IM Excerpt: Live from Baghdad

Below, please find this text extract from my earlier Google Talk chat with my son Evan. He's currently stationed in Iraq...

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Evan: well we nearly escaped being hit by an enormous IED and after it went off we started taking mortar rounds

Tom: shit... again, fuck the president. fuck everyone in the administration who put you and your fellow soldiers and marines in iraq. and osama can kiss my ass as well, all the way from waziristan.

Evan: i h
ave video of the ied

Tom:
DAMN! Is it posted anywhere?

Evan: it's on my camera

Tom: Insane...

Evan: the way my camera was zoomed it look far away but i was only like 100 meters from it. in the video you can hear me say "sweet! i got it!" lol

Tom: your depends are tougher than mine. i'd be leaving a train of poop for 50 meters in every direction.

Evan: its funny the shit that does not bother you when the mortar rounds started coming in. i was in my ASV. well, the ac went out in it, so the only way we could ride in it without burning up and suffocating from the heat was to have all the hatches open. i was in the turret of the asv, standing in the open, when BOOM i saw the mortar hit at the back of the convoy. then they started coming in closer on by one - BOOM BOOM BOOM one after another and our convoy was stopped because of the aforementioned ied...

--

Think you're having a bad day?

TS

Comments

Magas said…
Wow, I really feel for you both. Evan, for being there, and Tom, for having to experience Evan being there. That is some intense shit, but you're both strong, and I'm sure Evan is blessed with Tom's durability genes! BTW, out of curiousity, what did the grandfather Smith do for a living? Was he also in possession of such enormous testicular girth that would appear in the next two generations of Smithdom?

Much love,

Magas
Mars said…
And no impeachment proceedings. I'm starting to wonder if Nancy Pelosi isn't going for because if Gonzales, Cheney, and finally Bush are removed that places her into the Oval Office. Thereby making HER the first female president. Thereby stealing Hillary Rodham Clinton's historical thunder. Near 80% of all polled Democrats support impeachment, yet Pelosi won't do it. Is it the DNC?

I'm very, VERY worried about the future of our country and what these criminals have done to it - your son and all of the other soldiers sent into this illegal occupation. These men and women have been handed a lifetime of nightmares for WHAT? A sociopath's PRIDE.

Sorry, Tom. I'm just totally fucking frustrated and feeling fairly emasculated.

My thoughts are with you, Evan, all of the other soldiers and the innocent lives lost in Iraq.

Tony
ohne d said…
tom, is there a way NOT to join the army in usa? please forgive me, it's your son, i feel with you, but i still have trouble in general feeling pity for almost any soldiers anywhere.

quote:
I'm very, VERY worried about the future of our country and what these criminals have done to it
/quote

this is always baffling me. why this 'my/our country' - i know very few people outside america that have this going on. where is this bond and patriotism coming from and what do you need it for? and when were the times your country was really your country? i mean what was it like before 'those criminals came' and made it like it is? i guess america has definitely the president it deserves and, even more, needs, like most other capitalist imperialist countries. i am perfectly happy having broken up with germany. the most horrible things 'my' country did was during the recent years of 'middle-left/green' government (the kind of government you are hoping for so badly in 'your' country). it's rather about the times / zetgeist / current status quo of capitalism & imperialism, than about a name or a party. and believe me, if i see al gore around here i gonna kick him in the nuts as hard as i can... ;-)
ommyth said…
Hello Jim, Mars, D,

Thanks for writing.

Fuck, D, I'm at a loss. I just fucking hurt, 24/7. My son is thriving amid the madness, so I'm doubly conflicted. I see tracers through thermal lensing systems, heads torn from bloodied bodies, and the insane laughter engendered by the galloping approach of death. I have no thoughts, in other words - it's just fucking insane.

I'll do my best to respond to your comment, however.

Honestly, I don't feel "at home" anywhere. I experience profound dislocation - I'm not sure where I belong, or, indeed, if I ought to belong. I'm a seasoned global traveler, yet I've never been wholly seduced to remain in one place for an extended period. I'm not sure why I feel this way, but I do. It's both blessing and curse...

I know that America was built on the backs of slaves, indentured servants, the poor, and dispossessed. I know that the majesty of its Constitution must also be framed within a context of venality and often horrific inhumanity. These caveats noted (and others unstated notwithstanding), this is where my family reside, and at this juncture they need me. That's why I'm here, instead of touring the world as much as I'd prefer to do, and that's why I continue to decry the criminality, the ethical impoverishment, the shameful culture of ruin and medieval dread that permeates this crazy fucking stretch of real estate. I have the right, I have the means, and I intend on making my voice heard.

Nihilism is not an answer. Doing nothing is a coward's solution. If I throw up my hands, it will be to fling acid, throw stones, or smack some loathsome motherfucker in the mouth. (Yes, with sound, lights, words, but the intent is the same - to arrest, to startle, to damage, to re-sensitize.)

The US Army now accepts felons, the obese, the illiterate, anything with two legs and a pulse. Yes, you're correct in noting that it's extremely difficult to be rejected from its ranks... Bush, Pinochet, Pol Pot, Hitler, it makes no fucking difference - when MADMEN usurp the ascent of those who agree to abide by law (yourself included), you have but two choices: roll over and take it up the ass, or make some sort of commotion. I shall forever choose the latter.

Re government: the system is fucked, and on this we can agree. But, again, refusing on principle to pull a lever or touch a computer screen is tantamount to surrender. Do I prefer Obama or Edwards or Senator Clinton to fucking Giuliani, to Romney, to that doddering old clown McCain, to Fred motherfucking Thompson? You bet your sweet ass I do, and inasmuch as it makes one scintilla of difference to anyone here, within these increasingly perplexing and dispiriting boundaries, I prefer to lift a finger.

If that makes me, or my art, or my associates, or anything upon which my name has been affixed soft, insignificant, or less than vital, then call the coroner. Makes no difference to me - I'll scream from beyond the grave...

Gore's often pretty corny, but he got off his fat arse and did something. Kicking him in the balls would also be something, but decrying (and attacking) the complacent might perhaps prove a better use of one's energies.

Or, fuck it - blow everything up, including the billions of innocents, and let the worms have it.

Seeing as the above isn't much of an alternative, what do we then do? Sit on our hands, or give a billionth of a shit? I choose the latter always - with OHNE, with TLASILA, with my life, with my son, with my dying father, with anything you care to name.

Thanks again for the message!

Hail Satan,

Tom
ommyth said…
Hello James,

My father's father was a railroad man from the 1910s through the '50s. One tough old bird. A product of his time, unfortunately - he was a virulent and unforgiving racist, and he passed some of that fury to my dad. The South has always been a redoubt of dread...

Now, of course, my father's Alzheimer's has effectively erased inculcated biases - he greets my multi-hued friends with warmth (and then immediately forgets about the introductions)...

Always great to hear from you, Mr. Magas!

TS
ommyth said…
Hello Tony!

I wouldn't feel emasculated if I were you - you've always been a stand-up guy and a hardcore provider for your family, as well as a kick-ass musician and all-around aesthete...

Zogby and Ipsos polls continue to indicate a growing support for impeachment, but my sense is that Pelosi doesn't want to take the risk. Proceedings only serve to make martyrs of the accused... Bush and Company certainly deserve extraordinary rendition to Romanian black sites for an eternity of "interrogation," but chances are they'll be allowed to slink away at taxpayer's expense...

Many thanks for your kind thoughts.

Cheers,

Tom
cj said…
blessings upon you both, and a safe return for evan.

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