Sunday, August 15, 2004

Mad Mortar-men Goose Chase


Grace said...

Interestings books you're reading. In the safety of Canada, I read Tom Clancy. I'll add my two cents on "glad you're still around" and stay safe.

Kat said...

Well...that's as good a book as any to be reading. Ann Rice definitely has some "alternate lifestyle" leanings.

Seems like you all were just sort of hanging out until the next thing happened.

The thing with the grenade was kind of scary because you never know when they might explode. Old ordinance is just as dangerous as the new.

Keep safe. Glad that "somewhere doing something" was not as crazy this time.

You have definitely got to keep that opening line "went somewhere and did something" freaking hysterical.

Gordo282 said...

CB--maybe if you delayed your posts by a week or so you would be able to write more of what you were doing instead of doing "something." I have to admit, this is quickly becoming your new claim to fame! pretty funny!

My 2003 Iraq Blog is slowly going...

Bigman said...

Unfortuneatly its often times the little kids trying to help that get people killed. Somethign so harmless as paying a little child for finding old ordnance or wtvr, can often times end those childrens lives prematurely when they find something thats a bit too hot for them to handle. Old unexploded ordnance and crap is the most tempermental crap you could come across.

Black coffee & a smoke... said...

It's said that human beings are extremely adaptable and that's why they've survived so well. After reading your post today--there you are, out in the countryside, trying to run down whoever is firing on your FOB, and what are you all doing? Reading books as you travel along and being sure to bookmark your places, first, before dealing with whatever has to be dealt with! Now that's adaptability big time. :))) Loved it! Would hope, most sincerely, that you continue to post on a daily basis cause I find your daily business fascinating and would have a fit if you posted only weekly, knowing I was missing what's happening with you for days on end. The air here would turn blue. Carry on!

Eunay said...

don't want to bore you with my
Good job, good blog, nice to read how it REALLY is.
all the best - June

Sean from DocintheBox said...

I read flying in helicopters (in the daylight anyway) so I totally understand about saving your place before doing anything else. Not saving your place would be a sign of panic and in the famous worlds of Douglas Adams "DON'T PANIC"

thinker said...

Hi CB,
I've been reading your blog for a few days now and have to say it's become one of my favorites. Thanks for doing what you do. It's really awe-inspiring to read the personal accounts of a real soldier in Iraq. It's so much different than what is the general accepted idea. People have become so immune. Whenever I heard (prior to reading your blog) that someone was killed in Iraq it was just like, "Oh man. Not again." But now, it just makes me speechless. Stay safe. You've got another person here rooting for your safe return home.
Take care,
Amina in New Jersey

Brian H said...

Great stuff. Carry on carrying on.

Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files said...

Random musing 1: on Okinawa to this day they're still finding UXO from WWII. I remember the AFRTS PSAs preaching about how to proceed if you find any, or if the locals tell you about it. The PSAs were acting as if the UXO is still unstable enough to be dangerous, which I suppose it is.

Random musing 2: Every time I see the acronym "ICP", I keep thinking of "Insane Clown Posse", a rap group back here in the States.

Chuck's blog said...

Excellent first hand reporting. Keep telling it as you see it with the mundane and the hair-raising stories when appropriate. And, by the way, stay safe.

Tammi said...

Glad to hear this trip to somewhere doing something, while having it's moments, ran a bit calmer.

To bad you didn't find those "shooters". Next time.

this we'll defend said...

Cigsmokman: As ordnance ages it often becomes less and less stable depending on the type.

Susieq said...

It bothers me that you guys are having rocks thrown at you just for "riding through". Do the Iraqis really hate us THAT much? I understand that they see us as "Occupiers", and I know we wouldn't like it if we were in their shoes, but why can't we make them understand that we are just there to help?

You guys have a lot more patience than I would, I'm afraid. Keep up the good work.

Why don't you just "go somewhere" and "do something"? it!

Frank S. said...

Keep posting excatly as you are CB. You convey yourself as not only talking to each one of us but giving the feeling that we are there with you. A question I do have is how long before adapted to your surroundings? Reading in the vehicle there is one thisng but after mortars have gone off around you and calmly going back to where you last placed your bookmark is wild. How do you keep your nerves in check??

KillerWolf666 said...

I was in Iraq in 2003 and 2004 and will be there again in 2005 and 2006. I cannot help it but it really annoys me to hear that you are reading books while on patrol. Put the fucken book down! Does your convoy have 360 security? Where are your eyes supposed to be? On the Equipment or facing outbound from your hatch, right?! Something like that? You eyes are definitly not supposed to be reading a book! Maybe you are safer in your vehicle but I was in a thin skinned HUMM-V all fucking year long with no doors and we did not even get our god damn plates for our vests until mid September! I guess the armor on your vehicle gives you that much more of a sense of security but I do not think you should be reading books while outside the wire.

I once caught my driver reading a book as soon as we stopped briefly at a meeting place. What are you supposed to do when you stop? Either get out and pull security or stay in your vehicle and face outbound with your weapong at the ready and watch the peoples movements and surroundings. As we stopped at a crowded fuel station to ask some questions to the fuel manager, I figured my driver knew what to do by now and I never even looked at him. I ask him to keep an eye on a guy seen before hanging around our patrols and he says "What?". I look over to repeat myself, and holy shit I about almost lost it. I grabbed that book and fucking threw it in the back cab. I wanted to punch his fucking lights out but somewhat calmly told him to keep his eyes on the Iraqis and the guy I spotted. When we got back to camp, I drilled his ass in the dirt. In that situation, him not doing his job could have the rest of my teams life in danger. He was not looking in his mirror or his surroundings because his eyes were focused on his book. I had only two team members trying to read books when on patrols. Both team members now know to never ever read a book outside of the wire.

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against people reading on their free time, but when you are supposed to be doing a job, you should not be doing something else that does not relate to it. Stay safe.

Also to add: After one of my friends got hit in the face by a rock which put a hole in his cheek, we were allowed to shoot warning shots. There were some instances where some guys detained some of the older kids throwing rocks and brought them to the Iraqi Police. Parents had to pick them up after 24 hours in jail.

Joe Shadows said...

Seems to me like it'd be kinda difficult to maintain a lookout and field of fire from the inside of an armored cocoon. I understand that its perfectly reasonable to expect on a humvee that someone converted into a mobile gazebo, but aside from specific stations like the aforementioned air-gaurd hatch (which was previously stressing out the Minnesota Pvt. because its one of the few exposed spots on the vehicle), I doubt they could really do much besides sit and wait for the ramp to drop so they can dismount. I dunno, maybe I'm wrong, and they have those little tiny firing portals like on the Bradley.

Alvaro Frota said...

"CB": don't be confidente.

After an-Najaf bombing, the hell is going to Iraq. One can imagine the Saint Peter's basilica of Rome in danger of air strike? That is what is happen in Iraq. The U-S-A incident are one expression of this, only the visible portion of an iceberg.

Always remember that soldier are paid to kill ... and to die. Then, try hard to stay safe. No panic and no paranoia, of course.

Aquele abraço!

sawdusty said...

CB,great writer that Orwell. Homage to Catalonia was an awsome read. His whole bare bones style of writing has always attracted me. I really got a kick out of the part where the Republican militiaman didn't understand the password and wound up getting shot at when he gave the definition word. Even better, the sentry missed because nobody could shoot worth a shit. Great stuff! Have you read any of his other nonfiction stuff? I reccomend Down and out in Paris and London, its about living poor. I don't know if Orwell was shooting for humor in his writing but certain instances are hilarious. Keep cranking out the good stuff, I'm hooked. Thanks again.

mpwife said...

I have to say.......the quote at the end struck a cord with me. I am also going to say.......if his Sgt. had a problem with them ALL reading books while on patrol he probably would have said so.

cpumaster said...

Does any soldier there like comic books? I got a ton of them sitting in my closet collecting dust...

this we'll defend said...

Firing ports on a bradley are as useless as tits on a bull. They aren't used. There is nothing wrong with being on the inside of a Stryker and reading - although it says great things about how smooth a ride it must be compared to the back of an M2 where it would be impossible to read as well as cramped as hell.

So nothing wrong with CB reading. The HMMV driver reading was a different story, of course, and handled properly.

Putting kids in jail when they throw rocks, and their parents couldn't pick them up until 24hrs later? Good way to ensure less hatred for the occupation. The parents must have loved US Troops after that, and it must have convinced all the locals to support us. Kind of like how the Rodney King beating brought the LAPD and the minority communities in LA close together.

Whoever coined the term "common sense" deserves a severe beating.

Jason -- USA said...'d think after spending a year in Iraq...and reading cbftw's'd figure out that he's sitting in a Stryker while out on patrol...and most of the time you're just sitting there, while you got your driver looking out of the scope...i thought that soldiers who drive HMMV's would know that the situational awareness needed is totally different compared to Strykers

by the that post was hilarious...reading Orwell and doing combat patrols...nice.

