Bones of Baghdad Part One (Revised in Place)

“The fact of the matter on the ground was that American Soldiers were taking up arms with the Insurgents”

In an after-action report; a buck sergeant broke from reading the report to a gaggle of second and third stringers.  Some of them woke from their stupor when his candor changed.  A DoD official ran from the other side of the conference room and flicked off his mike and hissed, “shut the fuck up, asshole”

Sgt. Morris was used to the interference from the suits at DoD; especially when someone said something that made any battle seem like there was less than total victory on the part of the US forces, but he had never heard one of the flacks curse before, especially in the presence of a room full of reporters.  He pushed back from the table, stood up and began to walk from the room, ignoring the questions from the reporters, who awoke far too late.

The Flack, Marist Johnson (Masters in Business Administration) followed, “Private More-Ris,” he drawled. “Priv-eht More-rr-iss” he drew it out.  This was how they threatened you in the DoD. “You will stop and listen to me when ah address yew.”

Sgt. Morris turned and faced the shorter, flustered man and stared deeply into his eyes. “Yes?”

Marist stopped and smoothed his suit, “as I uh, was saying.  You can’t tell the press that American boys and girls are fighting other Americans.  How would that look on the news?”

“Frankly, sir, I don’t care how it looks, not after today.  This is just the latest fuck-fest in a long line of them in haji-land”  Sgt. Morris wanted very much for the Dod flack to simply burst into flames and leave him to return to his duty, but Marist pressed the issue.

“Look Priv-eht More-iss, I know you don’t like lah-ing to the press, but we have to maintain the appearance that we are winning this wo-ah” 

Marist sniffed and turned back towards the conference room, Morris stalked into the HQ ready room and sat at his Desk, waiting for the next round of reports to come in from the walls of the Emerald City.

The room was protected by a coterie of young solders with bright new XM8 carbides, all looking hot and bored.  These new recruits were the highest scoring marksmen in their given class, which wasn’t saying much as standards always seemed to find a new low in Sgt. Morris’s eyes.   He looked over the computer screen on his Public network terminal, watching for his words to show up in the news wires.  They didn’t; the DoD had already smoothed them out of the actual record.    Instead the after-action report contained no information about the actual fight that had happened that morning, and instead spoke about how reliable the power was in American Controlled Baghdad.

That control extended to the borders of the Green Zone and no further.  Outside the concrete walls of the Green Zone, Baghdad was in chaos and no one new about it save the people in the Green Zone itself.

A major contributor to that Chaos was the fact that not a single American Soldier had left the confines of the Green Zone or the Baghdad Militarized AirZone in a month.  After US civilian and military casualties had hit the 4 digits in two days, the Brass decided to consolidate their forces in the only fully protected zones of Iraq and simply wait out the ensuing carnage.  All the while; the DoD would put out stories of reduced troop deployments as a sign of Americas impending victory in the desert.

Sgt. Morris called over a one of the numerous DoD functionaries that inhabited the offices and handed her a card with a stern request that she hand-deliver it to the CiC liaisons at the top floor of the central HQ, with an even sterner warning that the contents were eyes-only for the CiC liaison’s office.

She nodded curtly and hurried off to the elevator stack.

Morris sighed and resumed reading the wires, hoping that some detail about what was really going on in Iraq was going to show up.  Nothing.  He compiled another report on his findings and passed it along in the closed network to his CO and retired to the barracks.

Despite the ongoing carnage outside the walls of the Emerald City, the streets within were full of unconcerned shoppers, diplomats and Iraqi wealthy.  While the fighting was pitched and frantic outside, it had been weeks since a rocket or mortar had been seen in the Green Zone.  The Insurgents were more focused on hand-to-hand battles in the streets than they were about getting at the Americans.  Some American soldiers and contractors had even given up and simply joined the battle, if the after-action reports were to be believed.

Even now, in the waning evening, the sounds of conflict and wailing of the dying could be heard.  Most of the people in the Green Zone slept with ear plugs just to block them out.

Sgt. Morris found he could only sleep when he was listening to old podcasts from the middle of the War, when they were still wrong about Iraq and the Army was actually getting somewhere.

As he drifted off, he thought he could hear the guns outside drift off, in the Doppler of drowsiness they just faded into nothing and he was gone.

On Vox: Missing: One Tubby Blogger

Hey Blog, sorry I’ve been away so much.

