Friday, May 14, 2004


(first draft... let me know what you think)

I remember sitting cross-legged in my back yard one day. I was covered in good old Oklahoma red dirt, doing what all elementary school aged boys did in the late ‘70s. I was, of course, playing with my Star Wars action figures. I can almost recall moving Darth Vader forward with one hand to meet Han Solo (I think Luke Skywalker was probably off reading an Archie comic and sipping a glass of milk through a crazy straw at the time.). In the deepest 9 year old voice I could muster, the evil Darth spoke; “ Han Solo… you must lay down your weapons. Tell your traitorous Rebel friends to do the same and I might let you live.” Han Solo thought about this for a second. “You mean that if I don’t fight you any more, and I agree to live in perpetual fear for the foreseeable future, and I back away from my difficult but morally straight and righteous path… then you’ll probably let me live?” Vader took a slow, hissing, gurgling breath and affirmed; “Yes… if you bow down before my surpassing evilness and agree to serve me… then I most likely won’t kill you or anyone you know… at least for a while… unless I think I have a really good reason… or you make me mad.”

What would Han Solo do? Do you really think that he would agree? Hell no… Han pulled both blasters at once and drilled old Big Dumb and Ugly right through the cheap plastic mask. Within 24 hours, I’m sure Darth was propped up on the wall of our wooden shed catching BBs from my trusty Daisy rifle.

So why do we insist on leaning toward appeasement in the war on terrorism? There is no question in the mind of any sane persons about who has the moral high ground. Casting aside all the agenda driven propaganda from a dozen different angles, the facts say that this is a war of Cruelty and Barbarism versus Civilization and Democracy. We see a few individual soldiers do demeaning and embarrassing things to Iraqi prisoners… and we spend the next six months beating ourselves up for it as a nation. And meanwhile we take investigative and legal action against all involved. Some deranged and evil terrorist saws the head off of a civilian to make a political point… and while we are horrified and infuriated, we all know that there is nothing really surprising about it. This is the culture of Death that we are up against.

Palestinian terrorists played soccer in the street with the head of an Israeli soldier the other day, and sympathetic idiots point at Israel and smugly nod their heads as if to say; “See… you shouldn’t oppress people.” Those people aren’t being oppressed enough. If you are the kind of person who uses body parts from a fellow human being as sports equipment, you need to be lethally oppressed. Again, as I continually have to remind myself, I am not generalizing about the entire culture of Palestinians or anyone else. It does get harder and harder to remember that however. It might be a good idea for the Palestinian people who don’t subscribe to the same Death Culture as the extremists to take action, or at least speak out, against their evil brethren. They will never win with their current tactics, but they could lose a lot more than they have been if sympathy for their plight runs much shorter.

Muqtada Al-Sadr and his followers proclaim that if any of their Medhi Army thugs capture a British or American female soldier, they are free to keep her as a SLAVE. Property. Just when we thought that this worst of human offenses was eradicated from civilization, it is back in vogue among the Death Culture. Al-Sadr appeals to the basest and most vile of human urges to motivate his army. While this unspeakable pronouncement is made, our leaders struggle to maintain a ceasefire in Fallujah. We desperately try to avoid damaging any holy sites or mosques while their snipers and machine gunners fortify positions within. We show them too much respect. The Shiite people in those cities reportedly don’t support Al-Sadr, but they don’t seem to be running short of fighters yet. We show kindness and sympathy to the people of these cities and they take it to be weakness and capitulation. We show respect to a religion that has been hijacked and corrupted, and they gain followers every day. They think they can win. Every time we allow them to perceive a victory, whether it really is one or not, they get stronger.

Our most worthless and corrupt politicians garner publicity and support for themselves by comparing Iraq to Vietnam… and the terrorists cheer. They chalk up another victory that can’t be measured in a body count or piece of high ground taken. They understand that this war is being fought on American soil by their surrogate warriors, the Media. They can afford to lose battles in Iraq, because our own politicians and journalists are fighting the major engagements right here.

Sixty years ago, before Korea and Vietnam, before the Hippies and Drug Culture, before the Socialists took over our Universities and Political Organizations, millions of American Men and Women answered the call. There was no confusion or gray area. Everyone pulled together because the alternative was too horrible to consider. Actors enlisted. Baseball players picked up rifles. The sons of politicians and moguls threw a steel pot on their head and pulled on their combat boots because it was a battle of Good vs Evil, and we knew which was which. This fight is no less clear in its opposing sides. If you believe that sawing the heads off of civilians is EVER justified, then go ahead and muddy the waters with talk of appeasement and good will. If you believe that it is EVER acceptable to keep a female as a SLAVE, then preach your sermon of capitulation and withdrawal on campus somewhere. If you want to live in a world where the bodies of our political enemies are strung from bridges and dragged through the street, go ahead and find someone to blame it on besides those who commit the act itself. Blame Big Oil. Blame the Republicans. Blame Organized Religion for not being tolerant enough. You can go ahead search for reasons and justifications for barbarians. The barbarians don’t mind. You perform a function that they could never accomplish on their own.

But once you begin to see what we are fighting against, I expect that epiphany to be followed by some sort of redemption. I won’t hold your short sighted fairy tale politics against you… but I expect you to stand the fuck up and grab your sack. There are plenty of Men already in the service of their country who will do the fighting for you. I don’t expect Joe Wall Street to don a Kevlar or fix bayonets… but I do expect him to be as vocal in his support for his country as he was in his misguided opposition.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

BRM update...

