Day of Rest, Day 2

Woke up late, around noon. Got dressed. Walked over to sign up for one last venue before leaving Qatar. Bought coffee and sipped it while I waited in line. I wanted to get on either the water sports trip, offering jet skis, water-skiing, etc., or the Dhow cruise, a laid back ride with swimming. When I got to the front of the line, the only thing available was the Desert Safari, a ride into the desert in four-wheel-drive vehicles, with a stop at the beach to swim at the Inland Sea.

After I signed up for Desert Safari, I checked e-mail and called home again, then went to the pool, where I swam, read, and napped. (Like I needed more sleep?) Then I headed to Chili's for dinner, a large mushroom-and-swiss burger, cooked rare, with fries. I devoured every last juicy/fat-laced morsel. It was more food than I had eaten in one sitting in months. I was stuffed and wished I could have washed it down with a beer, but Chili's didn't serve.

On to the bar. I met up with a group of guys I met on the tour of Doha and exchanged more stories. Once we each reached our max drink limit we made plans to meet at the same bar again the next night, after we returned from our respective trips.

I caught the bus home and realized the next day would be the last in Qatar before my flight out to Iraq. Time had flown by, much faster than it had while in Iraq and working. Time flies when you're having fun.

--Written 6/16/2006

By Bert Stover |  June 25, 2006; 9:12 PM ET  | Category:  4 Day R&R Pass, Qatar
Previous: Trip to Doha, Qatar, Day 1 | Next: A Day at the Beach, Qatari-Style


Please email us to report offensive comments.

Bert, I'm so glad that you were able to take a break from life in Iraq and could relax a little - leaving "Ground Hog's Day" for a while. I hope as many soldiers as possible are able to take advantage of a four day pass. You all deserve that and much much more.

We keep praying for you guys and can't wait until you all get to come back home. Stay strong!

Posted by: wife of a 2-224 pilot | June 26, 2006 08:48 PM

Happy you were able to get away from "it" for a while....only 4 days, but you will be refreshed in ways you don't realize! Continuing to keep you/your Unit in our prayers....focus with a renewed mindset!! Praying for God's protection over you!! HE is faithful!!

Posted by: Mechanic's Mom | June 27, 2006 10:14 AM

Hey, haven't seen you in awhil. Hope everything's going well further east. E-mail me at if you get a chance. I have some questions!

Posted by: Katie Burns | June 27, 2006 01:15 PM

Bert, Maybe you should go back to your civilian life, the military just seems to hard for you. You complain about a lot of things in Iraq. Heres a little reminder, YOU ARE IN A WAR ZONE. You are taking two passes while other spend twice as long there as you and dont get one. You complain about laundry, at least you get your laundry done and dont have to wash it by hand. You hope you get to move into the living quarters. What would you do if you had to actually stay in a tent with no AC? Just two short years ago thats what some had to do in Iraq. You are trying to get internet in your living space. Big deal, go to the internet center like everyone else. You complain about walking through the dust coming back from the shower and have to wash you feet again. What about the grunt on the ground who doesnt have the chance to shower daily? Let me guess whats next, the foods not good enough for you? Did they over cook your steak. Try eating MREs for a few weeks. I guess your main concern is for yourself. If you ever happen to look and see how bad things were in Iraq not to long ago and how bad some still have it maybe you would try to find something positve about your time in Iraq instead of all this whining and crying you are doing now. Suck it up and stop being such a baby.

Posted by: Bert is a whiner | June 27, 2006 02:51 PM

"Bert is a whiner" doesn't know the difference between reporting and complaining. "Mechanic's Mom" thinks that God is a "He," and that "He" chooses sides in the idiotic human activity known as war.

Whatever. Bring the troops home now.

Posted by: | June 27, 2006 08:56 PM

Army tours are a minimum of at least one year in country. Most National Guard tours are around 18 month deployments. Centcom policy as I understand it, is that each soldier, if possible due to duty position, gets an R&R leave and then the pass or passes. I know that commanders all but have to let a soldier have these passes or the long leave. "Bert is a whiner", you are wrong. He is just reporting his experience there. He is well aware that other Soldiers and Marines have it much worse than him. He supports them every day in his job. I know for a fact that he is always the last one to whine about that, or anything else for that matter. God bless them all and their safe return.

Posted by: Get it right | June 27, 2006 10:36 PM

Good on you Bert for all your communicating of your life experiences while in Iraq. It is great to get an insight into a serving soldiers thoughts and feelings while in the War Zone, we in Australia support you,(those that don't, have no clear insight to the necessity of the American Alliance)Keep up the good work, Hoping that you return to the States safe.

Posted by: Sam | June 28, 2006 06:54 AM

The person calling Bert a whiner previously posted the same comment on Bert's Qatar Day 0 posting. He didn't get a response, so he reposted it here. Seems to me like he is the whiner. Bert is a winner.

Posted by: L | June 28, 2006 08:29 AM

The person who wrote "Bert is a Whiner" is a moron!!! Take care Bert and you and the rest of the 224th are in our prayers. Be safe and can't wait for all of you to come home!! Good flying!