I finished “Choke” today, let me confide in you that I had to read it in small doses, as I only seemed to find time to read it on the can.  I took it out this afternoon and finished it.  I think Karl will like it.

Let me also confide in you that I am very afraid that I will have to leave even more stuff behind.  I’m going to visit U-Haul to find out if I can actually tow one of their trailers (I have a U-Haul hitch on the car already, so I may be all set)

I’ve been on the Facebook alot lately, so sorry for that.

We sold some furniture this week, which is bittersweet as we only made 75 bucks.  I need to make up about 800 bucks in cash to pay off all of our immediate debts, so that I don’t have to rely on credit.

Someone would tell me that I should save my pennies now, but I get out so little, that the times I do go out and spend, I like to enjoy myself.  I should get out with the Camera more though,  tomorrow.   I mean, I’ll have a new lens by then; I’ll HAVE to go out.  My new flash arrive next week, so does my new camera bag.

I am spending this money now to round out my kit more before I am on the other side of the border; where my purchase power will be reduced.

I’m very uncertain about this move, as I am giving up so much for it.  Maybe I’ll be able to snag that trailer and relieve some of the worry.  We’ll see.

I’m not hitching my star to it yet.

Originally posted on nitemayr.vox.com

Handwritten Journal Posts

Here are some random thoughts from my journal:

My Writing is terrible in this thing.

07/14/2004

New Phase, New Day

What paltry and sublte freedoms. Subtle nuances. It’s a short short shrift. This small and turgid pool, this feteid debate. This debacle. Come born fully formed and well, well retarded no more. The win will even hold this one.

“till I hear it put to me that way, I was unsure f what warbling was. It was never a sound of much consequence then.

Now it is the pressent but only the apparition of the new. The Past is the past of all your tommorows and the past is just taking you and will have you when you are dead.

07/22/2004

Faking an ugly death and then being you, you gotta go.

This is the state of political discource; to wit: yell yell yell, snarl snarl snarl, scream scream scream!

The young couple in the seat ahead of me are in dire need of a room, fast. This is a bus kids, keep your fumbling to your bedrooms, thanks kids.

I wonder if these kids know that this screaming baby, that is on this bus, is the actual direct result of where they are headed now? I mean, the boy is a dirtbag and the girl just seems to want his approval. Oh, they have left he bus.

For it rips the seal, keep it in your pants kids.

NOTE: This is as incoherant as it sounds, right?

On Vox: Ah, Bottle Thieves

Ahh Bottle Thieves.

We have a problem with garbage pickers in my neighborhood, people pick through our collective garbage and take stuff, they do it at night as if that would cover them up.  It’s a l rustle rustle clang, clink clink.

So, this is going out back behind me and I walk out to listen, yup, bottle thieves.  I say out loud “That sounds like a withdrawal; not a deposit” and suddenly the clinking stops, car doors close and two guys drive off.  If they were residents, they would have known that the road next to my house was the way out, they just went deeper into the subdivision, confirming they had no reason to be digging through the garbage near my house,.

I just wanted to hassle them a little, they really didn’t need to stop.  If they want/need the bottles, more power to them.  I just don’t like people rooting through the garbage, as there are a number of ID thieves in the area (one was even profiled on ABC) .

It was a good line and they got the right kind of embarrassed/scared.

Originally posted on nitemayr.vox.com

On Vox: Comedy minus a segue

I thought of this concept, it’s probably not as funny as I think it is.  Oh, it also lacks a segue to make it into a good line…

Speaking of my last visit to the doctor, wouldn’t it be great if there was a medical test called “A Gravy Stain”? It sounds cute and all, but it’s like the male version of the pap smear and it involves a scraping from the lower intestine.  On second thought, that wouldn’t be very great at all.

There it is, I’m not even sure if this is wholly original, but I don’t usually write down a bit like this.  Maybe someone will be inspired.

Originally posted on nitemayr.vox.com

On Vox: Some Fireworks were expended

    Some of tonight was spent jumping back from fireworks:

Okay, alot of it was.

We went to a party and Kari's house in Springfield and had some nice barbecue and political debate.  Not a bad way to spend Fourth of July evening.

I spent this morning and much of the afternoon looking for a specific file and talking to Lynette and her new Friend Kat.  Both of whom are promising to model for Jen and I when we move up to Kincardine.

Originally posted on nitemayr.vox.com