Monday, July 24, 2006

In A Nutshell

After my last post I conversed back and forth with my father about the position I took and whether or not he thought my argument was well thought out. I am not sure if we exactly see eye to eye but for the most part we are on the same page. He wrote this email that follows to me in response to my wanting to post another comment further explaining my point. In a nutshell this is exactly how I feel about things right now.

“You got me. I don't see how this clears up anything that wasn't already clear. I don't see where you can make your point any better than you did. People are either agreeing or disagreeing down party lines. If there's anything you might do, its let it be known what you think about the usual position of the anti-Iraq crowd- that its an illegal war, that we went there for oil, WMD or Bush's daddy, that we ought to be isolationists and nuke people that attack us, etc., etc.

I get so tired of people that can't see that we were attacked because we gave radical Muslims the mistaken belief that we're so soft they could bring us down. WMD, democracy in Iraq, and so on have always been icing on the cake to me. After 9/11, we needed to change course and bring somebody down from the malarial swamp we call the Middle East. I would have been happy, after the Taliban, to have attacked anybody over there- Saddam happened to be my favorite. Our doing just that was brilliant to my mind, then and now. I don't expect things to be easy and Bush, et al, NEVER said it would be. Our showing the Middle East, and indeed the world, that the consequence of thinking of attacking the U.S. is more than you should ever dream of bearing, was NECESSARY and has produced much of the fruit we could have hoped for. I think a big part of the reason that much of the Arab world is being relatively compliant about Israel aggressively defending itself, is that we have convinced the rational Muslims that continuing to oppose us is a bad idea.

We are in Iraq to change the mind of the world that Vietnam was the exception, not the rule, for America. We need to stay not just so the fledgling democracy in Iraq can get a real start, but so that the rest of the world knows that America has the will to defend itself and therefore that to become our enemy is to commit suicide. Peace thru superior firepower is part of it, but we need to demonstrate beyond doubt, that this new idea of asymmetrical warfare against the US is as stupid as taking us on conventionally. There are other potential enemies out there who are studying this war to discover how to undo us. If we are to have much of a future, we need to convince others that they are better off pursuing peace than war against us, and by extension, our friends (i.e. other non-totalitarian countries).

There are lots of radical Muslims left to convince. If we stop this war before we destroy or otherwise pacify most, if not all of them, the swamp will quickly become malarial again. The swamp must be drained. The leaders of Iran, one way or the other, must be brought down. Do that and I suspect the people of Lebanon and Syria will straighten out their countries. If not, we do it for them. After that, there are more in Asia, Africa and South America that need killed. If we take them on one by one, steadily grinding away, I think entire regions of the world will take ownership of the fight themselves, much the same as General Ali has in Qayyirah (or whatever its called). I think far from being a reason to come home, the number of our losses is among the reasons for staying with this fight. We keep figuring out more and more how to fight these guys efficiently, minimizing loss of life. There's a deployment plan that will help keep from burning our forces out and we need to rapidly implement it.

In this real world we live in, there are no options that allow us to solve these problems without some of our people sacrificing their lives. As a society, we should hope these come from our fighting forces. If you're not prepared to do this, then stay out of the military. For those that are, the rest of us need to impress the world with how we esteem and care for our war fighters. You guys should take the place sports heroes have in our society. Little boys should grow up hoping to be soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen, before pursuing other dreams. Those of us who eschew this great calling, should live out our days with regret for only half lived.

I can see no other hope for the world to enjoy some measure of peace and stability. Is there another candidate for dealing with evil in the world that makes any sense?”

I am not sure why he hasn’t started his own blog yet as I think he has a lot of good things to say, but until he does I’ll continue to steal and post his ideas as if they were my own. As far as another way for dealing with evil I can only think of one: create a reality TV show called “Extremist Russian Roulette” and invite six new terrorists on each six week series and tell them that whoever survives until the next week will receive a lifetime supply of cell phones and detonation cord. The last man standing after each series gets to go onto the next series and so on and so forth.


Anonymous said...

Like your game show idea. One suggestion. Don't use any blanks.
All new contestents each week.

Elizabeth said...

Boggs, your understanding of how the Middle East came to be the way it is is faulty. If you would like, I will send you some books on the subject. I would need your address and an idea of what general reading level you prefer.

tfdad said...

