Way to Go, Roman

When Roman Skaskiw sent his 7,000-word article about visiting the Holy Land to GoNOMAD, we put it up right away, even though it was more than twice as long as any story we had ever published.

A graduate of the Iowa Writers School, Skaskiw is an excellent writer, and he had served two tours of duty in Iraq, so we thought our readers would be interested in what he had to say.

Then he was called back for a third tour of duty, this time in Afghanistan, and sent us an article about hiking in Kunar Province in full body armor.

Skaskiw has a great article in the Atlantic this month called ‘Email from Afghanistan,’ and in it he writes about an article he had written several years before in Stanford Magazine called ‘Email from Iraq.’

“When I read it now, I barely recognize myself as the author,” he writes in the Atlantic. “I’d need to have a serious talking-to with the young man who wrote that article. I’d tell him that just because an endeavor is sprinkled with the blood of good people, that doesn’t make it just, or noble, or even worthwhile.”

And if there is anyone, anywhere who has a shred of doubt that George W. Bush is a hypocritical sack of shit, here’s what happened when Skaskiw, after two tours of duty in Iraq, applied for a job with the State Department:

“Upon redeploying from Iraq, an influential friend of a friend of a friend got me an interview, which might have resulted in me returning to Iraq as a civilian.

“I was absorbed in the problems I’d worked on there, and unwilling to abandon them. I bought a suit. When the White House Liaison to the State Department told me these types of jobs generally go to people who’ve ‘proven their loyalty to the president by working on his campaign,’ I could have pointed out that I’d been off fighting his war for the duration of the re-election campaign. I could have said one of many things, but instead produced a noise indicative of a peach pit stuck in one’s throat.”

Imagine choosing a Bush campaign worker over a combat veteran. That’s truly sickening, besides being really stupid.