Followers

Thursday, December 01, 2005

I Ask You

Are you proud of me Mother? I am a soldier. Are you proud of me Father? I have killed. To my country I ask you, are you proud of me?

These hands of mine know how to destroy and leave my mess for others to pick up. At times I feel that the only thing I have left behind me is a path of broken pieces. Perhaps that is my legacy, to shatter what others (including myself) hold dear.

You know the best part? The sorrow and pity I feel afterwards. Isn't it ridiculous? You would think that I would be the last one to cry for the casualties I have helped cause.

I am still alive and like all living things, with each breath I come closer to death. I walk this path alone and fuck if I know where it leads...

63 comments:

Melinda said...

Not one to pull punches, eh? I am not your mother or father, but I can tell you what I would tell my child if asked. I am proud that you are willing to answer the call to serve this country and make the sacrifice of placing loyalty to the country above God and family. I am sad that in making this choice you will be asked and must perform (without blinking, for your safety and the cohesiveness of your group) behaviors that include killing. What kind of people are we to be proud of killing? That is the behavior, though; you are a person. You are defined by more than just one act. May God help you to remember who you are and find the ability to embrace your complete self. Remember, we all walk our separate paths, but we are never alone. Thoughts and prayers.

Ronnie said...

I'm not proud of you, because you seem to be doing something you don't think is right. However, I am proud of soldiers that believe they are killing for the greater good. If someone truly values life they must be willing to take life to demonstrate this truth. That is why I believe in capital punishment, because I believe life is of such great value that those who disregard it should pay the ultimate price. May God have mercy on us all.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of myself who is against this war, I am proud of the service that you have done for your/my country.

Zack, Take care of yourself! Just remember you are really close to coming home to your mother, father, wife & kids. No matter what, they will always be proud of you and are there for you.


I sense a despair in you & you have to keep the images of your wife & kids in front of you, and hope to god that you will be with them soon!!!

Halla

Josh Ing said...

My prayers and support are always with you

Kate said...

Zach, there's no need for pride or lack of pride. You are more than this war. You're more than what you've been asked to do and you're more than what you've done. You're a man and a husband and a father and that's enough.

I remember something that really struck me about a lecture I listened to by Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese zen monk. He said that the present is made up of the past, just as the future is made up of the present, and that if we take care of the present moment we not only take care of the future but we affect the past too. We change our past through our present actions. Does this mean that what we've already done goes away? I don't think so. To me it means that because every moment is new, we can "correct" our past by our actions today.

Maybe your way of "correcting" the past will be to continue to care for and nurture your family when you come home. Maybe it will be to get involved in an organization that works toward social or political change. Maybe it will be to write about all of this and in your own way, with your own words, help other people who have gone through what you have to make sense of it all. Maybe it will be to write poetry and maybe even teach poetry, perhaps even to a group of vets like you. The possibilities are endless.

I think regret is part of the whole life package. I can't tell you how many times I've felt paralyzed by what I've done or said. Just recently, even. I put my marriage in jeopardy out of anger and lucky for me S and I are good enough together we worked it out, even though we had to do it over email and truncated phone calls. I have so often this year felt out of control, so much so that I feel as if, like you, all I leave behind me are broken pieces.

I hope writing about it is helping you. I know it does me. Sometimes I feel this unbelievable weightlessness after writing, as if I've finally unburdened myself, which I guess I have.

Take care, dear Zach. All of this will look less hazy when you're out of the desert and finally back home cradled in the love of your family.

Anonymous said...

Stay focused on living, no matter the cost, so one day you can teach us all the atrocities of war so that they will hopefully never happen again.
Our prayers are with you

mackeydoodle said...

I am not a fellow American, I am a Canadian, but I a fellow human in this journey of life. I may not neccesarily agree with the way this war is being handled but I support you & other soldiers. I can't imagine the horrible tasks that you may have & the horrors that you have seen. I pray that God keeps you safe & that this will all be over soon so all of you can come home.

ariadne said...

The "power of pride" movement seems to forget that pride is one of the seven deadly sins....

Look, you signed a contract out of a desire to serve your country. I respect that.

You're over there in the shit in what happens to be an illegal, dangerous, misdirected war. I hope that you stay safe and return in one piece to your family able to come to terms with whatever ghosts plague you. My heart goes out to you.

If we had the balls to prosecute war crimes to the commander-in-chief level, perhaps you wouldn't find yourself in this precarious position because the misleaders in charge might be more careful about sending other people to fight their battles based on their lies.

Perhaps when you return you can be a voice of reason in the muck that passes for political discourse in America.

Stay safe--you seem to have a wonderful family waiting for you when you return.

Lisa said...

Zach,

I wish I could say something that could bring comfort to you, but I cannot. What I can say is that soon you will be in your families arms, it is with their love and support that you will begin the healing process. From sounds of it, you and your wife are very deeply in love. That love will carry you through life's most painful moments.

Take care.

Lisa

Mike said...

Zack, it's not a matter of whether your mother and father are proud of what you've done, but rather a matter of their being proud of you for your service and for doing everything you can and have to do to return home to your family. Don't beat yourself up about that. I'm no longer in the Army, and am firmly against the war, but each and every one of you - especially the ones I knew while I served - are my heroes. And I'm proud to know you.

jarvenpa said...