Elizabeth, You embarrass me, for as you can clearly discern, I am desparately illiterate. I would have to get back to you on an address once I get home and can find a neighbor to write it down for me. My reading level, I guess, would be the whatever they called the class I was last in. Mrs. Marberry used to read us the funnest stories, and then we'd go to recess.

You're very sweet though to offer.

Susan said...

Hey, a reality show that might make a point! =) Love your dad's thinking!

Anonymous said...

Thanks tfdad for your comments to Tim and for all of your regular comments. You have raised a great son. That is an accomplishment that many so called educated people haven't been able to carry out. Thanks for being a fellow American that we can count on. We mean that. We appreciate your personal sacrifices. We know our comment draw vitriolic comments, but we mean it for nobody but you and your son so we will ignor any propaganda or poison. A&N

Lynnette in Minnesota said...

*cough* *cough* *choke*

Oh God, I just came from your blog Elizabeth.

Juan Cole?

Eliminate all the Palestinians?


I may not agree with everything that Tim's Dad said, but what you wrote on your blog was ridiculous.

Saddam had to go because he was one of the most brutal, oppressive dictators in the Middle East. He was contributing to the stagnation and violence that is the Middle East today by oppressing his own people.

As for why countries such as Saudia Arabia and Jordan are not screaming louder about Israel's and Hezbollah's fighting, that has more to do with their view of Iran.

In short they are more afraid of Iran's influence in the region than they are of Israel's actions. (Again the Sunni, Shia schism.)

But that may change if the refugee crisis gets worse.

tanksis said...

Hey Sgt,

A chip off the ol' block are you now? Now we know where you get your talent with the written word.

You better watch out, Sgt., your dad may be the next big thing and he may steal all female attention;-)

I like your thinking, TFDad. It is quite a sad realization that, despite all the attacks perpetrated against the U.S. throughout the last 25 years or so, there are still so many who are so ignorant to the blatant desire of radical Islam to destroy us and our way of life. You drove the point clearly home--Vietnam MUST be the exception, not the rule.

Thank God there are enough of us who have the will to stand up against the enemy and see this through. Thank God for men like your son, who bear the brunt of this country's burden with honor and determination.
Thanks for the great read.

Sgt., the pressure is on!

Semper Gratus

the dude said...

Tim, I'm not sure you how come to the conclusion that dad and your last post are in agreement. In my opinion, you have "slightly" condraticted yourself by saying you can support the troops but not the mission. Hasn't the fundamental reasoning behind your blog been the uprooting of lies and harmful effects of the MSM? And hasn't it been the MSM who have said you can support the troops, but not the cause?


MissBirdlegs in AL said...

Great post! TFDad, I like your thinking! Thanks for raising such a great son. Tim, I see where you get your talent.

Elizabeth is hitting all the Milblogs trying to educate all 'us ignorant folks'. She doesn't need to learn a thing, of course. Trying to make her understand anything is like trying to nail jello to a tree. Must be nice to be so perfect...


"Draining the swamp"

Tim, your father impressively distilled an entire year of my blog in about half a dozen paragraphs. Needless to say, I couldn't agree more.

It's funny how the people who object the most seem to have the least to lose. They love to use the plural pronoun "we" as well. "We shouldn't be over there!" Don't worry, you're not.

I also love the pseudo-humanitarian streak of the crazies: "No way should 'we' be in Iraq bombing and killing, raping and pillaging... we should just nuke them all instead!" I think that was the essence of "Ian's" comments from your last post.

It's always telling to see how the stateside surrender monkeys view Israel; they think she should simply take their terrorism on the chin, turn the other cheek, and never respond, except of course to offer olive branch after olive branch. Is it any wonder that these same people would have us do the same? Just absorb a 9/11 (or worse) every few years or so, don't rock the boat, and then try and make nice with everyone in the world who doesn't like us. "Why can't we just all get along?"

That seems to be Elizabeth's number. The Rodney King foreign policy. I love how she thinks she's the only one on the web that "reads books." She's not only an imbecile, she's a snob to boot!

It's sad when you can likely name the exact books that someone has read to form their worldview simply from the content of their confused commentary. And she thinks we're the brainwashed masses.

Anonymous said...

Great comments on you site! Buck, how about running for office when you get back. "We", that's two of us, will vote for you! In fact, Miss Birdlegs, we'll vote for you too. Heck, we'd vote for many of your commenters, Boggs.
Boggs & Buck readers

Agnieszka O. said...

