22 January 2006

veteran voices

Over at T-Bone's War Journal you can get the varnished truth. Bright and shiny and spit-shined with grit and balls and muscle and honest sweat and upright sincerity. This is a message that's being pumped out at over, fuck if I know, five trillion milblogs and counting. Check the red, white and blue blogroll over at the Lifer Uberblog, Mudville Gazette. Honest, sincere, upright, flag waiving, true believers. Soon as you pull up the Gazette, you get this refried horseshit thrown at you:

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

Sure does set the tone. You know why I sleep 'peaceably' well through most of the day? I sleep peaceably because I polished off a fifth of anything forty-proof or better and scored myself a SUPER hottie and we threw ourselves at eachother and went at it till we collapsed from sheer exhaustion and then drifted off to sleep. THAT's why I sleep 'peaceably.' And anyone stepping up to the plate to offer hisself to 'defend' me from the so-called evildoer motherfuckers out there I'd say, kindly fuck off, I'll do my own defending, no matter how ineptly, thank you. One thing I learned but GOOD in the motherfucking Army is that apparently rough men will use any old flimflam reason to do fucking violence, and enjoy doing it too. And if doing violence happens to be 'defending' something, anything, well... how goddamned convenient is that? Sweet!

If you wanna read blogs with some of the varnish chipped off and the polish flaking off the toe and the rifle all banged-up and not-up-to-muster and holes in the uniform and the hair unregulation-ass long and a ready middle-finger right there quicker than you can say straighten-up-and-fly-right, there are a few 'other' blogs...

Colby Buzzell's blog My War is still up, but he pulled all his posts. He managed to score a book deal out of his military experience and my copy should be in the mail just about now and I really look forward to it. I wish more people would have the time and opportunity and mindset to tell command to fuck OFF and cough up their deepest fears and their innermost reservations online. It's like the guys in the middle of the fight are the ones left out of the goddamned debate on the thing and the shit is really pissing me off.

Then I found The Statistics: the heretic, J.D. Engelhardt, aka hEkLe, and Joe Public, three soldiers over at Fight To Survive the first time and was blown away by their guts and I finally said, well FUCK, THAT's blogging man. Their blog has been online for a while and there's a lot to read and I recommend going through all of it. POWERFUL stuff.

Brian over at One Veteran's Voice is finding his. Every single time Brian writes he bests himself, and he just started writing. It's goddamned good stuff. Read it. LEARN. GET the message.

Brian's 18 January entry is the rawest of truths on this bullshit:

War is scared kids taking pot shots at each other because some other guy says it's the right thing to do. War is collective insanity. It can be justified by logic, but it's still chaotic, collective insanity. Sometimes, once you start it, you can't stop it. Maybe you even start to like it-- the rush of temple throbbing, "holy shit that was close adrenaline" that is like a drug. There are most definitely sadists, thugs, and war junkies in the current military. Lowering recruiting standards doesn't help the situation. Most soldiers in Iraq, however, are decent people thrown into an insane situation. They generally react by acting insane. Morality goes out the window. It's law of the jungle time. It's up to America's citizens, not her soldiers, to interpret the morality of our actions in Iraq.

Awesome shit Brian. For real man. Write dude. Write. Get it all down. Get the word out. All of it. And fuck 'em if they can't take it.

Thomas Strickland. Thomas' journey ended some place in time understood as Monday, August 15, 2005. Near some unpronounceable shitdump on some goatfuck so-called mission.

A glimpse into Thomas' thoughts over at his blog, One Foot In The Grave.

The Worst Day of My Life

I remember having a hard time focusing, what seemed like hours of tasks and seconds to do them. Beneath me was the road, black topped, six foot embankments dropping on either side, a canal to the north reeded and muddy, and farmland stretching everywhere else. It was the Mulla Fayad expressway screaming "welcome to the cootch of civilization" its mouth split wide by a 250 lb aerial bomb and two propane tanks wired together as a carepackage from the insurgency[...]



Anonymous Anonymous said...


Dude, yet another powerful blog (22JAN06). T-bone is quoting Geroge Orwell he wrote:

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

I suggest that T-bone take some time and read Orwell's 1984 for some real insight. The Party slogans:


have such cruel ring of truth in the light of todays politics.

If you think I'm going overboard, just take a short hop back into near-recent history and check out the Nazis. Here is a couple of quotes for the stew:

* “The broad mass of the nation ... will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one.”
- Adolf Hitler, in his 1925 book Mein Kampf
(Iraq was in on 911)

* “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”
- Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels
(Can you say WMD's)

* “Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”
- Nazi Reich Marshal Hermann Goering, before committing suicide at the Nuremberg Trials
(Standard line from oh so many neocon chicken hawks)

Of course there is my all time favorite line from 1984:

"The Party is never wrong."

Keep posting dude, it needed, now more than ever!

22 January, 2006 14:14  
Blogger Mrs. Asshead said...

Thanks man I needed this, was getting a little too cynical lately, a little too lazy, will bump my shit up a couple of notches for you, guilt others also into doing so.

22 January, 2006 15:39  
Blogger Puma said...

I wanted to add also the also-excellent Snag's blog, Deprogramming Starter Kit:


22 January, 2006 17:19  
Blogger Guts said...

Hell, AST, you're right about those that are telling the TRUTH needin' to be heard loud and clear and if the history of literature is any indication, they will. The truth may not set you free but it will be re-published in paperback long after anything written by some fucking lifer.

So, fuck all those with their heads stuck up in W's lily-white pogue ass and those whose Viagara-overdosed hard-on for war never takes a break and those who believe that the principles this country were founded on have anything to do with going halfway round the world to fuck somebody else's shit up so some silver-spooned pussy can dish out government contracts to his pals.

