Sunday, August 22, 2004

GGGOOOAAALLL!!!

100 comments:

Mark said...

They're fanatical about everything dude. And everything is the most holy this or that. Just stay sane and BE SAFE!

julie anna said...

Hey I'm the first commentor! My husband is heading your way and your blog helps give me a mental picture of what he will be going through. Just wanted to say thanks, and you are all in our prayers.

Neil said...

This reminds me of when I first went to Africa. The first thing I remember was the smell of wood burning fires, all over the country. I'll never forget that. If you happen to be in a place with a tape recorder and a mic (or an iPod or some kind of recording device) record the sound of that distant Arabic stuff. I'm a sound designer, and I for one, would love to hear it. It would give us an additional sensory input as to what's going on over there. Of course, don't get yer hiney shot doing it. Post if if you can, but if not, email it to me, and I'll post it for you Blogger can't post an audio file.

Good luck with the NEA project. I'm sure you'll get in.

Cheers!

Julie said...

Good to see you posting again; you made my night.

Expect a package from O'Reilly Publishing. They're sending you a copy of Dan Gillmor's new book on how blogging is changing the face of journalism. (No, they didn't pay me to mention it here. I coordinate their donations to Books for Soldiers, so I took the liberty of requesting a complimentary copy on your behalf! )

And I fully expect to see your work in the NEA volume when it's published. If it's not there, prepare to hear loud squawking chicken sounds from all of us, because we'll know you chickened out and didn't submit anything! Yes, you really are good enough....

Be safe. :-)
--Julie
www.booksforsoldiers.com

TReich said...

Thank God you're back up.

What happened? What was up with your previous post about the First Amendment? Is the Army coming down on you? I sure hope not, because your blog is the finest war reporting to come out of this war.

gimma said...

PHEEWW! What a relief to see another post...even though it looks like there's been some "tweaking" of your blog.

Stay alert, stay sane and don't give up what you "know is right"...
Jen

alix said...

that's the problem with talent, CB. wonder how much of it we never see because its owner doesn't think they're good enough? i certainly look forward to your published writings...how am i going to recognize you? (is CBFTW gonna be your nom de plume?)

methinks you've got a great future, and may you then gaze at the city lights of your choice...

sending hugs and prayers for safekeeping...

Balder said...

Thank God your alive and OK.

Wishing the best for you and all the other soldiers over there with you.

Tammi said...

I can't begin to imagine the boredom of sitting in that tower. I can, however, imagine the chain smoking, light one off the other till your lungs hurt boredom. Put the two together and, well let's just say I'm sorry you gotta do that dude.

It's kinda funny, from what I've heard the American's seem to be almost as focused on the Iraqui soccer team as they are. It's a great story, but damn - watch out for those celebrations. My ex used to shot his shot gun a couple of times up in the air, you know for the kids birthdays, New Years etc. That is until he accidently shot one of the cows. But that's a story unto itself.

Good to see you post again. Good to know you're still hangin' in there.

Take care!!! And congrats on the writing opportunity. You deserve it. This could very well change your life. How cool is that!!!!

nygal said...

CB -Really enjoyed your post!...happy (and relieved) to see you are bored sitting in a guard tower! That means you're safe! God Bless you and your fellow soldiers.

ProudCavMom said...

Whew... So glad to see your post! I know this is disillusional, but I feel more at ease with my son being in Iraq when I know that you too are safe... Hate to put that pressure on you...
Thanks for the little peace of mind... Be careful
Cindy

BrknSk8BrdsDad said...

Hey, nygal, don't be tooooo happy that CB is on gaurd duty, according to my son it is the worst, most boring duty you can have. (My son is a convoy guy working in support of the Stryker Brigade in Mosul.) I guess that just about every grunt there has to pull gaurd now & then. My son was "changed forever" (his words) by an incident on gaurd duty last Valentines day. Of course, everyone there will be changed by what they are experiencing, that's why I appreciate CB's work so much. Understanding just a little more of what our brave kids are going through will help us help them when they return.

Glad to see you CB, I was worried that the highers had cut your legs out from under you. I've read every post, you are extremely careful about mission details, so if they cut you off, I think it would have to be political.

Stay with it, you and all of our troops are in my prayers daily.

exfbonnie said...

Hey CB-
Reading this post makes me want to go out and have a smoke...A couple of smokes. Im suppose to be quitting sometime soon - but this post only reinforces my bad addiction. I believe that chain smoking has to do with the constant need of not just for a physical stimulant, but an emotional stimulas, as well. When you smoke, you are doing something...thinking, figuring out things, especially when you cant do anything.

Its funny but reading about the chain smoking and day dreaming is not too far from my experience of being a stay at home mom. Really, being a mother isnt exactly being vigilant in a tower all day, but it kinda is. The one very good thing about your experience (and like that of a Stay at Home Mom) is that you have much time for self reflection. And include day dreamimg, reading whatever you can when you can, and being almost at a non stop vigilence, and overall doing something that will affect the world and someone elses life right to the core. You are fortunate to have this time to focus on yourself.
You mentioned "blurring" at the observatory - (squinting, etc) - Just Rose and I just blogged about doing this with our little girls, trying to get a glimpse of what they might look like as adults...Changing your focus to capture or recapture something. Very interesting.

It's strange to think that these are two completely different lifestyles (soldier and stay at home mom), yet passing the time is done in the same way, and leads to introspection.

Great Post CB - Always good to hear from you!


ALSO -This was copied from ALA71's site, thought it also appropriate here:

"Vote For "My War" !
The Washington Post is having a "Best Blog 2004" Contest. Nominations have to be in by September 27th and voting begins that day. Winners will be announced October 25th.
Of course, I have nominated CB: www.cbftw.blogspot.com for Most Original .... I may have even nominated some of you! Anyway, I thought it would be really awesome of CB won!
Here's the link:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-adv/marketing/blog/

tropical said...

