Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Tara and Zach

Tara and Zach
Originally uploaded by nevadog.

I love this pic. It was taken while I was home on my 2 weeks leave from Iraq.


Alain said...

Great picture of a great couple :°)

Anonymous said...

That is one of my favorite pictures of the two of you too! Love, Mom

Snag said...

You're look healthy. Stay safe.
Best from me and mine.

Kate said...

Beautiful pic, Zach. You two look so happy!!

Take care --

Scupper said...

great photo. I got a kick out of the "Eye on the Prize" pic as well.

sushiela said...

hi...i don't know you, but i found your blog thru operation truth...i do have a loved one in ramadi right now...but i don't talk to him about these things or anything related to his experience right now...though i've asked a time or 2, i think it's unfair for me to allow my curiosity to perhaps be of detriment to his emotional strength...

anyway...i'm a pacifist but i support troops...and as a stranger on the outside looking in, just wanted to say thanks for having the courage to put your view out there on the net for concerned ppl like me to have access to what you guys go through over there.


Anonymous said...

Anonymous, that was not fair, you should post that stuff without warning.

Alain said...

Anonymous, what do you try to prove with that ?
That there are monsters on that earth ?
We all know that already.
Man you really suck.

Anonymous said...

While you're pushing your war-porn, remember there are people on this blog whose loved ones are in the middle of all this misery and violence (Americans and Iraqis). Spare a thought for their feelings, huh?

Anonymous said...


I have heard of these horrible murders, but after having seen them take place I can understand how soldiers would want to retaliate. Maybe this is why we have so many stories of prisoner abuse now.

After seeing this, I felt numb with disbelief. Then I felt Rage, and Anger. I started to think that we should just "Kill'Em All".

It will take some time for me to sort this out in my mind. But I must, Since I don't want to become one of the "Monsters" when I ship out for Iraq in two months.

Good Luck Zach & Fam.
Please Pray For Us All!

Hurria said...

The prisoner abuse and use of torture began within the first weeks of the invasion, well before any of this bloody activity.

And please do not forget who began this whole hideous mess by launching a violent, deadly and massively destructive invasion of whose country. You are in someone else's homeland committing mayhem, not vice versa.

Anonymous said...

"Hurria said..."

So then you agree with the beheading of infidels?

Hurria said...

"So then you agree with the beheading of infidels?"

Oh yeah, the old "infidel" bullshit from yet another expert on Islamic thought. Why don't you try learning something before you start throwing around terms about whose history and meaning you know exactly nothing?

I do not agree with the beheading or the killing of anyone by any means at all. I am in general against killing. Clearly, however, you do agree with the idea of responding to the acts of a tiny handful of vicious fanatic criminals with generalized sadism and massive violence against anything and anyone you can get your hands on.

And I love the sense of outrage on the part of people like you over the fact that your massively violent acts of aggression have resulted in a violent reaction by those against whom you have violently aggressed. The outraged whines of "they are shooting at us!" are almost more amusing than they are annoying in their self-righteous naivete.

It is also fascinating that Americans like you appear to be so outraged by a few murderous acts of a tiny handful of criminals while finding it quite acceptable to flatten entire cities, killing thousands and rendering hundres of thousands homeless, cityless permanent refugees.

Anonymous said...

"Hurria said..."

Why don't you try learning something before you start throwing around terms.

Would you care to share with us your own religious beliefs? What brand of religion do you study?

How do you justify your former leaders attempts to build Weapons of Massive Aggression? Do you think he would not have used them to flatten a few cities? Israel maybe?

Did you protest when he developed a nuclear weapons program?
Did you tell him that it might cause your country to be invaded? Did you tell him that he is one of the handfuls of vicious fanatic criminals when he murdered his way to the Iraq Presidency?
Or did you tell him when he continued to murder after he got there?

Would you have said "Saddam you are killing Us"? Of course not. Because you would be taking a Dirt Nap with the Real Citizens who stood up to him or were just unfortunate to get "Noticed" by him or his henchmen.

Maybe you should have, because no one is listening to YOUR self righteous cries of, Get Out! Get Out Of My Country! now.

One would think you might show us even the smallest measure of gratitude for doing what you could not do yourself, by ridding you of YOUR dictator.

Was life so good for you when your own president ran Rape Rooms? How about the Torture Prisons? Were you "Happy" then or just plain ignorant with fear?

Americans generally don't like to wear out our welcome. But the Work of ridding you of your future potential dictators, so that we don't have to come back again, is not done yet. Since the "Handful" of vicious fanatic criminals is spread so widely throughout your country.

self-righteous naivete Indeed!

Anonymous said...

