June 18, 2012

“€œWell, firstly, we gotta sort out I-raq, this shit should have been done years ago, then we go over to I-ran and do them, then all these A-rab countries all the way to Europe where we sort out France, who the fuck do they think they are?”€ he said as he scraped and stabbed in front of him. And he got plenty of hurrahs for his world-domination plan.

They were upset at France for opposing the war on terror, and after taking over Paris they wanted a victory parade in London before flying home. These soldiers were the future of the United States military. Some may even make it into politics once they”€™d had finished their military terms, which was worrying and exciting. They were in the game and had no doubts. We Brits would talk about them in the privacy of the backs of our Land Rovers as we made brews. They were serious, we would say”€”about taking over”€”and these young men saw themselves as a necessary part of a grand plan and were ambivalent about dying for it. Dying for the cause, which was America”€”that was commitment.

The American military was getting bad press and these Marines were paranoid that the world was against them. They couldn”€™t understand why the world saw their foray into Iraq as negative. But the reasons for the war changed as quickly as the weather in Iraq. We went through blistering heat, numbing cold, windy sandstorms, and rain in the same week. And then he asked:

“€œWhat about you guys? You”€™re with us, right? We”€™re fighting terror, man!”€

We saw their weapons and heard their talk and we were swayed. Yeah, they could do it, we thought, and yeah, we were with them, we”€™d say. We didn”€™t have enough bullets, so yeah, we were with them”€”they had plenty of bullets. And when they said they were going to take over, we believed them and so did they. Their dreams were bigger than ours, and we could see them in charge. That was the thing about the Yanks: They fought and thought big.



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