Thursday, June 09, 2005

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.


Anonymous said...

right on zack. and you guys unfortunately are bearing the brunt of the lies and deception. linda

Kate said...

The whole thing makes me sick with worry for you. And angry at our country for putting you in the position to fear for your life and your friends' lives, and to have forced you into a situation which you have no control over, one that asks you to do the impossible: navigate through a moral and ethical mess while trying to do what you're told to and what will keep you safe. It's unbelievably unfair. What's worse is that so many Americans don't give a damn. I want to shake them hard, slap them across the face to wake them up to reality. They are asleep, Zach. I'm so sorry.

Umhakima said...

People want to play politics, but no matter who you vote for or what party you support, the truth is, we have not been told the truth. I watch the news and then I talk to dh, seems to me lots of things are reported wrong, nothing good in Iraq is ever reported or things aren't reported all. I am glad you guys are blogging. Keeps us informed.

Tina said...

A guy from the Navy google searched my blog (when I checked my link stats, I saw that he came from, and was looking specifically for the news about Pablo Paredas & Lt Cmdr Robert Klant -the judge who heard the case). Paredas refused to board his Naval carrier in Dec 04 on the basis that he did not want to be complicit in any war crimes that he believed would or could be committed by the Marines that his Naval carrier was transporting, once they landed in Iraq b/c Paredas believes this war is illegal. Judge Lt Cmdr Klant declared- essentially- that the war in Iraq is illegal and that COs have the right to object. The guy who Google searched me then emailed me to say that he appreciated that someone was putting the info out that there that a military judge had agreed that this war could be seen as illegal. He also said that he is so sickened by what he hears and sees when his Naval carrier has transported Marines, including his own Marine step-brother, too, but he then asked: What can he do about it? I wish I had an answer for him. I replied that he should blog about it b/c that is the one way he can tell people what is really going on b/c all the corporate owned media wants to talk about is missing white girls and Howard Dean's statistically correct statements that people claim are offensive. Yes... in today's America, the TRUTH is offensive. That is why nobody is telling the truth about Iraq. It is too ugly for anyone to face, but they stick it to you who are there and rub sand on the end of it to make it all the more hurtful. My Vietnam Vet dad has said from day one that this war should not happen in this way, that the Neo-Con agenda is only to conquer in the name of Empire- regardless of the cost in blood and dollars, and that only a draft will wake America up. My dad is a hard-core veteran, but he was a vet cut from the same cloth like the now departed Col Hackworth. I think that my dad, and Hackworth are right: This war is being run by stupid civilians who wouldn't serve themselves when they were asked to during Vietnam, and that this war has been so mishandled, poorly planned, and lied about, that by the time America finally listens to the little people who have been screaming about this war and listens to the soldiers who have been fighting this war, it will be too late. But dear God... I hope that they both are wrong. Please stay safe Zach.

Anonymous said...

we have been lied to so much about this war and i'm glad to see you and other soldiers finally telling the truth that the president and his officals are too ashamed of to say. my boyfriend is currently serving in iraq and he has also told me some of the lies the media reports and that other americans believe. only one thing is going to wake this nation up, if anything does, which is a draft. not stop-loss but an actual draft of young americans that dont want to serve. i'm paraying for you, your family and all the other men and women we have serving in this unjust war. rock on

Jana Lane said...

I know that it takes great courage to write the things you write, even though they are true. I read other soldiers blogs and it seems that they need to believe that this war has been worthwhile. I believe that is understandable. Maybe we just need to say that whatever it is possible for the US to do in Iraq has been done and now it is up to the Iraquis to build the country they want and for us to come home. I look forward to the day that you will be home. I know that you have an important contribution tomake to our life together here in the United States. Keep safe.

hol said...

Tina, great comments. I am so glad to read about people who feel the same way that I do. Zach, hang in there. You all will be home soon and we'll be hanging out at Daniel's house for a BBQ!

Tina said...

Aww... thanks so much Holly for your kind words. Please check this CNN transcript out from Lou Dobbs' show for Thursday, June 9. I was rocking my baby girl to sleep, but I was listening to Lou's show that my husband was watching in the other room. I almost fell on the floor when I heard the guest say that to "work on improving the situation in Iraq, this nation must have a National Service of some kind". A national service?... like the National Guard kind of service? Why not just come out and say it: We need a DRAFT b/c no one bothered to plan ahead pre-emptively for a pre-emptive war. He, of course would only give the typical Neo-Con double-talk that this White House should trademark b/c they practically invented it. People are shedding their blood-- so just come out and say the truth about the military for the love of God. Here's the transcript, it is rather big, just scroll down til you see the name Gen David Grange:
Stay safe Zach.

Anonymous said...

I suppose I am one of those ignorant Americans--- with no ties to anyone in the armed forces--- who goes through her daily routines and fails to realize the lies and hypocrisy being told with regard to Iraq and those of you serving there. Thank you for your blog... It serves as an eye-opener to me. I realize your sacrifice and pray for your safety and return. And I sit and wonder what I can do...

Jan Skylar said...

Found this off CNN:
Also on Friday, the U.S. Army disclosed that it is conducting a "criminal investigation" into the deaths of two Task Force Liberty soldiers who died Tuesday.

Capt. Phillip T. Esposito and 1st Lt. Louis E. Allen died about 10 p.m. Tuesday at Forward Operating Base Danger, near Tikrit, and the military said then that "an indirect fire attack" killed them.

"The initial investigation by responders and military police indicated that a mortar round struck the window on the side of the building where Esposito and Allen were located at the time," a military statement said.

"Upon further examination of the scene by explosive ordnance personnel, it was determined the blast pattern was inconsistent with a mortar attack," the document states.

The Army is looking at a number of scenarios including accidental death, attack by an intruder or infiltrator and fragging, which is the killing or wounding of a fellow soldier.

Both officers were "assigned to Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 42nd Infantry Division, New York Army National Guard. Esposito was the company commander; Allen served as a company operations officer," the statement reads.

Anonymous said...

The soldiers deployed here in Iraq have been aware of the hypocracy for some time, but it is only a matter of time until stress and depression combined with a lengthy year-plus-long deployment takes it's toll on the psyche of the betrayed. Being an officer in the Army requires courage these days. They face the same dangers as all of us, but they will also inevitably be targeted by those for whom the stress is too great. Fratricide is a horrible thing, but none so great as the betrayal that perpetuates it.

Anonymous said...

Oh, no, not fragging. Sigh.

John said...

Let me tell you about polls, when my unit was mobilized I got a call from a local news paper asking me how I felt. I said "I am going to do my duty!", well this reporter tried very hard to get me to say something negative. He finally hung up. If you want your poll to support your side you call all your friends. I am a Sgt. in the USAR and I am fortunate to be home while so many of you are over there. I know how you can feel pretty F'ing un-appreciated, however I am here to tell you, you are not. My oldest son has decieded to join up, and it was not me pushing him into it, he asked me to take a ride with him and he drove to the recruiting station and told me he had signed up. I asked him if he knew what he was getting into, and even questioned his motives, he stood his ground and said, he was doing this because he wanted to. I know this country is better for men like you. This is a verse from an old song, I thought of it when my son told me he was enlisting, and I thought of it while reading your words.
"As I turn to you and I say
Thank goodness for the good souls
That make life better
As I turn to you and I say
If it wasn't for the good souls
Life would not matter". Keep the faith and come back home to your family, and help make this country a better place.

John Salazar