Like Kate, I believe that it is not a question of what one has done, and the regrets we bear, but of this moment.
Having writen that I realize it is pretty inadequate.
One of my brothers served a long prison term for murder (yes, he did the murder). The first time I visited him he asked "So, how does it feel to have a murderer for a brother". I said "it doesn't change the fact that you are my brother and I love you". He is still bearing the pain and regret of his actions, and will until he dies--but he is more than that action.
You are far more than whatever you have done or not done.
I salute your honesty, and your unflinching ability to look directly at all that is there. I pray that you will find the support you need, and that you will be safely home with your family.
Telling the truth, witnessing truth--these are strong things. I honor you for them.

Aaron said...

I am proud of you. You walk the path of greater self-awareness.

http://www.dharma.org/ij/archives/2002a/nonviolence.htm

Anonymous said...

Hey anon....you are a pathetic prick. Sounds to me like you are the one with the problem. You aren't even courageous enough to put your name on your post. You seem to get pleasure from trying to tear down others. It's pretty sad really. You are just covering your insecurities by bashing others. I've got news for you, we ALL have insecurities. It's only natural and healthy.

You don't know as much about Zach as you seem to think. None of us do. We only know what he wants us to know so stop pretending you have a clue.

Zach, stay safe and ignore the riff raff. People who live in glass houses really shouldn't be throwing stones. KWIM?

Paige

Puma said...

"If someone truly values life they must be willing to take life to demonstrate this truth."

Complete. Utter. Bullshit.

Quit projecting your ridiculous flag-waving fantasies of glory and grandeur upon the soldiers, people. (Or spiteful, jealous vitriol, anon #1.) They know far better than you what it means to kill, and they aren't asking for your tiresome, righteous blessings. They are asking for your fucking understanding.

Zach, stay safe and come home to the people who love you. They are the people who matter.

Jessica said...

I am a 22 year old college student and I have been following your blog for some time now since I read an article in Newsweek, or Time, or something like that, but never posted a comment before.

Like many others, I have been against this war from the beginning. And like many others, I have never once stopped supporting our men that are doing their job over there with you. I have a tremendous amount of respect and indebtedness to you and your fellow soldiers. I have a few people that I know that have been over there and back already, both very dear to me, and I was glad to have them home safe again, as I'm sure your family will too. Stay strong and vigilant - the people of this country support you, even if they don't believe in what Bush is trying to do. I can't stand thinking about another one of our fathers, brothers, uncles and sons losing their lives over there - it's almost too much to bear. My father is a Vietnam Vet, and has deep feelings regarding that war as well as this one.

I find your blog a refreshing show of courage and strength, if not just a vessel for you to release to. I pray for you and your family, as well as your fellow troops. Stay strong and listen to God - he'll help.

Anonymous said...

Please stay alive. In Iraq and back in the US. No matter what.

Anonymous said...

wow, this really made me think. so many people say they are against the war, but they support the soldiers... but a war can't be fought without the soldiers. if the soldiers don't believe in it, but they do it anyway, what are they more than the pawns of petulant children who play with them like toys? pride... pride...

i don't know how to feel about this really. part of me really wants to believe and to say that we should all act in accordance with OUR OWN beliefs. i would feel real pride for someone with the courage to do what they believed in. so if you believe what you personally are doing is right, then that's one thing. but if you think it's wrong and you are doing it because you somehow lack the imagination to break free, i'm not sure how i feel about that. especially if you kill without believing that what you are doing is right and just. i don't know that i could feel pride for someone who kills for any reason other than a belief that there is a good reason for it. life is not something to be treated lightly like that.

so, pride. i'd like to know how you feel about pride. are you proud? if so, what are you proud of?

CivicConnections said...

In reading your posts for the past few months, it seems to me that you are a thinking soldier who is doing what he is commanded, hired to do. I would expect, from what I have read here, that you would not act unbecoming of an officer even if a superior told you to. There is so much confusion about this war and Americans and others have so many questions. But for the sake of our Constitutional freedom and our American ideals, you appear to have done what was necessary. But I ask you a favor. There are those of us at home who can not serve for one reason or another. Yet, we have questions, as war affects all Americans. Please do not let our questions to the commander in chief and the administration cause you to believe that we are condemnatory of those on the ground. For the sake of the precepts of democracy, which we are fighting for, we must also hold in check those who have the power and we must ask them if they are using their power equitably—for the sake of democracy—that which we are fighting for.

Morning Star said...

P.S.: I've been cooresponding with several soldiers for some time. (Blogspots) Here's one you might be interested in and if you're not, just give it a pass. He just got back too. http://enterthewardrobe.blogspot.com/

la'ikoa said...

Zack,
Pride is a funny thing. It can be used to make us strong or weak. It can be a stepping stone or a stumbling block. And only you can define what it is for you, in the place you're at right now, with the demands being placed on you by others.

But pride isn't what will determine the devotion and love from your parents, wife, and kids. They will love you no matter what. That's what unconditional love is all about and it harbors no pride.

Zack, your problem isn't with how others see you, but with how you see yourself. Intelligent readers of your blog know you are a courageous, loyal, and wise man. But you have to believe that to make it real.

I've always believed things happen for a reason. You can call it fate, karma, God, whatever you want, but when you realize your life has a purpose beyond yourself, you gain the courage and strength to go on. Your life has a purpose, Zack. Right now, in the hell your living, your life has a purpose.