Someone who cares

Posted by: | June 28, 2006 10:06 AM

"Sam" is not telling the truth about Australian support for the occupation of Iraq. Most Australians, like the vast majority of human beings, oppose the US war in Iraq. Indeed, like citizens in virtually every one of the "coalition" countries. they oppose their government's participation.

In March 2005, a Roy Morgan poll found that 53% of Australians wanted to "bring our forces back to Australia" while 44% wanted to "continue to fight in Iraq." In the same poll 51% said that Australia should not have a military presence in Iraq, up from 46% in April 2004. The March 2005 poll also found that 63% disapproved of the government's decision to send more troops to Iraq.

These numbers coincide with a Lowy Institute poll in February 2005 in which 51% of Australians said their country should not continue to be involved militarily in Iraq.

In a December 2004 poll, conducted by Newspoll/The Australian that offered three response options, there was less of a demand for an immediate withdrawal. Fifty-one percent favored withdrawal but only 33% wanted the troops brought home immediately, while 18% wanted them brought home in the latter half of 2005. Forty-five percent said Australian troops should remain in Iraq as long as necessary.

In the same poll an even larger majority (58%) indicated that they felt it was not worth going to war in Iraq, up from 50% in May 2004. The percentage who thought it was worth going to war in Iraq decreased from 40% in May 2004 to 32% in December 2004.

Posted by: | June 28, 2006 10:19 AM

Say what you will. Until you have been to Iraq and have had it rough that is when you will realize that Bert IS A WHINER.

Posted by: Bert is a whiner | June 28, 2006 01:34 PM

Hey there Get it Right,
I am only going off the info Bert put in there. Six months with you guys is what he said. I guess he has already been there six months. How is it you know for a fact that he is the last to whine? Since you seem to know so much about him maybe you could answer a question. Since Bert is National Guard I was just wandering what he does as a civlian when he hasnt been called to active duty.

Posted by: Bert is whiner | June 28, 2006 01:49 PM

God, the person who signed himself "Bert is a whiner" is priceless. Hey clueless, Bert is writing this on a Washington Post
site - uh duh, guess what he does in his civilian life?!? You talk about Bert complaining - sounds as if you are the one complaining about everything. If you can't be supportive, go to another site - maybe one that is anti - American cause it sounds as if you are not supportive of the U.S. at all! Save this site for those of us who support what Bert and the military is doing!!!!! Someone who cares!!

Posted by: | June 28, 2006 03:58 PM

Funny joke. 50,000-100,000 dead.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A Marine corporal who sang in a homemade video about killing members of an Iraqi family said Wednesday that the song was a joke and was not intended to offend anyone.

Cpl. Joshua Belile, 23, said the video was his way of ``blowing off steam to a bunch of Marines and soldiers.''

Belile's performance was filmed while he was stationed in Iraq and was posted anonymously on the YouTube Web site, but was later removed. He is now assigned to Light/Attack Helicopter Squadron 167 at Marine Corps Air Station New River, adjacent to Camp Lejeune.

Posted by: | June 28, 2006 07:21 PM

Oh no, read more carefully. He is there for a whole lot longer than 6 months. The other responder covered it well, did you get all that? Just read real slow and maybe you can process it. Move your lips as you read if needed. You also assume that we all just walked into the recruiter and got pinned with Warrant rank and Army Aviatior badges. Warrants are almost always enlisted first, and know all about being dirty and tired. Hey, you still get that way some. We don't fly Lears out of Dulles, we fly Blackhawks out of a desert. No A/C in those models, contrary to some belief.I was a straight leg grunt for many years before becoming a pilot. Yes, being an Infantryman is certianly more hazardous and dirty work. Army pilots don't get out of the aircraft looking fresh as a daisy either. With most of us having up to 15 or 20 years of service, and many of us having more than one deployment, I won't apologize to YOU (but maybe the guy on the ground) about being a little cleaner. When we pluck a guy out of the desert, a bad situation, or a wounded troop to the hospital; they generally don't notice or care how clean we might or might not be. Everyone in theatre has an important job, it is a team that relies on all parties involved. No person in that place is safe either. I do know Bert, but that's all you get on a blog. So, describing (not whining) about laundy, food, etc IS OUR RIGHT as a person who has been there. Bert was not griping really, just describing for your benifit. Any soldier has the time honored tradition of "griping" in their corner anyway. Have you been there, done that? If not, then kindly shut your hole about it. You have posted the same note four times, we can read and process it the first time (unlike you). Later,

Posted by: Get it right | June 28, 2006 07:56 PM


Janabi told the paper he was among the first to arrive at the house after an attack on March 11. He said he found Abeer sprawled dead in a corner, her hair and a pillow next to her consumed by fire, and her dress pushed up to her neck.

Posted by: | July 3, 2006 02:59 PM

What would we Americans do if we were occupied and brutalized like this?

The charges grew out of a military investigation involving up to five soldiers in the March rape and killing of the girl (variously reported as being between 15-20 years old) in Mahmoudiya and three of her relatives, one of them a young girl believed to be about FIVE YEARS OLD.

