August 16, 2005

USELESS

Apparently the Left thinks that in order to properly gain support for their anti-war beliefs, they need to repeat the word "useless", specifically in reference to Cindy Sheehan's son's "useless sacrifice" in Iraq.

In my life, I have known many people who have died before their time. Car accidents, drugs, suicide, drowning, and murder have taken people I knew and cared about. So did the game Red Rover, when my brother's friend died when tightly linked arms made him fall and hit his head. There's nothing more senseless or "useless" than dying during a game at Vacation Bible School. Young people die from being impaled with a golf club or mauled by the family dog. Those deaths are useless indeed.

I submit that dying in Iraq is about one of the most noble deaths for a young man or woman. There's no honor in getting hit by a bus, but the sacrifice that these soldiers and marines are making is anything but useless. These 1853 Americans have died for the good of not only their own country but for the good of Iraq. They have died so that others can be free.

That's about the most useFUL sacrifice a man can make.


MORE TO GROK:

Our nation's sons have given their lives so that Iraq's mothers can find peace.

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August 14, 2005

WHEW

What a week! Two dogs peeing in the house, causing a ruckus, and breaking things while they wrestle. I'm glad that's over. But at least some good came from all the action: Charlie lost his front two teeth. Thank heavens we're on the way to adult teeth; those puppy teeth hurt.

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August 08, 2005

WHY WE FIGHT

I saw an AFN commercial today about Frank Capra's Why We Fight movies. Apparently Capra used clips of Hitler's speeches to explain what we were up against. I noticed the stark contrast between Why We Fight and a series of commercials that runs on AFN called Why We're Here. These commercials are all about the feel-good stuff that's going on in Iraq: school openings, meetings with Iraqi councilmen, playing with children. These commercials are interesting, but they sure have a different focus than Why We Fight.

Let's make a movie out of LGF. Someone get footage of imams around the world calling for the death of Americans. Let's add Nick Berg and Daniel Pearl, mixed with Saddam chopping off hands. How 'bout the folks who were cheering in the streets on 9/11? Or footage of those Hamas training camps? And let's show Why We Fight.

If we never demonize the enemy, we'll never truly mobilize.

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SLEEPY

We're dogsitting this week, so with two puppies in the house, I know I won't make it to the computer much. I don't think we'll be sleeping much either, if the last two nights are any indication.

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August 05, 2005

COOL

It's funny: it was easier for me to keep up with Red6 when he was Iraq than when he lives five miles away. Since he and my husband aren't in the same unit anymore, we don't see each other that often. We try to get him over to our house once a week for dinner, but he's a busy, busy man.

Anyway, I was excited to see this exchange he had with a French reader, which led me to a cool blog in French. Herve runs Le Monde a L'Envers, which more or less means "the world in reverse or upside-down or inside-out or something". It's always good to see we've got French support.

When I went to France a year ago, the main thing I wanted to do was return to St. Avold cemetery. We got there right at closing time, which didn't give me much time to linger, but I did go into the caretaker building. I wanted to sign the guest book, and what I found brought tears to my eyes. So many people from all over France had visited the cemetery and written encouraging comments. I found so many attaboys and gratefulness for my country. People said that the US was the best or that they stand by us. Often it was just a triumphant USA!! written on the side. I was so touched by that guest book, and I'll never forget the words I read that day from our individual allies.

Thanks for your blog, Herve.

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August 04, 2005

TOP FIVE BLOG MOMENTS OF ALL TIME

5. Getting an email from Den Beste about cargo cult science.

4. Musing that I missed The Genius I Was and then finding out he reads my blog.

3. Getting an email from Ben Stein.

2. Hearing that Blackfive and Michael Tucker were talking about me.

1. Getting to meet Tim, CaliValleyGirl, and The Girl in person. I hope there are many more blog meetings for me in the future.

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August 03, 2005

USCH

Dear President Bush,

Please stop doing stuff and things that make me not like you.

Sincerely,
Sarah

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OVER THERE

If you're in USAREUR like me, you didn't get to see the show Over There. My mother-in-law relayed some of the show to me, and parts she remembered made me groan. I wish I could see it for myself, but it sounded hackneyed. My husband and I were goofing off later on: "Gosh, Sarge, what a SNAFU." and "Sir, yes, sir!" and other things that only appear to get said in the TV Army. John of Argghhh! compiled reviews from milbloggers who watched the program, and the prognosis is not looking good. I can completely understand though: my husband can't get within ten feet of a military movie without turning beet red and swearing up a storm. If we want to see a show about war, we opt for War Is The H-Word.

And I hear there was a soldier openly smoking pot? HA. Double HA.

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DANG

I felt bad that Grey Eagle took what I said so personally. I certainly never meant that every single female soldier acts like a slut, and I thought I was as tactful as possible in clarifying my position twice. Everyone keeps pointing out to me that it takes two to tango, completely missing the irony: that's what I was saying in the first place. At times you'd think that the only sex that happens in the Army is rape; I just wanted to point out that men don't have a monopoly on bad behavior.

So I felt bad about Grey Eagle, but then I went over to her website and saw what she has to say about me...

I am a soldier and a combat medic, and the person your husband will turn to to save his life, treat his wounds, and evac him out, so he can bring his cheating ass home to you.

Real classy. She even finds time to make fun of the name of my blog too. And then she flat out lies about me:

There were comments where people actually wrote supporting these posts (I noticed that my comments were removed from the post on "Trying to Grok, but the comments supporting her post were left on).

