By Matthew A. Comini
I drew my rifle to my shoulder, my thumb flipped the selector lever from safe to semi, and my finger dropped a wild eyed insurgent. It was hot, real hot; like it ever wasn’t, right? I was riding shotgun hauling twenty-four hundred gallons of jet fuel, towing a trailer load of hellfire missiles up to Balad, a miserable shell riddled FOB at the time. My asshole was puckered tight to say the least, and my stomach left at least two MRE’s on the side of my truck.
Ever value your own life more than some else’s to the point where your ten ton axles grind their guts into the pavement? Ever point a .50 caliber machine gun at a kid because you were scared out of your wits that he held an IED? Ever held your breath, laid your finger on the trigger and exploded a human being who screamed, “Allah Akhbar”?
I didn’t sleep very well again last night. I didn’t get very much done today either. My dreams were soaked in blood. My day…filled with covering it all up again. God sure as hell didn’t send an angel down to stop my shakes this morning. Caffeine and nicotine were the best “he” had to offer up. Where was “he” those days? Where was “his” son and holy ghost today? Don’t you dare tell me that “he” was there protecting me! My armor, my vehicles, my weapons, and my will to live took over where “he” and his left off. And where were “he” and his to defend my enemy?
Johnny lost his life to an IED, so did my boy, ‘Vedo-P. They were good men, good husbands, good fathers and good friends. Apparently, “he” didn’t care. An insurgent, in “his” name, set charges that ended all of the good they had in them. Ever zip a body bag? Ever heard taps play over a closed casket? Ever presented a perfectly folded flag to a twenty-two year old widow? Ever wondered what in the fuck “he” was thinking?
Happy Fourth of July! God Bless America! Amen, Allah Akhbar and Alleluia!
Religious zealousness has landed me in some genuine hell holes. I’ve thought long and hard over what this war is all about. Oil? Democracy? Please! At best, those causes are a subterfuge. We are at war because of “him”. Our beliefs in “him” cause us to fear death rather than to enjoy life. Chew on that, swallow hard; believe. It is the truth. Western zealots believe we have to fix the Middle East. Eastern extremists believe that Westerners are their enemy, and vice versa.
The fact is, Westerners do not comprehend Eastern life. Neither side understands each other’s religions, or, beliefs in “him”, and to add to the fray, there are a pocket full of elite idiots who are able through political position and financial prowess to influence the remainder of us into the assumption that the other side is going to hell and taking us down with them. Hell being their religion inspired fear factor. Hell being the fear of life. Hell being the fear of God.
An old farmer once told me, “Religion is all about the fear of death. If you aren’t afraid of dying, you won’t be scared to live.”
Maybe we all ought to take that sage advice into a little more consideration. What are we afraid of, I mean really? Someone is going to covet your wife? Well, covet her a little more yourself and maybe she won’t covet your neighbor! Maybe if there were more shalt do’s than shalt not’s, we’d all be one hell of alot more content. Maybe then there would be peace.