Monday, June 27, 2005

nation of dreams

I want to begin by apologizing for allowing so much time to pass since my last post. We have been extremely busy. Sorry to worry you. Thank you for your e-mails and comments of support and concern.

I appreciate all of your comments regarding amnesty for insurgents. Valid points were made by all and the discussion certainly proved to be productive. I still believe that for amnesty for insurgents to be considered by national leaders is way too premature. The way things have been going since the 16th when I posted the article even strengthens my belief the insurgency is crumbling and desparate.

On the evening of June 30th, Boots In Baghdad MAY be included in a radio program about military bloggers in Iraq and Afghanistan. For more information check out Radio Open Source. For a list of stations click here or to see how you can listen live online click here. And to all the potential guests generated from the radio show, welcome to Boots In Baghdad. I encourage you to browse through the archives to get a glimpse of how things are going in Iraq from the perspective of a soldier on the front end. You may enjoy some of the following posts from the past:

-Brick Wall Rolling
-One Last Night of Chaos
-Yes, We CAN Win this War
-Shadows in the Darkness
-From the Suburbs to Downtown

Hopefully within the next week Boots In Baghdad Films will be up and running. There will be a link appearing underneath Boots In Baghdad Photographs to the right. I will be posting various video clips in hopes of offering further insight into the lives of American soldiers here as well as what life here is like for the local populace and the soldiers of the new Iraqi Army. The new page is ready to go, I just need to find the time to upload the video clips.

We have been extremely busy lately working side by side with the Iraqi Army. We have been doing mounted and dismounted patrols, raids, as well as guard shifts. It seems like every day the Iraqi soldiers are getting more professional and better at what they do. Their numbers are constantly increasing as well. The locals continue to show their support for the coalition and frustration for the insurgency.

On the evening of the 19th we were called out of bed and sent out into sector because there were reports that somewhere between 50 and 100 insurgents were going through a residential area and arbitrarily shooting innocent Iraqi civilians. Most of the car bombs have been targeting Iraqi civilians. The insurgency is no doubt a bunch of ruthless terrorists who are getting more and more desperate. They are starting to understand they aren’t going to win this. The Iraqi people are supplying great intelligence. The threats that our translators, Iraqi soldiers and Iraqi police are receiving are no longer having the effects they used to.

This evening again we were called out on an emergency mission that wasn’t scheduled. We raided several key targets with the Iraqi Army. Rolling through the city afterwards on the way back to the base we were in a convoy with about ten Iraqi Army trucks. The Iraqi soldiers were in the beds of the trucks. The locals of all ages lined the streets cheering on their new Army. Progress is certainly becoming less and less subtle. I knew exactly how these Iraqi soldiers felt. I was reminded of being marched in a single file line behind the USO volunteers through the Atlanta International Airport, having the entire airport cheering for us. No feeling in the world comes close to the pride felt when the people you bleed and sweat for show their love and support.

For the people of Iraq and these Iraqi soldiers those feelings are magnified as they together battle the hardships of living and surviving in the harsh and merciless environment that is home to them here in Iraq. The support of the people is the key that unlocks the boundaries of a soldiers passion. NOTHING can defeat a soldier with passion. Today on the streets of Baghdad I witnessed a mere fraction of the national transformation that has been occurring.

I have always believed that success is taking your dreams, making them goals, and working hard to accomplish those goals. Iraq, in my opinion, is changing from a country struggling to survive to a nation of dreams and goals now working harder than ever to achieve and conquer goals that just a few months ago seemed by many to be impossible. The streets were not flooded with Shia's and Sunni’s today. They were filled with the people of Iraq... thanking, cheering and supporting the men and women who sacrifice daily on their behalf. There is definately a strengthening sense of determination.

Bear with me these last couple of months. We will continue to be busy. I'll do my best to keep you informed.

I have posted some new pictures at Boots In Baghdad Photographs.