Saturday, November 12, 2005

Lost Time

The time is short now, and getting shorter each day. For me I will be out of here in only about 2 months or so. It will end, but for those soldiers just coming here their year has only just begun, and for the Iraqis there is no end to their time here.

I have mixed feelings about this last year, part of me wishes to just forget it all and pretend like it never happened, but I know that I won't do that (I couldn't forget it even if I really wanted to). It has become a part of me and will shape my future just as every other major event in my life will.

I want you all to listen to me here, don't take it for granted! None of it. Every day you have with your kids, every kiss from your lover's lips, all of it matters. Don't get complacent with your heart and with your friends. I know that I sound like I am preaching to you, and in a way I am. You never know when you won't be able to be with those people. I would give so much to be with Tara, Jacob, and Linnea right now, even to wake up in the middle of the night to take my dog outside to pee, or to get Jake or Naya a drink of water.

To you Tara, my wife and my best friend, I will be home soon and I miss you with all my heart. Give both the kids a kiss from me tonight and let them know that I love them and that daddy will be home soon. The three of you are the most important things in my life and I am sorry for each minute I haven't spent with you. Take care Tara, I love you.


kerrie mesha said...

I just came across your blog today and I am deeply moved by those words i have read. In time you will touch the ground when ur finally home,i say u have done the best you could have done. I salute u. Be happy and spend time with your family. I wish you all the best. God is always there. God bless you. . .

Kate said...

Two months! Yea!

Take care, Zach --

CanuckKate said...

Zach, you are in a unique position to remind people about taking life and love for granted. all of the friends you have made with this blog have learned so much from you, even at your age, 'cause your life experiences have taught you so much more than many twice your age. And not taking anything for granted is something stateside people need to be reminded of. You remind us to step back and examine what is really important in life and realistically it is the things like you mentioned,our lover's touch, watching your child sleep, not the huge house you bought, or the big SUV, or the designer clothes, or the winter cruise. Take the greatest of care Zach, we all want to celebrate your first blog from stateside permanently.

Anonymous said...


be back home safe and back fast to the place where you could hide behind the batman's mask.

-from someone who shares the same God as those hajis, rag heads and towel heads,and yeah,those sand ni***rs.(i wonder what next term would be invented to treat others as subhuman)

war is stupid.killing innocent people and saying "freedom is marching" would not wipe away the tears and the ire caused by this war.

one soldier said.." you say violence doesn't solve anything...just look at Hiroshima".

i wonder if Hiroshima and Fallujah are many ways,they are.

CanuckKate said...

annonymous, all extremists of all religions are horrible. And it must be very difficult to watch what is being done by and to members of your religion. Where has the peace and respect of human life gone, from both Abrahamic-based religons? My sadness and prayers for all the innocent lives lost, especially children.

Pamela Reece said...

I wish you and your family all the best. Thank you for your service! By the way, I 'adopted' a SGT. out of FOB Camp Speicher last year. He is one of the greatest men I've ever met. Yes, I had the pleasure of finally meeting him and his wonderful family at his welcome home party. I proudly wore my Camp Speicher Iraq cap and t-shirt he sent me.

Anyway, I just wanted to wish you and your family all the best and may your first steps back on gold 'ol U.S. soil be filled with joy and tears of happiness!

Honor is always yours,

tara said...

Zach Attack, We miss you so... much too! In just a few short months we will be back together again. I am so proud that you are my husband and the father of our children! You are in our thoughts and prayers. Hang in there. I will always be there for you and will always love you! The kids send there love and hope for your safe return. love you more! Tara, Jake, & Linnea

Anonymous said...

good luck zack, you seem like a very sweet guy I hope your 2 months left go by fast for you to get home to your wife and kids.

sume said...

I wish you a safe journey home, zach. :)

Hurria said...

"Thank you for your service!"

Exactly what service have Zach and his colleagues performed in Iraq that you thank them for Pamela? Has their service contributed anything at all to your safety and security?

gesier said...

ms. hurria,

please, if you could post a mailing address, maybe a community center in your town, our dedicated and heart-felt blog readers could fed-ex to you and your neighbors many cases of diet beverages, snacks and cartons of aspartame flavored muriKan foodstuffs. it'd jus be another small way to demonstrate that 100% we be wif you in spirit. jus like we be wif our courageous warriors who be hepping you'se build a really good country. we be really sorry about the daisy cutters and willy peter and DU we manufacture in ohio or arizona. deep down, beneath our cold weather, hard times blubber reserves, we wants, really, to hep all of you's out. jsut trust us. after the initial disagreeable aftertaste, everything, everything will become just rosey.

when your iraqi neighbors start chugging their usa established minimum daily requirement of aspartame, have access to lucky strike or marlboro, a bit of ritalin or crystal meth your vision will quickly clear. you'll know it like WE know it, deep down inside our unconscious, amnesiac, blimp bloated bodies;

"we be liberators".

