Friday, October 17, 2003

The Internal War: What Happens When There is no Clear Mission

17 October, 2003

I love you Nora, so much! MUAH! Well, it’s getting cloudy in Baghdad, and it reminds me so much of Germany with you. Ah, we’ve got to talk a lot lately too.
Today started at 0530 and some of us guys wandered up to the newly renovated weight room. It’s where the pregnant Iraqi lady and her clan used to live, but we evicted them for security reasons. Now it’s a pretty nice weight room full of quality equipment and mirrored walls – complete with satellite TV. We went into the weight room, half awake and the TV blaring loud music over a music video channel. It was super sexual and full of naked skin. It’s such a shame, it’s all just to sell music or get ratings. I can’t believe the total lack of respect these women show themselves and show young women. It troubles me that we send the message that you have to be almost naked, have a “perfect” body, throw yourself at immoral men, be an object, and be sought after and used. It’s disappointing that we make this impression on our youth. Growing up is complicated enough. So seeing this kind of culture upsets me because we should teach self respect and trust. That doesn’t sell commercials though. So we are all standing in the gym and everyone is glued to the TV and going nuts over scenes of flesh like animals. I just wanted to start exercising! But, I had to wait for everyone to break their trance. After some time, we got started. We started our exercises, but then our sergeant said, “hold on, turn facing the TV so we can see this bitch.” I didn’t even want to be there. I love you, and I can’t stand being around men like that. So I looked at the ground and did my exercises. I tried to block all the music and images out. You are so beautiful to me, and my eyes and mind belong to you Nora.
As the day went on, it was the same ol’ stuff in the command post. The chaos in here is great, and it’s because of the people we have working here.
‘We’ve got a report of a large crowd of people marching in sector 30. About 1,000 or 2,000 people marching peacefully,’ I announced after receiving a report from regiment’s aviators. All of a sudden, everyone starts shouting and I hear the battle captain say,
“Sir, we’ve got an uprising in sector 30 – 2,000 people!” I couldn’t believe this, information being twisted or exaggerated. Then that creates confusion, and I have to correct everyone before the info becomes totally false. It seems the quality of the people here has declined beyond repair.
Yesterday Major Ramirez and some of the NCOs were being loud in the TOC, laughing it up like boys back on the block talking. “I’d give her the smoked sausage, yeah boy!” He was talking about some woman on TV. He (Major Ramirez) got up out of his chair and totally lost his bearing and started acting like he was humping like a dog with his leg in the air.
‘An officer and a gentleman,’ I thought to myself. It’s unreal. A homeboy in gentleman’s clothing. It’s the principle of it all. I know people aren’t perfect, but this isn’t acceptable. The standards have gone down so much – even since Sergeant Pullman.
FOX News is on our TV all time now. The battalion spent $500 to get several satellite receivers so we can get American TV (actually it’s $500 per receiver). We used to have several cheap receivers that allowed us to get BBC and other channels. So, now we get a 24 hour feed of American news into our command center, along with several news magazines like “The Early Show” and other low quality shows. So we’ve got a show about the dangers of taking Viagra, or a hyperventilating Ken or Barbie doll on FOX spouting off opinions full of stereotypes, hype, and unqualified judgments. So all through the day, this crap is on. BBC was never so repulsive or irritating. Perhaps it was because they actually had content. Man, American news is so hyper and base.
Anyways, all the dogs are gone – even the puppies I got to see grow up. Some unit went around and collected them all. They were put in a trailer and then taken to the helicopter landing pad area where the MPs shot them with a shotgun. They didn’t bother using the M16s, because the bullet doesn’t kill. It just passes through and injures the dog. Remember the dog Sergeant Major Pappy shot? It lived. So lessons in life, and now death. Just like the watermelons grew, and then were killed. It’s the Iraq experience.
Some good news though. I got a package from the Ministry of Sound from London! That was great! About a month ago I got on the internet and listened to their London radio station live. The DJ announced the studio e-mail address, so I sent a quick e-mail asking for some “junk CDs” and just to say hello. Minutes after sending the e-mail, I got an answer on the radio. It reminded me of being in London at Leicester Square on a weekend, and the DJ giving shout-outs at the club. I love London! Not just for the fun, but the learning, the experience. Well, I listened to the answer on the radio, full of excitement, “We got a special e-mail from Dan Thompson. He’s an American soldier in Iraq. Greetings mate! Station’s putting together for you as we speak! Keep up the good work!” I got up and jumped around when I heard this! It was great, and I told everyone about it. Well, they did send me a package! I got 3 double CDs and a card with a message on it. That was great! It just shows again that if you ask, and you ask the right people, you most likely will receive. That is true!


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