Eye of the Shitstorm

If I had to pick one song that describes this place, I think I'd choose the 'reanimated' version of "Forgotten" by Linkin Park. Say what you want, it hit the nail on the head.

"We're stuck in a place so dark, you can hardly see
A manner of matter that splits, with the words I breathe
And as the rain drips, acidic questions around me
I block out the sight of the powers that be
And duck away into the darkness, times up
I wind up in a rusted world with eyes shut
So tight that it blurrs into the world of pretend
And the eyes ease open and it's dark again

Listen to the sound, dizzy from the ups and downs
And nauseated by the polluted rot that's all around
Watching the wheels of cars that pass I look past
To the last of the light and the long shadows it casts
A window grows and captures the eye
And cries out, a yellow light as it passes me by
And a young shadowy figure sits in front of a box
Inside, a building of rock with antennas on top
Now, nothing can stop in this land of the pain
The sane lose, not knowing they were part of the game
And while the insides changed, the box stays the same
And the figure inside could bear anybody's name
The memories I keep are from a time like then
I put them on paper so I could come back to them
Someday I'm hoping to close my eyes and pretend
That this crumpled up paper can be perfect again

I'm here at this podium talking, the ceremonial offerings
Dedicated to urban disfunctional offsprings
City governments are eternally napping
And trapped in greedy covenants, causing urban collapsing
And bullets that scar souls, with dark holes, get more than your car stole
Some hearts are blacker than charcoal
This society's deprivation depends
Not on our differences, but the separation within
No reparation is made, limited aide and minimum wage
Living in a tenement cage where innocence pays
Tragedy within a parade
The darkness overspreads like permanent plague"

Each of these days are starting to slide and meld together into blurry mush and its hard to seperate what happened when, and even the events of today are a minor struggle to pull together.

Some of these houses are REALLY nice, you'd be surprised. I'm still not sure exactly how to articulate the way these people live their lives, so I guess I'll leave that one for another day. The people in the neighborhood were really awesome, and I saw some of the cutest little kids. I entertained them, and by them I mean me, by making duck noises at them. I didn't even make ONE kid cry today! Not saying that none of us made any kids cry, just that it wasn't me...

Now you know the drill, I have to spare plenty of details. So here's the big blur, and hopefully it makes a little sense.

"Hey, how long has that guy been there?"

"Uh...just a little after we got here I think."

"Lemme see the binos."

"Got anything?"

"I dunno. Here, keep watching him with these, tell me if he pulls out a cell phone."

"Keep doing what you're doing man. If it looks like he's scouting us, fire a warning shot."


Lots and lots and lots of waiting and watching.

"Hey Suspect, you wanna go sit down and I'll cover for you for a bit?"

"Nah, I'm still waiting for this asshole to pull something stupid. And I called dibs."

"Hahahaha, you make me proud."

After a millenia and some really sore back and shoulder muscles, it turned out to be a false alarm, or atleast didn't present any positive threat.

"Ok, you can switch out with me now."

I went downstairs to chill out and make noises at the little kids and bullshit with my friends. An Iraqi Policeman that was with us was really talkative. Its like they get really giddy when they get to work with us. He spoke a fair amount of English, and rattled off a list of names of Hollywood action heroes that he loved, as well as some American actresses. They seem to have a skewed perception of America, thanks to our overblown entertainment industry.

He was cool enough, but at the same time, I didn't trust him completely. There was a cigarette lighter that was an exact replica of a Beretta 9mm in the living room. We were checking it out and the IP pointed it at my friend's head.

"Hey, dick!" I yelled at him and pushed his hand away. Gave him my best "Don't fuck with me" glare. Fake gun, joking, yeah yeah yeah, I know. But I want it made clear that you don't even JOKE about shooting at me or my guys. He followed me around for five minutes apologizing, and I kept trying to explain to him that it was cool, but I don't think he was convinced.

One of my friends was also shot in the leg today. That's all I knew about it until we got back inside the wire. So we spent about two or three hours with no information or further details. Turns out that the bullet missed the bone, missed the artery, and went straight through. The optimists would say that he was very fortunate.

"No way. He was SHOT. How is that good?" says the pessimist.

I don't know. That's just how it is. And here's the deal:

We aren't the bad guys here. We aren't the saviors either. That's because we're fighting with one hand tied behind our backs and blindfolded. Good people are too afraid to come to us with important information. Most people lie to us and play dumb. The majority of the time, this invisible enemy doesn't attack us, they avoid us. Supposedly they fear us. They fight amongst each other.

I've been told its not just Sunni/Shia and all of that. What else do you think is propagating all of the corruption and all the crime here?


Shoot at Americans, get paid. The politics don't mean shit. Its a paycheck. Attack this clan, get paid. Cash rules the world around you. Dollar dollar bill y'all.

