Friday, March 21, 2003

WAR third day, the ground troops advance towards Basra, a key port city on the Persian Gulf. Late word has it that the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force has bypassed this city and proceeded up the Tigris River in order to secure a bridge or two. Methinks, Basra will be left to the British to secure.

3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) continues unopposed on it trek to Baghdad, and tonight is actually using headlights! We own the skies over Iraq, so why not? The much ballyhooed awe and wonder (is that right) air campaign started tonight all over Iraq. I fail to understand why rational men would continue to back a losing hand in the guise of Saddam Hussain. He is going down, there is no other plausible outcome What do the men backing him hope to gain by resisting; to coin a phrase from the Borg: “resistance is futile.”

And it is finally sinking in, that this endeavor we are undertaking is for real! The protestors will bout in force again today; their re-appearance today forced me to alter my plans, since I have school tonight. They are set to begin at 5:00pm in front of the Federal Building here in downtown Chicago. It just so happens that the federal building is on the very street I need to turn down to get to school. Ordinarily, I hit Bally’s before class, which puts me in the city at around 5:15, so you see, I could risk getting stuck tonight on the Congress, and then have to go way out of my way! I hate that!

So here I am at 4:30, typing this entry, enjoying the most delectable Teriyaki Chicken from China Express across the street from the school. I am famished, having had soup and crackers at 11:30am! I have this same dish every Friday, my treat to myself! By the end of a long hard week, it hits the spot!

Back to the WAR, the unstoppable, fast advancing WAR. It is interesting how all of these retired generals and admirals come out of the wood work whenever a war starts. How do the networks find them? Do they volunteer themselves as experts; they are all over the airways! Not that I mind all that much, I appreciate the informed commentary.

Much ado about nothing has been made of the President’s going to Camp David over the weekend. Lord knows I can’t stand the man, but I think even he deserves to get away from it all. Hell, I would hat for the stress to drive him to start tipping the bottle again; we do not need that. Slithering Dick Cheney is back whispering word of encouragement into Bush’s crinkled ear. Cheney reminds me of Worm-tongue of Lord of The Rings, The Two Towers fame. The only thin he is missing is the black robes!

Sec. of State Powel has been sadly muted since the start of the WAR, but then again there is little for him to do except insist that the provisional governor of Iraq come from the state department when the volcano that is the U.S. military ceases to erupt. Small chance that happenstance will come to pass, but a Bard can hope…

Like everyone else, I am waiting for the other shoe to drop, and the terrorist attacks to start. That is perhaps the scariest portion of this whole morass, waiting and wondering when and where the first terrorist attack will fall. Of course I hope that it never does, but wishing will not make it so…God help us when it does!

This is yesterday’s post:

WAR, second day, the ground troop go in under cover of darkness where the advantage is theirs. It looks like the 1st Marine Expeditionary Unit and the British are heading for Basra while the Army’s Fifth Corp is heading to Baghdad.

I still can escape the question: What are we doing!! This all seems a bit surreal; I got up this morning and watch television while I ate breakfast and then went to work. It was raining lightly and traffic was predictably heavy, but I got to work on time and installed a new anti-virus program on my servers. I had Chunky Soup for lunch with a diet Coke, and a small bag of cookies for dessert. Of course I followed the war via NPR, CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, and the BBC, but for the most part my life was the same, nothing has changed. The WAR is a world away and it feels like it. No sacrifice is really being asked of us; my spouse made that point last night; it all so very disturbing…

It’s almost as if the average American—unless they have family in the Gulf, in the thick of the shooting—have no stake in this WAR. We watch it unfold, but there is disconnect that is disconcerting. I feel as though I should be doing something, but what? Is chronicling my thoughts here doing something?

There are reports of demonstrators right down the street from here, I’ll go to the Chicago Tribune on-line and get the scoop. Oh good, it look like they have left the loop and headed to the lake front, I should be able to get home tonight before midnight! Not that I don’t sympathize with the protestors, especially since it is raining out, but I value my sleep….

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

So it has begun; the missiles are flying the motivational music is playing, the hearts are beating, the curtain has lifted on WAR. Let it be swift, let it be as bloodless as possible, and let us not be isolated in the end.

Targets of opportunity they are calling it…40 Tomahawks fired from Navy ships in the Persian Gulf and most likely the Red Sea, and Air Force F117’s launched the attack.

