Wednesday, July 30, 2003

the reality of war that no one wants to hear about

in other countries, suppression of these voices is called censorship. in this country, it is suppressed by appealing to some kind of military honor about not discrediting the uniform. either way it is still censorship.

from the travelling soldier site:

"You call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go
home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building." - Pfc. Matthew C.
ODell, Third Infantry Division.

"They're killing us. Enough is enough." - Staff Sgt. Ray B. Robinson, Third
Infantry Division.

"If you asked the soldiers, theyre ready to go home It was a very
emotional day for our guys. Theyre torn up over throwing old ladies and
kids out [of their houses]." - Maj. Brian Pearl, EO, 101st Airborne,
Northern Iraq.

"I don't see it getting better. We can't be everywhere, can we? I feel
like a cop, but I'm not a cop." - Pfc. Jacob Weber, 21.

"Every hour, this gets worse. Any foot-dragging on getting what we need
here means those people are responsible for me getting shot at." - Master
Sgt. Jerry Best, Army Corps.

"I think our welcomes worn out. We dont even get that fake wave anymore.
They just stare." - Lt. Tom Garner of the Fourth Infantry Division remarked
to his superior, Capt. Dave Gray, Tikrit.

"You are fighting a group that is in their home. If it was me and someone
was to come into my home, Id be throwing some lead downrange." - Sgt.
Joseph Denny, 25, 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, Forward
Operating Base Exxon, Iraq.

"It's a little sobering. When you're training for this, you joke about,
you can't wait for the real thing. Then when you see it, when you see the
real thing, you never want to see it again." - Capt. Sal Aaguilar,

"I didn't want to get shot, so I shot him first. OK, I'm done. I'm ready
to go back to Kuwait now." - Cpl. Juan B. Elenes, 21, of Portland, Ore.,
15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

"I've seen a car blow up and then a guy run back and grab his wife from
the seat and we couldn't do anything about it. I saw people taking
pictures of dead people. I thought: That's disgusting. I asked my tank
commander, 'Why are you doing that?' He said, 'If my son says he wants to
join the Army, I'll show him this [photograph] and tell him this is what
the Army does.' " - Spc. Jarrid Lott, 28-year-old tank driver.

"Some of the people I killed who I didn't know if they were innocent or
not. That won't leave me." - Sgt. 1st Class Jeff Lujan.

"Who picked them up? Who buried them? I've reconciled myself. We did the
right thing, even though it was wrong." - Sgt. 1st Class Jeff Lujan again.

"Were more angry at the generals who are making these decisions and who
never hit the ground, and who dont get shot at or have to look at the
bloody bodies and the burnt-out bodies, and the dead babies and all that
kinda stuff." - Spc. Anthony Castillo, Third Infantry Divison.

"I had to look that woman right in the eyes and I felt so horrible for her.
Ive got a little girl. Im fucking constantly angry over what happened
with that family. [They were shot as they approached a checkpoint] ... Im
pissed off at my chain of command for not putting up signs in every
language, to warn em. Normally Im a talkative guy, a happy person, but
Ive been real quiet lately, because Im so pissed off. Im thinking more and
more Im so frustrated, so angry, I want to choke somebody ... constantly."
- Spc. 1st Class Bill Scates of Oklahoma City, stationed at a checkpoint
in Baghdad

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