I like your dad!
Oh, tfdad if you ever wanted to write someting down I can help you LOL

strykeraunt said...

Even though I agree with Buck, T.F.'s dad, and other commenters who have stayed strong in their opinion that you cannot support the soldier if you don't support the mission, I also feel that I understand where T.F. is coming from.

Granted, I don't know anything about Cher and Ben Steins position because I chose along time ago to avoid most situation where the Hollywood crowd is spewing their version of reality. However, I have experienced an anti-war type first hand that I believe deeply cares about the welfare of our soldier, and has even generously participated in a joint care package to a group of soldiers in Afghanistan.

One of my first encounters with this person position on the war in Iraq and Afghanistan was when my two nephews were deployed in Iraq. She mentioned that she did not support this war at all and wished our soldiers would come home now. My response to her was that even with two nephews in Iraq I supported the mission because I believe it would be disasterous to continue to sit by and do nothing. I told her that even though I would love to have my nephews come home tomorrow, I also understand that their mission is important, and after numerous month with boots on the ground they still believe the mission is right.

I thought I was going to commit my first violence in the workplace when she told me I was horrible, and felt sorry for my nephews because they have an aunt that believes what I believe.

You would think that I would just learn to not bring up this subject again, but noooo. For the last couple of years I have shared some of Michael Yon's articles with her, talked with her about radical islam, share stories told by my nephews after their return. I explained to her my belief that it really doesn't matter who is president, or what foreign policy we adopt, there are people in this world who want us dead simply because we are the west.

When I put together a care package campaign at work to support some special forces soldiers who lost some of their buddies, I asked her if she wanted to participate; and as I mentioned above, she did. To this day I continue to bring up the situation in Iraq, the war on terrorism, and Israel's current conflict. She has softened her stance over the years, and even admitted that it would be a horrible mistake to pull out of Iraq now. She also agrees that Israel really did not have a choice but to take their current action. However, to this day she tells me that she is still anti-war.

Coming out in support of the mission would go against her long held belief that war should never be the solution. However, I do not believe our feeling are that far apart today. We can both agree we hate war, and she has softened her no war at all costs stance. I also believe supports the soldiers because at some level she will never admit, does support the mission.

Elizabeth, why don't you just come out and say where you think T.F's understanding is faulty. What exactly is the faulty part, and what in your superior opinion is correct? Why do you always have to hold this passive agressive, superior being attitude without ever really saying anything at all?

Anonymous said...

I have a feeling that we are all anti war meaning nobody in their right mind would choose was if it wasn't necessary and actually enjoy it. But there is a time when being passive or when negotiating does not work. But when we must fight we also must win. Thank you for your thoughts and we have all known people like you told about I have a feeling.
Thank you. Oh, Mike Yon said he is anti-war in that sense also. Guess you knew that.

strykeraunt said...

Elizabeth, one more thing I want to share with you about the "intellectual crowd."

A couple of years ago, the President made a visit to Fort Lewis in Washington state. During his speech in front of some deployed soldiers' families, the president mentioned a story about an Iragi woman who referred to the Stryker brigade as ghost riders. The next day in an editorial, a professor of middle east studies from the University of Washington said that the story told by the president was doubtful because there is no Arabic word for "ghost" because ghost is not a part of the Arabic culture.

I had heard the ghost rider story from a real reliable source prior to the President repeating the story to the families. I won't go into details but the story is one of a positive nature. Even though I believed the story told by the president was accurate, I posed the following question to a couple of different Iraqis, "can you tell me if there is an Arabic word for ghost." In both cases they responded by telling me the Arabic word. The point of this story (in case you haven't figured it out) is, even the "intellectual" community are capable of complete ignorance. Especially when it comes to disputing positive stories coming out of Iraq, or one shared by the president.

Personally, I will take the word of the average soldier (who has been there, done that) over someone who considers themselves a armchair expert on the subject.

Bag Blog said...

tfdad, I enjoyed your thoughts as I enjoy your son's blog. I see that the apple does not fall far from the tree. I love your sarcasm mixed with humor in your response to Elizabeth. It shows a well balanced mind when you can laugh at some of the comments rather than be offended. I see this in your son too. It has probably kept him on an even keel in times of difficulty. You have done a great job in raising a good man.

