Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Time Is Getting Short


Leaving the wire one last time



With only three or so weeks left till I return home I am having some of the same thoughts I had at the end of my first deployment. While I am ready to go home and get away from the army for a while I feel a bit hesitant about leaving Iraq. It may sound funny to an outsider but part of me wants to stay here and continue doing my job, although admittedly a smaller part of me wants to stay this time than I did the first time. I suppose the best way to explain my feelings would be to say that I don’t like leaving a job halfway done. I would like to be able to come over here and see through what we came to do till the end but with our forces seemingly committed until at least 2010 I know that isn’t a reality.

Just when we started to feel like we had all aspects of our job down pat the time has come to pick up and leave. Months and months were invested in our training and figuring out our job. Mistakes were made in abundance but now we are to the point where we can seemingly run down the road without problem. Sure we have our minor mishaps but for the most part we are an experienced crew operating as the army wants us too. If a convoy could be a thing of beauty ours are. Okay that last statement might be over the top but you get where I am going.

I guess there in lies the rub with the way the army conducts deployments. In today’s world there would be public outcry if soldiers were deployed to a war zone for years at a time like they were in previous wars (just look at the outcry that followed the announcement about the 172nd Stryker Brigade having to extend a few months). The problem though is that it takes close to a year for soldiers to become completely comfortable with their job. With this war, where no conceivable end is in sight, it wouldn’t be possible for soldiers to remain in theater for the duration. The army must allow breaks for soldiers in order for us to maintain our sanity. However, when an experienced unit leaves their area of operation a new unit must make all the same mistakes again on their own to the disappointment and frustration of the local population. We are pretty much damned if we do and damned if we don’t. Nothing is ever perfect especially in the army, but hey who does it better than we do?

When my unit first arrived in country the unit we replaced made sure we knew not to travel in one particular town where a previous unit had mistakenly killed some people and the whole town turned on them as a result. The actions of the units before us directly affected an aspect of our mission and we had to pay the price as a result of others mistakes. I don’t want to make the case for units staying longer in theater, as I don’t want to have to do it myself, but those who are good at what they do (172nd) pay the price for those who aren’t (101st and 4th ID in Baghdad) which leads to resentment.

Correct me if I am wrong, as I am sure a lot of people will, but from what I have seen reserve soldiers care about the quality of the job they do more than active duty soldiers do. Of course this is a sweeping generality as I have no way of gauging all units but from my personal experience in my little corner of Iraq this is what I have seen. When we arrived in country we were left with a motor pool full of broken vehicles. We had barely just enough vehicles to hit the road with and often had to fix broken down vehicles out on the road. Our maintenance section put in 24-hour days trying to get our fleet back up and working and should be awarded a medal for their hard work that now has us working with almost 100 percent of our equipment. Now that we are leaving we have been working tirelessly making sure the unit replacing us has not only working vehicles, but a clean and orderly motor pool, TOC, trailers etc. Although we sometimes complain about the extra work we have to do that the active duty unit we replaced failed to do for us we realize that the mission must continue after we leave and therefore must do our part to ensure that we don’t screw the new unit like we were screwed.

Okay well I have strayed from my original topic and therefore must apologize to all of my English teachers of the past. So we are counting the days now and are finally in the teens. With only three weeks left I find myself reflecting on the experiences of the past year. When I do so I tend to think only about the good stuff and leave the bad stuff by the wayside. I did the same thing shortly after returning home from my first deployment. For some reason I can never remember all the things I bitched about or hated while in country. Instead the stories that come to mind are overwhelmingly positive. I remember when I was just a FNG trying to find the chow hall, or whatever you people in the real world call the place where you eat food. I remember hitting the road for the first time and looking forward to a year of traveling the roads of Northern Iraq. I always loved doing the things that non-military types never get to do-shooting at stuff while driving down the road, watching stuff blow up on the side of the road, talking to Iraqis about women, and lying down for bed in an open prison in Baghdad watching tracers fly through the air over my head.