Posted by: | July 3, 2006 03:02 PM

BEIJI, Iraq - Investigators believe that American soldiers spent nearly a week plotting an attack in which they raped an Iraqi woman, then killed her and her family in an insurgent-ridden area south of Baghdad, a U.S. military official said Saturday.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, said the attack appeared ``totally premeditated'' and that the soldiers apparently ``studied'' the family for about a week before carrying out the attack.

Posted by: | July 3, 2006 03:26 PM

Happy Birthday, America!

Happy 4th of July, Bert!

Stay safe!

Posted by: Cali-Girl | July 4, 2006 10:05 AM

Happy Birthday USA
To my friends in the "box", take care, be safe. Our thoughts and prayers are with you every day. Have a great 4th, thank you for your service to our country. Your friend,

Posted by: CW2 Hill | July 4, 2006 01:29 PM

Happy Birthday America!

You're the greatest!

Posted by: dave | July 4, 2006 02:05 PM


Posted by: | July 7, 2006 11:57 AM

What would we do if we were occupied, raped, and routinely murdered by foreigners?

Posted by: | July 7, 2006 11:59 AM

Ten years after a scandal over neo-Nazis in the armed forces, extremists are once again worming their way into a recruit-starved military. The Intelligence Project uncovers how white supremacists are using military training to prepare for their own wars at home.

Posted by: | July 7, 2006 12:05 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- The case of a former Army private charged with slaying and raping an Iraqi woman and killing her family will be presented to a grand jury this month.

Steven D. Green, 21, entered a plea of not guilty through his public defenders Thursday. He also waived a detention hearing and a preliminary hearing, and agreed that his case would be prosecuted in the Western District of Kentucky.

Posted by: | July 7, 2006 12:07 PM

a recipe for genocide

Rove and his President are trying to sell the Iraq war as a frontier conflict. They want us to see U.S. troops as the cavalry putting down the "Injuns." Or better yet, as pioneers creating small enclaves of civilization (in Iraq they're called Green Zones) in the midst of a vast wilderness full of savages. What strength, what courage it takes to survive. But they have a job to do: They must teach the savages how to be free. And above all, like their pioneering forebears, they must have the guts to stick it out until the job is done.

How do we know our military in Iraq has such beneficent motives? The answer is simple -- they are Americans, by definition the heroes, the good guys. Every time they kill a bad guy like Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, they only prove once again what good guys they are. (In a recent Washington Post-ABC poll, 68% of Americans said that the U.S. war against Iraq has "helped to improve the lives of the Iraqi people.")

Naturally they hope, one day, to be able to go home to their loved ones and live the peaceable lives they long for. But they aren't quitters like those (Democratic) schoolmarms back East in the halls of Congress. They are real frontiersmen, with the will and the resolve to stay the course. They won't be scared off by suffering or bloodshed; sometimes -- let's be honest -- it takes bloodshed for life to get better.

Posted by: | July 7, 2006 12:22 PM

What would we do if we were occupied, resist or surrender?

Posted by: | July 7, 2006 12:27 PM

The same old trype, same old arguments, the bleating cries of sheep like "peace at any cost" liberal fools. We have a war to win, for good or for better. We can't leave this country in sectarian civil war. Don't worry little liberals, we will be out in a few years, just in time for the elections. And that is all any of you care about anyway. None of you could care less about the Iraqi people or the troops. You have a Presidential election to win in 2 1/2 years. That is your only concern. The Iraqis ARE better off, better to die free than suffer a tyrant. Our nation suffered much for this freedom you enjoy, it did not happen within a liberals short attention span. Get over yourself, and stop posting news articles here. We can get the damn news anywhere. You guys are not nearly as smart as you think you are, and you don't know ANYTHING about the war unless you have seen it yourself. Baaah, Baah, bleat sheep bleat. Mind the wolves at your six, they will kill you if they can. Right now, they are too busy fighting us in the Middle East to come eat you here. Be careful with your cut and run crap, they might be blowing down your door here soon. Every society has bad people in it, the military is no different. Bad things happen to good people, none of this proves your silly arguments in the least. Shut up and let us win this sad war, just shut up.

Posted by: Enough Already | July 7, 2006 05:29 PM

Would we resist if we were occupied?

Posted by: | July 7, 2006 11:34 PM


"Duty, Honor, Country."

Posted by: | July 7, 2006 11:46 PM

Yes, Bert is a whiner! They all are whiners! As far as life in Iraq goes we have it pretty good. Lets see, four hot meals a day, transportation, laundry, aside from the occasional mortar, no real threat of enemy attack. I haven't seen any bullet holes in a chopper in a long time. It must not be too bad over here. I guess along with the pilot wings they give you a class on how to look down on the rest of the world. Bert, look in the mirror and check your attitude. The BN is performing well and we have the best conditions someone could ask for in a combat zone. Start writing about something that matters like that crew chief who watches your back, or the maintenance soldier who fixes your aircraft, or the contractor who does the phase maintenance, or the rest of the support structure that keeps you in the air driving the snake-eaters to battle. Come on man say something positive for a change!!

