Sunday, June 21, 2015

U.S. Steps Up Iraq’s Military Training by Attaching American Heads to Iraqi Bodies

Dateline: ARLINGTON COUNTY—American military officials order surgical attachment of American soldiers’ heads to the bodies of Iraqi soldiers to improve Iraq’s military training.

Prior efforts to train democratic Iraq’s military have been stymied. Instead of fighting Islamic State insurgents, Iraq’s soldiers became infamous for fleeing the battlefield, allowing waves of IS fighters to control key sectors of Iraq.

“The problem,” says U.S. General Buttercup, “was the training that had already been done not just in Iraq but throughout the Middle East. Those folks had trained for decades to be tribal theocrats, to be Sunni, Shia, and so on. Their traditions go back many centuries.

“For example, IS fighters are Sunni and most of Northern and Northwestern Iraq is also Sunni. Iraq’s government is dominated now by Shias, so the Sunni soldiers and tribesmen don’t want to fight fellow Sunnis. Nor do they want to fight for their Shia leaders.”

“It’s a case of a clash of indoctrinations,” says an American military psychologist. “Muslim sectarianism is deep-seated, because the Middle Eastern countries are tribal, meaning that from a very early age Muslims are taught to identify with only a subset of Muslims, not to mention a subset of other humans. That’s the start of their extensive training.

“Now Americans want to retrain Iraq’s soldiers’ to be liberal humanists, to see past their tribal and religious allegiances. Alas, each soldier has only one brain. American training techniques are unparalleled, but no matter how hard you train a brain that’s already been thoroughly trained to adhere to a vastly different mindset, you’ll run out of room in that brain to store your memes and mores.”

General Buttercup concurs with that analysis. “I told President Obama from the start,” says Buttercup. “We’ve got to give those already-trained Iraqis a second brain. Their brains were full of Muslim nonsense before Bush had invaded Iraq. We spent a decade and hundreds of millions of dollars training Iraq’s military to fight for Western values and interests. But how could even all of that overcome centuries of Middle Eastern history and tradition? 

It’s like flapping your arms to see if they’ll fly. No, it took millions of years of evolution to get them to work like arms rather than wings. You’re not going to overcome that anytime soon. But what if you could add wings to the human form? That’s what planes are for.”

For budgetary reasons, President Obama selected brains that have already been trained at world-renowned military bases in the United States. According to military sources, these soldiers’ sacrifice is part of the U.S. effort to win hearts and minds in the region.

“Their minds are opposed to ours,” says General Buttercup. “They’re Muslims and we’re Christians. They’re used to theocracies and dictatorships. We love our political and economic liberties. What we need is a meeting of minds, so we’re attaching hundreds of American military heads to Iraqi bodies.”

Instead of undoing Muslim and tribal indoctrinations, which would require beheading the Iraqis, the hope is that the new heads will compensate for the un-American worldview.

We don't do beheading. It's just not in our playbook, says Buttercup. If we could train the Iraqis to be American by beheading them, believe me I'd be all for it. But I can't go against my training.

“No one trains harder than us,” says USMC Staff Sergeant Kyle Killsalot. “You just wouldn’t believe how hard I trained. If you asked my opinion of whether I approve of having my head surgically attached to an Iraqi soldier’s body, you wouldn’t get it. I have no independent opinions since I serve my military collective, my brothers in arms. Believe me, I’ll whip that Iraqi into shape and there will be no more running from insurgents. If he tries to run I'll turn my head and spit in his eye.”

3 comments:

  1. Nice - though I guess I'm partial to the idea that you have extremists (who don't want it any other way) trying to 'train' other extremists...to their way.

    I'm wondering how the piece would go in general population reads? It's zany enough to be fun and accepted as reading that way (and within my reading stamina capacity too! lol!). Just wondering if general population would pick up on it (assuming the extremist bit is what you're aiming at, Ben)

    Critiquing because it's a nice piece - well worth looking at closely! :)

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    1. I don't know how the general public would interpret it or whether many people would be offended, but I think good satire and comedy in general should be subversive. That's it's purpose: to offend and subvert, and then to reassure, to reestablish comfort with consensus reality.

      Here, I'm just picking up on the suspicion that there's something fishy about the US military's talk about the need for more "training" of Iraq's military. The "training" isn't taking, but "training" is a euphemism for acculturation, the process of replacing one culture with another. The satire makes this point in an absurd way, of course, to try to be funny, but the underlying point isn't even so controversial.

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