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

Dec 29, 2009

I Think I'm Going To Puke...

This little fucking douche bag was in the same company as me in Afghanistan! I will never forgive him for this!



Some of what he said is true, but he takes it way too far. And last time I checked sledge hammers do kill flies!

Later,

I love you Mom...

Dec 28, 2009

If Only. Those are truly the saddest words in the world...

I know that I just asked for help with writer's block in my last post, but I think I may have come up with something.

Does anyone remember how I talked about all the volume on life being turned down by my experiences in Afghanistan?

Well that's a true statement. Probably just a bit too true.

I've been saying, "If Only" to myself a lot lately. And that truly sucks.

Regret has become a fairly common state of mind for me lately. And I'd have to say that in my experience thus far. Regret is probably the worst emotion that I've ever felt.

I've had a lot of time to reflect on my life. Which is thinking, and we all know that thinking is not a good thing for me. I've gone as far back as high school and second guessed myself.

If only...

I did this.
I didn't do that.
I asked her out.
I didn't ask her out.
I went here.
I went there.
I didn't go here.
I didn't go there.
I tried a little harder.
I tried a lot harder.
I worked a little more.

I wonder where my life would have led if I didn't have the personality traits that I've got.

If only...

I wasn't so bull headed.
I wasn't so easily angered.
I was more patient.
I was more dedicated.
I was more diligent.
I was more loving.
I was less demanding.

And on and on it goes...

Bad things, brain is doing bad things.

Now the volume on all of that has been turned down. Which I'm thinking might be a horrible thing for me.

You see, I've created quite a comfortable little life for myself. I've got a great job. Money wise, I make more than most people and I've got federal benefits which most people would give their left nut for. I've got a nice place, with nice furniture, a nice car, nice clothes, nice this and nice that. I have no problems paying my bills. I have no real issues at all. Everything is going wonderfully.

And I've gotten quite used to it. And quite comfortable. And its quietly and comfortably sucking the life out of me!

I read a story tonight that brought all this on, so I guess I should share it with you. But we'll give you the condensed version.

This guy Cortes went to Mexico a long time ago to conquer the land and loot all the gold.

He only took 500 guys with him.

His guys grew discontented with him because they were afraid of the Aztecs that were running Mexico at the time and numbered about half a million.

They mutinied and tried to kill him.

He talked them out of it.

He realized that his men were only thinking of riches and since they couldn't really easily get them in Mexico because of the Aztecs they started thinking of home and their wives and families.

They were distracted, and only thinking of everything but the task at hand. Which was subduing Mexico.

So he had to figure out a way to make them focused and get them on board with what he wanted to do.

So he burned, or ran aground all his ships.

There was no escape for any of them.

They had no choice but to fight ferociously and conquer Mexico, which they did. Two years later.


Okay, so what does that say to me? Cortes put his men at death's door. He offered them no escape, no way of backing down. They had only one choice, fight! Live your life, and live it right now. Live it here, and live it now. Because tomorrow you are going to run into an Aztec who may or may not turn your hide into a hat!

I have no ships to run aground.

I have no Aztecs to conquer.

Now I just have to figure out how to make them up in my head.

Now I'm thinking, If only I were born in Cortes' day.

Ah, maybe I'm nuts. But the principle is there. I don't like the way that life feels anymore. I don't like the lack of urgency. I despise the comfort of it all. I wish that I had a Hun to slay. I wish that I had a battle to fight. I wish that I knew how to deal with that. But so far I've got nothing.

If only...I had some good advice.

Anyway,

Later,

I love you Mom...

Dec 25, 2009

HELP...

Me with writer's block.

I've been wrestling with what I should write about now that I'm not in Afghanistan anymore. I mean that place was an endless well of inspiration for hilarious posts. But now I'm back to normal life and I am running short of shit to write about...

What do you want to hear about?

Later,

I love you Mom...

Dec 18, 2009

The War Of Misplaced Priorities...

That's very well how Afghanistan might be remembered. The jury is still out on that one.

I actually heard a little snippet on the news the other day saying that somebody estimated that there are only about 100 Taliban/al Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan.

Then I read this article on MSNBC.com

Hard Line Pakistani Schools Lure Foreigners

Okay, so I'm sure all of you remember me telling you over and over again about the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. It sucked.

Why did it suck? Well besides being in Afghanistan, it was the place where the bad guys came from to cause all the fun.

Its been said, and given the fact that I watched it happen, that the Afghan/Pak border is pretty porous.

