Read ePUB Generation Kill: Devil Dogs, Iceman, Captain America, and the New Face of American War – Circuitwiringdiagram.co

Another nameless town, another target for First Recon It s only five in the afternoon, but a sandtorm has plunged everything into a hellish twilight of murky, red dust On rooftops, in alleyways lurk militiamen with machine guns, AK rifles and the odd rocket propelled grenade Artillery bombardment has shattered the town s sewers and rubble is piled up in lagoons of human excrement It stinks Welcome to Iraq Within hours of, America s war on terrorism fell to those like theMarines of the First Recon Battalion, the first generation dispatched into open ed combat since Vietnam They were a new breed of American warrior unrecognizable to their forebears soldiers raised on hip hop, Internet porn, Marilyn Manson, video games and The Real World, a band of born again Christians, dopers, Buddhists, and New Agers who gleaned their precepts from kung fu movies and Oprah Winfrey Cocky, brave, headstrong, wary, and mostly unprepared for the physical, emotional, and moral horrors ahead, the First Suicide Battalion would spearhead the blitzkrieg on Iraq, and fight against the hardest resistance Saddam had to offer Generation Kill is the funny, frightening, and profane firsthand account of these remarkable men, of the personal toll of victory, and of the randomness, brutality, and camaraderie of a new American war


10 thoughts on “Generation Kill: Devil Dogs, Iceman, Captain America, and the New Face of American War

  1. Landry Smith Landry Smith says:

    Generation Kill by Evan Wright is a firsthand account of a reporter embedded with the Marines of Force Recon Battalion during the invasion of Iraq Jam packed with details,this novel portrays the struggles and terrors that the marines face in the war.From weapons malfunctioning to choices that the higher ranking officers have caused,Evan Wright explains everything that happened during his two months with the marines Throughout the story, the marines encounter problems with their enemies.Someti Generation Kill by Evan Wright is a firsthand account of a reporter embedded with the Marines of Force Recon Battalion during the invasion of Iraq Jam packed with details,this novel portrays the struggles and terrors that the marines face in the war.From weapons malfunctioning to choices that the higher ranking officers have caused,Evan Wright explains everything that happened during his two months with the marines Throughout the story, the marines encounter problems with their enemies.Sometimes the enemy dress up as civilians so that the marines cannot tell whether the person is a civilian or military personal.This interferes with the ROE Rules Of Engagement because the Rules of Engagement state that they can only shoot at enemies in uniform.Another rule they can t break is that they can only fire if fired at.This boils down to the marines not being able as aggressive as they are trained to be I thought this book was exciting and at the same time educating, because I learned what a war in modern times is like.It tells you the strategy of the US military and the reason why our marines are always the first in and last out.I couldn t stop reading because the tension carried through to the next page and there was always action on every page.When I finished the book I decided to read it again because I liked it so much In conclusion, Generation Kill is a narrative from a reporter who was alongside the marines of First Recon Battalion that explains why our marines are elite.He supplies the readers with the day to day issues experienced on the battlefields of the Middle East.This is the most honest and accurate view on the Iraq War that exists


