24 June 2008

Bile XXXIII, The First Bile From the Front

...And so we come to the back end of these things. For the below post, I was in Fallujah, Iraq with 2/7. Skinning mules, and keeping Jon Riggs in sandbags (long story). I did, however, have some really good friends around who kept it all going. We gelled in that way that happens on good ball clubs, and good Marine battalions. The next few posts will be from that time. I am very proud of the Marines that I went over there with, despite the fact that we all have been marked by "He who shall not be named"...may God have mercy on us all.


  • So there I was…

    Chaos generally has a negative connotation. Pictures of the Conradian nightmare, Lord of the Flies, the Hobbesian State of Nature, my Living Room all come to mind when a chaotic state is spoken of. Sounds forbidding, gloomy, hopeless.

    Well, I don’t know about that. Seems to me that chaos is sort of the natural state of things. Oh sure, we run around this little planet trying to order our little cubicles, but none of it really takes. Entropy is pervasive. We haven’t a prayer at nailing down half the shit we waste our day chasing. Seems to me that we all oughta just kinda slow down and take things the way they’re presented. As someone comes into my orbit, I generally try to alter their path into a ballistically predictable pattern and watch ‘em fly off. Linear thought is pointless. Things and people run in circles. Accept it, or stand by to get so damn dizzy that you deposit your lunch all over your shoes…

    However, a man who is smarter than I am, by several orders of magnitude, recently wrote that “Serenity is the realm of the ignorant and the defeated”. It was done tongue in cheek, I think, but it is an interesting point of departure. Should we be accepting of those things over which we have no control? Will that ever result in anything truly getting better? Should we not all strive towards an optimal state, and “shout into the forest” until somebody listens?

    Some might. I think there is a moral imperative there that has some merit. The idea of “duty” is to be steadfast in your expectations of yourself and others under your charge. So maybe that’s the right way to act.

    I think Aristotle had it right. You can take anything to an extreme and make it vicious. In this case, having the ability to demand a high standard of conduct of yourself and others is the right and proper thing to do. As long as you can maintain realistic expectations, then there are no problems. However, once you start asking things of yourself and others that are beyond your and their abilities, then you are setting yourself up for disappointment on a grand scale, and the maintenance of a positive attitude towards yourself and all of mankind becomes somewhat problematic.

    And so I find myself. In Iraq. Surrounded by a nation of people who have no concept of a social contract, no idea what is expected of them regarding the daily maintenance of their personal freedoms, with them making deals with both sides of the war in order to make a quick buck and save their asses in the process. Most importantly, they have little or no conception that their problems will begin when we leave, and they are left to tend this tree of liberty with the blood of their own sons. No concept of causality. No drive to make shit happen for the long term. Making plans like most people look for their car keys.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, I’ve been here for a month. I’m so dry (due to General Order #1: "Thou shalt not drink anything") that I could spontaneously combust in the blink of an eye. However, I’ve got a half rack of Beck’s N/A, half a pack of smokes, and enough instant coffee to crunk a corpse.

    Don’t look now your soaking in it…
    Moms of America and Quotes from the Front

    1) “I’ll stand out here and say outlandish shit until you stop paying attention, then I’ll sign a book deal and end up on the Lifetime Channel…”
    Who is this Sheehan woman? The one on Dubya’s front lawn. Why should her sad story be any different than any one of the hundreds of thousands of similar stories about the families of brave men who have been shedding their blood for this country since Georgie Treeteeth was freezing his ass off on the Delaware? How is her story an indictment of anything wrong? Her son took an oath to “support and defend the constitution of the United States against enemies foreign and domestic”. He did so. I’m over here surrounded by a whole nation of people who won’t stand up against tyranny, and this idiot is pissed because my country goes out and finds tyrants to overthrow? Why is she bitching? Why are we listening? Who keeps putting a microphone in front of her?

    I argued with St Michael the other night via email about this. I said that I wouldn’t raise my hand or voice against this woman. My point was that she was displaying normal behavior during the most traumatic of times, and that she wouldn’t be in the news, but for the parasitic fuckers who keep a camera in her face. Now why would these leaches do that, ya’ reckon?

    Because they are trying to start another peace movement, and they’re exploiting the shit out of this rube to do it. The same baby boomers that stood around and bitched about their war in the late sixties are in line to bitch about mine. They have found yet another opportunity to attempt to foist their world opinion, which is based on the lyrics to Beatles songs, upon those of us who are responsible enough to a) have a job, b) pay taxes, and c) don’t enjoy being bombed by Mohammedan fucking radicals. I won’t argue the merits of this war. I’m too close to it, and see above about accepting those things that are pointless to stress over. I will, however, explain exactly why this most recent attempt at a peace movement will fail utterly.

    The late 1960s was a period marked by inconsequential sex, and heavy loads of drugs. These idiots who run the media have these wonderful memories of laying back
    with a buncha stoned assholes and talking about how they were going to make a big score of weed and “change the system from within”. Then they went and got a fucking journalism degree and we’ve been suffering ever since. What’s worse, they have cameras, and everybody wants to be on TV. Now, they only show people on TV who are spewing incoherent shit that pushes their agenda, or who are alternatively either wounded, dying, or suffering in some way that can be manifested visually. So what you see on the tube is generally about as representative of reality as a Domesticated animal that can work an abacus with his penis. What they’ve never seemed to understand is that their worldview has two fundamental requirements:

    1) Ingestion of massive amounts of mind altering substances.
    2) Numerous instances of inconsequential sex.

