Friday, December 17, 2010

Tell me again who won the war? (CONTENT WARNING: Language)

A friend writes:

I went to visit a project site, traveling with a Personal Security Detail (PSD). On the return trip, we approached the Entry Control Point (ECP) to get into the International Zone (IZ) where I live.

Although the ECP for my Forward Operating Base (FOB) is controlled by the US military, the ECP into the IZ is controlled by the Iraqi Police (IP). Notice how I'm indoctrinating you into military jargon? Very subtle, no?

The IP allowed two vehicles to pass through the vehicle barrier (which is a metal trap that gets raised or lowered), then wouldn't put down the vehicle barrier to pass through the other two vehicles in our team. We were effectively detained by the IP, our travel team of four vehicles was split into two halves, and we were in the kill zone and unable to go anywhere. Advantage, Iraqis.

The IP slowly began to escalate threat against us. They started out with re-inspecting our vehicles. Then they inspected all of our paperwork, which was in order. After that, the IP boss man got on his cell phone and spent time talking, laughing, and yelling about something to someone. After a half hour had passed, the IP boss man ordered a three-member firing team to draw on our vehicles. There were two shooters behind us, but I couldn't see where they put themselves.

The third shooter positioned himself on top of a 6' tall concrete barrier to the front and left of our lead vehicle.  We had a clear view of his helmeted head and weapon, and he had the elevated protected position over us. He aimed his long gun directly at the vehicle windshield I was riding in, at which point my mind started thinking "international incident." I knew if he chose to shoot an entire focused-fire volley of 7.62mm rounds from an AK-47 on full auto through the windshield, it would likely give way between rounds 3 and 6, which left me on the order of 24-27 to deal with personally. So for the next half hour, I watched this guy watch me and thought, "Holy smokes, batman!" After that, we were alternatively threatened with arrest, confiscation of our vehicles, of both. Iraqis, advantage again.

I knew the name of this game was patience. I figured IP boss man was willing to have but didn't really want a firefight, and eventually offer us an option out as a way to save face. It's strange to play chicken with your own neck. I kept calm and kept talking to our well-armed PSD members in order to keep them calm - they were a little jumpy, go figure.  After being detained a little over an hour in our vehicles, the IP boss man told us we could either turn around and away from the IZ or get arrested. I wasn't sure if the Iraqi detention center food or bed were going to be any good, so I told our PSD team we should exercise the option to leave and go to another FOB where we could have a nice dinner and sleep in a semi-comfortable warm bed.

So we went to the other FOB. International incident averted.

It looks like DADT has become a moot point.  It’s policy now:  we’re all c0cksuckers.

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