Poetry By Chuck



Bush at War

"A spirit of unfettered, independent inquiry and a willingness to listen."

"The decision to go to war is one that defines a nation, both to the world
and perhaps more importantly to itself."  Bob Woodward

(This is truer today than perhaps ever before.)

"President Bush was reading to second graders at Emma E. Booker elementary school
in Sarasota, Florida, when his aide brought him news that a plane had hit the
North Tower of the World Trade Center.  At first, it seemed it might be a accident,
pilot error or maybe, Bush thought, the pilot had had a heart attack.

He was sitting on a stool in the classroom in a dark suit, blue shirt and bright
red tie.  A small blackboard behind him said, "Reading makes a country great!"

Bush's Chief of Staff soon interrupted the president and whispered directly into his
right ear, "A second plane hit the second tower.  America is under attack."

A photo of that moment is etched for history.  The president's hands are folded formally
in his lap, his head turned to hear the words.  His face  has a distant sober look,
almost frozen, edging on bewilderment.  Bush remembers exactly what he was thinking:
"They had declared war on us, and I made up my mind at that moment that we were going
to war."

Where do I find;
In this heart of mine;

A reason for war.

Where lies the switch;
In the life of which;

We let the missiles soar.

How do I explain;
Its not a children's game.

It’s a subject of such horror.

To a child;
So without guile;

Wanting to know more.

Fortunately, most of us will never have to make such a decision.  How do we determine the
enemy, one who's borders don't exist, who is present in large numbers in 60 countries.
An enemy who has now killed THOUSANDS of Americans, and wants to kill more.

You cannot choose your battlefield,
God does that for you;
But you can plant a standard
Where a standard never flew.    
Stephen Crane, "The Colors"

We have planted our standard in Iraq.  Its the standard of Freedom.  And it rings true.  The oldest country in the world.  The oldest civilization in the world is for the first time in its history a free country.  Many people think Iraq was a "Bush" idea.  But, the truth is far from that.   "Before the attacks (9/11), the Pentagon had been working for months on developing a military option for Iraq.  Everyone believed Saddam Hussein was a menace, a leader bent on acquiring and perhaps using weapons of mass destruction.  Any serious full-scale war against terrorism would have to make Iraq a target eventually." 

"Bush made it clear it was not the time to resolve the issue.  He emphasized again that his principle goal was to produce a military plan that would inflict real pain and destruction of the terrorists."

Terrorism is "sponsored" activity.  Those who sponsor sit in easy chairs or on rugs and send their money to others who will do the dirty deed.  To war against terrorism, we must find and root out those who sponsor.  There can be no place in this world for the terrorist to find comfort.
For if he does, he will then make the rest of the world uncomfortable.

Author notes

Taking questions from reporters...

"Mr. President," one asked, "could you give us a sense as to what kind of prayers you are thinking and where your heart is, for yourself, as you....

"Well I don't think about myself right now," Bush said, and it was instantly obvious that he was struggling with his emotions.  "I think about the families, the children." He turned his head and his eyes were filled with tears.

"I am a loving guy," he said, as he started to regain his composure, but only partially, "and I am also someone, however, who has got a job to do and I intend to do it.  And this is a terrible moment.  But this country will not relent until we have saved ourselves and others from the terrible tragedy that came upon America."  

Still with tears in his eyes, Bush ended the session with a slight nod of his head, and the pool reporters were escorted out."

Written April 15th, 2004


  • Touchof1der Moderators member
    July 13, 2004
    Wow! It looks like this drew a lot of controversy. I'll bet it kept you busy in responses alone. I am somewhat saddened that people are so quick to turn on the very country and leaders that afford them the freedom to speak as they choose. I may not agree with everything our world leaders do, but I also understand the fact that regardless of how much I read, I still have to take some things on faith that those who have been elected to a higher office and position than any I would ever even want to hold, have a little more knowledge, understanding and ability than I do to make the decidions they do. I don't believe any of us ever see the full magnitude of why decisions are made as they are although I believe it's every person's job to be informed...sometimes you just have to take things on faith and since this is my country, my home and my land,it would be a disgrace to bad mouth in the manner that some people do. Great job! 

