April 26, 2007


Filed under: General,Politics — mmrobins @ 7:42 pm

Here’s another post that I forgot to publish about the Iraq war from Les, my friend in the army.

What has happened to this nation’s ability to become angry? What has happened to our righteous indignation over the death of our Soldiers? Where is the public outcry when terrorists detonate a tank full of chlorine on a crowd of civilians, burning their lungs and subjecting them to a horrible death over next few days as they choke to death on their own mucous? How about when they hack the heads off of our citizens with a blade that is deliberately so dull it takes several swings before it comes off? How about when they lob mortars with a careless disregard and blow up a playground full of kids? Or how about the man who gives a ticking time bomb to a ten year old kid that detonates on him, blowing of his hands and peppering him with shrapnel? I have seen all of these events, and what makes the news, people crying that we should get out. Have we become so cowardly that when evil raises its head we run and hide? It didn’t used to be this way, there was once a time when any one of these would have had people lining up to get the enemy, when crimes like these would not stand before the righteous. The News and the public should be calling for blood and vengeance on the people who would act with such malevolence. Instead of calls for withdrawal, there should be accusations that we have not prosecuted this war aggressively enough. Instead of bemoaning the loss of our service members, we should be kicking down doors in pursuit of those behind their deaths. There should be no question that that those who would dare to harm our citizens will be hounded like the dogs they are. It does not matter why we have gone to war at this point, what matters is that there are evil men here that need to be stopped. If we can longer find righteous anger within ourselves than perhaps “land of the free, and home of the brave,” is the last lament of a dying nation.

March 21, 2007


Filed under: General,Politics — mmrobins @ 6:57 pm

Some more posts from my friend Les Ratcliff in Iraq. I asked before I put his name on these since I didn’t want to get him in trouble. He said

Again these are my personal opinions so I hope they do not offend. Being here has changed my outlook and perceptions. Despite the Jingoist slant on many I must reinforce that I hate it here, I hate being away from my wife, and I hate seeing good men die. However, I would do it again, being here has reinforced for me the feeling that ethics, honor, and duty are more important than any sacrifice I must give. I long to go home, but not at the cost of those who depend upon me, and not at the cost of my honor.

Here’s a post he’s entitled Tigers. Grrr!

There are constant calls at home for a political solution to this conflict, and cries from protestors that violence is not the answer. I would dispute these claims. In an insurgency it is true that military force is not enough to win, however, it is required in conjunction with other efforts. There can be no peace without security, and whomever can provide that security will be able to dictate the terms of the political sentiment. Economic aid, and political pressure will not sway a public under threat, it takes Soldiers on the ground and willing to fight to provide the security that will enable people to concentrate on something other than making it to the next day. To those crying that violence is not the answer, I would answer that in this world there are tigers, and the only thing keeping that tiger from their throats is the Soldier who is willing to fight. Despite all of the rhetoric, there are still those out there with the means and will to take what they want, and no diplomatic or economic package will prevent them from that. Unless you are willing to fight for your beliefs, someone will change them for you. In a world where tigers prowl it takes those willing to go into dark places to keep them out of your backyard.

March 20, 2007


Filed under: General,Politics — mmrobins @ 2:30 pm

Another post from my friend stationed in Iraq.

I was watching the news the other day and saw GEN Pace, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, speaking to wounded Veterans, and he said that they “did not loose an arm, they did not loose a leg, they gave an arm, they gave a leg”. This is an important distinction that is little understood. Everyone talks about how much the war costs and how hard it is on everyone. I would beg to differ. This war has cost the military and their families nothing, we have sacrificed and given more than is measurable, but it still has cost us nothing. Those who do not understand pity us, and say they want to bring us home as soon as possible, we do not want and nor will we accept your pity We are proud of our sacrifices in ways that only those who have truly sacrificed can fully understand. Our sacrifices hurt, and cut deep. Seeing good men give everything, and the pain in their loved ones voices and hearts is a hard thing to bear, but this is a willing sacrifice given for their comrades in arms. We ask for support, especially for those left behind, we ask for compassion, we ask for remembrance, we ask for others to come and share the burden, and most of all we ask for respect. We ask for the means to ensure that these sacrifices are not given in vain. To demean our sacrifices with pity and false support is the worst sort of betrayal to those who have given so much, and will continue to give more.


