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Lots of free time, plus sand

I found out I'm going to Iraq in a few months.  One thing that I'm concerned about (besides blowing up) is keeping myself current technically and if possible, improving.

There's usually spots of unscheduled downtime where people just hang out.  I'm bringing my laptop over and figured I could be productive.

I do mostly Web programming, but would like to move into something more interesting like J2EE or n-tier programming. I have basic competency in Java, C/C++ and Perl.

I've been thinking about correspondence courses (my math sucks) to further my very fledgling CS degree (4 courses so far).  I've also thought about pounding through some "teach yourself" books (probably downloaded so I don't have to lug them).

Any opinions?

Lee
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Yeah, Find the MF'er that sawed Nick Berg's head off and pop a cap in his cranium.

Yo
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Learn arabic.

Of course, the downside of that is an increased probability of return trips...

Philo

Philo
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Yeah, I got a short Arabic intro from iTunes and plan on getting a more thorough one.  Allah willing, I'm getting out after this.

Lee
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

If you're going there because of some high salary or something --- don't go :)

Green Pajamas
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Philo, it's actually an upside. As a competent farsi speaker you could work in Iraq years down the line. It's about the only thing you can learn well on a mission like this so why not learn the language?

Li-fan Chen
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

No advice other than, "here here" to Yo's suggestion, but lot's of questions.

How long is this hitch? Are you getting paid a lot?  If you're not going to be engaged in technology work, what are you going to be doing there (if you can tell us)?  How did you find the contract?  How do you rate  your odds of finding a net connection on a regular basis?  How do you rate your odds of survival?

offMyMeds
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

J2EEs pretty complicated and hard to learn, so it should keep you busy for a while.  You can download MYSQL and even write a full web application.  Does anyone know if GPRS works over there?

vince
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Assuming you'll have semi-regular Internet access, one option is to get involved in an open source project.  Start writing bugfixes and patches, work up to features.  When you get back, you can tell potential employers "Yeah, I was stuck in Iraq but here's what I did to keep improving my skills".

It almost goes without saying, pick a project you are interested in and will actually use :).

Should be working
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Also, could you find out where those WMD really are?

.
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

"Also, could you find out where those WMD really are? "

They caught him already, Saddam....

Yo
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Dear Lee,
              You're going to Iraq "in a few months time"? You appear to have inside knowledge on world events, because it's not at all clear that you'll have either an employer or a country in a few weeks time, let alone a few months time.

                If you do go make sure that your new technology works in the next reincarnation. 

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

"it's not at all clear that you'll have either an employer or a country in a few weeks time"

HUH?  I don't get this.  Assuming Lee is from the US, are you saying that its somehow possible that the US will not exist, or even that the US military will not exist in a few weeks?  Please explain. Over.

Clay Whipkey
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

A country to go to. As for the employer I didn't think of the military.  I presumedi he was working for a civilian contractor, and am doubtful there are going to be many in operation in a few months.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

I'm a US Army reservist and my regular job is w/ the state, so it's guaranteed to be here when I return.  (My consulting side business is toast though).  No inside knowledge of world events; our deployment is frontpage news.  And no, I'm not going voluntarily, although I will be making more money :).

As for Internet usage, it's pretty sporadic from what I hear.  I've been wanting to do some work on open source projects, so that might be a good option.  Maybe I could write a new module or something.

I'm also looking at a correspondence course for math.

Lee
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

By the way, good luck and thanks for your service in the reserves.  What's your MOS?

Once you're there try to keep us posted when you can.

OffMyMeds
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Hi Lee,

I agree with the poster who said track down the decapitators and cap em.

Moving beyond that, why not take in the sights, check out the local food and spices, and learn  to speak a bit of the language during your free time? You can ALWAYS mess around with scripting languages and surf the internet, but you're only going to be in Iraq once -- make the bestuse of your time I say, and I don't think mussing with a laptop is the best choice, but that's just me.

Good luck to you.

Dennis Atkins
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

People that write software hardly ever get to kill people, directly in any event.  Its one of its small attractions.

