Enough of the keyboard commandos, what are the troops saying?

ArmyMAJretired's picture

I haven't worn combat boots in about 10 years, some fly occasionally for the Air Force, and some well we are just not sure of, so let's hear what troops are saying about the war:


Of the broadcast network evening newscast stories Tuesday night on the House debate over the non-binding resolution that "disapproves of the decision of President George W. Bush...to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq," only ABC's Jake Tapper included the views of soldiers in Iraq. Tapper's report on World News featured soundbites from two Army Sergeants in Ramadi, and both condemned the resolution. First Sergeant Louis Barnum declared: "It makes me sick. I was born and raised a Democrat, but when I see that it just kind of makes me sad." Sergeant Brian Orzechoski went even further: "I don't want to bad-mouth the President at all. I mean, to me it's treason."

Embedded with the Army's Stryker Brigade's Apache Company (the Fort Lewis, Washington-based 1st Battalion of the 23rd Infantry Regiment in Hurriya, Richard Engel relayed how "troops here say they are increasingly frustrated by American criticism of the war. Many take it personally, believing it is also criticism of what they've been fighting for. Twenty-one-year-old Specialist Tyler Johnson is on his first tour in Iraq. He thinks skeptics should |come over and see what it's like firsthand before criticizing." Johnson asserted: "You may support or say we support the troops, but, so you're not supporting what they do, what they're here sweating for, what we bleed for, what we die for. It just don't make sense to me."

Staff Sergeant Manuel Sahagun directly took on the spin of war critics, complaining that "one thing I don't like is when people back home say they support the troops, but they don't support the war. If they're going to support us, support us all the way." Engel soon powerfully concluded: "Apache Company has lost two soldiers, and now worries their country may be abandoning the mission they died for."


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AF A-10's picture
Submitted by AF A-10 on Wed, 03/07/2007 - 12:23am.

"I haven't worn combat boots in about 10 years, some fly occasionally for the Air Force, and some well we are just not sure of, so let's hear what troops are saying about the war:"

I imagine I'm the "occasional" Air Force flyer referred to here. How ironic that I just came from my squadron where I have a desk and parachute and G-suit and a helmet. I just finished my second flight today (two Polish students transitioning from Mig-21s to F-16s); my fourth flight this week. I have 6 more sorties this month. I flew 12 Air Force sorties last month. But it is fairly common to marginalize a military person's opinion and service if you disagree with them. The conservative modus oporandi is the same; Murtha, Cleland, Duckworth, Kerry, Tim Parker, Ted Kennedy, Chuck Rangel. Try to downplay the actual service they have contributed because it doesn't suit your arguement.
Here is another interesting conservative modus operandi. Wrap your words in the flag and support of the troops without actually DOING anything of substance. I watched the President tonight on CSPAN talking in DC to the American Legion. I was saddened as he spent the majority of his time making political hay at the expense of "some people in Washington" i.e. Democrats. He talked of his administration's "support for the troops" while ignoring the spectre of Walter Reed, which occurred on his watch. He failed to mention that his current budget cuts the VA's funding. He failed to mention how we, as a nation, did not adequately plan for the wounded veterans we must have known a "global war on terror" would create.
But we continue to proudly display our Bush/Cheney campaign stickers; glorifying men who squandered post 9/11 good will; men who did not "fire anyone involved with the outing of Valerie Plame." Men who watch as people are scape goated and take falls for them. Men who speak of the evils of gay marraige as their bumper sticker buddy proudly supports decisions of their gay and "partnered" children. Men who stand on the same side of the culture war as the hate mongors Limbaugh (Mr. Halfrican American) and Ann "Edwards is a fa@@ot" Coulter. And our boys and girls, be they democrat, republican, or apolitical, continue to die in what your side won't even call a civil war; a war your side won't even fight like it is a "global war" at all by instituting national sacrifice or a draft.
Forgive me if I give your "quotes from the troops" the same creedence I give anything else that comes from the "we'll be greeted as liberators" crowd.


Kevin "Hack" King

maximus's picture
Submitted by maximus on Wed, 03/07/2007 - 9:29am.