  2. Kathleen Kathleen says:

    Ten things I learned from Generation Kill that I really should have known already 10 A shamal is a wind blowing over Iraq and the Persian Gulf that can cause horrible dust storms The resulting weather can make things like driving, sleeping in the open, and not getting putrid, red eye infections difficult 9 Sabka is a geological phenomenon particular to the Middle East which appears to be plain desert, with a crust of sand about an inch thick, but beneath that crust is quicksand made of ta Ten things I learned from Generation Kill that I really should have known already 10 A shamal is a wind blowing over Iraq and the Persian Gulf that can cause horrible dust storms The resulting weather can make things like driving, sleeping in the open, and not getting putrid, red eye infections difficult 9 Sabka is a geological phenomenon particular to the Middle East which appears to be plain desert, with a crust of sand about an inch thick, but beneath that crust is quicksand made of tar This can make things like driving Humvees and not getting ambushed harder to accomplish.8 Recon Marines are the hard core like Special Forces in the Army, or SEALs for the Navy A Recon Marine can hold his breath for four minutes He can run ten miles in 150lbs of gear A Recon Marine doesn t do push ups, he pushes the earth down He is swift, silent and deadly Usually he operates in small autonomous groups away from senior officers He is not, however, generally trained to drive a Humvee around playing cowboy with up to seventy other vehicles He probably doesn t even have a military operators license for a Humvee 7 Light Ard Reconnaissance battalions are trained for just that type of mission There were LAR battalions available at the time of the Iraqi invasion 6 Guess who was tasked with driving a caravan of Humvees into ambush after ambush as a distraction from the main invasion force Hint Mattis radio call sign is Chaos because he s wily and unpredictable.5 Any number of the tragic civilian deaths that occurred during the invasion were probably in line with the ever shifting, rarely clear Rules of Engagement 4 Rumsfeld s idea of Maneuver Warfare using speed and agility instead of overwhelming force was completely contrary to the established military wisdom 3 Maneuver Warfare is a brilliant way to destroy a country as long as you don t care what happens next 2 The lack of supplies for troops wasn t just a matter of not having batteries for NVGs, no body armor, or the cammo for a MOPP suit being forest instead of desert A company of reservists were actually forced to work for food taking escort duty for other convoys in exchange for MREs and other basic supplies in the middle of the invasion 1 All war is a crime, but that doesn t make every warrior a criminal.And that s just the stuff I learned that I really, really should have known already Even if you did payattention than I do to the war abroad and the invasion of Iraq, you should still read this book It is a well told story, well detailed, human, and interesting


