It’s been fourteen months of deployment – seven of them in the CENTCOM AOR – and this trip is starting to drag.
It’s not just the seperation from friends and family, the boredom, the 15 pound dead weight of my M249 slung across my back every day. It’s also a sense that somehow I have to singlehandedly stave off the insanity spewed by the seemingly endless constellation of Bush-haters, America-haters, Army-haters, terrorist sympathizers, and general buffoons. It’s a sense that I’m among a tiny group of sane people, mistakenly locked in an asylum full of not only lunatics but lunatics who speak Martian.
The TVs in the DFAC show either CNN World or Sky News. As far as Sky News is concerned, Iraq is done; not a single image or even snippet of text on the scrolling news ticker gives any indication that the country of Iraq even exists. CNN World is worse; as Operation Matador kicked off, I got to see “these images from western Iraq, where the battle is beginning,” which consisted of a 10-second loop of a shaky video of a distant plume of black smoke across barren desert and a pair of trucks driving around a traffic circle. I’m not kidding.
Later, as the battle wound up, the images were repeated, except with the subtext printed on the screen: “US officials say over 100 suspected insurgents killed.” Suspected insurgents? What the fuck does that mean? Were they sitting at a coffee shop, sipping a latte when the Marines rolled up? Considering they had prepared fighting positions, medium-caliber weaponry, and body armor, I think not. The only thing that makes them “suspected insurgents” is that they might not be “insurgents,” but Syrian army regulars. To add insult to injury, CNN then showed a Marine commander talking about the battle, while labeling him as a US Army general. Christ! Who are these reporters? I know the guy’s globe-and-anchor pins were a little hard to see on his lapels, but please…!
I’m tired of the endless bullshitting, the suffocating deluge of punditry spewed forth by Monday-morning quarterbacks who haven’t had to do anything harder than break a nail on the way to taking the GRE or take a vanilla latte only normal-hot instead of extra-hot because the milk machine was out of dilithium crystals or whatever.
I’m tired of the “support the troops – bring them home” doublespeak crap from people who view soldiers and Marines as cute, adorable but helplessly stupid pawns of Chimpy McBushitler and Darth Rumsfeld. You want to “support the troops”? Then tell us that our fight is worthwhile and appreciated, that our sacrifices aren’t in vain, that you don’t just want us to live but you want us to win. Don’t make this into another Vietnam like so many opponents of the war would like to do, where the veterans felt like all the blood, sweat, and tears were for nought because the nation hated them and what they had done. The only concession I’m willing to make to that attitude is for war opponents who also have loved ones in the fight; they can legitimately say that all they want is their soldier’s safe return. All others would make pawns of us just as much as any part of the Bush Empire would.
I’m tired of Abu Ghraib. Hey, look, I admit it: I’ve singlehandedly raped, killed, and put chemlights into the butts of countless locals. I mostly go around looking for hapless civilians to kill; working with a switch truck enables me to connect a whole lot of genitals to a whole lot of wires, each with 56V DC. I joined the military because I was promised 8 billion dollars and a free-ride scholarship to Yale or Harvard (my choice), but was switched from my desired MOS of 69S (Sexy Woman Examiner) to 02BS (Bullet Sponge/Poop Scooper/Prisoner Sodomy Specialist) by the recruiter. Of course, that was after he anally raped me, killed my dog, and stole my bike. I was under the influence of the Rovian mind-control rays broadcast from my 802.11b wireless router and conned into voting for Bush in the last election, but now that I’m in Iraq, out of the range of the beams, I’ve seen the light.
I admit it all. You win. Will you leave me alone now?
(This is incoherent, I know…just deal with it. Also, for the sarcasmally challenged, the above paragraph was a fabrication. Neither I nor any member of B Company has wired up anybody’s genitals.)