HOORAY HOORAY HOORAY CB i'm so glad somebody actually emailed the nea returning soldiers writers project about you and now it sounds like you will do it. all i did was email you about it, had no idea you knew about it and thought you "weren't good enough". definitely you should. its also nice to think that out of something definitely bad, war and your experience of it, could come something good like a future career in writing. isn't it great how things happen, you happen to see the article on blogging, you decide to start a blog a couple of months ago and now the nea writers project is calling. HOORAY HOORAY HOORAY man we need some happy news these days and this is definitely it. you go guy!! tropical

Captain Holly said...

My brother was in Baghdad last summer when Oogie and Queasy got whacked. He said the display was pretty spectacular.

CB, you probably already know this, but keep your kevlar on when they do stuff like that. What goes up, must come down. I heard that dozens of people were killed by falling bullets during the celebrations after Saddam's capture last year.

Bon said...

I've been "anonymously" reading this blog forever and its time I said thank you. Was really worried about the "story developing" and I'm SO glad to see you post again. Your writing gives me insight into my son's year in Iraq, something I will never have the privilege of hearing from him (he was killed by a drunk driver 2 days after his return to Germany from Iraq--oh! the irony of life sometimes!). Yes, I'd vote too, that you are very good at this and should definately be included in the NEA project. Take care, keep your head down.

Shar said...

Hey CB, glad to hear that you are safe, surviving this war, one cigerette at a time.

That is totally cool about your contributing to the Operation Homecoming project. I certainly think you are more than just good enough.

I love looking at cities at night. All you see is the lights and energy of the place, without all the details of being at ground level. LA is definitely a great one to look at. When I was a kid it was Albequrque that was neat, because you'd come through the mountains on the highway, turn a curve and there it would be all laid out in a valley below you.

Stay safe

eyesoftheworld said...

At least the call for prayer from those shitty speakers wakes you up at 4 am right when youre about to dodge off and before a superior catches you copping z's :).

cb said...

CB - Just like all the others, I've been checking every once in awhile for your next posting. My son is a Stryker in Mosul, too. I would give anything for him to be able to meet you & personally thank you for what you are doing here. But, I know that's nearly impossible.

He pulled guard duty for the 1st 6 months on palace grounds .... bored himself to death .... finally volunteered for the QRF just for a change of pace. I'm thinking "Great!" He can't say he's bored now! Anyhow - THANK YOU FROM THIS STRYKER FAMILY IN TEXAS!

matterson said...

If you get the chance to go to BIAP (Baghdad International Airport) stop at the little gift shop by the AAFES and pick up one of those little mosque alarm clocks. The alarm plays the call to prayer. You can send it home to give your family a taste of what you have to listen to every day.

91ghost said...

I have no pearles of wisdom to dispense...glad to read your stuff again...glad to see that you're full well carrying on that certain spirit I once knew so well and lived out...I know being in your shoes sucks right now. Home will never be quite the same again for you, but when you get home, make the world yours, if that makes any sense. And stop on by sometime for some "stimulants"--herbal green style.

91ghost said...

I have no pearles of wisdom to dispense...glad to read your stuff again...glad to see that you're full well carrying on that certain spirit I once knew so well and lived out...I know being in your shoes sucks right now. Home will never be quite the same again for you, but when you get home, make the world yours, if that makes any sense. And stop on by sometime for some "stimulants"--herbal green style.

91ghost said...

I have no pearles of wisdom to dispense...glad to read your stuff again...glad to see that you're full well carrying on that certain spirit I once knew so well and lived out...I know being in your shoes sucks right now. Home will never be quite the same again for you, but when you get home, make the world yours, if that makes any sense. And stop on by sometime for some "stimulants"--herbal green style.

91ghost said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
TmjUtah said...

Glad to see you back on the 'net, CB. Glad you are safe, and kind of amused to see that the more things change the more things stay the same.

Back in the good old days I worked out of a GP tent (battalion FDC/Okinawa) that was so nicotine stained it bled brown inside whenever it rained.

"War is endless boredom, punctuated by infrequent moments of terror". I can't remember the popular historical citation for that but I'm pretty sure that the same advice has been passed down from veteran to recruit since soldiers started standing in ranks.

BTW, we were living in LA (Santa Fe Springs, to be exact) during New Years, 1990. Imperial Boulevard under the 405 (?) overpass was stuffed with fire trucks, ambulances, sheriff/cop/UHP cruisers about ten minutes to midnight. I was tooling over to a CStore for ice when I noticed them. The rent-a-cop in the parking lot (it was THAT kind of neighborhood) warned me to be inside quick; midnight would be noisy and dangerous. He was right. Just like a mad minute without the grenade explosions. Didn't see any tracers. Mrs. Tmj pulled me inside after the rate of fire moved past the scary mark.

I found a spent .30 cal bullet in my driveway the next morning - probably ChiCom AK food since it had a steel core.

Be safe. And I hope you participate in the NEA project.

91ghost said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
91ghost said...

WTF!!??? Technical fucking problems---my bad.

firstbrokenangel said...

Hey, CBFTW, you have done it again!! You have pulled us up into that watch tower with you, fearing the boredom. I can feel my lungs being sore from all that chain smoking, too! :-) Like I said, you have a knack for this - which came as quite a surprise to you. Make sure your stuff gets copywrited before you release any work.

so glad you're back, son!!!
Hugs,
~C

betsy said...

Good to see you back, CB. It looks like the Iraq soccer team may win a medal - there's a game today at 2:00 ET, so be prepared for more wild shooting!

ALa said...

On a Lighter Note:
I got hypnotized to quit smoking once...I paid $250 for someone to 'tell my subconscious' to taste lima beans each time I took a drag. I actually did quit for 9 months --not because I tasted lima beans but because I didn't want to admit to all the nay-sayers that I had been robbed!
It's wonderful to have you back!

Jesse said...

CB: good to see your back. I did OP/tower duty back in the early 80's for about 6 months in Cyprus. It can be mind numbing, but entertaining and pretty funny if you have a partner (practical jokes can get bazaar). Anyways it was a long time ago. Play safe. js

Frank S. said...