T. F. Boggs said...


I think my dad summed it up best. As far as what reading level I can handle that is a whole different matter. I usually just look at pictures and then form my opinions from there. I would appreciate if you could send some books with lots of pics and really large print. Scratch that, just send me books on tape.

Spare me your BS Elizabeth. Take your pseudo-caring ass elsewhere. I am done with you and your Jaun Cole reading lists

Kat said...

"I have a feeling that we are all anti war meaning nobody in their right mind would choose was if it wasn't necessary and actually enjoy it. But there is a time when being passive or when negotiating does not work. But when we must fight we also must win."

And a big AMEN to that.

Kat said...

Oh yeah - forgot to say - Excellent post!

membrain said...

Your Dad wrote; "You guys should take the place sports heroes have in our society. Little boys should grow up hoping to be soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen, before pursuing other dreams. Those of us who eschew this great calling, should live out our days with regret for only half lived."

And boy is he bang on there. I grew up wanting to serve in the Airforce like my Dad. In the end I joined the army because where I was living at the time it was more practical. But the reason I joined is the same: I wanted to serve my country.

I look forward to more posts from your Dad. Thanks again.

MissBirdlegs in AL said...

Boggs & Buck readers: I can't speak for Buck, but I'm not runnin' - FOR anything nor FROM anything! :) Appreciate the thought, though.

...probably haven't read enough books to be able to make a good decision. :)

SalGal said...

Thank you, Soldier

Mamabear said...

America!!! What a country! Dad I gotta love ya!

gypsy said...

tfdad, great insight.

Elizabeth, what's your address? I would like to send you one crisp US Dollar so you can go buy yourself a clue.

As always t.f., sincere thanks to you and my continued prayers for your safety.

The Ugly American said...

Tim another great post as always. Or should I say great post tfdad.

Not sure if you have access to it over there or not yet but I thought you would like to read the speech the Iraqi Prime Minister gave today to a joint session of congress

It sure sounded like a lot of US Presidents when they are at their best to me.

Here is an excerpt:

Thank you. Thank you.

In the name of God, the most gracious, the most merciful, Your Excellency, the Speaker of the House, Mr. Vice President, honorable ladies and gentlemen, members of Congress. it is with great pleasure that I am able to take this opportunity to be the first democratically and constitutionally elected prime minister of Iraq to address you, the elected representatives of the American people. And I thank you for affording me this unique chance to speak at this respected assembly.

Let me begin by thanking the American people, through you, on behalf of the Iraqi people, for supporting our people and ousting dictatorship. Iraq will not forget those who stood with her and who continues to stand with her in times of need.

Thank you for your continued resolve in helping us fight the terrorists plaguing Iraq, which is a struggle to defend our nation’s democracy and our people who aspire to liberty, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. All of those are not Western values; they are universal values for humanity.

They are as much for me the pinnacle embodiment of my faith and religion, and they are for all free spirits.

The war on terror is a real war against those who wish to burn out the flame of freedom. And we are in this vanguard for defending the values of humanity.

I know that some of you here question whether Iraq is part of the war on terror. Let me be very clear: This is a battle between true Islam, for which a person’s liberty and rights constitute essential cornerstones, and terrorism, which wraps itself in a fake Islamic cloak; in reality, waging a war on Islam and Muslims and values.

And spreads hatred between humanity, contrary to what come in our Koran, which says, “We have created you of male and female and made you tribes and families that you know each other.” Surely (inaudible) of you in the sight of God is the best concept.

The truth is that terrorism has no religion. Our faith says that who kills an innocent, as if they have killed all mankind.

Thousands of lives were tragically lost on September 11th when these impostors of Islam reared their ugly head. Thousands more continue to die in Iraq today at the hands of the same terrorists who show complete disregard for human life.

Your loss on that day was the loss of all mankind, and our loss today is lost for all free people.

And wherever humankind suffers a loss at the hands of terrorists, it is a loss of all of humanity.

It is your duty and our duty to defeat this terror. Iraq is the front line in this struggle, and history will prove that the sacrifices of Iraqis for freedom will not be in vain. Iraqis are your allies in the war on terror.

History will record their bravery and humanity.

The fate of our country and yours is tied. Should democracy be allowed to fail in Iraq and terror permitted to triumph, then the war on terror will never be won elsewhere.

