The Green Zone Follies December 17, 2006

It starts out with latrine rumor, highly negative stories, bitter griping and verbal trashing of superior officers. Then it proceeds to groups of men getting together, informally at first, and giving vent to their growing anger and frustration.

A loose-knit organization is formed and eventually, gets connected with other unhappy grunts. And then there are acts of sabotage, small and often prankish, to start with but later escalating into serious damage of radio systems, vehicles (by putting molasses or sugar into the oil system or gas tanks, slashed tires, cut wires and so on.)

This progresses to more violence to include fragging of hated officers and NCOs, slow-downs in executing orders and then, finally, direct disobedience of specific orders. If we follow this insurgency to its logical conclusion, unchecked it will inevitably lead to rioting, murders of officers, the hated contractors and all kinds of government and diplomatic officials here inside the false protection of the Green Zone.

I know the CID has a list of fragged officers and I am trying to get my hands on it for all of you. Be patient and thank God for small favors!

We have been watching this problem grow here, slowly at first, and disconnected, but now it is starting to emerge in very ugly forms. The basic thesis is that the resistance is becoming well-armed with rockets with which they can blow up entire vehicles, killing everyone inside and that Washington is using the men in a futile effort to save their collapsing careers.

Bush is hated here by practically everyone to a degree that is beyond belief and we here are all really astonished that when Cheney paid his last visit here, he wasn’t blown away.

One of the recurring , and newer, themes here among increasingly furious grunts is that in the mid terms, the American people repudiated Bush and his sick war but Bush is deaf. Plans, well-reported here, that a huge. Residentially-ordered “push” is coming and that tens of thousands of fresh fools are going to be poured into Baghdad for a “final, triumphant victory” drive are met with fury (because it only prolongs the agony of the men now engaged here) and pity for the under-equipped and badly trained men who will most certainly be slaughtered by an increasingly competent and dangerous enemy.

The frantic hope of our brass here is that the dream-world “final push” might, very, very possibly, have some small success (and this will of course be greatly magnified by our captive domestic press) and that the whole murderous business here will come to an end. But most of us who have read the real intelligence and situation reports and been here for more than a year, know far better.

When the first wave of convenience store managers and other weekend warriors is cut to pieces, why it will only provoke the Pentagon (ordered by Bush) to pour in more troops. A senior officer, decent fellow, was in ‘Nam and he said yesterday that the situation here is just exactly what it was there towards the end. Tet showed the world that while the Cong could not win a decisive military victory over us, neither could we win one over them.

No one in Washington wants to bell this nasty and huge cat, so the politicians will dance around making soothing noises while the death and injury tolls soar and Bush rubs his hands together in anticipation of his huge Final Victory Parade down Pennsylvania Avenue., waving joyfully to worshipful crowds on the streets.

This is not working, folks, and nothing will make it work, believe me. There are a hundred thousand exhausted and thoroughly disillusioned men here fighting twenty five million intensely angry, motivated and very well-armed locals.

There is no question that pressures have grown to the point where there will be a serious explosion…this time not from roadside bombs or shaped-charge rockets pumped into weakly armored vehicles, but from the very volatile and outraged military itself.

Even many of the officers are becoming totally disillusioned and many are devastated by the high and continuing death tolls and, even worse, the terrible injuries and mutilations they can see among their own young soldiers. But a far-distant and totally disoriented Bush smiles and closes his eyes and ears while attending state functions and waving at increasingly empty streets. God save us all!”