When I really give it some thought I think I’ll miss this place. Iraq has been my home for two out of the last three years. I am more at home here then I am in America. I told the story before about last Thanksgiving but I think I’ll do it again because it accurately describes what I mean. Last Thanksgiving I woke up at 4:30 am on the ground in Kuwait after a few hours of sleep and then rolled over and ate my favorite MRE: Cajun Beans and Rice. It seemed perfectly normal to me and I didn’t give any thought about Thanksgiving back home. I wasn’t home sick rather, just looking forward to the day of shooting that lay ahead. Now I find myself worrying about what awaits in America. Will I be able to readjust to college life? Will I remember how to function with regular civilians? When will I learn to stop cussing and looking out for people to shoot? What will I do now that I have to pay for food and gas?

Whatever I face I know it is just a matter of time before I am back to complaining about the things we complain about in America i.e. the weather being too hot, nothing being on TV, and having to pay too much for gas ( at least I think that is what people complain about.)

I am writing this as it is raining outside. The first time it rained here was a day or so after we got here last year. Time to pack up and leave for the last time (fingers crossed!).

48 comments:

JOHN said...

CAN'T WAIT TO SEE YOU GUYS! I'LL TALK TO YOU SOON!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Tim for a truly enjoyable blog. No matter how much we study, how big a library we have, it really only matters what we keep inside of our minds. You can't carry reference books with you always, there may not be others around to remind you of happenings, only the memories are important. They are a part of you now and always will be. You will be a memory for others that you have touched, a part of them. No man is an Island unto himself is very true. Things never change Boggsy...that is, truth never changes...although circumstances do. Good always outweighs evil in memory. God help the man who has never known good. You will do fine when you get home. You will get frustrated and irritated at the same things the rest of us do. You may question, "Why was I fighting to defend this hateful person or that ingrate?" but in truth you were fighting to defend our Constitution, our way of life regardless of the slackards in our country. There are many wonderful people here in America, generous, gracious, honest, helpful people and they will welcome you home with understanding and gratitude. Life moves on for you Tim. May you have a wonderful homecoming and may you always be the bright good person that you are right now. Your blogs will remain a memory to us and will always influence our actions. We love all of you young men and thank you for having a worthy vision and doing a job with honor. Take care whatever road you travel.
Annie & Neatie

Margarita said...

Annie --> Maybe you're scared, I really don't know, but I've noticed your rhetoric heavily laced with the same recurring theme. You summed it up very nicely in Tim's previous post: "...if we didn't have to be politically correct in our war strategy and we weren't fighting with one hand tied behind our backs." And: "if we didn't have so many candy asses walking the streets in other peoples shoes it might be a lot better for you real men fighting for us over there." No, no no! BAD ANNIE! (Let me repeat: NO! NO! NO!) I may be young, but I am not naive to our Country's foundation and our core beliefs. What you are advocating strikes me as frighteningly un-American.

What has our entire system been based on if not tolerance? What has enabled us to flourish if not the belief that every individual (not only Americans) are inherently endowed with the same rights to liberty and freedom? What are we supposed to be fighting for in Iraq?

You abhor our "political correctness" and perceive us as "fighting with one hand tied behind our backs" yet cannot realize this is what makes us BETTER THAN THEM... So, please correct me if I'm wrong here: Are you against our beliefs (i.e. what is in our Constitution)? If not, what did you mean by those statements?

I think that what you have alluded to has in fact come to fruition with the President's signing of the Military Commisions Act. Anyone determined an "enemy combatant" (you and I included; not just "suspected terrorists") will have their rights to Habeas Corpus suspended, and if so applicable (Thanks Alberto!) "'the meaning and application'" of the Geneva Conventions will be subjectively interpreted by the President. This little factoid you can find anywhere, so look it up for yourself if you don't believe me... Anyways, what else do you want? Do you wake up every morning and ask, "How should we shit on our Constitution today?"