However, people that write software squish just as easily as non-software writers.

Simon Lucy
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Dear Dennis,
                  Despite my great preference for US soldiers in Iraq to be dead rather than alive,  I feel it is somewhat unfair on your part to get rid of a possible competitor for a job  by pushing him to suicide. After all, I would prefer by far that all US soldiers were alive, back in Virginia or wherever.

                  If he wants to learn Arabic he will find it a lot easier in the US than Iraq. Any westerner in Iraq is considered the enemy by the majority of the population, and a growing minority are prepared to do something about it. The only journalists that  can venture out of the Green Zone are Arabs, and probalbly less than a dozen high profile Western journalists who speak fluent Arabic. Even the Green Zone is not safe as the assasination of the Head of the Provincial Council proves. Over half the translators are not turning up to work, even though they are paid ten times the local wage, and I would suspect the motives of some of those that are.

                Unless the Americans pull out, in a few months Iraq is going to be like Saigon, but without the call girls.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

What I meant by having no job Lee, was that the contractor who was taking you to Iraq would probably pull out. However if you're with the army that doesn't look like happening in time.

You migth still be able to get out of it. Why don't you buy a Dubya biography and read through that - you might get some inspiration.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Thank you for serving our country.

MilesArcher
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Lee,

Fuck what Stephen Jones says.  Like everyone else, he can talk real big on a pseudo-anonymous Internet forum, but he's unlikely to ever actually stand up for what he believes in.

Anyway, God speed man.  My thoughts and prayers are with you.  I have 5 friends and an aunt over there now and a few that just got back.

I think you're best bet is to get involved with an open source project from sourceforge.  There are a handful of GPS projects that may be interesting to play with.  I'm evaluating a couple of them now and they need some work..

[Even better, if you could hack up a perl script (or something similar) before you go, you could ahve it fetch the RFE's and bug pages for a given project.  Then, when you connect, the script can gather the data faster than you can.]

KC

KC
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

"pop a cap"?! You mean "BUST a cap", homes! Anyway, I share the sentiment.

Osama Sucks Camel C*ck
Wednesday, May 19, 2004


" Despite my great preference for US soldiers in Iraq to be dead rather than alive"

Stephen....your dislike of America and Americans is well known here, but to be wishing death upon other people is simply disgusting and goes a long ways towards describing the type of person you are.

Mark Hoffman
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

>>Fuck what Stephen Jones says.

Well said.  Sometimes throwing an F-bomb actually IS the most elegant way to say something.

yet another anon
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Dear Mark,
                So if the Iraquis invaded your country and strarted killing tens of thousands of American civilainns (forty-five at a wedding yesterday including twenty-five women and children) you'd wish them the best!

              American soldiers in Iraq are not defending your country at all and the real people who are immoral are all the Americans here who are cheering on the murderers of tens of thousands of Iraquis.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, May 19, 2004


You seem to be the only one cheering on the killing of innocents.

KC
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Stephen,

Are you even capable of entering into any discussion on this forum without trying to turn it into an opportunity to voice your complaints about America?

It would be pointless to even bother arguing with you and I'm not even going to waste my time debating the merits of the war with you. I'm not going to convince you that Americans aren't the "Evil Infidels" and you aren't going to convince me that we are.

So let's just give it a rest. Anyone that reads this forum regularly knows that:

1. You dislike America.
2. You dislike the war.
3. You dislike the President.

We got it. Check. Roger. Heard you loud and clear.

So can we keep our discussions limited to technology and leave wishing death upon US soldiers to the internet newsgroups and other places where radicals and zealots hang out?

Mark Hoffman
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Sorry KC, but it's your soldiers who are killing the innocents. If the Iraquis were invading America and killing tens of thousands of American civilians would you say that those who wanted the soldiers out were anti-Iraqui and those who cheered them on and thanked them were innocent.

