A Young Friend in Iraq


A young friend who arranged a talk for me at his university on globalization is currently on a tour of duty in Iraq. When he gets the chance, he writes up quite interesting observations on his web site: Gozar the Traveler. (I’m trying to help keep him supplied with good reading while he’s there. He’s especially partial to history and the classics; suggestions are welcome.)

4 Responses to “A Young Friend in Iraq”

  1. Casey Khan

    Mr. Palmer,

    I would recommend this book called “Achilles in Vietnam.” The book was given to me back in 1998 by a LRRP (Long Range Recon Patrol) Vietnam Vet. He told me to read it and give it to everyone in my command to read (they of course ignored it). This book profoundly changed my outlook on war and what it can do to people.

    Based on the experiences and testimonies given by Vietnam vets the author compares and contrasts them from the trials of Achilles in Homer’s Illiad. This book is an analysis of history, Homer’s classic, and psychology.

    God bless Joey and all the grunts over there, may they all make it home safe.



  2. We need more saber toothed tigers. Maybe if there were a distinct possibility that Dustin would be eaten the next time he took out the trash he would have a more “real world” perspective. There are dangerous things out there and they must be dealt with. War is not my chosen response either. Especially when waged by kids.

    But scolding the bad guys seldom works. What other actions would Dustin take?

    I’m not sure of course, but I suppose that Dustin’s comments make him feel superior. The anonymity of E-mail fosters such false courage. What I read was just name calling, accusatory and whining. My 8-year-old granddaughter has more mature interpersonal skills than that. If you identify a problem propose a solution, don’t attack those who also ID’ed it.

    Not having read “Achilles in Vietnam” I cannot comment on the author’s lessons. I would guess however that they were similar to mine when I was there. I don’t know that there can be much in the human experience more horrific than war. And we seem to treat it as the tool of choice.

    I think Dustin and I would agree that there should be another way to solve differences of opinion but, what might a realistic alternative be?

    Name calling is what starts wars, Dustin. Come on, grow up.