Sunday, November 20, 2005

Victory Parade

Does the US flag still have its meaning or has it become just another symbol to be used for gain, political or otherwise? When will it be enough? Over 2000 have died here in Iraq. What will they pay the war contractors with when the money is gone? Will they pay them with THEIR own sons and daughters?

I think not, for the day the money runs out we shall declare VICTORY, withdrawal our troops and start the victory parades back home. The Amputees won't be marching in the parade, the dead won't be smiling and waiving, and it won't give the children back their mothers and fathers.

What will that victory be? It will be a victory forged on the anvil of bankruptcy and only the deaf will hear it. After that the cameras will stop rolling and we won't show Iraq any more...


ac said...

Nice to see you post. A post means you are still there. Hang in there for your family. It's almost over.
You are my hero.

Gabriel said...


I don't know you. But I heard an episode about military bloggers tonight on the radio show "This American Life" and I followed a few links on their website and found your blog.

I just want you to know that your blog really hit me. I don't think we should be waging this war. I'm a professor of American lit and creative writing at Illinois State University in Normal, IL.

I will keep you -- and your dear wife Tara and your two great children, Jacob and Linnea, in my thoughts and in my prayers.

You may not know this -- and you may think it's bogus, but it's not: you can send your children love in your heart all the way from Iraq. And they *will* feel it.

You're a good writer. Thank you for your courage and decency.

I'll keep you, your children and your wife, your fellow soldiers, and the Iraqis around you -- in my thoughts and prayers.

Our sole purpose is to love. I hope we're smart enough to find a way to do it.

By the way, I see you work at night and notice meteors. There's a shower coming up Dec 14: the Geminids, out of Gemini. Should be spectacular -- and much of it will be occluded by a full moon. But you might get to see some of it.

Keep on blogging, brother.


spcoon said...

back home, my opinions on this subject are considered to be unpatriotic by a good number of citizens and politicians. after reading your blog for the last month or so, i know you feel me.

keep safe out there. *all* of us back home are thinking about you and your brothers/sisters in the field.

you're a hero, man.

Hurria said...

"Our sole purpose is to love."

And nothin's says love like cluster bombs, depleted uranium, and white posphorus - gifts that keep on giving.

Do us a favour and keep your love to yourselves.

Hurria said...

"the cameras will stop rolling and we won't show Iraq any more..."

That will be day for Iraqis to celebrate - the day Americans, with their oh, so short memory spans, forget Iraq exists.

Anonymous said...

send some love folks..

Kate said...

Unfortunately, Hurria, our government won't forget Iraq even if Americans do. No doubt they will continue to meddle for years to come, just as they did in the past. At least there's the hope we can impact policy if we know about it. When we don't it's even worse. Of course, it's hard to imagine it could be worse than it is right now.

Yes, Zach, we'll have that victory parade no matter what happens, just as we had "mission accomplished" and that stunt in front of the Jackson Square cathedral after Katrina. I'm beginning to think Baudrillard is right: it's all about simulation now. Reality has been supplanted by concoted images, a scripted stand-in that is more "real" than "real" to most.

How are you doing? Counting down the days? I'm hoping you're doing okay, and the same with your wife and kids.

Take care --

copy editor said...

Your blog is proof 1 that a healthy debate about this war (with a goal of getting you guys home as quickly and honorably as possible) is a good thing for our military.

Stateside there has been a good shift in the debate.

You stay safe.

Anonymous said...

We are getting closer to the moment of truth. Either we start drafting or we leave Vietraq. The debate is shifting over here, Zach. It will be interesting to see which way it goes...

-roamer in mich

Liberal in Kansas said...

As a 16 year old just truly learning his moral and political positions on items such as the war in Iraq, it is very refreshing to see the view of a real soldier. We all realize our administration here is corrupt and cant admit a terrible mistake, and for this reason, you'll be coming home very soon. Even here, in the most conservative of states, the swing of the debate has gone more to the side of casualties than to the side of protecting America from Iraq, which we all know was a false claim to begin with. You're with us in our prayers, get home safely, you're a true American hero.

Anonymous said...

