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Someone should care, maybe not you....

My thoughts on many things including the army, war, politics, the military corrections system, chaos, life, books, movies, and why there is no blue food. Feel free to comment on what I say. Feedback is nice.

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40+ year old former teacher, linguist, interrogator, soldier, and lastly convict. We all do stupid things every once and awhile. I am an economic conservative and a firm believer in civil rights. Starting a new life now and frankly not sure what I am going to be doing.

21 July 2008

I read two books while I was away in internet free America a couple of weeks ago. (I actually I read several but only two worth discussing) One is left wing, tree hugger, green and the other is right wing, blood and thunder kill-em-all. I strongly recommend both of the books to all of you whatever your particular political persuasion.

The first is the easier read. In fact it is in many ways a pretty formulaic treatise of a member of the east coast liberal elite deciding to chuck it all and go live on a farm and get in touch with his inner whatever. Walden part X. The book is called Farewell my Subaru by Doug Fine. In it Mr. Fine decides to live a green carbon neutral existence by buying a 41 acre spread in New Mexico and returning to nature. He discusses his adventures with flash floods, coyotes (the animal not the smuggler), goats, chickens, solar panels and vegetable oil. It is quite amusing and rather informative about how one can go about trying to get off the grid as they say. The biggest flaw the book has is the author’s inability to avoid snarky put downs of pretty much everyone who he even suspects may have political views different from him. He has constant references to being in the land of “Limbaugh listeners” or while praising a guy who runs a business converting diesel vehicles to run on vegetable oil (while serving on active duty in the Air force) he has to add “and yet he believes he can learn the truth on Fox News.” (note: that may not be word for word what he says I don’t have the book in front of me) That attitude detracts from the overall book. Maybe he thinks he’s being funny, but he isn’t. but that bit aside, overall his adventures with raising his goats, his well, his plumbing and everything else makes a good read. I will be most impressed though when someone writes of how to do all of this while living on 40K a year though.

The second book is Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson. It is the story of Mr. Luttrell,the only SEAL team member to survive a battle in northern Afghanistan in 2005 where his team was trapped on the ground and the entire rescue team coming in to held were shot down and killed. I will confess that I didn’t read the entire book here. The first half looks to be his story of joining the Navy and going through SEAL school. I have read about going through SEAL school before so I skipped over to where they get on the helicopter to head out on their mission in Afghanistan. The leftist in the audience will undoubtedly be disturbed (in fact pretty much everyone might be) by the fact that he attributes all of the deaths to one “mistake” they made. They didn’t kill three goat herders who stumbled onto their hide position. They let them go and they promptly went and told the local Taliban forces where the soldiers were and all hell breaks loose. (note: this same thing happened in Gulf War I when a young goat herder came upon a group of soldiers hunting SCUD Missiles. When the soldiers didn’t shoot him he went back to village and reported what he saw.) The author specifically states that the reason they didn’t kill the herders was because they didn’t want to face kind of shit storm that they knew the press in the US would raise if/when they found about US Special Operations soldiers “murdering” innocent men. He describes the arrival of the Taliban forces, the attempts to break free and escape the wounding and eventual death of his team mates. It is not pleasant happy reading. Then he tells how he managed to escape (wounded also) and was eventually rescued and protected by a local village elder who extended the hospitality of his village to him with all that entails in Afghan culture. While he is talking of his time in hiding in Afghanistan he also tells what was going on at his parents home in Texas and the support they received from the Navy, their neighbors and just folks who came from miles around to do whatever they could. He tells of his eventual rescue by Army Rangers and Special Forces soldiers and his return to the US.

The leftists out here will not appreciate his opinions of your views on how wars should be fought or his praise for President Bush. But you should read it anyway because you need to see these conflicts through the eyes of both sides.
Interestingly enough, at the time the book was published the author had volunteered to deploy with his new team to Iraq. He was offered a stateside support position but turned it down because he felt the need to be there with his new team mates and give them direct support in the field when they needed it.

Buy them both, read them both.


Blogger The Appalachianist said...

Yeah, kind of a catch 22. While killing the goat herder may have been an imeadiate Tactical success, it could lead to a Operational and Strategic crisis. (He could have been sympathetic, and killig him would piss off his relatives, unless he was a family tyrant, and turned them against us)

Most people on the trigger pulling level doesn't always think in those terms. Catching himis an option, but, then, that coulld be messy and you could still get compromised...What to do? You make the best decesion you can at the time, and drive on.
Is this the Takuhr Gahr fight we're speaking of?

12:16 PM  
Blogger The Appalachianist said...

Oh yeah, I'm linking you BTW.

12:17 PM  
Blogger exMI said...

Takuhr Gahr was earlier than this one.

8:17 AM  
Blogger Three Score and Ten or more said...

Congrats EXMI. I can't think of many better online honors than to be linked to the appalachinanist. I will see about reading the books too.

7:57 PM  

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