Rant: Different points of view
[ editor's note: I know a rant when I see one :-) ]
31 Apr 2004 1519 hours
I am not in the habit of giving off the cuff remarks. I find that when I actually speak aloud about something I find incorrect or blatantly ignorant; I tend to explode and the colorful metaphors replace actual words that explain what my point is. This is one of those times, and I will keep it civil. Who is "soldier of Lancer" who posted on this BLOG in response to "mike's mom"? At least have the cahones to put your name on your postings, like I do. Philip Stephen Jarvis, born on 26 June 1973, in Plattsburgh, New York. I am a Staff Sergeant in the Outlaws Platoon. I have a dog named Saba and a Harley-Davidson Road King named Natasha. You can always find me on the FOB by standing at the main gate. I will wave to you as I leave and return from combat missions.
Anyways, I have never actually sat down and read my BLOG as posted on the net, or the comments. I write what I feel like writing; my Father is computer savvy and authenticates my postings. It's not that I don't appreciate the posts, I really am a guy who likes accolades. I just do not want to fall into the pitfall of writing for an audience. If someone tells me that they like the way I describe Orange Juice, then it might influence me to only write about Orange Juice. But I might feel like writing about this great casserole I just slapped together. You following me? Good.
Anyhow, my Commander told me that the BLOG is really good. That made me happy. He told me that there are other Blogs out there that are not accurately telling the story of the conditions here. Then I read on the net that Iraqis do not hate Americans and are just "tired of waiting at a checkpoint for 3 hours, just to get thier car searched". There are virtually no checkpoints in sector that are run by Americans that last for 3 hours, in the same location. Next, an infinately smaller number than virtually none had to wait three hours. I have never seen anyone wait three hours for anything, except the phone line on the FOB. If any Iraqis ever sat in a checkpoint for three hours, the number is so small that even word of mouth would not have any influence on why they hate us. They do hate us, a large percentage wants us dead, a larger wants us gone. I cannot give you an accurate number, I am not a Gallup Poll member, and these people don't have telephones at home. I am out of time write now, I waited three hours for my name to be called for the phone center.
SSG Philip Jarvis
Dad -- editor of this blog -- responds:
First paragraph: I allow posting anonymously for good reason -- privacy. And I hope that allows people to come forward who might otherwise remain silent. Putting your real name on a post doesn't necessarily tell me you've got big nuts. On the other hand, at the end of the day, I'm not the one who has to take questions from a military chain of command. Know what I mean?
Second paragraph: I have severely limited resouces to authenticate, validate, or vet comments. I do very little editing. If I have the slightest concern about OPSEC, that comes out of the post. If I feel the post is more of a personal rant, it doesn't get ppublished at all. It's up to the reader to filter the content for meaning.
Third paragraph: Hmmmmm... You report that your Commander told you there are other Blogs out there that are not accurately telling the story of the conditions. You follow that with:
Then I read on the net that Iraqis do not hate Americans and are just "tired of waiting at a checkpoint for 3 hours, just to get thier car searched".For me "on the net" is someplace other than this blog, but you quoted -- actually, you misquoted -- from a Comment to this blog. Here's what the accurate quote looks like:
"what they don't like is sitting at a checkpoint for 3 hours just to get their vehichle searched."The difference in what "soldier at lancer" wrote, and how you made meaning of it, and how I made meaning of both are worth pointing out. I'm seeing two different points of view, at least.
From reading "soldier at lancer" I get the feeling that though Iraqis have mixed feelings about our presence -- especially at Lancer, where both of you live and work -- most Iraqis don't hate us. They are simply, justifiably tired of the occupation. The sitting-at-a-checkpoint-for-3-hours is illustrative of the stressors, not necessarily an example of what's going on at particular sector like Lancer, controlled by Americans.
From reading your "rant", I'm seeing a lot of reference to Iraqis as "they". "They" means who? "They" can't possible mean each and every Iraqi. Yes, there are Iraquis that hate you, but not all of them do. Yes, there are Iraqis that want to kill you, but not all of them want that. Yes, there are Iraqis that want you gone, but I want you home, too. (But not before your work is done.)
Let's get better at identifying and stopping bad guys who do bad things. At the same time, let's get better at understanding the Iraqi people, while finding ways for the Iraqi people to better understand us.
Start here: Iraq the Model. And it won't take you 3 hours.
