From the Soldier side: OK, I love reading other blogs...I can't wait until I retire and can read them all day long. However, I'd really like to clear up a wee bit of confusion some good citizens may have about Iraq. Now, let me make it clear, I was there from Dec 2004 to Nov 2005. I got sent to a lot of places, based in Baghdad. I went to Fallujah and helped the Devil Dogs, Returned to Base (RTB) then went to Mosul after the asshole insurgent blew up the Army mess hall. My team and I spent about 3 days there, then went to Tel Afar to unfuck a problem there.
Then RTB. We hid in Baghdad for 3 whole weeks before one of my guys asked the commander: "When are we going back out?" They had forgotten we were there I think...but this threw us on the radar screen.
We went to FOB Kalsu, Al Asad, then RTB. Then they broke up my team and gave me an "Advance Mess Kit Repair" mission. That was some cool shit....someday I'll be able to write about. Later, my new team and I went back to Fallujah, Al Asad, Camp Gannon and some other places I forgot.
My point? I got to see a lot of Iraq. This was OIF 3. Not every place had proper armor on the Humvees, not every place had nice trailers to live in, not every place even had a nice KBR mess hall. It was a friggen war and the friggen Army forgot to even get some of us ammo.
My deployment started right after the news of Abu Grabe hit the public. Every camp we went to was afraid of getting in trouble for any bad treatment of a detainee...so they were all treated pretty good as far as I could see. We didn't give them birthday cards, but they ate the same stuff we ate and they got better medical treatment than most of the un-employed in the States.
Rumsfeld said: "you go to war with what you have." Well, if I was planning a war, I would have made sure we actually had the shit we needed. A great movie that shows this is "Generation Kill."
I had a good friend from the engineer company I used to be in who was killed in a crappy armored Humvee (Hajji Armor).
My friend in Iraq, Roberto was killed in an M1114 armored Humvee...that was totally due to a retarded company commander who told Roberto to take the team out when the commander had no idea what he was doing.
If we are going to war again, please make sure we have the equipment and the leaders to make it work.