Filed under: General,Politics — mmrobins @ 2:28 pm

Another post from my friend stationed in Iraq.

One of the greatest displays of courage I have ever seen was exhibited by the soldiers of my battalion on the day of our deployment. Most of these guys are straight out of basic, 18 years old and this is their first experience away from home.

As everyone is waiting for the order to march over to the manifest site, they wait with those close to them. Parents have flown in, sweethearts, wives and children are gathered everywhere. In the background, a football flies and anyone driving by could understandably mistake this for a party or unit picnic. As you look closer you see couples holding each other close and parents still striving to explain what is going on to their small children. Every so often someone finds an out of the way spot to compose themselves as the emotion becomes too much. In spite of everyone’s attempts to remain strong, the sense of loss is already palpable, and as the order comes to move, so comes the courage. All of these soldiers from the old veterans to the newest soldier packs up and marches smartly away when the order comes, leaving behind everything they cherish for uncertainty and danger. It takes a remarkable person to do this and an even more remarkable one to do it with dignity.

It is this experience and courage that no one who is not in, or close to, the military can understand or comprehend. There have been many songs on leaving home and loved ones behind, but in all honesty what do they know. They usually know when the person is coming home and unless there is an act of god, that person will come home, and come home much as they left. These amazing soldiers are setting of for who knows how long and are not even allowed to speak of most of their experiences until they return, and that is if they return. Who knows who will still be here when we return home and how will they be changed. What scars will they bear physically, mentally, and most tellingly, what will be the damage to their spirit. How many relationships will be strengthened and how many will break under the strain. It is into this uncertainty, danger and change that we go, and go willingly that sets the soldier, and those that care for them, far above the regular citizen. I am honored to call these fine soldiers my comrades and at the same time, I am completely frustrated with the outside world’s lack of understanding and unwillingness to help shoulder the burden. The outside world touts their patriotism and says they support their soldiers, but if you want to support them, join up, or if this just is not for you find some other way to render service to your community, nation and those around you. Our nation has too long looked only after itself, and I feel that these Soldiers are one of the last vestiges of our true national spirit that we do not even acknowledge we have lost. I ask that everyone seek to find this courage within themselves and strive to do something that is difficult, changing and at the same time important. Release your secure world and strive to serve a better one!

March 19, 2007

Cost of War

Filed under: General,Politics — mmrobins @ 3:39 pm

A highschool friend of mine is currently serving in the military in Iraq. He had some writings to share and asked that I post them.

I finally have a couple of those blog posts I was talking about. I pulled no punches, hopefully you don’t take offense. Things are going pretty well, aside from boredom. A couple of comments on the war, most of the footage on the news is years old, most of the reporters and politicians who visit never leave the green zone, weapons are coming in from Iran (they killed two of our Soldiers and took the legs from another), and the surge has the bad guys running scared and attacks are down.

Here’s one of his posts.

There is a sharp debate going on in the government and across the country on the cost of this war. The debates are full of experts talking about a losing battle, and the high cost of war. They have no idea of the cost of war and what it means to leave with the job unfinished. The American public, the government and the media have regularly spoken on how much they support the troops and how much the war is costing the nation. The nation has paid next to nothing for this conflict and honestly does not care to. Taxes have not been raised and 99% of the people in the nation do not even know anybody in the military. The highest price they pay is the occasional ugly image on the TV and they cannot even handle that. This conflict has not changed their habits or affected them on any deep level and will not despite their claims. They have not given years of their lives simply because that was what was required of them. They have not spent hours in 120º weather patrolling the streets, they have not missed anniversaries, first steps, births, deaths, and holidays on the other side of the world away from everything they cherish. They have not seen their friends and comrades injured or worked to stop the bleeding as their friend slowly slips away and then had to wash the blood out of the vehicle and go back out on patrol. They have not had to walk up to the front door of a Soldier’s house and tell his wife and children that their loved one is not coming home. They have paid none of the cost of this war and yet they are the ones who cannot handle the cost and want to pull out. To pull out before the mission is accomplished is to tell all of the Soldiers and their families that their sacrifice was for nothing. If this nation can so unthinkingly tell all those who have sacrificed, that the war costs too much, then perhaps the nation we are serving is already dead.