THE BLASTER OF CHOICE by Dave Reeves (Arthur, 2006)

“Do the Math” column
by Dave Reeves

(published in Arthur No. 25/December 2006):

Fairweather Americans, I want to point out that regardless of other shortcomings, the Middle East strategies of the Bush administration have made it possible for several young citizens to acquire real estate. Sure, the plots are only three feet long and six feet wide, but it’s a quiet neighborhood. The soldiers can’t complain.

That’s right, for 3,000 American soldiers every day is Earth Day, and will be until the worms finish them off. American dead are the only ones that count as the road to peace is traditionally paved in hearts, minds and other charred viscera of the country you’re freeing.

The freedom America is pushing on Iraq isn’t the standard “Statue of Liberty” brand of freedom. No, if you read the bold type this is actually “Enduring” Freedom, which is more like a “just another word for nothing left to lose” type of freedom. Enduring freedom means freedom from having to go to school. Freedom from sewage and electric power.

For many, the Iraqi occupation is a no brainer. Iraqis with brain in skull are plenty pissed. It’s like this: guys like Wariz My-Roof in Fallujah or Burli the Kurd up in the mountains stay on the Sunni side of the street and don’t take no Shi’ite. The Shi’ites feel the same about the Sunnis and Kurds, only more so. We’re not sure what the beef is about. Even when we figure out which side we’re on, these damn Semites all look the same to an Apache helicopter.

The beef that started Cold and hot wars between the Soviet Union and the United States was this: “How can communism hope to compete with the infinite genius of greed?” This question forced the two great powers to produce an infantry weapon which manifested their philosophy to best achieve peace on earth. War is just debate carried on by other means.

The designer of the Soviet rifle was a man named Mikhail Kalashnikov, wounded by Nazis in WWII because Stalin was such an arrogant prick he gave his troops crappy guns that jammed when the Germans came at them with fully operational automatics that didn’t.

Kalashnikov laid up in a hospital bed and designed a weapon that you can bet doesn’t jam. To this day, 60 years later, the AK-47 is the blaster of choice for homeboys in the home guards because Kalashnikov keeps it simple, stupid. The AK’s seven moving parts are easy to clean, which means a lot to troops hardly old enough to clean their rooms. Kalashnikov designed the rifle to be short because the poor and huddled masses tend to be malnourished and small.

The AK design is so simple that it is routinely hammered out in Pakistani workshops. Most importantly, the AK will throw a clip full of bullets the size of your thumb through a city wall every time you pull the trigger.

On the other hand the M-16 rifle and its ammunition were designed to be light enough to promote airmobility. The 16 is a luxury weapon, pressed out of plastic and airlifted into exotic firefights on fancy helicopters. The American business gun has a little handle on top like the brief case for the profitable Kissinger wars. It shoots bullets developed to wound and not kill, as cost analysis dictates that a wounded soldier costs the enemy more than a dead one.

Unfortunately, these diabolical Arabs daubed their cities from an ingenious mixture of mud, water and lime, and molded it into a magical rock called “cement” that our wounding bullets can’t penetrate. American troops confidence tends to erode when the AK shoots back at them through stucco like it was butter.

The M-16 has about 33 moving parts, the sum of which require more lubrication than a House page. Pakis don’t counterfeit M-16 in their workshops for the same reason that nobody polishes pieces of shit. Over the past couple of wars American servicepeople have come up with cute nicknames for the America’s combat rifle like the “Jam O Matic” and “Poodle Shooter.” It is worth noting Private Jessica Lynch’s squad was overrun because nearly every M-16 in her squad failed.

The best part about foreign countries buying American M-16’s is that, due to a market force called “planned obsolescence,” our rifles are as reliable as our cars. So we gift these traps to countries like Colombia, and a week later when they break down the Colombians have to use all their well learned politics to get parts for their Jam O Matic Poodle Shooters.

The sad truth of humanity is that weapons systems are the fullest manifestation of the philosophy governing the country of manufacture. Planned obsolescence will be the Achilles heel of gunboat capitalism. As Noam says, “The US is a huckster-driven, business-run society, and deceit is its greatest value.” It’s called karma when a huckster is forced to use his own snake oil as medicine.

Chavez bought a hundred thousand AK’s to underline those Chomsky quotes he was yelling at the UN about “American hegemony.” Rebels have to use the AK because they must take the revolution through jungles, into the high mountains and across deserts. Venezuela’s old rifle, the M-16, has problems with these harsh environs and most of the successful M-16 battles have occurred in the homerooms of American high schools.

The Persian Gulf is ringed in zealots with functioning AK’s and a couple hundred Russian-made ship-killing Sunburn missiles. One salvo at our carrier fleet and America’s Ace in the hole is nothing but a hole. Corporate wars suck. Where is the profit in losing your ass?

A war against Iran will prove to be the best recruiting tool for Islamic extremism since the war against Iraq. House negroes like Woodward and Powell stopped drinking the White House Kool-Aid over this, but rats always leave the ship just before it sinks.

Luckily, President Bush’s extensive background as a Yale cheerleader will come in handy when the chips are down. Did you know that President Putin has a sixth degree black belt in Judo? It’s possible that we flew the “Mission Accomplished” banner over the Cold War too soon, too. We should put that banner away for awhile.

When all else fails Arab savages won’t be shocked or awed by any thing less lethal than pop music, cable television, booze and internet porn. When the real weapons of freedom are unsheathed, the fertile crescent will be deader than an American Indian reservation.

If pacification fails, Bush’s master’s plan is to allow chaos reign until Arabs nuke Isreal and vice versa. “The land without people for a people without a land” is glassed over into nothing for neither. Chaos is the mother of fascism. Ineptitude is a strategy. If things go wrong enough, Republicans won’t even have to steal the election because there won’t be one.