Friday, October 05, 2007

A First hand Account of the State of the Military from the front lines of Afghanistan and at large!

A first hand account of the state of the military!

A first hand account of the State of the military from the front lines in Afghanistan and at large!
I told you my 2 sons were home on leave and I would write about what I find out. What I found out is not pleasant and most of it can not be repeated without getting one or both of my sons in trouble. No descriptive horror but I told you the son who was in the mountains of Afghanistan was hard core so some of my friends here will not like to hear some of this but this is the situation from a strict disciplinarian without divulging anything sensitive.

I knew Jim was hard core as he is his Fathers son but some of what I heard surprised me. I was pretty surprised to first find out that the Fire bases and even Bagram are not secured from Landmines and unexploded ordinance. You are told to stay on the tar and off the dirt at all times and he had frequent calls to clear landmines found right in the path to the latrine that has been traveled every day all day. You just never know because there are many civilians being used and they all have different tactics and standards! Routine night time rocket attacks etc. He was relating stories of all the kids he paid and sometimes the Government paid, to collect unexploded ordinance.
They would all be roaming around with explosives of every kind and wonder why he was so worried then they accidently detonate and lose an arm,leg, or worse. He would follow them into their compound and they each had their own pile. There was so much in one place they lent him a wheel barrow to move it all then he was so cautious they pushed him aside and did it themselves like they were at the playground or something.

Most disturbing to me was what I was hearing about combat conditions etc. He as I told you is a team leader. One of his soldiers decided he was done and just left. They caught up with him trying to get out of country and arrested him. With his units time winding down and no communications he decided enough was enough and walked in from the field. All the time out there and at least a month without getting cleaned up I can understand why everyone ran when they saw him coming, plus he had gone from a healthy 225 to 160 pounds.
Anyway I was disturbed to hear a couple of opinions I know are contentious to some especially the inexperienced and uninitiated. I wrote about Pat Tillman yesterday in the regard of Ciera Durkin's recent suspicious killing. We were discussing that and it opened a can of worms I wasn't prepared for but said nothing.
I was concerned from my sheltered point of view about the killings of our own soldiers by some of our own. I remember it occurring during Vietnam but was stunned at the casualness of the response. We hear it all the time but hearing the facts recounted really put the degradation of the military into perspective. I realize we are running short of seasoned professionals as they are scrambling in increasing numbers to escape Bush's Forever War to be replaced by less than qualified applicants as the requirements are increasingly slackened to attract replacements.

As a result you fight to keep these less than adequate troops out of your unit for the fear they will endanger the lives of all those around them. It was recounted that fragging wasn't that uncommon and the input I heard about Tillman annoyed me to say the least and with the recounting of the way money is dished out and laundered made it easy to understand why Ciera was killed.
It was the reasoning behind women in the military that really surprised me and more so because I have to agree. Myself, again being long out of this and maybe jaded with age never thought about the problems of having Women in the military. I thought Women at least could do jobs behind the lines so the men could be doing the fighting. I hope that doesn't come off as being sexist because that is not it and I am not.
Anyway the input was that there is no place in the military for Women because like it or not they inevitably cause trouble.Think about the myriad of relationship issues in the midst of a combat situation and there's no discussion necessary. In the final analysis I was surprised to hear just how bad our military situation is especially knowing Bush has a lot more war coming and the attitude destructive use of Blackwater style businesses is only going to increase.
I have to be out of the house tomorrow because the Realtor is showing it so I don't know if I will be able to write but of course I will try!

James Joiner
Gardner Ma


enigma4ever said...

very depressing...all of it...what has happened to our country and our military....this is not how to run a military or a war....

Now because I am a pain in the ass...I don't think all women are cut out for the Military...and I also think that if women are in the military they have to follow some rules...and be tough...( some rules you ask- well, for one thing no dating those you work with- it is that simple..) But some women do well in the military- but they are not your average any means....

Many blessings and good thoughts to your sons...and may you have a good visit with them...


Anok said...

I remember my husband telling me about the "problems with women" in the military. And to some extent, I do agree that women probably should not be in the military beyond certain duties.

My husband recounted one incident, during a chemical weapons alarm to me.(erm, pardon my lack of proper military terms I was not in the military!)

He realized that when the alarm went off, he ended up having to help several women get into their chemical suits - not because they couldn't do it themselves ordinarily - but because they panicked. Anecdotal as it is, he observed that in time of absolute chaos - soldiers and sailors need to be at their most calm so they can react properly. My husband said that the majority of women on the ship simply couldn't do it - they panicked. And that puts lives at risk.

I need to think about the rest of your post before I can comment though...

Naj said...

What kind of a panicky woman gets into the army, I wonder!

I always thought women who want to be in the army are those who hate their gender and sexuality, and those who denounce it in a way, and therefore the will not be panicky!

But I think women are more resilient than men are. However, because women are more complex creatures, they do not act on the first impulse, as men would do, and that complexity of decision making is perhaps what puts women's lives in danger.