Posted by: A fellow soldier in 224th | July 7, 2006 11:48 PM

Listen Moron, You must be one of those fobbits that live in the cans, with internet and tv. I would like to know where you find time to eat 4 meals a day. Most of us eat one,we are usually too busy Flying 5 hours a night or sleeping to get ready for the next night. I do not know too many people who can drive that long without stopping for a break, and the flight crews are doing it in 40*C degree heat. As for transportaion, we all know which company has all the transportation. Most of the pilots I know walk everywhere, and have been walking or riding bikes(not U.S. Issue)since we got here."I guess along with the pilot wings they give you a class on how to look down on the rest of the world" Well the Army Aviation motto is "Above the Best"so if you are attached to an Army Aviation battalion you would know this and you would know that the only time we would look down on anyone is when we are flying over them. .Or maybe this is your opinion of every Officer in the chain of command, I don't know of any pilot that doesn't take care of their crew chief, or gunner.If you do not like where you are in the chain, re-take the asvab , and go to OCS or WOCS. As for Bullet hole's in the choppers, its not because the enemy isn't trying, but if you ever left the base you would know that.The lack of holes is due to the effort of the flight crews working together as a team to accomplish that fact.I agree that some parts of the battalion enjoy the things you mentioned, but its not the fight companies.

Posted by: Another fellow soldier in the 224th | July 8, 2006 03:59 PM

Sorry I thought it was normal protocol to not put my name on this. I would like to thank all of US who are over here living in great accommodations. I know I enjoy all these people who go out every night and fly all those people to go home on emergency leave to bury their loved ones. Since it is more important to complain about people over here complaining about the "little things" than complaining about all these people over here away from their families and friends. I know I miss my family but I guess I should waste time and complain about my fellow soldiers/marines/airmen/etc. and how when I go into the bathroom it stinks really bad. Nearly as bad as that Wal-mart you visit every day. I guess I should complain about working more than 13-14hrs a day but hey I am the one who signed up right. I should complain about the heat but hey I signed up right. I should complain about the people who post to this but are to "shy" to leave their name but I didn't put my name. To the person who was "shy" to put his/her name on the reply about the crew chiefs, THANK YOU CREW CHIEFS, MAINTAINANCE AND CONTRACTORS. I appreciate you, and so do the pilots. Maybe Bert should start writing about the hardships here in country. I would like to thank Bert and ALL the other people here in this unit and all other units in Iraq. I would like to thank most of all, all the people who are in the rest of the world who support u over here. I know I really appreciate it and so does Bert. You might not support the war but most of you support us and I appreciate it. I would like to thank all you past veterans also. You did it too and I am thankful to you also. I guess I should go catch the bus that doesn't exist, to my 4-star room (that doesn't exist) and sleep for those 12hours (that I don't get). I am proud to be here doing the best that I can. Sorry it was so long but I get very irritated when people complain about people complaining. At least we are allowed to write and say this stuff. Complain on for it makes the time that we are not doing anything pass faster. Two things you should know is that this was sarcastic in nature (except to the thank yous) and I wrote this on my own time. Thank you for your support.

Posted by: T*M | July 8, 2006 04:37 PM

To: Another fellow soldier in the 224th

I don't think the first guy that claimed he was in the 224th actually was. I think its the same idiot that is spamming this blog with a bunch of nonesense.

Apparently he is having a boring summer and feels writing idiotic things in Bert's blog will give him some thing to do and is the highlight of the afternoon.

I don't know anyone in the 224th that feels like he does and if they do I doubt they would take the time to write on here.

You guys are working hard in extreme conditions and I for one am proud of you. So don't listen to all this crap that people put on here. To put people down or complain about the government is just their way to compensate for their obvious miserable and unhappy lives.

Posted by: Cali-Girl | July 8, 2006 05:23 PM


Posted by: | July 8, 2006 08:16 PM

To: Another fellow 224th soldier. Yes, I am in the battalion and I am Iraq. Oh and yes, I probably out rank you as well. Bert is a fine aviator, but like most of the pilots, he has an attitude problem. He forgets the other soldiers in the battalion that keep him in the air. Lets run some numbers. 380+ soldiers and contractors assigned to the battalion to drive 20 birds. For the 40 pilots in line companies there are 340 other individuals, crew chiefs, staff aviators, and support personnel that exist to keep those birds in the air. Some other numbers, an average mission is 5 hours and our average pilot flys about 60 hours per month. So, your average pilot flys 10-15 missions per month. What does he do with the other half of his month? Bert needs to consider two things: First, you get out of life what you make of it, choose you attitude and you day will be much better. Second, don't forget the guy who helps you get where you are, you may need him in a pinch.

