Stories From Iraq

15 07 2008

I ran into an old friend yesterday at the doctor’s office. I know, that’s where we go to socialize. Shut up.

Anyway, I haven’t seen him in about 2 1/2 years and he said he was visiting. I asked where he was these days.

“Baghdad,” he replied.

I didn’t say anything. I honestly didn’t know what to say.

He informed me he was working in the private sector. Then he started to tell Squirrel Queen and I about the Iraqi people.

“Never compliment them on anything because they will give it to you,” he said. “I’ve had this happen several times and they always give me whatever it is I comment about. You have to be careful about that.”

He went on to talk about that it was dangerous and about that many of the Iraqi people he has met thought, due to Saddam Hussein’s reign, that Iraq had been victorious during the Gulf War.

He talked for a long time. I had my foot propped up due to Igor the mean-assed spider biting it and just listened to what he had to say. He also cited that he didn’t think American Main Stream media was getting all of the stories right. I asked what he meant and he said that they only got CNN, Fox and Al Jazeera where he lived. A lot of the soldiers there as well as those living, as he is, in the private sector, thinks there needs to be more educational programming about the tribal factors in the area. He also said that Iraqis were lovely people.

When he left, he said it was a brisk 114 degrees.

I really have no comment on this conversation from a political perspective. It was a private thing between old friends. I do think there is always going to be things that we don’t know or we don’t understand. Cultures are different. I’ll be honest, I was shocked to hear he had taken this path. I just didn’t expect it.

And I also had a moment of blinding jealousy. I would give anything to start a new adventure into areas that I’m desperately afraid of. I know, “Newscoma, DAMMIT, you don’t want to go to Iraq!?!!”

No, not really. I don’t but in a way I do.

My envy came from him talking about the culture, the way people survive despite terrible odds and obstacles. The way that life continues in despair. How he felt he was making a difference?

Yes, for a moment, that’s something I wanted to be swimming in.

Could I make a difference?


Send A Recovering Soldier A Card

16 12 2007

A message from Kathy T.

From my LaVergne blog… If you’re mailing Christmas cards this year, here’s one more you could send:

A Recovering American Soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue,NW
Washington, DC 20307-5001

Go here instead. Kathy T. made a clarification about it all:

We Support You During Your Recovery!
c/o American Red Cross
P.O. Box 419
Savage, MD 20763-0419

Thanks for straightening out, John “The Man” Carney.

The soldiers didn’t ask to be over there. It’s 41 pennies to send a nice thought. She makes a good point and she and I are on the same page here.

If you are so inclined, next time you are at the post office, send out a card. Letters from citizens meant a lot of my grandfather when he was serving in Saipan. I’m sure it would mean a lot to a recovering soldier injured during the war.

And, heck, it doesn’t have to be Christmas to do this.


More on Tanner

16 11 2007

Congressman John Tanner’s position on how he plans to deal with war made the Huffington Post yesterday:

It is already conventional wisdom that the “bridge fund” for the Iraq war passed Wednesday night in the House will be stopped by Republicans in the Senate. And for that reason, at least a few House Democrats say that their party should not pick another fight with the president over ending the war.

“Rep. Tanner had questions about the political viability of the bill because it may not be something that has the possibility of passing and making it all the way,” said Randy Ford, spokesman for Rep. John Tanner (D-TN), who voted against the bill. “He really wants to continue working on it in a bipartisan way, so the House can insert itself not as one party or another but to have an oversight role.”

Read the rest here.

Congressman John Tanner

15 11 2007

Oh, no.

I wish my congressman hadn’t voted this way.

I need to think about this.

Vibinc also wrote this:

In the spring of 2007 MTSU conducted a poll that showed that only 29% of Tennesseans support the current policy on Iraq. Since that time (John) Tanner and (Jim) Cooper have consistently voted against any funding bill that would call for troop withdrawal. I hope that Tanner and Cooper will reconsider their votes, or at least explain them so we might better understand, or elect someone who is more willing to represent the will of the people in their districts.

I’m honestly saddened by Tanner’s vote here.  I would also like to have Tanner explain to us why he voted the way he voted.

So it would make sense to me and other people who live in his district.

H.R. 3087 To Be Debated Today

2 10 2007

Congressman John Tanner’s bill will be voted on the House floor sometime day. It will also be televised on CSPAN.

Here’s the release:

Congressman John Tanner’s bipartisan bill on Iraq is scheduled to be debated and voted on in the full House of Representatives Tuesday evening.


H.R. 3087 requires the Administration to report to Congress within 60 days on the status of its planning for redeployment of U.S. troops in Iraq, and then update Congress every 90 days thereafter.


“We can no longer approach the discussion on Iraq as a partisan issue,” Tanner said. “Our soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen and Guardsmen aren’t fighting as Democrats or Republicans but as Americans. It is time we work together as a Congress to engage in oversight of the Administration’s plans for what comes next in Iraq.”


 The bill is here for your perusal.


Of course, this isn’t a withdrawal bill, but more of an oversight plan on structured strategy for deployment.


Wonder how it will go.