"we be building schools and hospitals and water purificatioopn plants all over the planet".

"we done already made everybody safer wif our sacrifices".

"2 years ago, we done been true blue muriKan republicans, hepping everyone." baaah. baaah. baaah. opinions be done changed. "now we be true blue democrats. when we win these next elections, things'll get better".

"we be in your service". wif a smile.

excuse me, please, i have to stop for the moment. just ran out of doritos and need to take the pickup out to 7-11 for a refill and a slurpy.

have a wonderful day!

p.s. once you all start wif the diet, you'll soon be chanting, pain free, "god bless muriKa." takes the bite off the cognitive dissonance.

p.p.s. we still don unnerstan why all the dang ferignors want to destroy our muriKan way of life.

Anonymous said...


as long as brainwashed people like you still live and breathe, Bush can even attack Mongolia and kill its people and you will be chanting..

" Freedom ain't free"..

" we are your liberator".

Thank Jesus for people like you.

ps: just in case you didn't notice, Americans need muriKan food too.You know, those Katrina victims,those homeless people, those old people who could not even pay for their might wanna give them methane and alleviate their pain.

Anonymous said...

Er, anonymous... I think geiser is actually trying to demonstrate that muriKans can do irony after all.

At least, I truly hope so...


Anonymous said...

I've decided hurria's real name is Mrs. Saddam Hussein.

Snag said...

Good luck Zach.
And yes, thanks for your service. Not where the government created whatever reason of the day they wanted to justify our invasion of Iraq, but for bearing witness. As I mentioned before, you come back a teacher. And a better teacher than someone who missed the lesson to be learned in Iraq. Iraq was not the first to be invaded and the U.S. was not the first to invade. Neither will they be the last. We may invade another country in the future because we are misled, but there will be voices of those who will advise caution, deliberation, and sanity. They will be the ones that have learned not to take what they have for granted.
I'm proud to know that there is a half-generation of soldier after me that is willing to open their eyes and think critically.

Hurria, in an absolutist argument you are right. But in a relativist argument it is a better thing to have Zach in his role rather than a sociopath. Your perspective is as it should be...absolute. But there is another perspective that needs to make sense of it all...that needs to understand the bigger picture beyond the borders of Iraq. If we fail to look beyond the immediate, we can only expect the cycle to continue. We will learn nothing.
Stay safe Zach.

Hurria said...

Snag, your relativist argument is absurd and insulting in the reality of Iraq. It makes no difference whatsoever to dead, maimed, detained, tortured, humiliated, starved, ill Iraqis and their families and friends whether they are killed, maimed, detained, tortured, humiliated, deprived of basic human necessities and basic human dignity, etc. by a sociopath who loves his work, or by a "nice guy" like Zach who feels bad about it. The end result is the same for them, and the fact that Zach agonizes publicly over his deeds after the fact is more of an annoyance than anything else.

As for looking beyond the immediate, by all means enjoy yourself. Iraqis do not have that luxury. In any case, your relativist point of view that it is better to suffer and die at the hands of a "nice guy" who cries after he kills you has nothing to do with halting the cycle. The only way "nice guys" like Zach can contribute to halting the cycle is to refuse to be part of it instead of willingly participating and then feeling sorry for themselves afterward. Clearly they don't have the backbone to take that step.

Anonymous said...

Snag, Hurria: Thought you might be interested in this interview with Ann Wright, who quit here US Foreign Service job in 2003 in protest at the war on Iraq.

I can see Zach's dilemma, but Hurria's right: The only way to oppose injustice is to oppose it.

Hope Zach and his buddies are home soon.


Hurria said...

For the record, I can see Zach's dilemma, too. It's just that no matter how much he cries about it, I can't have any sympathy for him as long as he chooses to be part of the problem.

Megan Wynn said...

Sgt. Singley,

I have recently began reading your blogs and I very much appreciate what you have to say. My husband just got home from Afghanistan, and it is interesting to see other points of view from those of you in Iraq.

If you can, would you comment sometime on the attitudes of the Iraqi people? In Afghanistan there is so little technology that most of the people do not seem to know what is going on.

Also you have a beautiful family and it is so moving to see how much you love and miss them. I remember how hard this point of the deployment was for us. It sucks and you begin to lose all reality because you just want to be together so bad.

