AmeriCAN-DO Attitude

Are you an AmeriCAN or an AmeriCAN'T?

Hope Springs Eternal in Iraq

The Donovan at the military blog Argghhh! has a great post up passing on an article written in an Arab newspaper about Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Donovan is making this a daily routine to bring these articles to his readers, via M.E.M.R.I. (Middle East Media Research Insititute). Be sure to visit his site and check back often for more posts. For now, check out the first of his exerpts from the Arab liberal journal Elaph:

Iraqi Journalist ‘Abd Al-Jabbar Al-‘Atabi: Despite It All, April 9 is a National Holiday

“Here is Baghdad, still smelling the odor of smoke, hearing the sounds of fright, seeing the tongues of flame, and tasting the bitterness of violence. And nonetheless, with our fingers we feel the face of hope — with the voices of the birds who have not left the city and still chirp and grow in number; with the winds that carry the pollen of the palm trees to the orchards to produce fresh dates; with the glimmer of the predawn, whose appearance gladdens the city’s residents and moves their spirit to rebuild and renew what has been destroyed…

“Yesterday –- one day before the anniversary of April 9 [2003] –- I spent the early morning hours devoting all my attention to what has been and what will be. I jumped up, eager to visit the places, to walk in the streets and on the sidewalks, allowing my gaze to take in what it may. [ … ]

“I walked in the public street and observed the faces of the people I passed by – those sprawled on the sidewalks, selling goods, those who make their livelihood in the souks and the parking lots, and the beggars. I imagined them five years ago. I might not see a great change in their appearance, but there was something written in their facial features that showed that these people have their freedom to deal with things. As one of them said to me, no one comes and scatters their wares, or chases them away, or demands bribes. They come when they will and leave when they will.

“At the start of my journey I stopped by the newspaper seller to ask how he was after five years of change. He said: I will sum up what you ask in a few words. Despite everything that happened and is happening, I feel pride in the fact that the years of dictatorship are gone. There were no worse years than those, when we were afraid of our own shadows and our own children. I won’t claim that the situation now is ideal, but compared to the past, it is much better, without any comparison… Despite the sorrows I find in our present situation, I feel relieved. In the days [of the dictatorship] I didn’t feel optimistic. Now, I am optimistic about what is to come. What is happening now is passing; while it has gone on long, it will end – it could end in the twinkle of an eye.

“The residents of Baghdad, who recall the days from before April 9, 2003 and up to today – 1,727 days and nights, one after the other, together with all that has befallen and befalls their city – profess nothing but fidelity to it, even though it is engulfed in dangers. They reject those who say ‘Baghdad fell,’ and will answer you sternly if you say this, saying ‘it was the regime that fell’…

“I called a friend who lives in Sadr City and asked him how things were under the traffic ban in force now for a week. He said: I feel love, and then laughed, and continued: There are some things I fear, but I do not fear the coming days. People [here] are in a lamentable state and are afraid of evils that may befall them, but they are not despondent. They are awaiting a change for the better.

“Five years of Baghdad’s new life have passed… and there has been much talk of Baghdad. This is because it is not a city like other cities; it is exceptional, as is everything in it…

“You see that people, despite their proud grief, are talking about hope, and optimism, and the happiness to come. Despite the confusion, the anarchy, and the unconceivable occurrences, you hear the words: the breakthrough is at hand. They speak of the democracy that they had misunderstood, and they emphasize that these five years have taught them a lot and enriched their experience. They have come to know the true from the false and to distinguish between the good and the evil. You hear people saying: April 9 is a national holiday, despite the imported terrorism, or that concocted by the former regime, that came in its wake.”

April 13, 2008 , 7:58PM Posted by | Iraq, Military, War Effort in Iraq | Comments Off on Hope Springs Eternal in Iraq

This is War: Memories of Iraq (MOVIE)

Thanks to a commentor at Blackfive, here is the link to the trailer for this movie on MySpace.

And I believe you can purchase the video here at Lucky Forward Films.

Via Deebow at Blackfive: The “Feel Good” Movie of the year…

[ … ] I know a few of these men, having served with them for some years now in the National Guard, both overseas and at home and at the risk of giving away some of my anonymity, they are all from Oregon.

The footage shot from this movie is not something that you are probably going to find in any movie coming out of HollyWeird because it is shot through the cameras and eyes of the men who lived it, at the time they were living it.

Here is some of the write up that came from our Guard Newsletter, The Sentinel:

The special screening of the film documenting their deployment was held during the 2nd Annual Cinema City Film Festival March 9-10, at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles, Calif. According to the event’s organizer, Suzanne DeLaurentiis, the showing was as much business as it was personal.

“After I watched the movie, I just fell in love with the guys,” she said. “They’re a great group of people and we’re so proud to have them here.”

Some of the celebrities who attended the event included Ed McMahon, Cuba Gooding Sr., singer Debora Gibson, Ed Lauder, “Good Times” star, Ja’Net Du Bois, and Christopher McDonald, who is best known for the character of ‘Shooter McGavin’ in the movie “Happy Gilmore”.

