Fallujah has fallen. The Sons of Iraq are tired of getting their heads cut off and have mostly evaporated. I know guys who bled to give Anbar back to the people who are now slowly shaking their heads when asked why they let the local Al Qaeda affiliates back in. The sectarian idiocy in Iraq has gone beyond the pale, with members of the elected government having each other assassinated on religious and ideological grounds, and openly aligning with various groups whose goals are, in no particular order: the decapitation of all adversaries, the destruction of the elected government, and the purging of all incompatible ideology from the face of the Earth (or at least the little parts of it within range of a 7.62x39).
Karzai has finally flipped his entire wig and seems to be determined to go out with a bang and a flash, and is not not only defying the murderous and hideous occupying armies, but also the rest of the government of his own country, to include the elected parliament and the Loya Jirga. Things have gone as far South there as they can get short of Iran farting off a volley of chemical warheads into Kabul just for laughs.
A good friend of mine reports that there is graffiti on the walls of Northern Syria, in the parts that journalists don't dare go to (Aleppo is the new Saigon as I've heard it told), that reads "GREETINGS TO BROTHERS IN ISLAM FROM MULLAH OMAR AND THE TALIBAN". Kandahar to Al-Maabadah is about 35 hours by road, along Ring Road and Route 44.
In other recent news, the details leaked from former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates' upcoming tell-all book have been ruffling some feathers on the Hill lately, because he's had the gall to break ranks and breach the thin gold line to relay a little bit of the ugly truth behind the leadership's decisions regarding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. More or less exactly what anyone with two functioning neurons should expect, but to have it said openly by such a high ranking official is a little like a retired police chief not only admitting that there are dirty cops, but naming names, too.
I say "a little like" because the comparison is like trying to explain an extinction level meteor impact in terms of firecrackers.
On the homefront, things have been awfully quiet. It's been a rough winter break. Fabulous amounts of family drama to deal with, and nothing to really distract me from it, what with no schoolwork to throw myself into. A little bit of review/preview for the upcoming classes for which doing such a thing makes sense, but in general, a lot of laying around and cursing the Polar Vortex as if I were somehow incapable of putting a coat and hat on.
Yes, all of this is fascinating, I'm sure. Believe me, it's been absolutely riveting from this end as well. Apparently, nobody actually believed me when I told them I was getting out of the business and moving on to a quiet domestic life. In this morning's fresh retrospect, apparently I didn't either.
I got a phone call yesterday morning that I should never have answered, and I knew it even as I pawed at the phone. When I realized who it was, and the first thing he wanted to know was "So, Haq, what have you been up to lately?" I really should have faked a coughing fit or a house fire. Anything to avoid what I knew had to come next, because I knew there was no way to turn it down.
Long story short, I took the job offer.
Fuck it. Let's go.
Maybe I can catch some of the six weeks of Spring when the weather is perfect, just before it all turns to dust.