Following are the latest three letters from our man in Iraq. David is an NCO that works in Army Intelligence. If you have questions about Iraq, wonder why things are the way they are, or just want to say hi to David, leave a comment and he will get your message.
Evening, friends, I am happy a lot more, and it is hard to be happy here, you feel small pangs of guilt. Guilt for obvious reasons. The realization that I will be here a year is stunning me at the same time. I am hoping it goes slow so I get a lot accomplished but going home is the ultimate goal. its so far away that it seems like its an impossible dream. One part of me expects to die in this country. At first it sickened me, the prospect of falling dead in this land of muslims. It s strange to care WHERE you die. But it mattered to me. Now, after waking in the morning to this land, where the sun breaches the horizon and lifts fast you feel a spirituality here, it may be the desert, or how the wind whistles cool in the morning, or colors of a new day, it feels like a forgotten home. It feels familiar now, it feels closer to a old memory.
I will rant for a little bit, because it will make me feel better. You would think that the morale of the troops would be of the utmost importance to senior NCOs , but we have sergeant majors (not capitalized on purpose) whose sole mission it seems is drive our morale down with the most petty of bullshit. Its like they thing we don’t have enough stress so they artificially manufacture stress.
I am so sick of this army that there is no way in hell I am reenlisting. But the Army will try to fuck me over with a stop loss. Thanks. You try to do your part, pay back the country that gave you and your family so much, and what do they do. They take advantage of it. I just heard that the Alaskan Guard that was over here, who were supposed to have left a month ago but got their deployment extended, well one of their soldiers got killed. Thanks. And this brings up another point.
Most of the soldiers here have families, so the idea of saying anything that is dissenting or against popular opinion could make you lose your rank or prevent you from getting promoted. And how much you earn is directly related to your rank. So in essence the Army prevents dissenters by putting this fear of losing money over the whole active Army. So if you have a family, wife kids, mortagage, car payments, all that stuff. You aren’t going to try and make waves. But I am National Guard, I don’t plan on making the army my career. If they demote me , fine, I don’t have a family to support. I joined the Army for principle, to defend something greater than myself.
Just because I defend freedom should not mean that I can’t use it. We defend the constitution but they try to prohibit our right to free speech. Nothing makes me more upset than this. Tonight I had dining facility guard duty, this is one of our extra duties. It basically means standing at the entrance checking ID’s and preventing people from entering who shouldn’t. It’s a boring job until a sergeant major decides that he is bored and wants to fuck with a junior NCO. Game On. We were not wearing eye protection , which is just clear Oakley glasses, so he had a shit fit about it. As if we could not fire our weapon because we didn’t have our Oakley’s on..
Once I get out of the army I will be very afraid of how our army is run, if we still have jokers like that running shit. We had one Sergeant who was checking to make sure every soldier was carrying their weapon, he asked the chaplain where his weapon was. (chaplains don’t carry weapons) and the officer locked our sergeant up and started yelling at him. A man of god was dressing down one of our sergeants because he asked him where his weapon was. The Chaplain took out his bible and shoved it in the sergeant’s face and said “this is my weapon” as he continued to yell at him. We would never have thought a Chaplain would go off on a sergeant for such a small thing. It was actually funny to think about, because chaplains are supposed to be the most patient reasonable forgiving people in the army. but as it sat in our stomach, we got mad at the nerve of the chaplain. You start to feel these things in you that come as a surprise. One thought I had was taking out a knife and stabbing the chaplain in the face. Now that is a dark thought, and like I say it surprises you and disturbs you when it pops in your head, and you wonder where it comes from? Is it temporary? Is it linked to the enviorment? I don’t know. But you feel like a pack animal, when one of your brothers starts to get attacked, than we circle. I worry what would have happened if I had been out in the field for some time, at my wits end, and saw that happen. I wonder if I would have acted on that dark thought.
I missed the whole celebration of us taking over from the previous unit that is going home. There was ckae, fruit, soda, I slept like a log during the day. I will talk to you guys soon. I know my letters have been a bit drab , I am happy a lot more.
