Last year, Pat Dollard took leave from his family and ditched a lucrative career as a Hollywood agent representing the likes of Syriana producer Steven Soderbergh. Then he hit the front lines in Iraq, armed only with a camcorder and the vision to direct and produce his documentary series "Young Americans" from an unpopular pro-military/pro-war viewpoint.

On February 18, Dollard was wounded while on combat patrol with U.S. Marines in the city of Ramadi. He suffered a concussion, neck injuries, shrapnel wounds, possibly a broken leg, and severe muscle and ligament damage in the IED strike on his Humvee. Two of the young Marines with him on combat patrol were not so lucky. They were both killed in the attack.

Dollard tells Hollywood, Interrupted that one of the Marines killed in the IED strike was Lt. Almar Fitzgerald, 22, of Lexington, North Carolina. "He and I were seated next to each other in the back,�? reports Dollard. “In the front right passenger seat was Corporal Matthew Conley, 21 – 6 days shy of his 22nd birthday." He explains: “The IED was buried beneath the asphalt, just an inch or two behind our back bumper. We were parked and Conley had dismounted to check on the last of the four vehicles in our patrol, as it had just been blown up by an IED. The insurgents will often lay out multiple IEDs in an attempt to blow up people who get out after an initial vehicle is hit, or to hit another vehicle. When Conley took the five steps required to reach the back of the vehicle, an insurgent hidden on a roof triggered it on him, blowing us all up. He was married, and he and his wife were expecting their first child in about 3 weeks."
See related: Variety, US News & World Report

Although I’ve been corresponding directly with Dollard, I have no opinion about him (yet) except to say that this man-on-a-mission has titanium testicles. But Hollywood types are quick to weigh in with their opinions, calling him "crazy," and "self-aggrandizing." These are the same people who laud loud-mouthed cheap-shot fabricators like Michael Moore. These are the same people who were quick to label Dave Chappelle "crazy," or more slanderous yet, a "crack addict" when he walked away from a $50 million deal to go find himself as a Muslim in Africa. The closest any of these people have been to the hell-hole that is Sunni Triangle is the distance between them and the viewpoint brought to them via their plasma screens courtesy of CNN.

Without further ado, I bring you the first in a series of Patrick Dollard blogs in his own words and pictures:


Attack survivors Private Zachary Kother (left), Pat Dollard (center), Lance Corporal Eric Cybulski (right) – Dollard notes: "The concussion blew Kother up and almost out of the turret, but an array of loaded ammo cans slammed into his legs, injuring him pretty badly, but keeping him from flying out of the vehicle, which certainly would have been worse.


As I was flying through the sky, instead of being in a blackout as I should be, my mind was a perfectly focused computer: I realized that Conley had stepped directly onto a bomb, I realized he was dead, and I hoped as I landed that my wounds would not be so bad, and that I indeed might even survive. And somehow, I was able to wonder why I was completely free of the shock that 95% of the others told me they experienced. I wondered why I was so locked into the reality of what was happening.

I lived in a four story mansion with a beautiful wrought iron elevator that shot through the middle. I thought it was an extravagance at first, but after just one two story climb up the winding staircase I appreciated it as a necessity. This is what it's like being rich - an elevator in your house can be a practical necessity, free of all pretenses. It had been a long a ride from the welfare and food stamps of my early grammar school years. Dad was a dead drunk by the second grade, Mom had fled with us from the immigrant concrete caves of New York to the endless sun and sea promise of Los Angeles.

By age 40 I was a Hollywood pimp with a seven figure income and Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh as my flagship client. I had made and spent millions. My mansion was in the hills just a click west of the Hollywood sign. As I took a shit every morning I watched planes land at LAX. They say the best view in L.A. is at a Japanese restaurant called Yamashiro's. It sat a good distance below me. From Burbank to Long Beach to Santa Monica, my view was much better.

Before I landed I remember being horrified at the realization that a young boy like Conley was dead, and that the motherfuckers had planned for one of us to get out, and had buried the bomb to kill whoever did – and that Conley had made a bad decision. I was waiting to die. Time plays by such weird rules when you're blown up. It's impossible that so much went through my head, but it did, as I waited to lose pieces of myself, to be opened, to die. I really wanted none of this to happen, to fight through it all if any of it did or if they kept trying to kill me, which is why I was so focused. It must be the only reason. Or maybe because by now, I was a human camera, an anthropomorphized document. Maybe I was just doing my job.


