Theodore's World: The Bunker Notebook ~ News From In Country

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November 25, 2006

The Bunker Notebook ~ News From In Country


This Category Bunker Notebook at Theodore's World, 
will be about the things shared in emails from 
our troops and other Americans that are 
located in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Theodore's World is very aware of how 
loose lips endanger our troops and other Americans 
working in the hot zones, so at all times great care will be 
taken in how much information is posted. 

Some notes will be directly from the troops 
and other notes from those such
as employees with Halliburton and others.


Yes there is a curfew in Bagdad, I have received emails from a friend that is there. She is an employee with Haliburton in Baghdad.

"They're really not worse...they're better than they were in 2004. They're coming to a head. Most of rest of Iraq is calm now. But there is a need for some changes in the leadership. I guess people learn lessons after a first-time election. I've heard so many Iraqis bemoan not having voted for Allawi's party now.

The media has been very successful in distorting the war to the people back home. I've watched them do it for some time now and it disgusts me. They've even been able to influence events here. People just don't realize what ramifications there are when they go spouting off about that. This is not a failure, we have not lost and pulling out now would be disastrous."

And this is from an email from someone that is in the military in Iraq ...Army Infantry Lieutenant...Platoon Leader in the first Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT).....with his permission:

"As you know,Mosul, my personal playground, is more or less stable, but there is a strong insurgent presence here. We in the Stryker Brigade are able to contain them very well, but we've been unable to make a real dent in them personnel-wise. Logistically, we've been hammering them, and that's almost as good. Intelligence (for us) is scattered but reliable. For them, well, there are a very large number of people who are happy to pass on tidbits of info b/c it seems like the good Iraqi/Muslim thing to do.

People like to talk about how it took 10 years in Germany and Japan after WWII, but they're ignoring the basic fact that Arabs are NOT German nor are they Japanese. Completely different cultures with completely different mindsets. The current plan would work swimmingly if the Iraqi people gave half a damn about their (meager) existences. They don't; they merely worry about which tribe or sect this or that person is with and whether he/she should be killed (either due simply to their affiliation or in retribution). The IA and IPs (except for the Kurds) follow the same pattern. We, as Americans, can't change that perception. We can't want it more for them than they want it for themselves. It is literally that simple. Americans see this in one way, but the Arab mentality is vastly different (and inferior) from ours. Unfortunately, since it's their country and their region of the world, it's their viewpoint and subsequent actions that matter.

With all the talk back home about having us pull out of Iraq sooner rather than later, I can say with a completely clear conscience that the U.S has not failed the Iraqi people. The Iraqi people have failed us and not lived up to our sacrifices. Democracy and the associated civic and personal responsibilities associated with it are incompatible with Islam, period.

We are still patrolling like 3 years ago. Day in, day out. Only recently have we taken a more "tactical overwatch" stance, but we're still very active in the city. The good news is that the IA are, too. However, ours is a unique situation. IA in Mosul is over 95% Kurdish. They are dedicated and loyal. In the rest of the country, they are Arab, and are loyal to their religious sect and won't hesitate to stab us in the back if it means they can kill some Sunnis/Shi'ites (or whichever other flavor that's out there they don't like). The Arabs are always shady, b/c you really never know where their loyalties lie. Even if some of the IA are substandard Soldiers (below US Army standards, that is), at least they're loyal and motivated. You get no such guarantees from Arabs, ever.

You are right about your assessment of the dedication and professionalism of the military, of course, and you're correct about the idiocy of the media's presentation of the battlespace. We need to get serious with these terrorists/insurgents. This arresting and turning over to the Iraqis is absolute nonsense. Once caught, AIF need to be shot on sight. That will send a clear message that we aren't playing around anymore, and it will make the jihad a lot less fun for these guys. IA over here just caught three guys with weapons and handcuffs at a checkpoint. They admitted to going around fishing for kidnapping victims (who invariably end up dead). Instead of being shot, they're now hanging out in a detention facility getting three meals a day and being questioned (nicely). All AIF know that our ROE is pretty limited and they use our morality against us constantly. It needs to end. They need to be deathly afraid of us.

The bottom line here is that any withdrawal on our part is hardly indicative of a failure on the U.S.'s part but that of the failure of the Iraqi people. Voting for representatives doesn't make you a democracy, it takes a lot of personal responsibility, and these people haven't even figured out sewage and garbage treatment yet! Will Iraq ever be able to handle the responsibility of a democracy? Who knows? What getting out or talking about it does effect are insurgents, it gives them encouragement that they and we don't need from them. And every time one of our Soldiers is killed up here, well it’s like this Chrissie, I drive around the city every day looking at these people and I know for a fact that none of 'em are worth the platoon sergeant from my company who was killed a few months back. Not a single one.

But I do want to complete what we were sent here to do. I want to do it for him, and for all the others we have lost, my brothers. I want to do it for all of you back there to be safe and keep these people from bringing it back home where all my loved ones are. As for myself we're fighting them here rather than on U.S. soil.

Thanks for your support and letting me sound off to you when I can. Thank everyone at your blog too, we check it out over here when we can. It is appreciated!"

Here are two quotes from men regarding Iraq:

First, Kurdish Regional Government Prime Minister Barzani:

"When I was in the United States recently and read the negative news in the Washington Post, New York Times and in the network TV broadcasts, I even wondered if things had gotten so bad since I had left that I shouldn't return."

Next, Gen. Abizaid:

"When I come to Washington, I feel despair. When I'm in Iraq with my commanders, when I talk to our soldiers, when I talk to the Iraqi leadership, they are not despairing."

Posted by Wild Thing at November 25, 2006 02:55 AM


Excellent and informative writing from two people in Iraq with totally different jobs. I like the Lieutenant's honest evaluation of Iraqi mentality and his conclusion that we need to change Rules of Engagement to kill rather than capture/coddle the terrorists.

Both writers have a poor opinion of the MSM. It will be worse now as a reenergised Democratic majority will team with the MSM to actively work for an American defeat in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is going to be a very rough two years ahead.

Posted by: TomR at November 25, 2006 06:03 AM

God bless them all and damn the media.

Posted by: Jack at November 25, 2006 01:07 PM

Tom thanks and I thought it was really interesting too. The two different takes on how it is there. I am really honored that they both share with me like they do and then too to allow what they say, most of it anyway to be posted on here. I told them both it means a lot and thanked them.

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 25, 2006 06:15 PM

I agree Jack, I wish it could be cleaned out and not be the media it is. Life would be so much different. We could celebrate seeing the evening news tell us about the great things our troops are doing for one thing. Now we have to look for it online. sigh

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 25, 2006 06:16 PM