  • Chuck Johnson silver member
    July 1, 2004

    Age does not matter. Only opinions do. I highly suggest you read the completely independent evaluation conducted by Bob Woodward, "Bush at War" and "Plan of Attack". All of Bob's books are written without siding with the person he writes about. If you do read them, I believe you will write back with a different opinion.
  • whatever123
    July 1, 2004 
    The war wasn't about terrorism. Most of the terrorist wern't even from Iraq, most were from Saudi Arabia. Yes Saddam was a danger to his own people and those around him, but America should have listened to the U.N. We have to start respecting the U.N., we are one of the leading powers if we don't respect it no one will and unity will never come. Acting like America is too good for it and above it makes us look like stuck up assholes. Other ways could have been tried before going straight to war. Plus Americans are simply out of control now over there, abusing prisoners and all. Yes there are terrorist killing soldiers but they're terrorist, and innocent people are getting killed. Yes innocent people were killed here on 9/11 but two wrongs do not make a right. Terrorist belong to no contry, perhaps they're mixed with the government but war is just too much of a risk to innocent lives to just jump to it. You're entitled to your opinions on the matter but if you really look at it this is a horrible excuse for Bush to get at Iraqs oil. And don't try taking a shot at my age to dismiss my opinions, I NEVER take things at face value, I looked very well into this and this is the opinion I came to.

  • agazeley gold member
    May 3, 2004
    Hi Chuck - You seem to forget that I have experience a real war myself – as a child. Then later in the Air force based in Cyprus and the troubles with Turkey and Greece – that is still going on. . .

    From my childhood nightmares I still get a shock when I hear sirens -  if you open this page you will see me as a baby – our family was split up and sent to four different locations in UK to live as evacuees in strangers homes – my dad couldn’t get us back together as a family for eight years . . We then lived with the threat of the I.R.A. random bombing in London that went on for years . . With American help . . here in China I have survived numerous Red Guard Riots – yes I have seen unpleasantness – in fact I have written letters to many newspapers similar to our current exchanges – it is interesting to read the cuttings 10 years on. I suggest you print out all you have written and read it again in 3 or 5 years. . .you will find in interesting. Regards Albert.

  • Chuck Johnson silver member
    May 3, 2004
    In no way do I wish to imply that. Ninety Seven countries lost citizens in that attack.

  • agazeley gold member
    May 3, 2004
    Not only Americans died on (9/11) as you imply here but hundreds of British - and other nationalities too. Anyway I think this is straying too far from poetry. . . Albert.

  • Chuck Johnson silver member
    May 3, 2004
    We have been attacked. An attempt was made to kill our President. We lost thousands of
    citizens in a carefully staged plot which we failed to see coming. WE will NOT make such
    a mistake again.

    The terrorist organization is present in 60 countries. They have no national borders. No
    national debt, no national population, no national army. Yet, they are a driving force
    of destruction which is growing not by our, American, actions but by the failure to understand
    the situation by other countries. This is a war to the death. Not to the political end.
    This is a war where a pregnant woman and her four kids are a target, not a accidental.
    This must stop. It must stop now. Whatever it takes for us to stop it, we must do.
    And so must you. Or as the Spanish have seen, you will be their target next, even if you
    are no longer a public threat to them.

    In New York yesterday, there were discovered empty suitcases. Sitting outside key places
    in the city. This is just one of the hundreds of threats we have found in the states, some of
    them real attempts, over the last two years. So far we have been successful in killing or
    capturing the offenders.

    Unlike the money driven countries which supported Saddam and his cronies, we are driven by the
    thirst for revenge, the desire for security, the need to see people free and the certainty
    that these people are raising another generation of such killers. We must enter their
    schools and stop this method of indoctrination they are using on their own kids. This should
    have been done years ago.

    You state that the U.S. lied about the reason for going to war. I think and recommend you read
    the book, "Bush at War", by Bob Woodward. Then his new one. America didn't "lie" about
    why we were going to war. WE WERE ATTACKED! No lie here. The WMD was a intelligence
    mistake which all the countries participating made. Not a deliberate lie. A mistake. But,
    for some reason, you have switched the reason for the mistake?? Why?

    Is your media so bias that they would purposely do such a thing to win a political seat? I
    can assure you that ours would and will and have done such a thing and will continue to do so.

  • Chuck Johnson silver member
    May 3, 2004
    I think sometimes we tend to classify things which defy our attempts at classification.
    The war in Iraq is such. The Iraq was is a good example of faulty intelligence, untimely
    assessments, and risk taking. However, none of those lessen the actual reasons that we are
    conducting such a war.