Mr. Speaker, we are building the new Iraq on the foundation of democracy and are erecting it through our belief in the rights of every individual — just as Saddam has destroyed it through his abuse of all those rights — so that future Iraqi generations can live in peace, prosperity and hope.

Iraqis have tasted freedom and we will defend it absolutely.

tfdad said...

Thanks to all who offered kind words. Buck, given my esteem for you, nothing gives me more delight than to know you see it the same. (Well, until my golf game comes out of the tank, that is)

My main regret with this whole thing though, is I didn't get a rise out of Praguetwin! Praguie, where are you? I promise to play nice!

Based on the number of comments I have to conclude though, that when it comes to this blogging stuff, the son is the man!


Looks like you get the last laugh, Tim. My unit just got extended for up to 120 more days. And we were already in Kuwait just waiting on the Freedom Bird. Typical Army BS.

Oh, and I came across that Cher interview she gave the Stars and Stripes, and I must say I've changed my opinion on that whole issue of being against the war but for the soldier. As pissed off as I am right now, I can certainly relate to it.

Don't worry, I haven't changed my opinion of the war just because I just got handed a giant shit sandwich to munch on, but if the soldier is always right no matter the war, then no war can ever be wrong, which is clearly illogical. Soldiers can't pick and choose their wars, only do their best with what they're handed. That being said, I can respect people's choice to speak out against the war so long as they hold the actual decision makers accountable, which in most cases it appears they do.

I just happen to believe they are wrong and woefully misinformed on the subject.

Not sure if I'm going to continue on with the blog. I've sort of lost all motivation in light of recent events. Maybe I'll just monopolize your comment section instead, kind of like right now. Much easier that way.

Baghdad or bust,

strykeraunt said...


I am so so sorry!! I read about this possibility with sadness this, and kept hoping the MSM got it all wrong once again. However, there were other hints that suggested they unfortunately had it right this time. It makes sense to me from the standpoint of the type of force your brigade is, but makes absolutely no sense from a moral standpoint. I cannot even imagine the disappointment everyone must be feeling right now. I know that if my nephews would have been extended like that it would have put their moral right in the toilet. And, it seems so much worse when you have made it to Kuwait only to be turned back again. My opinion is that one year is too long, and anything over is just plain wrong!!

Please take care and stay safe. YOU ARE ALL IN MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS.

Anonymous said...

Buck - -We are devistated, heartbroken, which doesn't ease your anguish at all, we know. Why do so few have to fight so hard for so many who will not fight for themselves? Why don't we have a bigger Military so you guys don't have to stay so long in battle? Why aren't there more men willing to fight for their country? Why aren't some countries willing to fight for themselves? Why do we have to fight for a world that would just let terrorists take over rather than face up to reality? Lots of questions Buck. The biggest one is why do we always bend over backwards to give the creeps of the world the benefit of the doubt and all the free speach they want and we punnish the best people, our own. Please keep us informed of what you are doing and how you are, on TFs blog or elsewhere. I guess all we can do from this end is raise hell with people making stupid decisions. You have inspired us to do that. Take care.

Anonymous said...

A devastating day. After hearing your horrible news I received a call from my 20 year old son telling me he is signing papers to join the Army tomorrow. He is determined it is the right thing to do even though they told him up front that he will be going to Iraq after basic. I feel helpless to know what to say to him. What would you tell him Buck? Several of his friends are over there. He has a huge amount of respect for them. He said he has watched them change from goofy teenagers into respectable, honorable men. He wants his life to mean something. He wants to make a difference. Probably those words came right out of the recruiters mouth. Talk about mixed emotions, Buck - -like watching your mother-in-law drive over a cliff in your brand new Jaguar. Do we have to keep smiling? Our thoughts are with you and all those young men over there, many mothers sons.
Neatie of A&N
Also, TFdad - -What would you say to my son. What did you say to your own son?
Thanks Tim for letting us use your blog space. The only reason I didn't ask you is because I know what you would say.

gypsy said...

Buck, damn sorry to hear your latest news. :( Hope you'll at least continue to post here so we know how you and your Unit are doing. Stay safe.

William Eaton's Last Stand said...

"Why do so few have to fight so hard for so many who will not fight for themselves? Why don't we have a bigger Military so you guys don't have to stay so long in battle?"

We as a national average save what tiny percentage of our incomes -- 5%? I'm sad to say, we're just not the sort of people who think much about tomorrow, much less 50 years from now.