"Hurria said..."

And I love the sense of outrage on the part of people like you

This says everything about her.
She was probably one of saddam's HenchWomen. Thats why someone so outspoken as her isn't taking a dirt nap now.

Sol Bergman said...

Just like the Nazis after germany fell, she's longing for "The Good Old Days"

Anonymous said...

Sol: Comparing someone to the Nazis because they want your troops out of their country is a disgusting slur that denies the suffering of Iraqis and cheapens the horror of the Nazi regime. Whatever we think of the war, life for most Iraqis is far worse now than before we invaded. Even the CIA and MI5 admit we have turned Iraq into a playground for gangsters and terrorists. Maybe if we had to live under these conditions we'd want to see the back of our occupiers and prefer to fix our country up for ourselves instead.

As for "anonymous"; Maybe Hurria protested against Saddam, maybe she didn't. But our governments sure as hell didn't when they were funding his rise to power or his war with Iran, selling him weapons and turning a blind eye to his atrocities, or claiming half a million dead Iraqi children was "a price worth paying". As for WMDs, you must be the last person in the world who seriously believes that cr@p: there were no WMDs, barely even any "programs", and certainly no nukes. If you want illegal and undeclared nukes, try looking in Dimona.

"Dirt naps": Anywhere between 25,000 and 100,000 Iraqis are taking a "dirt nap" right now, since our invasion. Those figures are certainly in the same ball-park as Saddam himself, and getting worse. We are destroying Iraq in order to "save" it for Bechtel and Halliburton. No wonder they want us out.


Alain said...

"Hurria said..."

I'm not American Hurria, I'm French. I've been totally opposed to that war, but there is no excuse to that savagery.

"Savagery is not the answer".

Anonymous said...

Anywhere between 25,000 and 100,000 Iraqis are taking a "dirt nap" right now, since our invasion.

OK, now tell us how many of these were combatant deaths.

Hurria said...


I am not the one here who is trying to excuse savagery, so please address your remarks to those who are doing so, not to me.

Alain said...


When I read your comments, your condemnation of these awful acts of beheading civilians doesn't appear very clearly - in between lines, I read nearly an excuse (kind of "you know, we didn't begin..."). But I can be wrong, my English is not as good as yours.

Whishing a peaceful future to all Irakies, a soon as possible.


Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:

Anywhere between 25,000 and 100,000 Iraqis are taking a "dirt nap" right now, since our invasion.

"OK, now tell us how many of these were combatant deaths."

This BBC report gives you an overview of the Iraqi Body Count study that concluded that 25,000 Iraqi civilians (i.e. non-combatants) had been killed during the first 2 years of the war (more since, no doubt). Just over 40% were killed by coalition forces (especially around the time of the invasion of course), another 40% or so by criminal gangs, and the rest by "insurgents", although of course the "insurgents" are getting more kills in these days. Many people regard the 25,000 as a low figure, as it is based on deaths reported or occurring at hospitals etc. Because of the difficulty in gathering this information, we have absolutely no idea how many other Iraqi civilians have been killed, and the British medical journal "The Lancet" reported another study suggesting up to 100,000 mght have died. We know exactly how many coalition troops have been killed, but we can't even estimate the Iraqi dead to the nearest 10,000.

Does that help?


Anonymous said...


Thank you for backing up your claims with the data.

I agree that these innocent civilian deaths are horribly unfortunate.

It is also most unfortunate that the enemy chooses to hide amongst the innocent, and use them as a shield. If they were to come out of hiding and face us like the fierce fighters they claim to be, this would all be over in short order.

Hurria said...


It is not a matter of language, it is a matter of interpretation. Pointing out the correct sequence of events - i.e., massive American savagery, brutality, and oppression preceded the kidnappings and beheadings - does not equate to excusing any of the events in the sequence. Pointing out cause and effect - i.e. the massively violent and brutal U.S. invasion and occupation is the cause, "insurgent" (sic) violence is the result - does not equate to excusing either the cause or the effect. Pointing out facts does not constitute approval of those facts, merely a recognition of their existence.

It seems to me that when I state unequivocally that I do not agree with beheading or killing anyone by any means, and that I am opposed to killing in general that should be sufficient to get the message accross that I oppose savagery of any kind on the part of anyone for any reason. There are those here who hold a double standard with regard to violence, savagery, cruelty, killing, and destruction. I am not one of them.

Anonymous said...


See the comments on Zach's post "War in the eyes of man" (30 July) for some detailed discussion of why the Iraqi "insurgents" do not "come out of hiding and face us like the fierce fighters they claim to be". They're not complete idiots, whatever else they may be, and clearly have their own concept of "force protection".