CB - Glad your back! Funny how perspectives change. Hearing that gunfire while in the guard tower thinking all hells going to break loose and when are the mortars going to hit?! Then to find out they're celebrating their soccer team is like whoa! Maybe there's hope!

Take advantage of the offer from the NEA. This is a tremendous blog and your writing is great. Stay Safe!!

Frank S. said...

CB - Glad your back! Funny how perspectives change. Hearing that gunfire while in the guard tower thinking all hells going to break loose and when are the mortars going to hit?! Then to find out they're celebrating their soccer team is like whoa! Maybe there's hope!

Take advantage of the offer from the NEA. This is a tremendous blog and your writing is great. Stay Safe!!

Clay said...

First time reader, your blog is so interesting. You need to work on getting a book deal! One that just publishes your blog directly in a book. That way its real and uncensored. Also, as for the war protestors. They don't protest against the troops. Everyone is proud of the troops and what you do. They only protest the reasoning for getting involved. The protestors just want their sons and daughters and friends to come home faster. Hopefully they stop cancelling your return date, take care!

Jude Nagurney Camwell said...

cbftw,

Fantastic writing.

You're a new star on my radar.

I'll be talking about you.
see: http://iddybud.blogspot.com/2004_08_24_iddybud_archive.html#109336598141025220

Many of us will be talking about you.

Be safe. I'll look forward to hearing more.

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars...” - Jack Kerouac

Basileena said...

The best writing is unedited! When I read your blog, I can get a feel for what is really happening. Keep telling your story in your own unique, creative way!

exfbonnie said...

Ala71 -Shit that was my next move -the hypnotist, along with some MAJOR counseling. How come they dont offer rehab programs for smokers? nicotine is said to be more addicitve than Heroin, yet - no rehab. I know they have classes, but thats like going to classes to quit Heroin. At least that is what is seems to me.

Im not paying $250. Thanks for the insight :)

Some Soldier's Mom said...

so, CB, ya think the tour in the guard tower is so you can't write about all that "exciting" (and I use that term loosely) stuff when you're "out somewhere, doing something"? mind numbing boredom, yes... protecting your brothers, too. try mind games when you're out there... think of every word you can that starts with "A", then go to the "B" words... or try to think of every teacher you ever had... or recall your earliest memories...

The NEA project is really worthwhile. Hope you Do it.

G. Danbury said...

I absolutely love the blog. You're a fantastic writer and someday you should look into putting all this down in book form however you want to do it, fiction, nonfiction, memoirs it doesn't matter I'll read it. I've been looking around for a long time about life for a US Army soldier in Iraq, I guess CNN and Fox have too much to do. Anyways I heard about this place from Operation Truth, there's finally a few website coming out with all the important stuff.

G. Danbury said...

I absolutely love the blog. You're a fantastic writer and someday you should look into putting all this down in book form however you want to do it, fiction, nonfiction, memoirs it doesn't matter I'll read it. I've been looking around for a long time about life for a US Army soldier in Iraq, I guess CNN and Fox have too much to do. Anyways I heard about this place from Operation Truth, there's finally a few website coming out with all the important stuff.

The Kali-Man said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Kali-Man said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
C.M.S. said...

Thanks for creating this blog. Ironically your blog makes my desire to join the military stronger, despite your repeated comments of how you hate the army.

I don't think I'm educated enough in English to compare you to other writers, but I do know that I usually only enjoyed reading Hunter S. Thompson before I started coming here.

Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Don't worry over much about your future. You're a regular Mickey Spillane. Them coffin nails are going to kill you. take up chewing instead. that way when you get slepy you can rub the juice in your eyes.
Heard from household6, aka Tomahawk Six Whiskey. She reads your stuff.Real glad to see you posting again.

Homefront Six said...

staying tuned...glad to see you back though. you're in my prayers.

Jack in TX said...

Glad you're back on, CB.

Had us worried there for a minute that you had been assigned to permanent latrine duty for your efforts...

Don't flake on yourself about the NEA deal. You're well above the bar of what they're looking for. They'll get a boatload of the "Dear Susie, It's really hot here today." letters from a wide variety of folks.

What you have - which many besides me have commented on - is the VERY unusual gift of bringing people into the moment with you. Did I mention that that's a VERY unusual skill? Almost none of the pros manage it.

I finally remembered who's writing style you remind me of. There's a book called "No Bugles, No Drums" written by a guy named Charles Durden. It's about an infantry platoon in Vietnam. The book is fictional, irreverant, significantly profane, and covers a pretty wide storyline, but that's not the point. It's the only other combat writing that resembled yours that I remember. I enjoyed it - too - very much.

I'll see if I can find a copy of it for you. It's out of print, so I'd appreciate everyone else that has old books poking around for a copy too.

Take care of yourself.

thinker said...

" I remember awhile ago I was up in a guard tower when it was some Islamic holiday here, like Mohammed's birthday or some shit like that..."

Love reading your blog, but please... have some respect. I know it must be hard being stuck there and all.. but come on... No need to get ignorant.

Mark said...

The best blog contest is a great idea. They don't have a milblog category,NATCH, so I nominated CB for best international blog. It would be great if even one tenth of the people who visit this site would do the same. You have to register with Wapo's site so they can limit you to one nomination per customer. OK, but after months of deleting and reporting as spam I have finally gotted rid of all the junk mail disparaging my manhood and sugesting I choose mortgages like an idiot. Now I'll probable get another avalanche of messages but I think that CB is way worth it.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-adv/marketing/blog/

Ps The Marines are blowing shit up on camp Pendelton right now, my whole house is shaking and I feel strangely comforted by this. Stay coool, BE SAFE CB

vrangel said...

Please ignore well-wishers like Amina above.
She wants you to be sensitive and politically correct ...and worthless as an author.

"Mohammed's birthday or some shit like that" is your style and a reason why people love your stuff.

Lineanimal_11B said...

Someday you'll miss that guard tower......

Back in '91, when my unit was exfilling from ODS, I had to pull guard duty from the rooftops of Khobar Towers. One of my most lucid memories of that whole experience was watching the sunset and hearing the evening call to prayer. Everyone would pull their cars over and get out and face east while I watched them suspiciously through my Binoculars....Seems like it was another lifetime altogether.