T K Wilson said...

Zach,
It takes a lot of heart to put your insides out in front of everybody the way you do. It takes someone with some sense of humanity.
You may get blood on your hands and have to smell it and see it; and you may be damned to remember it for the rest of your life, as many of my family members and friends have been.
I can not support anybody having to ever do that. I do not support what put you in that position; but I sure as hell hope you as a human being make it out of that shit alive.
What bites for me is that none of that blood shows up on the hands of any of the people who actually instigated this war; nor have most of them ever been in your position, EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEATHS OF THOUSANDS, including those caused by you as their proxy.
You are my proxy, whether you, or I, choose it. The blood on your hands is also on mine. That's what it means to me when some asshole says "they're fighting for YOUR freedom. You should be greatful."
I could not stop this from happening, and I don't think you could either.

My folks read your blog and wanted to know if your parents had responded to your questions (which I assume are rhetorical and poetic). Apparently they were unable to access the commentary.

Whatever happens, I want you to stay alive and get back here. This country needs more humans and a lot fewer clueless zombies.

nothingnew said...

am I proud of a person who signs on the line and raises their right hand to keep me safe. Hell yes. Am I greatful that someone who does not even know me would take an oath to defend me with their life, and then actually go out and do it? Yes. Am I proud of someone who is willing to talk to me through a blog about what taking that oath menas? Yes. Simply put, to me, Zach, you are a man doing a giant's job. That is alot of weight for a man to take on his shoulders, but the fact is you are doing what most of us could not, and while that is a great burden, you should be proud that you tried, you did your part and made a contribution, and that you are doing your best to do the right thing. Anything beyond that is out of your hands. I only wish there was more that I could do so that you would know how proud and greatful I am for men and women like you. Make it back.

Hurria said...

"am I proud of a person who signs on the line and raises their right hand to keep me safe. Hell yes."

Perhaps YOU could explain exactly what Zach is doing in Iraq to keep you safe? Put another way, exactly how is what Zach and his colleagues are doing in Iraq contributing to your safety and security?

banana said...

you sound like you're really struggling with the stuff you've had to do over there.

from an anti-war activist perspective, all i can say is don't let george bush destroy you like he's done most everything else in the world.

many soldiers who come back from war are plagued to the point of suicide. yes, a "mere" 2000 soldiers have died in combat, but the right wingnuts ignore those who will come back damaged by war in worse ways than even death can bring.

i just hope that you do some serious meditation, try your best to find peace, and realize that even if you have literal blood on your hands.... your hands are less bloody than the right wing cowards who sit on their asses in this country eating their big macs, watching NASCAR, listening to Toby Keith and guzzling up gas like it's an infinite resource; and voting for these neo-cons who give two shits about this country, about nothing but lining their own pockets.

THEY ARE TO BLAME, not you. you were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

i just hope that when you get home you find a spirit helper that can help you find peace on this earth, especially since you have children.

my father, a right wingnut was too much of a coward to put his body where his mouth was, and didn't fight in vietnam.

however, i have many friends whose dads came back from Vietnam all screwed up and their kids were screwed up as a result.

when you leave the war, you have to find some way to leave it behind you, and i do believe the way to do that is through a spirit helper.

whatever you do, for sanity's sake, for your children's and their friends' sake don't go building a shrine to your time in the war or some crap in your den or in a room in your house. don't hang your uniform up on a mannequin in your house for all to see.

nothingnew said...

hurria, my comment was that I am proud of someone taking an oath to defend me, that is actually doing something, which is more than you and your mouth running while sitting at your computer have done. Once you take that oath and go to basic you go where you are told As for Iraq, reasonable people can disagree about that, but what you can not disagree with is that Zach took an oath to defend me, and I am proud of any person who would do that for me.

nothingnew said...

furthermore hurria, are you tellimg me that your argument is that you are not proud of people who swear to defend you? Its a yes or no question.

Bee said...

Hello Zach,
This is my first time blogging here but I must tell you that your comments over the past few months have been of tremendous value to me. My son and his Army unit have recently returned from 6 months in Iraq and go back in May. He has become someone I don't know or understand--he is so angry and unhappy--I am saddened beyond words by his conversations. I am trying to learn all I can about battle fatigue.
Even though I am deeply concerned about the deaths of the US soldiers and Iraq people--I hold no disrespect for you. If I were to meet you, I would be honored to shake your hand and hope that we could talk for a bit. I am certain that you have many matters to share with the American folks, your blog is an excellent place to attempt to understand the world news. You have allowed us the chance to view in all its grit and terror the war in Iraq.
Know that you are doing a much needed service.

My prayers and thoughts stay with you--Bee

Jana Lane said...

Zach: You are a soldier. But you are much, much more. You are a loving husband, father and son. You want to Iraq with completely honorable intentions. The fact that this war has not turned out the way you hoped is not your fault. Now you are wrestling with some of the most difficult questions human beings ever fact. I am proud of you for all of these things. Right now, I just want you to be homs in the arms of your wife, your children and your parents. You are a thoughtful, articulate American. You are helping us all by writing about your experiences and your feelings. We need you here with us as we work out what we need to do next. You are in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Dear Son, Pride is not the question or in question..."you're still alive" and "you still like all living things." I am simply thankful for this. I love you and nothing could or will ever alter that. You have suffered for this war and when you come home I will be there to hold your hand as you surrender to all that you have been through, all you have been part of, and all you have done or not done. I know the trauma you experienced last time you returned from this war. I love you and I love your humanity. Only days now...I love you son. Mom

Hurria said...

