Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving will be a lonely one for me, however there are many things I am thankful for. Lists are played out but today I will make an exception as I would like to name a few things:

My beautiful wife Tara who has stood by me through all the deployments and through all my nightmares.

My son Jake who is so smart and who never lets me forget that I am a child at heart.

My daughter Linnea who is so caring and pretty and who's imagination has no bounds.

I am also thankful for all of you who have offered your support during my year here in Iraq and I want to also thank Hurria (who's name means freedom in Arabic) for taking time out of your days to visit my humble blog and offer your opinions as the single Iraqi to do so. I often disagree with you, but I have great respect for you. You come to my blog and discuss an occupation which effects you daily in a way much more personally than it does me.


Paige said...

Happy Thanksgiving Zach. I wish you the best and know that prayers will be said all over the world for your safety and that of others like you that cannot be home with their families.

I am thankful for people like you who defend our freedoms and risk your lives so that we may enjoy ours. May God bless you and keep you safe.

too many jennifers said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Zach. Thanks for your blog which I just found today. Thanks for your service. Thanks for your amazing photos. Be safe and well and come home to your family soon.

Anonymous said...

Hey Zach,
Happy Thanksgiving. Hope you all have a nice dinner. I hope the violence lets up soon over there. So much going on. You'll be home soon.
Take Care,
Margie from New York

Hurria said...

"I hope the violence lets up soon over there."

The violence "over there" will not let up until the ones who started it, and who still commit the majority of it and and the worst of it, leave. If you really want the violence to stop start pressuring your government to get out of Iraq and keep up the pressure until the last of the troops are back home. You will be doing your military men and women a favour, you will be helping your national budget, and greatest of all, you will be doing Iraqis a big service. And you will save thousands of lives.

Anonymous said...

Most of us want our guys home almost as much as you want them gone. We just have to convince our fearless leader of this. The tide is turning over here. You can feel it. It won't be long now.
Zack, keep safe over there.
Hurria, you keep safe too.

Anonymous said...

With the most of respect, Hurria, are you 100% sure that this is going to be the end of violence? You have no fear at all of even more violence with no american troops left and iraqi security forces not competent?

Blu Jay said...

Blu Jay;
Perhaps it's just me but I think what Hurria is saying that all we or rather our current administration and their "Keystone Kops" Cabal can do by staying is make matters worse and that there is the possibility that even the insurgent attacks will cease or be tempered by the opportunity for all Iraqis to get down to the business of rebuilding their world. A rather ornate and advanced world it was by the way. Though the genuises who designed and built those magnificent Mosques and all of the glorious sites in Iraq which are mostly now rubble, don't work for Halliburton and therefore may be a little rusty and have to stretch and get back to what they all did best before we stuck our big ILLEGAL noses in their lives. These were not cave dwelling third world refugees but, Doctors, Lawyers, Architects, Engineers, Scientists (Who were busy with things other than building chemical weapons, Why build them. We gave them Daddy Bush gave them all they could ever need)
This is not a people who do nothing but sell bananas and Goat's. Sadly that is the vision that all too many of our own backward ignorant American citizens think of all Middle East Countries. They think we invented the wheel and everything else in the world and everyone else is one hundred years behind us.
I believe in life in other Universes and I can tell you that they probably look at us here in America and think the same, the difference being that the Aliens would be right.
Hurria is obviously a brilliant person with great insite into not only politics but Human nature and all to wise to miss what a grossly high number of Americans did in November of 2004. That in this Country about which we SHOULD be concerned and this Country's policies only. That would perhaps have saved us from to quote Teresa Kerry "FOUR MORE YEARS OF HELL"
How anyone thought that we couldn't possibly have been better off with the Three Stooges in office rather than Bush a Man we may never know as incredibly stupid or evil personified.
I must laugh at all of his "Christian" supporters because while I believe in God and am the most spiritual person I know. I have studied enough about all manner of theology, philosophy, and alternat vies on life, death, the universe and our purpose in it and one thing I know for sure. That book comprised of probably 95% fairy tales called the Bible describes someone remarkably like Bush as the Anti Christ of Revelations. Though I myself don't see the Charismatic personality.
Start noticing the fact that you will never meet more judgemental, negatively critial and damning people than many so called Christians especially the Born Agains and Evangelicals or Fanatics the word I prefer.
The God Allah, Yewah, Jahovah, "I AM" is one and the same force. We are all praying to the same God to help us kill people who are all praying to one God. I imagine he must just answer the prayer phone and set it down on the desk and go about his business letting the rambling go on.

We need to elect a Democratic Congress and Senate next year more than anything and then we need to vote ourselves a Democratic President. Or a Chimpanzee if must be. That would be an improvement of IQ of I believe 1000%
We have neither the resources, the lack of our own problems nor the right to be involved in any other Country and their policies. If they want a Dictator who is cruel and a Maniac who was or is capable of keeping the radical terrorists out of his Country as Hussein did rather than the hornets next and Pandora's box we or rather Little George and his boss DICK opened.
I almost could say I can't wait until I pass from this world of illusion to the real world where there is nothing negative, nothing but love and upward spiritual mobility, just to find out what the Karmic ramifications of their actions are, those who have participating in this criminal treasonous act that has cause thousands upon thousands of deaths of innocent people. Notice I said people not soldiers though my heart aches every night when I meditate in my way of prayer and try as hard as I can to imagine myself in the boots of our dear courageous troops who are serving their country against the better judgement of their own opinions because unlike our President, they are to a Man or Woman, incredibly good at what they do. They take orders and do as they're told in the name of protecting their fellow Americans and the world at large (Those who WANT our help)I support them, love them as though I were related to each one and I WANT THEM HOME WITH THEIR LOVED ONES! They are each and everyone a hero just for enlisting. That was the day each one becomes a Hero in my opinion. By merely signing those papers and committing themselves to something that sure ain't the Boy Scouts of America.