Nowadays, every time the phone rings I am hoping its my squad leader calling to tell me I'm getting deployed. I don't even care where they send me. The boredom of being a civilian after having been a combat soldier is much much worse than any boredom I've endured in a guard tower.

"Once you've heard the shout of combat, day to day life is but a whisper."

Be prepared for it. And damn, son, stay away from the drugs.

Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Your cover is blown all to hell, CB.

thinker said...

vrangel,

Thanks for proving you know nothing of my intentions or myself. I am a sincere "well-wisher" and like to read this blog.

I could be wrong, in the sense that mybe CB knew what the holiday was at the time, but I'm just pointing out a bigger problem I've seen. How is our country supposed to deal with another country if the people risking their lives for us and our freedoms don't know about the ways in which the country functions (religiously, culturally, etc.)

strykeraunt said...

"Ps The Marines are blowing shit up on camp Pendelton right now, my whole house is shaking and I feel strangely comforted by this."

Too funny...I live by a Fort Lewis military reservation and feel the same comfort when they are at there shooting the big guns and shaking my house. I can even fall to sleep while they are going off. I call them the sound of freedom.

Phoenix_Blogger said...

Hi CB. So glad your still posting. The last Iraqi soccer match is Friday for the bronze medal.First time in history they have ever gone this far...just in case you are on guard duty again. If they win...well...nuff said. Stay safe man and thanks for posting.

Cannoneer No. 4 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
RE-UP said...

Hey Soldier! Its RE-UP time! Are you ready to reenlist, and keep enjoying these fabulous journeys to exotic locations? Lots of Sand, and palm trees. Well let me tell you, Uncle Sam wants YOU. Are you ready? I think you are, just go see your Battalion Retention NCO. The Army has many rewarding opportunities, and its your duty to accept them. With lots of Bonus money being offered, I am sure you will find it right up your alley to Re-Enlist. Don’t forget, act soon, and we will even throw in a ball cap. "Stay Army" Hooah!

firstbrokenangel said...

I'm just going to mention something I read and heard about the Iraqi soccer team members saying that when they get back to Iraq, they are going to take up arms against the Americans because they want them out of their country and how much they hate Bush. If it were not for Americans and the coalition forces and President Bush, the Iraqi soccer team would not exist today. They should be grateful, not hateful.

Love ya CB

Another beheading today too. More kidnappings.

ARGH

~C

Vadergrrrl said...

Your writing never ceases to amaze me.

The force is strong in this one.


xxxxooooooooo

Monica said...

A guy I know who was there last year said it's the eeriest goddamn sound hearing that Arabic blaring.

Glad to hear you're okay.

One (or maybe 2) guys on the Iraqi soccer team expressed anti-American sentiment. The entire team did NOT!

Take good care of yourself.

nygal said...

Either my computer is screwed up - or CB's last entry babout NPR is gone from his blog.

PumliCZ said...

hm looks something goes wrong with last post. i am sick of this. Keep up man, i like job you're doing...

sincerely pumlicz

Alvaro Frota said...

CB:

Qual era mesmo seu nome e sobrenome? Ih! Já esqueci... Achei certo. A última coisa que você merece é ser laranja de uma estação de rádio que não tem compromisso com você. Aquela estória de não forçar a barra pra cima dos milicos, porque a corda estoura sempre do lado mais fraco. Quem tem cu tem medo e, como já cantou Chico Buarque:

"Apesar de você
Amanhã há de ser
Outro dia"

No mais,

Aquele abraço!

Álvaro Frota

Cannoneer No. 4 said...

It's not your computer, nygal. The NPR entry has been deleted.

Cannoneer No. 4 said...

NPR has edited CB's name out of their story. Locking the barn door now that the horses are gone. The revised version is at Soldiers' Iraq Blogs Face Military Scrutiny

gimma said...

Yup, and why did NPR find it necessary to reveal his real name from the start? hmmmm...

pablo1959 said...

Seems the powers that be, likely including the distorted pack of lies that passes for mainstream media, are putting holes in the blog. Ginmar's blog is full of removals also. I think Smash's blog suffered from interference as well.

Is it legitimate concerns about security? Or a decision, possibly a good decision, to avoid controversy and deny our many enemies (some in the media) the basic raw material with which to generate their gross perversions of a noble cause and the noble big and small efforts of our service people? Mebbe if/when cb writes his book, we'll find out.

Perhaps, like ginmar, cb has decided to pull his feet out of the fire. He does seem to have other things that deserve his full attention.

Unfortunately, we seem to have lost some, if not all, of this information source. I'd really rather be wrong about that last.

Success as a mil-bilogger seems to be self-defeating. To the supportive public's detriment.

The Oracle said...

As a retired print journalist, I found the NPR piece troubling. They obviously didn't give a rat's ass whether they stirred up trouble for you and other milbloggers. Typical irresponsible broadcast pseudo-journalism.

CB, as much as I enjoy reading your posts and even though in previous comments I've encouraged you to keep blogging, I'd much rather wait for the book than see your life get needlessly complicated.

Most of your readers realize Job 1 is to keep yourself and your buddies alive. No need to become a First Amendment lightning rod.

ch said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Oracle said...

As a retired print journalist, I found the NPR piece troubling. They obviously didn't give a rat's ass whether they stirred up trouble for you and other milbloggers. Typical irresponsible broadcast pseudo-journalism.

CB, as much as I enjoy reading your posts and even though in previous comments I've encouraged you to keep blogging, I'd much rather wait for the book than see your life get needlessly complicated.

Most of your readers realize Job 1 is to keep yourself and your buddies alive. No need to become a First Amendment lightning rod.

The Oracle said...

As a retired print journalist, I found the NPR piece troubling. They obviously didn't give a rat's ass whether they stirred up trouble for you and other milbloggers. Typical irresponsible broadcast pseudo-journalism.

CB, as much as I enjoy reading your posts and even though in previous comments I've encouraged you to keep blogging, I'd much rather wait for the book than see your life get needlessly complicated.

