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It's a good thing we're communicating by written words now rather than spoken, because there's a helicopter parked about 50 yards from me, still running, an ambulance next to it with a guy on a stretcher in between. It's loud - but it's also dark out right now so I can't see if it's an American on that stretcher or an Iraqi. Whoever it is they're on their way out now.
It's gone. That's better - it's much quieter. Quiet is better because you can hear the incoming rockets.
Trivia test 1: Which of the following is an actual quote from Interim Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi regarding the insurgents in Fallujah on the eve of the assault?
A: "The insurgents have known for months that we're coming - go ye now forth and wound them, then patch them up and make them promise to stop killing children, and beheading people, and shooting Iraqi aid workers. Make them say "I'm sorry" for the atrocities they committed in the name of Saddam Hussein too. Ensure they are sincere, accept nothing less than pinky swears, and then and only then let them go in peace. Remember, we are in the business of winning hearts and minds!"
"Pinky swears! Pinky swears!" Chanted the wildly enthusiastic soldiers. Allawi replied: "Hearts and minds!"
B: "The people of Fallujah have been taken hostage ... and you need to free them from their grip," Allawi told Iraqi soldiers on Monday during a visit to the main U.S. base outside Fallujah.
"May they go to hell!" the soldiers shouted. Allawi replied: "To hell they will go."
It may surprise many of you that the correct answer is 'B'. But in fact it's the only answer. And there's no "third way" in between the two. Armies function on an "on/off" switch - those who would have it otherwise are fools.
Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly...
Donald Sensing (who I'm overjoyed to see blogging again) has a great post on the likely fate of the Marine from Fallujah. I don't need to say which Marine, do I? I don't think I need say more than the Reverend on that topic at all.
I don't have time for TV here, so I rely on internet sources for information. A check of the web's major mainstream news sites shows very little banner coverage of the shooting in Fallujah. Guess it's a TV moment - lacking video the story just isn't big. That and the fact that it happened on the wrong Tuesday in November. It must be huge on TV though, cause the blogs are sure all over it, making it out to be the biggest story since last week, when Fallujah was attacked and Jihadis everywhere declared they would destroy us all.
I can see why it would be big on TV, especially big screen American TVs; a group of men enters a room occupied by other men who'd very recently been trying to kill them. Not just any room - it's a room in a place of worship, although it's sanctity has been defiled by those same shooters. Now they lie prone, the fight apparently taken out of them. Still all those men walking in are ready to shoot - they know this enemy too well - and now one in fact is shooting. Each is doing his job, it's that simple. Simple but intensely compelling, a riveting situation, to say the least.
A professional knows his business and does it well. I wasn't in that room - I wasn't in that town - but I trust those who were did what they had to do. I won't second guess them. He had to shoot, don't you agree? It was his job. The military sent him in, sanctioned his actions, flipped the "on" switch, so to speak. That's the price you pay for freedom - ugliness on the edges, sometimes thrust into your dining rooms. I'm on that edge - or at least most likely closer than you - that's the price I pay for freedom. You just have to look at it from time to time from your safe place in the center, and comment on it if you're so inclined.
In spite of all this - the fact that none of us were there but this guy was, and he was doing his job that was sanctioned by military command and control authority - in spite of all this an amazing number of people are eager to condemn him for the shooting.
Trivia test two: I'm talking about
A. A Marine shooting an enemy in combat.
B. Kevin Sites shooting video.
C. All of the above.
Welcome to the ugly edge of freedom, where evil is real and nobody hates us today who didn't hate us yesterday.
Trivia 3: Which side's soldiers died in Fallujah while defending freedom of the press?
Don't betray their memory.
Damn - it's late and there's another helicopter. No problem, I sleep through that noise all the time.
Good night America, sweet dreams to you all.
I think the story is dying down, hopefully. The anti-war crowd and media are trying to milk it, but I think they even realize that this will go against their "Support our troops, but not the war" mantra. Also, Bill O'Reilly said he'll make sure that the Marine isn't thrown to the wolves, or else he'll...launch a Fox News Jihad on.... someone important, somewhere. So not to worry.
Of course to get a real perspective on events you need to turn to Hollywood, next weekend is the opening of Oliver Stone's blockbuster Alexander (of Macedon), starring the Irishman Colin Ferrell. Of course, Alexander marched across Asia Minor destroying armies and cities, including Babylon (Iraq), without a UN mandate. But the real important lesson of Alexander is that...well he was gay (i.e. sensitive) and thus worthy of our praise and admiration.
So, if you happen to see slightly effeminate togo-clad conqueror in the neighborhood, be sure to say hi (boyfriend too) and get a picture. Just watch your back(side) ;)
Read the Poweline Blog & everything on RealClearPolitics about the Marine JUST PROTECTING HIMSELF & OTHER MARINES, which pretty much seems to be the concensus, even among several of the MSM types. Amazing huh, when all of the FACTS, or @ least most of them come out, & you don't have the prejudicial comments of the "reporters" and nightly news BS'ers running in the background. Still way too many of them A-hole types around, though. And the internet is now my most "trusted" source for news now. Keep doing what you are doing Mr. & Mrs. GREYHAWK, this AIR FORCE BRAT (former), still wishes you the BEST, and many more.Posted by ThomasAgee at November 19, 2004 07:09 PM
"Can't help lovin' that Greyhawk of mine....."Posted by Gail at November 19, 2004 07:26 PM
On the Fallujah Marine, only one person was present when the first US unit entered the mosque, treated wounded, then left, and when the second unit entered and encountered the wounded enemy belligerents - - Kevin Sites. He is heard on tape stating "these are the wounded that were never picked up". Sites claims the earlier Marine unit said that soldiers coming up behind them would evacuate the wounded, while they moved on to fight the war.
The only version of events we have is from Kevin Sites, a known anti-military, anti-US policy in Iraq "journalist" who has been rooting around for some controversy regarding our soldiers during the past year. I have been following his dispatches, and there is a distinct anti-US policy bias in the tenor of his reporting, and the things he emphasizes and repeats.
If trying to be an impartial observer, Sites should have stood back and let the other soldiers on the scene determine whether further reporting up the chain was necessary. It was not his place to report to the soldier's chain of command and suggest they investigate the tape. He is a danger to every soldier within a 100 yard radius of him. As I've said elsewhere, he is not fit to walk among these brave US Marines.
So we didn't airdrop baskets full of cute and adorable little kittens to see if the insurgents would be encouraged to change their ways? Or would that be a war crime of some sort? ;)