The only thing we really are right now, is the glue that's holding this country in place. Not together, hahaha GOD no. In PLACE. This place would be a MESS if we left. But who knows, maybe it would resolve itself. But in the process, GOOD people would be killed. There is SO MUCH ignorance here, so much hate. Its ridiculous. It defies logic. It proves how stupid, sheeplike, and violent humans can be. Ha, and yet there are things that I probably shouldn't say right now that would help explain a few things.

There is no trust between the Iraqi people. A lot of them know that we're here to do good, but let's face it, our hands are tied, with Mr Nice Guy rules and we're blind because no one wants to tip us off. They can't even trust their own IPs. These people are ruled by FEAR.

WE are not the ones who are going to fix this place. We can only do so much. Its the people HERE who have the power. To tell us where the bad guys are, who's dirty, who's corrupt, to finally PACIFY this place. Once that happens, imagine all the jobs that'll open up. But that IF is larger than life. This security crackdown isn't going to do shit without help from these people.


  1. Anonymous said...
    You are so right on with your ideas. One exception: if our people leave, yes, alot of good Iraqi people perhaps would die, as they are now, including our good people. Please take care. No fooling with the guns, Mr. Iraqi policeman!
    4/2 mom
    Jessie said...
    *hands you some pie* I can't offer much, but you totally deserve some pie. *nods*

    Also, do you need to borrow my godmom's cast iron cornbread pan to knock some sense into these people? Cause you totally can. We have two of them. ;)

    And you mean Paris Hilton being released from jail isn't the most accurate depiction of the American people? Surely you jest! That couldn't possibly be less important than the some big death trial. Of course not. It must be important to know how much money she spent eating and what she ordered in the three weeks.
    Anonymous said...
    Uh..let me clarify...yup, if we leave, regular folks will probably continue to die there, and our soldiers will also continue to pay the price there, so let's at get our people to a safe place. My soldier is one of you and I am so thankful that you write of life and experiences there so descriptively...philosophically as well as with the poetry of the times. We want you all home now. Take care.
    4/2 mom
    Anonymous said...
    I'm gonna have to say it: you obviously know what your job is. The problem is those who don't want you there don't want you to finish that job, so they're making sure your hands are tied. It's not politically correct to kill people who want you dead. So, answer this one, T.U.S.: would you rather come home when you finished the job, or just come home regardless of what happens afterwards? I'm guessing you'd like your hands untied, take care of business, and then you can look back 10 yrs from now and say you accomplished something. The fact is, anti-war protestors will not allow you to do the job right. So, just keep yourself safe, keep the guys around you safe, and come on home. It's obvious the other side thinks you guys are a bunch of wussies.
    Anonymous said...
    This debate needs to take place somewhere else; not on this blog. Please stop.
    Jenni said...
    You've never let others' opinions sway you, regardless of the subject, so I can't really see these, or any other comments even fazing you. :)

    The people that want you [American soldiers] to pull out, well, I'd say for a lot of them it's probably because they have loved ones over there who they don't want to be hurt, which is understandable. All they see on the news is "X soldiers killed in action." They don't get to see what's going on in reality. As for what's really going on over there, you're the one that's living it. We don't see what you see on the news...so who are we [some who are anonymous readers who don't even know you] to judge your comments?

    I would love to have you home right now, but you're doing something that you felt was your duty, and I respect that. Even though you might not feel like you're making a difference, you are. Even if it's just showing some Iraqi kid we're not heathens or whatever they call us Americans. =)
    membrain said...
    I completely agree with your sisyer R. If you want to get a big picture view of all the shit you do each day I've posted an article by Colonel David Killcullen, senior advisor in Iraq on counterinsurgency to General Petraeus on my blog. It should shed a bit of light on this for you. I hope so anyway. Keep on quackin' like a duck and stay as safe as you can. I've been following this excellent blog for too long for you to f*%# up now dude.
    Strykeraunt said...
    Thank you for sharing your reality. This is not the first time I have heard the same frustrations you share here. As Jenni mentioned above, there is no way that I can add to or debate your reality because I'm not there.

    Take care and stay safe
    TheUsualSuspect said...
    "This debate needs to take place somewhere else; not on this blog. Please stop. "

    There is no debate about it. If you want nothing but action, rent a movie. If you have a problem with this, you can always read Ann Coulter's articles instead.

    I'm not saying we can't win here. I'm just saying that our situation is legitimately fucked and this is how it is. FOX News isn't going to tell you this.

    I'm sure you have your own justifiable reasons for commenting with that, and I can respect it, but this is my take on things.
    Danielle said...
    Come home safe soon. And that Iraqi policeman is mean!
    Anonymous said...
    i spent last year in iraq and i would have to %100 agree with your assessment of the situation over there, im sure it hasnt changed much, or it will change much

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