#11 Lottery for Leave
We had our lottery for R and R (Rest and Recovery) leave, of course no one told me, because I work night shift and I was not notified. That’s one of the problems of working nights you’re the last to know about stuff, though its awesome working the nights, the whole base gets lonely in darkness, the roads are empty except for patrols that sweep in and out , but its rather serene on the palace lake. The moon reflects on the surface and stars actually glimmer. So the advantages of night shift are many and I am glad I have turned into an Iraqi owl of sorts. Anyways , I got a pretty good number, but that is relative to when you want to leave. Out of 170 people in the lottery, I got 115. So I can probably take leave around April time period. I wanted to get something closer to the end of deployment, so I could have more time to figure shit out in my head, figure where and what I will do with my life. Maybe go on some job interviews and get some jobs lined up for when I get back. I know a lot of people will be taking vacation after deployment, but I need to start life as soon as possible. I know some people got numbers like 15 and 19 and they are taking leave in one month. That seems way to soon for me. The first few months you are just trying to get used to this place.
I know a guy, Chris who is trying to get a home by trading up from an old skateboard, I think by this writing he has some rubies in his hand just itching to be traded. I like the idea. I have a familiar problem myself. I… I don’t have much when I come back from deployment. I have no job, I have no car, no house, no apartment, no wife, no girlfriend, no children, no car payments, no mortgage, no outstanding debt, no earthly bounds. I will probally have a little cash in my pocket. My problem is the Army has sucked almost all creative free thought from my head. I don’t know who to be when I get back home. So I want to set up a small competition where you think of what I should do with my life. and the prize will be… a Sadaam Hussein lighter that has a picture of Sadaam that flashes red and blue when you flick the lid open to light a cigar. ( you should only really chomp on a cigar when using a Sadaam lighter, no pussy cigarettes for the Sadaam lighter.) You can suggest anything, live vicariously through me. If you decide I should fabricate street surfboards in Poughkeepsie new york while enjoying a hobbie of sheep husbandry be my guess. The person who can find me a path I can follow will soon be smoking with Sadaam Husein . I will try to get a picture up of this valuable artifact of Iraq. Now don’t discredit this find. You will truly become the envy of all your baath party loyalists and fellow imprisoned tyrant dictators.
will soon tell you more of how we operate and my sidekicks in this mad adventure called Operation Iraqi Freedom and how we are trying our hardest to protect freedom,… well at least keep gas prices down in the states. Keep the faith and take more public transportation or walk or take a bike or something.
. and if you think anyone would be interested in these letters you can forward them or send me thier email adress and I will put them on a list. or even better, simply direct them to a cool blog site named, fukn.us
The Iraqi Owl.
#12 The Rise of Death Squads
The rise of death squadsWhat nature of war are we fighting now that gangs of murders are roaming the streets in death squads, discarding bodies on the side of the street. Tortured with power tools and than killed execution style with a bullet through the head. I don’t know anymore what the threat is, is it Al Qaeda, is it the JAM, anti-coalition forces, Sunni and Shia extremists, is it packs of murderous vigilantes. Bagdad has become Hell on earth, the muslims call us the infidel devils but when I see them I see the devil. I see the dark hearted nature of man rise in their body, teeming in their dark eyes. I see them as devils and I am in their hell.
Maybe we should let the country ‘bleed out’ , let the murderers kill eachother, let them fight till the masses are sick of seeing blood on the street. Obviously they are not, they still tolerate it, even the innocents know who these pack of murderers are , my experience in the intelligence field tell me that someone always knows. Those not directly involved are still party to these atrocities, it will take an exhaustion of all Iraqis, Sunni and Shia to tell their religious leaders they are sick of the bloodshed. But unfortunately we don’t hear that. They have not had their fill of blood. Maybe this is a case of battered wife syndrome. These people have been oppressed for so long and ruled by fear that the only thing they understand and react to is a strong hand. Maybe it would be best if we just cleaned house, but our hands are tied in so many ways.
A simple question, do Iraqis deserve to live in Peace? And is it worth American lives for this to happen. I don’t know. I don’t want to die so some Iraqi who already hates me because I am a Jewish American can vote for the most extreme religious fanatic who preaches death to Isreal and death to Americans. That’s not my idea of fun. Or decent. Or worth fighting for. I am not trying to convince my brothers in arms not to fight, this is just my opinion, just the opinion of a pawn on a chess board,
For some reason somehow, the Sunni and Shia have found themselves interlocked in the same city, warring neighborhoods, cars drive in and out kidnapping and killing people. In some ways it is similar to how Protestants and Catholics went after each other, the same disdain and moral and religious superiority they front that gives them the authority and will (from god) to kill their own brother. I don’t understand that. I understand how people would want to run towards the sciences, to facts and natural laws instead of the arbitrary lies of religion that can have you behead your own kind. In the Scientific and math world there are no demagogues blowing hot air to the masses, there is simple facts. Here is to science and math. Drink for me tonight to algebra and trig and chemistry and biology.