photos from OIF - particularly your photos from campus, riot etc. Is there any way you could FEDEX me a CD of all your photos and your miniDV tapes? (I'll reimburse you ASAP and send the miniDVs back once we dub them) You'll get full credit in the film for it too. We're close to finishing up so we'd need them soonest (hence the FEDEX). Someone told me that you made some short videos with your footage? I'd love to see them.

Let me know what you can send. is the website if you'd like to check it out.


Eric Simon

I'll do what I can to get him my videotapes, but YOU people are going to have to help him with the pictures. I think he especially wants any pics from the University and/or from the University riots. I don't have those with me here in Kuwait, so if you have any of those great shots that I sent you last year- please email them to Eric at:

Your help is greatly appreciated. I've seen the teaser for Eric's movie, and I'm sure it will be a powerful and moving film. His main focus is on the tragedies we suffered in November of '03. Check out the website if you don't know what I'm talking about. It's well worth a look.

So the car bombers have continued with their attack on American soldiers and innocent women and children. Unfortunately, it's only going to get worse in the near term. However, this is not the time to get "weak in the knees." I've noticed a disturbing trend in the media. Left-leaning pundits are trying to equate the term "optimistic" with "delusional." Oh those tricky lefties! The fact is, we have very good reason to be optimistic, but don't take my word for it- check out this Washington Post article by LTG Petraeus. If you're prompted for login and password, feel free to register if you want (it's free) or use login: and password: fedup (thanks to the wonderful service provided by

This article is a MUST READ, and he CLEARLY states that a) yes, it's bad right now, b) yes, it'll get worse as elections get closer, and c) he's got a plan to make things better. He gives a quantifiable justification for optimism while admitting that the road ahead will be bloody and ugly (in other words- this is a war). It's a politically unfiltered and unedited assessment straight from the horse's mouth. Just about any liberal will tell you that he's a lunatic- that any suggestion that things will get better equates to "painting a rosy and unrealistic picture of the situation in Iraq." They use that mindless talking point anytime somebody (Allawi, Bush, Petraeus, et al) insists that progress is being made in the face of ugly opposition. Don't let them fool you. It's leftist propaganda and it's wrong. Nobody is suggesting we should believe in a nonexistent fantasyland of peace and happiness over there. What we ARE suggesting (and rightly so) is that Americans need to show strength and resolve when times are tough. There's nothing delusional about that.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Freed Hostages and Kerry is Orange

What a great day we had today. I'm sure you've noticed the lack of news coming out of Iraq today, and I assure you that it's not due to the increased coverage of John Kerry's outrageous tan. It's really been quiet all day, and that's good news. You might have heard about all those kidnapped hostages being released, but this isn't ALWAYS good news. It's certainly good for the people who were released, but there's a disturbing trend. You may be surprised to learn that Iraqi kidnappings are mostly criminals and thugs just chasing a few bucks. Very few of them are politically or religiously motivated. As the article clearly states, the kidnapping problem is a direct reflection of Iraq's current security problem. Right now, it's considered to be a relatively low-risk/high-reward industry. This will change as the security situation improves.

If you're wondering why so many people have doubts about the future of security in Iraq, I'll tell you that it's because the American people don't know what the plan is. I know what the plan is, and I'm telling you it's solid. I'll touch on it more in the next few days, but I'll start by telling you that Iraqi security is in the hands of my old boss, LTG David Petreaus. He's in charge of training the LEADERSHIP of the new Iraqi Security Forces, which is something we failed to do properly immediately following the invasion. His operation is considered to be the main effort in Iraq right now, and I'm quite certain that he is the most qualified man on this planet for the job. You haven't heard much about this so far, but that's about to change as the elections get closer. More to follow on that.

This was my favorite story of the day. It really gives you a sense of how tough your job can be when you're required to help those who wish to kill you. It happens EVERY DAY in Iraq, and you probably never hear about it.

While Delorimier, and Army Doctor, was cleaning the patient’s wounds, he said an American lieutenant began interrogating the patient.

“Apparently the guy I was working on was an Iraqi insurgent who was shooting [rocket propelled grenades] at a few of our boys, but he missed each time. When he realized our Soldiers were going to capture him, he decided he was going to take some American lives and be a suicide bomber. Instead he blew a hand grenade under his butt and it blew a bunch of shrapnel into his left thigh and hand.”

Delorimier said while the story of the patient he was working on unfolded, a fury began to build up inside of him.

“The more of the story I heard, the more angry I got,” he said. “But I was still able to do my job and realized I am a professional and I’m going to take care of this guy. If I was the doctor taking care of Saddam Hussein, I would still have bad feelings about it, but I would have bitten my tongue and taken care of him just like I do with any of my patients. It’s the professional thing to do.”

