Ma Deuce Gunner

Ma Deuce Gunner


Tuesday, September 20, 2005


I would like to respond to a comment left on my last post...

Anonymous said...
Do you think that what you are doing is worth the deaths of 25,000 Iraqis and 2,000 US soldiers, or, is this going to be like Vietnam - a completely pointless exercise?
The reason I ask is that it seems that we are helping to install an Islamic government with strong ties to Iran, which will lead to the enslavement of women.
Must make you wonder what you are fighting for!

Many of the terrorist who have been killed in the fighting here in Iraq are not Iraqi. I can't divulge the breakdown as I have heard from our intelligence assets, but many of the terrorists we catch are NOT indigenous Iraqis. There are Syrians, Saudi's, Jordanians, Iranians, and other personell from other countries. There are definately Iraqis that take part in the insurgency.

If you are counting people killed by the terrorists, innocent people killed by suicide bombers, that is the reason we are here. To protect those innocent people until the new Iraqi Security Forces are able to do the job themselves.

As a soldier who takes part in combat operations, I know that there is the possibility that I may never make it home. We are doing a dangerous job, but I signed up for it. When I signed my contract, almost 8 years ago, I knew that I was joining an organization that someday might put me into harms way. I knew that I might fight and die in a foreign land. I joined the Army to defend the freedoms of our land. Detractors of this war may claim we are not fighting for freedom. I beg to differ. By fighting this war here, we are not only procuring freedom for a new country, but we are taking the fight to our enemy. We need to show the terrorists that if they attack our homeland, we have the capability and the resolve to destroy them where they plan and plot to kill our citizens.

One of the great things of freedom is choice. Choice is the cornerstone of freedom. Iraq did not choose to be ruled by Saddam Hussein. They did not choose to be oppressed, starved, and murdered by the thousands. We have given them choice, an opportunity to excersize their volition in how they want their government to rule the country.

Islam is a fact of life here. Moreover, Islam is a way of life. Islam is inextricably intertwined in the day to heppenings of the average citizen. When a religion carries so much precendence in a society, aspects and beliefs of the religion are bound to manifest themselves in law and government. Shari'a law is what these people have known for generations.

If Shari'a law is incorporated into the constitution, and the constitution is ratified by popular vote, then we have done our jobs. We have given them the opportunity to freely elect their leaders, and on 15 October, they will have to ability to adopt or discard the laws the leaders have created. Wether or not the constitution contains elements of Shari'a law is the choice of the people.

I don't see enslavement of women here. I have seen female doctors in the hospitals, I have seen news of women attending and graduating police academies. Women participated in the election in January, the first time EVER. Older, more traditional women still wear the black "abaya", but you often see women wearing modern, colorful western influenced clothing. Women here may not be treated as well as they are in America, but I do not believe that enslavement is a term that properly describes the status of womens rights in Iraq.

As for my own personal hopes for this country, I wish to see this country succeed, no matter which law they adopt. I would love to see them have free and fair elections, and live peaceably under the government they choose.

I don't know of a single soldier who has spent time in the sands of Iraq who doesn't care about this country. I have invested almost a year of my life working to secure this country so its people can live free from tyranny. No, it's not a lost cause. This is not another Vietnam, and I don't believe for a second we will allow it to go in that direction.




At 8:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

MDG, don't for one second think that people like the one that posted that comment represent the majority of americans or americans thoughts on this war. we support you and what your doing over there. keep up the good work.

At 9:34 AM, Blogger El Capitan said...

Nobody could have said it better than that MDG. Thanks.

At 11:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know why the person who wrote that would think that the women in Iraq are being enslaved. I mean I guess if they think that them freely campaigning is enslavement then they are but come on....
Anyways, sometimes I honestly think that people love to try and riel you up...

At 11:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You just articulated what the administration and Pentagon leadership should be out there saying everyday. Most people here are completely supportive, and respect what you are doing.

BTW, saw your mention in TIME magazine this week. Great and well-deserved review.

At 12:46 PM, Anonymous Remy said...

