Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Terrible Worm in his Iron Cocoon

Back in Counter Insurgency School -- before deploying to Southeast Asia with the Nixon-Kissinger Fig Leaf Contingent (Vietnam 1970-72) -- our lifer instructors would read to us from our textbooks about "winning the hearts and minds" of our "little brown brothers," etc., etc. Then they would close the books and say, "Enough with the bullshit. Just grab 'em by the balls and their hearts and minds will follow." Judging from the never-ending quagmires in IraqNamIstan, current military/imperial doctrine appears not to have changed or become the least bit more effective in the last forty years. Ungrateful foreigners just never seem resigned to having America invade, demolish, and spend decades occupying their countries. Who could ever have imagined that? In fact, the flat learning curve of invading Crusader armies goes back centuries in the Middle East, to a time when the locals had an accurate and colorful discriptive term for the murderous, metal-clad meddlers, namely:

"The Terrible Worm in his Iron Cocoon"

The terrible worm in his iron cocoon:
The knight in his armor enclosed,
Has gone off again on a global Crusade
Which has left his own country exposed.

His lines of supply girdle heaven and earth;
Expenses grow terribly huge;
While folks back at home find themselves unemployed,
Yet they shrug, after them the deluge.

Or so they suppose as the flood of lost jobs
Washes over their living room floors,
While off in Iraq, and Afghanistan, too,
Our troops break in through the front doors,

Then haul off the males in the household to jail
For “being of age” to resist:
A “crime,” we insist, ‘cause our saying makes “law,”
Enforced by the gun and the fist.

The troop in his tank behind sunglasses blank,
In his man-from-mars uniform finds,
That grabbing the native oppressed by the balls
Beats winning their hearts and their minds.

Now bankruptcy rules in the land of the fools
Where the terrible worms got their start
Then charged off to do what the world would soon rue
As not worth the tiniest fart.

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright 2009



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