Kevin, I believe he was looking for the point of view from people who are in Iraq now. F-16 instructor pilot is an important job, like millions of others that Americans do to make this country the dominant force in the world, but like the rest of us you sleep safely in your own rack or the BOQ every night, just another Keyboard Commando.

I know that there are local residents over there right now who read The Citizen online. Those are the folks from whom we would like to hear. Your anti-conservative rant just gums up the blog, which I am sure is your intent.

What VA funding cuts are you talking about? The budget for the VA goes from $45 billion in 2001 to $85 billion in 2009. Level at $69 billion in 2005 and 2006, but still a big increase from $59 billion in 2004. Maybe not enough considering that we’ll have 8 million Vietnam-era Veterans in their sixties this year, and the badly wounded warriors from Iraq, but hardly a cut.

I would implore everyone to try to give further to charities that help veterans and are free from the bureaucracy of the VA. Fisher House and the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society are two good ones.

Do you really think that we need a draft? The last thing that the military needs now is a bunch of snot-nosed punks who don’t want to be there and will do as little as possible for two years. It would take more manpower from the military to manage a draft than it would produce.

And what’s with the juvenile picture?


AF A-10's picture
Submitted by AF A-10 on Wed, 03/07/2007 - 10:12am.

It's always nice to greet a new face... err, screen name. Real quick, cause I'm steppin to fly (T-38). I don't consider a counter point gumming up the works. And we are soo fat on voulunteers that the Army is accepting felons. Go figure. Work out a retort, and I'll be back after I go cry like a girl in the jet for a few hours.

Kevin "Hack" King

maximus's picture
Submitted by maximus on Wed, 03/07/2007 - 11:05am.

You’ll have to excuse my naiveté, I thought that what I posted was a retort. As far as gumming this blog, I’m as guilty as you at this point. ArmyMAJretired was asking for posts from those in Iraq, I believe.

You'll also have to excuse me in the future if it takes a long time to reply to any posts. I normally don't have much time to waste on such things, as much I would like to.


AF A-10's picture
Submitted by AF A-10 on Wed, 03/07/2007 - 4:16pm.

And I believe we are all easily sucked in. Here is the easy part though. If you don't like what I have to say on these public blogs, ignore the flaming buttocks avatar like a C-17 full of coffins when you see it. That way, one need not address what is brought up. Easy as that. If, however, you want a different perspective, I will continue to offer it. Please realize that it is all done in the spirit of debate, and you can count me an ally at the end of the day. Guaranteed! just don't check my spelling


Kevin "Hack" King

ArmyMAJretired's picture
Submitted by ArmyMAJretired on Wed, 03/07/2007 - 8:51am.

You sure like to sling rhetoric, but cry like a girl when challenged. I don't minimize your service, but my point was when you talk about Iraq, your opinion is not worth the same (part time flying) vs. the soldier's serving a year on the ground, being interviewed by the MSM.

As far a part time flying, isn't it your party that said serving in the National Guard during a war was akin to dodging the draft, their words, NOT MINE.

You spew words like : "You refuse to open your eyes. You wish rain on those desiring peace. You show your true colors, Army. And they are not pretty, or admirable." I didn't get the memo that you were the first ammendment police, please resend it.

How difficult is it for you to support the commander and chief and those appointed above you when you are in uniform, then put on civies and bash the Commander in Chief? I just don't get it, then again I was Active duty and had to keep my feelings about the Philanderer in Chief.

Cheers back at you.

maximus's picture
Submitted by maximus on Wed, 03/07/2007 - 9:00pm.

‘Hack’ doesn’t bother changing into civies before he writes this stuff. He was probably using government computers too, while he made his Polish students wait for him.

AF A-10's picture
Submitted by AF A-10 on Thu, 03/08/2007 - 2:12am.