    We are still at war. The President declared an end to "major offensive operations" in
    Iraq. Not an end to the war. We, referring to the majority of the population in the
    U.S., understand that the media driven, slighted, tainted, and carefully staged, reports are
    just that and nothing more. The vast population here knows Iraq is a wonderful challenge,
    tremendous responsibility, and more than that it’s a stepping stone towards other terrorist
    sponsoring countries. Yes, I'm referring to Syria and Iran.

    If there is one lesson about the American Military you should remember, its that we take
    constructive "steps" in war. Logistics is our forte. WE win not just by the bravery of
    our men and women, but by the tenacious plotting and planning of our logistics. Iraq is
    and will be for the foreseeable future the first step into the Arab world.

    Having said that, I do not want you to think that we are going to attack another country.
    Not true. But, if that attack was necessary, we would and will do so. Why I often wonder
    cannot people overseas understand the necessity of pursuit. You must pursue them to their
    homes. To their businesses, to their places of worship, to their every means of support.
    You must or you will face renewed activity against you. We are a country of over 250 Million.
    And we are not afraid to face you in your home if you are a terrorist.

  • agazeley gold member
    May 2, 2004
    Hi – I am amazed that after the reports by U.S.A. architects confirmed that the Twin Towers were poorly designed and badly constructed that you are still alleging that they are responsible for the attack on Iraq. ( reports are on the web for you to read ) Had they been built to safety standards that they have in other countries – for example in UK ( and in Hong Kong ) we have a central fireproof core that contains the lifts and all the metal beams are clad with fireproof Portland cement. ( we have building taller than the twin towers and more are currently being built ) Most of the people working in the buildings should have been able to escape if the buildings had been built properly.

    But the crashing of high jacked aircraft was unforgivable – but I don’t think that for one moment was any one country responsible – it was a terrorist act and should have been treated as such – There is denying that the U.S. used the event and lied about the reasons for going to war – and in fact are still lying. Yes we should have got rid of Saddam . . .but not lied about the reasons it was not fair to everyone involved – especially the soldiers that are still there indefinitely - but the lies and the reasons are now history and we will have to live with it – but sadly many will die because of it.

  • Chuck Johnson silver member
    April 25, 2004
    Age does not determine common sense or intellgence. Age does determine wisdom. You're obviously far beyond others in your wisdom on how the world works. I bet your parents are very proud of you. Thanks!

  • undeniably geek
    April 25, 2004
    I'm not sure how much praise would be accepted from a 15 year old girl to a man who has served his country and lived to grow wiser about it. But regardless, I found this simply intruiging... the way you wove in quotes and emotion and perhaps personal experience... wow. This piece is stunning, one of the best I've read yet 

  • Chuck Johnson silver member
    April 20, 2004
    Under Fire: Training the Iraqi Armed Forces
    By Maj. Wayne Marotto
    Army News Service

    TALLAFAR, Iraq, April 20, 2004 -- Amidst mortar attacks, fire fights at the front gate, drive-by shootings, and the ever-present danger of Improvised Explosive Devices, a team of the 75th Division (Training Support) is training hundreds of soldiers of the Iraqi Armed Forces.

    It’s the first of four Advisory Support Teams from the 75th that will be part of the Coalition Military Assistance Training Team, or CMATT.

    The objective is to advise, train, and organize the Iraqi Armed Forces as soon as possible so that Iraqis can defend their own country. This responsibility has been tasked to the 75th Division, an active and reserve-component training support division headquartered in Houston, Texas.

    The 75th Division has been mobilized since January 2003 and its normal wartime mission is to be Observer Controllers to train and mobilize Army Reserve and National Guard Soldiers in the United States. The Army has now tasked the division to deploy hundreds of its’ Soldiers as a unit into a combat theater to train foreign soldiers. The majority of the deployed Soldiers volunteered to go to Iraq.

    The first team of Reserve Soldiers -- led by Maj. Robert Chandler, CMATT Battalion advisory support team chief, and Master Sgt. Richard Howard, noncommissioned officer in charge -- is in Tallafar, Iraq, doing a mission which would normally be done by Special Forces Soldiers. But because the Special Forces Soldiers are needed for other missions in Iraq and in Afghanistan to hunt down Osama bin Laden, the mission went to the Reserve training support divisions.

    The reservists are all infantry or combat-arms Soldiers, and several experienced combat in Operation Desert Storm. They will spend the next year training the Iraqi soldiers on basic infantry tactics from squad to battalion level.