Lastly I must remind any who are still either stupid or mentally disfunctional enough to still back this idiot presidency and his pack of theives, that our President and Vice President did not serve. Worse, Cheney who in my opinion is more responsible for this debacle took FIVE deferrments to avoid serving the country that he now thinks all Boys should. As long as they are not the Sons, Daughters, Neices, Nephews or Grandchildren of anyone in Government.

I am disgusted. I have never posted here before but have been an avid reader of Zach's blog for over nine months and find his words humbling and am awestruck at the strength of character of this Man of iron with the soul and eyes of a poet, but after reading a good deal of posts here over the past few nights, I could keep quiet no longer.

God, Allah, Jehovah, Yaweh,
Bless everyone, especially the homeless of the world no matter the circumstances and most of all the children with most special attention to those our President has orphaned.

Snag said...

Happy Thanksgiving Zach, to your family and the folks in your unit. I hope all is as well as can be expected. Stay safe and be careful.
-Best wishes from my family also.

Hurria said...

"are you 100% sure that this is going to be the end of violence?"

I did not say it would be the end of violence. I said it will not "let up" until the ones who started it, and who continue to commit the majority of it and the worst of it leave. In addition, American forces by their actions provoke the overwhelming majority of the other violence.

"Let up" means to diminish, not necessarily to end altogether. And of course the violence will diminish as soon as the most violent element, and the greatest provoker of violence, is gone.

"You have no fear at all of even more violence with no american troops left and iraqi security forces not competent?"

Of course not, and for what should be obvious reasons to anyone who really knows what is going on in Iraq.

1. The American troops started the violence when they used "shock and awe" to blast their way into a broken but peaceful country in March, 2003.

2. Since March, 2003 the American troops have continued to commit more violence than all other violent elements combined.

3. Since March, 2003 the American troops have committed the overwhelmingly greatest magnitude of violence, destroying neighborhoods, towns and cities, creating hundreds of thousands of permanent refugees, and killing and maiming tens of thousands of Iraqis.

4. The overwhelming majority of the violence not committed by American troops is directly provoked by them and directed against them, their Iraqi proxies, collaborators, and other elements of the occupation.

The moment the American troops leave Iraq the violence they commit will cease immediately. That means the majority of the violence, and the greatest magnitude of violence will cease. In addition, the majority of the other violence - the violence that American forces provoke - will cease.

In addition the Iraqi forces will be freed from the command and control of the occupying power. Their current job of helping the U.S. enforce the occupation will end, and they will be available to do the job of protecting Iraq and Iraqis - something they are likely to be far more committed to.

Hurria said...

"I think what Hurria is saying that all we or rather our current administration and their "Keystone Kops" Cabal can do by staying is make matters worse"

Yes, that in a nutshell is what I am saying. In Iraq you are like Keystone Kops on crack. In March, 2003, Iraq was a peaceful, if broken, country. Since you blasted your way into the country in March, 2003, every one of your actions have done nothing but make things worse, and worse, and worse. How anyone can imagine that by staying you will suddenly start to make things better is beyond my ability to understand.

"there is the possibility that even the insurgent attacks will cease or be tempered by the opportunity for all Iraqis to get down to the business of rebuilding their world."

The overwhelming majority of the "insurgent" attacks are against foreign occupation forces, their Iraqi proxies, and other elements of the occupation. Once the foreign occupation forces are gone, and the occupation is ended the overwhelming majority of "insurgent" attacks will cease no matter what Iraqis do or do not get down to.

Hurria said...

" awestruck at the strength of character of this Man..."

How, exactly, does it show strength of character to willingly take part in something one knows is wrong?

Anonymous said...


As a fellow arab< I feel your pain & always thought that the US had no business in going to Iraq. But, you cannot take it out on Zack & his fellow soldiers, he & the others are doing their duty whether its right or wrong otherwise they would be court martialed. We in the USA can keep up the pressure on our government & encourage them to bring our troops home but unfortunately we have dug in too deep. We have to at least make sure that Iraq can rule itself & then, get the hell out of there.

Zack, I hope you had a happy thanksgiving under the circumstaces & be comforted that you will be with your family really soon. You & your fellow soldiers are in my thoughts & prayers.


sissyblue said...

Great blog! I hope you had a good Thanksgiving:>) We love you all and are so grateful for your service to our country. Freedom is not free and it's brave young people like yourself that guarantee freedom for generations to come!

Hurria said...

sissyblue, perhaps YOU could enlighten me by explaining exactly how what Zach and his colleagues are doing in Iraq is serving your country. Even more mystifying is how what they are dong in Iraq is guaranteeing freedom "for generations to come". So far no one has been willing to even try to explain these things. Perhaps you would make an attempt?

Kristen said...

I hate when people thank me for my service. The first thing I tell them is that I didn't do anything notable or contribute one thing that could be considered worthy of the taxes paid to pay me. Though in this day in age its something to be proud of, all things considered, that I never contributed to the Iraq war, some civilians don't understand that. Especially the younger ones. Whenever a teenager/early 20s half heartedly thanks me for my service(after learning that I never went over seas) I smile and say" I served so you don't have to, right?"

