Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Fallujah's Struggling Cease-Fire

More planes bomb insurgent positions and recently a big firefight between insurgence and US Marines take place. All this, during a supposed truce between the forces. I don't believe this truce is going to hold up, but than again, I doubt most people really believe it will hold up either. Considering the willingness of the insurgence to put innocent life in harms way, I don't see how anyone could believe they will put down their weapons. I hope this can be solved, and we can finally go back to rebuilding the nation and finally bring our brothers, sisters, sons and daughters home.

Just in the recent days, we started to do EIB (Expert Infantry Badge) training. The first day, we did day and night land navigation, from which I got numerous scratches from rose bushes and all types of other vegetation that you can't see at night. Today, we did the "lanes" which are a bunch of little tasks you have to do in a certain order in a given amount of time. Such as, setting up a claymore or putting together a .50 caliber machine gun. There are dozens of these different tasks you have to do. The best one we practiced for today I think was calling for indirect fire (mortars, artillery) to hit a certain target. It seemed complicated at first, until you get the formula down and it is extremely easy, you just gotta practice alittle bit and you can have indirect hitting a designated target in seconds. In a couple of weeks of practice, we will finally do our test. I am going to study for this like studying for the final exam at school which you ride on for passing, I really want this EIB so I dont have to suffer through the agonizing 12 mile road march you must complete in 3 hours with about 70 pounds total of gear you are carrying.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

More Bombings

Some car bombings in Basrah killed 70 people, 18 of them being children. Surprisingly, Basrah has been a really passive city with hardly any bad things making the news. Though, I'm sure alot of fire fights go unreported there, just like when I was in Baghdad during my 1 year Combat tour. Alot of people keep telling me to keep my head down, so I guess these are people who think I am still in Iraq. The truth is, I just arrived back in the States from Iraq in late march. I was there during the war. Now, I am back home in the States watching the news just like everyone else, though I still have sources inside Iraq now. Friends of mine in other units that are still there that I talk to from time to time. I was going to stop posting back when I just got back from Iraq, but many people encouraged me to stay on and keep posting about my experiences and what I thought about current affairs.

I've gone through numerous internet chat rooms, some you can tell are all foreigners because of all the frothing hate they have towards the USA and it's military they express. I especially get annoyed when they talk about the US military deliberating targeting civilians. This is very ignorant way of thinking. Soldiers are just doing their jobs, they were told to go to Iraq, they didn't have a choice, and people have the nerve to criticize them when they have to defend themselves. Blame Bush and the US government, but don't blame the guys living day to day one day at a time trying to survive trying to support their family thousands of miles and make it by in the world. Soldiers are human beings just like anyone else, we have family who care about us and worry about us, we are not robots.

I think what is happening in Fallujah, is a battle in Iraq that was supposed to take place during the war, but never did. In the beginning, it was like a big race toward Baghdad. Alot of cities were bypassed to avoid fighting and to go straight for the Jugular. So, alot of the fighters never got a chance to confront the US forces, and I think this was probably a big mistake. Hopefully, this can be resolved soon.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Spain leaves, Al-Jazeera and Detroit Red Wings

Kudos to Spain for giving terrorists a glimmer of hope. In all seriousness, this is demoralizing for me. I think we can do the job without them, not like their couple thousand had a really big impact on the situation. Though, I think they will continue to fight the war on terror. Hopefully the terrorists don't see this as an example of their actions on March 11 as a way to tear the Coalition apart. I don't care what anyone says about the "Iraqis want you out" bs. I've been to Iraq for a year, and I've seen huge improvement there during my combat tour there. Alot of Iraqis would help Americans by bringing forward information on trouble makers. People would wave at us and give us thumbs up. The only place I believe really where Iraqis hate us, is in Fallujah, Ramadi and Tikrit. That is because they all were fat and happy when Saddam was in power. Plus, my friends told me about Fallujah and how bad it was. Other cities I've been to people were so happy to see us. So, I don't buy any of this crap about all this resistance that is growing, the only place I can believe that is in Fallujah and the other cities I named. I remember an Iraqi telling me he saw graffiti on the street saying "1 American is better than 1000 tikrits." So obviously, Baghdadis don't really like them or Fallujah. Alot of them said America should just level the towns with bombs. I am starting to agree with their philosophy.