    Tallafar is located in the northern part of Iraq near the Syrian border. The closest major city is Mosul, which is approximately 70 miles to the south.

    The U.S. Army camp at Mosul is routinely hit with mortars and the U.S. patrols there are fired upon on a daily basis. The hostility of Mosul residents was apparent by the intimidating stares the Iraqi men gave the 75th Soldiers as they sped in and out of traffi,c hoping to avert an IED or ambush.

    The Soldiers had their trigger fingers at the ready of their M-16A2 rifles, which were pointed out of the windows of their SUVs. The Soldiers’ anxiety was apparent due to a previous IED explosion, which had narrowly missed their convoy.

    When the Soldiers first arrived at Fort Tallafar they found it in severe disrepair. They quickly dubbed the fort ‘the Alamo,’ showing their Texas pride. The fort had been used as a prisoner-of-war compound for Iranian and Kuwaiti soldiers. Its most recent employment was as a base for the Iraqi army, but was not funded adequately and fell into disrepair. But with undaunted American ingenuity, the U.S. Soldiers quickly began to repair the plumbing, infrastructure, and physical security.

    The U.S. Soldiers are embedded with more than 600 Iraqi soldiers in the fort. Many of the soldiers were in the old Iraqi army, while others are new to the military. The U.S. Soldiers live, train, and eat with the Iraqi soldiers. Much to the chagrin of the U.S. Soldiers, they are subsisting on an Iraqi diet, because the Iraqi battalion commander ordered that no American food would be served at the Fort.

    Chandler said the breakfast was a mashed-up hard-boiled egg, a white soup-like substance, bread, and cream. For lunch and dinner, the Soldiers were given the choice of chicken with rice or rice with chicken. The Soldiers did take a liking to the hot sweet tea the Iraqis served with every meal.

    Staff Sgt. James Mitchell said he volunteered to be part of the CMATT mission because it was a good opportunity for him to help rebuild the Iraqi army, and once the army was rebuilt, the Iraqis could defend themselves. Then they could work on rebuilding their economy.

    Mitchel, who serves with the 3rd Battalion, 381st Regiment, 2nd Brigade,

    said in the first month of training they have put the Iraqi soldiers through Military Operations in Urban Terrain, or MOUT training, close quarter combat training, patrolling techniques and formations, tactical checkpoints, and individual movement techniques.

    All of this training was put to use when the Iraqi soldiers and 75th Division Soldiers went on combat patrols with the 2nd Infantry Division Stryker Brigade Combat Team.

    Going on combat patrols with the Iraqi army is a new part of the mission for the U.S. Soldiers. This is not a mission they have when they train Reserve and National Guard Soldiers in the United States. The 75th Soldiers have accompanied the Iraqi soldiers on day and night patrols in the local village and terrain around the fort.

    Capt. Barry Starr of the 3rd Battalion, 289th Regiment, 2nd Brigade, said he volunteered for the mission because “I believe in my country and I believe in the mission.”

    Starr’s role in the CMATT is to serve as the teams’ S1 (Personnel) and S4 (Logistics) officer. He coaches, teaches, and mentors his counterparts on how to keep track of personnel and equipment.

    One of his first goals was to have the Iraqis sign for equipment (especially the weapons) and to have accountability formations. These are things the U.S. Army has inculcated into its Soldiers, but was a new concept for the Iraqi army.

    Starr emphasized that he does not dictate any type of training to the Iraqis, but makes suggestions to them. He explained that he was not there to run the Iraqi army but to assist them in running the army. He said that he wanted the Iraqi officers and noncommissioned officers to learn on their own to the extent possible.

    The Iraqi officers were eager to ask Starr questions and get his advice. Starr also trained the Iraqi soldiers on the weapons qualification ranges.

    Sgt. 1st Class Malcolm Stone of the 3rd / 381st, 2nd Brigade, is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm, having served with the 643rd Air Defense Artillery (Patriot). He said he volunteered to return to a combat zone “To help out the Iraqi nation; the troops and to get our Soldiers home faster to their loved ones.”

    “I believe this is the exact mission we should be doing,” said Chandler.

    “We are a training support division. We should not take American Soldiers and pull them out of a unit and say, ‘OK we want you to go train these guys here’. We have been training Soldiers the past two years on active duty. It’s what our mission is – to train Soldiers.”

