So, it’s been a week. I’ve gone through all the initial in processing stuff; finance, medical, dental, etc. I’ve been deemed suitable for sending to war, though I can only wonder at the criteria used. I got four shots. Fortunately, I didn’t have to repeat the smallpox experience for which I am very grateful. That sucked. The vaccination is good for 10 years. I’m kind of hoping that I’m done with deployments by the time I’m due for a another.
I am somewhat needle phobic. Me getting poked bothers me a little bit. Watching other people get poked bothers me a lot. I have one more experience to go through that involves needles. Not sure when but at some point I will need to take the Combat Life Saver course. This course teaches the fundamental advanced first aid required to keep a wound soldier alive until s/he gets to the trained medical folks who can actually save his life. That’s a good thing. Learning to start an IV. Passing the class requires actually starting an IV on a live person. Your buddy starts one on you and then you start one on him. I’m pretty sure I’m not going to like it. I might also get to have an airway inserted up my nose. Sounds like an E ticket ride.
Found this article today. Presents an interesting summary of the situation in Iraq after the surge.
That said, it’s still an open question whether the surge accomplished its main goal: of providing breathing space for the Iraqi government to regroup.
There’s more than a little spin going on here. There’s little doubt that the surge – in conjunction with other events in Iraq – has reduced the violence and created some stability in the country. The above quote more accurately stated would be, will the Iraqi government capitalize on the opportunity provided it by the quell in violence that currently exists.
Iraqi politics has been a bastion of corruption, deceit, and intrigue for over forty years. Iraqis must learn a whole new set of skills to function in a new society in which the government is a servant to the people and not the other way round.