Posted by: A fellow soldier in 224th | July 9, 2006 03:01 AM

I don't know what the fuss is about, don't really care. I was in the 2-224th from 88-05 and a fulltimer at the AASF during that time. All in the 2-224th are doing their duty, and anyone who isn't currently with or has been in the Battalion (families are included, they are the rock that keeps it all together, and are primary members of the 2-224th!) doesn't know the dynamics of the unit. I can assure you that all members of the Battalion are respected for all the jobs they do, and any that don't feel that way are mistaken. From the refuelers, the cooks, the vehicle mechanics, the aircraft mechanics, the aircraft shops, and others that I have probably left out, it is the best unit I served with. LTC McMillin has a unique ability to look after all members of the unit. They all care about one another, which is one of the factors that contributes to this Army Aviation unit being one of the best in the Army. In fact, during our Bosnia tour, the evaluation team from USAREUR said we were the best Aviation unit they had seen for SFOR. The pilots respect the maintenance personnel, at least in my opinion, and I'm sure if you ask around the Battalion you'll find I was never averse to giving my opinion/tongue lashing every now and again to both the Pilots/Crewchiefs and the Commanders in the area of aircraft safety. To the 2-224th, keep up the good work, stay safe, and if anyone has any more adverse opinions vis-a-vis the 2-224th to opine they are more than welcome to bring them to the AASF during "Thirsty Thursdays", bring you boxing gloves! Hoot out!

Posted by: Mike Baker | July 9, 2006 03:58 AM

In Iraq, Army investigators reviewed a video showing a prisoner with bound wrists lying on the ground near a checkpoint. Entry and exit gunshot wounds are visible. While the soldiers discuss whether to summon medical care, one soldier tells the moaning prisoner to "shut up" and kicks him in the face or upper chest, according to the report of an Army criminal investigation. A soldier who was present during the videotaping later joked that they "weren't in any hurry to call the medics," adding that he "thought the dude eventually died."

Posted by: Sam | July 9, 2006 07:56 AM

Napoleon believed the conquest of Spain would be little more than a 'military promenade.' [He achieved] a rapid conventional military victory over Spain's armies but ignored the immediate requirement to provide a stable and secure environment for the people. . . . The French failed to analyze the history, culture, and motivations of the Spanish people, or to seriously consider their potential to support or hinder the achievement of French political objectives. Napoleon's cultural miscalculation resulted in a protracted struggle that lasted nearly six years and ultimately required approximately three-fifths of the French Empire's total armed strength.

Posted by: Sally | July 9, 2006 08:03 AM

Why quibble? The pilots, refuelers, the cooks, the vehicle mechanics, the aircraft mechanics, the aircraft shops, and others that I have probably left out, are occupiers. What would we do if our country was conquered and occupied?

Posted by: Betty | July 9, 2006 08:28 AM

I know what you liberals bloggers would do, you would surrender, cooperate with the occupiers, turn in the others fighting, be critical of the fighters, and ask to "give peace a chance". You would say "the war is lost" every chance you got. You would say "the resistance is criminal and immoral". You would forget all the good done by the resistance, and point only to the bad things. You would forget that any population has bad people in it. You would whine non-stop for the war to end, and do your best to let the bad guys win. You would give aid and comfort to the enemy with your cut and run rhetoric. You would have a selective memory, forgetting the murder and atrocities commited by the people who came before (you know, like Saddam). You would do ALL of this simply to get a Democrat in the White House after the occupation.
You don't care what message defeat would send to our enemy. You don't care about the Iraqi people having a new democracy. You don't care about freedom winning over terror. You don't care about our soldiers. All you care about is hating the President and his war. You care about politics and getting your candidate in control. You are the kind of person who will look long and hard to find the negative, ignoring the good, only to prove your agenda is correct. You do not support the troops, you do not support the new democracy, you do not support giving the Iraqi people a future. All you support is your hatred of the sitting President. You are selfish, defeatist, and doing more harm than good. You helped the enemy today, you helped kill a Soldier or Marine today.
What would we do if occupied, you ask. We are occupied, overrun by pasificm and a less than honest protest movement. You don't care about anything but your left leaning politics. If the US were fighting an occupation, you would protest that too if the "wrong" party were in charge. You make me want to vomit. Shut up and let us win this, then we will leave Iraq in peace.

Posted by: Any Soldier | July 9, 2006 10:03 AM


Green and at least two others targeted the teenager and her family for a week before the attack, which was not revealed until witnesses came forward in late June.

The soldiers drank alcohol, abandoned their checkpoint, changed clothes to avoid detection and headed to the victims' house, about 200 yards from a U.S. military checkpoint in the so-called ``Triangle of Death,'' a Sunni Arab area south of Baghdad known for its violence, the affidavit said.

The affidavit estimated the rape victim was about 25. But A DOCTOR AT THE HOSPITAL GAVE HER AGE AS FOURTEEN. He refused to be identified for fear of reprisals.

Green is accused of raping the woman and KILLING her and three relatives - an adult male and female and A GIRL ESTIMATED TO BE FIVE YEARS OLD An official familiar with the investigation said he set fire to the rape victim's body in an apparent cover-up attempt.

