Ma Deuce Gunner

Ma Deuce Gunner


Thursday, June 30, 2005

Some Patience, Please...

Now, my wife will laugh when she reads this, because when it comes to some things, I am NOT the most patient individual around -- not by a long shot. But I believe a little patience is called for here.

I have seen, over the past couple of days, items in the news that are to this effect: "One Year After Sovereignty, Iraq Still Violent" or "Iraq: A Year Later...What Has Changed?" (These are not quotes, but generalizations of what I have seen or heard.) Come on, people, gimme a break... do you mean to tell me that you expect to see earth-shattering change in 12 months???

We live in a world of instant and nearly-instant gratification. Look at what we have... the internet, cellular telephones, instant messenger, ATMs, the fast-food drive-through; in some states there are even drive-through liquor stores. We have NetFlix, a service which sends DVDs to you; eBay, where one might buy practically ANYTHING. You can buy food online or through the telephone and have it delivered quickly, whether it be raw groceries or prepared food. Information through the internet is at your fingertips -- I mean, you are reading this, aren't you?

None of the things I have listed above are in and of themselves bad things. Convienience is, well, convienient. But it has conditioned us to be impatient beings. We want what we want NOW. This is why we are seeing the outcry from the Left and the attempt to label our endeavor here in Iraq and elsewhere a "quagmire."

A lesson in patience is in order. Again, my wife would not say I am the one to give it. Ibrahim Al-Jaafari, the current Prime Minister of Iraq, said "You cannot fix in six months what took 35 years to break." Think about that.

There are hundreds of things that are better in this country, just ask Arthur Chrenkoff, who compiles a bi-monthly list of good things happening here. There are hundreds of things that need work. These things take TIME. These things take EFFORT. To this effort we must continue to add RESOLVE and PATIENCE. In the grand scheme of things, the two years that have passed since the end of 'major' hostilities, in all reality, is a very short time to reestablish a nation.

Chrenkoff also brings to our attention an op-ed piece written by PM Al-Jaafari, found here. Immediately below, you will find the entire text of his piece:

LAST week I was at Blair House in the centre of Washington, DC. In this house is the table on which George Marshall in June 1947 signed the plan to pump today's equivalent of $US500 billion ($647 billion) into the impoverished economies of Europe as an investment against future conflict. The plan was controversial but nobody would now deny its far-sightedness.

Nazism gave way to a lasting democracy, economic devastation was replaced by slow but sure progress towards economic regeneration. Consider the Germany of 1945 and the Germany of today: which would you rather have as your neighbour?

Last week I went to Brussels with an Iraqi delegation for a conference with foreign ministers of more than 80 countries. All have agreed to help Iraq towards a better future. On Friday I met President George W. Bush; today I will meet Tony Blair. Both have decisively chosen to back freedom and democracy in Iraq. They are right to have done so. It is not just a matter of principle but of the security of their own countries. Terrorism knows no boundaries; it strikes all over the world. Democracy, transparency and justice in the Middle East will dry up the wellsprings of hatred and terrorism and bring security to Europe and the US.

Terrorists are criminals and must be tried as such. But dealing with the spread of terrorism in the Middle East is more complex, as it thrives on ignorance, hate ideologies and the political failures of modern states.

Arabs are better educated in technical sciences, engineering and languages than in contemporary political and social sciences. Political education in the Middle East is usually indoctrination. By contrast, Iraq's recent electoral experience enlightened millions. It showed that education is to vote a government into power, then watch it grapple with the issues that confront people in their daily lives and see whether it succeeds or fails, and listen to it explain its policies honestly and frankly. A free press leaves people able to discriminate between propaganda, rumours and lies and the unvarnished reporting of facts.

Perhaps those elections can be an education also for the people of Western democracies. They can see that, like them, Iraqis want to choose their own leaders and are entirely capable of running fair elections and respecting the result. They can also see that there is nothing to fear if people choose to vote for an Islamic party.

I am not only the first democratically elected leader of an Arab country, I am also the first prime minister in the Middle East to come from a religious, Islamic opposition movement at the head of a diverse ethnic and political alliance. Embracing diversity within human society is not just a political necessity, it is rooted in my faith. Islam teaches that there is no compulsion in religion and that freedom of choice is divinely granted; it is dictators who need to cater to fanatics to stay in power.

Saddam Hussein is a case in point. He passed laws to limit religious freedom and degraded women's lives. I will reverse Saddam's legacy and welcome Iraq's diversity. I welcome the strong contribution that women can make in the workplace and in political life, where they make up one-third of our National Assembly, more than in most Western democracies.

Marshall said: "Our policy is not directed against any country or doctrine but against hunger, poverty, desperation and chaos." Today is the time for a new international Marshall Plan for Iraq and the broader Middle East, directed not for or against any policy but against ignorance, tyranny, hatred and anarchy.