  • Chuck Johnson silver member
    April 17, 2004
    From a retired Marine LtCol (Intel) buddy of mine. Good information.

    This "In Country" assessment is provided by my son who is serving with Task Force Olympia. For many of us it's "deja vu" all over again. Semper Fi, Gil

    I don't know if you still have it, but if you remember an email that I sent back in late January/early February time frame. I specifically stated that we (the military) knew that within a couple of months, that the insurgents were going to try their version of TET here in Iraq. Especially after we intercepted one of Musab Zarqouwi's letters. Again, he stated that they(insurgency) were being defeated by the U.S. military forces and that time was running out for the insurgency to achieve any victory. What we are seeing now is their last push to influence the 30 June hand over and the will of the coalition (Japanese/Korean hostages). As stated in Zarqouwi's letter, if this does not work, they are done. The article below is right on the money, the only way that we are going to be beat is by bias media reporting, and an uneducated/emotional American population. Even though we are taking some casualties (war?) and the news is reporting mass chaos in Iraq right now, I can assure y! ou that the reality on the ground is that we are handing their heads to them on a platter. The insurgents know it and the guys we capture admit it, hopefully the media stops sensationalizing and start being more objective about the big picture.

    Mike gilford robinson wrote:


    Analysis: A mini-Tet offensive in Iraq?

    By Arnaud de Borchgrave
    UPI Editor at Large
    Published 4/6/2004 4:12 PM

    WASHINGTON, April 6 (UPI) -- Any seasoned reporter covering the Tet offensive in Vietnam 36 years ago is well over 60 and presumably retired or teaching journalism is one of America's 4,200 colleges and universities. Before plunging into an orgy of erroneous and invidious historical parallels between Iraq and Vietnam, a reminder about what led to the U.S. defeat in Southeast Asia is timely.

    Iraq will only be another Vietnam if the home front collapses, as it did following the Tet offensive, which began on the eve of the Chinese New Year, Jan. 31, 1968. The surprise attack was designed to overwhelm some 70 cities and towns, and 30 other strategic objectives simultaneously. By breaking a previously agreed truce for Tet festivities, master strategist Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap in Hanoi calculated that South Vietnamese troops would be caught with defenses down.

    After the first few hours of panic, the South Vietnamese troops reacted fiercely. They did the bulk of the fighting and took some 6,000 casualties. Vietcong units not only did not reach a single one of their objectives -- except when they arrived by taxi at the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, blew their way through the wall into the compound and guns blazing made it into the lobby before they were wiped out by U.S. Marines -- but they lost some 50,000 killed and at least that many wounded. Giap had thrown some 70,000 troops into a strategic gamble that was also designed to overwhelm 13 of the 16 provincial capitals and trigger a popular uprising. But Tet was an unmitigated military disaster for Hanoi and its Vietcong troops in South Vietnam. Yet that was not the way it was reported in U.S. and other media around the world. It was television's first war. And some 50 million Americans at home saw the carnage of dead bodies in the rubble, and dazed Americans running around.

    As the late veteran war reporter Peter Braestrup documented in "Big Story" -- a massive, two-volume study of how Tet was covered by American reporters -- the Vietcong offensive was depicted as a military disaster for the United States. By the time the facts emerged a week or two later from RAND Corp. interrogations of prisoners and defectors, the damage had been done. Conventional media wisdom had been set in concrete. Public opinion perceptions in the United States changed accordingly.

    RAND made copies of these POW interrogations available. But few reporters seemed interested. In fact, the room where they were on display was almost always empty. Many Vietnamese civilians who were fence sitters or leaning toward the Vietcong, especially in the region around Hue City, joined government ranks after they witnessed Vietcong atrocities. Several mass graves were found with some 4,000 unarmed civil servants and other civilians, stabbed or with skulls smashed by clubs. The number of communist defectors, known as "chieu hoi," increased fourfold. And the "popular uprising" anticipated by Giap, failed to materialize. The Tet offensive also neutralized much of the clandestine communist infrastructure.

    As South Vietnamese troops fought Vietcong remnants in Cholon, the predominantly Chinese twin city of Saigon, reporters, sipping drinks in the rooftop bar of the Caravelle Hotel, watched the fireworks 2 miles away. America's most trusted newsman, CBS' Walter Cronkite, appeared for a standup piece with distant fires as a backdrop. Donning helmet, Cronkite declared the war lost. It was this now famous television news piece that persuaded President Johnson six weeks later, on March 31, not to run. His ratings had plummeted from 80 percent when he assumed the presidency upon Kennedy's death to 30 percent after Tet. His handling of the war dropped to 20 percent, his credibility shot to pieces.