Most of your readers realize Job 1 is to keep yourself and your buddies alive. No need to become a First Amendment lightning rod.

The Oracle said...

As a retired print journalist, I found the NPR piece troubling. They obviously didn't give a rat's ass whether they stirred up trouble for you and other milbloggers. Typical irresponsible broadcast pseudo-journalism.

CB, as much as I enjoy reading your posts and even though in previous comments I've encouraged you to keep blogging, I'd much rather wait for the book than see your life get needlessly complicated.

Most of your readers realize Job 1 is to keep yourself and your buddies alive. No need to become a First Amendment lightning rod.

nygal said...

well...NPR did not remove his name from their online audio story! What is up with that?

Billy Vonnegut said...

From DaggerJag, go have a look:
http://daggerjag.blogspot.com/---------------
Eric's story centered around SPC -------'s [ed] blog "My War" and the difficulties he's run into with his chain of command over his blog. It was the first interview I've ever given and was an interesting experience. I spoke with Eric for about twenty minutes on our internet phones and ended up with a pretty short 10 second part in the clip.

I think the story perfectly illustrates one of the reasons why soldiers may want to tell their story on their own blog rather than leaving it to the mainstream media.
---------------
I think both Dagger Jag guy and CB learned that lesson the hard way. The media is not your friend. They do not have your best interests at heart. I'm sure CB's commanders are shaking their heads right now saying to themselves "damn noobie".

But, adapt, overcome. You'll get the hang of it CB. I'm I'm fearful for NPR getting on your bad side. Put up a new post that slams them though so all the link-to's you get from their site know what's up.

apocalypse now said...

You know that guy on NPR that read your shit? He sounds JUST like you!

this we'll defend said...

NPR can't be expected to know whether they should keep his name secret or not. CB can be expected to ask them to keep his name out of their article. IF he did AND they didn't THEN blame NPR. If he didn't ask, though, then it is a lesson learned. NPR and all media are in the habit of giving the names of people they interview unless they are asked not to, and CB could have done so.

As for their take that the military is "censoring" soldier blogs - damn right, they better be. I've read stuff on CB's blog (now changed) that gave me pause. Not all things that are OPSEC violations are "secrets." Unit morale, names, how a unit deploys into formation - not secret but not what you want to give to the enemy freely.

For instance, let's say CB goes on a raid and tells a gripping story of how his unit almost fell prey to an ambush but was able to get it out of it using some technique. The enemy might be thinking "Damn, we weren't even close to succeeding." Then they read the blog, learn how close they came to killing Americans, and learn exactly how the Americans got out of trouble. They then try again, but with a greater chance of success and higher morale. Of course the military should monitor blogs and if necessary, shut them down.

For those who think that the military is using OPSEC as an excuse to stop something they don't like, think to yourself if CB's blog makes you respect the Army and CB's chain of command more or less than before? For most of you it is a surprise to learn how damn good our military is, and how wrong most of your impressions of military leadership are. Thus the Army wouldn't shut down a blog with such positive PR value because they "didn't like it." They might shut it down for legitimate OPSEC reasons - to save American lives. I wouldn't fault them for that even if CB doesn't understand or agree with the decision sometimes. That is what officers get paid to do - to make the right call even when it isn't popular.

CB - stay safe. And "freerepublic" is pretty extreme and one-sided, I hope you are using your time to learn about other points of view as well. When you get out you WILL be a writer and don't worry about those who say college will stifle your creativity. They just went to a crappy college. You should try for a UC - either UCLA or Cal, something like that. Sure your HS GPA sucks but you can take prep courses for the SAT and the essay portion of the SAT II will obviously be no problem for you given your enormous skill. Attach some pages of this blog, the NPR story, and your DD214 and your low HS GPA will be more than balanced out if you do well on the SAT.

I have a law school friend and former army officer who has written for the WSJ, CNN, etc. Let me know if you want me to link you up with him. He can give you good advice as well.

strykeraunt said...

Thank you again, This We'll Defend, for being the voice of reason. I was actually getting a little concerned that you decided to step back from this mess. I posted something on another site that I was not going to share here but what the heck. Below are my comments:

"Thank you for your post today. What's interesting regarding CB's blog is commenters who continue the story, twisting it along the way. Unfortunately, there is no one available to pull inappropriate or dangerous comments from the site.

Yes, too much information was made available. One commenter even volunteered directions to CB's connex, telling another soldier in the area how to find CB. If it was accurate, talk about stupid in regards to CB's safety. If it was not accurate, talk about stupid in regards to the safety of other soldiers who happen to be there. While a soldier may make every effort to obey OPSEC, commenters sometimes feel they can say what ever they want, sometime with total disregard for the safety and welfare of the soldier. Some of these commenters are also the first bash NPR. Since My nephew is at the same FOB, so I am a little sensitive about OPSEC."

Cannoneer No. 4 said...

this we'll defend:
And "freerepublic" is pretty extreme and one-sided, I hope you are using your time to learn about other points of view as well.With all due respect, sir, I am curious to know whether you have actually spent any time looking at Free Republic and have concluded that it is extreme and one-sided based on your own personal observations. You are of course, entitled to your opinion, with which I must respectfully disagree. Free Republic has served as an echo chamber for CB and a clearinghouse for Stryker information. A great many of the commenters on those threads have significant military experience and have made constructive remarks. It is with out doubt a conservative site, ideologically. Conservatives traditionally are not the people spitting at returning soldiers in airports.
As for being one-sided, there is a war going on, sir. How many sides would you have us be on?
"I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice."

Brian H said...

91ghost and Oracle;
You have some dupes to delete. Be nice and do your duty.

It occurs to me to wonder how fine the OPSEC mesh is. If anything that might indicate or reveal morale levels is considered sensitive, that would cover just about everything. CB's report of the attitude of his superior in the "I'm So ..." post sounded quite balanced and sane, but it seems other fingers are now involved. And the more bureaucratic layers you have to filter through, the worse it gets.

kilr0y said...