Please don't give that comment a second thought. That seems to be the latest in a long line of buzz phrases by the anti-war cause. The same kinds of things were said from the get go. "There will be 30,000 U.S. dead, elections will never work because nobody will show up to vote...blah...blah...blah. The latest is that we will just be installing an Islamic regime. As you stated, this may happen but our goal was to eliminate Saddam, his government’s threat to us and the world, and his safe harbor to terrorists. If a government based on Islamic law evolves in Iraq so be it. There are several others in the world that the last time I checked were not a threat to us, like Turkey and Pakistan for example.

God Bless and stay safe,

At 12:55 PM, Blogger Michael said...

I did not mind the comment, really. It conformed to the guidlines I laid out, and I was happy to rebut it. Like I said, debate is welcomed here.

At 12:58 PM, Anonymous former 1LT Cav said...

"Anonymous" - notice how they are even afraid to use a real name - poses a question to you based on a faulty premise..that the war in Viet Nam was "a completely pointless exercise."

Our efforts in Viet Nam may not have been as successful as we (some of us, anyhow) would have wished because of Presiden Johnson trying to only half-fight a war. "Sending a message" to the leaders in North Viet Nam by instituting bombing halts, etc. only served to send the message that we were not serious about winning the war. It was, however, part of the Cold War and our doctrine of stopping the spread of /isolating communism. Our intentions were "noble" even if the execution left a lot to be desired.

When I returned to the USA in early 1970, I was greated by indifference more than anything else. For most of those in this country not actually serving, military service and a war is something far removed from their lives. Never doubt, however, that the majority of citizens in this country do appreciate your service and sacrifice...especially those that have "been there, done that."

Thanks for your service!

At 3:11 PM, Blogger magyar said...

Thanks to Time magazine, I found your Blog page. I am very impressed of your views, courage, and being the kind of American I can be proud of. You have integrity, which most people do not even know what that means.
You are a talented writer also. I would buy your book on the Iraqi experience. Please take it seriously. You write better then welding. You help us at home be right there with you. We can see and understand the sitaution better, seeing it through your eyes, than from the biased media. I do not even watch news coverage on Iraq.
Keep up sharing your thoughts and experiences this way, with folks back home. God bless and protect you all from the destructive cowards of the world.
Looking forward to your next break, to chat with us... And be safe.
Laszlo from L.A.,CA.

At 5:01 PM, Anonymous MissBirdlegs in AL said...

Thanks for the post, MDG. Your rebuttal of Anonymous' comments was perfect - Bet it went right over his/her head, tho. Doesn't conform to the "party" line...

I continue to be so proud of what y'all are doing in Iraq - thanks. God bless and keep you safe.

At 6:17 PM, Anonymous MDG's Wife said...

Congrats on the mention in TIME Sweetie. I'm so proud of you. I was hoping you would write a rebuttal to that comment and thought you did a wonderful job. I love you.

At 7:57 PM, Blogger M+ said...

How courageous of "Anonymous" to make a comment without identifying him/her-self. And to do so without using an original idea of their own.
My continued prayers for you and all of our troops.

At 8:21 PM, Blogger GunnNutt said...

Bravo, MDG.

At 8:50 PM, Blogger Pebble said...

Sorry off topic..
SF is in trouble re: blogging over at:

Please go leave a comment for his commanding officers


I've seen comments like that all over the place.

At 9:35 PM, Anonymous streeter said...

Mrs. MDG, You must be first among the reasons he fights so hard for us. Thank you both.

At 10:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Iraq is just like Vietnam except:
We occupy Hanoi.
And We've captured Ho Chi Minh.
And The North Vietnamese have held a free and democratic election and the next one's on the way.
And The North Vietnamese have a new constitution.
Yes, Iraq is just like Vietnam."


At 10:57 PM, Anonymous AwifeofasoldierinIraq said...

No Iraq is nothing like Vietnam. Why must everyone try and connect the two? Yes, I may be young but I for one do see the reasons that they are not the same.

At 1:20 AM, Blogger LittleMazza said...