My cover's off to all those who fight, no matter what their politics are. But I'll shit in that hat and throw it at anyone who says you guys didn't earn the right to tell people what the hell is really going on.

Keep on truckin', boys. You're on the side of right.

22 January, 2006 21:44  
Blogger The Statistics said...

Thanks for the shout out! I owe you a peaceful night some where down the line, a fifth of your favorite poison on me. Now I think I will go self medicate and let the spirits wrestle with the demons.

22 January, 2006 22:04  
Blogger TBone said...


Thanks for the link. My stand on many issues is presented after contemplation. I'm certainly not brainwashed by Orwelian "new-speak", and the "varnish" I use is merely my attempt not to sound schizophrenic while I am presenting a thesis. There is no way I could delve into all the branches and sequels of a story without completely losing the point in one post.

While you feel comfortable expounding upon the silliness and absurdity of Army life you've experienced; I prefer to focus on the positive things I've experienced (as opposed to the anonymous's implication that those things I write about are somehow a product of Big Brother's inculcation.) To keep myself sane, I like to focus on the positive.

AST, you know I don't believe in all the bullshit the Army feeds me. You know I believe that there are some serious idiots in the Army. But there are also some cool motherfuckers here too. Some of those dudes stay in for a career. Some of those guys want to truly "support and defend", and believe in what they are doing. To ignore that, or disregard the efforts of those who are driven by pure intentions is unfair.

Yin and yang. They both co-exist by design. I like to yin, and you like to yang. It's all cool with me, as long as we can stimulate the conversation towards some positive end goal.

Good post.


23 January, 2006 00:20  
Blogger charlie said...

Sometimes, just sometimes, it's right to fight. Sometimes, just sometimes, it's right to get down and dirty. Sometimes, just sometimes, it's right to expect others to fight alongside you too, and to carp when they don't. Sometimes, just sometimes, you are forced to fight - forced to fight because of the evidence of sheer wickedness staring you in the face and the absence of any alternative. Rwanda, Serbia, Nazi Germany, the Nazi concentration camps, Pearl Harabour are four of the 'just sometimes' that spring to my mind. There are others. Too many of them for moral comfort. In my book anyway. Too much sympathy for the victims. In my mind anyway. Who would gainsay the victims? And the point is this, surely: if the decision to fight or not is based on the truth, then we would all (or nearly all) support the good fight, support the rough men who stand ready to do violence on our behalf... would we?.. wouldn't we? And if not, why not? Truth and support, those comfortable bedfellows, are, I guess, what's lacking. Bad faith seems to have replaced them and we should all thank AST, and others, including tbone, for shining their individual spotlights on bad faith, on hypocrisy, and on the good rough men, most of whom are doing their fucking best.

23 January, 2006 01:58  
Blogger Snag said...

Well said Charlie. Even if you knew nothing of a country's involvement in a conflict, you could tell there's something not right by the amount of people who do and don't support it. If more than a handfull of people are questioning it, regardless of the final disposition of the war, there's too much ambiguity about its justifications. Approximately half this country is not being represented. And it seems that that half no matter what anyone says, is not questioning the use of force against a threat, but how that force is used.

Sarah, thanks for the plug, although I don't consider myself a milblogger as such. I'm just a citizen with an opinion now who did time (and not all of it bad).

23 January, 2006 03:41  
Anonymous mihael said...

There are wars, and there are wars. For many of us, it is not the dotted line you signed a while ago, it is the convoy that started rolling past your home night after night, its the sound of distant shelling and the light illuminating the sky, its the morning you woke up into. Shelling comes closer, wounded are incoming the same way those truck went past a day ago, and you somehow know that you are not going to play basketball on the old schoolyard with your friends for some time to come. So to somehow support both yin and yang here - "Good people sleep peaceably in their beds, but wake up one morning being rough men ready to do violence for their own behalf, and of those few people still able to sleep, although not very peaceably."

23 January, 2006 07:32  
Blogger Puma said...

Doh! you already have Snag in your blogroll.

23 January, 2006 09:16  
Anonymous mihael said...

You can't go home, because it burned to the ground a while ago. You want to write letters but there is no one to write to because they are either dead or gone. Soon after you realise there is not much you could write in a letter that people would want to hear about, and not much you would want other people to hear from you anyway. So you realise that youre stuck in a kind of insane limbo, and you don't know how long will you be there, a month, or a year, or several years. There is just two ways out, either the whole absurd insanity ends, or you die. And you didn't sign up for any of that shit in the first place ...

23 January, 2006 09:20  
Anonymous mihael said...

The bombs fell and my clothes were burned from my body. The stench of cordite burnt my nose and I was suddenly cold. I was shocked when I realised I liked the way it felt when the men surrounded me and warmed my naked flesh with their muscular bodies. The horror of that memory still haunts me, and I can only admit it here where no one knows me.

23 January, 2006 09:43  
Anonymous mihael said...

23 January, 2006 09:43

that was not my post, unlike two previous ones, not sure what was the point of that. I am sure that anyone that disagrees could say something in his own name instead posting in mine. I'm sure that most of you here perfectly understood what was the point of my two posts, for at least one of you that did not, and decided to post in my name - I wanted to say is that as bad as the mess AST and some other guys here are in, it is still not as bad as it is for the people who can't go home, because it is their houses that get burned, bombed etc. And I'm talking in general, not Iraq specificaly. You still CAN go home in the end .. one way or another

23 January, 2006 10:15  

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