If you care at all about what’s going on over in the war zone, you’ve got to read this one and pass it on. From The Sandpit.  An interesting read, a Marine’s View of what is going on.  This young man is articulate and has a flair for colorful language, and descriptive prose.

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From a Recon Marine in Afghanistan:  From the Sand Pit – It’s freezing here.  I’m sitting on the hard cold dirt between rocks and shrubs at the base of the Hindu Kush Mountains, along the Dar’yoi Pamir River, watching a hole that leads to a tunnel that leads to a cave. 

Stake out, my friend, and no pizza delivery for thousands of miles.

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I also glance at the area around my ass every ten to fifteen seconds to avoid another scorpion sting.  I’ve given up battling the chiggers and sand fleas, but the scorpions give a jolt like a cattle prod.  Hurts like a bastard.  The antidote tastes like transmission fluid, but God bless the Marine Corps for the five vials of it in my pack.  

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The one truth the Taliban cannot escape is that, believe it or not, they are human beings, which means they have to eat food and drink water.  That requires couriers, and that’s where an old bounty hunter like me comes in handy.

I track the couriers, locate the tunnel entrances and storage facilities, type the info into the handheld, and shoot the coordinates up to the satellite link that tells the air commanders where to drop the hardware.  We bash some heads for a while, and then I track and record the new movement. 

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It’s all about intelligence.  We haven’t even brought in the snipers yet.  These scurrying rats have no idea what they’re in for.  We are but days away from cutting off supply lines and allowing the eradication to begin.  But you know me; I’m a romantic.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: This country blows, man.  It’s not even a country.  There are no roads, there’s no infrastructure, there’s no government. It’s an inhospitable, rock pit, shit hole ruled by eleventh-century warring tribes. 

There are no jobs here like we know jobs.  Afghanistan offers only two ways for a man to support his family, join the opium trade or join the army.  That’s it.  Those are his options.  Oh, I forgot, you can also live in a refugee camp and eat plum-sweetened, crushed beetle paste and squirt mud like a goose with the stomach flu if that’s your idea of a party.  But the smell alone of these ‘tent cities of the walking dead’ is enough to hurl you into the poppy fields to cheerfully scrape bulbs for eighteen hours a day.

Afghan farmers collect raw opium as they work in a poppy field in Khogyani district of Jalalabad, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, May 10, 2013. Opium poppy cultivation has been increasing for a third year in a row and is heading for a record high, the U.N. said in a report. Poppy cultivation is also dramatically increasing in areas of the southern Taliban heartland, the report showed, especially in regions where thousands of U.S.-led coalition troops have been withdrawn or are in the process of departing. The report indicates that whatever international efforts have been made to wean local farmers off the crop have failed. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Afghan farmers collect raw opium as they work in a poppy field in Khogyani district of Jalalabad, east of Kabul, Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

I’ve been living with these Tajiks and Uzbeks, and Turkmen and even a couple of Pashtu’s, for over a month-and-a-half now, and this much I can say for sure: These guys, are Huns, actual, living Huns.  They LIVE to fight.  It’s what they do.  It’s ALL they do.  They have no respect for anything; not for themselves, their families, or for each other.  They claw at one another as a way of life. 

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They play polo with dead calves and force their five-year-old sons into human cockfights to defend the family honor.  Just Huns, roaming packs of savage, heartless beasts who feed on each other’s barbarism.  Cavemen with AK-47’s.  

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Then again, maybe I’m just a cranky young bastard.

I’m freezing my ass off on this stupid hill because my lap warmer is running out of juice, and I can’t recharge it until the sun comes up in a few hours. 

Oh yeah!  I know you like to write letters, so do me a favor, Bizarre.  Write a letter to CNN and tell Wolf and Anderson and that awful, sneering, pompous Aaron Brown to stop calling the Taliban “smart.”  They are not smart.  I suggest CNN invest in a dictionary because the word they are looking for is “cunning.”  The Taliban are cunning, like jackals, hyenas, and wolverines.  They are sneaky and ruthless, and when confronted, they are cowardly.  They are hateful, malevolent parasites who create nothing and destroy everything else. Smart?  Bullshit!  Yeah, they’re real smart,  Most can’t read, but they’ve spent their entire lives listening to Imams telling them about only one book (and not a very good one, as books go).  They consider hygiene and indoor plumbing to be products of the devil.  They’re still trying to figure out how to work a Bic lighter.  Talking to a Taliban warrior about improving his quality of life is like trying to teach an ape how to hold a pen.   Eventually, he just gets frustrated and sticks you in the eye with it.

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OK, enough.  Snuffle will be up soon, so I have to get back to my hole.  Covering my tracks in the snow takes a lot of practice, but I’m good at it.

Please, I tell you and my fellow Americans to turn off the TV sets and move on with your lives.  The story line you are getting from CNN and other news agencies is utter bullshit and designed not to deliver truth but rather to keep you glued to the screen so you will watch the next commercial.  We’ve got this one under control.  The worst thing you guys can do right now is to sit around analyzing what we’re doing over here.  You have no idea what we’re doing, and you really don’t want to know. 

We are your military, and we are only doing what you sent us here to do. From a Jack Recon Marine in Afghanistan, Semper Fi.

“Freedom is not free, but the U.S. Marine Corps is paying most of your share”.  

Cited on Snopes:

Is this story true?  Probably not.  It’s been circulating on the internet since 2001.  Is the story at least believable? Not really — the narrative is rife with errors and inconsistencies: for example, scorpion antivenom is injected, not drunk; and a true “Recon Marine” wouldn’t be broadcasting specifics about his position and mission to the world at large. If this really was the work of a serviceman in Afghanistan, he was deliberately trying to be misleading or funny, not to convey an account of real events.

We have no idea if the letter actually came from someone serving in Afghanistan or if it’s the fanciful invention of someone stateside as no information has been provided about its author. Although the article has been presented as true on the radio, that shouldn’t sway anyone into believing it’s the real thing, because radio show hosts are notorious for reading on air items harvested from the Internet that have proved to be fictions.

This letter is as popular as it is because it purports to give insight into the day-to-day reality of a soldier in the field that CNN fails to provide. News emerging from the war in Afghanistan seems rigidly controlled, and the people back home are hungry for information that is not forthcoming. A missive such as this one thus falls on highly receptive ears.


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