Best of luck to you and your soldiers and your family. You are all in my prayers. Sincerely,


Anonymous said...

If Zach's posts are so annoying, why do you continue to come here to read them, Hurria? I'm just wondering. Clearly he feels remorse for his deeds and you find that expressing that remorse is annoying? All you do is berate him and any other soldier serving and you think HE is the annoying one? Would you prefer it if he adopted the attitude of "shoot first, ask questions later" and "I'm gonna kill me a raghead"? Would it be that much easier for you to dislike him if you could dehumanize him? Unfortunately you aren't the one who has feelings and should consider yourself lucky you are permitted to post your hateful comments.
See ya soon, Zach!

Snag said...

Hurria, tell the Vietnamese how absurd and insulting my argument is. Or ask the next country we try to invade based on distortions from the corporations through the mouthpiece of the government. Iraq is a symptom and tomorrow there will be oter young and impressionable men and women who will go fight for the nationalist tendencies of their elders while believing it to be patriotism.
I believe it would be just as easy to convince any Iraqi to fight and die for some old man's glory just as easily as it is to convince an American. I seem to remember an 8 year Iraq war with Iran sometime ago. Or an invasion of Kuwait. Over what? So your protestations, while valid and understandable, eventually become nothing more than a self-righteous indignation and self-interested beating of another drum of war. "We're right and you're wrong" is all I get.
Tell you what, I get it. I agree in a very simplistic view of the world. But it all sounds a little shrill to me anymore.
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent.
-John Donne

Hurria said...

Dear Anonymous,

No, I am not the only one who has feelings, but I do have them, and they are every bit as valid and every bit as important, and every bit as worthy of expression as Zach's are. It may be that Zach, unlike you and a few others here, recognizes this.

In any case, as I have said numerous times before, on the day Zach posts guidelines for his comment section I will respectfully abide by them, and on the day he asks me to stop posting on his site I will respectfully comply. Until then I will continue to post my views and my feelings as I see fit, and I invite anyone who does not wish to read them to simply skip over my posts.

A few other points:

1. Criticizing Zach does not mean I dislike him. I do not, nor do I feel any need or desire to dislike him.

2. As I have already said, it makes no difference whether the person who kills, maims, destroys, tortures, and deprives Iraqis of basic human needs, and basic human dignity is a racist a****** who loves doing it, or a nice guy who cries afterward. They are all equally part of the problem. In any case, we all know that the nice guy who talks to us and treats us well today will just as easily shoot and kill us if ordered to do so.

3. You ought to learn the difference between anger and outrage, and hate.

Hurria said...

Snag, you may or may not have a point, and I may or may not find it valid. It is impossible to tell because your argument is incoherent and illogical and makes no sense as you are stating it. I cannot find any logic in it, and therefore find it impossible to follow.

You seem to think that there is something good about the fact that Zach and others like him are willing to participate in something they know is wrong, and that somehow their willingness to betray their own consciences contributes to the possibility of world peace or something. On the contrary, on any level and from any perspective it is a very discouraging sign for the future of this world that Zach and others like him find it easier to follow orders they consider wrong than to show enough backbone to stand up for what they know is right, and refuse to take part.

I could understand this better if the penalty for refusal were death, or worse, as it was for Iraqis who refused to fight in the Iran war or the invasion of Kuwait, but that is not the case here.

It disturbs me far less that there are fools who can be convinced that their participation in a war is patriotic than that there are people like Zach who are willing to follow orders knowing what they are doing is wrong.

Anonymous said...

snag and those couple of anonymous commentors above, you make me want to vomit with your intellectual rationalizations for all this muriKan nonsense.
shills for the rich families, the white skinned working class killing brown skinned poor. a truly fantastic model for human development. muriKans be callin it "intelligent design, no?

""Prevail" is the "in" word in America just now. We are not going to "win" in Iraq - because we did that in 2003, didn’t we, when we stormed up to Baghdad and toppled Saddam?
Then George Bush declared "Mission Accomplished".
So now we must "prevail".
That’s what F J "Bing" West, ex-soldier and former assistant secretary for International Security Affairs in the Reagan administration said this week.
Plugging his new book - No True Glory: A Frontline Account of the Battle for Fallujah - he gave a frightening outline of what lies in store for the Sunni Muslims of Iraq.I was sitting a few feet from Bing - plugging my own book - as he explained to the great and the good of New York how General Casey was imposing curfews on the Sunni cities of Iraq, one after the other, how if the Sunnis did not accept democracy they would be "occupied" (he used that word) by Iraqi troops until they did accept democracy (emphasis added). He talked about the "valour" of American troops - there was no word of Iraq’s monstrous suffering - and insisted that America must "prevail" because a "Jihadist" victory was unthinkable."
Torture’s out. Now they call it abuse Robert Fisk, November 12, 2005

colorado bob said...

