horses and saddles sold cheap and other metaphors

Saturday, April 10, 2004

Bill O'Reilly will be doing a show on Faux on how liberals have created a cultural climate that encourages rabbit theft and if if only had the death penality for juveniles this sought of thing would never happen. it's the end of civilization. Yahoo! News - 9-Year-Old Girl Arrested for Rabbit Theft

Thursday, April 08, 2004

from Bill Moyers, a journalist that takes his responsibilities seriously, regardless of the direction of current political winds. Everyone at Fox and CNN especially might want to read it. "What's at stake is democracy. Democracy wasn't cancelled on the 11th of September, but democracy won't survive if citizens turn into lemmings. Yes, the President is our Commander-in-chief, and in hunting down and destroying the terrorists who are trying to destroy us, we are 'all the President's men.' But we are not the President's minions."
This Isn't the Speech I Expected to Give Today

The Alamo is over-rated as a tourist attraction, dammit
Note: I am editing this post for various security reasons.
We just got back on base. For a while there, I didn’t think that would happen. We got ambushed yesterday, except it was a twenty-one hour ambush.

At about four AM the other day, the coalition force rode out the gate and took back the town. At nine thirty we rolled out, arrived at our usual destination, and by ten thirty, we were under fire. We were in a compound of five or six major buildings, large enough to be hotels, not quite large enough to be palaces, that had once been owned by Chemical Ali.

We started out on the roofs, looking for snipers. But RPGs and mortar fire forced us down and as we retreated, the shooters started hitting the building more often because they were walking their weapons closer. Eventually, our safe area was reduced to just one hallway in a central building.

I have never been so scared in my life. Scared doesn’t cover it: terrified doesn’t, either. I'd never known it was possible to be terrified and be totally calm. I’d look around, seeing the trails of weapons, seeing the F-16s overhead---they never dropped bombs, they just flew around------and then look down and see the chameleons running in the grass. And then you’d hear the thump of another mortar round, but you don’t really hear those---you feel them, somehow. They’re loud enough to make you flinch, and these were all close----I saw one land in front of me at about three thirty AM, no more than fifty meters away.

My captain didn’t know I heard him say what he just said. “Honestly, last night, I think every one of us thought that was it, that we weren’t going to make it back. It was that bad.”

We faced a force of four to five hundred rebels, with mortars, RPGs and various handheld weapons. There were four US soldiers---myself and the other people in my team----about twenty coalition soldiers, and thirty or so scared British and Aussie expats, including the British governor. The coalition soldiers had a couple tank/hybrid vehicles, but they didn’t have much ammo for them. By midnight, everyone was running out. We kept impressing this on Higher, and they just couldn’t get that through their heads. What the fuck good are they? We are running out of ammo. We will be over-run if light hits this place in the morning and finds us still here.

More than that, it was the concrete reality that you were going to die. I felt that a few times yesterday, last night, and this morning. Escape attempt after attempt fell through, and those mortars started hitting the grounds, the gate, the vehicles. The enemy sent word that when darkness fell, they were going to over-run the compound and exterminate everyone there. The whole Iraqi security force just up and quit. One guy claimed that his mother had had a heart attack and he had to go home. I heard that on the radio myself. It’s the dog-ate-my-schoolwork excuse as applied to battle.

Fallujah was on everyone’s mind, but nobody---thank God----said it.

I can’t even grasp that we lived through it. I don’t think it’s hit me yet.

What makes it worse was that we kept trying to get reinforcements and air cover and evac, and eventually we had to do it ourselves. We called up around 1500 because it became apparent that we weren’t going to get out, requesting air cover. We thought it would be over by 1700. By then, though, we realized something else was going on---darkness falls at seven. We heard that the whole province was under control, and that Sadr’s representatives had offered a cease fire while they negotiated. No other government building in the province was not under his control. Our little force, outmanned and outgunned, held him off for better than twenty hours, and then slipped out under his nose. He wanted to keep us there, be his bargaining chips while he tightened his fist around the province. And that fucking governor went along with it. We eventually found out the governor was contacting the command and telling them, no, no Evac behind our backs. He wanted US Marines dropped off and the civilians put in the helicopters while they secured his villa and offices. His own people were running around trying to arrange Evac, and kept counter-manding him. Then he’d go on the air and countermand them. I kept overhearing conversations I wasn’t supposed to hear.

I can’t describe what it’s like. You’re wearing twenty pounds of gear in helmet and vest, and the sound the bombs make screeching in seems not so much audible as it sensory. You feel it first. You know what sound a bullet makes going through the air? SWWWWWiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiisssssssssssssssssssssssshhhhh. It seems to burrow through the air with an odd slowness, as if it were greasy and that makes it slip through the air. If I were 11 Bravo, I’d have earned my combat infantrymen’s badge, except of course the fact that I’m a woman means I don’t get stuff like that. The way the Army has it set up, it doesn’t matter if you do the job, if you’re a woman----you’re not supposed to do it, so you don’t get acknowledgement if you do.

Holly McNarland
blue skies at war
in the listening room at CURVE CURVE MUSIC

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

BASIC Special Report, January 2004: "Despite unparalleled searching, nothing has turned up and the evidence is overwhelming that Iraq did not have banned weapons at the time that the US and Britain invaded Iraq. The brutality of Saddam Hussein's regime was not an adequate justification for war, and the US and British authorities did not seriously try to make it one until long after the war began and all the false justifications began to fall apart. "

Monday, April 05, 2004

Interview with John Dean, former Nixon aide with Bill Moyer
Reffering to The Bush adminstration, "Clearly, it is an impeach-able offense," Dean says. "I think the case is over-whelming that these people presented false information to the Congress and to the American people."

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