    Until Tet, a majority of Americans agreed with Presidents Kennedy and Johnson that failure was not an option. It was Kennedy who changed the status of U.S. military personnel from advisers to South Vietnamese troops to full-fledged fighting men. By the time of Kennedy's assassination in Nov. 22, 1963, 16,500 U.S. troops had been committed to the war. Johnson escalated all the way to 542,000. But defeat became an option when Johnson decided the war was unwinnable and that he would lose his bid for the presidency in November 1968. Hanoi thus turned military defeat into a priceless geopolitical victory.

    With the Vietcong wiped out in the Tet offensive, North Vietnamese regulars moved south down the Ho Chi Minh trails through Laos and Cambodia to continue the war. Even Giap admitted in his memoirs that news media reporting of the war and the anti-war demonstrations that ensued in America surprised him. Instead of negotiating what he called a conditional surrender, Giap said they would now go the limit because America's resolve was weakening and the possibility of complete victory was within Hanoi's grasp.

    Hanoi's Easter offensive in March 1972 was another disaster for the communists. Some 70,000 North Vietnamese troops were wiped out -- by the South Vietnamese who did all the fighting. The last American soldier left Vietnam in March 1973. And the chances of the South Vietnamese army being able to hack it on its own were reasonably good. With one proviso: Continued U.S. military assistance with weapons and hardware, including helicopters. But Congress balked, first by cutting off military assistance to Cambodia, which enabled Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge communists to take over, which, in turn, was followed by a similar Congressional rug pulling from under the South Vietnamese, that led to rapid collapse of morale in Saigon.

    The unraveling, with Congress pulling the string, was so rapid that even Giap was caught by surprise. As he recounts in his memoirs, Hanoi had to improvise a general offensive -- and then rolled into Saigon two years before they had reckoned it might become possible.

    That is the real lesson for the U.S. commitment to Iraq. Whatever one thought about the advisability of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the United States is there with 100,000 troops and a solid commitment to endow Iraq with a democratic system of government. While failure is not an option for Bush, it clearly is for Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., who called Iraq the president's Vietnam. It is, of course, no such animal. But it could become so if Congressional resolve dissolves.

    Bui Tin, who served on the general staff of the North Vietnamese army, received South Vietnam's unconditional surrender on April 30, 1975. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal after his retirement, he made clear the anti-war movement in the United States, which led to the collapse of political will in Washington, was "essential to our strategy."

    Visits to Hanoi by Jane Fonda and former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and various church ministers "gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses."

    America lost the war, concluded Bui Tin, "because of its democracy. Through dissent and protest it lost the ability to mobilize a will to win." Kennedy should remember that Vietnam was the war of his brother who saw the conflict in the larger framework of the Cold War and Nikita Khrushchev's threats against West Berlin. It would behoove Kennedy to see Iraq in the larger context of the struggle to bring democracy, not only to Iraq, but the entire Middle East.

    (Arnaud de Borchgrave covered Tet as Newsweek's chief foreign correspondent and had seven tours in Vietnam between 1951 under the French and 1972.)

  • Chuck Johnson silver member
    April 16, 2004
    You are so right. Its not the cloth, color, stars or bars, its the "reason, spirit, and the idea." Many have asked why are we in Iraq? What in the hell are we doing there?

    Well, the answer, is like all answers, complicated. We are in Iraq to prevent the spread of terrorism. The sponsorship of it and the production of the weapons which it uses. We are also in there because He tried to kill President Bush's father. Because he has killed between 150,000 and 300,000 of his own population. Most were tortured. But, hundreds were killed by poison gas. He just dropped gas on his own people, because he was mad at them. Real nice guy.

    We are in Iraq to show the world that we are not afraid to put it all on the line for Freedom. We are not afraid to defend ourselves from terrorism. We are not afraid to die in the defense of our country. We will not put the almighty dollar or our own comfort ahead of our freedoms.