"my comment was that I am proud of someone taking an oath to defend me..."

No, it wasn't. Here is what you said: "am I proud of a person who signs on the line and raises their right hand to keep me safe. Hell yes. "Am I greatful that someone who does not even know me would take an oath to defend me with their life, and then actually go out and do it?"

I repeat my question: How is what Zach and his colleagues are doing in Iraq keeping you safe? In what way are Zach and his colleagues in Iraq defending you?

"are you telling me that your argument is that you are not proud of people who swear to defend you"

My argument has nothing whatsoever to do with what I am or an not proud of. It has nothing to do with me at all. You declared that you are proud of someone who swears an oath to keep you safe, defend you, and then actually go out and do it?. I asked you to tell me how what Zach and his colleagues are doing in Iraq contributes to your safety and security. How, exactly, are Zach and his colleagues in Iraq defending you?

And for the record, I am absolutely NOT proud of people who swear to defend me. I am not proud of people who swear to do anything. Anyone can swear an oath to do anything. It is just words. Deeds and their consequences, not mere words, are what matter.

Hurria said...

P.S. Perhaps you ought to take a look at the oath that Zach and everyone else in the military takes. You might be quite disappointed to see that it has nothing to do with keeping you safe or defending you. It is not about you - or the American people - at all.

Jeff said...

You have such a great way with words and can really give us a sense of what you are going through. I hope that we will see all of our troops home SOON! Good Luck and thank you!

Anonymous said...

muriKins! be proud!!! 'twas an "insurance" job

http://70.84.33.210/%7Einfomedi/video/previews/170305martialpreview2.mov

Anonymous said...

zach,

how come you were not nominated for the best military weblog?

I almost had to vomit when I see the nominees.

nothingnew said...

hurria, here is how I see it, when a solider takes the oath and ships off to bct, they are helping to defend me, the country and what matters to me. Why do I think that? Because to me, to use an analogy, a solider, by his/her simple existance is a deterrant, similar to say a guard dog, or a street light deterring criminals, furthermore that fact that said solider is openly bearing arms for the world to see, and will use them upon command is more deterrant, and if that solider is deployed and engaged in combat it demonstrates the willingness to use that force, which is a further deterant. Simply by being on a line somewhere, even if you don't agree with that line, a solider is protceting the country. That is the "deeds and consequences", which you refer to as what matter, of taking that oath, its simply the first step of many.The taking of the oath to swear to defend the constituion from all enemies both foreign and domestic is only the first step along a path that is fraught with danger, hardship, sacrifice, selflessness, teamwork, dedication, and courage. For a individual to make that commitment, to put others ahead of oneself, and give him/herself up for service, deserves and demands respect.
Sorry that you are not proud of them, I am.

Mary-Lou said...

I must say that I am not your mother or your father but I am an American and I AM DAMN PROUD OF YOU! I AM PROUD THAT SOMEONE WHO DOES NOT KNOW ME OR THAT I EVEN EXIST IS STRONG ENOUGH TO GO TO WAR TO PROTECT ME AND MINE AS WELL AS THEM AND THEIRS! I AM PROUD OF ALL OF OUR MILITARY THOSE WHO I KNOW AND LOVE AND THOSE I DONT KNOW AND LOVE BECAUSE OF WHAT THEY ARE WILLING TO DO FOR ME!

How anyone could NOT be proud of ANY soldier amazes me, they are the brave men and women, sons and daughters, mothers and fathers of this country who are willing to fight and give their life in order for America to continue to be free. To all the politicians and other assholes who say our military is wrong and we should not be at war, I say go tell a child whose parents died due to the terrorists attacks of 9/11 that their mother or father is not worth fighting for. Go tell a mother that their child is dead due to terrorist attacks and that we will just sit idle.

The men and women of this military are what makes America great. We are an ALL voluntary military. These people give their lives to make our lives better. And we dare disrespect them?
I say that if you are someone who has anger, hatred or any other unethical feeling toward any of our military that we pack you in a box and send you to a shantytown in iraq, since you hate freedom so much lets take it from you!
BASTARDS!

Sgt! I just want to tell you I am damn proud of you and the men and women you stand beside! I am damn proud of all of you! I am damn proud to tell people that my brother is in Asscrackistan! I am damn proud to tell people my sister is in Baghdad! I am damn proud to tell people that my Uncle is in Basaria(sp). I tell you what sir! I SALUTE YOU!

HOOOOOOOOOOOOAH!
May God Bless you and keep you safe at all times and be with you and your family this holiday season!

PS> I will drink a ton of spiked eggnog for all MY military men and women overseas!

Anonymous said...

Mary-lou,

I lost one close relative and one of my college friends in the WTC.

"To all the politicians and other assholes who say our military is wrong and we should not be at war, I say go tell a child whose parents died due to the terrorists attacks of 9/11 that their mother or father is not worth fighting for. Go tell a mother that their child is dead due to terrorist attacks and that we will just sit idle."


