Update: The guy who most influenced me to start writing has seen fit to link. Thank you, professor! Visitors, please have a look around…I buried a lot of interesting stuff at the beginning of the blog.
Additional tidbit: You can always get into the most interesting of discussions with people who look too trim to be bikers, have a ponytail that only comes from twenty years of wearing it short, and Marine style desert boots…
I sat next to a Blackwater contractor today on the plane ride home. (His outfit included the guys who got killed in the Falluja lynching.) His view matched some of what I have been hearing. He said, among other things:
- The Spanish withdrawal was good news to him, as they weren’t inclined to fight and got in the way. (His opinion; I have no data myself.)
- People were getting US$50,000 to kill an American. Videotape is useful to them in order to collect.
- Resources are flowing from Syria and Iran, big time, to hinder the coalition. Syria got a chunk of arms, including (mumble), immediately prior to OIF. (This matches the report of a Jordanian capture of chemical weapons in a set of car bombs crossing the Syrian border earlier this week.)
- Press, specifically Al-Jazeera but including others, were paying terrorists and insurgents to call them immediately before an attack so that the reporters could videotape it.
- One French reporter doing this got to the scene and lifted a dead American’s passport. The “reporter” called the American’s wife and told her her husband died to get the reaction.
This one needs a violent response.
- He’s home for a month after seven at work in Iraq. No days off, working his tail off, doing good work. Got about $125K. It ain’t that much for the work as far as I’m concerned.
- CPA and military seem to be working pretty well by his view. Money and stuff take too long to get through the bureaucracy–being a contractor, he finds faster ways to get things done.
- He retired from the Nav at 20 and joined this job. He’s doing interesting and important work.
I thanked the guy for his service. It’s kind of funny–people thank us military folks every once in a while, but here I am thanking this guy because he’s taking the big risks doing something important. Well done, shipmate.
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