Sgt. Singley.... I salute you and your loved ones. Most of the country has escaped the burden you and your compatriots now bear. I am a student of history, I worry that our country has lost it's moorings, so few have any "skin in the game".

I post alot at crawfords list, we argue and share info. I'm going to put your site on a link there. It will do us all good to look in here.

Many Thanks..... Colorado Bob

Snag said...

What we would like to see occur and what we expect to occur are often two different realities. My discussion is not about the immediate issue with Iraq. I am trying to open a discussion about the nature of humans, what drives us to war, how we are all capable of barbarities given certain conditions.
The peace movement has a saying "What if they had a war and no one came." Nice concept, but alas people keep coming. Very normal and good people keep going to war. I'm trying to discuss why.
I feel that if I stray away from your very focused message and try to discuss the philisophical, social, economic, and spiritual aspects of war, you dismiss with "absurd" and "rubbish."
I understand that your issue is very immediate and for that I'm sorry. But here in the U.S. we have to consider what's next and how far is the current leadership willing to go. If we don't look at the overall cause, we're destined to do it again and again. "So what" you think, Iraq is now. But my concern is that we learn nothing as we learned nothing from Vietnam. "These soldiers should just up and quit." Well that'd be swell, but right now the odds of that is slim.
The discussion that I think needs to be had in our country (and in the entire world for that matter) is how fear is used to motivate people to kill. We too easily demonize our fellow human so we can stomach the idea of killing them. My argument is that if we all stop buying the bullshit in the first place, those couldn't get a chance to rationalize war to their people.

To anon with a mouthful of vomit. I would suggest you go back a read all my discourse before you make an assumption about where I stand. It is the very nature of rhetoric that you use that NeoCons use. Dogmatic rantings make one blind to reconcilliation. Without reconcilliation we who oppose war ultimately propagate it by creating a winner-loser proposition. The "losers" ultimately plan to regain power, learning nothing. They then become "winners", forcing the "losers" to plot to regain power. On and on, the merry-go-round turns... I suspect though, because I chose to defend myself against your misperceptions, you will consider me an "enemy" to your cause. You will rationalize that I somehow support our invasion of Iraq, however clear I've made it that I do not. For you it has more to do with pride and smug self-righteousness than really looking any deeper than your dogma. Pride kills. It destroys rather than transforms. For so many all it comes down to is Red or Blue. "Is my side winning?" You're nothing more than a combatant for "your" side and contribute very little to peace. I would recommend you take your energy, stop preaching to the choir, and get out there and try to convert those that do support this war.
This is way too long a comment, but I wanted to make it as clear as possible that; A - I don't support the reasons why we went into Iraq; B - There are mechanics of the state which keeps us ignorant of human commonality for control; C - I intend on discussing issues of Socio-Economic and psychological reasons that we use to justify war.
So from here on out, I don't intend to respond to what I consider dogma and rhetoric.

Zach, thanks for this forum and the chance to spout. Best wishes to Tara and the kids. Stay safe and keep being good.

Anonymous said...

So I ask again Hurria. Why do you continue to post here if you find Zach's posts to be annoying? It seems to be the only statement you didn't address. Is it because you enjoy using his board as your own soapbox without having to do some work and create your own blog? Is it because if you DID create your own blog it wouldn't be as heavily trafficked as Zach's and your opinion wouldn't be heard? Or do you just enjoy abusing the kindness of others? If you don't dislike Zach, you sure have a funny way of showing it.

Hurria said...

Dear Anonymous,

I post here because sometimes I feel like it and until Zach asks me not to post here I have as much right to do so as anyone else does. I post when I see something here that I want to comment on or respond to. It is as simple as that.

I will continue to post here as long as I feel like it and as long as Zach, the owner of this site, does not object. Why, Zach may even be a big enough person to consider that my point of view is a worthwhile addition to the discussions here. He might even be a big enough and mature enough person to be able to accept the criticisms I occasionally direct his way.

And do tell, please, what kindness is it that I am abusing? The kindness of invading and destroying my country neighborhood by neighborhood, city by city? The kindness of "disappearing", killing, maiming and torturing members of my friends and family? The kindness of depriving the people of the most basic human necessities, the most basic human rights and dignity? The kindness of condemning millions of Iraqi children to a lifetime of trauma-induced mental problems? The kindness of opening the doors of power to those who would take the country, its people - and especially its women - back to the 16th century?