Posted by: Uncle Sam | July 9, 2006 10:05 AM

To:A fellow soldier in 224th

You fricken moron, you might out rank me, but you don't know squat about opsec you idiot.Why would anyone claiming to out rank someone post those numbers on an open web forum.IDIOT

Posted by: 2/224 pilot | July 9, 2006 11:50 AM

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Posted by: Sal Paradise | July 9, 2006 11:52 AM

General, man is very useful.
He can fly and he can kill.
But he has one defect: He can think.

Posted by: Bertolt Brecht | July 9, 2006 11:56 AM

1965-1967: "A Few Malcontents."

As the Johnson administration turns what was initially a small "Police Action" into an all-out war and the peace movement begins, isolated individuals and small groups in the military refuse to participate and are severely punished: Lt. Henry Howe is sentenced to two years hard labor for attending an antiwar demonstration; the Ft. Hood 3 are sentenced to three years hard labor for refusing duty in Vietnam; Howard Levy, a military doctor, refuses to train Special Forces troops and is court-martialed as Donald Duncan, a celebrated member of the Green Berets, resigns after a year in Vietnam; and Corporal William Harvey and Private George Daniels are sentenced to up to 10 years in 1967 for meeting with other marines on Camp Pendleton to discuss whether Blacks should fight in Vietnam.

1968-1969: "We Thought The Revolution Was Starting."

The war escalates as the peace movement becomes an international mass movement, and soldiers begin forming organizations and taking collective action: The Ft. Hood 43, Black soldiers who refused riot-control duty at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, are sentenced for up to 18 months each; the largest military prison in Vietnam, Long Binh Jail (affectionately called LBJ by the troops), is taken over by Black soldiers who hold it for 2 months; The Presidio 27-prisoners in the stockade on the Presidio Army Base in San Francisco-are charged with mutiny, a capital offense, when they refuse to work after a mentally ill prisoner is killed; underground newspapers published by antiwar GIs appear at almost every military base in the country; the American Serviceman's Union is formed; antiwar coffeehouses are established outside of military bases. In Vietnam, small combat-refusals occur and are quickly suppressed, but on Christmas Eve, 1969, 50 GIs participate in an illegal antiwar demonstration in Saigon. Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) is formed.

1970-1973: "Sir, My Men Refuse To Fight!"

Opposition to the war turns militant and the counter-culture rises to its peak: Tens of thousands of soldiers desert and flee to Canada, France and Sweden; thousands of soldiers organize and participate in Armed Farces Day demonstrations at military bases; drug use is rampant and underground radio networks flourish in Vietnam as Black and white soldiers increasingly identify with the Antiwar and Black Liberation movements; combat refusals and "fragging" of officers in Vietnam are epidemic. Thousands are jailed for refusing to fight or simply defying military authority, and nearly every U.S. military prison in the world is hit by riots. Jane Fonda's antiwar review, The FTA Show, tours military bases and is cheered by tens of thousands of soldiers; the Pentagon concludes that over half the ground troops openly oppose the war and shifts its combat strategy from a ground war to an air war; the Navy and Air Force are both riddled with mutinies and acts of sabotage. VVAW holds the Winter Soldier Investigation, exposing American war crimes through the testimony of veterans, and stages the most dramatic demonstration of the Vietnam era as hundreds of veterans hurl their medals onto the Capitol steps.

Epilogue: The Myth Of The Spitting Hippie

As the U.S. military and its allies flee Vietnam in disarray in the Spring of 1975, the government, the media, and Hollywood begin a 20 year process of erasing the GI Movement from the collective memory of the nation and the world. Ronald Reagan's "Resurgent America" campaign re-writes the history of Vietnam and erases the GI Movement; by 1990, over 100 theatrical films have been produced about the Vietnam War, none of which portray the GI Antiwar Movement or any opposition to the war by soldiers; the myth that antiwar activists routinely spat on returning soldiers is spread as part of the buildup to the 1990 Gulf War.

Posted by: History is no Mystery | July 9, 2006 12:00 PM

Oh No, dear blogger. I understand the opposition worldwide. I just happen to think you are wrong, short sighted, and blind to the overall picture. Saddam violated no less than 17 UN resolutions, most of them after the Gulf War. So, we went in there and deprived the world of him. The Iraqi people are paying dearly for freedom, but freedom they will have. The US wont be there forever, history will judge this anyway. And to the spitting hippies, I know men who were spat upon. You modern protesters know better, but most of you DO hate soldiers. I am one, and I know how you really feel about us. Just shut your whining, a democrat will get elected next time, and we can see how they will do. I know that trying to placate the terrorist is no way to beat them. We should never murder or rape, however, and I understand any objection to those acts. I agree with the protesters on that one.