Them guys at Al-Jazeera really got alot of nerve. They like to point out the fact that the US Army is Himmler Waffen SS. However, they can't look at the mirror and see how the "brave and glorious" resistance in Palestine blow up areas in Israel packed with as many woman and children as possible. In the military, you are trained to be aggressive for one reason, to come home alive. That is mission priority ABOVE anything else, is to come home alive. If that means not winning hearts and minds, then that is going to have to do. I don't know about anyone else, but i'm not going to die just to win hearts and minds. Also, i'm not going into a building packed with enemy fighters and send in my boys and get killed to clear it when the logical thing to do is level the building. I know the US military isn't taking hostages. This is an act of desperation. They can't win in a real fight, so they gotta use dirty tactics, like us Ambulances to carry weapons and ammo and fighters. YES, they really do this kind of stuff, I was there in Baghdad when they figured it out it was being done to get weapons past checkpoints. They also really put woman and children in front of them while fire, this is also not a fairy tale, it REALLY happens, I've seen it with my very own eyes. In combat, it's either you or them, and it's sad, but you may have to kill a woman being used as a shield in order to kill him, but it's a fact of life, and it's very sad. Arabs aren't very renowned for marksmanship skills, as I've seen very often, plus they have showed a willingness to kill innocent people without thinking twice about it, so I doubt all these innocent people getting hurt are from the "evil occupiers."

In other news, Red Wings eliminated the Nashville Predators. I'm from Michigan, so i'm a HUGE Red Wings fan, and I love to play hockey. This brings them to round 2 in the playoffs. I think the Red Wings have probably the best chance to win the Stanley cup, they definitely have the leadership to do it, and much of the guys are hockey veterans. We'll see though, should be interesting.

Saturday, April 17, 2004

Pictures Section

I finally got done with my pictures section for the web site. You can easily find it under the link to my e-mail address. I am still working on getting more and more pictures. But it's a real pain in the $@# to get them all scanned and trying to flip them around to where they are presentable on here. So please be patient.

Not much else going on in the news. Except an Italian got executed by the scum bags in Fallujah. He is being hailed as a hero in Italy showing resistance shouting "Let me show you how an Italian dies" to his cowardly captures just before they shoot him. Much of Italy is in rage over this incident, hope they can find a some peace in the bravery this man showed, and reflects well upon all Italians. All I can say is, thank god we have such great allies that have stood by us in this terrible time. They were not attacked on Sept 11, and it really shows how committed they are to the war on terror when even in the face of adversity.

By the way, if anyone could point me in the right direction to a free webhost that does not suck. Any webhost I use will only let a certian ammount of people see my webpage with pics at any given time. I would really appreciate it if someone could help be get a good free webhost.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Fragile Truce

The assault on Fallujah looks pretty imminent now. Helicopters and Warplanes hammering at the positions of known insurgence. I guess, in my eyes, and in the eyes of many other people it's a good thing. Though, i'm sure other people are horrified. War is a dirty business, and is bad. However, freedom is not free and it comes at a very high cost. I think people should stop living in this dream world about world peace. Humans have a big flaw about fighting their own brother. That is apart of NATURE. It is an idea that will only lead to frustration and heart break, but it will never happen. The reason is, there will always be misunderstanding and misinterpretations. There will always be some crazy man in control of another country. Back to what I was saying. I hope no one really thought the insurgence would put down their weapons and try and make Iraq a better place. I predicted that they would do this just like the Hamas in Palestine when they made their truce. They pretend to be interested, but are using that precious time to re-arm and re-fit and organize more attacks. Plus. I and like many other people don't think you can negotiate with these people and so I think we need to "damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!"

Looks like Israel is pulling from the West Bank. I wonder how long that will last. I hope it all works out though. I don't think it will though. Some suicide bomber will attack Israel, and they will ruin any chance they had at peace for at least a year.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004


The siege on Fallujah has created much controversy throughout the media. That the leaders in high places are making really bad decisions with an extremely well trained military force. One argument I heard is that the American forces need to stop down from showing the Iraqis who is boss type of action and to winning more hearts and minds. They even tell us to look at the British example in Basrah that seems to be just peachy. I think this is crap. First off, there have been confrontations in Basrah, and secondly they British are in control of a city in the south. America is in control of the most populated areas of the entire region and therefore, because the US has the biggest presence it would likely become the target of insurgence. They have been some failures dues to the occupation, such as being able to provide electricity and running water to everyone. Others soldiers I have talked to have understood that this is a mistake also. However, it was never easy to begin with. I can't blame some Iraqis for being upset with the occupation with not being able to fix the power grid, but even the best estimates say the grid is so run down from lack of maintenance and lack of good parts for a decade from the sanctions have made it to a problem that will take years to fix. The problem with running water is they are dependant on electricity. When I was in the city for most of the time in Iraq, when the power went out, when I was taking a shower, a few minutes later the shower stopped working and no water was running in the faucet. In our area, we had several generators which were about the size of a truck or a car that we would use to run when the electricity went out. We also let alot of the other locals tap into our generator so they could have electricity when it went out too. Though, it started pissing us off when some of the locals, without asking would just tap into our generator without asking and therefore make the generator suck up all the gasoline alot quicker forcing us to have tanker trucks come by almost everyday when it used to be needed once a week. They neighborhood was all very happy about us being there. Especially during the looting, it made any bad guys think twice about coming into their neighborhood and causing trouble.

