reply to post by Krono
Syria hasn't got much of it's own oil, but it has "oil brokers". My friend there that I mentioned above is a "Syrian" by birth and citizenship,
and is also a member of the Saud family. Not a really big deal, since there are something like 15,000 direct Sauds, and nearly the whole country is
related one way or another, so that by itself is no biggie. Anyhow, he has, or had, 18 oil wells that he'd inherited - not in Syria, although he's
technically a Syrian, but in Dharan. He's also a Baathist - same party as Saddam was.
Syria also has some important routes - transshipment points from one place to another, and ports and such. This is WHY Syria has been a battleground
for so long - control of trade routes. Oil or any other commodity doesn't do much good if someone else has a choke hold on the transportation system
to move it. Most of the routes between the Levant and more easterly areas go directly through northern Syria, to avoid the desert crossings to the
It may be a backwater, but it's a relatively important one.
You're right that Iraq was a load of bollocks, although we may disagree on the root causes, the fact is that we didn't need to go there at all, and
in that we are in agreement. We also agree that a 3-5 man SpecOps team and a 3 dollar .50 cal bullet would have been a lot more economical and
effective. You're ahead of most in the game.
The Afghan War, in my opinion, is a necessary evil, but I disagree with the way they are going about prosecuting it, and the rationale they are
putting out for public consumption as to WHY we are there. The fact remains that I believe it to be justified, if misguided in conduct.
What I'm telling you is that when you go, for go you almost certainly will (to somewhere
if not Syria) if you join and get qualified, go
knowing why YOU are going, and ignore the tripe the government gives you as to why you are there. Make your OWN reason, don't accept the rationale as
issued. After all, when the smoke clears, YOU are the one who has to live with yourself, the government ain't gonna give a squat about it. They've
already got theirs in the deal.
Knowing about fatalities and casualties in the abstract is a bit different than holding your best friend in your own lap as he bleeds out and you're
screaming for the attention of a medic who's already got too many to attend to, Or trying to plug or pinch off a squirting femoral artery while you
wait for a medic to get around to him. It's nasty, it's bloody, there's mud everywhere, without rain, and you realize that it's blood that made
the mud in the dry dirt, and there's smoke everywhere - and you can't be sure if it's in the air or just in your own eyes.
And your buddy is dying, probably screaming for his ma if he's conscious at all, and there ain't a damn thing you can do about it, but you'll try,
with everything you've got in you. You'll try, and if you fail you'll spend a lot of time forever after wondering why it was him and not you, and
considering the vagaries of the luck of the draw, the cosmic crap shoot that got the guy right next to you, and didn't even mark you up.
Visibly mark, that is.
The blood you get on your hands, trying to pinch off that femoral artery, or trying to hold pressure on a carotid, or trying to help him hold his own
guts inside, where they're supposed to be on better days? That blood will NEVER wash off your hands, and it's not even blood you spilled. You'll
see it there all bright and fresh, years later, and at the damndest times.
There better be a goddamned GOOD reason for that, one you can live with, not one you're issued and told to live with.
It's not always like that, only on the worst days. 90% of your time will be spent being bored, and wondering when the fireworks are gonna start, and
the other 10% will be spent in sheer terror, wondering when that firework with your name on it is coming, and why it got the wrong guy if it does.
Don.'t worry about the ones with your name on 'em - you can't avoid those - worry about all the ones flying that say "to whom it may concern".
I see you're in Wales. I've got some roots there on my mother's side - Gruffyydds. Long time ago. they came to America in the late 1700's or early
1800's. With any luck, you'll stay in the TA's right there at home, and have cute stories to tell your kids about your Service Time, but don't go
in betting on it. A lot can happen in 3 years or so to change the whole face of the world.