Anonymous said...

Hurria, in today's blog, Zach was a true gentelman and addressed you in a respectfull way. Can you not put your hostility aside and show some grace and dignity and give an equally respectfull reply, just once? You have completely ignored his address to you. One way the greatness of a human being can be shown is by the ability of enemies to set aside their differences, even if momentarily, and treat each other with respect.

Fabi said...

To the last person who posted before...
Zach is really a true gentleman, one of the few of his kind

Hurria is beig so hostile because her country was invaded and the occupiers are not helping the people over there, perhaps the Iraqi people will only kissing American damn ass when Iraq really gets better and it'll not happen in few years, so tell to Hurria how she can be happy by seeing her loved country being destroyed by foreign occupiers and by her own people?

Since I started to visit Zach's blog, I always had respect and agree almost totally with Hurria's comments probably because I'm not an American if I was American I would probably disagree with Hurria and say to her what Americans love to say...
I always enjoyed your posts Zach, you're great writer.

Hugs to Hurria and To Zach, I hope Iraq will be one day one good place to live, I hope America eat her own shit one day too

Anonymous said...

Fabi, I know why Hurria is hostile and I am not asking her to be happy. I am just asking if she can set it a side for just one moment and find one honestly nice thing to say to Zach in return - at least kindly acknowledge his address to her.

Hurria said...

Dear Anonymous,

Though I find your tone and some of your renarks inappropriate, you are quite right about one thing. I should have shown Zach the courtesy of acknowledging his remarks to me. The truth is that while I usually do read Zach's posts before going to the comments, this was one of the few times that I went straight to the comments. That is probably because Thanksgiving is not a holiday I identify with or find interesting, and I usually find the "happy
Thanksgiving" thing pro forma, irrelevant, and a bit of a bore. So, as they say, it is "my bad", and I thank you for drawing my attention to it, although you certainly could have found a more courteous way to do so.

And now a few points to you:

1. You need to learn to distinguish between hostility and criticism or disagreement. I have disagreed with Zach, I have criticized his decision to take part in something he clearly does not believe in. I have not expressed hostility toward him.

2. I do not view Zach as an enemy, though I might if I came face to face with him. On the other hand, you have a hell of a nerve demanding that I set aside the fact that Zach is part of a force that violently invaded and occupied my country, and created destruction, death, and misery not seen here since the Mongol invasion, and that if ordered to do so, he would shoot and kill me.

JayTeeee said...

I wonder if there's one person posting here who is not, A)An Iraqi, in IRAQ, since this falsly manipulated, treasonous, & ghastly war was CREATED for the sole purposes of a small group of souless dogs who are also illegally at the highest points reachable in our government only by illegal devious means or, B)A Man or Woman from anywhere who has been in Iraq at some point during this farce to see the killing, destruction & death. The things that can fuel dreams for only those who have. Here, to my knowledge that's Hurria & Zach.
If you've really read & re-read Zach's writing & have ever looked into any real darkness you should probably, like me take a chance on guessing that Zach understands a great deal more about where Hurria's words come from, the intent, meaning, feeling & rightfully bitter angst behind them.
Every Man & Woman in our armed forces is, but from what I've read, seen & those involved I know personally, do not want to be known as Heros or lavished with empty praise because they are so well trained that all they care about or think about is DOING IT RIGHT one train of thought, to do as they are ordered. Not for praise whether they've saved a thousand lives or dutifully cleaned a thousand latrines but because that's what they chose to do.
So, yes in that respect they are serving though not the way most Americans throw the word around & everyone like Zach should not only be commended but in my opinion be brought home on our shoulders sat down & have their every need & even whim catered to by our Government for the rest of their days. If I had my way Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice would be waiting on tarmacs to give to every troop as they disembark, a manicure & pedicure and polish their boots before kneeling down to kiss every damn one of them. That's about all any of those four are fit for. Frightening thought that it is. It would be satisfying to see.
Though I'll bet fewer would really want any kind of free ride than those who might.
I'm sure like Zach, the average Troop just wants to get home to his family and life & take care of HIS OWN world all by himself.

