16 September 2004

The Sudden Urgency of Terrorism

When the original assault weapons ban was signed by President Clinton, you heard nary a word from anyone about how these weapons could be used for 'terrorist' purposes. Now that terrorism is portrayed as the shadow behind every decision (better textbooks for our kids, or they'll become terrorists!) we are suddenly concerned with what they might do with a semi-automatic weapon that they had theoretically purchased within legal limits. My question is this: what are the odds that a terrorist is going to walk into Bob's Guns'n'Beer and pick up an AK-47 after filling out the paperwork first? And why bother when there are so many illegal guns on the market?

13 September 2004

Timing is Everything

from a friend of a friend

Family and Friends,
Have had an interesting week in Baghdad. It is getting hotter but the
temperature has gone down (stays between 104-108). We have had
mortar/rocket attacks on the camp almost everyday this week. A few days ago
I was doing a 10 mile run and when I hit the 8 mile mark, about 4 mortars
impacted where I was at three miles previously, luck is essential but Timing
is Everything.
Well, Sundays are my long run day and I was scheduled to go 18 (getting
ready for the marathon here on camp in November). The temperatures go up
rather quickly after the sun comes up so I planned to start at 0530 when it
is still dark but light enough to see to run. I was about 9 minutes late
getting started. But figured, oh well, it is just me since I'm on my own
pace. About the one mile mark I heard the first mortar whistle overhead and
then explode followed by the second. The run route is along the perimeter
so I hit the dirt next to the concrete perimeter wall and listened to about
6 or 7 more mortars whistle by and explode over a period of a couple of
minutes. I waited about 10 minutes and then made my way back to my trailer.
Scratch the run. When I got to the office my assistant had plotted the
explosions. Had I started at 0530 and on time, I would have been in the
DEAD (literally) center of the attack. All the impacts where right along
the road that I would have been on. 9 Minutes now separate me from death.
It is a weird sensation. I am physically fine. Can't wait to go home on
R&R in 5 weeks!!
I spent 5 months in Somalia, had some heated moments and didn't think twice
about kicking in doors but I never felt the way I do right now. I guess
back then it was just Lisa and I, no kids. Figure I have a little more to
live for these days or I'm just no longer invincible.
The time spent in the dirt seemed like a lifetime and in a way it was. I
can't say that my life passed before my eyes but I can tell you I did want
to have the opportunity again to tell Lisa and the girls I loved them. If
you have delayed telling someone in your life you love them, now's the time
to seize the moment and tell them. Life is SHORT! You never know when the
end is coming. God continues to guard and protect me as evident today. He
will see me through.
God Bless,
Love to All,
Joe :-)