Mark, Lee was going to Iraq. I originally thought it was on a civilian contract and was trying to tell him it was a pretty bad idea to even think on it, let alone count on it. My second post was in answer to Dennis's strange post suggesting he mixed with the locals and learnt Arabic  -- this in a country where soldiers in convoys are regularly booby-trapped, and where the US army has told all civilians Iraq is not safe, where the UN has more or less pulled out, and where westerners don't move out of the miltarized Green Zone, and where even there there are regular bombings and missile strikes.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Someone asked earlier, my MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) is Combat Engineer, specifically: I build roads.  There's a slim chance I'll be moving to the modeling and simulation group, which would be more computer oriented (and safe).

The only flamewar I thought would errupt would be SourceForge vs. College.. sorry about that :)

I wish I could get to know the locals better, but it just doesn't seem safe.  I've traveled all over the world and this will be the first time I'm intentionally avoiding the natives.

Thanks for the comments;  I think I'm going to do a little of everything.

Lee
Wednesday, May 19, 2004


"Thanks for the comments;  I think I'm going to do a little of everything. "

Well, hopefully you won't do want Stephen wants - which is to have your corpse dragged through the streets. He certainly is filled with glee and happiness and the thought of your torture and death.

Nice guy that Stephen.

Anyway, be safe and come back home soon.

Stalin
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

---"The only flamewar I thought would errupt would be SourceForge vs. College.. sorry about that :)"----

Not your fault!

I'd be worried because the situation is not getting any better, and you'll be out in the front line.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Stephen, out of curiosity - where do you get your news about what's happening in Iraq?

Philo

Philo
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

And Stephen falls oddly silent...

_
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

The problem is that everyone on God's green earth is jealous of the USA.  Although I personally don't agree with everything we've done, generally the US will tell the rest of the world to fuck off, we'll do it our way - and generally they don't have any choice but to bitch and whine, and never (can't) do anything about it.  King of the hill is the name of the game.  Everyone wants to be him, but everyone loaths him nonetheless.

GiorgioG
Wednesday, May 19, 2004


Hmmmmm......

Although I personally think Stephen Jones is somewhat of a twit, the postings in this thread don't sound like him.

Oh sure they are the typical "I Hate America" stuff he posts most of the time, but look at the grammar...it's different. If anything, Stephen is educated and chooses his words carefully. These postings don't have Stephen's somewhat polished, dare I say 'British' sound to them.

Whatever
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

I would load up the laptop.    Install whatever languages you want to learn (java, VB, perl, python, etc)  Set up a local webserver.    Forget hardcopy books.  Copy a bunch of PDF online books (Like Eckel's)

Bella
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Lay off Stephen Jones. His comments are well informed and useful. He is entitled to some cynicism about American involvement in Iraq.

For what it's worth, some units have been excessively heavy with the locals, to an extent that is not reported.


Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Lee, you could always write an app. I had lunch last week with a Microsoftie who described what he did in his downtime as an officer on months-long Trident submarine patrols during his post-ROTC tour -- namely, write code. He built a product good enough that a real company eventually bought the thing. Then went to work for MSFT....

John C.
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Lee--
According to what many soldiers have written, the locals don't hate Americans. Some may (enough to make it very dangerous), but not most. Thus explaining Philo's question to Stephen Jones. Considering Stephen is in SA, which is the source of much of the hatred against the USA, I guess I'm not surprised by his opinion.

Anyway, I'd also reccomend trying to do something for the Iraqis while you're there. Much more important than writing software. Though software may be a welcome escape. There's also a bunch of advice on what sort of laptop to bring floating around online.

mb
Thursday, May 20, 2004


"The problem is that everyone on God's green earth is jealous of the USA"

HAHA, nice try, but no.

Jack of all
Thursday, May 20, 2004

-----"And Stephen falls oddly silent..."-----

Yea, the wimp. Sleeping at night. Or does underscore think the whole world follows his timezone?

We also don't have the same weekends, and officially today is the first day of the weekend, but I've got to go into work. Part of the evil plan. Trying to persuade innocent Americans to come over to Saudi :)

I'll post back about 14:00 GMT

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 20, 2004

Hello, Lee,

Can you send me a private message?  I’m working on something that you and I might be able to work on, together, since you are headed to Iraq.