Who among all who come here have not seen things merely on a movie screen that make you leap in fear? Graphic reports or reenactments of a single home invasion by a couple of bumbling robbers that makes you cringe & twist in your chair from someone being hit in the face with a baseball bat.
How dense are we that we really can't dig or take the time in these three years to really visualize and grasp the feeling of being an innocent in these homes where the doors come crashing in, all of your belongings crushed, your family pushed & shoved around at the very least? It doesn't take a genius to understand the horror of just that one senario that has been lived thousands of times over there.
However, also I'd say to those of you who forget to totally separate the troops from the evil that controls and abuses them just as well.
It is exactly because our troops are a truly awesome force of nature as trained but not by politicians, but trained with honor, by honorable Men, to be exactly that.
And for WHAT?
I'm just guessing but I think Zach like most of the troops know that we, the American people, even those of us who fought like hell to keep the Devil himself out of office the second time round let alone the first stolen time in, so that this might be over or at least run as only military minds could run it as opposed to the greedy corporate pigs that now do run it. Maybe it wouldn't be the pit of quicksand it is now if there were one man in the Whitehouse who understood what it feels like to wake up & know that you could soon be dead just for doing your job. A fighter. A real Man. Not a useless coke snorting drunk & an evil deferrment expert who acts like the model for Darth Vader.
Any idiot knows you don't win a hopeless fight by just slugging away at shadows. No one I know has ever been knocked out shadow boxing. Though, come to think of it, if someone could I'll bet that someone would be G. W. Bush Moron Supreme.
Of course there must be many among our troops who are mentally defective or morally bereft who have purposely done things to shame us. Even those who got off on it. Things we already know of & God help us, things we've yet to learn which I dread. But, those are individual MEN. Not Soldiers. Not successfully trained Troops but Defectives. Yet we must take responsibility for all that has been done there even by those rare misfits. If you rabble rousing pro Bush idiots who vote for politicians based on your Grandfather's opinions & your parents politics. Who really think it's as simple as Democrat = High taxes and lots of food stamps & abortions for fun yea! While Republican = Low taxes, Less welfare, better economy, higher morality & more for every American to hoard.
You Crackers from the hills, you moronic Mooks from the big brave bragging gasbags who dwell under rocks in New Jersey to the over paid English language slaughtering, 3 piece suited mental midgets paying thousands for a room over a dumpster in Manhattan. And you. You money grubbing selfserving killer fat cats perched in your leather lined, glass glass enclosed catbird seats slobbering over your ill gotten gains in the towers of safe sound America, who praise the mighty Bush & the fierce fighting chest pounding Republican BLOW HARDS. What do you know of suffering?
WHAT! The airconditioning in your trailer's broken? Your gas guzzling Hummer is in the shop and the one they loaned you has a different colored interior it & you have to puff yourself up for the fight you'll get from your 5th wife when you drive it into the four car garage of your lair?
My fat Aunt Frances, You support my butt! You support your tax breaks you fat rich slobs who would move Heaven and Earth to see no child or yours answers the most honorable of calls if a draft was reinstated. You'd pay for it with your next to last million or even all you have banked in the Islands.
And you! You bible thumping Magnolia sniffers who think that you & yours brought to us & down upon us the second coming when you fought with dirty lies and ugly agendas and soul stabbing talk of personal private life issues that are no business of yours, to get who in the Whitehouse? WHO?
I believe in God with all I am. HE IS ALL I HAVE. AND he isn't fucking Jesus Christ Almighty. If you know your precious Gospels so well you know Jesus insisted that very fact himself! God is God. The same God the Jews, the Catholics, the Episcopalians & yes the MUSLIMS as well as every man, woman & child who believe there is a God pray to. He is know by many names but not JESUS and damn sure NOT George my head's up my butt and I can't get it out BUSH. If I believe what you fanatics do, then I'd feel like the only one in the church who's wondering if we didn't "hmm, you don't think maybe he's the Anti...NO!"
No. It's God I thank for the mind that's made me study enough & have opened my heart & mind to all things, all possiblilities & always put myself in the shoes of anyone about whom I find the need to think. I've always lived by one commandment that I'm sure is just fine with God, if God were the a single minded old man sitting on a throne up in the clouds really concerned with the way each and every one of us thinks and how often we really show up at church (if we only knew which one was the right one) These idiot Evangelical lunatics live as though God is Santa Claus & he loves only them IF they call him Jesus. All I need is that one commmandment they teach every kid in nursery school "The Golden Rule" where I come from in the half assed lower middle class land of idiots that dwell in the rocks of Long Island New York. Some of stupidest and crudest people who walk the earth (God forgive me)I'm one of them alright & damned ashamed of it sometimes when I am forced to be seen with some of my relations and the other chest puffers there, but don't forget the one & only thing that is important now to everyone of us here.
OUR TROOPS NEED TO COME HOME & KNOW that they have served & served well. It doesn't matter any more after the fact that it really, sadly was for illicit despicable reasons that will benefit no Americans but the wealthiest pigs among us. Republican or Democrat. THEY SERVED AS THEY WERE TRAINED TO. That's more than I have & more than a lot of people who pay such close attention to this Flea Circus of a war, whether for it or against it.
All who served are still heros whether they were deployed or sat behind a desk in an American base, because they signed a contract that stood for something & that they knew depending of fate and idiots alone could cause them their lives all because they signed a paper saying they would & stood by it. The only tragedy is that they were maniacally deceived into believing it would always be to help and save people & be on the side of right. Not be ordered to kill & destroy & torture for nothing but to try to hopefully trip over some little thing, anything that would validate their Commander in Chief's lies. Even the lowest minded most twisted Troop who through no fault of his own MAY be guilty of any wrong doing while there, must still be held innocent. The blame belongs on the limp sloped shoulders of those who put him there. A government so mismanaged that it must let those slip by who would otherwise be robbing candy from babies in some small cow town or raping children in our finest suburbs. But thankfully I believe the great majority are like our host here.
As for Hurria. My God.
