Put It in A Box and Go Back to Battle
I should never have opened the fucking mailbox.
Nothing good ever comes of my home mailbox. I have packages, goodies and lovelies, delivered to school. Home is for gas bills, "The Smithville Shopper" and the assorted subscriptions foisted upon me by the various organizations which I deem worthy of my miniscule financial support. Salon gave me the unspeakable joy of US News and World Report, with its Jesus cover stories and pre-election year, wartime illiberalism (remember when they took those photos of burned, hanging contractor bodies in Fallujah and ran with it? Good times). The editorials made me want to polish up my gun for a good conservative shooting spree, and then accidentally shoot myself in the face with it. I gleefully greeted the rough-covered "FINAL ISSUE" (act now!), and may have even burned my last copy, and hung it from a bridge.
Now, thanks to WPLN, it's Newsweek, which is better, if only because I tend to stick my head in the sand through the editorial section, stopping briefly for the quotes and fluff pieces. Today I stumbled upon it on my way to school, Jesus on the cover wouldn't you know, in my mailbox. Brought it along for interesting reading in the carpool hour.
Skipped the Jesus article, endured the woeful but falsely hopeful story of village sanctioned gang-rape in Pakistan ("The U.S. civil-rights campaign had Rosa Parks, who helped spark and entire movement....We have Mukhtar Mai."), screeching halt at the next page (for those of you playing at home, I'm left-handed, and for some reason am compelled to read magazines from back to front).
January 18, the five youngest Hassan children and their cousin have the pleasure of witnessing their parent's deaths at the hands of the United States Army, in the front seat of their moving car on the way home from a relative's house. We've all heard the story, seen the pictures, felt the rage, albeit the exhausted type. I come to you today to quote one Major Dylan Moxness, in defense of the situation, "Put yourself there....You're an 18 year old kid from Tennessee. You don't even understand why these people don't speak english anyway, you're shouting 'Stop!' and the car's still coming at you-you've got to fire."
I gasped for air for a few, wheezed incredulously, screeched some indiscernabilities, and promptly forgot about it. For the five-minute walk to class.
Amazingly enough, we had debates, on the current situation in Iraq. When I say debates, I use the term shockingly loosely. It turned out to be an oral quiz on current and historical events surrounding the middle east.
Apparently, in the Tennessee Board of Regents higher educational system, "I have no idea" not only adequately describes Shiite muslims, the plight of Jews in history, Iran, Afghanistan, WMD's, and, amazingly enough, IRAQ (wait, what were we discussing?), but we doubt the long-term viability (my term, not hers)of a western-style democracy in Iraq because "they aren't as educated as us."
Oh, and the United States Secretary of Defense is.....Colin Powell? Condoleeza Rice? John Ashcroft? Uh....I have no idea.
Gulf War numero uno? Because Saddam invaded (singlehandedly, mind you, man is that guy evil...) SAUDI ARABIA.
I often ask myself "just why is the U.S. so interested in Israel?" Yet the true answer has always escaped me. Thank you, overly-tan girl, for illuminating the subtleties inherent to this extremely intricate subject....
"Wasn't it because we, like, made it, or something??"
And I'm.....speechless. Because I didn't bring a tape recorder and transcribe the entire fiasco for you here.
Thank you, 18-year old soldier from Tennessee, you are faithfully representing your civilian counterparts abroad. I salute you, sir.