I can't speak for those who experienced this attack yesterday, but I can offer some thoughts from my own experience with what is now the 2nd deadliest incident of the war thus far- when two of our Black Hawks collided over Mosul in November of 2003. I was in the Brigade TOC that night. I can tell you what we felt and what we did not feel. We felt anger, we felt a sense of loss, and of course we felt the obvious gut-wrenching pain that comes with finding out that we just lost a lot of fellow soldiers. It's worse when you find out that some of them were close friends.
When the dust settled and the memorial ceremonies were over, we wound up with feelings of resolve and determination to complete the mission. We did not feel sorry for ourselves, but we felt sympathy for the all the people who were so terribly affected by the loss of their loved ones. We did not blame rogue politicians or anti-war protestors back home, but we examined every aspect of what happened and took every possible measure to prevent another similar occurence. This is what I would expect is happening up in the Stryker AO right now.
It's easy to lose faith during times like these, but I would ask that you pay your respects to the victims of this attack, and continue to help the survivors by supporting the mission that these brave heroes gave their lives for.
Thoughts on Najma
Thanks for all your thoughts on the "Najma Situation." I understand that many of you disagree with my handling of the whole thing. I fully expected this, and I respect your opinions. I don't think it should surprise anyone that I'd pull a link to a site that suggests American soldiers should shoot themselves. To those who argued that she is confused and scared and all that- I hear you. I just think she's had more than enough information to go on (including plenty from soldiers who have risked everything in order to help her), and I believe that she is taking the all-too-familiar Islamofascist route- "it can't be Muslims like me- so it must be the American's fault." I won't support that line of thinking, and I won't waste my time debating it. In my opinion, her brainwashing is all but complete. Yes, she called the terrorists "stupid"- but only as an afterthought that followed her nonsensical diatribe about exploding bullets and "irresponsible soldiers." She is a young Islamofascist- and soon she'll be a grown-up one.
We can't be afraid to call Islamofascism what it is. I'm sick of the PC BS, and I'm just not into the "lets just be sensitive and try to understand them" kind of thing. We've been doing that for decades, and that's why we find ourselves in the mess we're in. Having said that, I'll be quick to point out that this doesn't mean that I support the "kill 'em all, sort 'em out later" BS either. We simply need to work with the "good" Iraqis (and there are lots of them) in order to establish a new social fabric that encourages freedom, toleration, education, and understanding- while discouraging the "old culture" that has prevailed for so many years- Americans/westerners are demonic infidels, anyone who disagrees with us shoud be shot, etc. Some people will grow old and die with these arcane beliefs- nothing can prevent that. We just need to make sure they are the minority when they die. This same sort of social revolution happened in Germany and Japan, and soon it will start happening in Iraq and beyond.
I know what Islamofascism is, and I'm going to call it when I see it. As I've said- I really hope she comes around someday. That's all I have to say about that.
Operation Al Franken
Here's a shot of Al and my boss (posted with permission). My boss was kind enough to execute the mission for me, since I was away during Al's visit. Remind me to tell you about the "older" gentleman in the background (wearing a flight suit)- it's a great story.
And now the moment you've all been waiting for...
Here's "big Al" signing my picture of Bill O'Reilly. Now I ask you- how many people have a picture of Bill O'Reilly signed by Al Franken? Sorry, but I just think that's way cool...