HOW DARE YOU TRY TO JUSTIFY YOUR POLITICAL BELIEFS WITH MY SISTER AND ONE OF MY BEST FRIENDS DEATHS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Both women, (911 victims) where very liberal minded.

Do not attempt to speak on any of out behalfs. It is not needed or wanted.

mary-lou's guardian angel said...

marylou and nothingnew are examples that, in usa, nothing's new. the experiment has already failed.

muriKins been beating up on weaker peoples since day 1. read bury my heart at wounded knee, or a hundred other accounts. open your eyesto the genocide wrought by your SUV's, strip malls and walmart suburban sprawl. live by the sword, die by the sword.

"an all volunteer army"? yup. filled from the ranks of the southern, uneducated, unemployed or morally deficient. or just plain mean. love them skinhead looks on all the now-a-bit-portly west point grads running the "liberation process" around the world. mr snag from mi, how many O7's or higher go out on patrol, walking, with the likes of sgt zach and the all volunteer army? could marylou be helpful in falloojah as a cheerleader for our troops? contact your local recruiter, ma'am.

do any of you ever wonder what the little old ladies, and the young wives and religious groups did all those years between 1935 to 1944? in ole uncle germany? "but they're our husbands, brothers, neighbors, etc; and them damn pollacks attacked us anyway!" was it "tough fro them", rationalizing the concentration camps (guantanamo), the disappearing acts (rendition) the glorious speeches of their leaders (mission accomplished butch, chaingang, goebbels (rice, mengele, bolton, etc etc etc) as the wind carried the stench of burning flesh from the crematorium to their well kept homes? was it difficult for these damsels when the schools, hospitals, and infrastructure all went to war mode? (nola, fema, epa, etc etc etc). these "ladies" were surely proud of the "sacrifice" of their menfolk. could they also salute "la resistance" in france and elsewhere?

was it difficult for them l'il ole ladies, and young ladies, living a lie, repeating over and over to themselves the same old sad platitudes (we were attacked, fox news)? were they helpless to do anything except hide behind the propoganda and dummy leaders as their country went done the tubes?

see any parallels today in the late great usa?

nothingnew is 100% right; nothing's new. butchKo's usa and clingtongs usa has already failed. you are now more angry, afraid, rationalizing and distrustful than ever. the experiment was unsuccessful. before too long, your money will be worthless, the fields will produce no food, another culture or people will buy up all your homes and property and, just so you can eke out a living, put you all back to work tilling the soil, or in sweatshops to be, outwardly, more like the slaves you already are. ying. yang.

every cloud has a silver lining. it'll be the best of times for the next generation of WHITE peoples to be singing and composing their 21st century, post-DU blues............ you've tons to be proud of muriKins.

sgt scott and all the rest, muriKins, iraqis, palestinians and jews, keep safe and go home to your families with peace in your heart. you all are capable of much gentler behavior. even you marylou.

mary-lou's guardian angel said...

marylou and nothingnew are examples that, in usa, nothing's new. the experiment has already failed.

muriKins been beating up on weaker peoples since day 1. read bury my heart at wounded knee, or a hundred other accounts. open your eyesto the genocide wrought by your SUV's, strip malls and walmart suburban sprawl. live by the sword, die by the sword.

"an all volunteer army"? yup. filled from the ranks of the southern, uneducated, unemployed or morally deficient. or just plain mean. love them skinhead looks on all the now-a-bit-portly west point grads running the "liberation process" around the world. mr snag from mi, how many O7's or higher go out on patrol, walking, with the likes of sgt zach and the all volunteer army? could marylou be helpful in falloojah as a cheerleader for our troops? contact your local recruiter, ma'am.

do any of you ever wonder what the little old ladies, and the young wives and religious groups did all those years between 1935 to 1944? in ole uncle germany? "but they're our husbands, brothers, neighbors, etc; and them damn pollacks attacked us anyway!" was it "tough fro them", rationalizing the concentration camps (guantanamo), the disappearing acts (rendition) the glorious speeches of their leaders (mission accomplished butch, chaingang, goebbels (rice, mengele, bolton, etc etc etc) as the wind carried the stench of burning flesh from the crematorium to their well kept homes? was it difficult for these damsels when the schools, hospitals, and infrastructure all went to war mode? (nola, fema, epa, etc etc etc). these "ladies" were surely proud of the "sacrifice" of their menfolk. could they also salute "la resistance" in france and elsewhere?

was it difficult for them l'il ole ladies, and young ladies, living a lie, repeating over and over to themselves the same old sad platitudes (we were attacked, fox news)? were they helpless to do anything except hide behind the propoganda and dummy leaders as their country went done the tubes?

see any parallels today in the late great usa?

nothingnew is 100% right; nothing's new. butchKo's usa and clingtongs usa has already failed. you are now more angry, afraid, rationalizing and distrustful than ever. the experiment was unsuccessful. before too long, your money will be worthless, the fields will produce no food, another culture or people will buy up all your homes and property and, just so you can eke out a living, put you all back to work tilling the soil, or in sweatshops to be, outwardly, more like the slaves you already are. ying. yang.

every cloud has a silver lining. it'll be the best of times for the next generation of WHITE peoples to be singing and composing their 21st century, post-DU blues............ you've tons to be proud of muriKins.

sgt scott and all the rest, muriKins, iraqis, palestinians and jews, keep safe and go home to your families with peace in your heart. you all are capable of much gentler behavior. even you marylou.