Posted by Critt Jarvis at 08:42 AM | Permalink
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Well, I might be mistaken, but when Lancer Soldier said "what they don't like is sitting at a checkpoint for 3 hours just to get their vehicle searched", he wasn't being specific about FOB Lancer but all of Iraq in general. The same goes for what he said about Iraqis hating Americans. I think he was responding the the question that had been asked "adding to what do we want to know about Iraq?" It didn't seem to me that he was debating anything you have said, Phillip, and I don't blame him for not saying who he was. How would you like to be a 19 year old PFC or a PVT and get yelled at and cussed out by a 31 year old SSG? Especially one who is getting a little territorial about who writes what on his blog? After all, that IS what a blog is for; to get public input. I too think your blog is the most balanced one I have seen on the internet, but I also really enjoy one called "Just Another Soldier" for its author's candid views on life, his own fears and needs, and his sense of humor. And, of course, I am a fan of "Socky" (you know who I am referring to if you have been following his blog). All in all, I enjoyed your rant because it was another candid view of you interacting in a very unique, difficult environment. Thanks for letting us have a peek into your life and your thoughts. You are allowed to have a "rant" from time to time. And, thanks for letting us know when your birthday is so we can have time to send you a present!
As always, prayers coming your way!
Posted by: Kim Spangrude | May 1, 2004 11:12:13 PM
Of course I cannot speak for SSG Jarvis, but after reading his post, I went back and re-read...Quite frankly, I wondered..What the hell did I stir up? In my view, it may have been taken that Lancer soldier blamed missions on the Iraqis people being angry.
If you read through SSG past post of the experiences he has had and his concerns at the happenings on those missions, I can see where he if this is what he believed, he would be offended. He's tired, he's lost friends, he's been in peril of his life. And then their is the complaint about the 3 hour waits and gunfire.
On a off day, I myself would think, so the hell what..I have to wait to call my family who Im spending a year away from, And the soldiers serving kinda hate the damn gun fire also.
We asked him to write because he holds nothing back & I saw it as a post from a soldier who felt attacked & did what he does..Attack Back.
I know Kim from the board, she is a heck of a person, and I think her Motherly instincts kicked in (as did mine) at the thought of a young soldier just trying to become involved and then having the reply post dumped on him.
I am surprised SSG does not read the blog, kinda defeats our purpose in posting to him. But, I will continue to read, just for his words and info. I'm not looking to understand Iraq a lot better at the moment or to become a journalist, I just want to know whats going on at my son's FOB.
My world is small, but it suits me fine.
I asked SSG to tell the truth and tell it fast, so when he gives me what I ask for, I can't complain.
Posted by: Sgt Mike's Mom | May 4, 2004 11:32:30 AM
Hmmmm, I agree with you about the world you and I live in right now. It is small, and includes our sons, their fellow soldiers and us. Yep, that is narrow but we moms can only carry so much. I love to read Phillip's blogs because he is right there with our sons, and he tells us the truth about that world. Happy Mother's Day, Phillips' mom, Sgt. Mike's mom and all the resst of you angel moms who pray with every breath you take for our loved ones...
Posted by: Kim Spangrude | May 5, 2004 9:39:39 PM
Philip's mom is currently hiking the Appalachian Trail. I'm sure she'll appreciate that other mom's are around when needed -- for a little perspective, you know? Heh.
Snip from email:Dad,
Thanks for blasting me. I need that every now and then.Philip, don't forget to thank all your moms,too.
Posted by: Critt Jarvis | May 5, 2004 10:26:21 PM
Thinking about Mothers Day, I thought I would throw alittle trivia out here..
Though Julia Ward Howe is credited with suggesting the First Mothers Day,
It was ANNA M JARVIS who celebrated the First Mothers Day. May 10 1908. A church service to honour her mother.
Happy Mothers Day Philips Mom, may the road your on lead to your dreams.
Posted by: Sgt Mikes Mom | May 7, 2004 5:35:06 PM
I haven't had time to read through any recent postings but I wanted to say that with my 15 minutes of free computer time I can see that Philip is still responding honestly. I miss him and I miss reading everyone's messages and thoughts. We have hiked about 330 miles on the Appalachian Trail and head back into the woods tomorrow. Philip, I love you. Happy Mothers Day to all the Moms out there. Sue Buak (Philip's Mom)
Posted by: Mother Nature | May 8, 2004 2:52:22 PM