Thursday, January 24, 2008

Times Under Fire from Charles Sheehan Miles Blog

From Charles Sheehan Miles Good sttuff


Thursday, 17 January 2008
Times Under Fire for Vets article
Posted By Charles at 9:59 AM

On Sunday, the New York Times ran a lengthy article chronicling a series of homicides committed by Iraq and Afghanistan veterans over the last several years—more than 120 killings here in the United States. Now, the Times is under fire, according to some articles and bloggers, for perpetuating “The Killer Vet lie” and “Vet-Bashing.”
Not surprisingly, the culture warriors who are still intent on perpetuating the Vietnam era hawk vs. dove debate have jumped in feet first, specially after the Weekly Standard ran an analysis by John J. Dilulio which attempts to debunk the conclusions of the times by pointing out that the murder rate among same-age Americans is much higher than among returning veterans. The terms of the debate are the usual:
· The article is “presumably an attempt at making another case for ending the war, if we know anything about the Times's editors.”
· Mike Burleson writes: Just throw out a few unverified facts and let the "blame America first" crowd, as well as the radicals overseas gather their talking points.
· At “The Two Malcontents”, they write, “The Times has committed a gross slander.” This, of course, is on the same blog which has categories titled “Americans who Hate America,” “Commie Pinkos” and “Blame America”
Unfortunately, all of these articles miss the real point raised by the Times article. Are we doing enough to help war veterans coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan? And the answer to that question is a resounding no.
It makes me angry that a legitimate issue that should be of concern to all of us has to be tied up in the pro-war/anti-war political debate. Let’s get that out front. To those on the left who would use this article as an argument for leaving Iraq, I say: stop using the troops as your political football. To the folks on the right who would use this as an opportunity to bash the left: screw off. Both sides make me sick. Because the people getting left behind in this debate are the people who actually need our help.
I’ve written in the past about the profound impact killing has on the psyche. Killing sucks. Sometimes its necessary, and war is one of those times. But that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. Frankly, I struggled for years with the remorse, rage, and sometimes-waking nightmares that were a result of killing another human being.
My first novel, written in the three years following my own experience with killing in the Gulf War, goes directly to this issue: the experience of killing in combat, the impact on the soldier, and most importantly in this discussion—the possibility of a violent response to the experience.
The question of whether or not returning veterans are less or more likely to kill than the general population is an important one and needs to be looked at more systematically than has been done in the past. But using the question as yet another manifestation of the left-right culture war is the real disservice to veterans.

Tags: PTSD Iraq military war NY Times wingnuts culture warriors

Posted By Charles at 9:59 AM

Sunday, January 20, 2008

About 2 below and the repost from Anonymous Infantryman

"I read 2 Below. My first instinct was to state what every jacked up combat vet thinks, but am afraid of how bad it will be attacked by others.

Killing is like virginity and sex. The first time is awkward. You've heard your buddies talk about it, you've seen it on tv. and it can be addicting.

But every situation is different. The mother ****er who ran a road block with a family inside actually bothers me. The mother ****er who set off an IED. well, I feel good about what we did, and bad that we missed one. It made me feel REALLY good sometimes. It fixed any problem. It really really bothered me sometimes. But by the end of the tour, we looked for every opportunity we could. The emotion was gone. It just was. Like a drug addict rock star. First the music, then drugs and music, then just the drugs.

The truth is that the primitive mind remembers serious threats, bit by a dog, don't f*** with it. Whatever solution it used in the past, (assuming it worked) the brain will reuse. If lethal force with a weapon resolved a threat. Hey, it worked last time, and the time before that. Why not?? It ain't broke. why change or fix it.

That's for a threat. Someone is gonna harm me, or someone near me.

few more things. 1: WW II, Korean, and vietnam vets toughed it out, they didn't get anything and nobody cared. It just seems like everyone else in the world telling us (Soldiers) what we're feeling. and how normal things are to an abnormal situation. -Well, isn't fighting and 'waring' human nature? so WTF?

It's also f***ed up to bring up a problem without a solution, so I thought, what do I think, or how would I change it. That's when I realized, I called battle buddies to check. I asked 4 of my most f***ed up battle buddies. no one ever asked us.
Like I said. I've been spoon fed what I'm suppose to be going through by some "expert" wearing birkenstocks and in desperate need of a haircut... ya. But people don't seem to realize that there is no privacy in the Army. If you want to know anything about anyone. ASK 'EM. I don't have any interest in maintaining my privacy AS LONG as whatever it is used for is done respectfully and not used, well, how can I say this. To benifit any hippy claims. I.E. war =bad, war is for business. ETC.
But if you or someone else wants to know what's going on upstairs in our gorrilla minds. Ask. I would feel confronted by the first question out of their mouths, "didja keel anyone."