Insurgence have been capturing many many hostages, threatening that the US must stop it's assault on Fallujah or they will be killed. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the Marines are doing a hell of a job kicking their ass. So, they started resorting to holding hostages in order to stop the onslaught. I don't think anyone should really be surprised that they would resort to this measure. After all, in the war, we had to be really cautious with taking prisoners, because they sometimes pretended to surrender and would fire on us. They believe it is totally fine for them to attack innocent people and use dirty tactics, but they cry bloody murder when the USA lays the hammer down on these thugs. I live in a pretty liberal town in Michigan, in fact, Michigan is considered a democrat state. While i'm here on leave, I ask people all around what they think about us negotiating with these thugs in Fallujah, and almost all of them will tell you that we should not negotiate with terrorists and go through the city and crush them. They may have been against the war, but they don't think it's possible to negotiate with terrorists, as they will tell you that it's impossible. If taking hostages and threatening to kill them is not terrorism, then I do not know what is. I've noticed, being in the Army, that the use of force does work. I'm not saying you need to use force in every situation, in fact, force should be the last resort. But, I don't believe using force wont solve anything, when it sure as hell solved world war 2. I don't think we could have made a deal with Hitler. As terrible the idea does sound, it is the fact of life in places like Iraq and Somalia and many other places. Whoever has the guns rules, and we have really big guns. I remember how peaceful it was when the war was over in Iraq, no one would even think of messing with American soldiers because of the firepower we were allowed to use. Now, the enemy sees we are cant use all that power and use it against us with dirty tactics. I really hope this can be peacefully solved, however I don't think it will. I believe the insurgence will pretend to lay their arms down, but in that time, they will be planning a counterattack, just like the Palestinian/Israeli truce alittle while ago that fell apart.

Also, I am working on a Photos section for my website. It is currently under construction. However, while I am working it. I made a quick page with a few pics taken of me. You can find the link right below the link to my e-mail.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Uncertain Future

Things are starting to look bleak in the eyes of the world. It reminds me alot of what I've seen on the history channel and what I've learned in High school. It all looks too familiar to the Tet Offensive. I am for one, not comparing the Vietnam war to Iraq, just the result of the Tet Offensive seems similar. I remember that a major offensive was conducted all over Vietnam, and yet we kicked the living hell out of them. However, it gave the world an image that the war has turned against us. I truly believe this is happening now. We can and will crush these militia forces with our military skill and might. However, I don't think we will win the war of opinion. I'm having a hard time talking to my family who are mostly liberals who think we should just leave and nuke the country. They don't see Iraqis as being worth losing one American soldier for. I keep sticking up for them though. I guess I love my country so much, I don't want to see us be humiliated send our military home in disgrace. And the Arabs will claim it as a military victory and that they are stronger than the United States because we ran away. That will be one of the darkest days of my life. I will surely be ashamed of being American if that happens. I don't want to sound like a war monger, but I just wish I could be in Fallujah helping those Marines kick ass. I guess I already did my part in ass kicking when the war started and during the time we did many raids. I guess I miss the feeling of putting my life in the hands of my brother and him trusting me with his life. For us, it is not about fighting for the glory of America, it is fight for each other. It's all about the men next to you, and that's it. America is still suffering from her wounds she received in Vietnam. I don't want to have to deal with a new one. We are kicking the hell out of the insurgence, and yet it seems like we are losing the war. It is really hard to understand. Other times, I do really wonder if American lives are worth losing trying to save Iraq from herself. I don't know how this situation will be resolved with us being there. The militias and terrorists, who are now desperate, and taking hostages to stop the onslaught. If we negotiate with them, it only allows them to get more time to re-organize and prepare for more attacks. I don't believe negotiating with them will work, I think we should just go in a crush them. However, we win militarily, but we lose politically no matter what. The only hope that I have right now that the nation I love and care for so much, to not be sent home in disgrace is if Bush stays in office. I think that will be really hard. Anyone who thinks Bush is real popular is delusional. Alot of people are upset with him. I want us to stay there and finish the job, and if we do not have the intestinal fortitude to crush this resistance, then I fear we will have to pull out in disgrace. I don't think Americans are worth losing if you're not willing to go all the way.