Bag Blog said...

Margarita, after saying, “our entire system is based on tolerance” it doesn’t seem like you are being very tolerant towards Annie. Being politically correct is just another way of saying, “do it my way or the highway”. Here Annie gives her opinion of “candy asses vs. real men” and you jump on her about it – not very tolerant of you. If you are going to preach tolerance, it would seem that you should practice it. Tolerate” means 1) to bear up under; endure. 2) To suffer to be done without hindrance; to allow or permit by not preventing. If being “politically correct” is hindering our military, it must not be a very tolerant system.

I am not sure what “system” you mean, but since you also mention our Constitution, I will assume that is what you are talking about when you said, “our system was based on tolerance”. Let’s see, our forefathers decided that England was not being very tolerant. GB was hindering our freedom to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Funny thing, when our forefathers declared this, GB still was not tolerant and someone had to fight and die. It was time for America to quit being tolerant of GB. I bet when the shooting started that there were folks that said, “Wait a minute, we want freedom, but we don’t want to fight for it - those people in GB are our relatives and friends!” Fortunately, there were men who understood what real freedom was and they were willing to fight and die for it. The “candy asses” just got to reap the benefits of those “real men” standing up for freedom. This would make it seem that our system is not based on tolerance, because eventually someone’s views will not be tolerated. Our system is based on laws – some good – some bad. Hopefully, our system works well enough to weed out the bad laws. In the mean time, realize that someone has to be doing the tolerating and someone has to be tolerated. And sometimes someone has to stand say, “that is not to be tolerated any longer.”

Right now, it seems you do not like some of our laws and you are free to speak out (thank real men for that). When Sadam was not allowing weapon inspectors to do their job, and he was firing at our airplanes that were protecting neighboring countries, and he was killing his own people, thank real men for saying, “That will not be tolerated.” Now that real men are boots on the ground fighting for other’s freedom and protecting our own freedoms, it is time to get behind them with your support or be tolerant and quit hindering them.

Tim, Sorry about the length of this comment. Stay safe. I hope you continue to blog when you get home so that we know how you are doing.

Margarita said...

bag blog --> I can understand what you are saying... from your perspective. The question we have to ask ourselves is: "How serious is this 'evil islamic terrorist' threat?" The underlying assumption to your thesis is that "anything goes because the threat is too great." And: It is in the same frame as the Revolutionary War. That seems to be what you're arguing and I think you're way off base.

Back to my point: I'm speaking of tolerance of free speech and individual choices, among other things. "Tolerating" the enemy will not make them go away. We should not "tolerate" being killed or "tolerate" our American values being trampled on. (I feel ridiculous having to clarify that, but I anticipate my words being twisted.)

An American value? We should not "tolerate" our Constitution being HIJACKED and shit upon by our own people either, which is exactly what our President has done by signing away Habeas Corpus, and is exactly what Annie is doing by calling dissenters "candy-asses" and suggesting that America cannot "fight properly" (to paraphrase) because we have our hands tied behind our backs. Does she not mean that our very own Constitution has BOUND us from "fighting properly"?

Annie needs to define herself and what she meant by those statements.

Rakkvet 101 said...

Stay there! American public opinion is being dictated by cowards and morons. Unfortunatly, the masses are all too willing to believe what they are told by the talking heads on television. Shame on us. I bet money you will be ready to go back within 6 months of your return. Anyway, God speed to you Sarge! We are praying for you.

Tim H.

Melinda said...

TFB, so glad to read that you can see the days ticking off on the calendar & that you'll be back within the friendly confines before too much longer.

There.

I hope what I said didn't go too far as I would hate to have to "define myself" to the self-appointed Comment Commando.

