Tuesday, June 28, 2005


For the next couple of weeks the posting to my blog will be sporadic if at all. Thank you for all the opinions that have been brought here. I will be back. In the meanwhile feel free to check out the ARCHIVES section on the right hand side.

Take care,

Zachary Scott-Singley

Monday, June 27, 2005

To Run

I ask not that you walk a mile in my shoes
for they are worn beyond repair
What I ask for is not forgiveness
for you have already judged me.
I ask not for pity,
as you suffer as well.

Lets go hand in hand and run until
the world around us blurs away,
All we shall see are the colors.
Past the places we have already gone.
Let the thorns tear and rip our skin.
The pain will help us heal.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Can you sleep at night?

The question I ask of you.
Where where they?
Those weapons of horrible death and destruction?

Are they smiling at you?
Do they still love you?
Can you sleep at night?
Do you even know a single one of their faces?

I hope your nightmares are as bad as mine.
The food is nicer,
but the blood is just as red.
I wonder if you know how to remove that stain?

You can tell me.
When you find a way.
We can both wash our hands.
Too bad the scars will still remain.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

The Grizzly that is America

I believe more and more each day that things like freedom can't be given. They must be fought for and earned to have value. Perhaps that is one of the reasons that the Iraqi people don't rise up against the insurgency themselves.

That isn't the only way that things could have been better. We could have come here initially with ENOUGH troops. Troops to close the borders (which are still mostly left open) from foreign fighters, and enough troops to have brought security and stability to the cities.

At the same time right now we have a Grizzly bear we call America. Unfortunately it is a Grizzly which is asleep and is kept that way by being fed its daily dose of FOX "Fair and Balanced" medicine. This medicine is fortified with essentials which keep most Americans happily oblivious to what is happening in Iraq and to news stories like the Downing Street Memo... It won't be long however, until this Grizzly wakes up and when it does it is going to be pissed that it has been lied to and so many have been killed because of those lies.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

To Walk Away....

I will not be what you make of me. I won't fit into your box, and I am not a conscientious objector. I have killed and I never hesitated when it came time to pull the trigger.

There are things that I will not forget. At the top of that list is my family. When they are lawful I follow my orders, and I accept responsibility for my actions.

I will remember the things I have done. Make no mistake about that point. I will remember. Sorrow is not something I ask for. Please don't spare it on me, there are many others more deserving, the Iraqis come to mind.

To quit, to walk away is to not see my family. That is a choice I am not willing to make.

Sunday, June 19, 2005



I am so damn proud of you son. You are so smart and humble. I remember teaching you how to ride a bike. Trusting me not to let you fall you overcame your fear and in a week you were riding all by yourself.

For so long I haven't been there with you. You've had so much to think about, because while your sister Linnea doesn't understand what I do and what happens to me, you know and you worry about me. That is a lot for a young boy to have to bear. I love you more than you will ever know and I am proud to be your daddy. I love you son.


The day you were born I was there. You were so very beautiful. So much black hair and you had beautiful baby blue eyes. When I first saw you I was standing over you, a tear rolled down my cheek and fell onto your chest I will always remember that moment.

You are my daughter and I will always love you my baby girl.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Sticks and Stones...But Words Can Never Hurt

I can't stop thinking about what a Major said to me the other day. "The whole country of Iraq, every man, woman, and child... Kill every one of them and it still won't be worth one American's life."

Perhaps this is why we won't win here, because so many feel that the life of an Iraqi doesn't even register when compared to that of an American. This kind of mindset permeate the thoughts of many of the soldiers here in Iraq.

So often I hear, "I gotta go fuc*** guard Hajji!" By the soldiers assigned the duty of watching over the Iraqi workers who are working on our base. Another thing I hear so very often is, "I'm gonna go shoot me some Hajji." The soldiers who say these things speak as if the Iraqi people were some kind of animal to be hunted. You might tell me that terrorists are nothing more than animals to be hunted but if you look at the statistics most of those killed are civilians not foreign fighters.

It is time to wake up and realize that there are more important things than the Michael Jackson trial. There are things like the value of a human life or the value of an entire nation that has been kicked so many times by tyrants that it may look downtrodden and useless but under it all there is the beauty of LIFE

Sunrise in Tikrit

Originally uploaded by nevadog.

What do you think about this?

I am not allowed to tell you exactly how I feel about this But perhaps you can read it for yourselves and make your own opinions known here in the comments section.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

A Soldier's Thoughts

Cry for me, for my eyes have gone dry.
My tears tread no path through the dust on my cheeks
Life means so little to many back home
But let your son go, just let your son go

Tell him you promise to come back with Godspeed
Kiss your daughter in the dead of the night
Tell them goodbye with no tears in your eye
You must be a better man than me

Pick up your bag and walk out that door
It's the hardest walk you will ever make
To leave all you love for your honor and pride
Praying that you won't be lied to this time

Get on that plane and try not to look back
Now try to do it all over again
This time knowing what you have seen
With blood on your hands that will never come clean.