But would answer PTSD questions.

So what! A few joes killed some people. Hey did America know that people in the Service use drugs too? Yeah, alot!

The truth is, is that like any community, someone is bound to any number of illegal activities. Yes the percentage might be higher, right now then in the past, but seriously. How many people were killed in Detriot, LA, NY.. Shit happens.

I don't understand what you meant at the end of your writing, the last two paragraphs were hard to follow. You had me going, then the last 2 make it sound like you have some kind of hidden agenda or cheap shot at I don't even know what. But it always seems to leave a sour taste, rather than that of a genuine care. Maybe it's just well beyond my level of either education, social class, or care. I just don't get it.

(I've never heard the blue cord refered to a pretty blue braid most people don't know that means infantry). Thanks

Grunts and a repost

A friend who has served both as a Marine, then again as Army Infantry and now back as a marine posted this, with permission to repost. These are not my words at all, nor are they meant to persuade anyone to anything, just one voice among many...

" Jan 17, 2008 12:01 AM
Subject: Aaaaahhhh!!!!
Body: GRUNTS- Body: Underwear is entirely optional at all times -You go on missions with your fly undone so you can piss while pulling security. -You have issues with female authority. -You have issues with females. -You have no problem running 5 miles drunk. -You have no problem maxing a PT Test drunk. -You have no problems doing a 12 mile forced march drunk. -You have no problems but drinking problems, and you don't think its a problem at all. -You would fight for a guy you barely know, as long as he's a grunt. -You'd fight your best friend, even though he's a grunt. -Monday morning formation should be taped and sent in to the Howard Stern Show. -You know someone who has done the following: 1. pissed themselves, shit themselves, puked on themselves, and in turn did all of the above on other people, and loved it 2. killed a Hadji, and loved it 3. killed a case in between COB and last light, and loved it. 4. ran a few miles on a broken something, and loved it. -You know that work is work and play is play. -You pride yourself on getting dirtier than any POG, but looking prettier at the same time. -You know heroes. -You know heroes that dont care if they are heroes. -Your buddies know all of your business, tell all of your business, but when the shit gets hot, its always time to handle some goddamn business. -You wince when a POG handles his weapon like a POG. -You know POG dudes hate you because POG chicks love you. -You realize you are one of the hardest motherfuckers in the country, and that's just before anyone else gets out of bed. -You got stopped in the airport by some fat security guard on the way home from OIF or OEF because your uniform had bomb residue, blood, or powder burns on it, and they treated you like a terrorist because of it. -You say Roger when Roger could mean a really bad day. -You say Roger because you welcome a bad day. -You would bleed on the flag so the stripes stay red. -You can fall asleep absolutely anywhere. -You hear Kuwait, you automatically get the shits. -You hear Iraq/Afghanistan, you say, fuck it dude, Round Two, Three, Four, whatever. -You are the sore-footed, camo-faced, sunburnt, dirty, tired hungry sons-of-a-bitches that have fought so long to keep the wolf at the gate. You know this and you don't care if anyone else knows this. -You are the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world, and damn proud of it. -I'll drink to that. -Repost this if you're a grunt or know a grunt. If you're a chick, do your best to go f**k a grunt, ask anyone, its the best lay you'll ever have...."

POG is a person in the armed services with a desk job. They usually have blogs with fierce pictures, but they sit in air conditioned rooms away from any danger. The above post was written by a a young man who has been to the sandbox more than once, and upon his last return, tried to get into law enforcement, etc, but decided to re-up and return to Iraq.

Ok, the point of posting this is to demonstrate that real people from all walks of life serve in the armed forces, they aren't all pilots killing at a distance, or supply sergeants loading something, some are in the streets doing the dirty work. I think Infantrymen think like this friend. He is adrenaline filled and full of living in the moment, just filled to the brim with the excitement of the next door, yet upon return home, he has to schedule appointments, make appointments, pay bills, do the drudgery of school, and make his own way, which is really not fly compared to the zipper-down, piss anywhere, shoot anyone time he just had.