Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Phantoms of Fallujah

"We are pre-positioned in the desert scrub on the northern outskirts of the city. It's November 2004.

As members of the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment's Combined Anti-Armor Team and India Company dig in for the night, I listen to their pre-battle talk.

In the Humvee, Lance Cpl. Brandon Burns sits in the canvas sling of his Mark19 turret (a weapon that launches 40 mm grenades like a machine gun), scanning ahead and discussing the Old Testament with Cpl. Steven Wolf, the squad leader.

Wolf, reading his Bible, remarks on how strong a warrior and leader King David had been. But Burns reminds him of David's sins -- sending Bathsheba's husband into battle to be killed so he could take her as his wife.

"It was pride," Burns says, from inside his steel perch. "His pride made him turn away from God."

Their talk is interrupted for a moment by explosions, followed by black and white smoke plumes drifting up from the horizon several kilometers in front of us. Artillery units are registering their mortars in the late afternoon, using both explosive and white phosphorous rounds."
Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone

3 Comments:

Blogger strykerdad said...

Sites is a man---I am with those who find some fault with him on the Fallujah thing but give him wide allowances for his balls (still, he had to know that his footage would be abused when he made it available despite his mea culpas on the subject). He no doubt knew, but took the view that it would be worth the injustice--maybe for selfish reasons? But he is damn sure a MAN to be admired for his willingness to go where IT is. And IT is coming for US if we don't recognize IT and kick IT'S ass!

11:28 PM  
Blogger madtom said...

Thank you Strykerdad, coming from you it's sort of reassuring that we are not lost in a wilderness.

I never really saw anything wrong with his report, mind you I was reading his blog at the time and got the whole picture at the time and not just the hatchet job NBC and al-jaz did to it. I don't know if you are familiar with his work at the time, I was a reader of his because he brought you a picture from the ground and a look at the troops that, in my opinion was just not available anywhere else at the time. My first reaction to the story was, OMG Sites what did you do, but I quickly came to the conclusion that all he did was report what went down. Some people want a sterilized version of the facts, I myself would rather have the facts and make up my own mind. Unfortunately I think damage was done to our ability to see through the fog so to speak with his downfall. That's why I defend him, and that's why I will defend all who bring me the news.

11:42 PM  
Blogger madtom said...

Hey I guess good things go around, I don't know how these things work but I have been defending Kevin Sites this week here and at IBC, a subject that has not been around for almost a year, and what would show up in my meter but this Babalu Blog a link to my original defense of Sites. I just have to ask, What are the chances?

3:46 PM  

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