It's tiresome, but I suppose I'm always up for the giggle. If I had $1 for every 'enlightened & tolerant' person who 'may be young but' still finds it necessary to lecture everyone because they think so much of themselves they wrongly assume EVERYONE deserves to bask in their glow...I'd be in the top tax bracket by now.

You've been doing good & important work. Finish strongly!

Anonymous said...

You are clever Melinda. Do you want me to define "clever"? And can you tell me what you meant by "finish strongly"? Bit ambiguous I'd say.(did I spell that right? am big u ass) Maybe Tim knows.
In horse racing it might mean a sudden burst of speed at the finish line Or.....
I like your spirit Melinda!

tfdad said...

Margarita,

I didn't fully appreciate your comments until I checked back to your two blogs and understood the great sacrifice you are making on our behalf to enlighten us. You have not posted on your blogs since August 13! Bless you for putting us first. I feel bad that for my sake you have foregone the opportunity to write at the depth and creative level you are so obviously capable of. To think of all the commenters you might have at this point, if you invested only a fraction of the effort into your own blog! I want to weep when I see that for my sake no one has felt compelled to dialogue with you on any of your 8 postings (on both 1)Essays and 2)Candidly Conceited). It is apparent that you have saved your best for us, to the great detriment of your personal blog(s) and I for one am deeply, deeply moved at your unvarnished selflessness. I think I speak for many (and for the obviously illiterate among us, someone must) when I say, "We aren't worthy!"

Now that we have come to depend upon you for your youthful but sage understanding, please don't leave us. You are an example to us of what we could be if only we too, had eyes to see.

Anonymous said...

You are the best Sgt. Timothy Boggs! Great blogg! Can we have another? Stay safe and finish strong. If you tell us where you are coming in home we will organize a welcoming party. A Western tradition, the welcoming party..

Anonymous said...

Uhhh...Tanks fer speking fer us less voical comenters Dad. We litle peple kned al the hep we kin get and Margerida usses two meny bigg werds fer us but u maid it al reel clere fer us. U ar aprecsiattiad ed....ushh good.
ure frend:
annie

tfdad said...

That's OK, Annie. Glad to do it. Say, you get the latest from W's picturebook-of-the-month club? I knew "My Pet Goat" had to be good, but I didn't know it would be so hard. Did you?

Adriel said...

Stay safe these last few days Sergeant - God bless and God speed on your way home.

Anonymous said...

Ditto, Tim. Stay safe, and God speed on your way home.

I'm a relative newcomer (July) to your blog, but have occupied myself today by reading the archives. I wish I had read them sooner, because there was so much excellent material in them. You've been reading some great columnists and some great authors! C. S. Lewis is one of my favorites as well. You have so much to offer and I hope that continues when you are back in the States--and that you post some of those thoughts where we can continue to enjoy them.

I enjoyed Annie and Neatie's comments, but especially their observation that truth never changes, although circumstances do. That thought will see you through a lot of transition back into civilian life when you get home.

Thank you from all of us for TWO tours of duty, and the sacrifices you have made to be there. Well done!

Clare

Anonymous said...

Go slooow TFDad. This is Annie you are talkin' to....remember? What the heck is W's picture book of the month club? Yeah, goats are hard okay. That's why we gave um up and are working with sheep now. What the heck are you talking about Dad?

BUCK SARGENT said...

Godspeed, Tim my friend.

Oh, plus I hate you. I'll talk to you when I get out of here in 2010.

Pound some more pints in my honor,

Your brother in arms,
Buck

Margarita said...

tfdad,

Kudos to you if you actually read my blog. To be honest I didn't create them to be commented on, but made them for myself and my fiance because he wanted to read some of my papers. Thanks for taking a looksee anyways, your dripping sarcasm duly noted... ;)

I'm still waiting for Annie to get back to me though... my questions over her seemingly traitorous statements shouldn't be too difficult to answer.

Anonymous said...

You are weird Margarita.
Annie

gypsy said...

LOL tfdad, spot on.