As a proud mother, I usually make my personal comments to MDG by email. But I have to say my eyes welled with pride as I read what MDG said about his convictions when he signed up to be in the ARMY reserve, just after he turned 17. I remember the resolve he had to become a soldier, and the great pride he had when he could wear the uniform. I knew he had appreciation for those who have gone before him, especially those fallen, in service to their country; but it really touched me to know that he really did consider all the realities and possibilies that are tied to a committment to serve in the military.

As I read your blog and the comments of your supporters, I think of those individuals you touch; how they take time to read your words and reflect on the reality that is your life now. It's a priviledge to catch a glimpse of the impact the positive comments your readers make to MDG; and virtually to the many other soldiers who are with you.

As a citizen of the USA, a country founded by individuals of courage, who sought the blessings from God above; I thank you for verbalizing personal thoughts, that are obviously very hard to express. Your courage rings loud and clear, and will certainly overshadow the din of those in opposition.

Your willingness to share your convitions and resolve has done a great service for the citizens of our country, the USA, as well as for the citizens of Iraq.

May God continue to bless you in a marvelous way, that only He can provide.

With love and appreciation, Little Mazza

At 5:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Off Topic from Mustang Sarge:

Your prose is getting better all the time. Well stated, and well identified, facts & opinions. When you get home try writing all this up.

Been trying to email you, but your Hotmail account has been bouncing. If you still have my email, please have your wife, or someone else contact me. Or go thru A of C.

Stay safe!

At 6:32 AM, Anonymous Frank J. said...

At least the guy didn't use the 100,000 civilians dead number most of the antees trot out.

BTW, congrats on the mention in Time. Now that SarahK is taking over administrative stuff on my blog, maybe my blogroll can finally get updated and have you added.

At 7:03 AM, Blogger thepatriot15 said...

Where were you in Time? I missed it! :(

Thanks for the post... may you, even through your knowledge that what you fight for is honorable, be encouraged by the fact that WE as informed Americans support you.

A blogdaughter...

At 7:05 AM, Anonymous Nicholas said...

I think what people are worried about with the Islamic laws is that Iraq is going to turn into an Iran or a pre-liberation Afghanistan.

I don't really know enough to say much about these possibilities but I don't think the reality will be quite that bad. I would hope that's not what the average Iraqi wants, but I can only guess. Perhaps you or someone else over there can let us know more on this topic?

Thanks, you and your buddies stay safe.

At 7:10 AM, Blogger John Schroeder said...

Great MDG, Just Great! Linked to it here

At 7:24 AM, Anonymous SSG "Neal" said...

Hey, brother, just wanted to add my agreement with everyone else who said 'great post'. I don't comment on things much, but I had to tell you what a great read this was. I do find it interesting that most of the people who have things to say like that comment have not been and will not ever be over there doing the job. Keep up the good work.

Airborne, all the way!

At 10:44 AM, Anonymous Remy said...


I meant to mention that at least "Anonymous" seemed heartfelt and respectful. I do partly agree with his/her contention that Vietnam was pointless, but for the reason "former 1lt cav" stated. We sent these guys into a meat grinder with no vision of an endgame. To me that does seem pointless and from what I can see, our military learned a hard lesson from it.

I usually do not read Time (unless I'm stuck in a doctors waiting room) so I missed your bit, congratulations. More often that not they mischaracterize the state of things over there verses what I read from guys like you who are on the ground living it.

God Bless and stay safe,

At 4:49 PM, Blogger GunnNutt said...

One of the reasons I love this kid is his modesty. He's never going to post the online link to the article, so here it is in the comments: 5 Riveting Soldier Blogs

At 5:47 PM, Anonymous MDG's Wife said...

You can look at the article online. Or its on page 82 of TIME magazine.

At 6:49 PM, Blogger thepatriot15 said...

We just got our local news paper today; I was in it three times! :) With my 9/11 poem and a picture and article on our economic development meetings. :) So happy...


P.S. Let me know what you think of my last post...

At 10:44 PM, Blogger senorlechero said...

MDG........great rebuttal of the comment..........I would add that Iraq will only be like vietnam if the folks like "annon...." get their way. Bush hatred has driven many to the point where they wish we would lose this war.