Joe (no, not that Joe.  The other one.)
Thursday, May 20, 2004

Stephen Jones: "I hope more Americans can die so I can be right about the war... it would be awfully inconvenient if they actually survived and won the war, and it turned out my predictions were wrong... but in the meantime Lee, good luck old chap, hope you get shot, but no hard feelings okay?"

Count me as another who'd love to know where Mr. Jones gets his facts... sorry, "information"... from. Everything I read suggests we are winning, albeit with the rotting dead weight of wailing "intellectuals" dragging behind us.

Good on you Lee, make the most of it while you're there and be sure to learn some Arabic. It will serve you well in time to come.


Thursday, May 20, 2004

-----"I hope more Americans can die so I can be right about the war... it would be awfully inconvenient if they actually survived and won the war, and it turned out my predictions were wrong..."-----

Can't even get your strawmen to stand up can you. Amyway you won the war a year ago. Your President announced it? Or have you forgotten?
After the war finished you were supposed to be there to find WMD? err Mission sort of accomplished?

Then it was to allow peace and democracy. Just a few odd Ba'athists to catch. And then somehow you find yourselves fighting the Islamists  - ahh all foreigners from Al-Qaeeda. Then we find that nearly all the people killed and taken prisoner are Iraquis. Ah. but we've got to fight the Sunni extremists or there'll be a civil wer with the Shiites, and anyway all the Shiites and Kurds are happy we got rid of Saddam. Err woops, we're now got the Shiites rising up against us. Why's that? Well we closed down their newspaper because it was ordering violence - well not ordering inciting - How was it doing that? Well, err, it was asking for elections for the government we were going to "hand over power to" and as we weren't going to have them this might have caused people to get violent. err, wny can't we have elections. Well these guys are organized because after Saddam fell we dismantled all the police force and army and let looters empty everytining and they stepped in and did something, so they'll get a lot of votes and probably win. Err, but didn't you say you were in Iraq because of democracy. Well yes, but we've still stopped all the human rights abuses they had under Saddam. But there are more Iraqui civlilians being killed now than before the war? Ah yes, but that's collateral damage - I mean Saddam put them in prison and tortured them. Errr, but what about these photographs? Ah, just a few bad apples, happens anywhere. Err, but it seems that both the British and American soldiers and giuards were ordered to strip the prisoners naked, expose them to hot and cold, stop them sleeping; wasn't the military head of Al-Gharaib ordered to let the military interrogators have a free rein, and criticized because by trying to stop abuses she was preventing prisoners co-operating?

And you're telling me it's my predictions that are all wrong!? Do you still believe that only a small number of Iraquis are against the American occupation when BEFORE the uprising a Gallup poll found that only ten per cent of Iraquis supported the "coallition" forces?

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 20, 2004

Stephen,


Go check out David Kay's report.


No, not the media's "summary".  I mean the actual report.  You should be able to find the unclassified version pretty quickly.  I've read both and they directly contradict your claim of "no WMD's".


This just isn't fair for you when you don't have the information.  I'll be willing to continue if you do this basic research.

kc

KC
Thursday, May 20, 2004

"Err"... nice summary of the editorialized info you get from the mainstream media....

"The mainstream media tilts so far to the left, you have to watch the news on an incline sometimes." - Neil Boortz

Yo
Thursday, May 20, 2004

Dear KC,
              Here's a direct quote from the report before the Senate Armed Services Committee http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/KAY401A.html
and if you think that backs up the suggestion that Saddam had stockpiled weapons that were an immediate threat to the US or the UK or Poland then you are hallucinating.

             

----"Senator Warner, may I only add, look, it would be totally out of character for me to be against continued investigation in almost any area. That's my life.

I believe that the effort that has been directed to this point has been sufficiently intense that it is highly unlikely that there were large stockpiles of deployed militarized chemical and biological weapons there.