Humvee that that Dollard and four Marines were blown up in on February 18, 2006, at 11 pm, in an intersection in downtown Ramadi


I had about 15 employees, a wife, a daughter, and no one believed I was going to lock horns with Al Qaeda, especially because my only motivations were to keep more American civilians from dying, and to honor those who were already risking their lives for that very reason. Who does such a thing? But go I did, and like Kurtz, when I got back from the first three months, I sold the house, sold the kids, sold the car. Well, not the car. I love my H2. But I got out of the Hollywood agenting game, at a cost of about $10,000,000.00 in future income. And I had no savings. But I had to go back, to finish the work, to finish the story. There was nothing in the civilian world that provided the same sense of purpose. There was never a time when I felt like my life had much of a purpose, other than making money and indulging myself. Except for parenting. But some of us find jobs to be done that demand we not be home. I did.

When I crashed I realized I had all my limbs, although my leg felt clearly broken, and as I crawled forward in the midnight blackness, my throbbing left palm was soaking wet, and I figured it for split open and bleeding. I had to get back into what might be left of the Humvee. We were being ambushed. The air has no armor. A Humvee does. There were likely many more IEDs around me, I heard of all the others shredded, made legless, wiped out, by the IEDs set like little traps to blow on those escaping a struck vehicle. Never get out of the vehicle. I had been blown out - I had to get back in…

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holy effin eff eff

Posted by: rmsprute at April 2, 2006 02:26 PM

"Hey, look what I sacrificed.
Hey, look at the future income I walked away from.
Hey, I'm locking horns with Al Queda.
Hey, I'm comparing myself to fictional characters from Apocalypse Now.

But hey, this isn't about me. It's about the troops and how I'm honoring them."

This is a fictional piece he's working on... right?

Posted by: mobilus at April 2, 2006 08:20 PM

I loved the article. It's a damn shame to see the way this war, these fighting men, are warped and twisted to fit one's agenda. Both sides are guilty of this on multiple accounts. Pat Dollard is a true patriot. I can't wait to see his documentary. I'm certain it will be good.

By the way, I love this site. Keep up the great work, Mark. I can't wait to see further posts.


Posted by: Trevor Price at April 2, 2006 09:09 PM

I can't express how glad I am that you're part of the FA "network". Thanks for this, thanks for the book, thanks for not pulling any punches, and thanks for not taking any shortcuts nor making any comprimises.


Posted by: slf at April 2, 2006 09:18 PM

The brave men AND WOMEN who serve in Iraq have my undying gratitude, admiration, and sympathy for serving under a republican administration headed by a neanderthal Bush League Leader. We had a surplus when Bush took office and now we have invaded another nation, cut our taxes so that he could look good, and totally mismanaged Federal Emergency Management. We can't afford to fight the Bush family vendettas or keep Halliburton afloat. We have two oil men in the White House and trust me when I say that they love it when prices for fuel skyrocket. They both make money.

People are homeless, yet thousands and thousands of mobile shelters sit in muddy fields lining the roadsides of Louisiana. I've seen them. Those fortunate enough to get one of these shelters often waited six months or more. By that time, many of the major repairs were completed on their homes and they have a totally unnecessary trailer parked in their back yards. Yet, we continue to pay exhorbitant hotel bills for families to stay in expensive hotels, motels, and apartments which they could ill afford on their own, even with jobs.

Further, he has seen fit to interpret our Constitution to invade the privacy of any and every American on a whim with no oversite. Torture is legalized, especially when we can persuade a foreign power to do it by proxy so that we don't get out hands too terribly dirty. Our freedoms are not protected by the so called "Patriot Act" any more than "Peace Keeper Missiles" protected us from war.

Mark, I've known you many years and you've always fought the good fight. You place yourself in jeopardy time and time again to tell the truth of a story and to bring light into the shadowy areas that others would prefer to remain hidden. Why do you support this endeavor?

Posted by: MRE at April 2, 2006 11:57 PM

MRE - I am not supporting Patrick Dollard's endeavor. I am giving him the opportunity to be heard against the din of Fahrenheit 911 in heavy rotation on the Al Jazeera news network.