Our dear t.f., how very happy I am to read that you are now getting short. So many of my friends and my cousin (Marine reservist) have stated similar feelings. Know that for now you've done your part, and we're so very proud of you!

Hopefully you'll continue to blog now and again, as Annie so clearly stated (gee, I never have a problem understanding her...but I digress) you have touched the lives of so many people and my guess is they'll be better for the experience.

Keep yourself safe. If you get through the Windy City I owe you multiple adult beverages. (Since you're drinking for Buck too.)

Tracie said...

SGT, I thank you so much for your hard work and dedication. Please stay safe. I so enjoyed reading your blog. You WILL adjust to being back among "familiar" territory although obviously you'll never forget what you've experienced, good and bad. Take care.

Susan said...

I hope you will keep blogging so we can find out the answers to those questions. Thanks for being there . . . twice.

Margarita said...

How are we being "politically correct" with our war strategy and how are our hands tied behind our backs?

You said it, not me, so I'm just asking what you meant by it...

membrain said...

Tim what you have done here on this blog is create a record of an historical event, live from the front lines that, if anyone at the Pentagon has any brains will be incorporated into course material at Westpoint.

Thanks again for sharing it with us. I wish you all the best in the future.

membrain said...

I forgot to mention. That picture you posted is stunning. It's a work of art.

Melinda said...

Membrain, I was thinking the same thing about Tim's photo, but neglected to mention it in my earlier comment. Someday, when you put them all together in a slideshow, be sure to send us the link!

MissBirdlegs in AL said...

Terrific post & smashing photo, tf! You must keep posting after you redeploy, or I'll have to try to adopt Annie & tfdad! Thinking seriously about adding Melinda to the list ("comment commando" LOVE it!). Sure do appreciate your help, tfdad, 'cause I didn't get much past "See Spot. See Spot Run" :) That may be older than the lot of you. I read that in 1st grade.

Thanks and Safe travels, Sgt. Hope to hear from you on the flipside!

Mamaworecombatboots said...

Boggsy,
(I can call you that 'cause I'm a Boggs too...) Keep your head in the game 'till you're on the plane ok? You'll do great. Your experiences are those that build character and so don't have a lot of weight on a resume, but are heavyweights in real life. Best wishes & God Bless.

Anonymous said...

Yes Tim, youmust keep us updated when you get home. We have all grown quite attached to you. I think it would be fun to have a welcome home Tim party! Margarita is not invited.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Timothy Boggs for all your truthful, insightful infomation. We shall continue to pray for you, as well as your fellow soldiers.

I hope you will continue to keep us updated when you get back in the states. Thanks again for serving us.

T. F. Boggs said...

I will continue to blog in some fashion or another when I get back home. I'll be sure to include the answers to life's questions as well so don't worry there. I am sure everyone is waiting to here what life is really like from a 24 year old. Stay tuned and thank you for the well wishes.

Anonymous said...

You'll be home soon, dear friend, and I know your adjustment to civilian life will be smooth and successful, for many reasons but mostly because you have a wonderful supportive family, whose values of courage, honesty, faith, commitment, love of country and love of family and love of God are deeply ingrained in you.


When you get home, Have a beer, listen to some great blues with your dad, have some of moms home cooking, hang out with your bro...and start DATING :>)

Thank for your service and your sacrifices. I am eternally grateful and America is truly blessed to have a son like you.

God Bless...and God Speed on your journey home.

Stay safe!

Margarita said...

This goes for everyone, not only Annie: if you cannot defend or explain your comments then shut your fucking mouths. Quit making statements if you cannot back them up when someone asks for clarification.

I refuse to have morons dictate or influence the lives of MY loved ones in this war.

A FEW here have made some valid points, (Will Eaton comes to mind) but you, Annie, have contributed NOTHING of substance. You're a good cheerleader and that is all. (We need them too.) Continue doing that and let the adults have their grown-up conversation.

