A DIFFERENT WORLD |
March 20, 2008
A DIFFERENT WORLD
Name: LT G
Posting date: 3/20/08
Stationed in: Iraq
Hometown: Reno, Nevada
Milblog url: http://kaboomwarjournal.blogspot.com/
Here’s an anecdote LT S conveyed to me one night out at the Crow’s Nest over some cigarettes and near-beers. I wasn’t there to witness the following events first-hand, luckily. I probably would have done something hilarious and irrational that would lead to losing my job.
The setting: While on the grand tour of our combat outpost, Major X, a visiting field grade, picks up a stack of newspapers and engages LT S about them.
Major X: “What are these here, Lieutenant?”
LT S: “Copies of one of the Iraqi national papers, Sir.”
Major X: “Why are they here, and not being distributed?”
LT S: “Oh, we do distribute them, Sir. Every patrol that goes out picks up a stack.”
Major X: “That’s excellent to hear. I assume you’re gathering the atmospherics of this distribution?”
LT S: “Atmospherics, Sir?”
Major X: “Why yes, of course. Atmospherics. We need to check on the local-nationals, and ensure they are reading the newspaper.” (Note: While I’ve conducted no official census, I’d be shocked if more than 10 percent of the Anu al-Verona population qualifies as literate.)
LT S, purportedly perplexed: “Why would we … may I ask why, Sir?”
Major X: “Because, it’s important to find out if they are reading them. Like this article here,” finger slams down onto paper brimming with Arabic words, “ -- what is this article about? If we read it, then you could talk to the local-nationals about it, when you’re on patrol.”
LT S: “Sir, that article is about dinosaurs evolving from birds.” Awkward pause. “And Sir, in all honesty, I’m not sure that the papers we give out are really being read right now. I think most of the people use them to stay warm at night.”
Major X: “What? That's absurd! Like for blankets?”
Really awkward pause.
LT S: “Uhh, no, no Sir. For their fires.”
I’ll spare the commentary, and stick with reporting the facts. And not just because I need to start a report that CPT Whiteback delegated from the operations staff to his senior platoon leader to “construct a flow chart detailing the trends and movements of displaced persons (the politically correct term for refugees) returning to Anu al-Verona.”
Uhh … what? Say again, over? A flow chart? Couldn’t you just look it up on Wikipedia? I have a patrol I need to get to.
How we managed to win two world wars without Microsoft Office products, I’ll never know.