I doubt there will be a victory parade. Any so called "victory" that may eventuate will have been so dirtied by all the senseless deaths and violence, scandals (ie prisoner abuses), etc... that people will prefer to forget. It won't be a clean and honourable win like in WWII (that's if there is a final "win"). More likely it will be a soured pull-out a la vietnam. We all know it's been a war for oil and political gain for utterly inept/morally corrupt morons, who only know how to run a country with fear and war.
It's a crime that so many good soldiers, with good intentions and patriotism, have died. The war criminals are the people in the White House letting this happen. But as they are the victors, they won't be tried for any crimes, for as we all know, only the vanquished are held accountable (Sadam, Milosevic, et al).
The only US soldiers who should be dying are the retarded or racist hicks who enjoy the murdering (I've seen plenty of footage of these ones – who could laugh and joke after taking life?). If the 2000+ who have been killed were all these bad ones, I'd be celebrating. I feel so sorry for the good soldiers, who have been so mistreated and manipulated.

Jana Lane said...

Anonymous: No American deserved to die in Iraq. They were sent into a country that had done nothing to us, that has a very different culture and history from ours. They had essentially no preparation for understanding the people there. Furthermore, the "Leaders" responsible for sending them were, and still are, approving torture. If you see the ages of the dead soldiers most of them were impressionable young men who made the mistake of trusting the political officials that the voters elected. These young soldiers should have been home in their own communities with their own families.

David Baker said...

Victory won't be of the ticker-tape, flag waving, speechmaking Washington gasbag variety. Instead it will be what you take home from Iraq in your heart and intellect. These are permanent spoils that belong to you alone, and they may actually be put to use as you're a strong writer. Return safely to your family. Share with the world what you've learned of the black heart of "victory," and hold nothing back when you do. As I tell my students, self-censorship is the greatest of writerly crimes.

Be Safe,

Brown Trout

Anonymous said...

I wonder what the Iraqis will do, when America leaves? There seems to be no sign of leadership among the resistance, except for the Jordanian. They know how to blow people up, but do they know how to build? I hope they will have the sense to take the imperfect democracy that we have started for them, and make it their own. However Iraqis/Arabs/Muslims seem to me to be proud and nationalistic and maybe they will feel the need to destroy whatever America has built in their land. Even if it were a goose that laid golden eggs, they would destroy it and feel proud. When America leaves, I fear the Iraqis will celebrate for a moment, and then the looting will start and the killing will follow. Then the Jordanian, Zarqawi, will make a grab for power. I doubt the Baathis can stop him.

We must all hope those fools caliing themselves "the resistance" haven't sold their country to the devil in return for IEDs to kill Americans.

Hurria said...

"maybe they will feel the need to destroy whatever America has built in their land."

Setting aside the fact that America has destroyed far, far, far more than it has built on our land, take your bloody racist, paternalistic, self-important attitude and build something for yourselves with it. From what I hear things aren't so bloody perfect in America that you can afford to go around building things on other people's land. Take care of your own problems, and stay out of other people's business. You only make a big muck-up of it anyway.

Mihael said...

Anonymous: What makes you think that culture that has been arround the block much much longer than yours is unable to build as you say?. In fact, the dirrect consequence of your (and I don't mean you personally) culture has been destroying far more than it has ever build not just in Iraq, but all arround the world. Half of the world hemisphere is still politically divided among former colonial powers, which still reign economicaly instead politicaly. Divide and conquer, constand meddling, stealing resources. We don't want modern democracies in those regions because we couldnt exploit them as effectively. They dont build because every time they do, we drops some bombs on them (We=western civilisation).

Gabriel said...

Hurria's got a point. The US has --repeatedly -- bombed and harrassed other peoples and nations under the guise of helping them.

Hurria: when I said "Our sole purpose is to love" I meant in part that maybe we oughta try to live up to that -- and part of living up to that is exercising enough humility to stay the hell out of other people's business. I do not believe in the exportation of democracy. You can't export it. At best, a people can import it. But that has to be their choice.

And Mihael's right: US foreign policy does NOT want real democracies in rich regions. Instability and dictatorships are much more profitable for the US military-industrial complex.

We're going to reap the whirlwind on this one, folks. Hang on tight. And get home safe, Zach.


- Gabriel

Daedalus said...

