thanks to their reporter/blogger Bobby Calvan in Baghdad.
After reading the blog entry (which is now Error 404, probably taken down or snowed under with people trying to read it), you can read the comments as well. This is the first time I have ever read 100+ comments that were all written the same way. Including the one from “areporter” who was appalled by the author/reporter. I copied some of my favorites.
46 from RangersLeadtheWay:
He’s sitting out there waiting to take a bullet or bomb on your behalf. He’s paid a tenth of what you make. He’s seen more hardship in a year of service than you will in your entire lifetime.
You are in a war zone. You are not armed. You cannot protect yourself. You cannot protect this soldier. He can protect you. Nothing you do or say or write is going to help this soldier and his buddies survive this deployment. You are a nobody to men with too much work to do.
Sir, check your attidude. Now. Pay attention to details regarding security and check your ego in Kuwait or you will be killed in Iraq. I am serious.
65 by David Vogel
If I could offer a correction, you did not have “nothing to lose.” Fabritsio Kuattrokki, the Italian hostage who – “I will show you how an Italian dies” – while trying to tear off his hood and look into the eyes of the men who were about to put a bullet through his head, had nothing to lose.
You, sir, had nothing to fear. The hostage defied his murderers because he knew nothing he did could make the consequences any worse. The reporter antagonized an American soldier because he knew nothing he did would have any consequences.
The first is the act of a hero, the second the act of a child who feels brave for throwing pebbles at a well-trained guard dog.
Then there’s 104 written by Mike Kleithethermes:
I served proudly in the US Army for 8 years. I fondly remember the story of a 4 star general (in civilian clothes) being knocked face first to the ground after he refused to show his proper credentials and demanding to be let into a secure area. In this case however the general knew he was in the wrong, and promptly promoted the soldier the very next day. Why? For doing his bloody job and having the guts to stand up to arrogant whack jobs like you. I doubt however that your ego will let you promptly apologize for your sneering arrogance.
Since you apparently wrote down his name, why don’t you track him down and apologize for your stupidity, or are you to arrogant to be bothered by such trivial issues? After all, since you were apparently concerned for your safety why don’t you show some respect to the people who are protecting you.
123 Pointless wrote:
Habibi, you’re lucky the guy in charge of the check point was the mindless, uneducated, happy-go lucky boob he obvioulsy was. I know of Knight-Ridder News Service and perhaps could have told you that it had been sold, as I detained you and then moved you a safe distance from innocent bystanders in anticipation of the explosion I suspected you were trying to cause. Bullying may work in countries with authoritarian regimes or in companies with tyrannical management climates, but for a lot of better-adjusted people, it just reeks of an attempt to get something to which you are not entitled or for which you are not willing to work. Obviously, there are hundreds of ways to handle this situation, too bad you chose one that will not give you any wiggle room in the future. As a new guy on the block, you should be trying to make contacts and find some places to cultivate good (and beneficial) relationships. Had you shown patience and been a cool guy, found a nice way to satisfy an ID requirement that he was required to enforce, and then maybe done something like do a short character interview or later drop off some complimentary goody, you would have a guy who would know and remember you for the rest of his time there and would probably have no trouble letting in someone he knows well, even if he gets seperated from his ID once in a while. Plus he may be a friend of someone who is a friend of someone who can give you info for a REAL story, not a rant. But, hey, you get more chances to do it right. Try a different approach, if only as a psychology experiment or somethng. You may find one that is good for all, and you may get more in return than you expect, to include some genuine respect. Good luck, be careful, and don’t try the masgouf unless you know where it really came from. 😉
128 LuciferSam ended with a funny:
Britney Spears is on the phone, and she wants to say thanks for making her only the second biggest embarrassment on the internet today.
196 Tantor said:
It looks like all the commenters ahead of me have said all the obvious things, things too obvious for you to understand in your confrontation with this soldier. Still, it’s worth saying once more how arrogant and self-important you come off in this article which lacks any self-awareness at all. No, most Americans don’t know what Knight-Ridder is because most Americans don’t read newspapers any more because of journalists like you. It’s pretty foolish for you to expect somebody to know who owns your paper.
Another thing you might consider, you snot-nose little punk, is that even by your own account, that soldier came off as more professional than you.