Jason -- USA said...'ve probably already been written off as another peacenik idiot...but if not...i find it amazing you ALWAYS end your posts by trying to convince cbftw that he is being "paid to kill and die"...huh...well if that's true...then why are there still 130,000 troops still being "paid to kill and die"??? must be fun alvaro!

KillerWolf666 said...

this we'll defend,
So you are saying we are supposed to give them candy when they throw rocks or start enforcing law and order. We are supposed to act to defend ourselves if we feel that we are threatened. The rock throwing may be minor but they will do damage. During another rock throwing incident, people were throwing rocks the size of your fist not the size of a pebble which took out our windshield and cracked the hood of the HUM-V. Yes, we are also supposed to win their peace but we cannot do that when we are bombarded with rocks either. They will keep doing it if you do not enforce the law. The jail time was actually suggested to a commander by one of our Iraqi Interpretors. During the jail time for the kid (who was 12), which was not like prision. The kid was taken care of and the parents knew what he did wrong and agreed with our decision to put him in jail after we explained it to them that he would be ok and will will let him go the next day. There was no hatred towards us and they told us that they respected our decision. Believe me, the decision wasn't just ours, it went up the chain of command due to the operation we were conducting and we got the go ahead. We had tea and shook hands with the kids dad while the kid sat in the back of a truck in zip ties. It was also explained to the parents that they had to speak with the Chief of Police before they could pick up thier son. Once they picked up their son the next day, the parents did have it thier way with the kid, he was in their hands now. I think he was treated like hell by his parents, but that is how they raise them there. There are no child abuse laws.

I just came across this Blog last week. Maybe I am totally wrong about the Stryker and its security. I do know that the Stryker's armor can withstand alot more than the M1 and is half the weight. I have never been inside a Stryker and only seen basic photos of the interior. I am just relating my experiences with what I read. I still feel that it not right to read for pleasure outside the wire. I am not paranoid but just cautious of everyone around me and my team and to make sure no one gets hurt.

Maybe his SGT does not know it is wrong to read a book outside the wire. Maybe I am totally wrong as it may be in the manual saying you are allowed to do whatever you want in any vehicle in a tactical situation regardless of the vehicles security situation.

bernard said...

Hi CB:
Just wanted to let you know I enjoy your blog immensely--it is a wonderful relief for those of us whose only access to the situation in Iraq has been that cyborg Kimmett and the automata called the media that dutifully transcribe his and what was the CPA's absurd gargage (and which the military spokesman somehow were forced to pimp--though I have always admired the military precisely because they don't "do" politics). Though I am violently opposed to the American presence in Iraq (it not only makes me angry, it makes me profoundly sad), I sincerely admire and respect not only your courage in such a preposterous situation, but your talent as well: you have a real mastery of both narrative pacing and, above all, "tone". There is, all at once, a sense of nervous excitement and a kind of distance, a little ironic, a little black, and very funny. And the literary allusion, the parellel drawn between the passages in Orwell and your own "real-engagement" are very good, very good.
So, again, thanks for everything. You have many of us hanging on your words.


Alvaro Frota said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Steve said...

The troops are there to guard oil wells and support George W. Bush's reelection. The Americans ironically yelling "support the troops" at peace protesters from their SUV's are the ones who put them there. I feel bad for the troops to a certain extent, but the fact that they hate and resent peace protesters makes me feel like they can sort this mess out for themselves. Good luck to you. Call us if you need us.

Alvaro Frota said...

The overwhealmnig atack of the holy city of an-Najaf isn't a US "Putting Kids in Jail" strategy?

"CB": Finaly I agree with "these we'll defend":

"Putting kids in jail when they throw rocks, and their parents couldn't pick them up until 24hrs later? Good way to ensure less hatred for the occupation. The parents must have loved US Troops after that, and it must have convinced all the locals to support us. Kind of like how the Rodney King beating brought the LAPD and the minority communities in LA close together."

The holy city of an-Najaf is overwhealming atacked just now. Why? Try to think. Only becose Mr. George Nero Bush and his strangelove's neocon guys belives in the "Putting kids in the jail" strategy. He believes that by putting Moqtada Al Sadr, who they see as a kid, in the jail, or perhaps by killing the kid, Iraq will stay on peace and, of course, Mr. Nero Bush will win the US elections. What a perfect plan!

Then, Negroponte tell his puppet Allawi, a iraqi former Saddan guy and CIA operative that serves Negroponte's occupation forces, to put Moqtada Al Sadr in the jail. Or kill he. Simple like that. But, what happened?

Happened that he kid is grand-grand-grand-son of Ms. Babylon and Mr. Iman Ali. You see: Ms. Babylon is the ancient of all of the mothers of the whole world. And Iman Ali is the prophet of the Muslin World. And the kiD is a great troublemaker! Firt of all, he is predending to be a champion of Mohamad Ali. You know how Cassius Clay becomes Mohamad Ali? That's it. These man is a directly son of Mr. Iman Ali and Moqtada Al Sadr becomes his champion by the way of the neocon's perfect plan.

In April 04, Paul Bremer boosts the kid's pretensions, using the same "jailing kids" strategy. When 4 blackwaters got killed in Falluja, the same "jailing kids" strategy. The sunni-shiite uprising hells-up and boosts the defenders of the defiant Falluja, that becomes a model. And now, another dose of these strategy.

Allay is a brave man. He personaly shoots to dead six handcuffed prisoners a months ago. Negroponte is also a brave man. The latin american people knows it very well. But the task is too big for him. The Marines, as usual, are ordered to do the dirt job. The kid, that is not a silly one, run out and defends itself in Mohamad Ali house. Where? In the an-Najaf holy shrine of Imam Ali, indeed. Then, holy hell is going into an-Najaf. 500 lb bombs. F-16. AC-130. Bradleys. No civilian casualitys, of course, only "colateral damnage" of hundreds. You kwnow much better them me about the stuff.

The kudo militiamen is yong iraqis only several years more older than the U-S-A kids. But they have a heavy hardcord strategical back-up provided by the formers iraqi arm comanders and soldiers of the old divisions of the Republican Guard, the sunnis of Falujah and Ramadi. At least one year before the invasion, realizing that it is impossible to win a war against the US forces, they stockpilled lots and lots of weapons in all Iraq. They provided false intelligence to down the munber of the american troops. "The americans will be recevead by flowers", you remember this? And, whem invasion becomed, and US Army - despite under heavy fire - approaches to Bagdah, these divisions sudently desapeared in front of the american commander's eyes. There are storys about how they also made a lot of american money by doing the last. And, of course, iranian special forces, shiites like they, well trained they in the terrain. Well trained and no feared guys like "CB" show us in the 04 August stuff. These kids really know how throw rocks.

The holy city of an-Najaf had a kind of pope of the Muslin World. Ayatollah Al Sistani is his name. He is very cooperative with the americans and he had a very strong moral force over ordinary midle and pour class iraqi people. But, the guy flees away to London just in the early days befor the overwhealming attack. Head disease, he said. Who beleaved?

Try to think. Saddan himself take a bloodbath on an-Najaf. Bush father encourage the shiite uprising and let them to dead alone. The old Saddan guy Negroponte's puppet is trying to do the same. Who really is in charge of the situation? Allawi and his master Negroponte? Course not. Both by jailing or killing the kid, the americans will be overwhealming hated by the iraquis and the Muslin World. And, if the kid does'nt go to the jail ... Wow! What a bad example! Another Falluja, but a Falluja in the head of Iraq, the second city of the nation, and the most sacred one?

A former colonel and two formers generals of the Republican Guard said a couple of months ago, in an interview to "Asian Times" that by attacking Falluja and failing, the occupation had reached a point of no return. They were wrong. The real point of no return is reaching just now. By ataccking an-Najaf, Bush leaded the US Empire to the point of no return in the Midle Est mess.

Then, forgot the bullshits and try hard to returns alive to home.

Aquele abraço!

Álvaro Frota

Joe Black said...

I know getting information from kids may be easier than adults but have you stopped to consider the consequences of this? Most communities in struggle don't look kindly on informers and elsewhere in the world kids who have informed for sweets or dollars have been killed, including in Northern Ireland. The adults can make a choice aware of the possible repercussions, the kids can't and should really be left out of it.

Homage to Catalonia is a pretty good book. Antony Beevors 'Spanish Civil War' is a very good military history of the war. For the political side of the SCW the web page at has an exhaustive set of links

Mouthpiece of Disinformation! said...

I've been reading your blog for a while now and I'd just like to say that, whatever the degree of censorship you now feel (be it self imposed censorship or otherwise), your commentary remains refreshingly clear and propaganda-free. Your non-partisan commentary is what sets you apart from mainstream media where everything is spun to a republican or democrat agenda. There are so few sources of untainted information on Iraq and it would be a shame to lose this one...
All the best and stay safe!

barkeep said...