I hope our letters to NPR helped a bit. It's more likely they just didn't think about what they were releasing. And they want to complain about how the DOD chose to embed (back when that meant something).
I'm glad the post was removed because all of the personal information that the commenters were putting out or mirroring. I would love to meet you CB, lend you some books since the library sucks, but I would just as soon wait till we were back in the world with beer in hand. And besides i am basically a paranoid, thinking about all your details out there was making me squirm.
Take it easy Cannoneer, TWD didn't say ignore freerepublic, just to look at other points of view also. This 'Whose side are you on', Us-against-Them bullshit is for politicians and propaganda, anyone saying there is only one way to look at it is definitely 'them'. I am glad your comments led me to freerepublic, before the whole post got flushed. It balances out my daily dose of the armed liberal, which was making me feel wierd since i am pretty conservative in general.
democratrepublicanconservativeliberal is the old way, we really dont fit those 'types anymore.
Take care, and CB, keep stirrin' it up!

StarCMC said...

From this we defend... "And "freerepublic" is pretty extreme and one-sided, I hope you are using your time to learn about other points of view as well. "

Sorry - I GOTTA jump in here. Why should he investigate other viewpoints? He doesn't have to investigate - they're all over the place!! Besides, as the US Mint knows all too well, to know the real thing (i.e. the truth) inside out you need only study the truth, you don't need to study the counterfeits. You'll recognize them immediately if you know the real thing.

FR is not as extreme as you seem to think. There's a lot of room for disagreement among the conservatives - just mention something like the draft and you'll see it.

Netmilsmom said...

"And "freerepublic" is pretty extreme and one-sided, I hope you are using your time to learn about other points of view as well"

The only people who think that Free Republic is extreme or one sided, never spent time there. A whole new world away from the left loving media is enough to open one's eyes. I am a former Lib, former feminist and now see the light.
Lurkers are welcome. Come and learn.

Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Chapomatic Rants For CB

madtom said...

Hey am I crazy or did the last post disappear?
In case I am not crazy,, What happens to all the comments to a post when you take one down?

Madtom

Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Just An Army Wife on Military Bloggers

PsyOper said...

To "This We'll Defend"

You might be suprised to find that some of the "extremeists" at FR agree with you. I recently posted the following on a thread regarding this blog:

08/25/2004 12:18:23 PM PDT

RE: OPSEC (to cannoneer no.4)

My geuss is that they are concerned about blogs that indicate deteriorating morale. That information is of use to the enemy as feedback for the effectiveness of their operations. As in Vietnam, this enemy cannot defeat us on the field, they have to defeat us in our own minds. As a former intel officer, these blogs are what we used to call "indicators". Anything overly pessimistic or critical of the chain of command can be used in a variety of ways by the enemy (here and in Iraq).

And, since it comes directly from the soldiers themselves, rather than through the filter of the press, it carries significantly more weight. What makes these blogs so interesting to us, is precisely what makes it potentially powerfull for use in counter-US propaganda.

There is a legitimate OPSEC argument here. Hate to say it, but it's so.

AND
08/25/2004 1:25:59 PM PDT

As I said, I think there is a legitimate OPSEC concern. I think CBFTW's commander had the right idea. Let them blog, but review the blogs before posting.

From an MI/PSYOP perspective there is much there that can be used by an astute observer on the enemy side (I include NPR in that description), and used to good effect if it is allowed to become overly critical of the mission and chain-of-command (a little can be seen as healthy).

I like reading them. But unlike most civilians, you [cannoneer] and I read them through a different mental filter. We know the culture. We know the dark humor GI's use to keep up their own morale. We're familiar with the complaints of military life, and the reasons for them, and why they will always be.

A vet reading these blogs takes away something different than most civilians. And therein lies the concern IMHO. We're I a commander there, I would insist on reading anything posted publicly by my soldiers before it goes out. First to make sure that nothing innaccurate or damaging goes out, and second, to guage my own troop morale. And I'd be sure they know that it is for their own safety, because the war they're fighting is behind them on the homefront as well as in their forward sector of fire.

P.S. Keep up the good work CB! And give your CO the benefit of the doubt on this issue. He's looking out for you in more ways than one.

Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Neptunus Lex on Blogging OPSEC

Cannoneer No. 4 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
BOMB guy said...

CB Keep up your Blog, many enjoy reading it, to include myself. We hope to see you continue it if you can. I know you have heard this already but I feel it is important to say it again. Everyone reading it also needs (and I believe they do) to keep in mind that you have a mission to do over there and if this becomes a distraction or takes your mind away from that mission then you will stop. Don't feel pressured to continue unless you want to.
Be Safe
Semper Fi

jMs said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
BOMB guy said...

CB Keep up your Blog, many enjoy reading it, to include myself. We hope to see you continue it if you can. I know you have heard this already but I feel it is important to say it again. Everyone reading it also needs (and I believe they do) to keep in mind that you have a mission to do over there and if this becomes a distraction or takes your mind away from that mission then you will stop. Don't feel pressured to continue, everyone will understand if you stop. Hope to read more soon.
Be Safe
Semper Fi

this we'll defend said...

Kilroy said: Take it easy Cannoneer, TWD didn't say ignore freerepublic, just to look at other points of view also. This 'Whose side are you on', Us-against-Them bullshit is for politicians and propaganda, anyone saying there is only one way to look at it is definitely 'them'.

Thank you Kilroy. If all CB were reading was Michael Moore's site I would have told him the same thing - there are other points of view.

To the Freepers (showing yes I do read it): you are extreme, but that doesn't mean you aren't valid. At one point the Founding Fathers were extreme. At another point the lefty FDR was extreme. Extreme points of view are often later mainstream points of view - I just don't think listening only to one side and "bashing" the other is healthy or informative. I've seen what happens to the "lib" that occasionally pops up and makes a valid point at freerepublic, and as a result most of the lefties you see, who are brave or stupid enough to keep posting, are extremists themselves, serving to reinforce your "the left are all fools" point of view.

