Now this company has solidified its reputation with me. First of all, everyone is fine, no one got hurt. I wasn’t even there. I got put on quarters today because I’ve got the flu. No biggie, I wasn’t supposed to go along on this ride anyway.
So they went out, got about 10 kilometers out, and the road exploded. Thus far no big problem, I mean the explosion probably sucked but hey, its all a part of war. Now the shit started to come down from on high that pisses me off.
The IED went off within a stone’s throw distance of two villages. So that says to me that the people in that village are either Taliban or they know who put the IED there. Now did the command allow the guys who were out there to search these villages or do anything about the fact that one of our vehicles just went “kaboom” Nope, not a thing, don’t do anything, just RTB. (Return to base)
How can this be? These people are trying their hardest to end our lives. Why is it that we cannot go out there and find them? What is everyone so scared of? Why do we continue to do the same things over and over, while expecting a different result? (Definition of insanity!)
You want to know what really freaked me out the most? Well even if you don’t I am going to tell you. It truly bothered me that I wasn’t more concerned with this than I was. When they told me that an IED had gone off, I became concerned for the three seconds that it took them to tell me that no one had been hurt, and then all I wanted to do was go back to sleep. That is truly wrong. I couldn’t have cared less once I found out no one was hurt.
I could say that I am getting used to the explosions and what not, but that isn’t the case. The fact of the matter is that everyday that we are here I become more jaded about my command. More and more I am beginning to feel that I have more to fear from my chain of command than I do from the Taliban. All I keep thinking is that this command is not going to be happy until they do something that gets someone hurt, and there isn’t a thing in the world that I can do about that.
I mean these mother fuckers set an IED less than seven miles from our house and they do nothing about it. Here is another fact for all you good people out there, in this country you cannot operate without the consent (coerced or freely given) of the people in these villages. Everyone has a damn gun, everyone has a tribe, everyone is a suspect. Now our ability to operate is for the most part coerced by our simple fire superiority. Which I don’t mind, I kind of like having bigger guns than the other guy.
But I got a little off topic there, the truth is that we needed to roust these villages. We needed to get all up into their business. We needed to make some friends, we needed to identify some enemies, we needed to check for bomb making material, we needed to gather intel. We needed to do so many things, but what did we do? We sent out a tow truck and brought everyone home. Basically we tucked our tail in between our legs and ran home. Do you think for one second that the Taliban wasn’t watching?
Maybe someday I’ll get lucky and we’ll have one of those good old fashioned wars, where one country gets pissed off at another one and brings all it’s shit and all it’s soldiers and they go at it. But that isn’t what we get here. We get exploding roads, and a never ending cycle of bullshit.
There are two conflicting sides to this inside my head, and they are beginning to make my head hurt so I think I may be losing some of my vaunted intelligence.
First side: What we are doing! Which is next to nothing. We do the same thing day in and day out. We never make any effort to change our tactics, we never try to befriend the people, and if we do we get smacked down by the commander. We go out, drive around and then we come back, sometimes we explode sometimes we don’t. We go out, drive around and then we come back, sometimes we get shot at, sometimes we don’t. Same thing, everyday. It’s groundFOB day!
Second Side: What we could be doing. We could be helping these people, we could be learning from them, we could be protecting them from the Taliban, we could be improving their lives. We could get off our asses and get out there and fight these mother fuckers that blew up the World Trade Center, and three of our trucks so far.
But that isn’t going to happen, and for that I am sorry. I feel for the people of Afghanistan, I feel for the people back home, but I feel the most for the soldiers. Most of the guys here are what I like to call “true believers”, they are too young yet to know just how fucked up the world is, and I guess that there is a part of me that is still a true believer also.
They truly believe that we are fighting for freedom, they truly believe that what we do here is actually making a difference, they truly believe that every morning when they get up they are going to help change the world. I truly envy them. I wish I could still believe like they do.
But that is not the case, not anymore.
I love you mom...