Ronnie said...

I orginially said:
"If someone truly values life they must be willing to take life to demonstrate this truth."

Sarah responded:
Complete. Utter. Bullshit.

Response:
That was very intelligent.

Sarah continues:
Quit projecting your ridiculous flag-waving fantasies of glory and grandeur upon the soldiers, people. (Or spiteful, jealous vitriol, anon #1.) They know far better than you what it means to kill, and they aren't asking for your tiresome, righteous blessings. They are asking for your fucking understanding.

Response:
First, can you form a sentence or two without profanity? Second, Zach asked a question and I answered. If you don’t that like that answer, who cares? He did not ask for my understanding, but asked if we were proud. I don’t think I can every completely understand what he is going through and guess what? Neither can you.

As far as the truth of my statement above it is easily demonstrated. Will Zach kill a terrorist to save the life of his comrades? What about his own life? What about the life of his wife or children? If you answer yes, to any of those questions then I ask why? Zach must either feel he is doing the right thing or don’t do it. It is not right for him to kill or assist in it if he thinks it is wrong. Maybe you can put together a rational response instead of the emotional, irrational, and profanity filled response as you previously did.

Hurria said...

Ronnie, Sarah's description of your inane statement as complete utter bullshit is right on.

Puma said...

So sorry to disturb your fucking delicate sensibilities, Ronnie.

And quit whining about the answers you got. Your stupidly insane comment got the answers it deserved.

Ronnie said...

Hurria:
That was deep. How long did it take you to think through such an eloquent response.

Sarah:
You didn’t disturb my “_____ delicate sensibilities”. I was only trying to get you to act like you had a brain under that blonde hair. Maybe I was wrong. Calling my comments stupid a 1000 times doesn’t make them stupid. You have to show how they are stupid without demonstrating your own comments to be stupid, if you know what I mean?

MARY-lous's guardian angel said...

sgt scott and all the rest, muriKins, iraqis, palestinians and jews, keep safe and go home to your families with peace in your heart.

WE all are capable of much gentler behavior.

Hurria said...

Dear MARY-lous's guardian angel,

Iraqis can't "go home", were ARE home - a home that has been invaded by a massively violent, deadly and destructive force of which Zach is a part. Iraqis cannot keep safe until this violent, deadly and destructive invading force, of which Zach is a part, leaves completely and forever.

As for gentler behaviour, how would you suggest Iraqis should respond to the massive violence, the brutality, the cruelty, the destruction and the violently forced imposition of American will on our country? With flowers and candy? With smiles and kisses? With the level of obsequious acquiescence suitable to an inferior people?

Anonymous said...

Hurria said:
Iraqis cannot keep safe until this violent, deadly and destructive invading force, of which Zach is a part, leaves completely and forever.


Yeah, like the 100s of thousands in mass graves, the many that are just missing, and the many that were forced to live in exile were safe before the war. What force is blowing up buses with innocent Iraqis? What force deliberately blows up little kids? What force beheads the Iraqi people because it disagrees with their actions? What force kidnaps and kills police officers? What force executes political officials and their entire families? Zach is not a part of this force

Hurria continues:
As for gentler behaviour, how would you suggest Iraqis should respond to the massive violence, the brutality, the cruelty, the destruction and the violently forced imposition of American will on our country?


Hurria, I think you have a greater mass violence, brutality, cruelty, and destructive force than any American in your fellow tyrannical and radical Muslims. These are the ones you should be reacting against.

Melinda said...

Hurria

Why ask us how we would like you to act? That's like asking us if you can be angry. It is not our place to say. Many may give you their suggestions, but your emotions/actions/responses are yours to choose. There are simply consequences, natural and society imposed, for every action. May God help us choose wisely and accept when we do not.

Many thoughts and prayers.

Hurria said...

You wrote this:

"WE all are capable of much gentler behavior.

What kind of gentle behaviour do you recommend one engage in when confronted by an uncontrollably violent invader whose goal is to impose his will on one by any means necessary?

nothingnew said...

hurria,
the only people who are acting uncontrolably violent are certain segments of the Iraqi population. Has the U.S. been violent, yes, that is what happens when there is fighting, people die, and we fight to win, period.
That being said U.S. forces are under direct control and do not run about like a pack of animals.
On the other hand, Iraqs have such wonderful things like honor killing when a girl gets raped by another iraqi, the family then kills her to avenge their honor. What a bunch of garbage. What a cowardly thing. Your culture is backwards, oppressive, and flat out evil hurria, you don't get to oppress people because of your religious ideas tell you to do so, or some fat guy in a beard and a dirty robe says so.
Has the U.S. made mistakes, yes, have people died as a result, yes, but they are mistakes, not delibertaly targeting civilians who are just trying to live, or targeting those who are trying to rebuild Iraq, unlike the people who you apparently support.
I find it very ironic that you describe the U.S. as an uncontroablly violent invader when all of this started back when Iraq invaded Kuwait and Iraqi troops when on a rape/murder/looting/kidnapping/torture spree and then Iraq violated many of the terms of the negotiated treaty to cease hostilities. You can only blame saddam for that and from my point of view, required us to come back and finish the job.
I find it terribly ironic for you to make such statements when the killing of your own daughters for something that is not their fault is sanctioned.
Its the certain segment of Iraqis who are uncontrollably violent looking to establish their will, no matter who or how many they kill, simply out of pure lust for power, just like saddam. How many innocents died to day in car bomings Hurria? How many unarmed hostages where killed today? You did not see a U.S. tank drive into a mosque filled with worshippers and blow itself up did you? No, you didn't.
The fact is Hurria is that you are deliberatly try to frame this in a false light and justify what the terrorists in Iraq are doing to their own countrymen. Shame on you for supporting that, you are a traitor to your own people, and you are a traitor of justice, and the very idea of humanity itself.
Americans are there to try and make that country better for all Iraqis, is it perfect, easy, or going that well, no, but the terrorists who are killing fellow Iraqis are only trying to reinsert themselves back into power so they can continue as before, execpt under a differnt name.
If you act like a bully and a thug, don't be suprised or cry like a girl when someone bigger than you comes along and beats you with a shoe like the donkey you are for starting trouble. You have only yourself to blame.
If you want the U.S. out of that toliet country, then stop blowing people up and U.S. troops can get out, its really that simple. We don't really want to be their either, but we will not leave untill this is over.