Since Iraqi oil fields are in hands of the Iraqi government, and since they plan to (gasp!) nationalize it like in Mexico or England in the past, AND since there is relatively little light sweet crude (which is what it takes to distill good ol' 92 octane unleaded) being pumped right now, there is really very little my 9 mpg Shelby Cobra or the 580 horsepower truck I tow it with can do to put a soldier in Iraq. So then, is it so hard to believe that by protecting that fuel we are doing a favor for the Nice people who are going to pump it and sell it to us? And if nice jobs like sucking oil from the ground make the horrid neighborhoods where CB was hunting Mad Mortar Men smaller and smaller, might that not get a few troops out of Iraq? A few rocks out of peoples hands? The heart is in the right place, war is no good, but the information is in a different place.

p.s. I am actually a poor slightly incompetent engineering student, who drives an old Nissan 2 seater that gets very reasonable mileage. i was just trying to make a point.

Robre said...

First they are trained to get information from kids because kids don't generally realize the implications of any information they may give someone.

Second that guy that started the "USA" cheer in the middle of Mosul deserved to get rocks thrown at him because stuff like that will eventually get him or someone else killed. It revealed your position to people that didn't already know you were there and made you look like giant assholes.

Third, using Einstien quotes is a bad idea. I would avoid non-relativity Einstein stuff for at least 10 years.

Jason -- USA said...

killerwolf666...i have to agree with you on the way to deter rock throwing kids...its kinda like treating bored kids here in the U.S. who decide to be vandals, fool around in public places, or other minor crimes...just telling the parents about what the kid did seems to be the easiest and most effective way of getting the message across...while giving the kid another chance...

now only if we could convince ALL the parents that their rock throwing children is not helping the situation.

mpwife said...

What you said the second time around made more sense to me than the first time.You are right,my husband says it all the time..........staying alive and keeping safe is what its all about.

Sometimes you just don't have a choice in life.The troops recieved ORDERS to go to Iraq and they followed those orders(the ones with honor did anyway) because it is their job to do so.THEIR JOB,not always their preference. My dad told me stories about how when he came home from vietnam there were peace protesters lined up on the streets throwing tomatoes and.....oh my gosh, at him and his fellow soldiers.Peace protesters.........the good guys.yeah,sure

91ghost said...

I felt the whole scene when you were talking about the kid with the grenade. I felt my heart fucking palpitating and I almost started screaming at the kid too, here behind my computer in Blacksburg, VA.

this we'll defend said...

THe mission comes first, and risking your life for the mission is what soldiers do - which means if jailing kids pisses off the local community then it is counter-productive and will lead to more rock-throwing and worse in the future.

I hear people all the time saying "bomb that mosque" and they can't understand why the military is being so circumspect about it. Many in the military (mostly junior EMs) feel the same way. "WE should just kick ass" the simple-minded or naive always say. But the mission isn't to get the one kid to stop throwing rocks - it is to create an environment where kids AND parents don't want to throw rocks. If jailing the kids helps the mission then great, but it doesn't pass the "smell" test to me. There is a time for overwhelming violence, a time for a show of force, and a time for civil affairs concerns to come first. With kids or with protests (even violent rock-throwing ones) civil affairs come first, not safety. The insurgent's best hope is that some "hard-core" no-nonsense types who don't understand the mission will get pissed and fire into a crowd.

One of the most helpful things in the success of our own revolution was the Boston Massacre. The British troops showed great restraint as they were provoked by the crowd, and finally they fired into the crowd when they got tired of dealing with the "rebels and traitors." They would tell you that their personal safety was at stake, that they wanted to teach the demonstrators a lesson, etc. In reality they created a bunch more American patriots overnight and the British lost the war. The truth of what happened is still lesser-known than the myth that the British "massacred" innocents that day. Patriot propagandists went into overdrive to convince their fellow colonists that the British were their enemy, that the redcoats were evil, etc. etc., and it worked so well that most history books repeat that story, although the crowd provoked the troops that day. Of course I love that the British did the wrong thing, but I'm for our troops and want victory so we should heed the lessons of history.

BTW Alvaro - No the "insurgents" aren't on the right side like the American Patriots were. They are bad guys trying to either install a fundamentalist regime or to restore Baathism. The point is that the US and the Iraqi govt is fighting them for the allegiance of the people, and jailing the people's kids doesn't help the side that should win - our side.

As for situational awareness in the back of a Stryker - there isn't any. Staying alert so that you can stare at the guy next to you? What purpose does that serve other than to ensure boredom? Reading informs the soldier's mind while also taking away his nervousness. I think reading is just fine as long as the troops are rushing down the ramp in good order .005 seconds after the ramp lowers.

And Alvaro - thanks for agreeing with me. It always makes it harder for me to make my point. You should give capitalism a try. No long discussions about dialetical materialism, and the shopping is great!

nygal said...

I was reading your post- Great post, CB!!
and smoking a cigg. - and it keeps going out everytime I set the cigg in the ashtray! NY has this new paper required on the ciggs that goes out if you don't constantly smoke them (to prevent fires! But you have to constantly inhale and suck on them to keep them lit! Real good for your lungs). I was thinking how awful that would be for the soldiers trying to smoke in a war zone - they would constantly have to be re-lighting their ciggs.and give away their position! Lesson- don't send any ciggs from NY to the warzone

Mark Buehner said...

Umm, if a 12 year old kid threw a rock at a cop in the US, he'd spend considerably longer than a night in jail.

~Jen~ said...

91ghost, I was doing the same thing! Yelling at the kid via my computer screen.

Red said...

Holy crap, and I thought I had problems with people interrupting me while reading. BTW, how was the book? "Hi from the Twin Cities!" to the MN Pvt. in the air guard hatch. That kid with the grenade scared the crap out of me here, have you checked for gray hairs yet? Who leaves that stuff laying around anyhow? Take care of yourselves and come home soon.

Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files said...

Point taken about the rock throwing. Then again, the prison capacity is probably not large enough to hold all the detainees. Non-lethal tech is probably more in order here, like maybe the sticky glue or bursts of pepper spray in industrial quantities, just to disperse them.

Better yet, let the ICP figure out what to do with them and just get the hell outta there, like CB's platoon DID.

95B said...

Great post. I can relate to book reading where others may think it tense. Glad Minneasota has come around. Love your book selections....and here people are crying because only poor, uneducated people are joining the Army! My unit had 50% or more in college or taking a pay cut to "get on the bus".

91ghost said...

Well, no post today. I hope you got your army blanket pulled up over your head right now--I hope your getting as peaceful as sleep possible--there's nothing like a good sleep when your daily landscape is the landscape of hell. Sleep well.

Brian H said...

The kid with the rock was handled perfectly. And I bet the parents are happy and grateful. Getting kids to actually understand the consequences of taunting dangerous armed people and other stupidities is very hard. Consulting with them first was an especially good idea.

Well done.

firstbrokenangel said...