- Ebner

Posted by: Mark Ebner at April 3, 2006 12:32 AM

i found your blog, if you want to call it that, last week and read through almost everything on that front page the first night. i especially liked the article on scientology.

it's not that often that something will compell me to keep reading and reading until i have to go to sleep.

print is dead...but it still lives here.

Posted by: pez d spencer at April 3, 2006 08:19 AM

Please tell me this story isn't over

Posted by: funny shirts guy at April 3, 2006 09:33 AM

Thank you, Mark. I bought Fahrenheit 911 back when it came out on video but I've never opened the package. Strange, huh? See, I probably fully agree with it's content but I sat down and thought it over. I finally decided that it would probably make me sad and I don't need to be sad. I know and see what Bush is doing to us everyday and a feeling of powerlessness washes over me when I look at his wrongdoings face to face.

Frustration. I know that there's not a thing I can do about it except walk into my local polling booth and vote. I'm ashamed to admit that since the Texas redistricting debacle, I've voted straight Democrat. Shame? Yes. I've always done my research and voted for the individual but my anger grows. I was mad as hell and decided that I wouldn't take it anymore. Now, I just get sad and when that happens, I put it on the back burner and focus my attention to something more positive in nature. Thus, I've never gotten around to watching Fahrenheit 911.

I actually donated money to the Democratic party. Me! Now I get letters from them constantly and I just chunk them.

Bush is killing us, Mark. He's killing all those young men and women in Iraq and he's killing us too. He's destroying our economy, our Constitution, and trying to stuff his religious views down our throats. Abortion? My friend, you'd better stock up on RU486 now because you'll likely need it later. Now that he's stacked the Supremes, abortion will be a thing of the past. It's happening.

Write, Mark, fight the good fight with your brilliance and your courage. Few have the guts to tell it like you do. You don't have to go to Iraq, in fact, I wish you wouldn't. Just tell a few stories the way you told of the abortion in the park. That was the first time that I truly saw your brilliance. That was the first time that I saw your humanity. You are a storyteller, Mark. You love words and you wrap them around stories with great skill.

Tell me a story. What is the meaning of life?

Posted by: MRE at April 3, 2006 02:08 PM

Loved the article.

MRE: You shouldn't be voting straight Democrat. The Democrats have as little respect for our Constitution and our freedoms as Bush. You should be voting Libertarian - the only party with a platform based around a consistent, salient principle, that of non-coercion, and the only party that has reduced the size of government given the opportunity.

Posted by: Nigel Watt at April 3, 2006 05:17 PM

I second what Nigel said above. Voting straight Democrat is just as bad as voting straight Republican. If you don't recognize the name Badnerik stay out of the polling booths until you educate yourself and can make an informed decision. Libertarians have it right in my book.

Posted by: tuacamo at April 3, 2006 05:47 PM

It simply doesn't matter what buttons you push in a Texas voting booth. The Republicans will win. They've stacked the deck and they have all the cards. Districts have been arranged such that Republicans are the odds on winners right out of the box. Crooks reign. It simply doesn't matter.

The fox owns both the White House and the Congressional hen houses. He eats well tonight and he'll have fresh eggs for breakfast in the morning.

I can handle independent candidates but Libertarians? Historically, they've been the granola candidates. They won't cut it here. If I'm going to piss into the wind, it won't be on a Libertarian ship.