And do you honestly not know the difference between criticizing someone's actions and decisions, and disliking the person, or are you just pretending not to know?

Hurria said...


Your remarks this time are somewhat more coherent and logical. In general I do not disagree with you in principle, at least. However, it is still not at all clear what any of that has to do with your assertion that it is preferable that criminal and immoral enterprises be executed by people who know better but are willing to subvert their own principles and morals. There will always be sociopaths in this world, and there will always be fools who can be duped into believing whatever they are told. Change will never take place as long as people who know better will not have the backbone to stand up and refuse to carry out policies and actions they know are wrong. Willingly and knowingly taking part in a crime over and over again, and each time crying about it afterward doesn't change anything.

Anonymous said...

Hi Snag, Hurria!

Your dialogue is interesting but while I respect both your viewpoints, I'm still puzzled by Snag's devotion to gradualism. To me it seems Hurria is right: when an unjust and illegal war is going on, who cares what soldiers feel about their actions? As you point out, Snag, they could choose not to come to the war in the first place. I'm reminded (as usual) of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For over 20 years there has been a peace movement in Israel called "Peace Now!" campaigning to persuade Israelis to end the occupation. And for more than 20 years, Israeli peaceniks have joined the protests, then put on their uniforms to serve in the Occupied Territories. Then they all go home and weep about it and write poetry or sing songs about how terrible it all was (rarely stopping to think how much more terrible it is for the Palestinians). Then they all do it again. Because of this, many people prefer to describe "Peace Now!" as "Peace When?", because "now" never seems to arrive. That is why Snag's perfectly reasonable argument strikes me as part of the problem, not the solution: while you argue reasonably and thoughtfully, your opponents are busy summoning new armies with lies and BS - you'll never catch up like that.

My somehwat rambling point is that it doesn't matter what lies Zach and his buddies believed in order to send them to war, or how Americans were duped into supporting the war (that's easy: $$$ plus ignorance usually does the trick). They need to stop adding to the problems now. The situation will only change if individuals act to change it. No anguished blogs or heart-searching autobiographies (as in Vietnam) will stop the next round in the GWOT. Otherwise our governments know they can count on us to follow the script every time.

Enough from me. Again.

Wishing all in Iraq peace and safe home-coming.


Hurria said...


In Iraq we have a saying: "He slapped me, and cried." In the case of Zach, we can add "and he slapped me again, and cried again, and slapped me again and cried again, and slapped me again....."

Anonymous said...

You know exactly what kindness I meant, but I like how you managed to twist it to fit your agenda. Story of your time here as a reader/poster, huh. Snag's argument makes perfect sense to me, and he hit the nail on the head when he pointed out that because it strays from your pointed(and overplayed) message, you immediately dismiss it.
I think my favorite line from your tirade is where you claim to occassionally criticize him. I challenge you to show me a post where you say something nice about him. Show me a post in which you speak of him but don't criticize him. But I'm sure that because that point takes the focus off the eeeevil soldiers, it will be dismissed as well.
I know full well the difference between criticism and a dislike for someone, but do you know the difference between disrespect and criticism? Disrespecting someone and their family constantly in their own blog is an awfully strange way of showing how much you don't dislike them.

Hurria said...

Dear Anonymous,

No, I do not have any idea what kindness you meant since Zach has never shown me either kindness or unkindness. If your reference had been clear I would have responded directly to it.

You seem to have a lot of problems with basic logical concepts and linguistic conventions. To occasionally criticize someone or something does not require that you say something nice about them ever. It simply means that you do other things besides criticize them.

If you do know the difference between criticism and dislike, then you have been doing nothing but playing word games, in which case you cannot be taken seriously.

As for disrespect, Zach has chosen to be part of a violent, deadly and horribly destructive invading force that is destroying my country and making life in Iraq miserable beyond anything you can possibly imagine. That is the ultimate disrespect. I sure that if Zach and his colleagues were ordered to shoot and kill me, or my brother, or my cousin, or my uncle, or my neighbor, or my friend, they would. Based on that, please do tell me what respect I owe to him or to any of his colleagues? In fact, by maintaining a civil tone and using polite language here, I have shown him more respect here than can reasonably be expected under the circumstances.

Anonymous said...

Rush Limbaugh tries to milk the troops
Talk about lowering the bar. Have you seen this "Adopt a Soldier" program Rush has started? You would figure that a program targeted for our troops would actually help them in some small way. Maybe the money would go to some equipment, supplies or anything the troops could actually use over in Iraq that will help them survive. Here's what they get for 49.95:
 "Support our men and women in uniform by giving a subscription to Rush 24/7 and the Limbaugh Letter to a member of the US Armed Forces. He or she will receive unfettered access to Rush 24/7 online as well as every big, colorful issue of The Limbaugh Letter "
Rush is charging 49.95 for a solider to receive his radio broadcast and newsletter. Have you ever seen a creepier operation?

ariadne said...