Sudipta said...

Zach,

This note from you almost reads like poetry.
To question one's self is what makes us human beings.

This is the same kind of question that the great warrior prince Arjuna had asked
Lord Krishna when he confronted his loved
ones in the great war of Kurukshetra in the Hindu epic, The Mahabharata.

What Lord Krishna advised Arjuna during his troubled moments constitute the Bhagbat Geeta, the Hindu religious principles of life.

We are all proud of you for the sacrifies you are making.
Thank you.

Sudipta

Anonymous said...

If indeed it is the case that

"That being said U.S. forces are under direct control and do not run about like a pack of animals."

then George Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Wolfowitz and all the others responsible for this invasion are guilty of war crimes.
- U.S. soldiers "under direct control" used chemical weapons in Fallujah that burn human bodies down to the bone.
- U.S. personnel violated and continue to violate the Geneva Conventions with acts of torture, kidnapping, and lack of due process.
- The U.S. is responsible for a large percentage of the deaths in Iraq (we're talking tens of thousands dead here and hundreds of thousands if one includes the embargo).
- The U.S. invaded another country not for reasons of self-defense, but for oil and military domination (doesn't sound too much like freedom fighting to me).

So, if U.S. soldiers are "under direct control" why the torture, use of chemical weapons, illegal invasion, kidnapping, and lack of due process for so called "detainees"?

If the U.S. army is ordered to committ war crimes by its leaders, then one must conclude that U.S. leaders are war criminals.

Stephan

Anonymous said...

The lies and half-truths of some people are amazing.

Lie/Half-Truth #1
U.S. soldiers "under direct control" used chemical weapons in Fallujah that burn human bodies down to the bone.

Fact:
White phosphorus is not considered a chemical weapon and there is nothing illegal about its use.

Comment:
I only wish those who are so concerned about white phosphorous would speak out more about the beheading of the innocent, the blowing up of women, the blowing up of children, and the blowing up of elderly, and the torture chambers that existed in Fallujah.

Lie/Half-truth #2
U.S. personnel violated and continue to violate the Geneva Conventions with acts of torture, kidnapping, and lack of due process.

Fact:
Any known act of torture by the U.S. has been prosecuted. Any alleged act of torture is investigated. What kidnapping? What due process in the Geneva Convention is violated?

Comment:
Why do we not hear complaints about the torture chambers in Fallujah? What not the beheading? Why not the kidnapping of innocent, including women and their beheading? What about the lack of due process used by the terrorists? You hear nothing. All people like Stephan want to is accuse the U.S. an our troops of every possible evil. Notice something else interesting about this kind of people. Anything evil that the U.S. or our troops are accused of they accept it as Gospel. It doesn’t matter if the source is Bin Laden, they believe, because they want to believe the worst about our country. How sad.

Lie/Half-Truth #3
The U.S. is responsible for a large percentage of the deaths in Iraq (we're talking tens of thousands dead here and hundreds of thousands if one includes the embargo).

Fact:
Saddam is responsible for almost every single death, not the U.S. The embargo was a United Nations thing, not just the U.S. Futhermore, it was put into place because Saddam wanted to build WMD to finish off what he started with the Kurds and to invade his neighbors. The mass graves are all over Iraq and they are not there because of an embargo.

Comment:
Once again you hear nothing about this, but instead every conceivable evil is irrationally laid at the feet of the U.S. How silly to blame the U.S. for the actions of Saddam. I guess the international world should let the butcher of Baghdad kill all his people and take over all his neighboring countries, because if you stop him you are the one responsible for the deaths. How irrational can you get?

Lie/Half-Truth #4
The U.S. invaded another country not for reasons of self-defense, but for oil and military domination (doesn't sound too much like freedom fighting to me).

Fact:
If we wanted more oil from Iraq all we had to do was lift the embargo. These left-wing conspiracy theories with no facts to back them up are ridiculous. Why would need to invade Iraq to have military domination? It is not like Iraq was a possible Super Power or something.

Comment:
It is the same song over and over. Why would Stephen think we invaded Iraq for oil? Because it is evil and believes any evil that is uttered against our country.