Thank God for people like you and all the others who serve in the armed forces of the United States of America

And thank you MDG for speaking out.

At 2:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Father was a Marine and fought in Vietnam. Having a Marine for a Father keeps you pretty blunt..

Germany, Japan, Vietnam, Somalia, Where are they now?

MDG, keep your head up most the time, and down when it needs to be.

At 3:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Just went back through and caught your post. I agree, Vietnam was a meat grinder. Pointless, No.

War is hell, and is there ever really an "end game." The only end game i can think of existed in prehistoric times: kill your enemy until he's dead. By pointing out Vietnam and Somalia, vs. Germany and Japan, Im not only reffering to the overall quality of life. I'd also like to point out that there are still U.S. bases and troops in both countries.

With modern warfare there is no such thing as an endgame.

When an army pulls out all that remains is a vacuum, and vacuums are good at attracting garbage.

-Marine's Son

At 1:08 PM, Blogger membrain said...

MDG, I just found your blog The Iraq File and I'm sure glad I did. That was great rebuttal you made to that guy's post. What you people are doing is making history and I believe making it right. The former Cav Vietnam Veteran got it right.

Johnson did not let the soldiers win the war and they could have. Because of Johnson many American Soldiers were killed unnecessarily. I don't get a sense that the current Commander in Chief has any intention of backing out before the job is done.

I'm a former Canadian Soldier who fully supports what you're doing in Iraq. I would like to thank you for your service to your country and indeed to Western Civilization. May God Bless and keep you.

No I'm going to go and read the time article thanks to GUNNNUTT.

At 2:17 PM, Blogger Sgt. B. said...

Brother Gunner,

You (all ya'll) are doing a noble thing over there... More than a few of us old war horses are envious, and wish we could be there to take some of the load... (Yes, the WA-NG is still in progress...)

(I was going to say something snarky about all you Army types - being a Marine and all- but you are performing magnificently, and the snarkiness can wait until you get back, and we can pound some cold frosties...)

Stay safe, keep the faith, and Semper Fi!

At 2:44 PM, Blogger Sir Isaac said...

Hey MDG,
A friend gave me the time article and I saw your blog mentioned. I'm really impressed with your writing. I think you had very effectively rebutted anonymous' response. Good job.

Keep doin' what you're doin'! I will definitely bookmark your blog.

Thank you for your service!

At 2:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone so lacking in respect for our volunteer soldiers as this jackass just makes me sick.

This "anonymous" would probably cheerlead Hussein at a dead US soldier's funeral.

We didn't have pukes like this in America until the mid 60s,I think this thoughtless jerk is the child of the LSD laced 1960s honestly.

At 6:37 PM, Anonymous Erin said...

I found your blog in TIME too, but yours caught my attention because my husbands in Kirkuk also. Very well put, and I'm sorry you have to deal with such idoitic comments, espeically from people too scared to tell you their name.

At 9:43 PM, Anonymous Patriotgirl said...

I just read the Time article and came to your site. Your writing is articulate, and insightful. Thank you for writing. Someone I care very much about will be deploying in January '06. Your observations have allowed me to get a grip on what he might experiance. Thank you and God Bless.

At 11:18 AM, Anonymous Remy said...

Marine's Son,

I wasn't in Vietnam, but friends who were talk about going out on a mission and taking some village or hill, losing a dozen or so killed or wounded guys doing it only to abandon it a day or two later and the enemy would just reoccupy whatever it was after they left. To me, that's pointless. I agree with 1st cav that it was for a noble cause. Communism was infiltrating many nations at that time, but those guys were too restricted to realize a total victory (endgame). Bomb the north, but you can't send troops in to finish the job??? It's like lining up at the scrimmage line, out manning the opponent in equipment, tactics and personnel then saying; OK you can go there and do this but you can't go over there and do that. I just look back at that war and wonder if we had conducted it with the same attitude we did with the 1st gulf war and now with Afghanistan and Iraq that it would have been over in much less time and with far fewer casualties because of it. You can also take that a step further and theorize the whole 60's pop-culture wouldn't have developed given the major catalyst of it was the war. I realize this is all moot Princeton debating club crap, but I just wanted to further explain the comment.