Posted by: MRE at April 3, 2006 06:25 PM

I had the pleasure of meeting Pat last year. We were conducting operations in Iraq with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit in the “Triangle of Death?, just south of Baghdad. I was a Field radio operator on a Light Armored reconnaissance vehicle. This was right after the invasion of Fallujah, U.S. military commanders had begun turning their attention to other resisting regions of Iraq, where an insurgency in Sunni Muslim-dominated areas had proven to be extremely hostile, possibly endangering nationwide elections scheduled for Jan. 30 2005. The area was considered a hot-spot. So every News network and there mother came to visit. My platoon had seen its share of liberal-ass, winy, scared little reporters. They would come and go like scavengers. Most of them wouldn’t even speak to us unless it was to ask some political question- that was of course staged. They wanted dirt on us. They wanted us to tell them how we didn’t want to be there. They wanted us to talk about how many civilians we were killing, they wanted us to say we shouldn’t be in Iraq. They wanted to make us look like the enemy. They were fucking vultures.
We would go on raids, searching insurgent hide-outs, and these ass-clowns would stay in the vehicles- filming themselves getting off.. On there so called “What’s really happening in Iraq…combat journalism?. We would get back on the vehicle and try to explain what had just occurred. These slim balls didn’t give 2 shits what was really going on. Most of us had already established our own views on reporters. And then along came Pat Dollard. At this point we wouldn’t even look a reporter in the eye let alone talk to one. But this guy was a fucking lunatic…. Fucking insane. He wouldn’t leave either. Other reporters would hide in the vehicles, when shit was going down. Pat would be right behind you… like Robert Downey Jr. in natural born killers. He was all about it.
The normal reporters slept in the nice tents with AC, got hot showers, and ate real food. Not Pat he was right there with the grunts. Not showering for weeks, eating MREs, getting attacked by insurgents, and just being plain fucking miserable. He was right there with us. He was getting the real story, not some fabricated liberal ass clown bullshit- to fuel the media war. Ask any veteran who has seen Iraq first hand…. They will tell you that what you see on TV is not what really goes on. Pat earned our respect. I got out of the Marine Corps 4 months ago and returned from Iraq last year. I was there for 9months. Pat was still in Iraq when I got out of the Marines.
Pat has been able to witness first hand the truth about Iraq. I truly do hope his documentary comes out, and I could give a fuck if he makes millions on it. If anything he earned it. To me- and my platoon who were there with pat- our story is worth so much more. When your in your little world driving to get Starbucks, buying Rolling Stone tickets, and getting a new shirt at the Gap think about the 19 year old kid who’s getting blown up that very second- who’s unloading a machine gun while protecting innocent Iraqi civilians, into a crowd of methed-up insurgents- who want to kill him , who goes day in and day out fighting for something that you don’t consider to be right. I was there, and so was Pat dollard with his camera. Maybe some day you will be able to see what it’s really like…. just a thought-

Posted by: Welsh at April 3, 2006 09:16 PM

Ramadi is a tough neighborhood. It was bad in when we first rolled through there in 2003, and it was bad when I rolled back through in 2005. Having spent two years in Iraq, I've seen a decent amount, and talked to a few reporters, but never met anyone like Dollard. You could tell the conventional press by their blue dress shirts with rolled up sleeves and relaxed chinos. What really gave them away was the incredulous look in their eye, like they could never have imagined the amount of bullshit that had to go wrong for them to end up in Iraq.

I appreciate Pat for telling his story, and Mark, thanks for letting him do that here.

As for the politics, all that goes out the window as soon as your boots get dirty. The only thing that matters, is whether or not you are willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that you and your buddies come home safe.

Posted by: shameless at April 4, 2006 04:33 AM

Ramadi is a tough neighborhood. It was bad in when we first rolled through there in 2003, and it was bad when I rolled back through in 2005. Having spent two years in Iraq, I've seen a decent amount, and talked to a few reporters, but never met anyone like Dollard. You could tell the conventional press by their blue dress shirts with rolled up sleeves and relaxed chinos. What really gave them away was the incredulous look in their eye, like they could never have imagined the amount of bullshit that had to go wrong for them to end up in Iraq.

I appreciate Pat for telling his story, and Mark, thanks for letting him do that here.

As for the politics, all that goes out the window as soon as your boots get dirty. The only thing that matters, is whether or not you are willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that you and your buddies come home safe.

Posted by: shameless at April 4, 2006 04:34 AM

Pat, Gotta love the folks who try to glom on what we do and use it as a their personal soapbox. All that "I hate Bush" etc, etc, etc crap. Do they realize how boring and predictable they are? You are, as are brother Welsh alludes to, the real deal, and this is coming from another Marine who was in the "goo" with you. Good old Walt Whitman, our greatest American poet ever, after his experiences in the Civil War added a section to his core book of poems "Leaves of Grass"-the 38 poems call "Drum-Taps". What you're doing is right up there with that. Whitman included a poem called "To a Certain Civilian" Almost 150 years ago he must have had the same experience we're having-those who just don't and probably will never get it. Here's the poem:

DID you ask dulcet rhymes from me?
Did you seek the civilian’s peaceful and languishing rhymes?
Did you find what I sang erewhile so hard to follow?
Why I was not singing erewhile for you to follow, to understand—nor am I now;
(I have been born of the same as the war was born;
The drum-corps’ harsh rattle is to me sweet music—I love well the martial dirge,
With slow wail, and convulsive throb, leading the officer’s funeral:)
—What to such as you, anyhow, such a poet as I?—therefore leave my works,
And go lull yourself with what you can understand—and with piano-tunes;
For I lull nobody—and you will never understand me.