Marshall repaired the decaying infrastructure of Germany after six years of war and 12 years of Nazi rule. In Iraq we have had nearly 40 years of fascist rule and have been in practice at war for half that time. I have seen throughout Iraq the marks of economic collapse and depredation this has left. Iraq today has few English speakers, it has hundreds of thousands of ex-soldiers trained for nothing but war and its universities, which once enjoyed a worldwide reputation, lag behind those in the rest of the region. It has debts totalling hundreds of billions of dollars and there has been no investment in its infrastructure for more than 20 years.

Three generations of Iraqis have grown up under a dictatorship, learning to take orders but not take initiatives or responsibility, and educated in religious and political hatred and isolationism. My people are a strong people; their will survived. The marks of Saddam's brutal and divisive rule, however, will take time to heal. Many of my people, as well as soldiers from the multinational force, are still being killed by terrorism.

The way will not always be easy. I am confident, though, that the prosperous democracies of the world will be as far-sighted today as Marshall was in 1947. Much blood had to be shed and money spent before peace was achieved in Europe. In Iraq the fight for democracy has cost hundreds of thousands of lives.

In the long run, however, it can secure centuries of peace and prosperity. Iraq's fight against terrorist networks and training camps, and the poverty and ignorance that supply them, has become the world's fight for the security of humanity.

Ibrahim Al-Jaafari

'Nuf said.



Tuesday, June 28, 2005

"And the links just keep on a-comin"

IEDs in Iraq: Winds of Change

Phil Carter of The Intel Dump has been re-activated with the 101st ABN DIV. Good luck, Phil... I will be glad to see ya'll when you get here; that means I am heading home!!

John Schroeder of Blogotional has this about the current defamation being carried out in today's MSM. Go read.

Patrick al-Kafir of Clarity and Resolve has a piece about a senior terrorist being captured here. In fact, go read all his stuff. All.

As always, visit the MDG blogroll for more great brain-food.



The National Guard Experience: The Golden Rules of Returning Home

I guess today is a link day.

The National Guard Experience: The Golden Rules of Returning Home

Over at Assumption of Command: Now this is torture...

Warning: Following link is a bit graphic... click at your own risk.

Attention Dick Durbin and the rest of you who think Gitmo is such a horrible place... Mustang 23 shows what the results of real torture look like... Assumption of Command: Now this is torture... and it was perpetrated by THE TERRORISTS against an Iraqi Army Soldier. Muslim on Muslim violence.

Monday, June 27, 2005


Three men from my company were wounded in action yesterday. All injuries are non-life threatening, but serious nonetheless. Please pray for my brothers and their families; names are not needed; He knows who you are praying for.


Wednesday, June 22, 2005


Arthur Chrenkoff, the straight-shootinest Aussie I have ever met, has a post with photos of soldiers from the countries that compose "The Coalition of the Willing." It is found here.

Notice all the formerly Communist nations who have contributed. And they accuse us of being unilateral.

SCOUTS OUT!!!!!!!!


Dick Durbin

Note: I try not to comment on political issues, or politicians themselves, but this had to be addressed.

For those who have been following the Dick Durbin debacle, he proffered another apology yesterday, since his first one was seen as a total insult to our collective intelligencies.

He now offers this apology, found at The Political Teen. Go read his remarks, or watch the video.

He apologizes for his remarks offending people. He says:

"I don’t want anything in my public career to detract from my love of this country, my respect for those who serve it, and this great Senate."

Let's run this through the MDG Political Translator Machine (MDG-PTM)...


"I want to try my best to look good to everyone, and say things that only fluff my facade. I want to seem like I am a total patriot, and that what I said was only words, not anything that cut deep into the men and women who protect us... and I better say something about respect or support... no, support would convey to everyone that I actually cared about them... oops, better throw in something else about my fellow politicians... I mean, these are the guys I have to play golf with."

I still am offended, and even more so by his pandering. Comparing our interrogation tactics to Nazis, Soviet, or Khmer Rouge is completely asinine. All of the regimes he compared us to MURDERED millions, if not tens of millions of people. I don't remember seeing anything about gassing prisioners in the shower. I haven't seen any reports of the detainees at Gitmo doing hard labor in freezing tundra or sweltering desert, for that matter. Re-education... (as under Pol Pot, aka CERTAIN DEATH in the The Killing Fields, mainly death by sharpened bamboo stick). Nope... haven't seen any of that, either.