Is it theoretically possible in a country as vast as that that they've hidden? It's theoretically possible, but we went after this not in the way of trying to find where the weapons are hidden. When you don't find them in the obvious places, you look to see: Were they produced? Were there people that produced them? Were there the inputs to the production process? And you do that and you eliminate.

That's what I mean by unresolved ambiguity. When the ISG wraps up its work, whether it be six months or six years from now, there are still going to be people to say, "You didn't look everywhere. Isn't it possible it was hidden someplace?" And the answer has got to be, honestly, "Yes, it's possible." But you try to eliminate that by this other process.

And when I reached the conclusion -- which I admit is partial and is purely mine -- that I think there were no large stockpiles of WMD, it's based on that process.

But I agree, we're not in disagreement at all: The search must continue."

Even if Saddam had some hidden chemical weapons (and so far they've found less botulin than you get  on the face of an aging Beverly Hills starlet) he had no missiles that would have got further than the Mediterranean. In the First Gulf War he launched the missiles (when I did my driving test in Riyadh a few months later we found one had landed bang in the midldle of the new driving school) and yet this time none of the countries in the firing line, Iran, Iraq, Saudi  Kuwait, Jordan and Syria, all of whom are rabid opponents of the war, said they felt threatened or that it was necessary.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 20, 2004

To those of us who.......... Is it not true that US-bashing has reached a point where it is becoming counter-productive?

To those of you who.........Is it not about time that you admitted, "Yup! It was one huge blunder. We had a very bad case of 'Intelligence Failure' of both kinds. Sorry.".?

And move on?

KayJay
Thursday, May 20, 2004


Why even argue with a man who has professed that he would be happy if many of you were tortured and killed? Many JOS'ers are military reservist and Stephen has already proclaimed his preference for you to be dead.

He's a hateful man hailing from a part of the world where hate and venom are common. Why enter into any kind of pointless argument with him. He'll just spew the same hatred and venom and twisted facts as he gets from his mosque or Al-jazeera.

Bah
Thursday, May 20, 2004

Dear Bah,
              I never said I wanted reservists to be killed. I merely said I don't want them invading other courntires. If the US was occupied by a force of 1.5 million Iraquies, none of whom spoke English, and who killed over 200,000 US civilians (whch are the equivalent figures), who then handed over the government to a collection of their cronies whilst giving away all the infrastructure to Arab multinationals, who took over the whole of the Pentagon complex as the Iraqui embassy, who fired all teachers, civil servants, judges and policemen who had been members of either the Democratic or Republican party, would you guys be happy? If loads of members of this forum were Al-Qaeeda reservists would you be "hateful" if you wished the American resistance caught them on their tour of duty. Why do you guys think you can go around invading the rest of the world and killing its citizens, and on top of it we've got to sympathize?


          As for ---" hailing from a part of the world where hate and venom are common."--- I can assure you that Manchester isn't quite that bad (unless you're a scoiuser or a southerner).

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 20, 2004

Bella:  Eckel is definitely on my list.  I have Thinking In Java on my PDA and am slowly working through it.  I was also thinking about loading up some nerdier languages like Lisp and Scheme.  It'll definitely have a Web server.  Should be interesting getting J2EE frameworks going on XP Home.  I guess I can load Apache too.

mb: If I can do some good for the locals, I certainly want to.  However, I've got a wife and son, so I'm planning on being very cautious.  I've got a lot of respect for the doctors and missionaries who go over to help without heavy artillery and gunships to back them up, but I'm not that brave.

Lee
Thursday, May 20, 2004

> would you be "hateful" if you wished the American resistance

Yes, I think you would!

> Despite my great preference for US soldiers in Iraq to be dead rather than alive

If you don't like hate, you could think of rephrasing that as "preference for US soldiers in Iraq to be gone rather than there", or "preference for US soldiers in Iraq to have friendly relations with the Iraqis".

I saw the Dalai Lama last week. His current public message is a hope that Chinese should cooperate with their Tibetan brothers (and vice versa), and that there be freedom of culture (he didn't say religion) and ecological conservation ... these are what matter: given these, political power is unimportant.