That's an understatement. The bad guys roll over the border, plant a few IED's, throw some lead at an unsuspecting patrol or two, stop off for a goat stew dinner, say their prayers and are back, safely in Pakistan before it gets dark!

Now we all know that there have been a few news stories here and there about American incursions over the Pakistani border. And I'm not naive enough to think that certain units are not operating on the other side of that border.

However, nothing large scale is going on over there. For us.

For them, Pakistan is huge. Pakistan is where they launch their fun little outings from. Pakistan is where they recruit, train, educate, equip and deploy their minions from.

So basically, if you want to look at it from a very cynical point of view. So far the best that the Afghan war has been able to do is move the terrorists base of operations from one country to the next.

They're still there. Still just as big a pain in the ass as ever and for whatever reason we aren't going to get them.

I've been arguing for the securing of the Afghan/Pakistan border being the most important priority any military/political effort in Afghanistan can have. Anyone who thinks otherwise, quite frankly, is either stupid or isn't looking at the facts.

You can't fix your flooded basement until you stop the water from coming in. Get it!

Now another war in Pakistan is obviously out of the question. Without a major event or shift in public opinion that'll just never fly. Nor would I want it to.

But the border has got to be shut down. The border needs to be secured. Simple. Not at all easy, but simple.

I'm starting to wonder what kind of enemy we are fighting when entire schools are dedicated to finding, educating, training, and radicalizing students and then passing them on al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations.

Its like minor league baseball over there. Learn here with us for a few years and then we'll send you on to the big league. Kind of creepy to think about. They actually take children, and completely brain wash them into radical Islamist nut jobs.

A fundamental shift in thinking is in order here. The most important real estate in Afghanistan is the 5 miles to the west of that border. The lion's share of American forces should be there if you ask me. (No one ever does.) I mean at one time we had 160,000 troops in Iraq. You're telling me that we can't get enough guys over there to secure that border.

I've beaten this horse for a while, and I am going to continue to beat it because it isn't dead yet.

How do you expect to build a viable police and military force there when you have Taliban coming across the border to corrupt the process?

How do you expect to get any infrastructure projects finished when the Taliban can slip over the border and blow it up nightly?

How do you expect to get anything done when the people that are working against you can come right on over and fuck up the works whenever they're feeling froggy?

Prevention is the best medicine, or so I've been told. Shut that border down and I'd go so far as to say that greater than 50% of the bullshit that goes on over there would come to a screeching halt. Prevent them from coming over and fucking things up, and then maybe some work could actually get done.

Once again, it won't happen but I can dream can't I?

Later,

I love you Mom...

Dec 14, 2009

One Drag Queen+House Music=My Take On People Today...

Alright, so I've told you in the past that I think that the vast majority of people are not worth the air and food it takes to keep them alive. Or maybe I haven't but that's it, that's the way I feel about a lot of people. Probably at least 90% of the human population today. It can go as high as 99.99% depending on when you catch said people.

First of all there's the drag queen. The six foot blonde Mexican that lives next door to me. Its got the whole package, skin tight dress, long blonde hair, nice rack, and a penis...

Then there's the house music (which I didn't know people even listened to anymore). Could've sworn that shit was outlawed along with Kid N' Play in 1996. But apparently this stuff still exists, and drag queens love it. And they like to play it, at insane decibel levels, in the apartment next to mine, until the wee hours of the morning.

So I went over there at 1:30 a.m. I was pissed, I wanted to sleep. I beat on the door like a cop. I assume they looked out and saw that I wasn't a cop and decided not to answer the door. I know for a fact there is no way they didn't hear me at the door, because I damn near unhinged the thing beating on it. I mean I started out just knocking, but between the music and my anger level I couldn't control myself all that long.

Woe is me, no answer. What to do? I know, call the cops...they fix things.

Called the cops, they came, talked to the drag queen, told it to tone the party down. They left, walking right past my door, almost falling over their own feet laughing about the appearance of my neighbor.

It toned it down, for about as long as it took for the parking lot to become bacon free.

Then it went right back up. And the aforementioned series of events was repeated.

With no result, until they finally decided to pack it up at 4:30 a.m. Normally, I don't really care about stuff like this. I'd usually be pretty pissed that I couldn't go to the party. However, tonight I'm tired.

But no consideration. For me, for the other people in the building, the cops, or anyone but themselves. Not an ounce of common courtesy in them. Or anyone else for that matter it seems.

How many times have you seen some punk dude, not hold the door open for an old lady?

How many times have you had to listen to a bunch of teenage girls talking on their cell phones right in the middle of a store at maximum volume?