Really deep post. Wow! But I'll join you at your level. I was actually sitting in quiet reflection wondering how, with clear conscious, Ann Coulter was posing with former Marine Matt Sanchez, also known as gay porn star and male prostitute Rod Majors, at the same event she called John Edwards a fa@@ot at. I was wondering how Bill OReilly and Shawn Hannity gave this gay porn star and male prostitute air time calling him a great example and a great American. I was wondering why Michelle Malkin and Newt Gingrich posed with the male porn star and prostitute Rod Majors for photo ops. I was wondering why CPAC gave the gay porn star and male prostitute Rod Majors their education award. Do conservatives even really care about actual values? Is it all votes or opinion? Can you look in a mirror knowing that your "support the troops" by keeping them in a civil war is deaf to the actual lives of those troops? You care not that the surge your side supports has them returning to combat within less than a year of fighting? That we keep soldiers in the war zone long past what we originally thought was an acceptable maximum of 12 months? That we don't have the reserves to counter any other major threat right now? Maximus, who is gumming what up here? Your side is absoultely approaching moral bankruptcy. Your side is arguing over whether Scooter Libby's 4 convictions were even a crime. You ignore the reality of poor planning for our wounded vets. Your unguided ideologies have become a farce. Harsh words, my friend, but while you worry about the time and the place of my posts, my concerns are with people who DESPARATELY need leadership here at home. Desparately. And, yes. It's late. I imagine there are a hell of a lot of soldiers up right now as well; half way around the world; while you wonder of where I post from. Classic!

Kevin "Hack" King

maximus's picture
Submitted by maximus on Thu, 03/08/2007 - 8:32am.

Hack, my apologies for the ‘gumming up the works’ comment. I think I misinterpreted the Army Major’s intent after scanning all the blogs looking for something interesting. At first I thought that he was soliciting comments from those readers actually in Iraq. I also see your point on the “Venus fly trap”. It’s hard to miss your posts. I still find it a bit juvenile though. I’ll have to find one equally so if I want to fit in around here.

Your mud-slinging is hilarious. I know I shouldn’t be laughing when buried somewhere in all the muck, I think, is a call to support the troops. I suppose you believe that non-binding resolutions and/or withholding funding would be the way to do that.


You seem to give a lot of thought to, or reflection upon, gay porn stars. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

AF A-10's picture
Submitted by AF A-10 on Thu, 03/08/2007 - 8:39am.

But trust me when i say you will find no picture of me posing opportunistically with a gay porn star, and you won't find me giving this ex marine an award. G'Day mate!


Kevin "Hack" King

ArmyMAJretired's picture
Submitted by ArmyMAJretired on Thu, 03/08/2007 - 8:56am.

Little homophobic? Last time I checked, there were Log Cabin Republicans, no one is excluded from the party. The party may not support gay marraige, but everyone is welcome.

If gays were excluded, you would be complaining as well.

Now, several times you have accused me of mimicking talking points, nothing could be further from the truth. I just happen to believe Stephen Decatur was right when he said:

"Our Country! In her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be in the right; but right or wrong, our country!"

To me, that means supporting the president and if you disagree, act professionally, not as most Bush Derangement sufferers have.

I thnk that defeat, anything other than a free and independent Iraq make us weaker and just postpones the showdown with Al Queda and other Islamic extremeists tha want America and Israel destroyed. Every time America walks away, they get stronger.

Cheers back at you.

AF A-10's picture
Submitted by AF A-10 on Thu, 03/08/2007 - 11:08am.

Seriously though. I wish you knew me personally. You would find that no one on this planet loves this country more than I do. I entered JROTC at 15 and I have worn the uniform proudly ever since. The melding of republican politics into the military uniform and the official party of US troops troubled me into becoming the voice box I am. I'm telling you, I could not have cared less about politics until we started selling the Iraq war in 2002.

Here is my point. Ann Coulter called John Edwards a "fa@@ot" in the presence of a gay pornographic movie star that she later posed for pictures with. How did the Log Cabin Republicans feel about the erruption of laughter from the "values voters" in that room? How does any of this show a consistent direction for the Republican party?

The mormon candidate with 12 grandmothers is the only front runner with the same wife he started with. John McCain was incenerated in the 2000 GOP primary, and the "leader" Rudy Giuliani cannot even lead his family, or balance the love and needs of his son with his third wife. What, demonstrably, does the GOP stand for? Rule of Law? Accountability? Open govt? Small govt? I am troubled by our world image, because in a global war on radical Islam, we are going to need strong bonds and relationships all over the globe. And we have made scant progress on that front over the last 6 years.
One day, when you're feeling absolutely secure in your manhood, we'll have to meet for a cold one (or hot cup'o joe). We could both probably learn a thing or two about agreeing to disagree, and then moving forward.