Christopher Wells
Thursday, May 20, 2004

Here's the original quote Christopher.

--"Despite my great preference for US soldiers in Iraq to be dead rather than alive,  I feel it is somewhat unfair on your part to get rid of a possible competitor for a job  by pushing him to suicide. After all, I would prefer by far that all US soldiers were alive, back in Virginia or wherever."----

Pretty clear I'd have thought.

What reeally amazes me are the people here suggesting Lee should mix with the Iraquis to learn Arabic or "do something to help them" as if they haven't made their preferences regarding American "help" abundantly clear. At least Lee appears to be living on the right planet.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 20, 2004

Come on, everybody, let's sing!

"I love you, you love me...!"

Barney
Thursday, May 20, 2004

> Pretty clear I'd have thought.

Yes it's clear.

In earlier threads on this board, people have remarked on it's being a poor rhetoric technique to preface your argument with some inflammatory statement. For example:

"Microsoft is in league with the devil. I think that ..."

The reason why it's not a good technique is that many people switch off as soon as they hear the first bit, and don't listen to the (perhaps well-reasoned) argument that follows:  they ignore the rest of message because they feel themselves at odds with the messenger.

Christopher Wells
Thursday, May 20, 2004

This just in:

AP and UPI report that the French Government announced today that in light of the Madrid bombing and the explosive device discovered along the rail lines, France has raised its terror alert level from "run" to "hide". The only two higher levels in France are "surrender" and "collaborate".

Yo
Thursday, May 20, 2004

"Microsoft is in league with the devil. I think that ..."

What a hateful statement Christopher. What's the devil ever done to you to deserve that kind of slur?

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 20, 2004

SJ,

I don't know if you have any religious affiliation, but I think that you might benefit by getting yourself to your nearest house of worship and listening to what they have to say.  Not about the structure of the universe and whose prophet is better, but the basic stuff about how we're supposed to get along with each other.  Unless I'm mistaken, every significant world religion encourages a better attitude towards your fellow man than what I'm hearing.

Lee, my only recommendation is to do what you know and do it well.  A good solid road that last long after you've shipped back home will be beneficial to the locals, especially if lunatics with bombs can be kept from blowing it up.

Clay Dowling
Thursday, May 20, 2004

Dear Yo,
                Very funny. So original. Why don't you take up stand up comedy as a career. But don't ry it with those nasty French. Go somewhere you'll be liked. Why don't you go put a smile on the face of the Iraquis and teach them entrepreneurship  by doing a house to house tell a joke business.

              And while you're at it when you've finished telling the joke about all the dead Europeans in Madrid tell them a couple about all the dead Americans in New York! That'll raise a laugh.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 20, 2004

Hey its not my fault France is part of the Euro-weenie appeasement crowd.

Yo
Thursday, May 20, 2004

Dear Clay,
                The problem in Iraq is not that there are lunatics with bombs. The problem is that American troops are in a foreign country where less and less people want them and where the occupation, and resistance to it, is increasing in brutality. The best thing Lee could do is to spend the next few months trying to persuade as many people as he can that the Americans ought to immediately put into place a plan for rapid and withdrawal as soon as an elected government is in place. It's the best favour Lee could do to himself, his family, and the Iraquis.

                I've got nothing against my fellow man, Clay. I'm not the one encouraging him to occupy some other oountry even if that encouragement comes from misplaced idealism. And if you can tell me a single case where American troops have been persuaded to withdraw by peaceful means I'd be glad to hear of it.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 20, 2004

--"Hey its not my fault France is part of the Euro-weenie appeasement crowd. "---

You mean cozying up to the oppressor in NATO.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 20, 2004

I get my news from Jon Stewart. I find it the most balanced reporting around.

For example, when President Bush said in his statement about the prison abuses "that's the difference with a democracy - we investigate and hold those who performed the actions accountable" he reported the Iraqui response was "where do we go to get rid of the abuse in the first place?" [grin]

That pretty much sums up my feelings. I think Stephen's got some yellow journalism and anti-american bias going on, but it would be easier to debate him if our leadership had run this damn war a little better.