I hope you continue to write once you're home, to reflect, to give us your perspective.

Anonymous said...

So then it would be safe to say that you only criticize Zach in between arguing about historical references. I've read through your posts and that seems to be all I can find.
Typical that you would consider my arguments to be less worthy than yours. As if my words are less important than yours are because I fight for a different cause. You are high and mighty on your throne aren't you? Infallible because you are an "oppressed" Iraqi with the inability to discuss anything other than how awful your people have it.
By justifying your consistant disrespect by saying "I could be worse" you are admitting to said disrespect. You use polite mannerisms, but your intentions are less than pure. If you have any other purpose for posting besides berating Zach and his colleagues and making Americans feel bad for being more priviledged, then you have yet to prove that. If your intentions are to "rally the troops" so to speak and talk them into spending years in prison, then you are wasting your breath, but you and I both know you aren't here for that.
Since you haven't figured it out, that kindness I speak of is the "right" you think you have to berate and belittle Zach and his values in his own blog. That "right" that he has so graciously given you to express how much you think he is a coward and an annoyance. That "right" that you take so much advantage of especially in an entry that clearly was a tribute to his family while advising everyone, not just Americans, to not take anything for granted. THAT kindness.

Nash said...

SGT Zach:

Gee, your blog has attracted some stupid and rude comments. Ignore them. Perhaps 99% of all Americans, regardless of their attitudes about the war, honor your service. The ones that don't aren't worth a moment of your time.

You wrote this: "I have mixed feelings about this last year, part of me wishes to just forget it all and pretend like it never happened, but I know that I won't do that (I couldn't forget it even if I really wanted to). It has become a part of me and will shape my future just as every other major event in my life will."

I wish I had that kind of insight when I was in the military. I had to struggle with the "meaning" of what I experienced. (Vietnam). Years later, I came across a writer who said we do not "discover" the meaning of things, we "create" the meaning of things. We cannot control what happens to us, but we can control what sense we make of it.

It is for YOU to decide what "what it all meant." And what is more important, how it will guide you as you live the rest of your life.

Good luck on your journey, which is just beginning.

Anonymous said...

Hurria, are you a Sunni, Kurd or Shia?

Hurria said...

Dear anonymous,

I am an Iraqi.

Snag said...

I can not suggest an action that I am unsure whether I would be able to take myself as a former member of the fraternity of soldiers. It would be hypocritical of me to recommend an action that I know I would have a difficult time with for a myriad of reasons. If you are certain you could "quit" the war if you were in Zach's position, then by all means advocate it.
On one issue, I have a hard time with pacifism. I know very few true pacifists or examples of pacifists. Ghandi was a good example. The Dali Lama. But generally I've found those that claim pacifism still have anger in their heart. So it is the same to me, just on a smaller scale. Bless those who can truly forgive those who transgress. I hope to one day be able to truly claim the title of pacifist, but for now I personally am still often beholden to react in anger, fear, and hate.
I keep thinking about Dr. Zimbardo's "Prison Experiment" in the 1970's. How easy it was to turn "nice" kids into abusers. Trying to be honest with myself and with a sense of humility, I find it difficult to be able to tell anyone about absolute rightness or wrongness. I commend and am awed by those who are confident that they do know and are certain they would have the strength to act. Again, for me it'd be disingenuous to suggest that I would be able to with any measure of certainty.
With a jaundiced eye, I continue to try and mediate my life between my idealism and cynicism. I had the luxury to lay down my weapons before Iraq this time and probably will not ever return to them, but I ask forgiveness for the inability to ask Zach to do it in his position. If he chooses to, I would support him, but again I can't advocate something that I'm not sure if I would have the strength to do myself.

Penny said...

My daughter sent your link to me and I'm glad. It's nice to read the words of someone who is THERE, someone that is experiencing the actual situation, not just mouthing off with personal opinions.

I am not a supporter of the war or the Bush administration. But I am also not willing to give up my freedom that so many have died to protect and I am in support of our troups. I just hope we get out of this war before it becomes another Viet Nam. We don't need another Wall in D.C.

You, and all the soldiers fighting to protect this country, are and will remain in my heart and prayers.

Be Safe.

Hurria said...

"I am also not willing to give up my freedom that so many have died to protect and I am in support of our troups. I just hope we get out of this war before it becomes another Viet Nam. We don't need another Wall in D.C.