How many times have you seen someone rush to get to the front of the line at the store and damn near knock everyone else over?

When was the last time someone offered to help you into the house with all your shit from the grocery store?

When was the last time some kid came over and shoveled an old couple's driveway after the first snow of the year? (I didn't volunteer but the mom always made me do this. I ended up shoveling 2 driveways and a block's worth of sidewalk because of her!)

And on and on and on...

I almost lost it once and became a felon when my mother walked into a department store to buy a birthday present for my cousin. My mom's a big lady, no way around it. I love her to death but she's no light weight. And my cousin, at the time anyway, was a 110 pound waif. Not to mention my mom was like 50 at the time and my cousin was maybe 26 or 27. So it was one of those fashionable stores that young chicks like.

So anyway, mom and I walk in. Girl walks right up to my mom and says, "Ma'am, we don't have anything here that would fit you!"

Completely flabbergasted. (Yep, I know that word, of course I'm not quite sure I used it right) my mom and I turned around and left and she had to spend the next 10 or so minutes convincing me not to kick the little bitch's ass. I do believe there are exceptions to the hitting a woman rule. Like when they deserve it!

So where am I going with this? What happened to common courtesy? Why is it that I am still terrified that my mother will jump out from behind a corner and belt me one if I didn't open the door for a woman, regardless of age, to include toddlers.

Please and thank you. As long as they aren't family, its a requirement.

Yes Ma'am, no ma'am, yes sir, no sir. The army beat that one into my skull.

Helping old ladies...that one just comes natural, if I do say so myself.

Knowing that the things I do affect others, and knocking it the fuck off when it affects them negatively. Dear old mom beat that one into me...with a belt.

Without sounding like I am tooting my own horn. I was taught the right way to do things. Apparently, teaching the right way of doing things isn't a real high priority anymore.

However, I do have a solution. (The following is a joke, but it just might work)

Someone once said, "An armed society is a polite society."

Require handguns to be owned and carried by every American citizen old enough to drive.

Make breaches of etiquette punishable.

By the person who was offended.

By allowing them to whip out their weapon and put a bullet in your ass.

You name on kid who wouldn't hold the door for granny if he feared her taking aim at him from behind her coke bottle glasses, with her shaky hands and putting a round right in his ass!

I'm telling you, you can't tell me you wouldn't love the idea of being able to shoot someone dead in the ass for pushing you out of the way on their way to a doorbuster deal on black Friday.

Well, it'll never happen but I can dream, can't I?

But its worth some thought, it could be fun. But until we get there, teach your and everyone else's kids some manners will ya?

Later,

I love you Mom...

Dec 7, 2009

Are You Fucking Serious?

Just got done reading something, its funny. Its the government and the military to a T. Can't get around the ridiculousness of some of the things that go on...

Read it and tell me what you think.

Read all about the military giving shit to Iraqis that soldiers in Afghanistan need.

Good relations or not, American soldiers needs are more important.

Later,

I love you Mom...

Dec 3, 2009

So Here's What I Think...

I wrestled with the title of this for a while. God only knows why. But I couldn't really come up with anything better than that. Which is unfortunate. I thought I was better at this.

So anyway, I couldn't watch Obama's speech because unlike anywhere from 10-20% of the citizenry (depending on where you live.) I had to work. So I downloaded a copy of the President's speech and read it. Highlighting along the way the things that I picked out that I liked and agreed with, along with the things that bugged the shit out of me. So from here on out I'll start with a quote and then tell you why I liked it or thought it was complete bullshit.

"As we know these men belonged to Al Qaeda-a group of extremists who have distorted and defiled Islam, one of the world's great religions, to justify the slaughter of innocents."

Complete bullshit. I've read the Koran. All that shit about smiting the infidels necks and killing those who will not convert and subjecting non-believers to dhimmi status (look it up) is all true. So any religion that will espouse tactics and actions like that is not a great religion. Don't worry, I'm not real thrilled with any organized religion. It just so happens that right now we're talking about Islam.

"After escaping across the border into Pakistan in 2001 and 2002, al Qaeda's leadership established safe haven there."

Totally agree. They roam freely across that border. I watched them do it. This is somewhat akin to a snowball fight between your kids and the neighbors kids. Except in this case there's a rule that says your kids can only throw snowballs at the neighbor kids when they are on your property. So long as they are in their own yard your kids can't do anything to them. They roam freely across that border, and Pakistan is claiming (and Obama is claiming) that they are our allies. Well then let us come and stomp around in your yard a little bit and find these animals.

"Afghanistan is not lost, but for several years it has moved backwards."