CBFTW, When you first posted this, I tried to make a comment. I don't know what happened but I could not make a comment. Now it looks like I can. The one word that explains it all is APATHY. And if you become apathetic about your situation, you could get hurt. I know you can't run on adrenaline all the time but always be sharp no matter what,so that you don't get hurt and neither does your stryker and your buddies. I can't say all the things I had said prior to this because I lost it all - I may have put some of it under a previous post,if I was able to post at all. Stay Safe, that's the most important thing. Congrats again on your award.
Tuesday, August 17th ET: I promised I would write to you but instead of sending things personally to your email, I thought I would tell a very small section of the story here -hopefully helping you also in understanding your father. I am from that generation. The Vietnam generation. My husband was a Captain of the Green Berets, Special Forces in Vietnam. He went to OCS and all the other schools, was a paratrouper, a ranger, an assasin and in his last two years, ran a camp teaching the South Vietnamese how to kill. He had been shot once and went back. At the end which his camp was overrun, he was blown up by one of those air bombs and we were sure he would not make it through alive the damage was excessive. My brother-in-law from Colorada, an air force Major flew over there to see him and assess his condition before they told the parents. I don't think they ever knew how much danger his life really was in but like an accident later on in life, he fought it and somehow survived. Of course, the army says he was discharged in 1969 when in fact, he wasn't discharged until 1971 - ie "advisor status was kept extremely secret." I recently gave my oldest son his father's briefcase that proves what I am saying is correct. He didn't have therapy, he was not befriefed and did not have "repatriation" process, something they have learned from the lessons of Vietnam. I did not know him when he was in Vietnam but meant him in the mid 1971"s when he returned home. He was relentless in his pursuit of me and I wanted nothing to do with him. He never left me alone. He was at my work, he was at my house when I got out of work and sooner or later he wore me down. I did not know how to handle him - I was only 17, going on 18, when I met him. I was afraid of him and as plans were being made for our wedding, I felt as if there was a big black cloud over my head that I could not shake. It was of course, my instinct. And I always say TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. If you trust your instincts, you can never make the wrong decision. I made a bad mistake but I did not know why. A man could not go through the things he did without coming back more than just scarred and he was going to get worse. When we found out I was pregnant, things became horrific and my life and the life of my child were in great danger. I had no one to talk to; even my parents were like "you made your bed, now you have to sleep in it" even if it meant by loosing my life. His friends were not helpful to him or to me. Between the drinking, the pot, the parties, the motorcycles, his mental state got worse and worse and worse and my being in his wrath got worse for me. So let's bypass this and move on further. He would not get treatment and I was just a kid who really had no idea what to do and there was nothing I could do for him. He refused seeing a therapist - something they make you guys see now and he didn't write as therapy, instead reliving it all inside his head over and over and over again. Those years also showed vets going off and killing people at McDonalds and other freaky things. He was trained to kill and he was never untrained not to kill. As the years went by, his emotional state, his mental state deteriorated to the point that I finally had to do something about it and if he could not go for help, then I had to get him out of the house and away from our son or we'd go down with him. No one, including him, should have had to go through so much. Several years later in June of 1978, he was in a motorcycle accident, literally killed by another driver - a girl who just got her license. If he had only let go of the motorcycle, things would have turned out differently. She hit him a total of three times, the impact so bad that with his pelvis he literally forced the handlebars forward which had to be incomprehensible. The third hit caused him to go flying and the back of his head hit a stone wall killing him immediately by crushing the back of his head into the front of his head. When the paramedics and ambulance showed up at the scene, they didn't see a scratch on him, so immediately went to work on CPR and got his heart started and they did CPR all the way to the hospital. Once at the hospital - and at that day and age, all I can do is be thankful that this particular hospital was so far advanced. After he was put on life support, they then realized the extent of the damage. First was that fact he was brain dead and brain stem dead, Every bone in his body was broken. His testicles were the size of grapefruit. They drew on his body but I do not know why - somehow his spirit was still with him. (Later in years when returning to college in my mid thirties, I did my thesis on euthanasia - because from this moment on, I learned everything I possibly could about the human body, brain death, brain stem death, euthanasia, et al.) The accident happened on a Friday night in June of 1978. At that time, our son had already turned 5 and I was 2 months short of turning 25 and he was 2 months short of turning 31. On Sunday night as I was sitting there with another nurse (I had been shaking from the beginning Saturday morning and had already lost 7 pounds) she asked me about him, so I started with his classic features and everything that I knew. I remember wishing they would loosen the tape around his head holding in the respirator because it looked like it really hurt. Being an organ donor, I had his father sign the papers that morning. I was still vibrating at 10 pm that Sunday night and I could not manage anything worse than what I was doing right then and there. It was so hard to comprehend especially when he looked allright, had the IV's in, 80 units of blood poured into his body and now he was really swelling up. I remember standing there playing with his hair and it was still and hard (brain death causes that immediately) and I saw that they had taken a towel and wrapped it several times putting it under his head to make it look normal when his head actually ended right behind his ears.I was shocked. Although I had been in the medical field - as a patient - since the day I was born, this was something I didn't know anything about. While that nurse and I were sitting across the bed to each other, my shaking coffee cup in hand, around 10 pm, something really odd happened. All of a sudden, I felt this overwhelming peace (same feeling I had after the birth of our son when I went into cardiac and respiratory arrest and they thought I was just sleeping but that is another story.) That peace overwhelmed me and I stopped shaking - the nurse was like "What was that?" and in bounced his cousin who was going to spend the night there with me on watch came running in the room all white faced having experienced a weird feeling as he was coming up the dark stairs to get to where I was. The nurse and I looked at one another and then looked at my husband and we knew that it was then his soul left his body (I told you he was a fighter) sent a message to us, and to his cousin while in the darkened stairway and later I found it it reached other members of the family and our dog who wailed. I had stopped shaking but what I was looking at,was beginning to look really grotesque. The papers had been signed. You still think they are going to wake up and you breathe with the machine, holding your breath when they took the tube off and emptied it of the fluid that builds up. Today, every hospital has a transplant team but back then it was specialized so you had to wait for a transplant team. So that late Sunday night, after his fighting soul finally left letting us know it was okay (although it took me many months to recuperate from this and years to really accept it. Although I was going to spend the night again once his cousin arrived, they told us that the transplant team (they only did eyes and kidneys then; too bad for his heart was as strong as an ox) would not be there until Tuesday = that's two more days!! So they told us it was better if we did not come back and wait until the transplant team did their thing on Tuesday. So we left and I did not return after that. This was a man who had tried to kill me from the moment of our wedding, kill me while pregant with his child and kill the child while I was pregant. He was not the same when he came back from Vietnam. I guess dependng upon your situation, what you did,what you experienced, is different from all those that were there - his was horrendous and he was going insane because of it. But when I felt that overwhelming peace, he was telling me that things were okay, that he was at peace, and all is well with the world. On Tuesday, the transplant team arrived; he went into surgery for his kidneys and eyes, then shut off the machines. At around 4 pm we got the call it was over and it was then that I really broke down into shattered pieces. And there was the mortician there shoving books in my face to pick a casket and I wanted to rip his head off, so I asked his father to please choose for me, I just can't do it. Who in their right mind is ready for something like that at age 24???!!! Mortality is just that, CBTFW, you have no idea when it's going to rock your boat. I had already been through hell and back suffuring loss after loss by this time and it didn't end there, either. During the "family viewing" and because he was facing in such an angle, he was fairly bald and you could see all the marks on top of his head, so I brought that up to the mortician, so that next day when we went back for the wake, he had a full head of hair, his beard cut short and looking good and he looked like he was sleeping. Definitely a prettier picture than the last one I saw on Sunday night. He was quite a handsome man and finally at peace with the world. He didn't have any purple hearts in his drawer because he refused them while still in the service especially after his near death experience and the things he had to do in the service for which he was an "advisor" - a soldier who was not even accounted for but died nonetheless from his 6 years of tours in Vietnam. (Remember back then, when you did come home, all people did was protest against our heroes - ie antiwar sentiment. He came home an UNHERO and that was not right. With what he did over there, they should have retrained him not to kill before sending him out to the public, just like they did with many other vietman vets and expect them to live normal lives. Things are different now, thank God. I only wish this medium was available for him when he was humping his back. That is why it is so important for you to keep writing. Even if you sent it to your wife and give us the "other version" - at least someone will hold onto your words. I thought that his death was the worst thing that could ever happen to me but it really was just the begging. I have somewhere his screwball writings he would put on notes that were found in his closet when he could not sleep and it shows how deteriorated his emotional, mental and psycholigical damage that was done - something I hope all you boys and your families over there in Iraq and Afghanistan will be able to handle with the help of counselers, therapy, debriefings and repatriation. And when you do get home and have a hard time readjusting, don't be shy should you need that kind of help. It's there for you; use it for your own benefit. And as you write, and get it out of your system, whether MI is reading or not, get it out of your system for that is the ONLY way to avoid trouble later on in life. Writing is therapy and I would love to help you put it together so it comes out as a book - and yes, I'm the one who started all that and quite surprised how many people jumped on the bandwagon. You may be a soldier but you've found a gift from your experiences and every word, every cuss word, everything is worth saving, including the mundane shit. Writing is the best therapy in the world - don't go without it and I don't care who in the brass and other things reads it. It's your journal, not theirs, so please try to get comfortable with what you have done and let it come back, do not hold back, you are not comprimising anything, except your God-given talent, and you have every right to write the way you did before the BC called you into his office. The hell with them, you are doing a great service for your country and a new life for yourself.

My life didn't turn out the way I wanted it either. Now, I'm almost 51 years old, chronically ill, severely disabled and near the end of my rope and my life if I can't get a proper doctor to help keep me comfortable. My body is so terminally damaged, with polio as a premature infant still in the hospital, Rheumatic Fever when I was two and severe scoliosis before the 7th grade which sent me into Children's Hospital every Saturday for 6 years. When I had my first child, I went into cardiac and respirator arrest and if it was not for a nurse coming over to me to give me a shot so I would not develop milk for I was not breastfeeding, I would not be here today. In Today's day and age, those shots are not available anymore. Within seconds it would have been over but they brought me back only to suffer more. And I do suffer something awful.

