Anti-war train drivers refuse to move arms freight

James Rogers
14 Jan 2003 17:13:49 -0800

On Tue, 2003-01-14 at 15:33, Al Diablito wrote:
> Nice summation of your attitude to the troops. By the way, like Mr. Hall, 
> what are your war plans? When are you deploying? You seem to be really into 
> military hardware in a geek sort of way. Back it up, man. What are you 
> waiting for?

Let me paint the picture for you:

I am currently both a business and engineering exec in Silicon Valley,
and am an engineer and scientist by education and trade.  I dabble in 
networking, media, and some substantially more esoteric businesses.  I'm
not particularly geeky nor do I play a geek on TV, though my technical
skills are on par with the best of 'em.

I used to be a Light Infantry/SpecOps grunt in the U.S. Army for a
number of years.  I still have many friends currently or formerly in the
employ of the military. I know the inside of the military as well as
anybody, and have spent much time under the stars with an assault rifle.

I also used to work for the Department of Defense many years ago at
contractor and research facilities in various capacities. My apparently
being a "military hardware geek" is the result of actual experience, not
because it is some sort of hobby for me.  I do keep track of new
technological developments, but only when people point them out to me.

I don't need you to tell me what being a soldier is really about, or the
"real" motives of the people that surround the military.  I've already
been there and already done that, from the military side, from the
civilian side, and from the business side.  The military side is quite
competent, the civilian side is a mixed bag, and the business side is
competent but expensive (in part because of the problems dealing with
some of the morons that linger in the civilian DoD). And having trained
with many foreign militaries, I would not trade a berth in the U.S.
military for that of any other country.  The U.S. military places very
high value upon the lives and morale of its soldiers; I wish I could say
the same about most other militaries.

I don't suppose that you, in your infinite wisdom and experience, can
shed light on some aspect of this entire process that I somehow missed
in my years of service?

I am not a particularly hawk-ish person, especially since I personally
know what is at stake, but I do recognize that military force is a
legitimate tool when solving some problems.  The problem is that you
pigeonhole everyone into two camps, and me not being a kneejerk
extremist of one type makes me a kneejerk extremist of another type in
your worldview.  Get a grip.

-James Rogers