Agreed. Corruption in the government is rampant. I mean the things they have going over there would make Mayor Daley of Chicago blush. The police and military are making strides but they still have a way to go. The simple truth is that so much was put into Iraq, that there wasn't much left over for Afghanistan. Resources, intellectual, military, financial, diplomatic, and otherwise were poured into Iraq when they rightfully belonged in Afghanistan. So maybe now that Iraq is winding down there will be the resources that Afghanistan so desperately needs.

I'm going to skip around the speech and put a few of these together now. They focus on the same point.

"And as Commander in Chief I have determined that it is in our vital national interest to send an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan. After 18 months, our troops will begin to come home."

"I reject this course because it sets goals that are beyond what we can achieve at a reasonable cost, and what we need to achieve to secure our interests. Furthermore, the absence of a timeframe for our transition would deny us any sense of urgency in working with the Afghan government."

Agree/disagree. Now there is the standard argument that's been flying around all the 24 hour news channels that you can't put a timeframe on it. You just have to stay until its done. But anyone who has ever been in the military knows, the more work you get done, the more work they'll make you do. That's pretty simple.

I disagree with the 30,000. General McCrystal asked for (I think) 40,000. If a commander asks for something, within reason, give it to him. I don't think that shaving off 10,000 troops is anything more that bowing to Democratic party. I don't know for sure, but that's what it seems like. An effort by Obama to make this a little more palatable for his party.

The timeframe on the other hand, I can get on board with that. 18 months might be a bit quick, but that sense of urgency that he talked about is something that will be a master motivator. If you've ever read Robert Greene's ,the 33 laws of war, you'll know that one of the laws is "Back yourself into a corner." Its a simple rule of animal instinct. When you chase a dog, it'll run. When you back a dog into a corner, it will fight like a fucking lion.

18 months is a pretty small corner to be backed into. I like the psychology here. Obama is blatantly backing US military commanders and Afghan government and military officials into a corner. He's basically telling all of them, "You've got 18 months to get this shit done, and if you don't pull it off by then I'm pulling the rug out from underneath you." I like that. Light a fire under their asses. Maybe it will loosen things up a bit over there. Get some of those rules of engagement changed so that we're not hamstrung with what we can do. Maybe inspire a little outside the box thinking from US and Afghan commanders. Maybe get them to start saying to themselves, well this hasn't really been working the past 8 years, its not going to work the next 18 months so we HAVE to come up with something new.

"We will support efforts by the Afghan government to ope the door to those Taliban who abandon violence and respect the human rights of their fellow citizens."

Complete bullshit. Sorry, but this sounds an awful lot like you are installing a valet at the door to the henhouse and he's supposed to just let all the foxes in. If you can find the Taliban, kill them. Simple. These men will not change. This is where I get really angry. Allowing people that tried, and will continue to try to kill Americans to become a part of the Afghanistan that we are partnering in building. Its sorta like setting up a rollaway bed in the basement for the guy who banged your wife. Its an all around bad idea.

Last one I want to leave you with for today is this...

"Let me be clear, none of this will be easy."

WELL THANK YOU CAPTAIN OBVIOUS.

Overall, I think the Prez has some good ideas. Some of his ideas are bullshit. Some are misguided, some are a little goofy. But the man's got a plan. Now at least there's that. A plan, and not some dopey old man in a flight suit on an aircraft carrier telling us "mission accomplished" right as the whole thing was really kicking off.

My ideas for winning in Afghanistan are simple.

1. Send enough troops to secure the Pakistan border. You put enough guys over there that NO ONE can get over that border without bumping into some GI sleeping on guard shift. No one can come over the border, set the IED's and slink back undetected. No one can hit American convoys without running into several hundred, heavily armed, pissed off Marines. Security will improve exponentially with this simple, but exceedingly difficult step.

2. We've got enough guys to train the Afghani government. The entire US military police corps should be dedicated to training the Afghani National Police, and set aside a few battalions of infantry to handle the Army.

3. Finish that fucking ring road and get that country interconnected. Commerce will improve and the entire country's economy will benefit. When the money starts to flow and there are jobs and economic development I think it would be a bit easier to keep recruits away from the Taliban.

4. When the Afghani's are ready, pass the torch and roll on home. If you ask me, so long as the Pakistani border is secured this wouldn't take very long. It might even go as fast as 18 months.

Now the final question I have is this...I don't remember for certain, but at any time in his speech, did Obama mention the word "Victory"?

Hmmm

Anyway, I'm done.

Later,

I love you Mom...