Three and a half years later, my brother who was 1-1/2 years younger than me died. I was 28-1/2 and he was 27 and my heart broke but I was able to handle it better because of my circumstances several years before with my husband. I remarried an assole in 1984 who protented to be a nice guy and did so because he knew that I would never marry him if I knew the truth. After the birth of my second child I knew something was very very wrong with him. Because of the disease that finally hit me after that, something that had been with me all my life but didn't know about it, I got very sick and very week. Right now I am having a very hard time breathing and it's putting extra stress on my already damaged heart as well as my already damaged body. Five years ago, I was dating a kid I went to school with and whom lived in my neighborhood all my early years and fell madly in love with him. He was the love of my life. Due to medical malpractice, when I brought him home, on the third night, he got up from bed, took two steps into my bathroom, shut the door, turned on the light and was dead before he hit the floor. His pulmonary artery burst from the buildup of clots from his legs and at 4:25 am, even the EMT'S could do nothing for him. I was followed up to the hospital by a policeman but by the time I got there, the firemen EMT'S were long gone. Finally standing there in front of them all, knowing what they were doing was not going to make any different, I finally asked them to please call it and let him rest in peace. And they did because you can't get oxygen into a person who's lungs are full of blood. It was hard on them, it was hard on the paramedics to find someone so young in a situation like this, it really bothers them. I remember the doctor saying "why didn't they check his lungs?" Good question. Those doctors who caused his death should be released from their duties and it became an awful situation trying to fight for his rights after his death. His family didn't even include me in the preparations. It was the last time we made love; he had asked me to marry him and I loved him so much, of course I said yes. but he was dead several hours later. Life is sometimes not fair. About ten years ago, I had seen a lawyer to do a real living will and DO NOT RESISCITATE order. I also noted that with this disease that I could not give blood (I tried to after 9/11 and was not accepted), I cannot donate organs and on my chat site, I let those who are there the same thing before the summer started. I do not believe I have much time left and I am suffering terribly and in such gawdawful pain. I cannot breathe and I hardly breathe on my own anymore but have to think about it, so my time is very short, unless I can find a doctor who is willing to help me with the things I need to have and have done to make my life a little easier. I cannot walk anymore. So when you say you haven't thought about the future, you really should because that will benefit your wife and not leave her stranded. Our mortality is taken for granted and you never know what is going to happen or when but a person should always be prepared in case the inevitable happens. Mortalit is not a given. You never know when that snap of a finger is going to happen but you should be prepared for it in every aspect of your life. That's what I did. Now I am dying, and am in agony and pray the Lord takes me without too much suffering for I've had enough in this lifetime.

You know how fast you can be hurt, so you really need to be careful. I, for one, want to see you come home safe and sound. I will also accept posts you cannot put on your site, by either putting them on my site or preparing them for a book that you so rightly deserve. You have done nothing wrong, you have not compromised yourself or your fellow buddies, so it you have two posts, send one to your wife or to me, and post your nothings about nothing and something if that makes you comforable but I want you to know that whatever you do, I support whole heartedly. Forget the censure, anyone reading any and all your posts do not give away any secrets or information, so they have no real hold over you and with freedom of speech, you can say and do what you want and I hope you do that again. They do not have anything to complain about. If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know and I'll make you anonymous, so MI and BC do not have to censure you. You have a "gift" and I would like to make sure you do not lose it because you're fearful of the blacklash. Nothing you have ever said has put anyone into any danger but your "new gift" should not be stifled. When you get back, you're whole life could be on a different tract, even though you hadn't realized it, but a path that will take you far; it's your destiny, CBFTW, so do not let it go to waste no matter how many people may be reading, no matter how many people may want to censure. Your comments can go on my site if you want and I'll keep them anonymous so that when you do get home, they will be ready for you to send out to book editors. Why not make money at something you are exceptionally good at? I'd like to see you go back to your original form but if you can't, I can carry it on my own weblog under anonymous and I'll be the only one who knows it's you. Think about that please and let me know whether you want to do this. I'll even change by internet name for your own safety. Talk this over with your wife and get back to me.

Continue to write always, irregardless, and I can pass your words on and no one will know it is you. I will protect you from the rest of the world so no one can say "don't write any more." You can still put your nothings on your site but send the real page either to your wife or to me so that when you get home, you'll have your work, cuss words and all, ready for you to send it. You have a gift, don't let anyone compromise it - for you have not compromised yourself or your teams in any post you have written. There are more people on your side than you realize and freedom of speece, even in the military, is your right.

God Bless and think about what I've said.

Neil said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Neil said...

Sorry, I meant the terminal end of the "pacific ccean current".

Oh, and BTW, the "we drove around somewhere to do something" language you have to use now is hilarious. Just make a note of where you did that so that when you republish this stuff later, you can fill in the details how you would have wanted to, if it didn't mean compromising the mission. I'm sure there's a lot of cool details about how you got to "somewhere" so you could go do that "something".

Neil said...

My last post got deleted:

Well, it's a tough act to follow that last comment, but I was going to say just one thing about unexploded ordinance: Guerrero Negro in Baja is at the terminal end of the pacific ocean and there's a beach there called Mamarillo beach. This place is a real treasure trove of junk. They've found all kinds of flotsam there: WWII floating mines, depth charges, all kinds of stuff. Plus a whole host of other things like notes in bottles, bodies, plus tons of random detritus. It's pretty cool down there. Except for the floating mines. Unless of course you sneak your M-1 down there and blow up any mines you come across from a distance. Then it's cool. Watch out for the Federales, though. They catch you with a gun, and it's all over for you.

Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files said...

I think I've discovered reasons why there may be posting gaps even at times when CB might not be actively engaged in "going places and doing things".

If I were maintaining a blog like this I'd want to read all the comments, and it's possible that on some days his entire available Internet time is absorbed in just catching up with comments and emails, reading.

Some of the comments are HUGE, too.

firstbrokenangel said...


Kat said...

Where are you!???! Please come back I'm worried!

Vadergrrrl said...

Your writing never ceases to amaze me. You are one talented Bay Area Punx soldier. You blow the hell out of any of the other talent from that area. Im so glad you are still writing. You make the ARMY proud.

Stay safe sweetie. WE LOVE YOU!

*hugs for your wife too*

MikeWills said...

I have been following your Blog for a couple weeks now and have to make a comment about the affect you are having on the people that read it. It is pretty amazing the impact you are having on people who are in the armed forces and those that are awaiting thier return.

Your words have helped inspire me to pick up writing again. I think it has a great self-counseling impact. Me and my wife are going to write a 'Book of Memories' that we have had while growing up together from age 19 and the experiences we have had on the way. I want to do this so that when we are old and grey sitting on some porch somewhere and struggling to remember all the amazing things we have seen together to refresh our memories.

We here in Tacoma and the rest of the US are very proud of the work you are doing to help preserve our freedom. We anticipate your return with a hero's welcome. Keep on keeping on bud.

Steve said...

I love how war supporters are pretending they support the troops that were sent to do our government's bidding. Of course the troops have to go where they are sent and do what they are told. You idiots sitting on your couches watching Fox News were instrumental in sending them to this bogus war. I also don't blame the troops for believing they are fighting some sort of just cause. You have to believe that if you are going to put your life on the line. I direct my rath at the war supporters who yelled "support the troops" and other such bullsh*t at peace marchers when anyone can now see that we were right and you were wrong. Why not just admit it? You were nasty enough before and during the war, now admit we are in a bogus occupation.
I can't believe that anyone thinks that the Iraqis are going to "nationalize" their oil. The U.S. has tried to undermine Hugo Chavez for doing exactly that in Venzueala and overthrew Mossadegh in Iran for the same reason, replacing him with the brutal Shah. The oil money will go in the pockets of large oil comanies and the politicians they own. Anyone who still believes this war is about liberation really needs to have their head examined. The troops will be abandoned to VA hospitals, with their complaints from the ravages of this war largely ignored. Just keep watching the O'Reilly factor and look the other way you punks.

Robre said...

Steve why don't you stop being such a nasty little socialist and think for a second.

Of course they will nationalize Iraqi oil production. What does it mean when you have a public institution producing something? It means the public pays for it.

What will happen is the Iraqi government will pay to have the oil drilled, pumped, and refined with Iraqi tax dinar and sell the end product at extremely low prices to mainly American oil companies. Just because you socialize and industry doesn't automatically make it "fair." As a matter of fact the opposite usually happens.

However, we aren't in Iraq for the oil. The oil is a nice side benefeit. We are there because it is a wonderful position to harass Iraq's neighbors.

Neil said...

I'm not sure I understand why people keep saying Iraq was for oil. Like the guy before me said, it's a nice side benefit, but that's it. First of all, from an economic perspective, going to war over oil doesn't make any financial sense, even if we were going to take Iraqi oil for free (which we're not...we're going to buy it at OPEC rates, just like everyone else). We only import a small amount of our oil consumption from the middle east anyway, and regardless, we buy whatever oil we want, and countries that have it are happy to sell it to us. War is insanely expensive (and BTW, uses goo-gobs of oil), and the opportunity cost of war vs. just buy oil at a higher price is not even on the same playing field, so thinking we went to war over oil is a very silly argument.

No, Iraq gave us a foothold. It was a Normandy invasion against the Islamists who control the Middle East. Oil we can buy (and we have, at much higher prices too), but regional stability (which we need more than oil) we have to enforce, and we need foothold in the region to do it. Why do you think we stayed in Europe after WWII? To keep the Soviets in check. We'll stay in Iraq and Afghanistan, so we don't have to transport troops and equipment to the region from Diego Garcia any more. The Middle East has caused alot of problems for alot of people over the last couple of hundred years, and we need a foothold in the region to do anything about it. Now we've got one. And, as a side benefit, some American companies will get some contracts in Iraq for oil (not all of them, though), and that very small percentage that we get from them will be stable, but, prob. at market rates. That's it.

Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files said...

Steve, it warms my heart to see you stridently support the Jeffersonian Democratic efforts of a Venezuelan patriot like Hugo Chavez. Now allow me to introduce this character to those who think for themselves:

About Iraq, to be brief: tanks as a means of scouting out WMDs was a dumb idea, no matter how you slice it. But it also does absolutely no good to be whining and recriminating about it now. Now that we ARE there, the job is to see to a clean end of it, meaning Iraqi sovereignty, Iraqi freedom, Iraqi strength, and most certainly, an ability to remind Iran's government that harboring al-Qaeda could prove hazardous to their health.