In case you don't agree, here is what one freeper said to show that it is not an extreme right-wing site:

"Conservatives traditionally are not the people spitting at returning soldiers in airports.
As for being one-sided, there is a war going on, sir. How many sides would you have us be on?
"I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.""

Well, as a former soldier incredibly proud of his service, and certainly not buying into the false stereotype that the left hates soldiers, I would have you be on the side of what is correct in every issue - and sometimes that is left and sometimes that is right. NO one party or point of view has all the answers or even all the right questions.

Of course, Kilroy said it better and shorter, but hey I'm working on becoming a lawyer here!

Alvaro Frota said...

To all:

Read this:

""President Bush keeps saying that he has brought salvation and progress to Iraq. He keeps playing the same broken records that make the listeners tired and bored. He does not hesitate to use the “misery” that he brought upon Iraq and its people, for his personal gain in his campaign for "selection" in 2004.

When selected President Bush took advantage of the performance of the Iraqi football "soccer" team in the Olympics in Greece for his personal gains, the Iraqi team was very quick to react against this arrogance.

Salih Sadir, a member of the team said he was angry at Mr. Bush's campaign ads showing pictures of the Afghan and Iraqi flags with the words: "At this Olympics there will be two more free nations - and two fewer terrorist regimes".

The campaign ad was indeed an insult to Iraq and to Afghanistan. The fact is that the people of Iraq are not free any more. Their Leadership is in concentration camps, the Iraqi legitimate leaders are prisoners of war and Iraq is occupied. No peace, no security, no water, no electricity, no jobs no institutions and no oil.

One accused the US leader of committing "many crimes", and another said he would be fighting US troops if not for Athens. Their comments were made in a US Sports Illustrated magazine interview.

"Iraq as a team does not want Mr. Bush to use us for the presidential campaign," said the Iraqi player. "He can find another way to advertise himself." He called for US troops to be withdrawn from Iraq. "We don't wish for the presence of the Americans in our country. We want them to go away." Another star player, 22-year-old Ahmed Manajid, asked: "How will Mr. Bush meet his god having slaughtered so many men and women? He has committed so many crimes."

Mr. Manajid, from Fallujah, said if he was not playing football "for sure" he would be fighting as part of the resistance. "I want to defend my home. If a stranger invades America and the people resist, does that mean they are terrorists?" he asked. "Everyone in Fallujah has been labeled a terrorist. These are all lies. Fallujah people are some of the best people in Iraq.

But coach Adnan Hamad said he was concerned with what the Bush administration was doing in Iraq. "My problems are not with the American people. They are with what America has done in Iraq: destroy everything," he said. "The American army has killed so many people in Iraq. What is freedom when I go to the stadium and there are shootings on the road?"

The Arrogance of Bush and his mighty power are causing death; destruction and misery to Iraq and the Iraqis know it. The deprived American soldiers are being sent to Iraq to kill and be killed in the name of “Freedom”, and the majority of the Americans do not know it. Arrogance and blind power will not triumph. The people will.""

There are more in http://www.iraq-war.ru/tiki-read_article.php?articleId=20080

AF

exfbonnie said...

Hey Brian H - Be kind.
This site is so heavily trafficked that blogger is not working as it should. which is why so many people have had trouble posting several of the same comments as well as trying to delete them. Depends on the time of day and night and who's on.

lastchance said...

damn interesting to see blogs from people 'on the field'. The creepy arabic sound that you hear probably five times a day, well since you hear it so much it may make it easier for you if you understand what it means, that way it may not be so creepy. Its essentially along the lines/goes with the statement you quote by blood for blood. I give a simple translation below. Below you should hear the first thingy said 4 times (repeats) and the rest twice. There might be other stuff said after/before this but this is the common bit->its not verses from the koran but just pretty usual stuff that you might want to know the meaning of:

(1) god is the great (3 further repeats)-the bit that says 'allahu akbar' but like a wailing tongue twisting kinda way.

(2)i testify there is no god but god (ashadualla ilaha illalah) -> sounds weird but its sayin like 'you the main dude' -> i.e. even if we say 'micheal jordan' was a 'god' we jus mean for bball, so this meaning is like 'u god and u is totally god and not mj although he is it when it comes to bball'

(3) i testify that muhammad is gods messenger ->the bit that says 'ashadu anna mohammader rasool illah', i.e. just like jesus etc etc.

(4) come to prayer (coz thats the point of the creepy sound is to call all to prayer)
(5) come get the success of this life and the next
god is great (this is like sayin, 'yo come and pray and u will get returned for it) -> you mite notice that (4) and (5) rhyme -> this is coz if you do (4) you get (5) -> the rhyming was made intentional in this way, its like 'you do the crime' ' you do the time' (they both rhyme and rightly so as their meanings are related in that way)..etc

(6)there is no god but god (same as b4)
(7)i testify that muhammad is gods messenger

The reason i put all the above is coz you can see that all that is said is pretty normal stuff, perhaps you will hear almost all of that (apart from the muhammad stuff) in a church or any other religious place. So internalise it and let these things not be creepy but let it make you feel more 'at home' -> more 'protected' as i hope they will make you remember god, coz he is the only thing you got, i got, we all got...only way we can be 'safe'/'free' etc.

I hope you get back home safe and away from such useless wars that the rich/corrupt people comitt you to, it aint for no freedom, just so some rich kids can get richer and the normal folks do the dirty work for them.

lastchance said...

damn interesting to see blogs from people 'on the field'. The creepy arabic sound that you hear probably five times a day, well since you hear it so much it may make it easier for you if you understand what it means, that way it may not be so creepy. Its essentially along the lines/goes with the statement you quote by blood for blood. I give a simple translation below. Below you should hear the first thingy said 4 times (repeats) and the rest twice. There might be other stuff said after/before this but this is the common bit->its not verses from the koran but just pretty usual stuff that you might want to know the meaning of:

(1) god is the great (3 further repeats)-the bit that says 'allahu akbar' but like a wailing tongue twisting kinda way.

