General Commentary (May be military related) email: Kudzuacres1@juno.com
Wednesday, July 23, 2003
Well if that don't beat all. You can go to Google, type in any words you happen to remember from a song, such as "Thank God and Greyhound Your Gone" and it comes up with pages where you can see all the words and maybe even hear the music. Truly amazing. My career as a country music star may kick into high gear any minute now since I have all the words to three songs. Well, maybe not. My wife says that a little bit of talent is required. I tell her I have a little bit of talent but she says it is not in the music department.
I see that Mr. Possum has given blood today and they didn't have any fig newtons. That seems un-American to me. You give blood-you get a newton. I am sure that is a law. I gave blood every two months from about 35 years, then one month the Red Cross informed me that that donation would be the last they could accept from me since I had been exposed to Mad Cow Disease by living in Europe for over 6 months in the past twenty years. Not 5 months! Not 7 months, but over 6 months. Apparently someone has figured out that the agent that causes MDC only affects people after they have lived in Europe for over 6 months. Amazingly, the 6 months don't have to be at one time, but can be spread over several years. That is one smart germ or virus or whatever it is. I guess I could type "mad cow" into Google and find out, but since I am a carrier, I choose not to bother.
I asked how the Brits and Yurpeens got their blood since they all lived there, but the ARC volunteer didn't know. I can't say I enjoyed giving blood since I hate needles, but at least the fig newtons were good and there was the occasional free t-shirt or pizza to make up for the pain and agony. Now Terry says they didn't have newtons. I think life as we know it is gone.
Monday, July 21, 2003
As a soldier, nothing pains me more than to read about the death of someone in the military. Policemen and firemen have the same feelings about members of their professions, thus we see the long treks made by these groups to honor those lost in the line of duty.
One of the most painful events in my career was being notified that a couple of young soldiers I had sent out to get some new tank engines from the supply depot, had been killed when they lost control of the semi and the tank engines slid over the cab of the tractor. Acceptance of their deaths was made no easier by the fact that they were not doing what I told them to do when the accident happened, but were a hundred miles away doing a favor for another unit by delivering one of their tank engines. The commander of the other unit and I had heated words a few months later after all the investigations were completed. Twenty years later, I still believe the soldiers would be alive if the other commander had not sent them to deliver his engine.
The daily reports coming from Iraq and Afghanistan tear at my heart as I read of still another young man or woman killed by a sniper, in an accident or by an ambush. Making it worse is reading how the deaths are as senseless as those of my soldiers twenty years ago. Not so! The men and women in the Middle East are frontline soldiers in a conflict that has been going on since the end of the cold war and probably before then. I have pretty much quit reading the pundits who talk about Vietnam. Now I am deleting those who write about the "guerrilla" war that has now started in Iraq. Of course it as a guerrilla war. The Baathists and Islamic Terroriasts do not have an army with which to fight a conventional war. Low intensity conflict is all they have available. The problem with the Vietnam analogy is the US military destroyed the Viet Cong during Tet, 1968. Post Tet, the opposing force in Vietnam was primarily the North Vietnam Army, not the Viet Cong and the US forces soundly defeated the NVA each time they met. The war in VN was lost at the political level, not on the battlefield, and worse for those who expect American defeat in Iraq, I know of no one who believes the US Army during Vietnam was remotely as effective as the Army of today.
Guerrillas must have support from the population to continue to fight and today, they really need the support of a government to provide supplies. The problem for the Iraqi resistance is they have little of either since it appears from reports written by soldiers on the ground (as opposed to "journalists"), that the majority of Iraqis are quite happy to have Saddam gone. They may not be happy to see the USA there, but at least Saddam is gone.
Something I learned growing up and which was reinforced during my first tour in a foreign country, is that most people are not particularly political or religious. Most people are looking for as comfortable life as possible. They want food, clothing shelter and diversion.
I think that we will find that the Iraqis are no different. This horror story at One Hand Clapping illustrates the apolitical nature of people. The victims in this story must have been oblivious to the horrors going on around them since they voluntarily went to the "authorities" for help and became victims of the very people they sought help from.
The US and British forces will slowly but surely "eliminate" the opposing forces as the Iraqi people will become more willing to point out the pro-Saddam holdouts. I don't think this will be a long process. Those who bet their political futures on Iraq being a disaster 15 months from now are doomed to failure.