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My War: Killing Time in Iraq Paperback – September 5, 2006
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In search of adventure, Buzzell joined the army and got sent to Iraq. First stationed in the ultra-dangerous Sunni Triangle, he quickly mastered how to use the M240 Bravo machine gun: "Just get behind that muthafucka and just fire it." His fellow soldiers, mostly hip-hop fans or headbanging metal-heads like him, killed time watching porn on mini-portable DVD players or listening to Metallica on their iPods while on patrol. Long boring spells were interrupted by wild fits of confusing action. On one of Buzzell's first missions, two platoons fired thousands of rounds at near point-blank range at an unarmed Iraqi civilian. Amazingly, he survived. Out of boredom, Buzzell started a blog, one of the first by an ordinary "Joe" grunt in Iraq. It became a media sensation and got Buzzell in trouble with the REMFs ("Rear Echelon Mutha Fuckers") because of his less-than-glamorous portrayal of the war and his superiors, whom he accuses of constantly lying to the public and the soldiers under their command. My War may be disappointing to readers looking for deeper introspections on the moral questions behind the war, but it is a pretty convincing case against the claim that everything in Iraq is going fine. --Alex Roslin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
All in all, I think Jarhead was a fairly good read. Criticisms abound regarding the manner in which Swofford portrays the Marines-which for the most part seem to stem from people who cling to the sentiment and disillusion that all things military must be John Wayne like. There is though, an annoying overtone of whining in his account, and an even more annoying hint of supplication to the cultured academic elite (which seems to be his intended audience), as if with a wink and a nod he readily validates that echelon's misguided and misinformed perceptions and stereotypes of the military, and in particular, all-male combat culture they so disdain.
The most redeeming quality of his memoir, which was illuminated even better in the movie, is Swofford's honest portrayal of having never squeezed the trigger. In the first Gulf War, there was absolutely no substantial role for light infantry, let alone snipers. While Jarhead may be the defining account of a sniper's role in the Gulf War, it is not the defining account of the war-which will be better served by someone who directly participated in the armored blitzkrieg of a slaughter that it was (i.e., someone from the 1 out of every 14 Gulf War soldiers who actually did squeeze the trigger).
I'm not here though to focus on Jarhead, I'll leave that to the sophomore at Brown or Amherst or Dartmouth...as a former dirt soldier of the first Gulf War, I'm here to zero in on My War.Read more ›
I read this book at my office. I didn't even put it down when my boss stuck his head in the door unless he needed something specific from me, immediately. As others here have said, Buzzell's writing style is unique. It's clear and concise, blunt at times. It's not a lot of fluffy wordsmithing. You really can't classify Buzzell or his writing. You have to experience it for yourself. I can't say I "enjoyed" this book because It's not fiction. I did learn from it. I feel better about the generation following mine if there are a lot of Colby Buzzell's in it.
While CB's experiences are personal and consequently unique in many aspects, this book does teach the reader quite a bit about universal soldier life in Iraq today. For example, it illustrates what wearing a full kit in desert heat really feels like, soldiers' opinions of war reports in the press, the ways in which the latrine walls have become a forum for political commentary, the surprising sites found in a rare Iraqi Christian neighborhood, troops' reaction to voting and writing home regularly, which camp has a reputation for its STD rate, the gradual desensitization to mortar attacks, the important role books and music play not only during downtime but also in battle, and most importantly, what's really going through soldiers' heads. Also of special interest is the reaction CB's chain of command had to his blog once it was discovered. The higher ups' personal vs. official public views of the blog did not always mesh.
I read My War solely for educational purposes, to help me get a grip on what soldiers are thinking and feeling but may not share with me.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
this guy is somewhere on my own family tree and i'm just so proud to share a name with him. i'm a writer too so you have to wonder about gene pools and a propensity for spinning... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Penny B Rhomberg
My War: Killing time in Iraq is a raw and gripping story from the point of view of Colby Buzzell and his role in the American occupation of Iraq while serving in the Stryker... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Kyle F.
An excellent book... I read Killing Time as part of my preparations to write a trilogy about a near future post apocalyptic future in which Stryker vehicles play an important... Read morePublished 17 months ago by William C. Dietz