You?re Kidding! Soldiers in Iraq Drinking?

Bob Martino has the answer! 

March 15, 2007 — Baghdad ( exclusive) —  You might think that Paul von Zielbauer (which when translated from German means "a farmer with goals") could get a healthier project from the New York Times than rewriting a six-thousand-year-old story about the military and booze — but he did it, two days ago.

I’m not sure where Paul von Zielbauer is — but I’m right here in Baghdad, and I haven’t noticed anything unusual about U.S. soldiers' drinking habits.  As a matter of fact, most of them don’t drink at all despite Mr. von Zielbauer’s bleat.

Right now I’m sitting in a tent in Balad, Iraq drinking a little “hajji juice” myself with some guys I found at the Ali Baba Bar and Grill down the road.  Hajji juice is bathtub booze made by mustachioed old ladies in and around Baghdad for “inconspicuous” consumption by followers of Allah who have discovered the medicinal quality of a dying Grey Goose.

The guys were talking about this Spec 4 who got so loaded on Hajji sap that he began firing his M-16 nowhere special.  Anyway, he hit some goofball civilian contractor’s rental car — but heck, that happens most nights in Fort Lauderdale. 

Anyway, these “contractors” are there because someone — like, say, Halliburton — is smart enough to pay them three hundred thousand a year for cleaning porta-potties because then Halliburton — lately of Dubai — marks up that salary with a 35% overhead before submitting the bill to Uncle Sam — I mean “us.”  It’s good to think these con artists had to explain the car situation to Avis.

Then there is accompanying and infamous Chris Rolan, anther Army Specialist who drank up a bunch of gin and struttin’ whiskey and blew another soldier away.  Now I might be wrong, but I think that twenty or thirty people are shot dead this way every night in some or another American urban jumble.

I think Paul von Zielbauer thought about this as well, so he played the dirty “rape card” and brought up that group of 101st Airborne guys in Mahmudiya who allegedly raped a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and then killed her family after drinking heavily.

Shades of My Lai.  Yet I seem to recall that every war film I have ever seen contains a rape scene or allusion thereto.  Am I wrong?  Is this right? No. But sh*t happens.

Certainly, the top brass are pretending, as they should, to be “up in arms” (permit the pun) about this drinking and revelry. 

Yet I think it’s a bunch of nonsense to get bent out of shape about it inasmuch as we train these men and women to kill and be killed with little conscience. Who does the Pentagon expect to find after the killing spree? Shirley Temple?

Von Zielbauer calls the reported rape “the most gruesome crime committed by American troops in Iraq.” 

I’d say he is nuts.  There is nothing more gruesome that seven little babies lying in pools of their own blood and gore with their body parts spread over a half acre to be scooped up by their grieving parents.  This happens often in Iraq — and most other war zones — so don’t fool yourself into thinking rape is the most ghastly, Mr. Von Zielbauer (and that includes you, Ms. Steinem).

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