He asks a question:
So, if U.S. soldiers are "under direct control" why the torture, use of chemical weapons, illegal invasion, kidnapping, and lack of due process for so called "detainees"?

Answer:
U.S. soldiers are under direct control, because if they were not the length they go to not hurt the innocent would be disregarded as you see with the terrorists. We would have ended the insurgency by now, because we would have flattened the cities where they existed. You are projecting the evil of the terrorist on the U.S. They are the ones who are guilty of all the things you name.

He concludes:
If the U.S. army is ordered to commit war crimes by its leaders, then one must conclude that U.S. leaders are war criminals.

Yes, “if”, but I’m sure you believe it, because someone said it, it is negative, and that is good enough for you. How sad.

Hurria said...

If it were in fact true that white phosphorous is not a chemical weapon, and if in fact there IS nothing illegal about its use, why then did the U.S. military first deny they had used it at all, and then when faced with the evidence, deny they had used it against people, when both of those denials were purely and simply lies. They DID use it against people in Falluja as well as in other places.

The bottom line question, is if there is nothing wrong with using white phosphorus, why deny it in the first place?

Hurria said...

I really do wish I had time to respond point by point to your nonsense, nothingnew, as well as to the rest of the bs posted by anonynmous. Unfortunately, I do not at the moment. Neither one of you apologists for crimes against humanity has a bloody clue what you are yapping about.

By the way, Anonymous, your own military intelligence has referred to "white phosphorus chemical weapons" in some of its intelligence reports, and it is clearly illegal to use white phosphorus against people, which your military clearly did in Falluja and elsewhere.

Rob said...

You are a very bright young man with a gift for introspective writing. I am glad that you survived and not only for your sake and your family's sake; I know that you will make a tremendous contribution to our society.

But the uniform you wear is a uniform of disgrace. Its wearers don't represent the USA so much as they represent a cancerous tumor called militarism that is devouring American constitutional values and inflicting unbearable suffering on poor people all over the world.

I wish you peace and success and happiness...but if they call you up for another tour, please consider deserting.

Anonymous said...

Hurria said:
By the way, Anonymous, your own military intelligence has referred to "white phosphorus chemical weapons" in some of its intelligence reports, and it is clearly illegal to use white phosphorus against people, which your military clearly did in Falluja and elsewhere.

Facts:
1. The white phosphorus used in falluja was a conventional munition not a chemical weapon.

2. It is not against the law to use this weapon against combatants.

Read this article to see who has the facts and who has the half-truths.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4440664.stm

AirborneVet said...

Killing during times of war is something every soldier must deal with. It will be hard on each and every one of them in a different way and each will deal with it in their own way. Being in the military is an honor because it takes an honorable person to be able to serve and follow orders. When you no longer believe you can follow these legal orders, then you know it will be time to not reenlist. If you believe the orders are illegal, then it is your duty to report it.
I'm glad you are safe and will be returning home and I hope you will be able to cope with your actions. Personally, I feel you are just, that this war on terror is just and must be done, but I know what you are going through. It is not easy. Do not be afraid to seek counseling and, with time, your life will get better. Merry Christmas.

AirborneVet said...

To commentor Rob:

I'm sorry you feel as if the military is a horrible thing. I will make an assumption that you have never served. I find it very disturbing that you would encourage someone to become a deserter. There are extremely harsh penalties for this. During a time of war, a deserter can be put to death. I highly advise against deserting or telling anyone to desert.
It is normal for a soldier in combat to have doubts. This doesn't mean they think the military is evil.

jamal said...

No im not proud of you. Far from it in fact! Disappointed and disgusted would be nearer the mark.

Puma said...

jamal, what are you disappointed and disgusted about? The violence perpetrated? Or telling the truth about it? Whichever it is, how about backing up your words with explanations? Unless you don't have one.

Bruce said...

My jaw dropped when I read your post. All those memories of being in a "straight-leg" infantry unit in Viet Nam came rushing back. The constant wondering whether you would be alive the next day. The repressed revulsion of recent fire-fights. The joy of mail from "The World."

I was lucky. I came home with all my body parts. My advice is to remember the good times you had "In country." Its the little pleasures that you recall that will help overlay the horror of war.

Good luck and thanks for being honest.

Doc Holder, formerly
1st Bn 12th Inf 4th Inf Div
1969-1970

The Dreamer said...

that post left me with a lump in my throat. it's probably something many of us vets ask ourselves over and over. the nightmares from viet nam still hunt me at times, but i try to remind myself that i entered the military in good faith.

having grown up in a christian family, i feel we will all be held accountable for our actions. i do not want to be in the shoes of the powerful men who perpetrate such wars for financial and political gain.

if i had children, knowing what i know today, i would do all in my power to dussuade them from fighting, killing and dieing in rich men's wars

Anonymous said...

i'm proud of the good the army is doing all over the world. i'm ashamed that there are soldiers like you making our country out to be the bad guy. i'm embarassed to call you a fellow american. you don't like the good you're doing, whatever, i still hope for your well being, and keep killing those men over there.
i hope one day i can get over there and do the same thing you're doing. except i'll be proud of my work.
at least i'm not the only crazy one here. thanks jamal.
(oh and btw, my boyfriend and couple other of my friends have been to iraq or are currently stationed in iraq including two have lost their lives there. i know what goes on. does that mean war is wrong? they died proud of their work. i'm proud of them too)