I love my country and [in spite of themselves] the people who make it up, but we certainly have ourselves a few cultural glitches which are biting us in the britches right now.

"Why aren't there more men willing to fight for their country?"

Trust me, there's still a few more out there.

T. F. Boggs said...

I heard about your extension before you did I think. WIth the unit at my base that is in your brigade we all saw the impending doom. Sorry man. The funny thing about the military is that you are never home until you touch ground and leave the airport. My first deployment I made it out of country a week before they started keeping people for and extra 3-6 months. They even turned people around mid-air.

I'll be thinking about you and wishing I could be down there with you. It would be nice to see you keep up the blog even if it is only occasionally. If you want you could just email me some material and I'll pass it off as my own.

Welcome back. Mista, mista, do you have cd playa, mp3, digital camera, batteries, water, etc. You're gonna love being here again.

civiliangirl said...


Wait! I just found your blog, you can't stop now! I actually found Tim's first. I've been reading it like crazy, telling all my friends and family about them. Of course I've managed to read all of the subsequent postings after each of Sergeant Bogg's blogs, and that's how I found your blogs & videos. My brother is about to go over for his second tour. Your blogs have helped me feel connected to a part of the world I understood nothing about before. Tim's interview with Ali gave me hope. The titles of your videos alone gave me hope. Please don't stop now.

I heard about an extension of a local woman's son's tour of duty on the radio yesterday (27th of July). If I heard correctly, he is with the 127th… also going to Baghdad. People were calling in all pissed off. Everyone had an opinion. No one was pleased that their loved ones were forced to stay longer in a foreign land fighting a war that most people here don't understand. Some big wig got on the radio and said that veteran soldiers are needed to do the job your about to do.

I'm going to hold onto that statement. I'm going to believe that our seasoned soldiers are needed, and that is why you guys are being asked to stay. Our country NEEDS to continue to be successful, which means we need you and your counterparts to continue on. America needs men like you to give us hope, and continue to show us a soldiers perspective on this war. Please don't lose faith now. Don't give up hope now.

I am truly sorry to hear you won't be home as soon as expected. My heart sunk when I read your entry on Tim's Blog, and now it goes out to you with this sentiment: Hold your head up high, breath deep, and know that a nation on believers is counting on you to soldier on, and we thank you for doing so.

t.h. snure said...

Buck, I just came back here to see any newer comments and saw your news. I too am truly sorry to see it happening to someone I don't know, but have real respect for. I also know that a real professional like you will suck it up and do the job no matter what, and I thank you for that.

As for your son joining up, all I could say in the same situation would be something like this:

"Son (I would actually use his name) I am proud of you. I'll admit I am scared at the same time but the bottom line is I tried to give you the tools to make good decisions and I will trust your judgement here. As I have done with all of the people over there now, I will stand behind you and pray for you - well maybe just a bit more for you than the others - and I will continue to make sure that the government that asked you to do this continues to give you the things you need to do your job".

I'm sure that there would be tears in my eyes the entire time, but when a MAN makes a decision like this especially at a time like this, there is real thought behind that decision. I for one truly am proud of your son and will join the prayer effort to support him as I have with my nephew Tim. In some ways in times like this families beome connected in ways we could never have imagined, and I believe that because of the way you have connected with Tim our families are connected in this very special way.

All of this said, I am very fortunate in that my two children are too young for this (5 and 1) and both are girls. I know that I wll be a basket case if they are called on to make this kind of decision 15 to 20 years from now.

My hope is that men like Tim and your son will make it possible for my kids to grow up in a very different world.


Judi said...

Thank you for your comments and insights! I totally agree! Keep it up and good luck with the interview! (I am an vet myself, and know...)

wes said...

Continue to tell it like it is....we "little" people here in the states...we sit back in the shadows and have great faith in you.....we are not the most vocal, perhaps to a fault...but know we are here...and we support and believe in you and your brothers in arms....WES

b-man said...

Sgt Boggs way to go on the New York Times letter, as a fellow vet i know exactly what you mean, how the media screws everything up and only reports one side of the story, and releases classified information, we were in the chow hall one day waitiing to go out and there we were on the news with a succesfull mission that hadn't even started yet, needless to say our mission wasn't successfull due to the fact that our target had a tv and a sattelite dish enough said,