Kevin "Hack" King

ArmyMAJretired's picture
Submitted by ArmyMAJretired on Thu, 03/08/2007 - 11:49am.

I'm glad you love this country half as much as I do (just kidding), I know you are a patriot.

I can NEVER understand personal attack, number of grandmothers for goodness sakes. Did he have ANYTHING to do with his grandfather's choices BEFORE he was born.

If being divorced disqualified Presidential candidates, Ronald Reagan would not have been elected. He had some pretty disfunctional kids by the way and he was a great President, in my opinion.

Until you stop slinging mud, I for one will not take your points seriously. You are better than that. Stick to the facts and keep hate or whatever it is that makes you belittle, put down, denegrate or marginalize aside.

AF A-10's picture
Submitted by AF A-10 on Thu, 03/08/2007 - 12:28pm.

Conservative pundits have opined that the facts I mentioned will hurt each GOP candidate. Mitt Romney's wife brought up the "only 1 wife" thing after attacks by Republicans. Don't blame the messenger now. It isn't my job to reconcile values lived versus values espoused. I understand your delima.

Kevin "Hack" King

ArmyMAJretired's picture
Submitted by ArmyMAJretired on Thu, 03/08/2007 - 12:53pm.

Give me a break, you get morally outraged when someone on the right attacks a Democrat but feel justified to repeat garbage because you didn't start it.

I guess it is fine for me to repeat the allegations that Obama has several Chicago finance issues over his house and investing in companies owned by big donors. That he took the lead on legislation that affected those companies. I guess bringing up the recent hit piece about what a dog his birth father was would be OK with you since I did not startit.

No Hack, you spew garbage, face it. Change begins with you my friend. My dilema is why should I listen to a hypocrite.

Cheers again.

ArmyMAJretired's picture
Submitted by ArmyMAJretired on Thu, 03/08/2007 - 3:59pm.

Tell your friend, who is jumping in to answer for you he should just forget about any one on one with me, I refuse to exchange ideas with a morally bankrupt hate monger.

"Obama purchased $5,000 in shares for AVI, which was developing a drug to treat avian flu. Two weeks after buying the stock, Obama pushed for more federal funding to fight the disease, but company officials said they never talked to Obama about his work in the area." COINCIDENCE, I SWEAR, BELIEVE ME!!!!

"The reports found no evidence that any of his actions ended up benefiting either company during the roughly eight months he owned the stocks." NO EVIDENCE, but sure looks bad.

The story has holes a Mac Truck could drive through: "did not know that his broker at USB bought the stocks under a blind trust that was being set up at the time." So while it was being set up, did he have his broker buy them?

I love this part: "Obama ended the blind trust after he got a stockholder letter in the mail. Obama could not remember whether the mail was from AVI, Skyterra or another company he was invested in, Burton said, but he "realized he didn't have the level of blindness he expected" "

NOT THE LEVEL OF BLINDNESS HE EXPECTED! HA HA HA, I guess it was just real thick glasses kind of trust!

What are the odds that a blind trust would just happen to pick the stocks of some top donors to Obama's political committees. This will not get any real investigation because he is Democrat.

Yeah Mr. honorless himself would believe a Republican's trust advisor based on his word!

Tell him for the last time he is being shunned for crimes against civility, decency and humanity.

Mean spirited

AF A-10's picture
Submitted by AF A-10 on Sat, 03/10/2007 - 6:53pm.

You heard cricket farts because I was in Zurich admiring how clean everything was (and expensive.) You must know that democrats won't soon outscandal the GOP. But back to your hurt feelings for me bringing up issues with the electability of the GOP front runners. They are not nasty barbs. They are facts that republicans have said will effect their votes. Evangelicals have not looked favorably at the LDS vote. Rudy's family issues will absolutely be brought up in the primary. McCain has already seen tough primary trashings, and 08 will be no different. I don't have a dog in that fight. But these are real issues.
Anyway, I don't want to scare another independent trying to sound like an ex democrat away. Know what I mean?