I expected this kind of half-assed apology from him. What he needs to say is this:

"Please, citizens of America, and especially those who wear the uniforms of the armed forces of the US, please accept my humble apology for my acrimonious and completely unfounded comparisons of our treatment of the detainees and prisoners of war from our current struggle against terror. I made reference to Hitler's death camps, the Soviet gulags, and Pol Pot only due to their shock value. In all reality, being stuck in a room with the AC turned way up is in no way, shape, or form similar to being buried up to your head and poked with a sharp bamboo stick, nor is it similar to the starvation and genocide attempted in the Nazi death camps. I again apologize for my horribly chosen words and comparisons. Please forgive me."

Now, doesn't that seem like it would soothe a bit better? I call for censure and or impeachment for his remarks, but I doubt it will happen. I hope that the voters in Illinois will recognize his idiocy, and ensure he never returns to a lawmaking body or any type of public office, ever.

SCOUTS OUT!!!!!!!!!!!


Sunday, June 19, 2005

This one is for my dad

Happy Father's Day, Dad...

Thanks for all your support, your encouragement, your advice, and your teachings. I have learned much about how to be a responsible husband and someday father, through your example. I am so blessed to be your son. I love you, Dad.

KING OF BATTLE!!! (For my Dad, an old artillery officer)


This one is for my wife....

MDG's Wife...

My internet is working, but all the sites I use to communicate are not, ako, messenger, skype, all of them won't work...i just wanted to let you know I Love You and Miss You, and hope to be able to talk to you soon.

Your Loving Husband,


Friday, June 17, 2005




Thursday, June 16, 2005

The RAGE in me BOILS

Bubblehead, a blogger from Boise, ID, covered the dispicable actions of the Phelps family at the funeral and memorial service for CPL. Carrie French.

The Stupid Shall Be Punished: "The Friend of my Enemy..."

I stood and saluted as her flag draped casket was loaded onto a C-130 for her journey home. I watched her -- no -- my comrades give her final honors as only fellows in arms can. To see this angers me, sickens me, and hurts me.

I can't even write right now...

Sunday, June 12, 2005


You know, for a desert country, the Iraqi people sure do eat a lot of watermelon. I mean there are watermelons everywhere. You can't drive 1/4 mile without seeing a roadside stand with at least 50 melons, or a truck with the springs flat, filled with watermelon. They are all uniform size, about 7-9lbs, and the rind is color of a honeydew melon. Without fail, each vendor has cut one open and dislays a sample of their melon, and all the flesh is deep red. We are not allowed eat food outside the wire, but the DFAC doesn't have watermelon. I WANT WATERMELON!!!! I guess I will have to settle for Watermelon Jolly Ranchers.



Maintenance of Freedom 2

I got a comment on my last post defending the right to free speech, saying that people are allowed to say what they want, no matter how much it clashes with my point of view or with the policies and guidelines of the US Government. I agree with that. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and their ability to voice such opinions, WITHIN REASON and within the boundaries of the law. For example, it is illegal to verbally threaten the President of the US. You are free to say it, but not without consequences.

What we need is a clear definition. How does the law apply in the world today?? Where does free speech end and seditious action begin?

When someone crosses the line that divides free speech from treason, who decides what constitutes a violation?? I believe that if it aids our enemy by galvanizing opposition to our cause, by emboldening the enemy to attack us, then it is treason. All the rest of the world knows of the character and caliber of the American popluace comes from what they are told through the media. They have no firsthand knowledge. Here in Iraq, the only contact they may ever have with persons from the US is seeing our soldiers in their streets. Soldiers who are in harms way in order to secure their neighborhoods, cities, and their country. But when they turn on the TV, and see America belittled and maligned, on our own TV, they believe that we are wrong in our endeavour. It is easy for them to believe, for we indeed give a menacing presence, armored trucks with machine guns, and uniformed soldiers, bodies festooned with arms and equipment. It has been difficult for them to see past those things, and see the smile, the waving, the teddy bears, school supplies, medical supplies and equipment, but they are coming around. Couple the visual of foreign troops in their city with the constant disinformation they are fed through the media, you have a tough mix to deal with.

If someone makes known tactical or strategic information vital to military operations or national security, it is treason. If an American citizen deliberately communicates with or fights for the enemy, hang him/her. Treason is punishable by death.

As a member of the military, I have a different entitlement to free speech. I am allowed to speak my mind, as long as it is not detrimental to the good order and discipline of my unit, the US Army, and the US Government. The authority to make that decision lies within command authority. That is why you will see me do the best to refrain from commenting on politics, US governmental policy, and Army policy. I understand this, as I am an instrument of the US government.

In my interpretation, when someone decides to cross the line, and aid the enemy through their words, reporting, or actions, they no longer are protected by the First Amendment. Whatever information they put out should be censored, they should be charged and stand trial for their actions. I am not condoning blanket censorship of critics. I do advocate prosecution of seditious persons.