Alvaro Frota said...

Felows: try to understant this:

Remember that nor russians nor brazilians eats babies as brakefast. It is only opion matter.

The "jailling kids" estrategy never even winned in History. Why such will be winn in Iraq?

And why note?


Then, lets hope CB is fine.

Aquele abraço

Álvaro Frota

Steve said...

I think that Iraq will nationalize their oil right around the time the U.S. does. Stop kidding yourselves. Our government is in this for the cash and the neocons. To the rest of you, they are cannon fodder.

cpumaster said...

I think no matter how much we want to deny it, the reason Iraq and as matter of fact the middle-east region is important to us is because of oil. Sure, there are many reasons we went in Iraq, but many of those reasons are either directly or indirectly related to oil. One of the reason why we can't let Saddam rule Iraq forever isn't just because he hates us or oppress his people, but also because he is sitting on top of vast amount of oil which means he will have whatever money he needed to build any weapon program he wanted in the future (when sanction is lifted). He could also affect the world oil price if he so desired to cause enough economic problem to the world. We want to establish democracy in Iraq, but in reality, we want a friendly govt to us more than anything else. We thought by establishing democracy, it will automatically bring them into our fold. But if the situation doesn't improve, I bet a dictatorship ala Saddam (but not as crazy) would look mighty tempting to everyone. Anyway, another reason we want friendly govt in Iraq is because of the oil resources... That's why nobody care too much about N. Korea or any extremist govt in Africa, not because they're not dangerous, but they don't have what it takes to disrupt our daily economic life...
We need stability in ME precisely because without stability, the flow of oil will be disrupted and its price will go sky rocket. Of course the increasing popularity & influence of extremist Islamic philosophy doesn't help the situation any further. If you keep saying oil is not important, and we could buy them from any other oil producing nations, just look at the recent oil porduction disruption in South Iraq and what it does to the oil price. Remember, oil is a limited natural resources and the middle east probably hold 2/3 of world oil reserves, and we are not the only consumers in the world, China, India, EU, etc. Now imagine if Iraq is governed by Taliban style govt and same with Saudi Arabia, and that govt refuses to sell oil to us or any western nations directly, imagine what that will do to the price. Politicians (president, senators, etc) know that if we have to pay high gasoline price for our SUV & trucks, or worse if there's ration for gasoline, that's the end of their career. Just look at what happened in California.
I am not saying I agree with the president for going into Iraq with such shaky made-up reasoning. The thing is they don't tell us the true reason because it just won't do in the public. Yet the truth is we are very dependent on oil as a nation (not that other nations are not, but we do lead others in oil consumption per capita).
Sorry for the long post...

this we'll defend said...

It was not a war for oil except in the sense that the middle east is vital to our national security because of oil production. But everybody, including Bush, understood that the war would be more expensive than buying oil on the market. In addition we always were going to give the Iraqis control of their oil production - it we wanted to steal oil it would make more sense to invade and occupy Saudi Arabia. Fewer people to fight us an most of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi. No, this was not a war to steal Iraqi oil. It was stupid, but not for oil.

If it is true that Bush invaded to establish a "foothold" in the Middle East from which to threaten (or reform) other middle eastern countries then he should be impeached for being monumentally stupid.

1) we already had a "foothold" militarily - Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, with excellent port and air facilities and much better security. In modern warfare you don't invade Iraq when you want to threaten Iran or Syria. It costs you your Army in securing Iraq and you use up more material in supplying your "base" than your base can supply to another invasion. And obviously Iran has told us to F off more than usual lately, and trumpeted their nuclear programs brazenly while pouring money and infiltrators into Iraq. why? Because they know we are tied down. Establish a base my ass.

2) if we want to reform the Arab world we might want to employ a strategy that doesn't result in those not hostile to us beforehand becoming enraged against us. Populations that either supported us or were at least nuetral now despise us. Terrorist recruiting has skyrocketed. Chaos on Iraq has scared those who might have sought to overthrow their despotic regimes in favor of democracy - they see how hard it is to install and they also see how chaos and confusion might be worse than a dictatorship. This does seem to be the Neocon goal, and it was silly before and shown to be silly now. Duh. "Hey, be like me and be my friend. I'll show you by kicking your ass." Not a way to make friends and influence people.

And after all that, yes we can install a democracy in Iraq, or at least restore stability and put in a regime that might lead to democracy. We installed "democracy" in South Korea in a similiar way - it took decades before democracy took root - DECADES. And Koreans were always one people with a long tradition of being a nation - not like Iraq with Sunnis, Shias, Kurds, and tribal loyalties more important than national ones. So neocons who thought we could do it quickly are complete and utter morons. The President should be fired for listening to them and not realizing they were full of crap.

So the best thing now is NOT to pull out and leave chaos and "Iraqistan - the Iranian Ally" behind. It is to restore stability, to seek order from chaos, to turn over responsibility to the Iraqis and STAY until the government truly can stand on its own (not like in Vietnam were we knew the south would fall), and then and only then get the fuck out. It will have been a long, tough, bloody, and costly effort simply to get back to normalcy. Sure people will tell me how much better off the Iraqis are without Saddam, and how they will be much better off five years from now than they would have been if we had not invaded. I agree. I don't give a rat's ass. My question is, will we be better off? Hell no, but pulling out now would make it worse. Our national security would be damaged worse than it was in the invasion - we would "lose" in the eyes of potential enemies making conflict more likely. We would have huge chaos (worse than now) in a vital region where our oil supplies come from. We would have created a true breeding ground for terrorists, a far cry from Bush's call to depose Saddam to weaken terror. So it sucks but we must win. It is a giant shit sandwich and we are all going to have to take a bite. That doesn't mean we should compliment the damn cook.

The republican party says "stay the course" and accuses the left of wanting to lose. They also say that we were right to invade. The democratic party says "win the damn thing - change strategy if you have to, invite allies, do whatever, but win" and also says we were wrong to invade.

THink what you want. I'm voting Kerry, and I want my troops home AND a stable Iraq. I don't like shit sandwiches even if the cook tells me how good it is and how much worse it could have been.

dbrletich said...

Hey CB,

Hope you get an award. Lord knows you deserve it, as do every soldier over there. Thanks guys!

Regards to the young man from MN. Hang in there HOSS! Proud of ya, son! The land o 10,000 lakes owes you big time. You are all in my prayers.

Another Army Grunt bud of mine came back from somewhere doing something a couple months ago. He finished his service just before Bush canceled leave. We sent them wrist-rocket sling shots, the kind that fold up and fit in a pocket, to qwell the "rock throwers". You return fire at the first couple rock chuckers with a marble and when the rest of the crowd sees them hopping around whailing and knashing their teeth in pain holding on to their ass as they are running away, it settles down the mood fast. Good mob control.

nygal said...

I guess CB has gone somewhere and is doing something....
Hope to hear from you soon and that you're safe, CB!

Jason -- USA said...

"You idiots sitting on your couches watching Fox News were instrumental in sending them to this bogus war." that so? us watching Fox News CAUSES troops to be sent to war? only if Moore-ons were only this powerful!!!

Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files said...

Wrist rockets versus rocks. I guess it beats WMD exchanges or mortar battles. Maybe in a few months it can just migrate from the geological projectiles, to paintball, or super-soakers!

"Take that imperialist American!"

"Oh yeah? Take that kafarah al-fajarah!"

And then at the end of the day everyone sits down to some tea and lamb and couscous.

Better yet, make it a PS2 war. Best score gets control of the mosque.

firstbrokenangel said...

You are a complete idiot and your facts are not only wrong, stupid, ignorance, but way out of line. We can produce 100 percent of our oil supply if we want. By buying the 20% puts money and other benetics into the hands of the middle eastern states via trade. We actually don't need them at all. We only do it so these countries can trade for other foodstuffs that they can't grow on their own. I really do hate stupid white men.

Secondly, this is not the forum for talking politics and debating issues - it's a site to help support and encourage this soldier - and others who also do it - to keep the morale up, building a friendship and caring for this young man in the middle of the war when he would like to be home with his wife but hasn't been able to get there do to stop-loss. We are here to share his life and his experiences and to let him know that we care about this young man, his family. It's a place for him to VENT and a place for us to read those vents. It's a place to say THANK YOU for your sacrifice and to let him know we are behind him ALL THE WAY!!!!

It's NOT a political site and your comments do NOT help at all!! Put them on another site that is more appropriate. THIS site is for CBFTW only and in letting him know we understand, some of us more than others, what he is going through. It's a site we wait for a daily post so that we know he's okay, to support him in every way, to give him our gratitude and love, to pray always for his safety.