Posted by: Any Soldier | July 9, 2006 01:04 PM

Hey Idiot who thinks he outranks people.
How's sofball practice? I have flown no less than 22 missions a month since I've been here. As for days off, we usually get one every 8 to 11 days. And by the way at least a quarter of them get canceled. The aircrews who work 12 hours plus a day to keep the mission going. (Which by the way our mission is only to put up those helicopters) don't have time to eat but two meals a day! And we definately don't have the time or energy to go to softball practice, or enjoy all of the other things you are bragging about! As usual there a few people who do most of the work. That includes more than pilots. For someone who outranks everyone, you sure have risen to quite a high level of incompentency! Thanks from all of us who put our lives on the line for the OPSEC breach! Can I second, "Idiot!!!" You seem to think you're good with numbers, how about getting good with the facts. Did you get shot at with an RPG today? small arms in the last week? how about light anti aircraft fire in the last month? have you even been outside the gate? or is the most dangerous part of your day getting a hot cup of coffee at the Greene Beene? the aircrews aren't seeing the coffee, but we are seeing the rest. Thank the grace of god we have yet to see holes in the aircraft! If you have paid attention there have been numerous aircraft that have been shot up, and aircrews that have lost there lives, even since we've been here. You need to think much more before you continue to profess your ignorance.

Posted by: Pilot in 224th | July 9, 2006 03:26 PM

Revisionist "hippie" lies, spouted by a movement that has much collective guilt. Do you really think that an old soldier like me will be fooled by the likes of you? I know plenty of Vietnam guys who were spat on, cursed, abused, called baby killer, etc. They suffered this abuse at the hands of "peace loving" protesters like you. YOU ARE THE LIAR, not me, and damn your cowardice and two-faced duplicity. You want peace? Let us win it, you gang of cut and run cowards. You make soldiers sick, and you DO NOT support us. Nothing else you say makes any difference, and you dont matter at all. Thanks for helping the enemy kill a GI today, I am sure you love that.

Posted by: Any Soldier | July 9, 2006 03:39 PM

Does anyone know if the writer of this blog has ever addressed the profound misconception that has pervaded our military personnel in Iraq over why they are there? A Zogby survey a few months ago found that 85% of troops stationed there still thought they were there "mainly retaliating for Saddam's role in 9/11".
(scroll down to 5th paragraph)

I realize it's standard operating procedure for the RNC and their media outlet, FauxNews, to keep the rank and file misinformed on items crucial to their agenda. But I never knew how low they would stoop. Brainwashing those sworn to risk their lives for the country so they can send them to do the errands of their political benefactors - the oil companies - just seems low, even for Republicans.

How about it CWO Stover? Why are your buddies so brainwashed - and doesn't the wholesale lying irk you in the least?

Posted by: B2O | July 9, 2006 06:07 PM

The soldiers are quite aware of the fact that Iraq and 9-11 are not connected. There are so many other reasons to be there anyway. Bush lied, we were headed to Iraq one day with or without 9-11. The enemy is there now, we shall kill them where they choose to fight. Sorry to let you down, but the image of the brainwashed GI is really dated, and frankly, very stupid of you to say. Do you really think soldiers don't have mass media access? We do, we just made a choice to serve. Not to question every order, not to whine about our duty. The Zogby survey is just nonsense. Your argument is nonsense. You waste my time, thanks for helping to kill another soldier today. The enemy just loves you. You are a friend of terror, and make the war longer with your pathetic bleating. Bleat, sheep, bleat.

Posted by: Any Soldier | July 9, 2006 06:18 PM

Reply to "Any Soldier":

> The soldiers are quite aware of the fact that Iraq and 9-11 are not connected.

Not according to the actual data gathered by Zogby. Nor my recollections as the troops boarded ships of so many of them quoted saying, "this is for 9/11!" (don't pretend you never heard those - you were probably chanting the same thing). But who can blame them (much), with Cheney spouting that already debunked Atta-in-Prague canard over and over, and Bush pairing the two (Saddam and 9/11) nearly nightly for two years. At one point two years after the attack, 70% of our pathetic public believed him. But by 10/04 it was down to 53%, so I was sad to see how high it was recently still among those sworn to serve.

> The enemy is there now, we shall kill them where they choose to fight.

The enemy? You probably have no idea who you think you're talking about. Again, Bush goes on the news about twice a week talking about "our war against terror in Iraq". The inconvenient truth (to borrow a term recently applied to an entirely different denial area) is that only 5-10% of the "insurgency" (which is a Shiite-Sunni civil war in reality) fit the profile of an Al Qaida fighter. That's the figure I hear from every independent analysis - systematic by think tanks or seat-of-the-pants by the generals themselves. Unfortunately, the media has been so namby-pamby in parrotting Bush's (latest) misleading lines in this area without putting them in the context of known facts.

There is an "Al Qaida in Iraq", thanks to Bush turning the place into a chaotic mess, but it's tiny. Meanwhile, the Shiites and Sunnis *are* using terrorist tactics AGAINST EACH OTHER (the car bombs and civilian shootings), but they are NOT the terrorists who attacked us (or want to). Their only beef against us, if they have one, is that we are in the way and occupying their homeland. No, the war was in Afghanistan, and I think you know it.

> Do you really think soldiers don't have mass media access?

Up till recently they had no sane talk radio to balance with the raving rightwinger shows they were fed. The military agreed to include one, then somehow forgot to for six months. Gee, wonder why? Is it useful to have the soldiers think they are "avenging attacks on America"? You bet it is, and the Pentagon knows that. As for non-talk media, they do have access to CNN, but a whole lot of good that does when CNN isn't correcting the crap the president keeps feeding them.