Posted by: Mike Fay at April 4, 2006 05:07 AM

Maybe you should admit that people who are in iraq are not heroes.
They aren't scumbags, i bet most of them believe firmly that they are doing something good, just like the allied bombers did in WW2, and just like the german soldiers aswell.

But they are still murderers, they are just killing other murderers.

If you ask me you should let the iraqis deal with their own issues, and probably devide the country, since the shiats and the sunnis dont get along, why should you HAVE to group them toghether, especially since they already are in different parts of the country.
War is an aweful thing, but it's not because of the people who are there, it's impossible to make war "nice", i mean cmon, how can you make killing people nice, its like slaughter, it won't be a lovely sight.
And the soldiers agree on this, they just all think they are doing something good, they wan't to kill "the enemy".
I qoute the internationale,
"On tyrants only we'll make war!
The soldiers too will take strike action,
They'll break ranks and fight no more!
And if those cannibals keep trying,
To sacrifice us to their pride,
They soon shall hear the bullets flying,
We'll shoot the generals on our own side"

A conflict is never simple so don't make it

Posted by: Fjafjan at April 4, 2006 09:50 AM

Actually, Fjafjan, this one is pretty simple. It's people who don't chop off heads and slam civilian passenger jets into office buildings in the name of Allah vs. people who do.

Good v evil. Cut and dried. Choose your side wisely.

Posted by: davenwash at April 4, 2006 05:48 PM

Regardless of where anyone personally stands on the war, there is a reality of the job that young U.S. men and women are carrying out everyday that we don’t see. I’ve known Pat for many years and, yes, he is a bit of a madman. While he has seen plenty of extremes in his life, the pursuit of this story has taken him far beyond what would have been expected. Certainly his decision to stay even after being injured was even more surprising. Dollard’s blog and views reflect the human instincts and reactions to the given situations. I look forward to seeing him come home safely to complete his work on this project. When it is finished I think the documentary and it’s first hand view of the efforts of those serving to improve the world around them will make a difference.

Posted by: FDD at April 5, 2006 08:09 PM


I must have slept through some news broadcasts or something but I just can't recall any evidence that suggested that Iraq flew any airplanes into any buildings on US soil. Are you suggesting that all persians look alike and share the same philosophy? Do you paint them all with the same brush? Show me a single WMD in Iraq. Afghanistan was necessary but they weren't there for human rights. They were there after bin Ladin. That's all.

They (the Bush administration) didn't care that women were disinfranchised and invisable in Afghanistan. They were permitted to beg (only so long as they showed no skin), but never to work or learn to read or practice medicine or law or any other enterprise. Imagine the insufferable heat under those heavy garments. No, it required airplanes to crash into buildings and take thousands of lives to make the invasion of Afghanistan a reality.

The reason for this is because the US is not the International Hall Monitor. We are not the police force for the world. There were no WMD in Iraq. There was merely despotism but that's rampant throughout the world. We are there to settle a Bush Dynasty vendetta and to capture some oil reserves, plain and simple. And our brave men and women are dying for that $60 a barral commodity. I believe their lives are worth far far more.

One more thing.. I don't use the word hate. I removed it from my vocabulary. So, Mike Fay, if you quote me, please do it accurately.

Here's an article for your review:

War-Loving Pundits

by Norman Solomon

WASHINGTON ( -- The third anniversary of the Iraq invasion is bound to attract a lot of media coverage, but scant recognition will go to the pundits who helped to make it all possible.

Continuing with long service to the Bush administration’s agenda-setting for war, prominent media commentators were very busy in the weeks before the invasion. At the Washington Post, the op-ed page’s fervor hit a new peak on Feb. 6, 2003, the day after Colin Powell’s mendacious speech to the U.N. Security Council.

Post columnist Richard Cohen explained that Powell was utterly convincing. “The evidence he presented to the United Nations -- some of it circumstantial, some of it absolutely bone-chilling in its detail -- had to prove to anyone that Iraq not only hasn’t accounted for its weapons of mass destruction but without a doubt still retains them,? Cohen wrote. “Only a fool -- or possibly a Frenchman -- could conclude otherwise.?