Anonymous said...


"IF they were to come out of hiding"

I have read the post you mentioned. And you are right they are not complete idiots at all.

Hurria said...

"these innocent civilian deaths are horribly unfortunate."

No, they are almost all completely avoidable, constitute criminal disregard for Iraqi lives, and in many cases meet the criteria to qualify as war crimes.

"It is also most unfortunate that the enemy chooses to hide amongst the innocent, and use them as a shield."

You know, I just love this argument, which is of course utter nonsense. The "enemy" is not "hiding amongst the innocent and using them as a shield". For the most part the "enemy" are Iraqi citizens who are living in their cities and homes. This is, by their very nature, and of course by necessity, the way resistance movements have always operated and always will operate.

"If they were to come out of hiding and face us like the fierce fighters they claim to be..."

Oh yes - great idea. Let then set up bases in the middle of the desert far away from the cities, towns, and families they are supposed to protect from the invaders, and never leave those bases except, of course, to conduct their operations, which they must always do in broad daylight. Let them also paint a huge target around each of these bases to make it easier for the invaders to bomb them into dust. They should also wear bright red uniforms, of course, so that they can be easily identified, and their families should be required to wear identifying badges.

"...this would all be over in short order.."

Whatever the hell that is supposed to mean.

Anonymous said...


For the most part the "enemy" are Iraqi citizens who are living in their cities and homes.

You can't have it both ways, Either your people are innocent and are just caught up in the middle of this, or, they have taken up arms against the US, which WOULD make them the "Enemy".

Also meaning you should stop trying to fault the US for not being able to distinguish between the "Innocent" & The "Enemy" Iraqi when protesting about their Deaths.

Furthermore, By your claims here, your people prefer the company of these savage Insurgents.

Thank you for showing us your true colors here in trying to have it both ways.

Hurria said...

Dear Anonymous,

1. The overwhelming majority of the Iraqi people are simply trying to survive what is the worst period in their history since the Mongols invaded and destroyed the country. That makes them innocent by any definition.

2. Resistance of all kinds, including armed resistance, against foreign invasion and occupation, as well as all forms of oppression is a moral and legal right. Those who are conducting a legitimate resistance against the American occupation and its agents are acting within their rights and their duties to free their country from enslavement and domination by a foreign power. Those who are using the occupation as an excuse to conduct their brutal and criminal activities are just that - brutes and criminals.

3. Let's be clear who the real bad guys are here. The bad guys are not the ones who are defending their country by attacking and killing your occupation forces and their Iraqi proxies. The bad guys are the ones who launched a war of aggression, forced their way into Iraq by means of massive deadly and destructive violence, and who continue to use massively deadly and destructive violence to maintain their presence in and domination of that country.

4. Let us also be clear about who is the savage in this case. The savage is the one who uses massive deadly and destructive force and brutal oppression to agressively enter a country, and maintain his presence and domination of the country and its inhabitants. The savage is the one who indiscriminately sweeps up thousands of innocent people - including children and women - and subjects them to horrible abuse and torture. The savage is the one who punishes entire cities for the acts of a few, who cuts off water, electricity, food, and medical care to entire towns and cities, and who bombs entire cities to rubble. The savage is the one who drops four one ton bombs on a building in the middle of a residential district in order to try to kill one person, who may or may not be present (he wasn't, and those bombs destroyed homes and businesses, killing tens of civilians, including one entire Christian family). The savage is the one who takes over hospitals, dragging patients out of their beds, beating doctors and nurses, and interrupting surgeries. The savage is the one who bombs a major city to rubble after turning it into an "insurgent stronghold" by a series of incredibly stupid and brutal actions, starting with shooting to death 18 unarmed demonstrators who were just exercising their "new found freedom" to protest.

The savage is NOT one who attacks the occupiers of his country and their proxies and collaborators.

Anonymous said...

Good points made in your usual robust manner, Hurria, although the occupiers are not the only "savages" in Iraq right now, as you yourself admit.

But in case anybody else is any doubt what the legal responsibilities of an occupying power might be, check out the 4th Geneva Convention.

These rules were not drafted by weakling liberal peaceniks, but by the Western powers in response to the horrors committed by the Nazis in the countries they occupied during WWII. Why do we breach them so casually?


Hurria said...

"the occupiers are not the only "savages" in Iraq right now"

No indeed they are not, as I have pointed out. The U.S. war of aggression against Iraq has unleashed all manner of criminals, brutes, and savages, many though not all of whom are part of the bad joke loyal Americans like to call the "elected government".

"Why do we breach them so casually?"

