My unit recently set up operations in a little village we’ll call Kraplackastan, situated on a thin strip of arable land between the vast desert and the Euphrates river. These folks are not well liked by their fellow Iraqis because they’re a bunch of bandits and inbred weirdos, but I digress.
So, we’re setting up a new branch of the famed Concerned Local Citizens (CLC) in Kraplackastan and found a local leader to run the whole thing. Kraplackastan is famed for Al Qaeda operating in and around the village, so not every military aged male can join the CLC. Some Iraqis with Al Qaeda association are reconcilable, some are not.
The local commander vetted a number of the CLC applicants, and forbade one of his relatives from joining the CLC. The kid in question is the commander’s nephew AND son-in-law (think about it). The kid was rather upset about this, so he pulled a suicide belt out of a cache and used it to blow up him, his uncle/father-in-law and everyone else at the breakfast table. Yes. Really.
Any time my family has issues; I’ll remind myself of this story. Every so often you hear about American families shooting or stabbing one another following a remote control or financial squabble. Suicide belts are right out.
Sometimes I wonder if I deployed to Iraq or to the Twilight Zone.
This whole mess has turned into a huge inconvenience, as now we need a new Kraplackastan CLC leader. Imagine how that interview would go:
“Do you have any bat shit insane relatives? No? You’re hired!”