Now, this is something I want to share: If none of ya'll read anything else, read this piece by Pat Tillman's brother, (a fellow soldier)...

My favorite part:

"Somehow we were sent to invade a nation because it was a direct threat to the American people, or to the world, or harbored terrorists, or was involved in the September 11 attacks, or received weapons-grade uranium from Niger, or had mobile weapons labs, or WMD, or had a need to be liberated, or we needed to establish a democracy, or stop an insurgency, or stop a civil war we created that can’t be called a civil war even though it is. Something like that."

tfdad said...

Margarita, I'm pretty sure this is the last time I'll acknowledge your existence but just a thought-

If you want grown-ups to take you seriously, besides making sure your statements somehow are reality based, why don't you refrain from being a juvenile potty-mouth?

Really. You're going to have to make your way in the civilised world someday; which you'll find is different from the rarefied world of academia you've been living in. When you get there you'll find that you'll get farther if you learn to talk in a way that isn't an embarrassment to your family. I'm assuming of course, that your family doesn't talk like soldiers day in and day out.

Affectionately,

Steve Boggs

Anonymous said...

If you could only focus your hate on the enemies of our country as well as you do on Annie you might be a benefit to society. This is not Annie. I'm the anonymous who isn't going to invite you to the party, just in case you were giving the credit for that to Annie too. I agree that you are the self appointed "comment commando".

Anonymous said...

Lean to the left....Lean to the right...stand up....sit down...fight fight fight!
Rah Rah Sis Boom Bah.
Give me a B...
Give me an O...
Give me a G...
Give me a G...
Give me an S...
What does that spell?...
Boggggggs!!!!! Yeah Boggs!!
Boggs Boggs
He's OUR man...
If he can't do it...
No one can..
Gooooo Boooooggs!!!!
signed....Guess Who??

Anonymous said...

Margarita,

As a relative newcomer to this blog, I have not followed your posts for very long, so perhaps I shouldn't address the post you just made. But here are some observations.

It is obvious that you have very strong feelings about the Iraq war, that for the most part differ from the majority of those who post here. Using inflammatory, derogatory and IMHO unfairly inclusive language about those with whom you disagree, peppered with profanity, is not generally the engaging way to enter a debate.

The article you suggested we read was written by Pat Tillman's brother. I grieve over the loss of his brother, and especially in the manner in which such a fine young man and soldier died. It was without question, a tragedy. But if I were looking for an objective point of view to validate my point, I would not choose someone who is obviously still in a stage of painful, fresh grief and struggling with the resulting emotions.

I don't believe there are people on this blog who are pro-war, or as you called them "bloodlusting lunatics". However, it doesn't take much of an understanding of human nature, and of history, to understand that war is a consequence of flawed, finite human beings.

Robert E. Lee once said, "It is well that war is so terrible--we should grow too fond of it." Sgt. Boggs has seen many things in Iraq I am sure he wishes he hadn't.

However, regardless of your political perspective, there have been POSITIVE things that have happened in Iraq. In large measure they have not been reported. I believe Sgt. Boggs has made that clear as well.

Back to Robert E. Lee, when asked in 1866 about his perspective on the Civil War he said, "It will be some time before the truth can be known and I do not think that period has yet arrived." Any historian would tell you the same. Our position in the present puts us in the position of forming opinions that are limited in scope. Fifty years from now, one hundred years from now, those looking back will have a far clearer picture than we do about this debate.

I do not believe that anyone has taken entering this war or the cost of its casualties lightly. Neither do I believe the sweeping statement that most of America agrees with you. This is far too complex an issue for such a sweeping statement.

Clare

Anonymous said...

Amen, Clare.

Melinda said...

Thank you, Clare. Well-reasoned, mature tone and not one F-word in the entire comment.