If you can't imagine someone coming here and tearing down St. Patricks Cathedral with a few rockets, The Lincoln Memorial reduced to a pile of rubble, The great faces of Mount Rushmore blasted back to cliffs. If you can't imagine a bunch of men who despite being well meaning, maybe all quite sorry for what they are doing but nontheless doing it BECAUSE THEY AGREED TO DO WHATEVER THEIR LEADER TOLD THEM TO, bursting into your houses while you & your children and neices and nephews, dearest ones sleep & take over your home, go digging through your most precious and personal possesions, perhaps meaning you no harm but unfortunately and accidentally destroying or worse harming someone just because they must have your house & be sure there is nothing in it with which they may be harmed because they need a place in which to bed down for the night & while they are there the men in your family who don't understand what they are shouting as they wave high powered rifles around, pumped to veins bursting with adrenalin, are herded like livestock to one corner & the women & children to another crying, screaming with terror fearing what even the most dense of you can imagine let alone at the least JUST death. If you're really that stupid and lacking any shred of empathy, than yes, this really has been a big royal waste of time, money and most importantly flesh, blood and souls. And your stupidity and lack of empathy makes it all the more tragic.
If you think about yourself & all mankind & try to imagine all as just souls, no body, no color or ethnicity but just an indiviual strain or beam of loving light energy like the glow of lightening behind a cloud before a summer storm & you know that when released from the coveralls of life that we are forced to wear while here, Our bodies. We are all ONE & that we are all part of the same power's source, one. GET IT!
Sadly I doubt all of those who've even bothered to read this far will, but those of you who have gotten this far please get it through your heads.
There is no blame to lay on the head of any soldier or even any military personel of the highest order. Nothing for them but honor & our pitiful empty thanks. Thanks for your Son's life. George needed it. Thanks for your Daughter. That was a tough press week for Rummy & her death gave him something to distract us with. See! "HONOR those who lost their lives this week. OUR TROOPS" Never mind what We're up to behind the curtain. You just honor he said. What can we do APOLOGIZE? for putting them there? Those poor dumb bastards who voted for it & I who didn't do enough to fight alongside all like minded people around me to stop it when we could have. Because we don't beat the piss out of our friends who say "Oh it's all BS I'm not wasting my vote". Oh well I vote one way and my husband votes the other so we just cancel out each other so why bother. HIT THEM WITH SOMETHING HEAVY NEXT YEAR!
As for the Iraqis, Even the insurgents can't all be bad people. None of us would do what they're doing if it were them, here doing it to our country? C'mon. Get real. I'm from New York. They love a reason to throw anything and everyone has a baseball bat or a carving knife in his car. Are you kidding!
You either understand that are among the Iraqis, yes even the insurgents, those who's homes have been invaded, wives & daughters raped & murdered, their Magnificent as well as their most humble but still precious Mosques as precious as our Churches, Temples, Cathedrals trashed, used for urinals, holy artifacts trampled beneath boots.
You must try to think of not a mass of people but of the individual he or she could be a distant relation if you needed the mental impetus to imagine hard enough & assume first only that he or she is good. Why do people want to see bad even if it's just a hunch an assumption based on appearances? If your reason are of that kind then, possibly he who you are attempting to judge is possibly good. None of us knows everything no matter how things appear to us. Too often things are exactly the opposite. If it costs me my life, I'd rather assume the best & trust in my own faith that I'll deal with whatever I must LATER when I find I'm wrong rather than live my life hating & believing that everyone but the rare exception among us (OF THE WORLD) is bad depending upon the spoutings of an idiot who happens to have stole an office for himself (well had people steal it for him. He's far to stupid to have done it himself) deserves to have happen to them what has happened to the Iraqis & to our poor misused and grossly mistreated Soldiers. The only example of honor remotely related to the government of the United States of America that there is.
They are all we have to be proud of now.
Our fearless leader & his likewise draft dodging accomplice not to mention the rest of the motely crew have made sure of that.
It is they & they alone who have brought shame & embarrassment to all good hearted Americans even those of you who were such fools to believe evil when you should have felt it's foul breath on your faces.
Stop arguing already. There will be no winners & no victory.
Let's just pray someone figures out a way to speed us out of there, leave those poor people what little we haven't already destroyed or stolen, leave them with all we can to strengthen their own resolve and defenses & let our brave Men & Women who left us while still children, come home & do something that they know & can again, hopefully believe is worth risking their lives & families for.
God bless them all. Those who are involved.
The rest of us I think have too damn many blessings here in the US. That's part of our problem. You're all so bored & full of yourselves you have to go looking elsewhere to poke your sticks & kick over someone else's sand castles...just because you don't like the shape of it & that big fat kid over there said he pay you to do it.
Hurria & Zach I pray for you & yours & for the understanding of each other's viewpoint. You are neither right nor wrong. You are both victims of greed & avarice so grotesque I pray we never see the like of it again as long as the sun still burns, I swear to God.
The people of America had better all get out of their easy chairs, turn off the TVs, Notebooks & iPods & get our asses to the voting booths next year, again in 2008 and follow through to make sure your vote is counted if you have to handcuff yourself to someone from the Board of Elections!
Only read. For God's sake READ!! If you live in this country & believe you understand what's really going on within your own government the one to which your hard earned tax money goes, because you wolf your dinners down on tray tables with the six o'clock news on or you read our nation's newspapers which nowadays aren't fit to wrap dead fish in & think you're finding any truth - Well, I feel sorry for you. Really really sorry.
I have no children to leave behind about whom I need to lose sleep for the world I'm leaving them in. So, I could be selfish & just say fuck it all. God! Whenever you're ready take me! You know my number. Call me when it's up. Ah, them? Screw 'em.
But as long as I'm here & as long as the all too long arm or rather NOSE of american government is reaching in my bedroom window, car, lawn, PANTS! I just can't.
We let this happen. All of us. Now WE have a duty. A duty to genuinely show our Troops that we meant it when we said "We support you". Time to put the money where the flapping gums are. We must not forget that we have been affected all, and we WILL mobilize read the bills, acts and ammendments that are bandied about in Washington. Make sure you know every vote your representatives cast on important issues and damn well write them when you don't like it & thank them when you do. Dig through the government websites, search out the information that IS available to all of us while it still is available. Our internet makes us feel so superior. Well stop playing games on it or playing with yourself at it & do something of value with it. Do something to at least try to make sure that our Troops brothers, sisters and children along with any of our own loved ones never get sent to their graves by self serving politicians ever ever again.
GET YOUR HEADS OUT OF YOUR BUTTS!! While they still allow you to call it yours!
Zach, Hurria, You have my best wishes & prayers for peace & happy futures along with, for what they're worth, my apologies for being one of the ugly Americans who should have worked harder to keep the dogs out of the house or have the guts to shoot the biggest two in the head. And I don't believe in violence. Go figure.