Zach, that flag sadly does not inspire any sort of positive feeling in me these days. I fele more shame than anything. I hate those who've made me feel this way. We're going to wipe them out in the next election, though.

Anonymous said...


Forget about all the bullshit. In the end, you come home. That's all that counts. Bring it home. Nothing you ever do will mean more to the people who mean the most to you: your wife and kids. Bring it home and you will have done enough. And forget about flags and colors and us and them and the mountains of bullshit older than time itself friend. As long as people have walked they earth opportunists have looked at ways to shove it down someone's throat. The only lament is that in spite of it all, we still have no outgrown this primitivism.

Just bring it home Zach. Standing orders and the only duty worth anyone's repect.

Anonymous said...

@ Mihael : When I talked about building, what I had in mind was building a just government and a decent country in which to live. Iraq went from having a British installed monarchy, which wasn't too bad, via several coups to Saddam Hussein. They never overthrew Saddam, even though he lead their nation to three disastrous military defeats. Not a good record.

I can't agree that former colonial powers still dominate the world. I would point you to Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China and India, and also to Turkey, South Africa and Brazil. I would also point out the power of OPEC and the way those nations have price gouged the former colonial powers for oil. America is less powerful than most Americans think.

@ Hurria : Well, plenty of venom and hate from you but not a clue. Let's try this again. The so-called resistance wants to drive the US out and destroy Iraq's first democratically elected government.

Then what?

Iraq must be governed. What plan does the resistance have? None that I can see. Perhaps the resistance wants a Syrian style dictatorship, maybe even a Syrian puppet, complete with torture chambers, secret police and plenty of opportunity for corruption. Where is the leadership to make that happen?

The "resistance" seems to be a lot of nationalism and xenophobia and an amazing lack of any constructive vision for the governance of Iraq.

I think that the resistance is backed by educated Sunnis who complacently assume that power will fall back into their laps because they have always ruled in the past. However the Sunnis are not prepared for a fight. In the south, they will lose the oil industry to Sistani and/or the Iranians. In the north, they will lose the rest of the oil to the well organised Kurds. Worst of all, in the middle they will lose to that one part of the resistance that does have both a clear plan for the future coupled with evil but effective leadership and totally ruthless execution. Zarqawi. Then all the former Baathis will be headed for the chop faster than you can say " apostate."

Anonymous said...

Good read..

Lawk Salih

banana said...

the money won't run out so long as George Bush keeps selling our U.S. Treasury Bonds to China. They've bought up half of them so far.

Why else do you think the interest rates are so low right now?

this is the first war that America has been involved in where people weren't willing to PUT THEIR MONEY WHERE THEIR MOUTHS ARE and pay their taxes during war time.

Those yellow-bellied coward pro-war fanatics think they're sooo American.

I'm so sick of seeing all these freaks driving their SUVs around, with "support the troops" stickers all over them. These people can't find it in themselves to be willing to fund this war themselves by paying higher taxes, rather than sell our country out from under us to China.

One day the interest rates will HAVE to go up....and well...... to put it so that these right wingnuts can comprehend me.....we'll be "speaking Chinese" thanks to them.

the most patriotic thing a person can do is question their government. to bend over and take it is what cowards who have no idea the meaning of American Spirit do.

Anonymous said...

great job, yanks

martijn said...

Zach nice blog...keep it up!

some f00d for thought:
I think both US and Europe should invest heavily in becomming oil independent..that means Hydrogen economy all the way. Its not primarily about the environment ...its about getting ourselves out of this OPEC-cartell-terrorist-ridden region. Let them keep their black stuff ill be quite worthless then.

greetings from Holland

Martijn J

The Den Mother said...

I know you don't think it's honorable for U.S. soldiers to die for the freedom of non-Americans. There is certainly an argument to be made for isolationism and allowing tyrants to "live and let live". I would just ask you to remember that brown-skinned people are people too; they deserve the chance at the same freedom to govern themselves that Americans take for granted. When you return home, as all but a fraction of a percent of U.S. military service members will, you will have a better life than the overwhelming majority of people of color in this world because you will have the right to participate in self-government. Don't begrudge future generations of Iraqis the chance to build the same for themselves.