As should be evident by those who post here, there are lots of us with "loved ones" in this war or who could be called at any moment to become one. However, if we choose to stamp our feet, hold our breath and use curse words, we post it on our own blogs rather than adversely possessing someone else's spot.

I think the elder Mr. Boggs has the best idea I've read in awhile. And, yes, you are very correct, sir. The real world is much different than that where academics reside. Some of us who lived there were able to keep our wits about us while others, sadly, never had the wits at the start or quickly lost them...maybe it's all the chalk dust?

At any rate, SGT Boggs, I do hope you continue to share your thoughts, opinions and stories of those who will be where you are very soon. It is an invaluable service to those of us looking for a BOG, unvarnished perspective. The disparity between a viewpoint of a 24-year-old in your shoes & others is painfully obvious even here in your own comment section. Your perspective is one I eagerly wait to read. If I want the other, I can go hang out on campus.

Anonymous said...

Hey I am new to this blog and I like ur writing a lot Boggs.I also like some of the comments people leave.

I have been reading some of these comments though and I like Neatie and Annie's comments.Margarita....what can I say ur a very good critic that is if u dont like people who tell the truth like Neatie and Annie.

You need to keep your mouth shut and keep ur thoughts to ur self.I am 13 and I can see the truth.I have friends parents that were in Iraq and I know what they went through.

If u criticize me for being a kid then ur a pathetic loser that needs to get a life and quit watching blogs all day. Maybe ur in college but u know what? I dont care because i know I'll always be smarter and nicer than u will ever be.

Signed,
Tyler

P.S. good blog and get home safe Boggs

DoubleTap said...

Tim,
I'm a soldier stationed near you (or possibly on the same FOB). I first saw your blog when I ran across your post about General Ali. I disagreed with your assessment of him, but that's not important.
I, like you, am going home very soon. Good luck in your future travels.
(You can visit me at rightwinginfidel.blogspot.com. I didn't get into blogging until just recently, but have been making up for it with a fervor.)

gypsy said...

Hey Margarita, here's a news flash...this isn't YOUR blog.

In simple terms that you can (should) be able to understand that means you don't get to dictate anything here.

Margarita said...

Okay, okay guys, just continue attacking my language--you're only deflecting from my questions. Your tactics are painfully transparent.

Let me preface by saying that I USED TO BE a huge cheerleader for the Golden Rule which is why up until now I've watched my language and been relatively civil. I apologize for being offensive in these highly offensive times. Using hard language and hurling personal insults seems to be the only way to get through to people these days. Also, I'm tired and frustrated of always being the "fair one" and playing nicey-nice when no one else does. Just where has the Golden Rule gotten me here?

Let's get to the REAL MEAT now; I live in fact-based reality and ya'll would prefer me NOT to be right but I am. We need a new strategy and we need new leadership. For that to happen, we do not need a mindless or apathetic electorate but an informed one. Let's start having real debate. I define my terms when asked, so you must define yours. I have given everyone that courtesy here and now it is your turn. I, for one, refuse to be scared by this ever-"growing terrorist threat" and have my morality and American values compromised for "my safety". Ignorance kills, and by forestalling this debate you are killing America.

Clare, anyone can pick up a newspaper and see the latest polls. (And I do not care for a President who refuses to listen to our voices--he works for US, not the other way around, and majority rules. Cheers for Democracy.) Yes, America is on my side and yours is a dwindling minority.

I say all this not to rub it in your face but to point out there is majority rule for a reason. Shame on you for not giving the masses enough credit! Historically that has been a rather elitist position. How ironic is it that you accuse me of being the same way?

On that subject, I find the widespread anti-intellectualism on this comment board astounding. You forget quickly that if were not for the great minds of Locke, or Paine, or Jefferson we wouldn't be where we are today as a country. Oh yeah, they totally epitomized what is AMERICAN MORALITY, in all of it's thinking and feeling and spiritual incarnations. To be a thinking, "enlightened" individual today has been bastardized by your politicos. All are at fault, not just the ruling party; Republicans, Democrats, whoever, they have us all by the strings and fighting like rabid alley cats.