So Steve, your rantings belong on a political site, not here, so unless you can write a note saying how much you appreciate this young man and all his comrades in arms, DO NOT POST HERE AGAIN. If you truly care about this young man and want to THANK HIM for doing what he is doing for US, then do THAT but DO NOT bring POLITICS into this website the CBFTW started as a journal to get things off his chest - it's a form of therapy.

Hugs to CBFTW,

dbrletich said...

"Take that imperialist American!"

"Oh yeah? Take that kafarah al-fajarah!"

And then at the end of the day everyone sits down to some tea and lamb and couscous.

Better yet, make it a PS2 war. Best score gets control of the mosque.
((sigh)) If only...

Say, can I bum a smoke?

cpumaster said...

Hey, check out this story on NYTimes, about situation in Najaf, how we arrived to this point.

Seems like the jarheads higher up underestimated the Mehdi's will to fight and made an error decision to confront Sadr. Not that I am absolving Sadr for any malicousness on his part.

zoomie said...

CB, I'm a first time writer. I've been keeping up with your blogs over the past couple of weeks. Great stuff..... we all want to know how you are doing and what you are experiencing. I can see it's been a few days since you've posted and hope you are okay.

To the jerk called Steve that keeps posting bullshit,... someone said it well: you don't belong here. So steve-- fuck off and die.

aprildawn said...

i'm sure if cb doesn't want 'steve the socialist' here...he can tell him for himself. and "fuck off and die"??? don't you think that's a little narrowminded and mean?
good lord, people. it's a blog for fuckssake.

to cb, keep writing if you feel like it. take care, if possible.

firstbrokenangel said...


April Dawn: That's right, it is a blog and if you've been on a lot of them, you'd see all kinds of comments, some so totally unruly and it doesn't necessarily have to be CBFTW to tell him off; it's also up to us. That's what the comments are all about. Geez girl, don't get your panties in a twist!!! and that's from one female to another. We need to police ourselves.

When Robbie (the post right before you said this - sure hope his name was robbie because I hate to lose this post just to check) said whathe did, I just about cracked up laughing AND girl, HE'S RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!! This is about CBFTW, not about Steve and if Steve is saying or doing anything that stresses out CBFTW, then he absolutely does not belong here!!! It's really that simple and CB has better things to do than police his commentators. THAT JOB IS OURS!!!!!!!

We are here to understand, learn, give and take, support, encouragement, SHARE and build MORALE. TRY TO REMEMBER THAT, PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!

May God Bless You CBFTW and yours till the end of days. Stay Sharp and Stay Safe!! You have our love, our respect and our thanks not only for fighting for your country but for sharing with us your life, however it may be.

Those who do not appreciate that can go to hell but mostly they are NOT TO POST OR EMAIL CBFTW (sure hope I have those initials right) and THAT is HOW bloggers POLICE THEMSELVES. If you don't like something, leave and go read something else more to your desire.

This soldier of ours does not need that crap from anyone and I'll be damned if anyone gives him a hard time or stresses him out and if someone does post something that is way out of line for this particular blog, others have the RIGHT to tell them to go away, they do not belong here. And those people better leave and go on a different site or a political site or a forum and be assoles there, not here. So in essence, I'm saying that Robbie is right and you, Aprildawn are wrong.

I was the wife of a US Army Captain, Green Berets, Special Forces.
Do not push my buttons.


this we'll defend said...

Why oh why won't he post and let us know he is okay?

CB - please post as often as possible even if all you have to say is "nothing today, perhaps more later." It reassures your many fans that have grown concerned about you.

It's been a few days and we are growing nervous. God bless you and keep you safe.

And God bless you too, CBFTW's wife. I know you and he are in this together.

firstbrokenangel said...

Before I go and go search for Steve's comments, I do want to tell him a few things myself. WE ARE NOT THERE FOR OIL. We can supply 100% of our own oil if we had to PLUS we have so many other places to go for oil should we need it - such as Alaska and the governor of Alaska has already started to do just that WITHOUT PERMISSION from anyone because his state does not need permission to do so!! They know it's there and they are going after it. THE ONLY REASON THE UNITED STATES BUYS OIL FROM IRAQ, ET AL, IS THE FOOD FOR OIL PROGRAM. You cannot grow ANYTHING in that soil - or should I say desert? - nor is there clean water, cows for milk and many other countries are the same way. SO THAT THESE COUNTRIES CAN FLOURISH WITHOUT DYING, WE GIVE THEM WHAT THEY NEED IN TRADE. THIS IS NOT GEORGE BUSH'S POLICY, IT'S OUR GOVERNMENT'S POLICY AND JUST SO YOU'LL KNOW, STEVE, THE PRESIDENT CANNOT ORDER A WAR WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE SENATE. IT'S THE SENATORS WHO MAKE OR BREAK A LAW AND IT'S THE SENATORS WHO DECIDE. If the President is totally against something, he has a chance to VETO but not often just as the Senate gets the chance to veto anyone he would like to appoint to a job. Man, do you even know your history????????? The President doesn't move troops around, the PENTAGON does - whatever the President gets, he INHERITED from the ones before him, or any mess left behind by the previous president but it's the joint sessions of Congress that actually makes our rules and reulations and laws of this country. DAH - HA!! I have found that over the years that the people who speak ill speak out of IGNORANCE of the system and the facts. So Steve, it is up to you to start reading before you open your mouth again. AND STAY OFF THIS BLOG STUPID!!! I go through 1,000 blogs a day, I send info from one to another. A basic law class can teach you about the House and the Senate and the President. I'd suggest you do that, Steve! THIS BLOG IS NONPARTISAN. And to make good friends with this wonderful soldier of ours who is putting his life in danger for us!! The President did not put him there - all the people in the HOUSE and in the SENATE considered as the JOINT SESSIONS IN CONGRESS, The Pentagon and all the hundreds and thousands of small groups that each and every one of them are in plus the Cabinet whom they have to report to, all report to the President and from that information, he makes the best decision he can -----------but he didn't come up with that by himself. He didn't come up with the question nor the answer.

As examples: the other night Larry King Live interviewed President George Bush and his wife, Laura. Larry King mentioned that there were 4 dates set for him and (YUCK - had to say that) Senator Kerry to debate. HE DOESN'T KNOW THE DATES - SOMEONE ELSE SETS UP THOSE DATES - but he'll show up, of course. SOMEONE ELSE TAKES CARE OF HIS SCHEDULE plus he makes his own personal scedules. And as he said on Larry King Live "I don't know the dates but I can't wait to debate him." That man, our president, has the weight of the world on his shoulders and if you don't think so, you are very mistaken, Steve.

The President can fight for what he believes in, but if it's already a law voted on by the House, he can't change it. He cannot go to war without a vote from those same people and they voted for it and it's his job to keep up morale, to keep the people informed, and to POLITICALLY CORRECTLY go through channels to keep this world from blowing itself up with all these damn rogues out there with nukes.

The state has it's own laws and then you have Federal laws and they don't always equal out. They are not always the same just as different states have different laws and before you go from one state to another, you better know that state's laws, especially if it's different from your own state.

Ah, crap, now I've forgotten what my other examples are but I hope you get the point. And I believe it was me who also said that this is not the blog to discuss politics on but to give our soldier here a place where he can rant and rave and where we can sympathize, support him, encourage him, give him some morale, some insight and things like that WITHOUT DRIVING HIM FRIGGIN NUTS!!!!!!! It's that simple steve. Since he does have your email address to your name and you didn't leave it empty, the next note may go directly to you after I read all your posts and tell you that you are not welcome here. THIS IS A SOLDIER FIGHTING TO RETAIN YOUR FREEDOM - EVEN YOUR FREEDOM TO SAY STUPID STUFF!!! YOU SHOULD BE DAMN GRATEFUL for his and his family's sacrifice and for every troops ANYWHERE on this globe. IT'S THAT SIMPLE, STEVE.

We have come to love CB, his wife, his family, his friends, his buddies and his comrades in arms. We will continue to support him and THEM as long as he is over there doing good for HIS COUNTRY. You should be proud and grateful that he is doing this, that all the troops throughout the years have done this to keep us BETTER, FREE, SMARTER, PRIVILEGED, AND OH, SO MUCH MORE. Just compare OUR COUNTRY to ANY OTHER COUNTRY OUT THERE and you will find a humongous GAP between what they have and what we have. WE are so FAR ABOVE the oldest nations in History. These nations were developed long before Jesus came along - hundreds of millions of years ago and they haven't much improved either. BUT WE HAVE - BECAUSE OF THE FREEDOM we have. And also because of the FREEDOM we give others.

STEVE, DID YOU WATCH THE OPENING OF THE OLYMPICS?? WHO GOT THE MOST APPLAUSE OUT OF ALL THE NATIONS THAT ATTENTED??? If you don't know, let me tell you: AFGHANISTAN, IRAQ AND THE UNITED STATES. And although their countries don't have a pot to piss in, they got the applause because now they have a chance to survive but NOTHING can compare to the rights and the freedom we have here in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - and the whole world wants to come here; they all want to be an American, they all want to learn here. How do you think THESE FRIGGIN TERRORISTS are capable of doing what they do besides TERRORIZE?????? They learned all that stuff from us, they are unbelievably and scaringly savvy computerwise because they learned that in the united states of america. SO SHUT UP AND BE THANKFUL YOU LIVE IN A COUNTRY LIKE OURS AND DON'T, FOR ONE MINUTE, TAKE IT FOR GRANTED. "TO BE SAFE, ONE HAS TO BE INSECURE." and that's what we need to do.

firstbrokenangel said...

