Friday, November 24, 2006


A good friend of mine, Rick Flood, is an Army Scout Sniper serving in Iraq. He's in his third tour currently and has the dubious honor of being an expert shooter (for an Army scout I guess that's good. I keep reminding him that he hasn't graduated from the USMC Sniper School... considered to be the best of the best and the guys who coined the sobriquet 'one shot one kill'. Anyhow, Rick used to work for me as a bondsman before he went nuts and signed up for active duty as a sniper. He was a top notch bondsman and chaser, and apparently has made himself into a fearsome soldier.

Anyhow, Rick has access to the internet and I hear from him weekly. Now his bride has found the cash to send him a good cell phone and he checks in with the fire of home often enough to keep his family keeping his ugly face at least recognizable... and he called me from the field the other day and we talked about the pleasure of shooting people from secure locations. I asked him if he had any idea of what was going on there in the sandbox.

He told me that "Well, we really don't have a dog in this fight. But the jerks are shooting at us so I'm snuffing as many of them as possible."

"Explain that for me."

"Well, most of these guys are Sunnis or Shiites, but you can't really sort them out. They've been killing each other since the big split between the two groups took up their swords centuries ago."

"No, I mean now. Today. Any way... us. Current."

"I doesn't matter. We have come in interfering with their argument so they have been shooting at us cause we won't mind our own business. Imagine what it would be like if somebody came in and tried to calm down a fight between some Baptists and some Catholics? Sunnis and Shiites have been fighting each other for centuries because they disagree about who is gonna be the top poobah, the Caliphee or something like that. I mean... who gives a farkle?


"Please, this is an open line. I don't want any dings in my file."

"OK. Any suggestions as to what we should do?"

"Well, there's three choices. First, we could kill them all. Then there would no longer be an argument. Second, we could declare real military control and declare all weapons verboten then try to enforce that. I think that would fail because these guys have been stockpiling weapons for so long that that some of the buried arms are cached in the coffins of their grandparents. Finally, we could just get on the bus and go home. You know, go mind our own business. Me, I like the third."

"Hmmm. I've never known you to run from a fight."

"Well, you've known me for a lot of years boss. These are guys who are perfectly willing to strap sticks of dynamite to the bodies of their children and sending them to stand next to Sunnis... and viceversa. That kind of certainty scares the crap out of me. How bout you?"

"Just be careful and get home when you can. In the meanwhile, hit what you shoot at. Kill them all."

"OK, boss. Save my seat."