"You, and all the soldiers fighting to protect this country, are and will remain in my heart and prayers.

Penny, please explain how Zach and the others who are taking part in George's Excellent Iraq Adventure are fighting to protect your country. And what are they protecting it from?

Kristen said...

More like George's Bogus Iraq Journey.
Almost done Zach!

Anonymous said...

Penny, please explain how Zach and the others who are taking part in George's Excellent Iraq Adventure are fighting to protect your country. And what are they protecting it from?

Hurria, for some Americans...

the more Iraqis we killed = the safer Americans are back home.

we have tons of these brainwashed people here.36% of them.

Hurria said...

"Almost done Zach!"

No, Kirsten, not almost done. Not even close. Zach gets to leave the chaos and the blood and the destruction and the mess and the danger. Tens of millions of Iraqis do not have that luxury. For Iraqis there is no escape - ever.

And someone else will come to take Zach's place.

Kristen said...

Those someone elses are already there unfortunately. But that's basically what I meant, its almost over for Zach. As sad as it is, we have the luxury of putting a time limit on their absence and most spouses forget the atrocities the civilians face after our loved ones have departed(if they ever thought about them to begin with). I can assure you that once Rob is home, I won't forget.

Hurria said...

Thank you, Kristen, for not forgetting. I hope you will not.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog off and on for a while now and you never fail to touch me with your thoughts. I've never been a supporter of this war, but as a fellow military spouse once told me, "I support the men, not necessarily the mission." So thank you for your service and sacrifice. Thank you too to your family for their sacrifice. Stay safe and keep on writing.

Anonymous said...

I just want to say I respect you and wish that everyone could truly appreciate what it is that soldiers sacrfice. to me this war has gone beyond politics and is now about ending things the best way possible. The one thing I want everyone to do is even if your apposed to the war still respect the soldiers that are fighting on both sides. Because no matter how hard you try you can never truly understand what it is they have been through. until you have seen what they have.

muriKans bombin muriKan said...

hello all from the vomit guy,

obviously, everybody on this site is one big HUGE happy family. some of us have too much to eat, too much to drink, great big cars, and huge bleeding hearts. others be dodgin bombs, or just wasting away in refugee camps (kashmir, houston, paris suburbs, .......) and really be bleedin. the majority rest silent and asleep, comfortably ignorant. at least there's commonality for those who gotta "complete the mission".

taff got the message earlier. ironic, no? the soldiers on all the sides kill and write "poetry" about it; must be kind of anti cathartic. hurrias dodging bombs, and doing a fantastic job, under the circumstances, of remaining polite. ole snag seems like a pentagon or darkside apologist who accepts that human beings'll never be able to get past the intellectual linguistics enough to question authority and refuse the m-16 or kalishnakov. and yes i've been following your apologetic comments these last months; "but we here in the united states...." stay in north america, ladies and gentlemen, if you can't bring with you more civilized behavior.

americans were always supposed to be smarter, better, more compassionate, so what gives? my "neocon" attitude must have confused the folks in the unit when i told 'em politely they could wage daddy butch war 1 without me. i filed c.o because it finally dawned on me that i was a part of, benefitting from, aiding and abetting the insanity. were they vindictive or beat me or throw me in jail? no. maybe i was just lucky. but watch the cockroaches scurry away when you turn on the light.

if we're gonna vote about it, i vote for hurria and his/hers, and get them muriKans back bombin huntsville or spokane.

and i suggest if you can't get far, far, far past lofty discussions of the socioeconomic and psychological reasons for your continuing wars on others, and feel obliged to develop and use them fancy weapons, please just do it closer to home. keep in montana or florida. you'll save on transportation costs, etc, etc. duh. muriKans bombin muriKans, keepin it to yourselves. ask the question. duh.

and what shall we do to protect the children in iraq? in zach's family?

Anonymous said...

Jeff said...

This is really touching. You give such a fantastic point of view. Only if everyone could read this...

Paige said...

Thank you for the reminder. Sometimes we do take the most important people in our lives for granted. May God bless you and keep you stay safe.

Snag said...