The real debate: how our democracy is being decimated and swept out from under us. It is not "how much more I support the troops" compared to you, or "who's side you're on" (although I have engaged in these futile arguments in the past, they've obviously gotten us nowhere) but our collective goals as a country. This comes down to defining your terms... How is Annie telling the truth? What does she mean by "being hindered by the p.c. crowd" and "fighting with our hands tied behind our backs"? She may respond herself, but ya'll seem to know her so perhaps you can tell me...

Anonymous said...

Margarita,

I read newspapers and I read polls. They do not determine my views, nor do they determine their validity. The newspaper in my city holds views very similar to yours, as does the main stream media. While I hear and read what they have said, I choose to disagree. So have many others. Because they disagree does not make them ignorant or anti-intellectual, or mean that they have a lack of facts. There are brilliant, thoughtful men and women on both sides of this issue. I can respect that your views are different from mine and not assume that you are ignorant or have not read or studied the issue. Can you do the same? There are people who live in "fact-based reality," who read, think and research who have come to different conclusions than yours.

Because the polls seem to indicate that many agree with you does not make it fact. Many believed the polls indicated John Kerry would be president now. He isn't. Obviously either the polls were mistaken, or the people who responded to them did not go and vote.

I respect my President. I do not agree with every view he holds or every single thing he has done, but I respect him as a person and I respect his office. I believe he hears you; he just doesn't agree with you. There is a difference. I'm wondering what makes you believe that he is obligated to follow majority opinion. Sometimes the right course of action is not popular. I don't elect an official to puppet my opinion, I vote for them to govern to the best of his/her ability based on the information he/she has available.

Have we really come to the place where we (stooped to) have a "my side," "your side" mentality in America? Is that productive in any way? Do you believe that Iraq is such a simple issue?

No one is going to win this contest of who is "right." As I mentioned in my last post, that will not become clear for another 50-100 years. We may debate the topic, we may have our own conclusions, we will continue to have debate but history gets the final say.

To say that this is an ignorant, anti-intellectual blog is a bit presumptive, isn't it? As I mentioned before, I am a newcomer, and have not followed the debate up to now. But because someone on this blog doesn't agree with me does not automatically mean that they have not given thought and research to their view.

Many great thinkers made America what the nation is today; the list is not limited to Locke, Paine or Jefferson. I am not saying that to discredit their contributions to our thought and legacy, I am just wondering why you singled out those three. What do you think we forgot?

I guess I am not sure what you think the debate in this forum is going to accomplish? I would much rather return to discussing things more specific to the blog itself. Tim has much of value to say and contribute, and I have really enjoyed reading it.

Clare

T. F. Boggs said...

Doubletap,
Yes I do know you and we are at the same base. We have talked on several occasions but it was strictly business. I'll tune into your blog from now on now that I know you have one. Good luck going home.

Anonymous said...

Clare
It is really a waste of your time to try to explain anything to margarita. She doesn't get it. That 13 year old kid had more sense than she does. We think you are cool, Clare, though so keep commenting. We dub thee "Cool Clare"

Neatie

SP/4 Maddog said...

The useless bunch of P*****s did the same thing to us in Vietnam. We won EVERY battle but lost because a bunch of crybabies back home got "tired" of war. Hell we FOUGHT the effing war and we weren't tired!
America is doomed unless its people develop a set of cajones.

Frank J. Ames said...

Dear Sgt. Boggs, Thank you for your service and very well written blog about the real conditions in Iraq. Welcome home and bless you and your family.

Frank J. Ames, Rockledge, Pa.

Joe Muster said...

If you want to get the truth, find a guy that has some dust in his ears and some brains in his skull. Thanks for telling it like it is. You have our gratitude for keeping us safe. Carry our flag high for us. Thank you!