April 23, 2007
variation of gun-totin chaplain cover
Great newspaper article of the book, Gun Totin Chaplain and interview with author.

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What a Great Country!!!
photograph of jane stillwater courtesy of jane stillwater
One wonderful realization about being American is that we have these enormous freedoms to do all sorts of "off the wall" things, regardless of one's status in life.

Here's a good example and very positive in light of so much negative stuff that happens, i.e., Virginia Tech...

Jane Stillwater, a sixty-four year old flower child from Berkeley, California traveled to Iraq on her own sponsored by small newspaper (Lonestar Iconoclast--Crawford, Texas no less) that issued her a press pass. On her blog posts, she conveyed her thoughts on the situation in Iraq.

We have to admire this sixty-four year old. She is gutsy for sure; she is a participant in life, not an observer. She posted an interesting note about living in the Green Zone with the troops. She had never eaten so well: steak, lobster, and salmon steak. At least the troops are eating well. Don't think we saw any of that in the Nam.

Her reference to how great the food was highlighted her comments of eating peanut butter sandwiches. She lives in Section 8 housing which is government subsidized. Obviously, she has limited funds and came to Kuwait with her own money. See what I mean. God bless America.

Her comments about Iraq mirror thinking Americans-confusion. At first for her, it was pull out and then she said she spent time with the troops in a military transport plane from Kuwait to Baghdad. She grew quite fond of them and their idealism. (soldiers at war have to believe in their cause. It is part of their sense of sacrifice). She embraced their optimism, Maybe the military should stay to finish the job and help rebuild Iraq in a Marshal Plan sort of way.

But Stillwater's position changed toward the end of her time in Iraq. She concluded the U. S. must withdraw all its troops. Not only is life in Baghdad unsafe for everybody, the people of Iraq don't want the occupation.

In her last blog from Iraq she wrote, " 'Ta hell with Iraq," she wrote in her most recent blog post. "Let God-slash-Allah sort it all out. It's high time for Americans to start watching out for America instead. "We can't afford to let a whole generation of fresh-faced boys be forced to turn into gangsta wannabes in some foreign country just to benefit the Bush/Cheney de-Americanization fund. We need our troops at home. Here. Now."

Jane calls Iraq an invasion/war/occupation/police action/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Bush blunder.


From The Net:

Jane Stillwater's Blog

With flak jacket and blog, a hippy grandmother seeks truth in Baghdad(TimesOnline.co.uk)

Berkeley blogger back from Iraq, eyes wide open (San Francisco Chronicle)

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