Big day at the range today. It’s RM7&8… the first time the Privates see pop-up targets. Rm7 is single targets only, and RM8 introduces multiple targets. My platoon actually shot very well today. They were knocking the hell out of the 300 Meter targets, which is a good sign. They actually had more trouble with the middle ranges until they learned to adjust their point of aim to account for the trajectory of the round. I think I had a total of 5 “nogos” at the end of the day, which is not too bad. I’m not sure how Ranger95 did with his platoon… you’d have to ask him. I would talk smack and crack jokes, but somebody might misunderstand and take me seriously. I would rather get “beat” in the platoon rivalry and shoot well as a Company than to “win” and have a miserable showing overall. When you get right down to it, the only thing that really matters is all the individual Privates getting to their combat units “good to go”.

It’s kinda funny how this cycle has worked out. We started out with a bunch of hardheaded Privates, but didn’t have any quitters for a relatively long time. But now that they have had a while to figure out that they are actually, in all likelihood, going to go to war sometime soon, they are starting to thin out lol.

Honestly, I should be pissed… and I am in a way sometimes. It pisses me off that some people’s oath of enlistment doesn’t mean anything to them. It pisses me off that some people want to “serve” their country until they figure out what service really means.

But it really doesn’t piss me off that they want to quit now. I will try to talk to them about it once. I might sometimes talk to them a second time of they are on the fence and are worth the effort. But after that it is really better that they go now, than to wait until someone is counting on them in combat. Not everyone can or should be a soldier. I wish them the best and hope they don’t regret their lack of commitment. Quitting is a habit. I know I couldn’t live with myself, but maybe they can.

I would like to post about the animals we are fighting over in Iraq… but I don’t really think I have time to adequately express my contempt for the type of sub-humans who would authorize their followers to keep as a slave any female soldiers they capture, or who saw the head off of a fellow human being to send a political message. Keep in mind that I am not talking about the average Iraqi. I’m talking specifically about the evil twisted fucks who need to be exterminated from the face of the earth for the sake of all of mankind. And they are not just in Iraq. This war is in no way limited to Iraq, although it is the current front. If you ever doubted the need to be in Iraq, just LOOK AT THE FREAKING NEWS. Is there ANY mission on the face of the earth right now that is more important than eradicating this kind of sick barbarian from the human race? Iraq is not the first and not the last place we will fight them… and if we don’t fight them there we will very likely end up fighting them here.

Anyway… before I get into a full blown rant, I better get some sleep.

Oh yeah… we lost another softball game tonight lol. It was fairly close (meaning “not quite as big a blowout as usual) and about as much fun as losing can be lol.

Practice Qualification starts tomorrow… and within the limits of my previous statement about shooting well as a company, I can’t wait to kick Ranger95’s platoon’s ass. Maybe we should bet a Gatorade on it lol.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Before I continue the saga of how Ranger95 is a lowdown dirty despicable Gatorade thief... I am gonna answer a legitimate question about basic training.

The question dealt with what the advantages or disadvantages are for joining at a later vs. younger age.

I joined the Army when I was 24, and turned 25 in basic training (actually OSUT) at Ft Benning. Most of the people I joined with were from 18 to 20 years old, but there were some as old as or much older than me.

Having been a Drill Sergeant for about a year and a half now, I have to say that, like most things, it really depends on the individual. However, I can point out a few trends I see in older and younger soldiers.

The first thing is physical ability. When I get a soldier who is older than normal, it is nearly always either one extreme or the other. Sometimes they are already feeling the effects of their age ( actually not their age... but more years of a sedentary lifestyle) and sometimes they come in better off than the younger crowd. I have an older soldier right now who is around 30. He is far above the rest of the soldiers in physical strength, but is somewhere in the middle of the pack as far a running goes.

The most important thing is to get an early start BEFORE you show up for BCT. Young or old you should at least begin some low intensity cardiovascular training. In other words, go for a few walks... then a few jogs... then a few light runs until you have to report. Work your way up slowly so you dont overstrain your body, but work up a good sweat each time and try to run for at least 20 minutes.

Mentally, it depends most on how honest you are with yourself before you join, and how ell you prepare yourself. First, don't leave any business undone back home. Prepare yourself financially. Make sure your spouse or someone else has the power to pay your bills etc.

Here is the big one...

Believe it or not... if you join the Army during time of war... you might actually have to deploy somewhere.

This seems obvious but I have several soldiers who didn't realize this fully. Now, even though they are capable in every other way, they are miserable because they finally understand what SERVICE means. You go where you're told to go. You WILL leave your wife, husband, kids, dog, relatives and friends behind and exit the United States for 6 months to a year sometime soon.

Believe it or not, the soldiers I'm talking about are older. I guess they are better at fooling themselves or something. I don't really know how a 30 year old man or woman could fail to realize these things, but they did.

All in all, age is irrelevant. I once put an 18 year old PFC in charge of a anti-armor squad in the 101st for a while... because he was smart, capable and disciplined, while the soldiers who outranked him were immature and unprepared for a leadership role.

Hope this helps a little... for more on PT and running and stuff, look back through the archives. I've got some big posts on all those subjects back there somewhere.

Well... I'm off to stock up on Gatorade. I probably need to buy three or four bottle for each ONE that I plan on drinking. Somebody will most likely steal the rest. ;)

(For those fo you who don't know about the Gatorade saga... it's on the old xanga site. One of my fellow Drill Sergeants is a dirty low down Gatorade thief lol.)