Saturday, April 01, 2006

Freed

Jill Carroll was released in Iraq yesterday. I wonder how this whole thing is effecting what we hear is happening in Iraq. I am glad that she is free, but this whole thing sucks. Kidnapping sucks. Things are really f*cked up over there if the enemy is still ganking people off the street at will. The violence out of Iraq has shown to be at a sustained level to the point that we (westerners) are not safe on the streets of Iraq. I know that post war Germany and Japan were f*cked up places. And I know that post war Iraq is a f*cked up place. But in post war Germany and Japan our soldiers and allies generally walked about in a relatively stable peace as had been what was a state of war. Odd considering that Rumsfeld said "Turning our backs on postwar Iraq today would be the modern equivalent of handing postwar Germany back to the Nazis."

I sent an email to a friend in Iraq a long while ago. He was there in the immediate post invasion. This was in the first six or so months we were in Iraq. I asked him if he was able to go out into the cafes and streets of Iraq. I had heard of stories of soldiers on the streets of Iraq following the invasion. They had been welcomed by children. I was wondering if he could go to a cafe. I then figured it out. I kind of feel like an ignorant bufoon. We Americans as people and as soldiers really don't walk freely on the streets of post war Iraq. We are shot at, bombed at. We don't go off campus. We don't go into the bad neighborhood. The neighborhood is Iraq. But in post war Germany, Japan we could go into the neighborhood.

This is years after major combat operations ended.

The war is not over. We are not in a post war period. We are in a state of war, a sustained state of war with an ambiguous and undefined end. A clear resolution is not at hand. Last throes was almost a year ago. The Iraqi people who are trying to make a difference since the tyrannical days of Baathist rule are still suffering. So are the Coalition forces. There is regular conflict that results in the average of 50 to 60 Iraqis being killed daily and steady death rate among the Coalition. We need to win this war. We have to. And we can't do it by "killing all those sons of bitches...drop a nuke on them and finish it off"*


* Overheard at one of my bartending shifts at the SBAC. Also overheard were several war vets who thought that the war was "no good", "we have not business over there" and a "mistake". That was the pleasant thing about the SBAC. There were a lot of opinions floating around that place considering the homogenity of the place. There were men who had lost legs in Korea, stormed beaches in WWII and general combat experiences. We would say the pledge of allegiance before every meeting. One time after 9/11 we even played the star spangled banner. This was not the odd part, the tape player had a busted speaker, so you could barely hear the main part of the song, instead just the crashing symbols every thirty seconds or so, and then the occasional deep bass. We stood there hearing these odd noises with our hands over our hearts and saluting the old flag in the corner.


An interesting note is that guy who wanted to "nuke" them did not serve. He was relatively younger and was kind of a bum. He was on disability and would hang out at the club all the time. He didn't do much. Other guys supported the war, but there was not a feeling overwhelming support even by the supporters.


I always loved to hear stories about how they would line up all the young men in downtown Saint Louis, down by the War Memorial in front of the Keil. They drafted a certain number into the army and then they allowed others to go to some of the other branches. A draft is unreal to me, but a draft really is a reality. We have had drafts on many occasions in the 20th century.

1 Comments:

Blogger Diabetoboy said...

Wait a sec, I thought our mission was accomplished there.

11:54 AM  

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