Reconnaissance Marine's Point of View from Afghanistan

James H. Lilley

A Recon Marine, who calls himself "Saucy Jack" has provided his point of view on Afghanistan and the Taliban, which I will share with you. "It's freezing here. I'm sitting on hard, cold dirt between rocks and shrubs at the base of the Hindu Kush Mountains along the Dar'yoi Pomir River, watching a hole that leads to a tunnel that leads to a cave. Stake out, my friends, and no pizza delivery for thousands of miles.

I also glance around my ass every ten to fifteen seconds to avoid another scorpion sting. I've actually given up battling the chiggers and sand fleas, but those 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.

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, 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 their new movement. 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.

I dream of Bin Laden waking up to find me standing over him, with my boot on his throat as a I spit a bloody ear into face, and plunge my nickel plated Bowie Knife through his frontal lobe. But, you know me, I' a romantic. I've said it before and I'll say it again, this country sucks, man. It's not even a country. There are no roads, there's no infrastructure, and there's no government. This is an inhospitable rock pit, shit hole, ruled by Eleventh Century warring tribes. There are no jobs here like we know jobs.

Afghanistan offers two ways for a man to support his family: join the opium trade or join the army. That's it. Those are your 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 those 'tent cities of the walking dead' is enough to hurl you into the poppy fields to cheerfully scrape bulbs for 18 hours a day.

I've been living with those Tajiks and Uzbeks and Turkmen, and even a couple of Pushtins for over a month and a half now, and this much I can say for sure. These guys, all of 'em, 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 their families, or for each other, or for themselves. They claw at one another as a way of life. They play polo with dead calves, and force their five-year-old sons into human cockfights to defend the family honor. Huns, roaming packs of savage, heartless beasts who feed on each other's barbarism. Cavemen with AK47s. Then again, maybe I'm just cranky.

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! You like to write letters, right? Do me a bizarre favor. 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 and hyenas and wolverines. They are sneaky and ruthless, and when confronted, cowardly. They are hateful, malevolent parasites who create nothing, and destroy everything else. Smart? Yeah, they're real smart.

They've spent their entire lives reading one book (and not a very good one as books go) and consider hygiene and indoor plumbing to be products of the devil. They're still figuring 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.

Okay, enough. Sun will be up soon and I have to get back in 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're 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 through the commercials. We've got this under control.

The worst thing you guys can do right now is sit around analyzing what we're doing over here, because you have no idea what we're doing. And, really, you don't want to know. We are your military and we are doing what you sent us here to do. So, you wanna help. Buy Bonds America." Semper Fi, Saucy Jack. God Bless and keep you safe.