Anyways, I never know what kind of a woman would become a soldier. However, I know if any forein soldier step foot in my country, i WILL be fighting them off with no panic!

an average patriot said...

Namiste enigma!
I share your befuddlement but as you know, in a word what happened was Bush and the Bushco Repugs.
You aren't a pain in the ass enigma, you are right. I happen to believe there are some things women are better suited for.
As was pointed out to me though, combat is no place for them because of the sexual thing and as it was reafirmed to me, it works both wayd and that is a bog problem.
enigma I agree with everything tou said but some things are beter left discussed on a private forum. Onw son has been called to go TDY to Cambodia and Joe leaves Monday but it has been nice.
We have not been together since Jim went in 8 years ago. It will be nice to someday have all 5 of us together somewhere. There is a plan to get together in Alaska to go fishing after Jim's hopeful return from Iraq. Namaste

an average patriot said...

Gee I'm sorry, I didn't know you were a woman. That's cool, I would like to hear your whole opinion.
I do happen to agree with you, enigma, naj, and surprisingly Jim who I have found to be quite the combat personality. Some of the thoughts were sobering but I can agree with. Let me know what you think.

an average patriot said...

I agree but normally they and men would be better screened. With Bush's Forever War though good people are leaving and recruitment standards are increasingly laxed to keep troops in the field. That it only part of the problem Bush has created, the idiot.
I agree there are some things women do better but I do not think they should be in a combat zone in any capacity.
I too wonder what makes a woman want to do combat? I can understand air but not ground. I agree too of course of fighting regardless if your country is attacked. Will Iran let you back and how? You know the chief idiot is going to do it! What will the future bring for all of us?

Naj said...

Hi Jim.

I was just reading on Ciara Durking and Tillman. Perhaps it is worth doing a bit of investigation of reports of dissent from all those who are killed in "friendly" fires.

I'm sure you know about the case of AlJazeera reporter being shot at by American helicopters.

I heard from a British writer/journalist Tariq Ali, that American general in Quatar has been trying to censor Aljazeera because they showed images of American tanks firing onto civilian cars (burning a man, a woman and two children alive) The General's logic was that by "showing" these images, Aljazeera was fueling Arab sentiments against the American occupiers. (how about the occupier's actions being blamed for once?)

Anyways, I don't know why ANY human being would want to do combat, male or female! I consider it a genetic and a psychphysiological deficiency to "want to GO to fight!"

Defense is our natural instinct, but ONLY when attacked.

Those who attack preemptively are just delusional paranoid psychotic creatures.

an average patriot said...

I am afraid after talking to Jim that it happens all the time and it is justified to further the cause and save the lives of others.
I am getting ready to post a story with a lot of turns. One is the chief idiot telling Al-Aribiya how he is misunderstood. My eye, they aren't stupid.

PoliShifter said...

I just wanted to let you know that I read this post. I just didn't have anything to say.

It made me sad and infuriated though I already had some vague idea that this is how things are, or even worse in some cases.

It's infuriating.

War should be a last resort. And if we're going to go war, we should have at least done it right.

We could have been successful in Afghanistan. We could have been successful in Iraq.

It we stuck by Zinni and Shinseki things would be a lot different.

Hell, if Petraeus followed his own counter insurgency manual, things would have been different.

If we did not disband the Iraq Army, if we didn't debathify, if we didn't put PMC's above U.S. and Iraqi Law, if we didn't allow only right wing evangelicals to work in the CPA, if we actually put Iraqis to work, if we actually provided clean water, electricty, and security, if we allowed Iraq to keep their oil, if we build a coalition of neighboring countries to help stabilize Iraq, if we had a god damned real leader who wasn't afriad to negotiate and talk to other countries, if we didn't allow Rumsfeld to privatize our military....

Things could have been different. We should have never invadedin the first place, but when we did, we should have at least done it right.

Instead all the NeoCon fuckers and BushCo, they couldn't see past the dollars and the power. They don't want a stable Iraq because if Iraq was stable the gravy train would end.

It's sick and sad.

I'm seeing red.

an average patriot said...

an average patriot said...
It's funny but after waking up to the news on Myanmar and Darfur, remembering Tianamen square and what is happening right here and around the world I was going to put a story together on it and I think I will after hearing from you. I am going to have to check out your site now.
You know, listening to what you said about Blackwater and our police and knowing how F'd up it is and will get a lot worse here and around the world, our future certainly is tenuous at best.

an average patriot said...

You and all us peace lovers of the world are pissed but that is not the goal of Bush or the world right now that is why everyone is infuriated. However with new order world war, what I call Bush's Forever War the goal, everything is going as planned and Bush is a happy camper.
As we approach the 2008 election that will not be,things will get a lot worse as Bush is speeding up his mis agenda. He will dwarf all he has done to us and the world as his greatest damage is yet to come.

Anok said...

Just popping in to say I'm still following this thread. And no worries Average American - people often make that mistake online. I think I write more like a man than a woman anyway ;)

Naj, I agree. I have more to say about it, but right now I'm short on time.