Meanwhile, another one of the Post’s syndicated savants, Jim Hoagland, led with this declaration: “Colin Powell did more than present the world with a convincing and detailed X-ray of Iraq’s secret weapons and terrorism programs yesterday. He also exposed the enduring bad faith of several key members of the U.N. Security Council when it comes to Iraq and its ‘web of lies,’ in Powell’s phrase.? Hoagland’s closing words banished doubt: “To continue to say that the Bush administration has not made its case, you must now believe that Colin Powell lied in the most serious statement he will ever make, or was taken in by manufactured evidence. I don’t believe that. Today, neither should you.?

Impatience grew among pundits who depicted the U.N.’s inspection process as a charade because Saddam Hussein’s regime obviously possessed weapons of mass destruction. In an essay appearing on Feb. 13, 2003, Christopher Hitchens wrote: “Those who are calling for more time in this process should be aware that they are calling for more time for Saddam’s people to complete their humiliation and subversion of the inspectors.?

A few weeks later, on March 17, President Bush prefaced the imminent invasion by claiming in a televised speech: “Should Saddam Hussein choose confrontation, the American people can know that every measure has been taken to avoid war, and every measure will be taken to win it.?

In the same speech, noting that “many Iraqis can hear me tonight in a translated radio broadcast,? Bush offered reassurance. “I have a message for them: If we must begin a military campaign, it will be directed against the lawless men who rule your country and not against you.?

The next day, Hitchens came out with an essay featuring similar assurances, telling readers that “the Defense Department has evolved highly selective and accurate munitions that can sharply reduce the need to take or receive casualties. The predictions of widespread mayhem turned out to be false last time -- when the weapons [in the Gulf War] were nothing like so accurate.? And, he added, “it can now be proposed as a practical matter that one is able to fight against a regime and not a people or a nation.?

With the full-scale attack underway, the practicalities were evident from network TV studios. “The American public knows the importance of this war,? Fox News pundit and Weekly Standard executive editor Fred Barnes proclaimed a few days after the invasion began. “They are not as casualty sensitive as the weenies in the American press are.?

And what about the punditry after the ballyhooed “victory? in Iraq? Researchers at the media watch group FAIR (where I’m an associate) have exhumed statements made by prominent media cheerleaders who were flush with triumph. Often showing elation as Baghdad fell, U.S. journalists lavished praise on the invasion and sometimes aimed derisive salvos at American opponents of the military action.

One of the most gleeful commentators on network television was MSNBC’s “Hardball? host Chris Matthews. “We’re all neo-cons now,? he crowed on April 9, 2003, hours after a Saddam Hussein statue tumbled in Baghdad.

Weeks later, Matthews was still at it, making categorical declarations: “We’re proud of our president. Americans love having a guy as president, a guy who has a little swagger, who’s physical, who’s not a complicated guy like Clinton or even like Dukakis or Mondale, all those guys, McGovern. They want a guy who’s president. Women like a guy who’s president. Check it out. The women like this war. I think we like having a hero as our president. It’s simple.?

Simplistic was more like it. And, in the rush of stateside enthusiasm for war on Iraq, centrist pundits like Matthews -- apt to sway with the prevailing wind -- were hardly inclined to buck the jingoistic storm.

Pseudo-patriotic hot air remained at gale force on Fox News Channel, still blowing strong. “Tommy Franks and the coalition forces have demonstrated the old axiom that boldness on the battlefield produces swift and relatively bloodless victory,? Tony Snow told viewers in late April. “The three-week swing through Iraq has utterly shattered skeptics’ complaints.?

What passes for liberalism on Fox also cheered and gloated. Sean Hannity’s weak debating partner, Alan Colmes, threw down a baiting challenge on April 25. “Now that the war in Iraq is all but over,? Colmes demanded, “should the people in Hollywood who opposed the president admit they were wrong??

Source: by courtesy & © 2006 Norman Solomon
(Thursday March 16 2006)

Posted by: MRE at April 6, 2006 12:24 PM


Lacking from your overall analysis is the fact that regardless of the original intention to invade Afghanistan or Iraq, the truth remains that we removed despotic governments from both countries and gave the indigenous people there a chance to start anew.