(2)i testify there is no god but god (ashadualla ilaha illalah) -> sounds weird but its sayin like 'you the main dude' -> i.e. even if we say 'micheal jordan' was a 'god' we jus mean for bball, so this meaning is like 'u god and u is totally god and not mj although he is it when it comes to bball'

(3) i testify that muhammad is gods messenger ->the bit that says 'ashadu anna mohammader rasool illah', i.e. just like jesus etc etc.

(4) come to prayer (coz thats the point of the creepy sound is to call all to prayer)
(5) come get the success of this life and the next
god is great (this is like sayin, 'yo come and pray and u will get returned for it) -> you mite notice that (4) and (5) rhyme -> this is coz if you do (4) you get (5) -> the rhyming was made intentional in this way, its like 'you do the crime' ' you do the time' (they both rhyme and rightly so as their meanings are related in that way)..etc

(6)there is no god but god (same as b4)
(7)i testify that muhammad is gods messenger

The reason i put all the above is coz you can see that all that is said is pretty normal stuff, perhaps you will hear almost all of that (apart from the muhammad stuff) in a church or any other religious place. So internalise it and let these things not be creepy but let it make you feel more 'at home' -> more 'protected' as i hope they will make you remember god, coz he is the only thing you got, i got, we all got...only way we can be 'safe'/'free' etc.

I hope you get back home safe and away from such useless wars that the rich/corrupt people comitt you to, it aint for no freedom, just so some rich kids can get richer and the normal folks do the dirty work for them.

take care and may god take care of u
sachi

Anna said...

I cannot imagine the life you are living. Being on guard duty sounds incredibly boring; have you forgotten your cigarettes a lot? Are soldiers not allowed to take out a radio, cards, or anything to keep them occupied? As you can tell, I have no clue about how the army regulations work. Why can you not envision yourself out of the army? I would think that with all the craziness going on in Iraq, you would simply want a “calm” life. It does not sound like you would like to live in LA again, but there are plenty of cities in the US to choose to live in. Good luck staying sane with all the bullets flying randomly. How are you to know if the shots are really harmful, if Iraqis are just celebrating someone’s birthday, or the soccer team is simply scoring a goal? Do the officers try to enforce any type of rule about when people can fire guns? I guess that would not work considering the fact Iraqis do not want to follow US laws.
You will never forget your experience in Iraq, good and bad. Not very many people can say that they lived in Iraq during a war and saw the Iraqi sentiment first hand. Thanks a lot for keeping this blog; I just started reading it but you are the only way I will ever know about the real life as a soldier. I feel more connected to the US soldiers fighting in Iraq when I hear about daily life. Stay safe and keep us posted

Steve said...

Your account of standing watch in the guard tower at night, fighting the boredom, chain-smoking until it hurts, and trying to imagine being home, gave me an eerie flashback of sorts to when I was did my time guarding a fenceline in the desert southwest 20 years ago.
At the time I really thought I was in a world of shit, stuck 1000 miles from home, guarding something which I tried to tell myself was something of monumental importance. But deep down, I considered the possibility that I was just a number, and nothing would ever really happen in the area I was guarding. The good thing was, I never had the "benefit" of something really happening to break the monotony.
I try to imagine being where you are now, and it's unsettling to think how very lucky I was, at a time that I thought my luck sucked. God Bless you all, keep up the good work you're doing, and someday soon, you'll rotate "back to the world", and you'll have the LUXURY of sitting where I am, content to just read of your exploits, and THANK GOD you're there, doing the dirty work for us.
Semper Fi

Steve said...

Your account of standing watch in the guard tower at night, fighting the boredom, chain-smoking until it hurts, and trying to imagine being home, gave me an eerie flashback of sorts to when I was did my time guarding a fenceline in the desert southwest 20 years ago.
At the time I really thought I was in a world of shit, stuck 1000 miles from home, guarding something which I tried to tell myself was something of monumental importance. But deep down, I considered the possibility that I was just a number, and nothing would ever really happen in the area I was guarding. The good thing was, I never had the "benefit" of something really happening to break the monotony.
I try to imagine being where you are now, and it's unsettling to think how very lucky I was, at a time that I thought my luck sucked. God Bless you all, keep up the good work you're doing, and someday soon, you'll rotate "back to the world", and you'll have the LUXURY of sitting where I am, content to just read of your exploits, and THANK GOD you're there, doing the dirty work for us.
Semper Fi

Steve said...

Your account of standing watch in the guard tower at night, fighting the boredom, chain-smoking until it hurts, and trying to imagine being home, gave me an eerie flashback of sorts to when I was did my time guarding a fenceline in the desert southwest 20 years ago.
At the time I really thought I was in a world of shit, stuck 1000 miles from home, guarding something which I tried to tell myself was something of monumental importance. But deep down, I considered the possibility that I was just a number, and nothing would ever really happen in the area I was guarding. The good thing was, I never had the "benefit" of something really happening to break the monotony.
I try to imagine being where you are now, and it's unsettling to think how very lucky I was, at a time that I thought my luck sucked. God Bless you all, keep up the good work you're doing, and someday soon, you'll rotate "back to the world", and you'll have the LUXURY of sitting where I am, content to just read of your exploits, and THANK GOD you're there, doing the dirty work for us.
Semper Fi

Steve said...

Your account of standing watch in the guard tower at night, fighting the boredom, chain-smoking until it hurts, and trying to imagine being home, gave me an eerie flashback of sorts to when I was did my time guarding a fenceline in the desert southwest 20 years ago.
At the time I really thought I was in a world of shit, stuck 1000 miles from home, guarding something which I tried to tell myself was something of monumental importance. But deep down, I considered the possibility that I was just a number, and nothing would ever really happen in the area I was guarding. The good thing was, I never had the "benefit" of something really happening to break the monotony.
I try to imagine being where you are now, and it's unsettling to think how very lucky I was, at a time that I thought my luck sucked. God Bless you all, keep up the good work you're doing, and someday soon, you'll rotate "back to the world", and you'll have the LUXURY of sitting where I am, content to just read of your exploits, and THANK GOD you're there, doing the dirty work for us.
Semper Fi

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