Ok, Mr. C.O. (I consider that more respectful of the vomit in the mouth bit).
Let me try to explain. I certainly am not an apologist for the pentagon nor any other war advocacy group.
I've been trying to draw connections between our foreign policies and what I see as a continuing war for corporate interests. As soon as I was politically aware (1980's in H.S.) I began to see connections between Vietnam, the Iranian revolution, our Central American policies (remember Nicaragu and El Salvador), Iran-Contra, the selling of Anthrax to Iraq in the 80's, the Soviet Occupation of Afghanistan with the subsequent rise of the CIA trained Taliban, and so on. Every couple of years, it's the same old story. And it's bigger than just Iraq.
My question is what have you done to really oppose this war?
I was recently inspired by a segment on NPR by a friend who's husband is in Afghanistan. Her piece is about those who comment "Oh good, at least he's not in Iraq."
There are other wars that we must not forget are being fought in our name. It doesn't end with Iraq.
Frankly, you're not much more than the colloquial troll, taking potshots at whomever you fancy. You offer no solutions. You spew forth your rhetoric for some sense of self-amusement. You even resort to the rightwing's "intellectual elete" attack.
So you fucking saved your skin in the early 90's. You want a medal? So fucking what if you haven't done anything other than be a belligerant asshole since.
Opposing Iraq and not looking at the bigger picture is just pissing in the wind. But if you don't get it, you don't get it.

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.
-Pastor Martin Niemöller

Anonymous said...

Free Iraq.

Lawk Salih

Ramon Zuniga said...

Thank you for you service, God Bless you and your family. I pray you will return safe to the ones you love.

I really find it hard to stomach the vile things that have been posted here, but hey, this is America we have freedom of speach.

I was born in Honduras Central America. I am an American by CHOICE, not CHANCE. It just amazes me that some do not realize how blessed they are to have been born here.

Royalsof said...

Thank you for your service. perhaps I am in the Unit that will be releiving you shortly. We Ship out in 10 days. I also have a couple of kids and know how hard it is to be away from family. But I beleive in the reason we are over there so I'm as ok with it as I can be. I would love to vent against some of these rants about how wrong it is to be over there... But I don't have the time... Congrats on a job well done.

Easy Co 2-506th INF enroute

Anonymous said...

yo snag, go chew a tootsie roll and relax, you people are just throwin words at each other. how'd you act if you had some willy pete at your disposal?

are you familiar with this, from one of your early american writers? "..../.... a common and natural result of an undue respect for law is, that you may see a file of soldiers, colonel, captain, corporal, privates, powder-monkeys, and all, marching in admirable order over hill and dale to the wars, against their wills, ay, against their common sense and consciences, which makes it very steep marching indeed, and produces a palpitation of the heart. They have no doubt that it is a damnable business in which they are concerned; they are peaceably inclined. Now what are they? Men at all? or small moveable forts and magazines, at the service of some unscrupulous man in power? Visit the Navy yard, and behold a marine, such a man as an ameriKan government can make, or such as it can make a man with its black arts, - a mere shadow and reminisence of humanity, a man laid out alive and standing, and already, as one may say, buried under arms with funeral accompaniments, ..../...." henry david thoreau

weave word webs whenever you want. when you've finished, have calmed down, and are satisfied with your rationalizations, and have determined to your satisfaction why generations of your countrymen continue to do behave like shills and idiots, how do YOU suggest we might help the CHILDREN in iraq? or the 2 children in zach's family?

Anonymous said...


With great respect to Americans like you and Zach, the majority of your compatriots have so far completely failed to appreciate Niemoeller's message. It still boils down to doing the right thing, and not doing or tolerating the wrong thing. Zach sounds like a good man in a bad place, but he's part of the machine that's doing bad things. All the sophistry in the world, all the philosophising gradualism and anguished analysis of one's past actions from Vietnam to Baghdad cannot change that brute fact. His undoubted sense of honour and duty to his friends and country, and his equally obvious physical courage (it would take a hell of a lot more than a soldier's pay to get me on a plane to Iraq) are being betrayed by his country's avaricious leaders and ultimately by his own lack of the moral courage to just say "No". This would be a hard and painful step, but others have taken that step before him, and it would be the right thing to do. As the saying goes, for evil to triumph it is enough that good men do nothing.

But like all of us guests on Zach's blog, I wish him well and a safe and speedy home-coming now that his departure date approaches, and I appreciate his honest attempts to share his own doubts and experiences in Iraq with the rest of us - and his willingness to tolerate our sometimes critical responses - via his blog. America needs men like Zach, but she needs them at home, not in Iraq.

Safe home-coming and peace to all in Iraq.


Anonymous said...


lets brainstorm some solutions for these folks. please could we ask all the get all the women involved. i'd guess kristen, kate, hurria and the rest of the ladies on this site want their menfolk back home beside them asap. lets see what we can cook up.


Anonymous said...

send some love folks..

Anonymous said...

great job, yanks

we luv ya

scupper said...

Zach, will you be able to come home on leave for xmas this year to see your family? Take Care.