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This blog exists only as an archive. It is a journal that serves as a window into my life as a Marine combat veteran serving in Iraq and Afghanistan; it was written with no filter, no politics and no agenda. Please feel free to follow my journey from beginning to end. Welcome to my life.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

About two days ago a suicide car bomber drove underneath an overpass that had been fortified by our Fox Co. as an observation post that could observe a major Iraqi interstate for miles in both directions. When he was underneath the bridge he detonated the truck he was driving, destroying the bridge and seriously wounding 8 Marines.

My company, Golf, has been helping with the recovery process. But here's my question. This overpass is now lying in rubble across six lanes of interstate that connects western Al Anbar to Baghdad. It is heavily used by both commercial and personal vehicles. Why are we fixing it? I ask the question for two reasons. A) what's going to stop another suicide bomber and B) why don't we begin to make the Iraqi people pay for their tolerance of terrorism. The people in the surrounding area know what happened. Perhaps not all of them could point a finger at someone, but they would know how to find out. But we give them no incentive to help us. They know we are going to clear that rubble, and they know we are going to rebuild their bridge, because the Marines and coalition forces are trying to "win hearts and minds". How about we win this war first, and then try and win popularity contests. I understand they go hand in hand, but only to a point.

The people here respect guns. That's it. They don't respect smiles and gift baskets. The terrorists come into our AO with guns and an attitude, and they are winning the PR battle. Bottom line.

I vote that we leave that bridge strewn across six lanes. Let them dig it out if they want to.


  1. Jake, I couldn't agree more with your latest comment. Godspeed.

  2. still praying...all the time... miss you


  4. "War is cruelty. There is no use trying to make it otherwise. To do so invites defeat and humiliation. The crueler it is, the sooner it is over." William T. Sherman

  5. Jake, Just came across your blog...Good Stuff.

    I served in Gulf War I and I have always said (in the very un-PC terms) that the only thing Arabs understand is rule by fear and force. When you try to work with them they will always work against you.

    Semper Fi

  6. i agree with your point. but why not take your point -- let the iraqis fix their bridge -- to its logical conclusion? why not let iraqis solve their own problems?

    if marines had not been on that bridge, terrorists would not have blown it up. so the US shares half the blame here. we ought to provide half the funds and let them fix it.

    if we had used your attitude before march 2003 we would have said: let iraqis solve saddam. that is not our house. not our business. he may kill his own people, but if we invade, even more will die, and their blood will be on our hands. if we had asked more of the questions jake is asking now, we would not have been sold this fake war.
    but why is jake only asking this question years after the war began?

    democracy dies when citizens go on autopilot. democracy dies when "commander in chief" replaces "president."

    let me ask a question: people call the soldiers in iraq heroes for doing hard and dangerous things. but how many of those soldiers were carrying out their duties as citizens before going into war? how many of them were vigorously looking at the facts in 2003? how many of them were sitting back and trusting Daddy Commander in Chief to do the thinking for them? Jake, i wonder if you did your duty as citizen, of actively and critically thinking, before going to Iraq? or did you take a pass and let the leaders think for you?

    why are soldiers heroic and active citizens not? why is war good and democracy unimportant? why are soldiers heroic for firing weapons, when they may well have abdicated their duties as citizens?

    this nation has a problem of its moral values.

    oh, and let me respond to mr. anonymous from the gulf war above. the reason "arabs only understand force" is because for over a century every arab country has been subjected to force and occupation. not liberation.

    let me ask you: who invaded whom in 1830? did algeria invade france? did egypt invade england in the 1880s? there are many, many examples.

    so let me end by asking: who only understands force? the arabs? or the western countries? let me propose that the nations that invaded the middle east -- including the USA -- are the ones teaching arabs all they need to know about force.

    where did al-qaeda originate? in the CIA and ISI funded madrasah's in pakistan, and in the jihadist movement funded by them in the 1980s. for those who scorn history -- who think they understand a whole people without bothering to ask any questions -- let me say you too are abdicating your duty as citizens.

    terrorism does not arise out of nothing. it is always a response to overwhelming force -- see sri lanka, see northern ireland, see palestine.

    democracy forever.