  3. Silvana Silvana says:

    US Marines Jarheads Devil Dogs Many names to call them but none could really embody the essence and the spirit Compared with the other military branches in the US Armed Forces, I think this one is the most unique, and thus most intriguing This memoir told a story about the marines based on direct view from a reporter from Rolling Stones magazine who was embedded in the First Recon Battalion, one of the first units deployed in and entering Iraq in 2003 Cynics or critics may say this is a US Marines Jarheads Devil Dogs Many names to call them but none could really embody the essence and the spirit Compared with the other military branches in the US Armed Forces, I think this one is the most unique, and thus most intriguing This memoir told a story about the marines based on direct view from a reporter from Rolling Stones magazine who was embedded in the First Recon Battalion, one of the first units deployed in and entering Iraq in 2003 Cynics or critics may say this is a typical pop ish war stories from an outsider who wanted to produce an easy to read yet empty, explosive account on the things happening over there They are wrong, obviously.Different with my previous reviews not that I made a lot , I ll try to be as disciplined as possible military mode ON by dividing my comments into several parts with quotes from the book as titles Get some The unofficial Marine Corps cheer used by the enlisted men to keep up their and their fellows spirit Get some means kill the enemies, that simple Do they really take this by heart Well, yes and no Some marines in this book loved using their mighty guns and blew things up to oblivion because it is exhilarating and makes them feelalive Others, thecynical ones, said that they found no real pleasure in shooting people and they feel that it s just to protect their comrades and do their jobs However, there is always an oddball, in this case Pvt Trombley, who said he sexcited playing Grand Theft Auto videogame than shooting people with his SAW machine gun The get some mentality doesn t always prevail Cruelties and damages caused by war did make the Marines feel something different Remorse, frustration, anger and finally indifference are not uncommon Which brings us to the next subject We re going to be fighting a war for oil Aha I had a question earlier before reading this book Do the soldiers deployed in Iraq know that this war isn t just to fight terror That there sbasic and practical reason behind it Apparently, some realized this from the very start, before the media reported that the search for WMD had failed Did it stop them from fighting Nope Why Idealism, romance, and camaraderie Quoting from the super hawt Sgt Reyes who played himself in the HBO miniseries because it s too hard to cast someone like him , the romance comes in because the Marines are a small band of hard motherfuckers, trained to go behind enemy lines against forces twenty or forty times bigger Another quote from the Sgt Brad Iceman Colbert, We are going to the great unknown Scary, isn t it I can t wait So apparently he didn t care that the US wanted to topple Saddam andinclined to think of the war as a grand personal challenge Another marine said that he preferred to die among his friends brave warriors than die old in bed with only a few people by his side Every time he steps out of the vehicle, I pray he gets shot The incompetent leading the unwilling to do the unnecessary That pretty well sums up all the gigantic mess caused by the officers leading their units in this book Sometimes mentioned only by nicknames bestowed by the enlisted men, such as Godfather the Marlon Brando voice battalion commander who was always ready to send his troops into harm s way to lick his bosses arse Encino Man a company commander who was so astoundingly dim witted hence the name , Captain America a platoon leader whose combination of reckless gungho ness and paranoid antics made his soldiers constantly fantasizing about killing him etc I could only admire the strong will of the soldiers not to seriously injure those bozzos who fucked up many times, endangering the Marines and civilians Encino Man for example, ordered an artillery fire when there s absolutely nothing to worry about way too close to his marines just because he did not know the safe distance required Lucky that he couldn t give the correct degrees thus his men were saved by his incompetence Godfather, aside from his arsekissing, also paid wayyyy too much concern on his battalion s Grooming Standard He basically waged a holy war against the evil, evil moustaches Anyway, Wright wrote about them quite objectively He did not only interview the soldiers but also the despised officers so as to acquire their views The reasons given were silly at best but I am glad that the writer did that Sir, not to get homoerotic about this, but I could kiss you Marines worship their competent officers and leaders Such respect does not come easily but when one earns it, it will stay One of the most beloved officers in First Recon is Lt Fick the Dick Winters in Bravo Company who is smart, brave and reliable Soldiers will follow their leaders to hell with no question if they trust them Fick paid attention to his men, took initiatives and dismissed his superiors asinine demands I can t wait to receive my copy of his memoir soon Eric Kocher who also starred in the HBO miniseries but not as himself is another example He repeatedly countermand the colossally retarded orders from Captain America even if that could and finally did cause him huge trouble The Americans have let Ali Baba into Baghdad So said an Iraqi, lamenting the flourishing looting and bandits roaming the streets of Baghdad during the night while the American promised to restore order A promise is a promise is a promise The US didn t have any clear idea on what to do after they beat the main Iraqi army The Iraqis did not put up too much confrontation when the US forces came, but they did not really surrender either Pockets of resistance are everywhere Clueless is the best word to describe the US policy on this A war that s suppose to last for like 3 months, have been going on for 8 years and killing thousands of its youth A translator opined You have taken this country apart and you are not putting it together Speaking about translator, how could a battalion, an elite one that was among the first ones entering Iraq, only had and relied on one translator and none in the command structure fluently spoke Arabic I am indeed scratching my head because of this That is so downright unprofessional If every battalion that used to be and currently deployed there suffers from the same problem, then no wonder miscommunication and lack of cooperation with the locals occur Goddamn kid playing peekaboo Rules of engagement is without doubt one of if not the most the most complicated part in a war Civilians casualties and all those shits, they never look good in front of the cameras, or even in front the soldiers fighting to save their lives How to differentiate a combatant and a noncombatant if they all look the same The enemies do not wear their clothes if they re soldiers to be distinct The enemies do not hesitate to live and move among civilians and shoot their mortars from settlements The enemies have different rules and Geneva Convention is not one of them This war will need its own theme music If you ve seen the HBO miniseries, there are lots of scenes when the Marines are singing Here s some examples they did sing a lot To spend time, mostly The lead driver in Bravo company, Corp Person, a very talkative and hilarious persona during the war, often engaged the others to sing with him Well, not country music since his team leader, Colbert, banned it, referring to one song as Special Olympics gay He s not the only one with musical prowess in the company All kinds of genres, 80s, hip hops, you name it The soldiers in the Bravo Company, as in the other units in the Armed Forces, come from a generation that are raised in pop culture, hardly remember Vietnam and uses internet This new breed of men are spearheading a country s languished efforts to reach its national goal Terror Oil It all comes down to self survival Aside from the undeniable and incomparable sense of brotherhood remember the quote from Henry V about Band of Brothers , war brings only suffering Policymakers should payattention to the troopers and do not treat them like toilet tissues.All in all, I am satisfied with this book Its deficiencies are covered by its stellar close range reporting Funny, smart, engaging, and somewhat enlightening In conclusion, allow me to let loose a stream of Marine Corps grade epithet THIS expletive BOOK IS THE expletive BEST expletive COMBAT expletive MEMOIR I VE EVER expletive READ PS fill in the expletive blank by yourself And don t forget to watch the miniseries It is superb