Friday, April 09, 2004

Bomber Attack on Fallujah Mosque

I now hear that many Arabs and other people are screaming about a laser bomb guided bomb that struck a Mosque in the flash point city of Fallujah. If this was just an unprovoked attack, then I would agree that this is unacceptable. However, attackers had barricaded themselves inside the Mosque. That immediately means that very Mosque is being used for military operations and therefore is a valid target. It really frustrates me that they think they can go inside a Mosque and fire RPGs and Assault rifles at our soldiers from inside and they think they are going to be safe. There will be no sanctuary where they hide and fire at us from. They need to get used to the idea that if you attack our troops, we are not just going to let them. Just like with anything else, you can't expect for them to not defend themselves. In the Infantry, we believe very strongly that if you know a building is being used by the enemy to attack us that is full of enemy, instead of risking our lives foolishly by trying to enter inside and do room-to-room fighting, we will just launch a missile up their ass. In places like Fallujah, Ramadi, and Tikrit, you HAVE to be tough to stay alive. If you are not tough, the enemy will use this weakness against you and you will start to lose a hell of alot more American soldiers and Iraqis civilians than you would have. If someone shot at me, and if I saw the muzzle flash coming from YOUR church, you better sure as hell believe you're a military target and won't be assumed as civilian according to that.

Al-Jazeera and other news stations seem very very eager to report on the very regrettable loose of life by civilians caught in the cross fire. Now, it's important to tell this side of the story, but not as the WHOLE side of the story like Al-Jazeera presents. They show very gruesome detail on bodies of children and other people. However, when the American contractors were mutilated, none of the Middle East news organizations got into detail about it, like they do with what is going on now. Even Al-Jazeera didn't show ANYTHING at all and hardly even talked about it. Civilian loose is very sad, but it is reality. Just because innocent people may die, doesn't invalidate the nessesarity of war. My heart goes out to those who have lost a loved one who was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, but as an American soldier, I KNOW we do not indiscriminately shoot at everything that moves. I think this is very ignorant reporting by these news agencies and I see it as nothing less than propaganda. At least in America, they tell the whole story, they even talk about civilians getting killed. If Al-Jazeera was reporting for America instead of Middle East, the way they would handle it is by calling all Iraqis evil terrorists and wouldn't talk about anything besides how important it is that they be destroyed.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Al-Sadr, Fighting in Fallujah and EIB

It looks like the US Government is now starting to have serious thought of maybe trying to apprehend this lunatic, Al-Sadr. However, there are many problems that come with this. My stance is kind of mixed. I can't really decide what I think should be done. Going after him could very well rally moderates who don't support him. However, it seems rather crazy to let a man like this run around. It's a tough issue, because I know Israel has the same problem with Arafat. Most Palestinians did not support him until Israel started to make threats towards him. Now, they have seemed to rally behind him.

There has been fierce fighting in Fallujah since the Marines entered the city. Many Marines have been killed and injured. I have never been to Al-Fallujah. I mostly stayed in Baghdad my entire time after the war. However, I do know from many of my friends who have been there, it is a very dangerous place for Americans. This major operation I think is long over due and needs to continue. I think alot of Americans have been dieing because the government hasn't allowed us to really take the gloves off since the war was over. I kind of feel they haven't allowed us to really deal major blows to the resistance. That is why I think the situation is where it is now. Maybe I shouldn't say this, but even being in the major war in Iraq in March. I kind of feel I am missing out and wish I was in Iraq and fighting again.

Today my Platoon had to conduct a 12 mile Road March in 3 hrs or under. Carrying a 40 pound rucksack and a m4 Carbine and all our battle gear (Ammo vest, helmet and weapon magazines). It is a difficult task to complete in 3 hours. Last year, I was not able to do it. However, this year I did make it, but under considerable torcher. My entire body is sore and I am walking with a limp from the blisters in my feat. Anyway, the point of all this is to earn the EIB (Expert Infantry Badge). It is a coveted badge to earn in the Infantry, and is not easy to get. However, the road march is the hardest physically to do during the whole EIB. It was the most difficult march I had done in my 2 years of service, but I wasn't going to give up. Now, all we have to do are classes and land navigation. I am going to try really hard to get my EIB. Which will require me to study alot of notes and practice alot of the tasks that must be complete.