Hurria said...

Dear Zach,

Please excuse me for not acknowledging your remarks to me sooner, and please accept this belated acknowledgement.

As I have stated here several times before, I bear you no ill will, and wish no harm to come to you, despite the fact that you are taking part in an action that has destroyed my country and created enormous misery and instability that will last for a very long time after you are gone.

I wish with all my heart to see you gone from Iraq permanently, and to hear that you are back home with your very nice family healthy and in one piece - this is one point of agreement we have. As I have also stated here, I do understand your dilemma, and at the same time I have no sympathy for either your dilemma or your decision to take part in the destruction of my country.

Zach, my criticisms and disagreements, do not change the fact that I believe you are a decent person. I have indicated this a few times, I know. It is just too bad that you are involved now in a very indecent situation that profoundly affects a few million people who would normally welcome you warmly into our country, and who would be charmed by your effort to know our language.

Normal hospitality would demand that I ask you to stay longer, and if you must leave, to return soon, but in this case I ask the opposite. Please leave Iraq as soon as possible, and do not come back. I ask this without malice.

JayTeeee said...

Well so much for the "Can't we all just get along" tack.

Zach just know you've done only what you could nothing more nothing less. You have no choice and to create one for yourself would cause you to be labled either traitor or coward or which you are neither.

Can't say they'll understand someday because I don't think there's anything to understand for those who are trying to look at this as black, white, right, wrong, or simply as a war with two fighting factions in the most commonly held sense of the word war.
I only wish that those Iraqis who've turned on you guys could understand that our country has been held hostage to a worse degree in five years than they have in all the day's of Hussein's reign. Call me crazy but I'd trust him over Bush and Cheney anyday.

We've all been had. Let's see it doesn't happen again. This world can't afford to lose anymore people of the type who would do what you all do.

If only we could lose the rest.

Hurria. I know this will sound incredibly flip but Lighten up. I say that because I've made my beliefs about the entire situation above and after all the back and forth up to this point, to read your last words now to one of ours a man like Zach who's probably considered by his peers and superiors to be as close to flawless a Man as our military has after merely being an observer for far too long here. I must say. Lay off or just stop coming here. He's not in a position to call the whole thing off you know. You do sound somewhat as though you might think he is.
They're not having a holiday over there. Somehow I just think maybe some of them might rather be here than there.
No matter. I needn't be psychic to know that no matter how you may rant at him. They won't bring the troops home even if Zach calls and says he's decided it's over. I wish. More than you. Trust me.
His Commander in Chief is certifiably retarded with a brain damaged by years of drugs and liquor now driven to atrophy with delusions of power and piousness.
This could have all been avoided if we could have just exchanged leaders. Though you would have gotten the short end of the stick. Believe me.
But go pick on some pro war bumpkin. We still grow too many of them here for you be unable to find one over there.
This Man ain't one of them.

Peace to you,

duhh said...

i sure don unnerstan why all them arabs're mad at thuh meriKKKins. it ain't the meriKKins fault they're all over there ruinin iraq, an ghanistan an syria and iran an the rest. an it ain't them poor meriKKKins fault they're fillin up their gizzards with toxic foodstuffs. it's them bad butch guy's an ther ugly, immoral guvernment's makin' 'em do it. anyway, happy merry thanksgiving to all.

Aspartame Causes Cancer in Rats at Levels Currently Approved for Humans
A statistically significant increase in the incidence of malignant tumors, lymphomas and leukemias in rats exposed to varying doses of aspartame appears to link the artificial sweetener to a high carcinogenicity rate, according to a study accepted for publication today by the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP).
Posted Nov 25, 2005 11:41 AM PST


Anonymous said...

great job, yanks

Hurria said...

Jayteeee, I invite you to spend one month living with an ordinary Iraqi family in Iraq. Spend one month living as Iraqis do, and then let's see if you can dare to look me or any Iraqi in the eyes and tell me to "lighten up".

JayTeeee said...

I explained at gross length how well I know what you say is true but that I myself am obsessed with at least trying with every week that drags on, to imagine the unimaginable.
My Point was there is no point in harranguing one innocent Soldier who will likely be as affected by the war as anyone who HAS been there.
Give Zach a break at least. You should re-read my 2nd to last diatribe. I'm on nobody's side. I wish Kane and Abel had gotten along and everyone since.
What do you want that we the people or Zach and the enlisted Men can do for you. THAT THEY CAN do? What?

Anonymous said...

"Give Zach a break at least. You should re-read my 2nd to last diatribe. I'm on nobody's side. I wish Kane and Abel had gotten along and everyone since.
What do you want that we the people or Zach and the enlisted Men can do for you. THAT THEY CAN do? What?"