The entire article is here. Additionally, the book The Devil’s Sandbox by John R. Bruning, is the companion reader to this movie and is a chronicle of their actions while deployed there, from the rolling ambush after leaving Navistar to the “Card-board Coffins” to the Battle at the Jemalia Power Station (a “3 hour tour” that turned into an 18 hour plus firefight) and more.

Like I was saying, I know some of these men personally, and I have seen their videos uncut and unedited before we left for Afghanistan, as some of them volunteered (yes leftards, volunteered) and there was this one part, where my buddy Joe was wounded by some Mahdi dude and he…

Well, I won’t spoil it. I hope that video made it into the show….

I would encourage everyone to go and get a copy of the movie and see OIF through the eyes of men who lived it, and not from some stringer or Green Zone Ranger.

Spread the word about this movie. Sounds like a good one. One in which we will see the accounts from our soldiers which the mass media, Hollywood and our government refuse to show us.

April 13, 2008 , 3:07PM Posted by | Iraq, Military, Military Blogs, War Effort in Iraq | Comments Off on This is War: Memories of Iraq (MOVIE)

The Americans Would Just Fight… That is Their Nature, to Protect Those in Need of Protection

Via commentor “bg” at Gateway Pundit, who found this letter from an Australian whose son is in Iraq: Thank God for America

Gentlemen,

I am an Australian and my son is an Australian – as far as we are concerned there is no place on God’s earth better than Australia, and there are no people better than Australians.

That was until the past week or so.

My son is in the Australian Army and he is currently on deployment in Iraq. I can not go into his duties in great depth, but shall we say that he and his fellow army buddies are on a glorified guard duty looking after the Australian Embassy. They don’t go out looking for “action”, though it is a different story in Afghanistan, there the Aussie troops chase the baddies over the hills and into the valleys..

My son and I just ended a long ‘phone conversation and here are some of his comments, believe me this is what he said. We have all seen the bullshit emails written by some clown in his lounge room pretending to be at the coal face, but this is what was said.:

“Before I came over here I thought we (the Australian Army) were pretty shit hot….. was I ever wrong!…. The Yanks (I hope you don’t mind me using that word) are so professional from the top to the bottom that it is almost embarrassing to be in their company, and to call yourself a soldier…. don’t get me wrong, we are good at what we do but the Yanks are so much better….. they are complete at what they do, how they do it and their attitude is awesome…. they don’t complain they just get on with the job and they do it right….. I carry a Minimi (SAW) so I am not real worried about a confrontation but I tell you I feel safer just knowing that the US Army is close by…. If we got into trouble I know that our boys would come running and we could deal with it but they would probably be passed by a load of Hummers. No questions asked, no glory sought, the Americans would just fight with us and for us because that is their nature, to protect those in need of protection….. We use the American Mess so you could say that we are fed by the Americans….. they have every right to be pissed at that but they don’t bitch about that they just make us feel as welcome as possible…. what gets to me is that the Yanks don’t walk around with a “we are better than you attitude” and they could because they are, they treat us as equals and as brothers in arms. If nothing else, coming here has taught me that the Americans are a truly great Nation and a truly great bunch of people….. Let’s face it they don’t HAVE to be here, they could stay in America and beat the shit out of anyone who threatened them, BUT THEY ARE HERE because they believe they should be here, and the Iraqis would be screwed if they weren’t here….. When I come home, you and I we are going to the US, we will buy some bikes and we are going riding….”

The reason why I am sharing this with you is because I realize that you (as a nation) must get pretty pissed with all the criticism you receive by the so-called “know it alls” who are sitting at home – safe. The reality is that they are safe, just as I am, because of America. If the world went arse up tomorrow there is f**k all we ( Australia ) could do about it, but I know that the Americans would be there putting themselves on the line for others. That to me is the sign of greatness.

The most precious thing in my life is my son, I look at him and I thank God that I am fortunate enough to be able to spend time in his company. We laugh, we discuss, we argue, we dummy spit, we have the same blood. I am not happy that he is where he is but that is his duty. He joined the Army to protect and to defend, not to play games. I mightn’t like it but I accept it. My reasons for not liking it are selfish and self centered. I felt assured that he would be safe because he is in a well trained army with an excellent record, BUT NOW, I feel a whole lot better knowing that he is with your sons, daughters, brothers and sisters.

Whilst he was growing up, I was always there to look after him, I would not let harm befall him and I would always put myself before him to protect him. I can’t do that now. When it comes to looking after him now he and his mates will do the job, but also THANK GOD FOR AMERICA.

Gentlemen, I have rambled on for too long, but as I finish I say to you, as a foreigner and outsider, a nation is only a collection of its people and its attitude is the attitude of its people, collectively and as individuals. I am really glad you are here on this Earth and I respect you as a nation and as people.

Stand up and feel proud because you deserve it, there is no one else who will do what America does without question. The next time someone howls you down, take some comfort in the fact that America is defending their right to act like an idiot.

Finally, thank you for looking after my son.

Peter Turner

To Peter Turner, your son and the rest of our Aussie allies and friends: Thank YOU.

April 13, 2008 , 2:12PM Posted by | Iraq, Military, War Effort in Iraq | Comments Off on The Americans Would Just Fight… That is Their Nature, to Protect Those in Need of Protection