Do some of the writers and reporters mean to commit treason? No. Are they only attempting to speak out against something they feel is incorrect or wrong? Yes, as is their right. The disconnect is where they abuse their right and give aid to the enemy. We are embroiled in war, and offenders need to be dealt with according to the laws of our nation.

SCOUTS OUT!!!!!!!!!


Friday, June 10, 2005

Maintenance of Freedom

Please accept my apologies for my recent lack of posting. Duty calls.

I was the CQ (Charge of Quarters) NCOIC (Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge) a few days ago, and posted on my XO's (Executive Officer, 2nd in commmand of the Company) are 5 quotes on the door to his office. I have walked past them a hundred times, and read them a few times. I read them again, and two of them struck me. One was from John Stuart Mill.

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth fighting for is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature, and has no chance of being free unless made or kept so by the actions of better men than himself." - John Stuart Mill

The other one was this one:

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it" - Thomas Paine

There are a number of websites, news outlets, and people out there, American citizens, who constantly malign the military, the current administration, and the cause of freedom itself.

These folks are indeed "miserable creatures." These writers are morally bereft individuals. So, I find myself in a quandary... do I attack them for their excercising of their right to free speech, a right that I have volunteered to defend?? Do I dismiss their drivel as exactly what it is, and tell myself that it is just "free speech??" I feel that some of these people write treasonously. I think that the line between free speech and treason has been blurred, and dangerously so. These writers -- and I am speaking in general terms -- portray us as a barbaric, monopolistic, and imperialistically aspiring to dominate the world. I believe we are trying to spread freedom to the oppressed. To give those masses who have been persecuted under tyrannical and murderous dictators a chance at freedom.

Now some would say I am a blind champion of freedom. To a good many Americans, this may be the case. I in no way, shape, form, or insinuation mean to offend the supporters of our cause. I do not impugne your dedication to freedom, nor do I dismiss your gratitude for my service and every other person who has ever worn the uniform as a defender of the United States of America. Freedom is sweet to those who enjoy it. Freedom is just a little sweeter to those who have fought for it. Seeing how life was, could have been, and still is, in some cases, without the things we take for granted, is an amazing eye opener. Simply visiting a Third World country may not give the insight that I feel I have gained here. Again, I do not intend to demean anyone or their experiences, but freedom's flavor is a bit more scrumptious to those who have fought for it. A keen understanding of the definition of liberty is being etched into mine and the minds of all who serve in harm's way.

But I digress... treasonous "journalism" needs to be ended. I do not have the answer, though. Prosecution immediately springs to mind. Undoubtedly, the writers, bloggers, and journalists who purvey such garbage will cry foul and flail their arms, singing out, "We are just trying to tell the truth!! There is a public need to know!!" They think that classified information should be public knowledge. For example, the New York Times recently published an article detailing CIA procedures for transporting detainees. Wrong answer. These people who commit treason through their keyboards, microphones, and cameras are no better than John Walker Lindh.

There are aspects of war that are distasteful. Distasteful, but NECESSARY. George Orwell said it best:

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."

He says "violence." Killing. Inflicting pain. If inflicting pain allows us to gain a tactical or strategic advantage to protect the innocent, so be it. I also want to clarify; attacking and killing an armed and resourceful enemy in military operations is not murder. USMC 2LT Ilario Pantano's case proved that. Blowing up IEDs and shattering the body of a two year old boy IS murder.

My point is this. There are things that go on in war that "Joe Sixpack" are better off not knowing; they are done in the intrest of freedom and national security. Those who divulge information which gives aid and comfort to the enemy are traitors. Those who cover incidents or acts which, however distasteful, assist in the attainment of freedom or the ability to win wars and defeat EVIL, and see what we do as "not worth it," are uglier than words can describe.



Friday, June 03, 2005

I Don't Understand It...

Yesterday there was an IED attack in Kirkuk. Twelve CIVILIANS were wounded. One was killed, and it happened to be a two and a half year old child. I was at Kirkuk General Hospital, providing escort to a humanitarian mission when the incident occured. Minutes later, cars started pouring into the hospital, bringing injured for medical aid. Ordinary people who happened to be in the area of the explosion immediately sprung into action and began helping their fellow citizens. Some wounded made it to the hospital before the ambulances left the premises.

From my position, where I was providing security, I could see the carnage as the broken and bleeding were unloaded from cars, pickup trucks and ambulances. I saw the lifeless body of the toddler who was killed. He bore almost the full brunt of the explosion. The child was killed instantly. Men and women, old and young were BLOWN UP just because they were walking down the street.

...And they say we are the bad guys...



Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Jennifer has a GREAT poem for Memorial Day

Jen at Jennifer's Musings has a wonderful, original poem that she has written and posted, titled The Silent Generation; A Thank You Poem. It is a must read.