  4. Daniel Daniel says:

    There is something that Evan Wright was able to do in writing this book that the other authors, even the award winners like Dexter Filkins and Steve Fainaru, were not able to do and that is extricate himself from the story and allow it to be solely about the men Wright is so invisible in the mix that you forget he is riding along in the humvee with the rest of the recon marines He is able to so skillfully express who these men were and what they are all about, that the entire work reads like f There is something that Evan Wright was able to do in writing this book that the other authors, even the award winners like Dexter Filkins and Steve Fainaru, were not able to do and that is extricate himself from the story and allow it to be solely about the men Wright is so invisible in the mix that you forget he is riding along in the humvee with the rest of the recon marines He is able to so skillfully express who these men were and what they are all about, that the entire work reads like fiction Their complaints and problems sound completely human and honest and Wright makes sure that their imperfections and humanity are what we see It helps to put the proper face on what happened over there in the most incredible and unendurable of circumstances and maintain sympathy and a sense of honor for our servicemen fighting in Iraq.This is a great book and a very cool read if you want to know what it was like getting your feet on the ground in the early days of the war It s right up there with the very excellent war correspondence that has come out of the region over the past years


  5. Lightreads Lightreads says:

    I had no idea this book would be so funny, but for real, it s hilarious Also exhausting and enraging and painful And truly excellent, for the record.For anyone who doesn t remember, this is the account of a reporter embedded in a marine recon unit during the invasion of Iraq And by embedded I mean he rode in the lead car that was repeatedly the northernmost American presence in Iraq, and the very tip of the invading spear There are a lot of firefights recounted oraccurately, a lot I had no idea this book would be so funny, but for real, it s hilarious Also exhausting and enraging and painful And truly excellent, for the record.For anyone who doesn t remember, this is the account of a reporter embedded in a marine recon unit during the invasion of Iraq And by embedded I mean he rode in the lead car that was repeatedly the northernmost American presence in Iraq, and the very tip of the invading spear There are a lot of firefights recounted oraccurately, a lot of incidences of marines driving purposefully into ambushes but that s not what s good about this book What s good are the character portraits, the deft touch Wright has in fanning out people like a hand of cards He is particularly good at laying out the wildly different individual reactions to violence celebratory, num, anguished, indifferent, everything in between It is a focus on the individual, and I found it rich and thoughtful I have a friend who spends a lot of time getting paid to think about how we can prosecute war better On a technical level, I mean what can our guys eat, read, learn, what drugs can they take to make themeffective in the field Judging by this book, almost anything would do, because almost anything would be better than the starvation and disease they work through now.I do think there is somethingdishonest is the wrong word, but close Obfuscating Maybe Wright spends most of this book eliding himself flawlessly out of the narrative, to the point where it is jarring when he records some action he took or something he said He writes most events as if they occurred without him Which is deeply ethical in a way this isn t his story If this were an autobiographical book by a reporter about how hard it is to decide to go off to Iraq for a few months as a civilian and then go home again, I would have rolled my eyes a lot But at the same timeyou throw a stone in the river, the course of the water changes The observed behave differently And Wright did his best to tell us a story about the river without the rock in it Wright lived in these guys s pockets for months he slept in holes dug in the sand with them and drove into bomb blasts with them, and then wrote coolly, almost formally about them Until the acknowledgements where he calls them by given name for the first time and pulls the curtain back, very briefly, on the depth of the relationships he formed He s not obligated to write a personal memoir And like I said, there is something ethical in his choices Justa rock in a river changes things