Philo

Philo
Thursday, May 20, 2004

"you are either with 'us' or with them. " This is the attitude that bothers rest of the world.

It's a sad sad situation for America; a land once believed to be the most democratic society on the face of this planet.

Me, myself and Irene
Thursday, May 20, 2004

should read:

"you are either with 'us' or with the enemy."


Live with my hollier than thou attitude, will ya?

Me, myself and Irene
Thursday, May 20, 2004

Mr. Jones, I think you missed the points of my message entirely.  The first was that there are benefits to attending worship services that I think would help you.  The second is that building roads is a useful occupation and tends to help people out, especially people who want to get from one place to another.  The third is that doing something constructive, like road building, is a good sane activity and blowing up useful, non offensive things like roads that would make peoples' lives better isn't. 

I don't give a good solid damn about the nationality, uniform or politics of the person blowing up the road, setting off bombs in front of houses of worship, or nabbing people off the street for unpleasant purposes.  They're destroying things and in general making the world a worse place.  Building something that makes life better, like a road, a school or a decent piece of software should be encouraged, if only to counter the evils committed by the lunatics. 

Lee has a chance to do some good in a bad place, so I don't think it's fair to pour venom on him because you don't happen to like his citizenship or the uniform that he'll be wearing while he's doing it.  I haven't seen him offering offense to you.

Clay Dowling
Thursday, May 20, 2004

"I never said I wanted reservists to be killed. I merely said I don't want them invading other courntires." - Mr. Stephen Jones, May 20, 2004

"Despite my great preference for US soldiers in Iraq to be dead rather than alive" -- Mr. Stephen Jones, May 19, 2004

Stop, Rewind, Play
Thursday, May 20, 2004

"I never said I wanted reservists to be killed. I merely said I don't want them invading other courntires." - Mr. Stephen Jones, May 20, 2004

"Despite my great preference for US soldiers in Iraq to be dead rather than alive" -- Mr. Stephen Jones, May 19, 2004


Maybe Mr Jones' real name is John Kerry.

Yo
Thursday, May 20, 2004

"I think Stephen's got some yellow journalism and anti-american bias going on, but it would be easier to debate him if our leadership had run this damn war a little better."

The problem is our other choice is someone who isn't sure if he voted for or against the war, for or against funding it, threw his medals away or didn't, etc.

Sigh.

Jim Rankin
Thursday, May 20, 2004

Wow... leave a thread for 24 hours.

Not to play the, "can't we all just get along?" card, but seriously, why all the hatin'?

Lee clearly expressed that he's not going there voluntarily and he asked a good question *completely unrelated to the social / moral / political debates above.*  So why the un JoS - like noise to signal?

Lee, kudos for staying above the fray; it sounds like you're getting some solid ideas together and will be spending your time becoming a better person all around.

theReferee
Thursday, May 20, 2004

----"After all, I would prefer by far that all US soldiers were alive, back in Virginia or wherever."----"

Dear Stop., Rewind, Play, that line was in both the posts you refer to. Perhaps you should just let the tape playi itself, or are you hoping for a job in government.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 20, 2004

---" Lee has a chance to do some good in a bad place, so I don't think it's fair to pour venom on him because you don't happen to like his citizenship or the uniform that he'll be wearing while he's doing it.  I haven't seen him offering offense to you. "----

Dear Clay,
                Where's the venom towards Lee you're speaking of? I'm saying that if he decides to fraternize with the locals and learn Arabic it'll be between twenty-four hours and a week that his body will be picked up from the side of the road. It's called warning somebody off.

