3/28/2015

Blog post written by a US soldier in Iraq

TURNINGTABLES was a blog written by a US soldier located somewhere in Iraq after the 2003 invasion.  The posts were signed "Moja".

Given the growing intensity of the conflicts  in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Nigeria, and Chad, and the way Netanyahu is goading the US to maintain a hostile posture towards Iran, I suspect things are going to go downhill and we are about to see US  soldiers going to fight in those bullshit places in the near future. I don´t think any of it is worth it, but that´s the way things rock and roll when those who make the decisions don´t put their hides on the line.

So I decided to re-read some of Moja´s posts, and I want to show you one of the last ones:

September 5, 2003:

“i was listening to an ex-marine turned army staff sergeant...and an ex-abrahms tanker turned signal puke...they described the scene as a long stretch of road running through the middle of a small foreign town...fox holes and machine gun nests littering the road way...snipers plugged up in windows...the enemy dug in deep...an assault by ground forces would prove catastrophic...there were very few options that would lead to victory over these circumstances...

US Abrams tanks in Baghdad, 2003 (from Wikipedia)

the good guys brought in the tanks...lined them up side by side facing down the fortified roadway...simultaneously the tanks fired two rounds down range...the rounds created enough of a vacuum that the enemy soldiers were sucked from their fortifications and into the middle of the street...where they were gunned down from a top the turret...or rolled over by tank tread...


they laughed at this story...they made sound effects...squashing and womping...and they thought it was great...i found no humor in this tale...and i'm not sure what i think about it...

US Soldier in Baghdad, 2003 (BBC Photo) 

no doubt this ingenuity saved soldiers lives...this technological advantage and subsequent use of it brought soldiers home...to their families...their loved ones...people are alive today because of a vacuum induced by tank rounds...

and there are many dead men...the enemy...holed up...protecting their encampments...doing their jobs...war is so crazy...it boggles me...it horrifies me...human life wasted...but there is always that greater good that i hear about...the greater good...

the u.s. military is the largest volunteer military in the world...we serve no mandatory term...and service does not "guarantee citizenship"...it was already ours in the first place...we all made a choice...some made it eagerly...while others just made it...there are those soldiers who join and spend the next few years of their lives fighting all personal change and growth that the military would force upon them...and there are those that welcome it...and need it...and yearn for it...

US Soldier, Market in Iraq, 2003 (from the BBC) 

i listen to people talk...educated soldiers...there are others who pay attention...who have view points and it always excites me to listen to a well read soldier with differing views approach a discussion with a level head...that is how others will learn something...debate with an open mind forces others to grow as people...

i listened to the ex-marine turned staff sergeant...and he made good points...he understands that what we do isn't fair...but he makes the point that it doesn't have to be...

he has a tattoo on his forearm that says 'all gave some...some gave all'...

Dead US soldiers returning home (from The Examiner) 

the world is volatile...and unpredictable...the 'liberation' of a country looks as though it may cause a civil war...i remember when we first arrived in baghdad...it seems like a life time ago...the people were still so happy to see us...they did line the streets...they waved...iraqis like to wave...i remember the taped programs my girlfriend sent me...the statues being torn down...iraqis waving american flags...pictures of saddam being beaten mercilessly with shoes...cheering...and that time is gone...it may as well of never happened...

i'm leaving...i think about it constantly...and i feel guilty...i get to go home...and start my life...it's been on pause...but then i think about my troops...fresh out of school...4 more years to go for them...and i wonder what they will see...where will they go...how many wars will they encounter that pause their lives...and force them to grow in unexpected and glorious ways...what will they learn...and see...what images will stick with them for the rest of their lives...will they think about me...

i think about riverbend*...and the fact that she is home...there is no waiting loved one on the other side of the earth...or a little apartment and a truck with 20 inch rims...there isn't an escape back into a missed life for her...she is here and she will continue to be here...this is her life...in iraq...i wonder what she has already witnessed...and just how much more she will see...”

*riverbend was the name used by an Iraqi girl who wrote a blog from Baghdad around the same time.




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