A poem I wrote about my thoughts on going to war, my family, and the back door draft...

Monday, June 13, 2005

Just Keep Walking

Was walking outside
Another suicide bomb
I just kept walking

It is hard not to get complacent with all the death dealing going on here in Tikrit Iraq.


Someone who visits my blog has been posting my blog entries in a message bored called:

Here is an email I received from her

Hi Again,

Thanks for responding. I just hate to see these guys tear you down and your not even here to defend yourself, I appreciate what you are doing sooo much, it is this honesty that keeps us human, and stops the savagery.

I wanted to give you a chance in your own words to respond to this guy, he is a brit, and very insulting to America and our Troops I might add, but you will see that yourself. I hesitated to send this to you as I don't want to add to your stress levels but figured you probably get a lot of critical mail and at least this way you are free to respond, I will happily post what ever reply you want to make or nothing if you don't wish to reply, either way, yo took an oath to fight for my rights, and I will never tire of fighting for yours.

The Brits post, he goes by The Duke of Wellington

I see you guys have been having fun while I was sleeping, Lol.

Bugs, leona really believes what this guy writes is genuine because ... 1) he writes stuff straight out of her anti-Bush manual that she likes to see in print, and 2) there almost certainly is a guy called Snott-Sickley serving in Iraq, who is attached to FOB Danger. Combine the two, and belief is irresistible for her.

leona, Bugs is not a liar and, as far as I know (and neither you nor I have reason to disbelieve him) he has served in the US armed forces, so has a legitimate right to doubt anything connected to the US military, and probably is a better judge than either of us as to what is and isn't genuine in this context.

As far as whether the guy exists ...

He claims to be a sergeant - a role for which he would be very young at 24, although his claimed occupation of linguist may bring an automatic higher rank, I don't know.

His address seems genuine enough. Any anomalies in the address can be put down to people recording it incorrectly in articles, blogs etc which, in turn, then appear incorrectly in Google links to this guy or his blog.

However. What he writes would take even a professional writer far longer than a serving soldier could possibly have at his disposal. Not only that, his articles include links to endless other sources, including Nevadadog, a nick name he has in Yahoo, under which you will find further endless links to more stuff. If genuine this guy would have to be online 24/7, probably more!

No, the only logical conclusion is that he puts his name to stuff posted under his name - probably because, like leona, he believes in it and is more than willing to lend his name to it.

My question remains ... what sort of amateur army allows this to happen??


I don't know what else to say to convince him that I am a real soldier... One thing I DO have to say is that I feel honored that he thinks I am some professional writer. I really am stunned and don't know what else to say... Take care.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Joseph L. Galloway from Knight Ridder Newspapers

I couldn't find a link to this article but Joseph Galloway was kind enough to grant me permission to post the whole thing here on my blog.

Posted on Wed, Jun. 08, 2005

Tell U.S. troops the truth


In a Memorial Day interview, Vice President Dick Cheney told Larry King that the Iraqi insurgency is in its death throes, Osama bin Laden ''is on the run,'' we've dealt a major blow to al Qaeda and the terror suspects detained at Guantánamo have been ``treated humanely and decently.''

Wait a minute. What did he say? That sounded suspiciously like a ''light at the end of the tunnel'' speech.

President Bush echoed his No. 2's conclusions the next day, declaring that the upsurge in violence in Iraq is evidence that the insurgency is on its last legs.

We haven't heard the like since July 3, 2003, when the president told those misguided souls who thought they saw an opportunity to kill Americans in Iraq: ``Bring `em on!''

Since the last good news in Iraq, the Jan. 30 elections, and a resulting but brief pause in the pace of attacks on Americans and Iraqis, more than 700 Iraqis have been slaughtered in a wave of terrorist bombings and attacks that are increasing in sophistication and viciousness. The death toll among American troops in Iraq is 1,665 and rising.

Packed with explosives

Meanwhile, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld marches stubbornly on with his crackpot ideas about how to transform the military so that it's lighter, faster and more agile. So far, he's succeeding only in breaking the Army and the Marine Corps.

As Knight Ridder's Tom Lasseter reported last week, U.S. field commanders say that we have so few troops along the Syrian border that the area has remained wide open for the free transit of Holy War folks from all over the Muslim world. They come to drive cars packed with explosives to kill themselves and fellow Muslims in the name of God.

We arrived in Iraq more than two years ago knowing that more than a million tons of bombs, artillery shells, land mines, grenades, bullets, portable anti-aircraft missiles, mortars, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and AK-47 rifles were sitting in more than 600 ammunition dumps all over the country.