I never deleted anything she wrote. I don't know what on earth she's talking about, since she filled up most of the comments sections.

I know that this issue is very personal for her, more personal than it is for me because 1) my husband was on an all-male FOB in Iraq and 2) if you knew my husband, you'd know that SPC Waterstraw is just not his type (wink). But I am more than a little disappointed that while I was merely trying to bring up an issue that we all tiptoe around, just to put it out there on the table, Grey Eagle has to personally insult me and belittle me as just an "uninformed spouse".

Cattiness and bitchitude is not exactly the best way to raise my opinion of female soldiers, is it?


[By the way, neither is implying that it's OK for married soldiers to have occasional sex downrange because they're stressed out. I don't buy that BS from the slutty wives either. But that's what Grey Eagle appears to say here:

I have seen and understand where soldiers return from patrols or convoys shaken from IED's, ambushes, being shot at, and all the other incidents that take place, where sleep is mixed with motar attacks, explosions, sucide bombers, and living in conditions that create hardship, depression, and fear to name a few. This causes the soldiers, ALL SOLDIERS regardless of gender to behave differently than when we are home. The sex, which is mostly consentual is a reflection of escape and our own mortality, and becomes living for the moment, and NOT a endless orgy of sex. What the hell do you think we do over there. It does not take away from home, spouses, the love we have, or that we wish we were home with them every moment of every day that we deployed

Please tell me I'm reading this wrong. You can't insist that females are not a sex problem for the military and then shrug off "occasional FOB sex" as normal.]

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August 02, 2005

AUGUST 2

On this day in 1880, Greenwich Mean Time was adopted. In 1921, the eight White Sox players were acquitted of throwing the World Series. In 1971, the astronauts of Apollo 15 were driving around on the moon. And on this day in 1980, my mother-in-law was giving birth to the most wonderful man in the world. Happy birthday, husband.

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August 01, 2005

CLARIFICATION II

Man, this is why I've avoided blogging lately; it seems everything I say gets taken out of context or misconstrued. I get tired of going in circles.

So...I'm also not saying that all females are evil and unable to handle the military. I sure wish people wouldn't extrapolate my post into something I haven't argued.

My big beef is the view our society has that everything is the man's fault. This happens with sexual harrassment and infidelity, both in and outside the Army, but it happens in other realms too, which I've blogged about before in reference to Kim du Toit's bullseye, The Pussification of the Western Male.

Think about sitcoms: the men always cause the trouble. The portrayal of men on TV is ghastly. I saw it again today on a rerun of King of Queens: she wanted to go to the opera and he didn't; apparently she's too big of a witch to accept "look, hon, that's not really my bag", so he had to concoct this elaborate scheme to get out of going where he looked like a jerk in the end. I'm telling you, I stopped watching Everybody Loves Raymond when Ray ripped up his Superbowl tickets just to get Debra to stop whining for a second. The women on these shows are atrocious, but the joke is always on the dumb/incompetent/insensitive man.

Newsflash: men are not to blame for everything. That's my overarching beef with sexual harrassment norms and my reason for challenging Smink's post. Sometimes women are to blame for the unwanted advances and failed marriages.

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CLARIFICATION

I thought I was perfectly clear in my post on women in the military that I was only bringing up additional issues on the topic. But it appears that I need to say more.

I am not in any way saying that all of the blame lies with females. The reason I wrote the post was because Smink's post only addressed the issues that women face; I wanted to point out that there's another side to the story that neither Smink nor his 15 commenters addressed. That doesn't mean that I think females are the military's sexual predators.

Men can be sneaky, nasty jerks. I know of plenty of stories of the gross and immoral things they've done downrange too. However, we can't lay all of the blame at their feet. Women can be conniving sluts too. As a society, I believe we're too quick to always blame the men.

One scenario fleshed out: I heard a soldier tell the story of a time he heard a female specialist completely sass-mouth her first sergeant. She interrupted him and was extremely rude. As she left, my soldier friend expressed shock that she could get away with being so impertinent; he was told that the first sergeant had made the enormous error of having consentual sex with this female and was now paying for his mistake. This female specialist threatened to expose him if he didn't give her special treatment. Was the 1SG wrong for sleeping with her? You bet your sweet bippy he was! But this female is now the one hurting mission readiness by blackmailing her NCO. She could turn him in and say she was raped, and there's nothing he could do about it. In today's world and military, women hold all of the power when it comes to sexual harrassment. And I truly believe that some of them abuse this system.

Men and women are having sex downrange. Some of them are married, some are not. But what happens when two unmarried soldiers are having sex and the man wants to end it, and the female gets mad and reports to the unit that he raped her? Happened to someone I know. We as a society tend to always believe the woman is telling the truth in these situations; I personally don't believe that anymore. I think the system is abused and broken, so I get irritated when we moan about the plight of the poor, harrassed women in the military, and when every other AFN commercial is about stopping sexual harrassment against women. Some of these women know exactly what they're doing and have ruined the system for those who really are being harrassed.


[P.S. I also know that infidelity is not only a product of deployment or the military. Our last president had consentual sex with an intern. Bonehead, stupid, ridiculous move on his part. But what happened? She hung on to a dirty dress and destroyed his reputation, while she got book deals and made money. I don't excuse the president, but I do think that's despicable behavior on her part as well. She was not a victim in that situation, but she retained victim status simply because she is a woman. I believe the problem extends to all of our society.]

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