God Bless and stay safe,

At 3:39 PM, Blogger Dick Dragon said...

I fall into what seems to be the minority here. Although I do not entirely agree with the comment, I do not entirely agree with your response either.

Firstly, just like the Iraqi's never chose to be ruled with an iron fist under Sadam, they did not choose to be "liberated" by a foreign force. I think the daily demonstrations against the occupation attest to that. I think history has shown that democracies can't be forced on people.

Secondly, you make a clear mistake in your responce. Neither Iraq nor any Iraqis took part in the horrific events of September 11th. They were all Saudis, but be damned if the Bush administration will invade one of their closest allies. The current concentration of foreign terrorists in iraq is due to the invasion itself, Saddam even opposed Osama.

Finally, how can a democratic government govern from behind a fortress (green zone). I would argue that this keeps them out of touch with the regular people. ANd last I heard (NY Times article yesterday) the national assembly couldn't even get enough members to attend meetings in order to conduct business!!

Despite the best efforts and progress of you and your comrades, Iraq is far from being an example of demorcracy to the rest of the middle east, unfortunately it is a deterrent.

Good luck on your tour, and stay safe. I applaud your encouragement of debate.

At 8:26 PM, Anonymous Mike W. said...

Was surfing around these blogs, which are a new thing to me, and found your site [blog] via the Time article. VERY good stuff [Your blog and writings, NOT Time, that odious liberal ragazine]! You can earn your daily bread being a warrior or a writer--or both! Thank you for being there, for reporting in such an articulate way, and being a voice of the real America, over there doing what must be done! We shall spread your URL around to a few [85k] good friends--and stay safe!


At 11:43 PM, Blogger tree said...

I'm speechless. I can't even begin to describe how I feel about your response to the misinformed commenter. All I can say is: I salute you.

I wish that my words could adequately describe how grateful I am to have learned about soldiers like you. But I don't think they can. At least not now. There is so much I'd want to say. I wish you the best of luck.


At 3:52 PM, Blogger Kat said...

Thank you a million times over. We truly appreciate all you do to protect our nation and make the world a better place.

Hang in there...the thoughts and prayers of millions are with you!

Kat in GA

At 9:37 PM, Anonymous Kelly said...

QUIT ASSOCIATING IRAQ WITH 9/11! Saddam had nothing to do with the attacks on our nation. It was Saudis who flew those planes into our buildigns. Members of al-quaeda who were training in Afghanistan and Pakistan. yet we wasted time and money deposing Saddam and we have no clue how to fix things in iraq.

This is Vietnam all over again. And anyone that doesn't realize that is just naive and blind.

Also, this line...."I don't know of a single soldier who has spent time in the sands of Iraq who doesn't care about this country" pretty damn funny. Because I live in Colorado Springs, and I know a bunch of guys in the 4th ID who are all going back for their 2nd tour this Fall....and they all HATE Iraq and talk about what a total wasteland that country will become. So maybe you are in some unit that doesn't face reality. I don't know.

At 8:10 AM, Anonymous Nicholas said...

"This is Vietnam all over again. And anyone that doesn't realize that is just naive and blind."

Hmm, I think you're the one that's blind, if you can't tell the difference between desert and jungle!

But seriously... how can you compare the two?

Vietnam: US supports South Vietnam, a geographically seperate entity, against Communist forces in the North with a fair amount of the population behind them. Communists are supplied directly with the latest technology by USSR and China. US government fears nuclear war with China, so grossly restricts military action, leading to a protracted conflict. Communist propaganda causes American public to lose interest in supporting the south despite military successes, US forces pull out. OK, so that's very very simplistic.. but this IS a blog comment.

