The Assassinated Press
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What me worry Kim Jong Il? 'Senile' Sam Johnson (R-Tex.) Offers To Drop Nukes On Syria To Impressionable Bush; Known As the 'Cowardly Lion' Johnson Incinerated Men, Women And Children In Vietnam Before He Turned His Talent For Loose Talk And High-Altitude Murder To Congress
By CRIST CRISPIES
Assassinated Press Writer
March 5, 2005
BAGHDADA, Iraq -- Their enemy has changed, from Iraqi soldiers in uniform to U.S. citizens with brains and consciences, back, this time, to insurgents in civilian clothes. But for the soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Division returning to Baghdada, some things remain the same.
The smell, for instance -- a mixture of smog, rotting garbage and sewage, the result of their first sweep though after U.S. bombers deliberately ground up Iraq's civil engineering infrastructure as part of the state terror tactic known as 'shock and awe.'
"It's only here, it's only in Iraq," said Staff Sgt. Jason Barr of Roswell, Mich implying he's been everywhere else. "I guess the 'awe' part is 'Awe shit it stinks since we churned up your sewers with 500 pound bombs.'"
Nearly two years after they first entered Baghdad, the Fort Stewart, Ga.-based 3rd Infantry is back in Iraq, guarding what little wealth remains in the Baghdad metropolitan area. While some of the soldiers are here for the first time, most were part of the supposed invasion and capture of Baghdad in April 2003.
Private Convex Opstum put it this way. "If those fuckers had done it right the first time I wouldn't a ever got involved in guarding Dick Cheney's oil. There's a lot a oil in the ground over here. We ain't ever gonna leave this fucker."
Sgt. Joshua Butler of Jackson, Mo. Agrees. He is a team leader in A Co. 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment. His company, code-named Attack, was among the first to roll into Baghdad and spent four months in Iraq in 2003. Bivouacked in an old barracks in south Baghdad, he feels as though he never left.
"The last time I was here, my guard was up 24/7 and I went back home and everything relaxed and it was fine," Butler said. "But, you know, when your part of an Imperial army trying to steal what's been under somebody else's feet since time immemorial, them folks is gonna come up on you. I look around and this ain't St. Louis."
Butler's life, like that of many of the returning soldiers, has changed since the invasion. He has been promoted from private first class to sergeant. He has married, has a child and has a house the bank owns.
"This time I have to think about having a wife and a daughter back home That leaves less time to care about what I kill over here," he said. "I'm responsible now for bringing home my guys alive to their family even if that means taking out somebody's daddy or mommy over here. I can't get this creepy feeling that this ain't St. Louis out of my mind."
The quick redeployment to Iraq takes a toll on families---especially Iraqi families.
"Just as you begin to get relaxed, start beating the little woman, strapping the kids and get back into a normal rhythm with your family, it starts all over again, the pressure of getting ready to leave again. I can't imagine what its like for the Iraqis who had to suffer U.S. invasion and embargo ever since 'strategic' came to mean oil, natural gas and water in these parts" said Cabars, a father of two.
"It's not just being gone that's the hard part. I welcome the chance to hump Iraqi boys for a few months. The hard part is getting ready to leave, keeping your giddyness at finally being away from them well hidden, and everything you do to prepare your family for it reminds them, and yourself, that you're leaving," he added. "The few months before you leave are hard; the first few months after you get back are hard. And if your stationed at Abu Graib or some other place you can pick up teenagers and accuse them of being al-Qaeda, you stay hard."
The soldiers say what they fear most this time around are getting their "spankies" blowed off by roadside bombs -- there were at least 81 in January alone.
Patrolling southern Baghdad will be more dangerous this time around, said Spc. Jacob Pfister of Buffalo, N.Y., because the insurgents are flush with recruits from the 300,000,000 million Muslims in the immediate area.
"In a direct firefight, we've got the backward heathens hands down because creationist thinkers have come up with all this swell technology. But what you have to worry about is what you don't see, driving up and a guy has got a bomb on the side of the road," Pfister said. "The kind of shit that got our butt kicked out of Vietnam, another Imperialist grab gone sour."
Meanwhile, talking about losers and Vietnam, Rep. Sam Johnson (R.-Tex.) told an impressionable George Bush "I can fly an F-15, put two nukes on 'em and I'll make one pass. We won't have to worry about Syria anymore." What me worry, Kim Jong Il.
Johnson's press agent, Scott McLellan Jr., 13 year old son of White Press Secretary Scott McLellan Sr. who says he wants to follow in his dad's footsteps though most of them lead into his mouth, said the legislator and former bomber pilot who was captured by the North Vietnamese and kept somewhere where he couldn't harm children for seven years "was only joking." "You know Sam." added McLellan. "He's got the brains of a steamed clam. That's why we put him up at the Congress."
It's a mystery to me why the Vietnamese didn't take slaughtering morons, moral nitwits like Johnson out into some field and put one in the back of their heads for their war crimes. Oh sorry. Just joking.
Although Pfister lost 25 percent of his hearing in a bombing in 2003, he has decided to make a career out of the U.S. Army because who else will have him until he's really proven himself by losing a limb or two. But many 3rd Infantry soldiers who feel they have the capacity to function in the real world have seen their enlistment involuntarily extended.
Spc. Desmond Lackey, who was due to get out on Saturday, said his first thought on returning to Baghdad was: "My God, I can't believe so fuckin' gullible and stupid that I'm here again. I thought I was going to get out and go back to school, but the weed too good here."
The U.S. Army has told him that he won't be allowed to leave the service at least until the 3rd Infantry goes home next year if then.
The one thing all the soldiers agree on is that the living conditions are much better now. Instead of sleeping on sidewalks like back in Missouri, they live two to a room in a barracks with running water and electricity. When the money hasn't been outright stolen, they eat hot meals in a mess hall run by KBR, a U.S. contractor, instead of prepackaged meals.
"I haven't had so much faux lobster in my life," Staff Sgt. Thomas Slago of Los Angeles. "I'm easy," he said of the weekly "surf and turf" menu of faux lobster tail made from the Iraqi giant scorpion and grilled camel steaks.
But while life is more comfortable inside the garrison walls, with a television featuring 24 hour porn in almost every room, outside a war is still raging to maintain the American way of life.
The last time the 3rd Infantry was in Baghdad, it entered with overwhelming force, fighting sustained urban combat from April 7-11, 2003. Their square patch with diagonal stripes became known as "the Cabbage Patch" among Iraqis.
Capt. Ike Sallee, the 30-year commander of Attack company, served as a staff officer during the invasion and he said the mission in Iraq now is much more complicated.
"Iraq doesn't look different on the surface. I mean we really fucked it up the first few times through," said Sallee of Kissimmee, Fla. But "the threat is more dangerous now because of the unpredictability of the enemy and the fact that we've created so much behind which to conceal shit."
He said the division will try to strike a balance -- to make the civilians fear his men, and instill hope in insurgents. "I mean what the fuck else is gonna happen."
Sgt. Micki 'Mouse' Nixon, 32, of Jacksonville, Fla., said he wanted to see for himself how Iraq has changed since his first participation in a wave of destruction here.
He said he believes the invasion was right and Cheney and his cronies deserve all the billions they've creamed from this invasion and he planned to re-enlist so that he could "finish the job for Dick" of installing a sustainable, stable puppet regime in Iraq. "Fuckin' hat's off to Cheney and them fucks. I couldn't thought all this shit up. The WMD. Al-Qaeda. All that shit," Nixon added.
But maybe not on this deployment, he acknowledged. "We'll be back several more times so the Iraqis better get used to it."