                I have no doubt that Lee is a perfectly nice chap and while there would like to do some good, but he's not going to get a chance. Any road building he might be doing will be seen as a miltary exercise (and quite likelywill be anyway). There seem to be some people on this forum who are still beleiving the last story but one - that the Americans are really popular and it's just a small minority of Ba'athists and foreign extremists causing the trouble. This is cloud cuckoo land. As well as hundreds of occupying forces killed there have been thousands of Iraquis killed. as well as those rounded up and taken prisoner. This does not make for good relations. It's not a question of my not liking Lee's uniform or his commander in chief's motives, it's the fact that most of the Iraqui people don't.

After Saddam was toppled there was an opportunity for the American forces to harness the  goodwill and get the populace on their side. Those in charge blew it by some incredibly stupid decisions, and the situation is going from bad to worse. What do you expect? In Germany after the Second World War there were 1.5 million American soldiers as well as large numbers of British, French and Russian troops, and that was in a country that recognized it had been defeated, and when many of the occupying forces spoke the local language. In Iraq you have 130,000 US troops, almost none of whom speak the language, backed up by token troops from the odd country whose leader is currying favour with Bush. The army and police force were disbanded, by the original method of announcing they weren't getting their salaries but with no attempt to get the guns in.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 20, 2004

"It's not a question of my not liking Lee's uniform or his commander in chief's motives, it's the fact that most of the Iraqui people don't."

Cite? Did I miss it?

130,000 troops in a country of 22,000,000 that hate and despise them and are fairly well armed. Yet on average there are just two allied soldiers killed a day. (two too many, but still startlingly low for an occupation force in a hostile land)

I honestly have to question the implication that Iraquis will kill any foreign soldier they see.

Philo

Philo
Thursday, May 20, 2004

Two a day is seven hundrd and fifity a year. In Vietnam the figure was 55,000 American dead and a million or so Vietnamese (the proportons of American to 'enemy'dead appears around the same).  The Iraq rate is five times less than the Vietnam rate  but it's hardly something you can shrug off. It's a lot higher than the casualty rate for Israeli soldiers in the Occupied Territories.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 20, 2004

Two a day is a staggering figure, given that we're talking about a superbly equipped modern military force that always moves in protected mode, and is operating amongst a civilian population in generally open desert country.


Thursday, May 20, 2004

Uh, no it's not. The key word is highlighted below:

"operating amongst a ***civilian*** population"

Uniformed soldiers operating in a civilian population with nonuniformed partisans means that the Iraqui hostiles always get to shoot first.

Philo

Philo
Thursday, May 20, 2004

Don't you dog me! Arf, arf, arf!

Snoop Diggity Dog
Thursday, May 20, 2004

Lee,

In the interest of improving Iraqi-American relations, you could offer yourself as a 'boy toy' for some sex-starved Iraqis of either gender. <jk>

Dr.Demented
Thursday, May 20, 2004

Philo you arguments are way WEAK man! he's right, we don't have any credibility whatsoever in there.

You better swich or consider your source of information. Fox and CNN ain't good dude.

Me, myself and Irene:
Friday, May 21, 2004

So, what would be a good source of information? Al-Jazeera?

Wisea**
Friday, May 21, 2004

Stephen Jones fans club here.
Go Stephens !!!
Enlighten these "smart in tech but ignorant when it comes to the feeling of the rest world" US based posters. Maybe someday their grand-children will understand our feeling, and be more wiser in their actions.

SJFC
Friday, May 21, 2004

It's sad that people who are normally perceived as intelligent are so ignorant about facts and things that goes around them.

I listen to BBC and read Guardian and New York Times.

Me, myself and Irene
Friday, May 21, 2004

You said it....

Yo
Friday, May 21, 2004

This is interesting:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1221644,00.html

Observer
Friday, May 21, 2004

Not really...

Observed
Sunday, May 23, 2004

typical american who can't go beyond 'american idol' kinda thing huh?

observer
Monday, May 24, 2004

What's a "typical American", anyway? Anyone who doesn't agree with you and your view of the world?

Observed
Monday, May 24, 2004

I don't think the article that clear either, even if I agree with the premise that America should get out of the war.

if Americans are that dumb, how is it that they host or author so many of the best and most intelligent sites on the web?

Stephen Jones
Monday, May 24, 2004

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