"this we'll defend said...
Why oh why won't he post and let us know he is okay?"

I know, I feel the same way. He will when there's no bullshit to put up with.


You have fans, here, man. WE love you and we care. Do not read email from people you do not know and do not read the comments, at least not now. JUST POST AND POST ONLY. Remove MAIL CALL.

Crazygoogrl said...

I'm glad to read that I'm not the only person checking daily....actually a few times a day, to see if CB has posted. I'm starting to become really concerned that he hasn't posted in a few day.

firstbrokenangel said...

OH.....AND STEVE..........AND OTHERS WHO THINK LIKE HIM AND YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE: Who am I? I'm someone with education; I'm just about brain dead by now, tho. I am an almost 51 year old woman who is severely ill and extremely severely physically disabled and live on a dirt road with nobody around, who can barely take care of herself and I live off of SSD which means I really don't live at all. Unfortunately some of us don't have all the freedoms of the world but I have running water, electricity, cable, tvs, remotes,dvds, computers, and all the wonderful things that make others want to come to America. Along with that, I have a great many online friends who respect what I have to say and how I say it and why I may say something.

That's the benefit of growing up in the UNITED STATES of AMERICA. I have two grown sons, one 30, one 20; they need to grow up, too. One is in Florida, one is in MA. I have done many things in my life and for 30 years I have been a medical counsellor - something I will always do all the years I breathe - and the other is helping a kid like CBFTW whom I believe is doing a pretty good job handling this war. WE ARE AT WAR and things are a lot different now. So before you speak Steve and others like you that I have read on here, know what you are talking about before you open your big mouths.

When CBFTW reads comments like yours, it upsets him and if it upsets him, it could disturb him so much that he could get hurt or killed. WE are NOT here to debate; we are here to support our AMERICAN SOLDIERSSSSSSSSS.

Alvaro Frota said...


I hope they don't cancel the cancellation of the cancel and you are just now on a plane going to make love with your wife.

Indeed, what a great idea! MAKE LOVE, NOT WAR! Who remember this?

By the way, there are in the commentors a lot of people that is trying to be the owners of your blog:

"Fulano! You haven't the right to post here!"

"Beltrano! Fuck off and die!"

There is just the "freedon of speach" that US Empire is given to iraqis and wants to give all the world, includind US country: one is free to speach but only if his speach is "Amen!"

And CB, if you aren't in that plane, please give us a few lines. The Bush's strangelovers neocons with their "jailling kids strategy" is leading the holly hell's upon Iraq just now and I'm going to be anxious.

Hope you fine, and

Aquele abraço!

Álvaro Frota

91ghost said...

What the hell. I've been playing it cool--trying to just casually glance at your site to see if a new post is up...I think I'll be pacing a bit tonight.

Jolly Roger said...

I as well have been following this blog daily, and some of the comments are just out of context. Reply to the conversation, if you want to write your life story start your own blog ( don't click to see if I have because I have'nt, not yet any way) Glad too see the community growing but come on!
CB Stay cool man and under the two way live fire exercise!

I like the idea of the wrist rockets!

Robre said...

CB's a punk, I think he can handle reading political discussion on his blog. CB named this blog after a Black Flag song (speculation at first, but I searched back in the archives for "my war" and found a post about it).

Steve, don't take my post earlier as a message that you should stop posting here. I just think it's silly that nationalization of an industry can not be done for evil reasons. This is blind idealism.

The lyrics to "my war" as posted by CB:


My war you’re one of them
You say that you’re my friend
But you’re one of them
You don’t want to see me live
You don’t want me to give
Cuz you’re one of them
My war you’re one of them
You say that you’re my friend
But you’re one of them
I might not know what a friend is
All I know is what you’re not
Cuz you’re one of them
My war you’re one of them
You say that you’re my friend
But you’re one of them
I have a prediction, it lives in my brain
It’s with me every day, it drives me insane
I feel it in my heart, that if I has a gun
I feel it in my heart, I’d wanna kill some
I feel it in my heart, the end will come
Come on!!
My war you’re one of them
You say that you’re my friend
But you’re one of them
Tell me that I’m wrong
Try to sing me your ego song
You’re one of them
My war you’re one of them
You say that you’re my friend
But you’re one of them
My war.


And yes, I'm one of them, we're all one of them. That's the point. It's "My war," or CB's war in this case.

lonelyshade said...

CB hope you are doing allright, and post a new bloq soon
censored or not censored .
Even if you can´t post freely anymore what you want.
The words between the line still make a point.

But can´t say i speak for CB , but by reading all his bloq , can´t say he is offended in comments.
Think he just want to make people think .
Potraying the worlds is not as black and white as people think it is .
Love the link he gave a while back in his bloq.

1 sorry to say i guess if he can´t post here , what make you think he can post someplace else ??
He is in the service , they can deny him rights to the internet cause of security reasons.
Maybe CB just make a journal on a notebook , and really If you do get the hell out of there make it into a book .

2 What makes you think some comment steve made are not allowed , he has freedom to speak his mind appropriated or not . Politics well if it wasn´t for politics i think CB wouldn´t have been censored at all .

PS Please take care and just do your job and stay safe.

Marine Mom said...

CB ~
We haven't heard from you in a while... I'm worried about you ... is everything ok?

firstbrokenangel said...

Still pacing - right along with 91ghost. His wife posts here so if anything happened, I'm sure she'd tell us. Ladywhatever,you misread what I wrote...

All the love in the world is surrounding you CB...

and we'll wait...... I know he gets upset when he reads the posts and doesn't want to get involved in the partisan shit - I've read everything he has ever written and his comments to the comments, something he can't do anymore... too much stuff... but he came back, eh, ghost, that he did. CB came back... my suggestion to him to not read the posts was for his own good, because they do upset him; he has said so himself. There are 3 names on the tip of my tongue that make it very difficult for him....... and the emails he said that he gets are horrendous.....just trying to protect him..............and certainly not taking over either frenchie!! :-)

ok, time up. cb, something is better than nothing. (It would be nice if he was on a plane home but they already cancelled that again - unfortunately) Where in hell did all you new people come from??

I like the X-files Reference smokingman.

How many paces you want to jog tonight 91ghost?

Hugs to all. Hugs to CBFTW, his family, his wife and all the guys and gals at the FOB in Mosul!!!

Rod said...

Well done. I'm with you 100% from the states.

Wish you a safe journey home.


Combat Doc said...

Just so you know I came by and not have to hear your shit while on patrol. ha ha ha?

Robre said...

Are you the same combat medic that debated F9/11 with CB earlier in the year?

I read some of your blog. Are you sure your not a libertarian because I didn't really see anything that would say you're not.

Mouthpiece of Disinformation! said...



Your words so I think you should follow them too...

Steve is entitled to his views and so are you...

CB has stated in his posts that he isn't a democrat or a republican so I don't think any of you that are partisan are qualified to speak on his behalf, let alone or 'police' these comments for him.

Brian H said...

Somewhat OT :

Anyone who hasn't read this up-to-date Marine's account of Fallujah, do it now.

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. Dont forget, act soon, and we will throw in a ball cap. "Stay Army" Hooah!

beakerless said...

Suggest you have a beer or two (or two dozen) with a Vietnam Veteran when you get home.

A Common American said...

Nice writing. I am not surprised to read the way the children and elders treated you guys there. If we turn the situation around that we are the ones who have the foreign soldiers coming into our country and not speaking our language and see destruction all around us, what would I think? Unfortunately, you guys are in a tough situation. You are there to do the job you were sent there for. Too bad, when the world is cursing the US out, you guys have to take the blame. Life is not fair, so is war and destruction. Our leader claims peace, but we see no peace. You guys have to be there to stand for a believe whether you support or not. I would hate to be in your position. I remember I got into a heated arguement once when I was in Spain with someone who was cursing Clinton for bombing Belgrade. I was ardently defending the American righteousness for being the problem solver and peace maker for another country's unjust actions. Now, I try to make some sense of this war and wonders why almost all civilized nations oppose to it. True, we eliminate a dictator, but what else have we accomplish there. I see that we are getting some more oil, but the gas is still high. Ironically, You guys are sent to rebuild what we have destroyed. If I am in a heated desert with loads of armor and weapon on me, being shot at by the enemy, I think I would lose all my humanity and become a machine that acts strickly on survival instincts. You are right, War is hell, like the Picasso's Guernica you posted. I like the pic from the Smith as well. Nice selection of choices which show that you still have a conscience and the grasp of humanity even in hell. I just hope that you can maintain your consciousness and sanity til you return home safely.

Be well... and thanks for keeping us informed.