Saturday, October 13, 2007


I'm currently reading a very good book sent to me by my Aunt, who lives in Yosemite Valley (which, by the way, must really suck. I mean, what do you do for a scenic vacation when you live it everyday?) The name of the book is "The Last Season", by Eric Blehm, and its a true story about a backcountry ranger in the Sierra Nevada mountains who goes missing. Great book, so far. But about 1/3 of the way into it I read a few lines that made me put down the book and think, 'Wow, that could really sum up things here in Iraq."

Without going into to much detail, the book is basically describing the early part of this rangers life, during a time in which he joined the peace corps and was assigned to helping farmers in India. After two years in which the farmers had tripled their crop output, the book says "it seems they had, after many roadblocks, succeeded in their quest. Not long before Randy left, he asked one of the farmers . . . if he intended to continue farming the land as he had been taught. The farmer, with a cheery disposition, said no, they wouldn't. 'That is how you farm in America. This is how we farm in India.' "

Substitute farm with fight or work, and India with Iraq, and you get our current situation. Ok, so maybe thats a pretty bleak outlook, but is it so wrong? Sure, there are some things our Iraqi's will take away from us (like a lot of stuff we paid for), but in the end, when we leave, am I going to be having this same conversation?


Bag Blog said...

As as school teacher in highly Hispanic areas where my students thought an early morning drug raid on their parent's home was normal stuff, I often felt the same thing. You teach them, they seem to be learning, but they go back to what they know - the way of their parent's and grandparent's before them - drinking, drugs, broken homes, early death. The only consolation - every once in a while, you make a difference, you change a life, someone catches on. Hopefully, that person will make a difference too. Sometimes you just have to know that what you are doing is good and right and let God do the rest. Sometimes, you dust the sand off your sandals and move on.

Anonymous said...

Remember, what works in NYC doesn't always work in Alabama either.

David M said...

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 10/15/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the check back often.

Joe Donato said...

On the other hand, think of it this way. The car company “TOYOTA” began importing their product to the U.S. many years ago, Americans were buying Toyota cars in record numbers because the product was cheaper and built to last. The Japanese boasted that their work ethic was stronger and more efficient. Now there built here in the U.S..The Japanese brought new ideas to the U.S. and taught the American workers to be more efficient, thus Toyota continues to out sell Ford, GM, and Chrysler. So maybe things can improve.

Iraqi Drama Queen said...

A contemplation to this blog which I found in a quote from “Imperial Life in the Emerald City” really good book;

Do not try to do much with your own hands
Better the Arabs do it tolerably than that you do it perfectly.
It is their war, and you are to help them, not to win it for them.
Actually, also, under the very odd conditions of Arabia, your practical work will not be as good as, perhaps, you think it is.

T.E. Lawrence (”Lawrence of Arabia“)
August 20, 1917

Jason said...

Very good quote, and alot can be learned from that book as well (for us). I guess my frustration is also due in part to a lack of a clear vision or goal while we are here - its just like we are here to be here, instead of being here working toward a defined goal. Help the Iraqi Army is not a very clear mission statement!

Iraqi Drama Queen said...

Hi again Jason :)
In response to your last comment I have something to say. about a month ago Black Hawk Down showed on TV and I was chewing my nails off till the movie ended (although the number of soldiers killed surprised me at the end of the movie because anything less than the loss of like 50 human lives is not a big deal to us Iraqis - no disrespect or disregard to human life but that's just us) any way .. At the end of the movie I got this message; it's not about war because obviously things went south and the motive for fighting got lost. It was about soldiers supporting their buddies. One character who was sceptic about the whole thing replied to one of his buddies who called him a war-junkie that he was there for his men, not for the war.

That’s how all the military men in my family thought too, solidarity with their men not with bla bla slogans. I hope that’s motive enough. Hang in there and stay safe.