They Said It Better Than I Ever Could...

These words that I write, they keep me from total insanity. -Charles Bukowski

Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived, or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed? -Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

Apr 19, 2009

Who Put That There...

So apparently, Mr. Taliban man is getting just a tad bolder than usual. Normally, he has set up his little exploding presents far away from our house. I mean he sets them up in places he knows, or at least thinks we might drive over, but never close to the house.

Well, today we found one. We found one about 100 meters from our front door. We found one right on the street. We found one right where we walk just about every other day. Can you imagine what kind of day I would’ve had if we hadn’t found it.

Now we have to sit on this thing until some big wig up in Sharana (the place where all the big wigs live) tells us whether or not we can disarm this thing or if we are going to detonate it in place. I am all for detonation in place. These fucking people want to let them set up IED’s right next to our FOB, then we’ll blow them up right in the middle of all their homes and businesses. It’s unfortunate, but I am beginning to think that the only thing that some of these people understand is pain and suffering. They will support whoever it is that causes them more if they disobey.

This truly sucks. Damn thing is no more than a stone’s throw from where I sleep. Which is entirely too close for me, and there is no way that the Taliban get one of these that close without the cooperation, or at least quiet consent of the people in the village. So let’s put a hurting on them. Maybe its time to show them that fucking with us is a whole lot more damaging than cooperating with the Taliban. Maybe its time to turn this country into a glass factory. Maybe its time to show these people why its a bad idea to fuck with us.

This is one of those times when my brain gets a bit wrapped around the axle. They tell us that we have to be good to the locals. They tell us that we have to win hearts and minds. They tell us that we are ambassadors of American good will. They tell us that not all of the Afghanis are our enemies.

Then they do this. They set a bomb. Ten steps out our fucking front door. I guess when they were out in the desert they didn’t bother me so much. At least when they were out there I could say to myself that these guys (the ones right here) didn’t have anything to do with it. At least I could tell myself that at least not these guys. At least they aren’t trying to kill us. At least there might be some shred of goodness in these fucks.

I guess my naivete is showing. Nope, its my never ending desire to actually believe in that inherent goodness in human nature that I was always told about when I was a kid. I don’t know.
You see, the IED’s that we run into when we are out and about driving around are one thing. They blow trucks up. Trucks that are specifically designed to take a blast. So its almost as if it is a game. We’ll set them, and you guys drive around and we’ll see if we can put them where you’ll hit them. So far we have hit seven or so of them. Worst that happened was one guy got a broken leg. Which, if you ask me, worked out for him. He got to go home and nurse a broken leg, but the key is that he got to go home.

This one on the other hand, if it had not been found, would’ve killed someone, probably a few of us, and would’ve wounded a bunch more. Maybe sent a detached arm or leg flying this way or that. How much fun would that be, send that package home to mom. Wait let me back up. This one was not an IED set to hit a vehicle, this one was laid on a walking patrol route. This one was meant to hit soldiers as they walked by. No armor, no vehicles, just the bullet proof vests that the army had made by the lowest bidder. So yeah, someone would’ve been going home in a bag had this one gone boom.

Uh, anger level rising. Faith in humanity, diminishing. Respect for human life, almost gone. Not to mention, apparently the new company doesn’t want to accept its responsibility for this area of operations and is making us sit on this fucking thing until EOD shows up. Probably in a few days. Until then we have to sit on this thing and watch so that no one sets the fucker off. Fun all around.

Well, I guess there is only one way of looking at all of this anymore. This cannot help but change my perspective on this whole thing just because they set this one right under our noses. To hell with them. To hell with all of them. To hell with this country, and to hell with everyone in it. Maybe I am the only one who thinks about this, this way. If that is the case, that’s cool with me. It doesn’t change the fact that the people of this country, more specifically the fuck sticks here in Waza Khwa, allowed the Taliban to set an IED right in our backyard. An IED that if it had gone off would’ve sent at least a few of us home in boxes, and a few more home minus some limbs. Or I could be wrong and no one would’ve gotten hurt, and it would’ve been nothing more than a loud boom, and a big scare. Either way, they set it so damn close.

See, this is why I hate wars with religious nut jobs, and I hate wars where the guys I am supposed to find and kill look just like the people that I am supposed to give blankets and candy to. This is why I hate wars that are fought with sack of shit, cowardly, wackos who refuse to face us toe to toe. Well if nothing else, this serves as a breakthrough for us. At least now we know where the Taliban are. They are right outside our fucking door. They probably work on the FOB picking up our trash, and washing our clothes. They probably watch us all day and night from just outside our house. Watching, counting, plotting, mapping, and whatever the hell else they do.

Maybe I am just being chickenshit. I don’t know, I guess its possible. Then again, maybe I am the only one who understands the secret of life. What is the secret of life, you ask? NOT DYING. Thats the whole point. Do whatever you have to do to live as long as you can.
That, and just recently after we moved into our new barracks down here on the ghetto end of the FOB, I noticed something on the wall. It’s a picture drawn by one of the countless GI’s that have inhabited this place since the beginning of this war. Its a picture of a mountain of skulls, with the Afghani countryside in the background. Underneath the picture is a cryptic Latin phrase. What is the phrase? Memento Mori. For those of you who don’t know Latin, that means “Remember that you will die, or Remember that you are mortal.” Well thanks a lot asshole, if there is one thing that I don’t need to be reminded of here its my own mortality. But I gotta admit, its a pretty well done picture.

Well all I can really hope for is that we get the fuck out of here as quickly as possible. Then the last few months I am slated to spend in this God forsaken shit hole of a country, go by quicker. Maybe if I get really lucky, that time will be spent in a perpetual state of absolute boredom. No booms, no gunshots, no nothing. Is that too much to ask? Yeah, it probably is. You know how it is, whatever sucks the most!

Alright, I’m done.


I love you Mom...


  1. If I may quote you from my blog:
    "Yup, those F#$%ing things suck."

    Damn IED's.

    Be safe!!!!!
    Stay Strong!
    Pray Hard!


  2. Hi Mud Puppy,
    Wish I could send you music. I am thinking Audioslave's, "Set It Off" would reflect your mood in this post. Damn straight you have a right to be angry. I can't imagine how frustrating it must be to know that the enemy is at the gate and your hands have been tied by your own command. Hang in there Mud Puppy. I would give you a big hug but I am allergic to duct tape!

    He was standing at the rock
    Gathering the fog
    Getting there with no directions
    And underneath the arch
    Turned into a march
    And there he found a spot to set this fucker on

    Set if off
    Set it on my children
    Set it right
    Set it off
    Set it off my children
    Set it off
    Set it on my children
    Set it fire
    Set it off
    Set it on my children

    Suddenly a shot
    Ripped into his heart
    He needed some attention
    And there he played his card
    Going into shock
    The last thing that he said was set this fucker on

    Set if off
    Set it on my children
    Set it right
    Set it off
    Set it off my children
    Set it off
    Set it on my children
    Set it fire
    Set it off
    Set it on my children

    Alright [6x]

    Jesus at the back door
    Everything is alright
    All we need is some direction
    Everytime the wind blows
    Everything you don�t know
    Turns into a revelation
    It all ends up inside your head
    Time is wasted

    Take care Mud Puppy. I am praying for your sanity and your safe return to home and family.

    “There is never time in the future in which we will work out our salvation. The challenge is in the moment; the time is always now.”

    ~ James Arthur Baldwin