Kevin "Hack" King

Basmati's picture
Submitted by Basmati on Thu, 03/08/2007 - 5:12pm.

15 years and 1 day after the right wingnuts of America cravenly attempted to bring down America's last real leader, Bill Clinton, in the so-called "whitewater scandal", the wingnuts are at it again, trumpeting spurious charges against Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama.

You make your Swiftboat Smearbuddies proud, Major.

Maybe someday you'll get over your intrinsic lack of intestinal fortitude and summon up enough courage to debate me like a real man.

bad_ptc's picture
Submitted by bad_ptc on Thu, 03/08/2007 - 5:00pm.


Mjr., do you really want to go there?

ArmyMAJretired's picture
Submitted by ArmyMAJretired on Thu, 03/08/2007 - 5:16pm.

Mrs. Clinton continued to be a net winner at the game. By the time she closed her trading account ten months later, she had racked up $99,541 in profits, a spectacular 10,000 per cent return on her initial investment of $1,000. Either Mrs. Clinton was a better trader than the legendary George Soros, whose best-ever annual return in thirty years of trading was 122 per cent, or she was led by an invisible hand.

Don't get me started on Terry "Global Crossings" McAuliffe, or harry Reid's land profit on land he didn't own.


Tell your little cricket pal that Hillary is the biggest threat to Obama, no one can blame the good guys for this smear.

This is going to get nasty and we don't have to do a thing!

bad_ptc's picture
Submitted by bad_ptc on Thu, 03/08/2007 - 5:26pm.

Don't get me wrong.

Hillery is the absolute WORST thing that could happen to this country.

I would rather see Osama binLadn win the lottery then for that sadomasochistic dominatrix to get anywhere the White House again.

Basmati's picture
Submitted by Basmati on Thu, 03/08/2007 - 3:37pm.

"I guess it is fine for me to repeat the allegations that Obama has several Chicago finance issues over his house and investing in companies owned by big donors. That he took the lead on legislation that affected those companies."

It's not fine, Major. The story that you are referring to explicitly noted that Obama's stockbroker invested in certain companies without informing Obama because he was managing a blind trust (fourth paragraph). Obama had no knowledge of these investments, which the New York Times article pointed out and you conveniently overlooked.

But then, it's easy to overlook inconvenient facts when you have no honor.

"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross" - Sinclair Lewis, 1935

"...and wearing little gold oak leaf clusters on its collar as well" - Basmati 2007

AF A-10's picture
Submitted by AF A-10 on Wed, 03/07/2007 - 4:23pm.

Military person does not equal republican when the pres is republican, and it sure didn't mean democrat when the last dem was in office. The Bush/Cheney crowd did not have Clinton /Gore stickers in 98 did they? If no one questions policy (not the person) what do we have? A dictatorship? Military rule? What? If the president says a vote for democrats is a vote for terrorists, I will call the statement outrageous. if he says he'll fire someone for being involved with a Plame outing, and then does not, I will consider it a lie. I choose to use my brain independently of talking points. Give it a try. It is refreshing.

Kevin "Hack" King

maximus's picture
Submitted by maximus on Wed, 03/07/2007 - 9:02pm.

I don’t think Bush had the authority to fire Richard Armitage. I could be wrong.

bad_ptc's picture
Submitted by bad_ptc on Mon, 03/05/2007 - 6:24pm.

GIs Petition Congress To End Iraq War
Americans in the military have been asked to make extraordinary sacrifices in recent years, particularly in Iraq, where the casualties are mounting, the tours are being extended, and some of them have had enough.

"As a patriotic citizen who served two combat tours in Iraq, I just feel like this war, it's simply just not working out anymore, and soldiers are dying there everyday," says Specialist Kevin Torres.

maximus's picture
Submitted by maximus on Wed, 03/07/2007 - 8:57pm.

Compelling stuff from “breaking new and views for the progressive community.” The petition doesn’t seem to be going very well though. 1702 total ‘signers’. Two former soldiers and 1700 war protesting college kids.

bad_ptc's picture
Submitted by bad_ptc on Thu, 03/08/2007 - 6:39am.

1,705 Active Duty, Reserve, and Guard personnel have now signed the appeal.

Appeal for Redress


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