Aye Aye Jayteee!!!!! I second that motion.

Hurria, We have a couple of sayings in the USA that applies here.....
1) you are barking up the wrong tree!
preaching to the
2) you are preaching to the choir

.....most of us agree & want Zack & his fellow soldiers to come home


Anonymous said...

yo jaytee,

want some suggestions? you could start by limiting your intake of aspartame and fux news and reflect just a wee bit.

its very simple, really, what "innocent" zack and all his "innocent" buddy soldiers can do. inform their superiors that a week from today they are laying down their weapons and will shoot no more. there will be consequences. how many of these "innocent" soldiers are "heroic" enough to do this?

read up on the nuremberg trials. all your poor "innocent" gi's, saddened to be away from family, are guilty of war crimes. the big fish swim free, the little ones are too dumb (or not "heroic" enough) and get eaten up by circumstances.

now lets all think of the socioeconomic and political aspects of this heroic decision. duh

Ann in So. CA said...

THANK YOU for what you are doing! My family and I never want to take for granted the bravery and sacrifice made every day by people like you, so over the Thanksgiving weekend we volunteered with a non-profit organization called Operation Gratitude. It was our small way of giving back and showing our support to the troops serving overseas. Please check out and read some of the email 'thank you' letters that have been posted there -- it's very heartwarming!

Hurria said...

Ann, perhaps YOU can explain what it is specifically that you are thanking Zach and the other troops in Iraq for. How is what they are doing benefitting you? How is it benefitting your country? I have asked so many people that question, and no one ever even tries to answer it.

Ann in So. CA said...

No one tries to answer that question, Hurria? I'm surprised. Specifically, I am thankful that Zach and so many others have willingly volunteered to fight in the war against terrorism. They're fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan right now so terrorism won't once again make it to our shores like it did so horribly on 9/11. Have our efforts to bring freedom to the Iraqi people been perfect? No. Have mistakes been made? Yes. But freedom isn't free, is it? It's extremely costly, and people like Zach are willing to pay the price of putting themselves in harm's way and of being away from the comforts of home and loved ones in order to do this important work.

Hurria said...

Dear Ann,

Apparently you haven't heard yet that Iraq had and still has nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism or the so-called "war against terrorism" - except, of course, that it has served as the best recruiting poster the terrorists have ever seen.

As for "bringing freedom to the Iraqi people", kindly spare us your ignorant, nauseateing platitudes. What you have brought to the Iraqi people is death, destruction, and misery beyond anything anyone imagined, and less freedom than at any other time in history. In particular you have set conditions for women and for Christians back about 800 years. No one thought anything could be worse than Saddam. We have since discovered otherwise.

I hope you are good and proud of yourselves.

Hurria said...


PS I have the feeling that unlike you, Zach is aware enough to understand that what he is doing in Iraq is not fighting the so-called "war against terror", nor is anything he is doing likely to contribute to the welfare and safety of his country or its people.

Hurria said...


"it has served as the best recruiting poster the terrorists have ever seen." the pronoun "it" here refers to the U.S. aggression against Iraq.

Ann in So. CA said...

Hurria, you and I obviously see things very differently. To me, our disagreements highlight how wonderful it is that we are both free to openly express our opinions, criticisms and -- in your case -- even unkind, judgmental ("ignorant, nauseating platitudes") hate speech without fear of any punishment. Even so, I didn't post a comment on Zach's blog to cause any trouble or stir up a political debate. I simply wanted to express sincere thanks for his sacrificial service. I answered your question and you don't like my answer -- oh well.

Hurria said...

Dear Ann,

Kindly spare me your patronizing nonsense, and try to learn something real about the unspeakable horrors your government has unleashed on Iraq, and the short and long term consequences of all that before you talk about bringing freedom to the poor primitive backward people there.

Try to understand that your government's brutal aggression against Iraq never had anything to do with the so-called "war on terror", and does not now.

Oh - and about this great freedom of speech you so patronizingly alluded to, try telling Khalid Jarar about all this great freedom. Khaled was summarily arrested and detained incommunicado for a week. His "crime": was reading the "wrong: blog on the internet.

And tell my young relative and the director of the medical NGO he works for, too. They had their offices raided and all their computers and other equipment, and their records confiscated - they never got it back. They were harrassed for weeks by the Americans, required to spend entire days being "interviewed" by ignorant American military officers, during which my relative, who is a dentist, was told over and over in a very aggressive way that he is too young to be a doctor (the implication being that therefore he must be a "terrorist"?). Finally, one morning at 3 AM a gang of heavily armed thugs in military uniforms smashed down the door of the director's house, manhandled the women and children, injuring a couple of them, and dragged him off to an unknown location where he was held for a couple of weeks in awful conditions, and was tortured twice.

And tell it to my friend Adullah, who last year was detained by some of your freedom-bringers, forced to strip naked, verbally abused, and beaten after made a negative comment to some soldiers.

Oh yes - we all have thousands of examples of the wonderful freedoms you have brought us.

Hurria said...

Oh - ann, yes, we DO see things very differently. Could that possibly be because I know the reality all too up close and personal while you haven't got a clue what is actually going on?

Ann, I invite you to spend one month living in Iraq as an ordinary Iraqi. Let us see what you have to say after that exdperience - provided you survive it with your body and your mind intact.

Melinda said...