    The problem with their paradigm is that most people don’t want to get that stoned, and generally can’t score that regularly. Fortunately, we have jobs, we have spouses and kids, and we realize that these are things that must be defended. We realize, after watching two skyscrapers explode, that there are bad guys out here who only want to kill each and everyone of us in the name of their God.

    Fortunately, the adults are running the show again.

    Perhaps the window sticker on one of my LCpl’s pick-up truck sums it up best: “You shut the fuck up. We’ll defend the Country—USMC”

    2) They actually said it:

    -Me, upon discovering a Cpl from Comm Plt sitting at the Bn XO's desk, fixing the XO's computer: "Wait a minute, you're not the XO."
    Reply: "No sir. Not yet."

    "I'm going to go find a long, dark hallway with no windows or doors, and run down it until I hit something."
    -S-3A on "stovepiping" during operations planning at RCT 8.

    "Well, then he'll get along with the Iraqis real well."
    -S-3A, upon being told that a member of the staff has "a little sugar in his gas-tank".

    "I just tell them I'm a garbage man, and hope they don't talk to me."
    -My Company XO, regarding social interaction with members of academia.

    "I think I'd like to cross-deck and stay here. Have you seen how many shitter trucks they have here? I can definitely find a job."
    -My Company XO, again.

    "Good Morning, Gentlemen."
    -S-3A, each day at five successive 1:00 P.M. Ops/Intel meetings.

    "I have no concept of time here."-S-3A
    "You shouldn't. It's either light or dark." -S-3 in reply

    "I like suffering."
    -3A while sitting 12 inches from an AC vent, eating a powerbar.

    "It's a sad day when you have to ask a Jew how to spell Christian."
    -Bn S-2...on a Sunday, no less.

    (Perhaps the most nebulous sentence ever uttered in the English Language) "If you need something to do a certain thing in the COC or otherwise, and don't know exactly what to ask for, explain the problem and we will run it to ground and get you a solution."
    -3A in a draft guidance message to the company cmdrs…about midnight.

    "Appreciate your work. Let me know if you need anything." -3A to young engineer LCpl
    "Sir, you know any tricks to beating a court-martial?" -engineer reply
    "Why are you in trouble for something?"
    "Naah. I figure I probably won't make it through the whole deployment as a Lance Corporal, so I figured I'd ask."

    "LCpl, are you overworked?" -S-2 to his 0231 clerk.
    "Sir, you need to define 'overworked' for me." -0231 clerk reply

    "Listen to the Giant Voice for further instructions." -last line of a placard, on Camp Fallujah, (translated from english, to arabic, and back into english,) explaining the base's nuke/bio/chem immediate action procedures.

    “We need more acronyms ASAP”—S-3A to S-2

    “Sir, I got your email, but what did you mean about those in the "T-O" line owing you input for the slide presentation?” –Communications Officer
    “You mean the “To” line? As in ‘From’, ‘To’, and ‘CC’? S-3A in reply

    “Feel free to Godify it as much as you want.” Me, granting the chaplain a space to hold services in.

    “People’s brains here are spinning so fast it’s ridiculous...They’ve got to go eat a block of cheese or some milk-duds or something to slow themselves down.” S-4

    “At approximately****, an unidentified individual reported that an unspecified group was ready at the encirclement possibly near *****”-Actual intelligence report (asterisks replace classified info)

    “Well, I’m up at MEF [the echelon of command higher than division], so if there’s anything we can do to obstruct or hinder what you’re doing in your area of operations, let us know.” –MEF senior Watch officer

    “I briefed this product request this morning to the CO and the S3, and was told that it was too old of an incident to exploit.” PsyOps Det, explaining why a product that had been in the approval chain for a week could not be executed.

    “That’s it, I’m going back to the Old Testament with these people.” --Rifle Company Commander

    “That’s where inexperience and an Annapolis education meet” -S-2, commenting on a 2ndLt company XO’s command chronology submission.

    “Occasionally, somebody leaves TBS, gets to the fleet, and does pretty well”—former TBS instructor on Lieutenants

    “Chesty Puller made Captain at 38, so I’m right on track” My XO, 1st Lt., age 35

    “I always wanted to be a secret agent” S-2A quoted in a college newspaper

    “I just watched fat, brown men argue with each other for two hours. All they could decide was that they need more meetings” S-2, following his first exposure to the Iraqi “Democratic Process”

    “So, at home, I’ve got this T-shirt with the Periodic table on it, and the radioactive elements glow in the dark. It is sooo cool!” S-2, Homesick.

    “If I want to live in a place that respects individual liberties, I’ll move to southern Thailand, where I can pretty much do whatever I please” S-2, dogged libertarian

    “Have you ever jumped out of an airplane, Marine?” –S-3A
    “Yes sir. Airborne Assault on PS2. The light turned green, and I pushed ‘X’”- S-2 clerk

    “I have surround sound speakers that put more fear in me than receiving live rounds”-S-2 clerk

    I love this one:
    “I’ve got a really simple task for you. SO simple in fact, that I was almost going to do it myself”. S-3 to his S-3A

    “Somebody asked me the other day, ‘what’s it like over there’. I told them to visualize a world that combines ‘Planet of the Apes’ with ‘Escape from New York’.” -S-4

    That’s the best I can do, this go round. The quotes were all documented by my S-3A, Donnie Hasseltine. He’s funny. My project for the next Bile is an accurate portrayal of all the dudes that I work with who can’t crush my balls when I make fun of them in public. Shouldn’t take me long. It’s a fun crowd.

    Be safe, wherever you be.

    Immundus, ergo sum,

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