Read the rest here...

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

First Strike

I guess all bad things must come to a beginning, so here's my first unofficial entry into the "blogosphere." I started bouncing around various blogs about a year ago, and I should have started one up last year while I was in Mosul with the 101st Airborne Division. Instead, I periodically sent blast emails to all concerned and wound up having to answer a million grateful replies, which I did to the best of my ability. Yes, in retrospect, blogging would have been much easier. This is a "milblog," so I'm going to post war-related information first and foremost. I won't spew pro-war propaganda or "go get 'em" rhetoric. I'll simply offer a refreshing alternative to the doom and destruction that you get from the mainstream media (MSM). I don't think the MSM has an anti-American bias, and I don't think they willingly give terrorists a voice. I think they chase profits. Nothing generates profits in the world of journalism better than sex (Lyndie England is pregnant and she's pointing at naked genitalia!), scandal (Abu Ghraib, faulty intel, Chalabi), and violence (car bombs, car bombs, and more car bombs). Unfortunately, the media's need for profits is often to the advantage of our enemy (and struggling Presidential candidates, but that's another story). This upsets a lot of people, but we have to remember that capitalism is our way of life. It's what we're fighting for. We can't change how the news industry reports the news, but we CAN make a difference- we can share information using all this great technology that REALLY smart Americans (not Al Gore) created many years ago. If you don't think blogs can have an impact, I'd like to introduce you to my friend Dan Rather. Blogs have already changed the face of the media, and they're just getting started. Might as well get used to it…

Where do I stand?

In the interest of full disclosure, I lean right of center. I'm not a right-wing freak, but I'm not afraid of those who are. My main concern is the radicals on the left. It's not just because they agree with terrorists about so many things- it's all the lies and propaganda. I've never seen them present facts, yet they always seem to be armed with facts. Example: Michael Moore says Bush was "in bed" with the Saudis in the plot to bring down the towers (clearly not a fact). He proves this by pointing out that a guy who served with Bush in Texas 35 years ago (fact) handled a bank account for one of bin Laden's 43 half step-brothers or 4th cousins or whatever (fact). He then lists about 20 other facts with the same kind of smoke-and-mirrors spin, and he winds up the illusion of infallibility. He proves that Iraq was a peace-loving utopia (clearly not a fact) by showing a video clip of of children playing in a Baghdad playgroud (fact). It's clearly outrageous, but SO MANY people buy into it. Not because they're really THAT ignorant, but because they really WANT to believe it. It's strange, and I'd never be able to explain it as well as Ann Coulter does in this Frontpage interview. As for me, I'm more in line with former lefty Christopher Hitchens. I think Bill O'Reilly is the "most fair" talking-head pundit out there right now, and I think he represents the "mainstream" view of America at large. I enjoy the sometimes over-the-top rantings of right-wing pundits like Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, and even the infamous Rush Limbaugh. I think it's their passionate hatred of the left that I find so amusing. I have liberal friends and family members (and I love them all!), but I respectfully disagree with them and move on (.org) when issues arise, which doesn't happen often. My brother is actually a stark-raving lefty, and if you don't believe me, check out his looney-toonish website. Hey, don't laugh- he'll be famous one day.

Why do I support the War in Iraq?

First, I'll say that it has nothing to do with the fact that I've been an active participant in it since it started. I decided that it was the right thing to do long before I went over there two Februaries ago. I don't think it would be right for me to say that the invasion was "right" and anyone who disagrees is "wrong." Mostly because I know that there are LOTS of people who are much smarter than I (PhD's, Professors, Generals, etc) who disagree with me. What qualifies me to be smarter than them? My bachelor's degree and my 1+ year of combat experience? Not even. I also realize that there are LOTS of people (PhD's, Professors, Generals, etc) who AGREE with me. Both sides of the debate are represented by some of the greatest minds on this planet. These great minds arrived at different conclusions based on what they've learned in life, how they were raised, and what they believe. As long as we debate fairly, nobody gets hurt. My concern is when people (like Mike Moore) take a "back road" in order to support their argument- trying to promote horrible theories that they know for a fact aren't true. It's a "means" justifies the "end" sort of tactic that is often dangerous and irresponsible during time of war. When people ask me why I believe in the invasion and subsequent occupation, I try to explain it in 20 words or less, but I rarely make any sense. If you really want a good rundown of how I see things, I'd prefer you get it from smarter folks than I. Check out this article by Christopher Hitchens. You also need to browse The Clash of Civilizations and the Great Caliphate by Larry Abraham. I'd also recommend Undeclared World War III by Haim Harari. It's all good reading, I assure you. I'll be posting things from time to time, and hopefully we'll all learn a few things. Take care, and thanks for stopping by.