Your pleas for immediate US withdrawal are heard. I must admit that the idea seems irresponsible to me (the "we broke it, we bought it" concept), but the points are argued in a recent Atlantic Monthly article. Link below.

I'm curious as to your opinion as to what will happen to the governemnt, the officials that Iraqis have elected into place, and the newly trained Iraqi army? Do they face the fate of 1958 - murder?

I ask because I read that as a government is put in place in which a soldier can feel loyal too, training an Iraqi army (not just soldiers) becomes a more forseeable goal. If the government officials voted into place and the newly trained soldiers will be killed upon our departure, in effect neutering "progress," then I do see more urgency in our departure and will petetion our government as such.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your fellow citizens. No, I can not even begin to imagine what you have been through. I appreciate you sharing personal experiences, as Zach continues to do. And for what it is worth, as an individual who happenes to be American, I am deeply sorry for your pain and loss.

Canada,eh said...

Writing from the point of view of someone looking in from the outside, I have to say that Hurria and Zach are the only people who can tell us what is going on over there... we can only read and make our own judgements based on the facts that are presented.
As any of you know from reading Zach's postings, a lot of what Hurria is writing is correct - whether we want to accept it or not.
I also don't think she is personally trying to tell Zach to hop on the next flight out of the country... she is telling the US Armed Forces to GET OUT in general.
There are a lot of people outside of the US that think that Americans are living under the rule of a dictator who, day by day, is destroying the reputation of its good citizens and making the world a MORE DANGEROUS place. I wasn't half as afraid after 9/11 as I am now that a terrorist attack is going to affect the lives of my family. I live within a couple of hundred miles of the US border and I now have to worry about dirty bombs, nuclear power plant sabotage, etc. I wouldn't have had to worry if US government policy didn't include p--sing off the entire Muslim world.
Before criticizing Hurria you should think about the same scenario happening in your own country. What if China decided it couldn't sit back and watch the US destroyed by the Bush administration anymore and decided to invade and remove the 'dictator'... and then help you set up a 'nicer' government, but remember, none of the Republican party could be part of the new government and your entire army command had to step down, and they issued a set of 'baseball' cards with the faces and stats on Rice, Rumsfeld, Cheney, etc. with 'shoot to kill' orders, and they enlisted the help of the Iranian, Venezuelan, and North Korean army to help keep the peace during the transition and George Bush had to hide out in a root cellar in northern Idaho.
Also imagine that your soldiers (your sons and daughters) were shipped to Iran to a military prison where you had absolutely no contact with them for YEARS at a time. Even if all of that happened and you were 'liberated' do you think that the Democrats who are given power of the government and the new 'fledgling' armed forces would just go along with it? Do you not think you would FIGHT to your dying breathes to rid your country of the occupiers... even if you absolutely hated George Bush and his administration? Would you not sacrifice your own lives (by any means including suicide bombings) to make the lives of your children better? It is a scenario that can go on forever....
NO, I don't think that George Bush is the Anti-Christ or that he is even as 'personally' evil as Saddam Hussein but he has ordered the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans but just sending the US to war in these countries... just because he can remove himself from the situation personally, does that make him any better?

Zach... you are a good man in a bad place and I do hope that you safely return home soon... with the rest of your force.

Hurria... I don't know if you are Sunni or Shia and, as the example above indicates, it doesn't matter, I just hope that you can create a safe country for your family in the future.

For Everyone Else... I think this was meant as a place to voice your opinions but remember that you don't have all of the facts... none of us do... and it is best not to lash out at others, just make your point and hope that it affects someone positively at the other end.

Ivan Zverzhanovski said...


thanks for a great blog. I hope you get home safe and soon.

Regards from London



I want to go back to something you wrote a few days ago:

2. Since March, 2003 the American troops have continued to commit more violence than all other violent elements combined.

3. Since March, 2003 the American troops have committed the overwhelmingly greatest magnitude of violence, destroying neighborhoods, towns and cities, creating hundreds of thousands of permanent refugees, and killing and maiming tens of thousands of Iraqis.

4. The overwhelming majority of the violence not committed by American troops is directly provoked by them and directed against them, their Iraqi proxies, collaborators, and other elements of the occupation.

The moment the American troops leave Iraq the violence they commit will cease immediately. That means the majority of the violence, and the greatest magnitude of violence will cease. In addition, the majority of the other violence - the violence that American forces provoke - will cease.

While I can see the point of some of your other posts, and do not necessarily disagree with what you are saying, I would like to know some facts about it. For example, could you substantiate with numbers your claim that the majority of the violence is either committe by US Troops or directed at them. To me, it would seem that quiet a lot of the violence is directed against the Iraqi people rather than US troops. In brief, when making arguments like that, it would be good to have facts rather than impressions, opinions or beliefs.

Secondly, while I agree that the occupation of Iraq was a plain stupid thing to do, I am not convinced that US troops leaving now would really make things better like you say. Then again, neither your nor I know this for a fact and will have to wait and see.

Finally, blaming everything on the US somewhat pervets the issue. Again, I agree that what is happening now can be traced to the invasion, but you seem to ignore the damage done to ordinary Iraqis by the insurgents of all kinds that are roming Iraq. And please don't go on and say the obvious - if there was no invasion this would not have happened. I don't read your comments regularly, but I am struck by your lack of condmenation for those people that drive a trcuk packed of explosives into a market place for example. That US troops are doing some nasty things should not excuse insurgents! Or is your thinking more down the lines of "at least they are being killed by their own people"?