I really don't understand why people keep insisting that this War was for oil. Think about it, a whole slew of officials and corporate executives were chugging down Saddam's reserves under the corruot Oil-For-Food Program. Why start a possibly controversial war in a land so far away from American influence when it probably would have just been easier to deal with Hussein and get the oil from him? Why not pump loads of money and investment into Oil Companies and encourage them to embark on oil exploration trips in previously untapped areas? Contrary to popular belief, the total oil supply of the world is not close to disappearing; only the reserves that can currently be tapped are. A whole variety of different methods of oil collection remain unchartered (recently, new technologies have made the use of oil sands in Canada usable as a source of petrol, and massive amounts of resources in the Colorodo areas remain untapped due to possible environemntal damage. Instead of spending billions on a war, perhaps it would have made more sense to invest that money into these new technologies?). And there are significant parts of the globe that have been seen to conatin oil reserves but have not been accessed yet do to the difficulty of paying for refinery equipment in the prospective areas.

Just as easy as it is for Bush to "cover-up" this war as being humanitarian (as you allege), it is just as easy for liberals and democrats to slander it as a "war for oil". In truth, it is much more complicated.

No WMDs in Iraq? How would we have known if we hadn;t invaded? Even today, no one doubts that Saddam had a Nuclear Weapons Development Program hidden from the world's eyes. Precisely because we couldn't tell how far along he was, we had to remove him by force.

In the end, your argument draws down to the classic isolationist retreat call of "there are so many dictators out there, we can't take them all out. Why don't we just leave them there so long as they don't cause us any real harm?" Yet this isn't the case in today's world of IT technology and fluid information, where recipes for bombs can be e-mailed online, nuclear devices can be stocked into a attache suitcase and where money from government accounts can be moved to terrorists at the click of a button. In this new age, anything is possible. Bush may have stumbled in his attempt to reconstruct Iraq, but failure it is not. The greatest failure would be to ignore the threat knocking on your door and hope it goes away if you give him Starbucks Coffee and a $100 US Bill. No, perhaps we will not truly rid the world of despots for the next 100 years. And perhaps new ones will arise. But criticize a government for trying to eliminate one based on the fact that there are so many? "What's Bush going to do now, take over every single country with an illegitimate regime?" How many times have I heard that being uttered in the hallways of my school, how many times I have read that on the blogs of supposed pundits, and how many times I've had that said to my face. No, not necessarily, but exactly what is WRONG with that anyway? Should we have said the same thing and left Nazi Germany alone if Japan hadn't invaded during WW2?

Posted by: Hazo at April 6, 2006 06:42 PM

Since you are still in school, go to your library and look up "South Viet Nam." Learn everything you can about it.

Look deeply into the haunted eyes of those old Veterans standing on street corners holding signs. Stop and talk to them if you have the guts. When you know everything about that "Police Action," come back and rationalize this invasion of Iraq.

Whether you know it or not, we have not been the good guys in the middle east. It's no wonder Iran hates us like they do. The film Syriana was an unmitigated editorial mess but it made a point. It's one you're not going to like either. Wearing a white hat and waving an American flag doesn't always make us good guys.

Posted by: MRE at April 6, 2006 08:17 PM

Waste of time.

Posted by: Tom at April 7, 2006 02:20 PM

Have a nice day

Posted by: penis enlargement at April 8, 2006 10:51 AM


Good work. I went to The Citadel with 1st Lt. Almar Fitzgerald. We were in the same company. It's nice to know that he didnt have to sit next to some left-wing, commie liberal, who just wants to sit around and sing Kumbaya. These people try to speak for the soldiers but they only speak for themselves. It's not like Clooney, Penn, and these other dumbasses have ever experience anything hard except when they blew a director for their big break. Keep up the good work. Cant wait to see the documentary.

Posted by: AJB at April 10, 2006 05:42 AM


This is Chris Bekenkamp, your old pal. I remember you telling me that you planned on going to Iraq. You were just crazy enough to do it and it looks like you got exactly what you came for. I am very proud of you. I am excited to hear more of the front line stories and if you need any help with your documentary, let me know.

I am very sorry about the tragedies you have encountered and I hope you return home safe and sound with some amazing dailies. Drop me a line.