    Everyone has the right to think, feel, and believe as they choose...that is what our troops are fighting for. The right of freedom of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

  • Chuck Johnson silver member
    April 16, 2004
    Bro! I too was Army. 67' to 70'. Then 21 years USAF. Two tours in SEA. Thanks for choosing the honorable way of life. Thanks for caring for all of us enough to put your ass on the line. I wrote a poem for a guy who's friend was on this website, and it won the contest... this is the poem.

    Brother In Arms

    Each time we put on our uniforms and place the devices so well.
    As the belt tightens around our waist and the starch stretches.

    We pridefully find ourselves right where we want to be.
    In the service of our country.

    Perhaps strap on the sabre, or tighten the web.
    Bravery is our gift from God.

    When we raised our hand and took the oath.
    We knew what we were doing.

    With clear sight of our duty and the price it sometimes demands.
    We both stepped forward into the fray.

    My time was today.
    Your time may be tomorrow.

    But each of us will enter the gunman's sight.
    Without hesitation nor with sorrow.

    For we are doing our duty, my friend.
    There is no reason for tears.

    I would expect you to do the same... as I did.

    So, take up arms and protect yourself.
    Go daily about your chores.

    Guard your back, "Check 6", my friend.
    Keep terrorists away from American shores.

  • Chuck Johnson silver member
    April 16, 2004
    I wish there were words to stop it. I wish there were peaceful actions that could. I wish the towers never happened. I wish.. Unfortunately, wishes rarely come true. What does come true is the harsh reality of poverity, greed, injustice, torture, terrorism, and those who believe they are in "gods" right. More wars have been fought over religion than any other reason in the worlds history.

    I too wish it would stop. I interviewed a returning POW from Vietnam, when he was asked, "How do you feel about Jane Fonda?" he replied, "I can't figure out if I want to kill her or Fu*k her. But, I would die for her right to speak out." He had just spent 8 years in the Hanoi Hilton.

    The warriors, as President Bush is a warrior, are the last to want war. The reason? The warrior is the first to die.

    Would you rather fight the war here? More Twin Towers? Or there? Given that we did not start it, we did not want it, and we are defending ourselves.

  • 7 Windows
    April 16, 2004 
    i don't like bush at all, but the middle of this poem, about war not bieng agame, brought my attention. i am strongly opposed to war. STRONGLY!! STOP WAR!!

    God bess,
  • Baron
    April 16, 2004

    Very good

    I'm still not sure why I joined the Army when I did. I only knew I was needed. Maybe it was because of all those people yelling for war, but didn't have the courage to go themselves even though they were able. Either way you captured the feelings I was in durring this time. It was a great piece, thank you.

  • Fool no1
    April 16, 2004
    I couldn't believe what my eyes were seeing that fateful day.Still can't!! Brought it all up front for me. Shook me to my roots.May we always remember and never forget.

  • Sherra Psalm
    April 16, 2004

    Very informatiive

    Chuck, what struck me the most was "The Colors" raising a standard. There are many standards raised from personal opinions and beliefs...I don't think that standards raised are so much the visible ones waving in the air... but the standard raised within the heart...of each person... Is is for Justice, Truth, and Love, Righteousness, Honor, Freedom.... Thy Kingdom Come... Thy Will be done....on Earth as it is in Heaven.

    Also, I never realized that at the root were those sponsoring terrorism with stored up caches of money...to fund and pay others to do the work.

    I sure do not understand a lot of things...but I believe in the One who knows and IS.

    I am glad that you are a willing and brave man like many others who know that live or die... they must raise the standard high.

  • wishintreeUK
    April 16, 2004
    Chuck, having read your words here, you have the picture and what it said to the world spot on. At first when I began reading this, I hadn't gone to the contest page and read what was asked of the host for the contest entrants... I then came back and re-read what you had written all over again...Each one of us who has any heart would have felt exactly the same when that terrible thing happened to the twin towers and all who were on those two planes, also the people inside the towers and all who were in there at the time.. it didnt just affect those, it affected the ones who were family members and friends, it affected the whole world in one way or another I would guess.. President Bush is no exception, he was also affected in many ways, his emotional reaction at the time was plain for all to see, his duty as President of the USA he put to use immediately. As our children grow up, they will learn of this terrible thing happening, they learn it's a part of the world we live in today.. its not beneficial for anyone, nonetheless, it is part of our lives. How do we explain to our children it's not just a game? No one wants war, however, when it comes to the individual and having to change a way of life to make that possible, few are prepared to make the necessary changes. A very good entry Chuck. well done and Good Luck in the Contest. ~Katie~



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