Iraq: US supports a newly installed democratic government, voted for by a large proportion of the Iraqi people. There is no geographical division with the antagonists. Antagonists are not communist; they are a mix of mostly foreign terrorist religious zealots and local hardline totalitarians. They are not supported by the USSR or China, nor are they supplied with the latest weapons. Their support comes from a small and shrinking subset of the location population and factions within small neighbouring countries which have enough trouble controlling their own population let alone anyone else's. In addition, these supporting countries and factions have conflicting goals (e.g. mostly Shiite Iran supplying weapons which are being used against innocent Shiites) which makes the support far from total. Weapons used by the antagonists are mostly 70s vintage and marginally effective. There is little fear of a nuclear war being directly provoked, and thankfully the US government is not using kid gloves this time. The antagonists are severely depleted (OK, so THAT does echo Vietnam, where the Viet Cong were just about wiped out in the Tet Offensive, but proper advantage wasn't taken of it at the time) and unable to operate effectively. The best they can do is target civilians which is only alientating them further from the only support which will allow them to survive much longer. There is plenty of propaganda but it's not by the communists.. I'll leave it up to you to guess who is spreading it this time.. tip, tune in to CNN or pick up a newspaper.

So, how exactly are those two identical? I see very few similarities, Just because the US is involved in a guerilla war somewhere does not make it Viet Nam....

For what it's worth, I think it would have required a change of tactic to win in Viet Nam. There was too much support for the NV/VC amongst local population (disclaimer: it happened before I was born; those of you who are older may have a better perspective than I). That's not happening in Iraq. Ask a average Iraqi what they think of the terrorists and I think you'll be enlightened.


At 8:15 AM, Anonymous Nicholas said...

Oh, and I forgot to mention, thank god that Iraq is a far safer place than Viet Nam was. Otherwise tens of thousands more US troops would be dead and injured. Let's hope over the coming months and years it gets back to being a place where one can walk the streets without fear.

You'd forgive me for thinking that some people don't actually want to see that day...

At 9:15 AM, Anonymous kelly said...

Just like Vietnam, our government has no clear defined goals, or exit strategy in Iraq. The troops on the ground don't know what they fight for. And our country is just as naive to assume that we can simply show up and say "Ok, here's your democracy" -- in Iraq a democracy would yield a fundamentalist islamic state.

At 12:21 PM, Anonymous mjordan said...

Kelly, If anyone knows what they're fighting for, its the troops. There are some among the U.S. citizenry that can't figure it out, however. The 9/11 Commission Rpt detailed the Saddam-Bin Laden relationship and contacts from 1998 onward. It highlights Saddam's aid and abetting of Abu Nidal and Zarqawi (before the invasion of Iraq), his payments to suicide bomber's families and his terror training camp south of Baghdad complete with full airplane fuselage. The WOT isn't limited to just 9/11 retribution. It targets anyone who consorts with or aids terrorism, period. Right now, success in Iraq requires an ironfist that the leadership can't muster due to fear of anti-war agitprop and media criticism. But naysay this effort and you guarantee its failure. Our military can do this job if we on the homefront don't pull the rug out from under them. Now is not the time to go wobbly, unless you want the U.S. to fail.

At 8:48 PM, Blogger Sgt. B. said...

Jeeze, Kelly, give the whole "Vietnam" saw a rest, huh?

The exit strategy is simple: As soon as the Iraqi Security Forces are stable enough to take over, we'll leave... Period...

The average Grunt on the ground knows EXACTLY what they are doing/fighting for.

(Turns out that certain sources tell us that the Vietnam War was not only winnable, but that, when we left in 1973, we were actually winning (from a tactical point of view)... The biggest difference between the VN War and this one is that the majority of the Iraqis do want us out, but they want us out AFTER their own folks can take over...)

Why can't you "anti-war" types look beyond this to the fact that we are conducting operations in Iraq AND Afganistan in order to bring order to that part of the world, which stablizes things, and makes THIS country a little safer? Hate to tell you "feed the children" types, but all the social programs in the world won't do a thing if the city that they're supposed to help is a big smoking hole in the ground because we didn't stop the bad guys while they were OUTSIDE of this country...

At 3:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was a great response. I cannot say I agree fully with it or its implications, but I can say that i respect your point of view. It is carefully thought out, heartfelt, and honest. As someone of Vietnamese descent, it pains me when I hear that my country of origin was a "lost cause". Your blog is great, you seem to be able to defend the war without having to resort to ideology. Hope to read more soon. Stay safe.


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