  6. Visha Visha says:

    Disclaimer This reviewer is a gentle and peaceful person Truly Interestingly, although I posted this review almost a year ago, I haven t heard from a goodreads person community manager until now about it Possibly because Evan Wright has become a goodreads author Maybe that has nothing to do with it, but possibly goodreads wants to become Lifetime Books or literally, Good Reads they don t want critical reviews or anything negative written about their goodreads authors In the s Disclaimer This reviewer is a gentle and peaceful person Truly Interestingly, although I posted this review almost a year ago, I haven t heard from a goodreads person community manager until now about it Possibly because Evan Wright has become a goodreads author Maybe that has nothing to do with it, but possibly goodreads wants to become Lifetime Books or literally, Good Reads they don t want critical reviews or anything negative written about their goodreads authors In the spirit of placating folks, I am cheerfully revising my review However, I won t be promoting their website to authors, readers and writers as I have in the past I was able to get this book from the library, so I didn t feel as though I wasted money on it The edition I read was a hardcover, and one of the first things that grabbed my attention was the mistake Wright made by noting Camp Lejeune was in South Carolina For those who are without maps, the Internet, or other fact checkers, Camp Lejeune is in Jacksonville, North Carolina I would have had farrespect for this book if it were fiction The characters that appear are well described Doc Bryan is my favorite , the situations are wonderfully tense, the complexities of a bureaucratic system the military are woven fairly well Having lavished such praise, I must now confess that I found certain aspects of the book disappointing Overall, I doubt Wright could come up with such material thankfully, the people, places, and times he writes about are fascinating enough on their own this story could write itself.Wright gets his feet wet but disappears just before the dawn of this large scale war His book was written as a series of articles for Rolling Stone, then packed together with cardboard on either end to make a book However, Wright seems to think he s as badass as the cowboy Marines those reservists who screw up over and over again and drive the Recon Marines crazy just because he spent a couple of weeks in a sand grave, baby sat by real trained killers who had to risk their lives just a little bitbecause this candy ass was with them This is the MTV news of Iraq War writing Wright is clearly beside himself to be near the men s men of the military Marine Recon units, who are the last all male combat frontier Wright salivates over his assignment, positing himself as one of the guys, despite the fact that he s as much of a Marine as I am He reveals the motley crew as surprisingly sensitive, intelligent, and mostly level headed, not so much through his own writing, but by comparison in his own mind, he encompasses the bravado, machismo that a Rolling Stone reporter can only do I couldn t help but think what this series and book would have been if written by a better reporter, even one from Rolling Stone PJ O Rourke, perhaps Wright does make an interesting choice while thoroughly identifying the enlisted Marines, he choses to give code names to certain officers who show their asses as the operation unfolds Encino Man, Casey Kasem, and Captain America an offensively inept individual who should have been identified so the public could scream for his dischargement Of course, Wright couldn t come up with such clever names he borrows the ones designed by the Marines But his choice to use the code names rather than the real names of these officers smacks of cowardice Was he afraid of legal action against himself Was Rolling Stone Perhaps because Wright was one of the early writers of the war, this book got a ton of press, won magazine awards I have to insert this joke here Awards are like hemorrhoids sooner or later, every asshole gets some , and HBO bought the rights to make the movie somewhat like The Hills in Iraq Thankfully, better books have since been written, and if you want to spend your time and money wisely, invest in Dexter Filkins The Forever War, a far superior book in every way


  7. Hayley Hayley says:

    I knew virtually nothing about the Iraq invasion especially the conditions on the ground This book made much of the military strategy and some of the most shocking, sad, and funny moments quite real to me It did so without losing me in military terminology, or seeming patronizing by dumbing it down too much The author s tone was appropriately masculine and efficient.My greatest commendation goes to the author s contrast between the inexperienced young men going in and theirjaded se I knew virtually nothing about the Iraq invasion especially the conditions on the ground This book made much of the military strategy and some of the most shocking, sad, and funny moments quite real to me It did so without losing me in military terminology, or seeming patronizing by dumbing it down too much The author s tone was appropriately masculine and efficient.My greatest commendation goes to the author s contrast between the inexperienced young men going in and theirjaded selves coming out Some left majorly altered, but their instinct and appetite for killing often remained chillingly unchanged Most, however, understood the ineffectiveness of their invasion for liberating Iraq One of the most morbidly enjoyable aspects of the book is its focus on the incompetence of powerful Marine leaders Some of these commanders were surprisingly inefficient Many of the plans the marines had to follow seemed surprisingly foolish This book could be re titled The Many F ups of the Iraq Invasion Speaking of F ups and such, the author presented the men s dirty humor and language in a way that wasendearing than bothersome Their crudeness was often the book s well of humor, and I was surprised to find myself wishing I knew this bunch of rude guys that I would probably never seek out in life The author clearly has favorite men characters he wants you to like and others he villifies I was ok with this the author did an excellent job of presenting even his favorite people without much sugarcoating Part of their appeal is the author s conveyance of their flaws, and simply his heavy coverage of their actions and thoughts.The author also conveyed the marine s primitive living conditions on the road very well He played to all the senses when describing the terrain in Iraq and the conditions the men tolerated each day Even those having nothing to do with battle Very little keeps the book from getting five stars It slike 4 and a half Because of its title and its early emphasis on this new kind of American war and this new, untested generation I wanted some straightforward comparisons to the men in previous wars The author could have explained, in very basic terms, how these marines began with farinnocent or less innocent, or equally innocent minds than young men in previous wars Because, really what can prepare ANYONE for war Young men will always enter the marines and have new, shocking experiences Was that really any different for other generations Did these men deal with things other young marines have not Were their minds that different, when it came down to killing I d like just a littlecontrast between marines then and now.The book was still wonderfully fascinating to me because on the ground conditions were often surprises But if someone has read a great deal of first person war accounts, might they want some outright analysis of how the close up picture in this war is different The author gave one difference that First Recon was used as a decoy and shock battalion, instead of their intended jobbut there s room for


