November 11, 2005

Of all the Kings Horses

What follows are some of the writings of Daniel Goetz, a stop-loss soldier who is currently serving in Samarra, Iraq. He has been writing about his experiences for the past eight months on his blog "All the Kings Horses". His words speak for themselves:
Mesopotomac (Daniel Goetz)
I joined the army soon after I finished college; the decision was an amalgamation of desire to serve, to belong, and to repay student loans. I wanted the challenge to see if I really could be all I could be. Our country was a vastly different place then; one in which policemen, firemen, and servicemembers were no different than any other American. I had almost completed my two years of training to become an Arabic linguist when September Eleventh dramatically changed the nation's climate. I knew my own role would be pivotal, and was eager to see our country avenged on the battlefield...

Seven months ago, my service in the army was to have terminated. Instead, I am in Iraq for the second time. I sit next to a DOD contractor whose job is identical to mine. Except he makes $120,000 more, works four hours less, and visits home four times more often than I do.
I am not alone in my anger and humiliation. When we were here in 2003, there was anger, but there is a difference between anger and bitter hatred. The atmosphere of discontent is thick and contagious. Even soldiers not stop-lossed feel The Betrayal. They know it might be them next time. Dissent will not change anything for us now because our voices are muted. Still, there is hope. It is that in twenty years, it will be these men and women in office. Perhaps, that alone should make me feel better. I don't think it is enough, though, for our wounded and fallen. I can't speak for them, of course. Not yet, at least.

Operation Truth


Daniel wrote about his story being published by Operation Truth on his own blog:

Censor Senseless?
Operation Truth has published my story as their Veteran of the Week profile. I am excited and nervous for the extra attention this will attract. Excited because the army is trying very hard to muffle the cries of battered soldiers, abused by the system they are sworn to protect. Each time our story is heard by someone new, the country comes that much closer to understanding what is happening to us in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I'm also nervous, though. Every time I add a new writing to my site, I ask myself if I've gone too far. I have a pretty good grasp on what constitutes a violation of the laws I am bound to; in specific, I am very familiar with the sections of the Uniform Code of Military Justice that strips every servicemember of his or her First Amendment rights. Unfortunately, the laws are purposely vague; designed to muzzle even those of us who tread with caution.

From: All the Kings Horses (Daniel Goetz blog)
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2005


One week later this appeared on Daniels blog:

Double Plus Ungood
I thank all of you who have been so supportive recently. I have never before received so much positive feedback, and it was very heart-warming to know that so many people out there care. Having said that, it breaks my heart to say that this will be my last post on this blog. I wish I could just stop there, but I can not. The following also needs to be said:

For the record, I am officially a supporter of the administration and of her policies. I am a proponent for the war against terror and I believe in the mission in Iraq. I understand my role in that mission, and I accept it. I understand that I signed the contract which makes stop loss legal, and I retract any statements I made in the past that contradict this one. Furthermore, I have the utmost confidence in the leadership of my chain of command, including (but not limited to) the president George Bush and the honorable secretary of defense Rumsfeld. If I have ever written anything on this site or on others that lead the reader to believe otherwise, please consider this a full and complete retraction.

I apologize for any misunderstandings that might understandably arise from this. Should you continue to have questions, please feel free to contact me through e-mail. I promise to respond personally to each, but it may take some time; my internet access has become restricted.

POSTED BY DANIEL AT SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2005


"All the Kings Horses" was gone by Monday morning, deleted, only a "file not found" at Blogger remained. Luckily his fiancee was kind enough to copy and post his words on her own blog... to leave us a record of his courage....not only his courage to serve his country or his courage to speak up, but rather the courage of spirit, the courage of free thought. I say this because even in his last post...a post of seeming contrition. Daniel left us with a message...a message his muzzlers were apparently unaware of...

Double Plus Ungood
(another NewSpeak term from 1984). In NewSpeak, there is no word for bad or evil, there is only ungood. Modifiers are also ambiguous. One uses the modifier plus for emphasis, so plus ungood means especially ungood. The most emphatic modifier is double-plus, so double-plus ungood is the worst thing you can say about something.



I can only pray for Daniels safe return and thank him. I thank him for demonstrating the power of the human spirit. He embodied in his simple act of defiance, everything that truly makes this nation great. Its greatness is not measured in it's power to wage war and project power across the globe, but rather in the power of one man to speak the truth.

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