Monday, October 26, 2009

Interesting opinion piece

I saw this opinion piece on the Early Bird News that came out of the New York Times and I thought it was a very interesting discussion about what can be done back in the US during these conflicts.

The country is not be asked to sacrifice like it did in WWI, WWII, or the Vietnam war. Nothing is really be asked of the common citizen and unless you know somebody deployed, neither Iraq nor Afghanistan really affects the average citizen.

In my opinion the State Department should do more, or at least expand. The military can't do things on its own as we saw in Iraq from 2004-2007. A lot of it was the politics of the time, but a civilian force who comes in after major combat has ended would go a long way to help stabilizing a country.

I also like that the authors mentioned that those fighting the wars are seen as victims. They are not, they are warriors who have chosen this profession.

We may gripe a lot about being sent to Iraq and Afghanistan, but at the end of the day we did volunteer.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Another update on what is going on...

So what exactly am I doing here in the Diyala Province?

Stepping on "cultural landmines" apparently.

Pretty cool that I made it into Stars and Stripes. Better circumstances would have been nice but I'll take what I can get.

I was taken out of context. Nothing I said upset them, it was a mistranslated slide that got the Iraqi Security Force officers upset. A slide translated by a very bitter Chaldean I might point out. The meeting also did not abruptly end, it lasted another hour or so. Everyone chatted afterword and I meet most of the leaders quite often and none of them really took offense. They understand we suck at translation.

Overall it's a good read and highlights some of what my squadron is doing out here in Diyala.

But if civil war or ethnic cleansing breaks out, go ahead and blame me. I'm currently figuring out ways to offend everyone next meeting.

Landmine 2 signing off...