  8. Lee Sherred Lee Sherred says:

    Very good book, I really enjoyed it An intriguing insight into modern warfare through the eyes of an attached journalist with no previous military experience at alland, bizarrely, from Rolling Stone magazine of all things It was interesting to read about the authors STEEP learning curve when it came to basic things that a soldier takes for granted Initially, he was clearly seen as a burden and someone not to be trusted but, as the book progresses, it s nice to see how he developed a bond w Very good book, I really enjoyed it An intriguing insight into modern warfare through the eyes of an attached journalist with no previous military experience at alland, bizarrely, from Rolling Stone magazine of all things It was interesting to read about the authors STEEP learning curve when it came to basic things that a soldier takes for granted Initially, he was clearly seen as a burden and someone not to be trusted but, as the book progresses, it s nice to see how he developed a bond with the unit As a side note, if you don t have time to read the book, the TV series of the same name follows the it very closely


  9. Tara Tara says:

    3.5 stars This is an account of the Marines of First Recon Battalion in the U.S invasion of Iraq in 2003 A representative and hilarious excerptTheir wild fire continues Then the voice of Captain America comes over the radio, quavering and cracking Enemy, enemy They ve got us on both sides Oh, my God Person says Is he crying No, he s not, Colbert replies, cutting off what will likely be a bitter tirade about Captain America In recent days, Person has pretty much forgotten3.5 stars This is an account of the Marines of First Recon Battalion in the U.S invasion of Iraq in 2003 A representative and hilarious excerptTheir wild fire continues Then the voice of Captain America comes over the radio, quavering and cracking Enemy, enemy They ve got us on both sides Oh, my God Person says Is he crying No, he s not, Colbert replies, cutting off what will likely be a bitter tirade about Captain America In recent days, Person has pretty much forgotten his old hatreds for pop stars such as Justin Timberlake a former favorite subject of long, tedious rants about everything that s wrong with the United States and now he complains almost exclusively about Captain America He s just nervous, Colbert says Everyone s nervous Everyone s just trying to do their job We re going to die if we don t get out of here Captain America screams over the radio They ve sent us to die here Okay, Colbert says Fuck it He is crying p 293 294Side note these were Marines, not soldiers You do not refer to Marines as soldiers I ve noticed quite a few other reviews getting this wrong.Cut it out


  10. Kathy Kathy says:

    I am still digesting this book and will for awhile, I suspect The author was an embedded reporter in First Recon Marine battalion in the early days of the Iraq war First Recon Marines do just that go in first, before anybody else, and open up the way The descriptions are brutal, graphic and sometimes unbearable As a woman and a mother, I was devastated at the sights and sounds and experiences of these young men Iraq is hell for everyone soldiers and Iraqi citizens alike For the American I am still digesting this book and will for awhile, I suspect The author was an embedded reporter in First Recon Marine battalion in the early days of the Iraq war First Recon Marines do just that go in first, before anybody else, and open up the way The descriptions are brutal, graphic and sometimes unbearable As a woman and a mother, I was devastated at the sights and sounds and experiences of these young men Iraq is hell for everyone soldiers and Iraqi citizens alike For the American soldiers, aside from the obvious danger of being killed by enemy soldiers, there is the added problem of civilians inextricably mixed with Iraqi Army soldiers in villages and cities Imagine what kind of permanent psychological scars occur in a 19 year old American soldier when he follows orders and discovers that he just called in a bombing run on a building bristling with Iraqi soldiers and later in the carnage he discovers that they deliberately chose to hide in an orphanage For me, this book was disturbing, depressing and frightening and all too real, particularly when I reflect that when the US eventually leaves, the overwhelming corruption in Iraq may quickly erase any signs that we were ever there