But because there aren't enough U.S. troops on the ground, we've secured only about 25 percent of those ammo dumps. Some others have a frightened Iraqi security guard, armed with a rusty pistol, on the gate. When a dump truck driven by heavily armed terrorists pulls up and they offer him a choice of a $100 bill or death, he waves them through. They load the dump truck with 500-pound bombs and 155 mm artillery shells to make the ubiquitous IEDs -- improvised explosive devices -- that kill American soldiers and Iraqis the next day or the next week.

In pursuit of Rumsfeld's holy grail of fast and light, Army divisions have been ordered to leave home half or more of their tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles. Tank and artillery crews have been dismounted, turned into light infantry and sent out in light transport vehicles, Humvees, to patrol the deadliest roads and streets in the world.

They've paid the price, and they continue to pay it.

These fine young soldiers, many of them National Guard members and Reservists, get only six or nine or 12 months between combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Most are on their second or third time around.

There's an answer to this, if our intention is to stay in Iraq as long as it takes: Increase the size of the Army and Marine Corps so the burden can be shared and lightened.

This Rumsfeld refuses to do, even as he watches the force begin to crack and recruitment fall 25 percent and more below target. This would be a good time to conduct a thoughtful review of where we are in this war, where we're going, what our exit strategy should be and what can be done to prevent a Vietnam-style disaster in the Middle East.

The answer isn't staying the course, if the course we're on points us in the wrong direction.

The answer isn't the false optimism of those who argue that more insurgent attacks are proof that the insurgency is dying, or that Iraqi boys will soon be doing what until now American men and women have had to do for them.

Their military and civilian superiors owe our soldiers -- and all of

us -- more than political spin.

They, and we, deserve realism and the truth.

Joseph L. Galloway is the senior

military correspondent for Knight

Ridder Newspapers.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Iraqi Army Base

Originally uploaded by nevadog.

Here you have the Iraqi Army training base just across the river from my FOB (forward operations base)

After the Fall of Baghdad

Originally uploaded by nevadog.

This photo was taken of me during my first time here in Iraq. I don't remember the journalist taking the pic, but when I got home there it was...

Things Look Grim

I sit here thinking of the soldiers who died here at my base 2 days ago. I think of them and of the things going on back home. Every day you hear stories. News, politics, war, everything. Things look grim. The latest news Poll states that over half of all Americans disapprove of how Bush is handling his job, the highest of his presidency.

On a comparable note you have officials in the army saying:

that with only four months left in the budget year, the Army is at barely 50 percent of its goal. Recruiters would have to land more than 9,760 young men and women a month, on average, to reach the 80,000 target by the end of September. In other words, they would have to far exceed their official targets, which range from 5,650 to 9,250 a month.

Seeing Iraqis and Americans die by the week over here has made me realize why the recruiting goals haven't been met and why they CAN'T be met. It is because when you have been lied to about why we went to war, when you down size the army, when you tell people that things are just fine and dandy and that major combat operations in Iraq are over and yet we are getting killed here left and right, when this happens people loose trust in you.

The right answer isn't to ignore it all and say things are going well. The right answer is to get us out or change the way the system works. They say there is no draft coming but for those of us forced to be over here, for those of us involuntarily extended for our second and third tours over here in Iraq it sure feels like one.

Sunday, June 05, 2005


Like clockwork they come
It's 8:10 here are the bombs
Night shift is over.

It is getting pretty regular now. At least I can use the explosions to signal the end of my shift each day.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Some Treasures are Lost Forever

In Baghdad while on a patrol just a few weeks after securing the airport (during my first deployment here) we chanced upon the War College. That was where many of Saddam's officers had been trained. As we pulled up in our Humvee looters scrambled away in fear and we were greeted by three retired Iraqi military officers all of which were livid. ALL of the artwork, statues, marble flooring, carpets, and everything of any value at all had been stolen.

So many years worth of Iraqi heritage and culture gone. We told them (the 3 Iraqis) that we would inform our commanders that this place should have been guarded. As you may have guessed neither us or our commanders could have done anything about what had happened. There just weren't enough soldiers to keep peace, stabilization, and secure the borders from foreign fighters let alone try and guard the important places housing valuable Iraqi artifacts from being stolen and lost possibly forever.

How angry would America be if our history and culture were desecrated and looted, if our capital was ransacked by thieves all because of poor planning about the war? Maybe we are doing the right thing now by trying to rebuild, but to have lost so much...

Can they forgive us for their looted national treasures? What about for all of their dead children? Can we make things right? How can you compensate a human life? How can you compensate thousands of them?

Don't ask me, I don't have those answers...