Because you can, and because your government believes - correctly it seems - that Americans will respond positively to their willingness to act like savages and brutalize those they have defined as "the enemy".

Anonymous said...

Not trying to disagree with you, Hurria, but "my" government is the UK, not the US. Probably doesn't make much difference to you, but it does to us. And you might be surprised to know how much sympathy there is for the suffering of the Iraqi people here in the UK - Blair's war is definitely not popular here.

Wishing you peace.


Hurria said...


Uh - sorry. I made an assumption that you were a USA-an. Yes, I know the opposition to the war is and has always been very strong in the UK - you Brits seem to be less easily tricked by your government than Americans are. Still, you re elected the buffoon Blair. What a shame.

Anonymous said...

Still, you re elected the buffoon Blair. What a shame.

Not me personally, I assure you, but yes, a shame indeed. The archaic unfairness of the UK electoral system made it very difficult for us to dislodge the mendacious Bush-worshipping little weasel, unfortunately, and the other main party (the Conservatives) are even worse, both for Iraq and for Britain.

But our forces, unlike the US, may be subject to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court for breaches of international law or the Geneva Conventions. So even though our troops are still in Iraq, there is considerable political sensitivity here to allegations of abuses against Iraqi civilians. And there was also a great deal of opposition here to British forces being involved in the US attack on Fallujah last year (some of our troops were moved up to provide support for this attack, although they were not directly involved).

But in the end I agree with you that we should bring our troops home and let Iraqis decide the future of their country.


Hurria said...

"the other main party (the Conservatives) are even worse, both for Iraq and for Britain."

Americans were faced with the same dilemma in choosing between Bush and Kerry. Kerry seemed to think the only answer was to increase the amount of death and destruction in Iraq over what the Bush administration was prepared to do. It seems likely that Kerry would have completely flattened Falluja instead of just flattening most of it.

This is a truly scary time in this world.

Anonymous said...


1) No one will fault you for wanting to survive.

2) Your chances of survival will increase greatly when you stop pointing weapons at us.

3) If you are trying to kill me and my fellow soldiers, YOU ARE A BAD GUY - PERIOD!

4) The Savage is the one who sees where an IED has been planted, but will say nothing and allow my fellow soldiers to be killed by it. The Savage is the one who kills HIS OWN people for actually doing something to try and take their country back by joining the new Iraqi police force or military. The Savage is the one who Harbors these harbors these "Citizens" knowing what they have done.

Terrible said...

last anon, you seem to forget that the US invaded Iraq, a nation that had never been an aggressor against us, and did so in violation of US and UN laws.

Hurria and taff, it's great to see comments from intellegent, civilized people. And there are quite a few here in the US and we're working to take back our government but it's looking like a long hard road against ignorance and greed.

Terrible said...

Oppps Zack, I originaly clicked on the comment lead to tell you you're a lucky man to have a lovely compassionate wife. Good luck, best wishes and prayers on coming home to her and your family in one piece. As a veteran I understand your pain in being seperated from those you love.

Anonymous said...

"last anon, you seem to forget that the US invaded Iraq, a nation that had never been an aggressor against us, and did so in violation of US and UN laws.

Thats debateable, however a soldiers orders are not. Many of us are just trying to make it through this with as few scars as possible. At least in VietNam we would cut eachother some slack and stay out of the others way every once in awhile.

Terrible said...

anon, I'm not trying to start an agument here and I certainly want to see as many (preferably all) of our soldiers come home safe and sound. But your statement that a soldiers orders aren't debatable isn't quite true either. The Military Code of Justice says that a soldier is not obligated to follow illegal orders. And the MCJ trumps all other orders so that does indeed leave some room for debate. Hey I was a soldier too once and I do understand that it certainly isn't encouraged in the ranks to question orders I'm just saying that it is indeed legal to do so.

Anonymous said...

Not to make excuses, but you know as well as I do that the line between Lawful & UnLawful orders can be Blurred. I knew a soldier who allowed himself to unjustly punished simply because his punishment would have been over by time he would have gotten any results by fighting it, Which I urged him to do. That is a sad state for our army to be in, but as the song says "Thats Just The Way It Is & Some Things Will Never Change"

Terrible said...

yeah I know. And I know what type of people do the blurring too. When I was in we called them scum, now they are running the country.

Sculptor Nut said...

I'm certainly in no position to make an informed argument against your perspectives and I will not. If we (U.S.) have nefarious intentions then I will be quite saddened.
I do believe the merits of our foreign policy must be discerned from multiple perspectives, yours not being the least relevent.

Yes, I do like to see genuine happiness as shown in your photo. Good luck to you Zach and your lovely wife.