All we can do now is watch as the war plays out like a silent film before us as ex-military generals and admirals become talking heads for the networks. I have asserted that this war is wrong because it violates traditional American principles. We are not an empire, nor do I think we should aspire to such a venture. Freedom for ourselves and others is supposed to be our watch word! We should not seek to hold land and peoples for our own design and benefit.

But now that war is upon us, I will support our fighting MEN & WOMEN (not boys and girls as I had heard them called), insofar as possible from my landlocked perch in Chicago. I consider them my brethren, for I was once among their ranks. When you are deployed in a distant land, the support of those at home means the world to you. So my support they shall have, albeit with a heavy heart and sullen mood. I am tired of war…

On a related note, I heard on the way home this afternoon, that some 35 or more propane canisters have gone missing in and around the Chicago area! The FBI has claimed that the thefts are unrelated, but this pronouncement is a little hard to swallow without thought or reflection. I do not believe these thefts to be just a coincidence, and unhappy happenstance if you will. Something evil, foul, underhanded, frightful, and menacing is afoot. I just hope my own back yard will be free from surge of fire, but since I go to school down town I have to be wary…

Is this the beginning of the end? When will the terrorist shoe drop with fire and destruction upon our unwitting heads?

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

So it is war then. Twenty-four hours is all we have left of sanity. Now that it is on, I hope it is swift and the American casualties light. And I so hope that Saddam does not use chemical weapons. He has already started sabotaging oil well’s, I hope we can secure the rest before the moron creates yet another environmental disaster.

I am glad that I am no longer in the Navy, but part of me wishes that I was still in and doing something. My life, and the lives of all Americans save those in the gulf, and their families, are so far removed from this war, that it may as well be a long running movie! It just doesn’t affect us. We go about our lives with nary a care, but perhaps with the commencement of hostilities that will change if terrorism comes calling on American soil once again. A terrorist campaign like the one that has become a normal part of Israeli life, visited upon America would paralyze this country. I fear that more then I fear that American forces currently putting themselves in harms way will come to a bad end.

If a terrorist campaign where suicide bombers blow themselves up one after another on the streets of American cities would be devastating, and I fear the Constitution may not survive it! Already, after 9/11 our civil liberties are under assault and the Constitution is burning at the fringes. Ashcroft, I feel, would love nothing better then to declare Marshall Law, and force us all onto our knees to pray for salvation and the American way! Imagine then the assault on the venerable document if terrorist declared all out Israeli war on the U.S. and it populace. With our open society they would be almost impossible to stop without the institution of some sort of Marshall Law doctrine. It is too frightening to even think about in depth.

I couldn’t even envision life I such an America, so use to my freedom am I. I’m not sure I’d want to live through that kind of hell. The uncertainly of where the next bomb would go off, coupled with the governmental constraints would be almost unbearable. And it would be open season on Muslims and anyone perceived to be Arab. Could we see a return to the Japanese style internment camps of 1942? In the name of national security anything seems game.

So it is war! The dogs have been released; their teeth sharpened dripping with fire of revenge, looking for a target neutralize, their path dead reckoned on Baghdad. Lord, I am tired of war. I wonder what peace would look like, how would I taste, smell, and feel like? Would the human race know how handle peace? Probably not, too much evil intent. We do not after all, live in a Star Trek world, yet!

Monday, March 17, 2003

So it is WAR! Diplomacy has breathed its last breath, and the God’s of war have taken the field. And now that it has come upon us, and we are powerless to stop it, we have to support it. Our military men and women deserve that much from us at home. I only hope the war will be swift and sure, and that Saddam does not have it in his mind to use chemical weapons. But if he has them at his disposal, what would prevent him from using them. He has, at this point, nothing to lose. His land at the end of this will belong to the United States; to the victor goes the spoils, said spoils in this case running black under the desert.

I fear the fight for Baghdad will be fierce and bloody, if the Iraqis decide it is better to fight the onslaught that is the American Army and Marines, not to mention the British Army, rather then give it up, and save the city. Make no mistake, if the fight for Baghdad comes to a seize of old, the city will be destroyed utterly, of that there can certainly be little debate. How, oh how, did we as a nation come to this. Have we become marauders, the Mongols of the new century?

This is distressing. I will write more after the Presidents speech tonight in 18 minutes…