Take care,

Chris Berkenkamp

Posted by: Chris Berkenkamp at April 10, 2006 11:21 PM

Saddam put up memorials to the perpetrators showing the planes flying into the twin towers in memory of the murderers.

That's enough for most Americans.

Posted by: Belasarius at April 14, 2006 03:51 PM

I am a marine with Weapons Co., 3rd Battalion 7th Marines. I served in Ramadi during a majority of the filming that is referred to in this article. I went out practically every day, for seven months. I was called out to provide support and casevac for the marines the night of the 18th. I myself was hit by IED's, RPG's, and Small arms fire. The day I met Pat, I wasn't sure what to think of him, as I am very skeptical of the media due to their negative spin on Iraq in general. Although i was nervous about bringing him with me, as soon as he started riding with us, I knew he was the real deal. He asked, begged, and basically did whatever it took to go into one of the most dangerous cities in the world with us, because he wants to honor us, and tell the true story of marines in Iraq. Whoever thinks he is doing this for money or fame or whatever, needs to think about what they are suggesting, and perhaps spend a few months in a combat zone, and see if money is even close to the top of their list of things on their mind. And to Pat, if you see this, Im still waiting on an invite to the release party!

Posted by: Lcpl of Marines at April 14, 2006 08:44 PM

I am the step mother of Almar; his father wanted to say thanks for wanting to tell the true story and to honor thoses serving. When Almar died, we tried to obtain pictures of the incident but never did. It was luck that we found this one. It is amazing that anyone lived. I hope all are doing well. The three of you as well as the others from the the other vehicle must not forget those that didn't and keep their memories alive. Did you know that Cpl Conley was the proud father of a baby girl that I don't think he ever saw let alone held.

Thanks again.

Posted by: L Fitzgerald at May 28, 2006 05:15 PM

Who said there are no more heros in Hollywood. I know of at least one, and his name is Patrick Dollard.

Posted by: RS at June 7, 2006 02:34 AM

Pat is THE KING.

Outstanding work.

Posted by: Bruce at June 8, 2006 06:30 PM

GOOD LUCK, PAT!! Don't let the bastards drag you down!

But, get ready for the relentless onslaught of pure hate that is coming your way from all the sanctimonious retards that can't tolerate having their cartoon-world challenged. "Iraq bad! Bush bad! Army bad! Anyone who opposes them, Good!"

For them, Iraq is black and white; the evil work of an evil man. When you go throwing a little gray in there, or a splash or red, you are committing sacrilege. If anyone is supposed to be portrayed in a humane way, it's the "freedom fighters," not our troops.

Ironically, the American Left is all the things they accuse everyone else of-- narrow minded, ignorant, hate-filled thugs who react with pure malice when anyone challenges them.

(Oh, and by the way, your career in Hollywood is over. Blackballed. And believe me, when the Left blackballs you, you don't EVER come back. Sorry. Maybe you can assume a new identity? Or at least a pseudonym?)

Posted by: godfodder at June 11, 2006 10:57 AM

Protecting Iraqys HAHAHAH sure man. Shitbox Iraq i was not figthin for Sum turban i was fighting for my life me and my boys life hell tomarow were going To ramadi and then taking a trip through yussifiah if we dont have a ambush we will travel to yussifiah tell pat to come with us we have been attacked more then 286 times if not more i lost count we have lost the most men in any brigade platoon what have you if you know your stuff about the military i dont have to tell you
and id like the Press cnn al jazera are rhc
rag head centreal the body count is not 2,789
its over 4.678 they dont tell you about those border jumpers that are promised a free life in america they dont count those are the ones that are dead when they hit germany because thats not considerd kia kinda funny how 4 post were the same just one word diffrent at the end literally identical i fuckin hate iraq we need to turn that bicth into a big gas station carpet bomb it to shit

Posted by: Lt:Islamnater.a.k.a.Bullet ass at June 18, 2006 09:07 PM

Who again was the anti-war Deep Thinker above who referred to Iraqis as "persians"? Because that, for me at least, seems to be the sort of informed commentary that the anti-war Left is offering on this thread.

Posted by: Master Tang at June 21, 2006 03:41 AM

Excellent! I am very anxious to see your work. thank you

Posted by: laurie at July 6, 2006 12:54 AM

Wallet's open. Where can I buy this? "Michael Moore is a little bitch." - haha!

Posted by: Ian at July 6, 2006 10:49 AM

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