Down in the bizness

The Paratrooper of Love emailed me a recommendation yesterday: The Gunner Palace, which is a milblog chronicling some of the challenges, frustrations and absurdities of war. It features, among other things, freestyle rap from Baghdad and a Hendrix goes to Iraq version of the Star-Spangled Banner.

The blog makes for fascinating reading: Over the weeks, a rhythm developed: sleep late to avoid the heat. Try to eat an MRE-anything without pork in it. Drink water, lots of water. Smoke fake Marlboros from the Haji stand and wait for something to happen-anything: a patrol. An escort. An OP. Most of my time was spent talking to the younger soldiers. I enjoyed being with them. For such a violent place, there was a lot of laughter-much of it from a very dark strain of humor…. After seeing this war firsthand, I don’t have any easy answers. In fact, I may have no answers. You try to find good in something like this; you try to find a reason. You try to explain death. I asked soldiers what they thought and their answers were simple. After nearly a year, it wasn’t about Iraq, the Iraqis, democracy, Donald Rumsfeld or oil. It was about them. They just wanted to finish the job they were sent to do so they could go home.