> thanks for helping to kill another soldier today.

Can't you ever stick to the antipsychotic med schedule your doctor gave you? This kind of comment is *other-worldly* stupid. And unamerican to boot. Sadly, it worked on so many people for awhile, but even they are not falling for it now. You sound like you'd be more comfortable in a totalitarian dictatorship.

> The enemy just loves you.

No, I drive a hybrid, hence I hardly feed the coffers of some of the Saudis who've been funding them. But they love you. Bin Laden has been quoted as being ecstatic that the US invaded Iraq. Played right into his hands. Recruitment has skyrocketed, the US is relatively isolated, and AQ has never been stronger. Thanks to naive, gullible folks like you. Thanks a lot. You may not think you hate America, but your actions hurt us far more than anyone who ever burned a flag or marched against a stupid war. I know you don't get that, and more's the pity.

> You are a friend of terror

See above. Try to think. It'll get you thrown out of your party, but I promise you it'll be worth it.

Posted by: B2O | July 9, 2006 07:54 PM

To B2O,
No meds, and I will agree with some of the things you said. You need to try to open your mind to the fact that we are not ignorant or brainwashed. Maybe I am guilty of being to close or to involved. Most of us do take your words as an insult, but I am not so angry to forget one thing. That is, that we all do have the right to our opinion. Part of what I have fought for was that right, even if I don't like much of what the protesters say. I will also give you a nod for a thoughtful retort. Your comment about Bin Laden was spot on, by the way. Still, don't totally reject our point of view either. I am certian the cause of our invasion was tainted, but much good may come of it yet. Surely the protest movement does not want to see the new democracy fail. Who would win anything from that? I still believe what I do, and think more unity of effort is needed. At least to do anything but cut and run. Respectfully,

Posted by: Any Soldier | July 9, 2006 08:26 PM

Somebody is dedicated to censoring this site. It's a pity.

Posted by: Reality | July 10, 2006 11:14 AM

Any Soldier -

Thanks (belatedly) for the very civil words above. I'm sorry, as I think the tone of mine were a little over the top. And I wanted to make clear that I (and many like me) truly do appreciate the service and dedication you - and your mates - have given the country. I'm quite sure your courage in that far outshines anything I've done to date. And we need look no further than Afghanistan to see where that service was not only admirable, but also (IMO) for a clear and necessary purpose.

Contrary to the stereotype nurtured by certain political actors of the war opponents, we really are not against the troops. I think if any similar folks were of that mindset, they learned their lesson after Vietnam (most of them). If you read between the lines of my post, I hope you'll see that while there is frustration that so many (as in the public at large) seem misled on some basic aspects of the situation, I direct most of my criticism at the cynical chickenhawk politicians (not all of them Republican I realize) who have perpetrated a dishonorable exploitation of your admirable dedication to country.

I don't know for certain what the answer in Iraq is. I don't want an overnight withdrawal, and I do see Bush's logic (never thought I'd use those words so close together...) that a date on the calendar might give a hunker-down-and-wait message to the insurgency. The more I learn about the situation though, it seems like we are exacerbating it just as much as helping. So I think a gradual but constant draw-down is probably the best thing. At some point we have to realize that these Sunni-Shiite tensions are quite old, and we might not ultimately be able to prevent them from playing out. We'll see I guess.

Best of luck to you and your buds in Iraq.

Posted by: B2O | July 10, 2006 06:11 PM

To B2O,
Maybe we are all just frustrated on both sides, hence all the anger. I appreciate your response. Mostly hurt feelings on my part. This soldier thanks you. See you on other postings. I am sorry I was so rabid, and will tone it down, bad moment I guess on my part. You are a good American my friend.

Posted by: Any Soldier | July 10, 2006 07:57 PM

Well done, B2O, you got the "good american" stamp of approval!


Posted by: dave | July 11, 2006 09:27 AM

Appreciate it, Any Soldier. Take care and see you around here.

Posted by: B2O | July 11, 2006 02:46 PM

Someone on here implied that Bert works for the Post as a civilian. So I have to ask. With this blog is he just securing his job when he gets back? Sounds like he is a full time writer and part time soldier. Also someone had written something about me not being there. Been there twice under much worse conditions that what any of the 224th have it. Someone also wrote about how you go pick people up in bad situations and in need of medivac. That is what it is really about, thats what people need to hear, how you make a difference and help out. With all the bad press always going around I would think that anyone in the military would want to put positive stories/blogs out there about how Iraqis are being helped not about getting internet and going on vacation.

Posted by: Bert is a whiner | July 13, 2006 06:45 PM

but the iraqi's arent being helped, they're being killed (tho, as i understand it, that's cheney's/rumsfelds idea of 'being helped').

Posted by: dave | July 14, 2006 09:29 AM

Hey, a few zebra gotta die in the jungle now and then so the rest of us can survive! Hooyah, get some!

Posted by: Ron | July 14, 2006 10:49 AM

hey, and some cowards say 'hooyah'

Posted by: dave | July 14, 2006 11:04 AM

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