Saturday, November 14, 2009

OK Corral

In response to my earlier post about the fighting down the street, one of my oldest friends wrote me the following email:

Sounds like the old west, shoot first ask questions later. When you
decide to shoot some of them the next time take a few things into
  1. I have seen how long it takes you to fully wake up in the morning. I doubt you could hit a building, let alone a person.
  2. Since no one will know who you are, they are all likely to start firing back at you.
  3. Obviously your house is not bullet proof.
  4. They are happy to die for their cause. Your cause is to get paid, and if you die you fail at doing that.
  5. There are many of them, and only one of you.
I offer the following point-by-point response:
  1. While it is true that I have a well-deserved reputation for not being at my best before noon (and three cups of coffee and half a dozen cigarettes), I have discovered that even my advanced state of morning lethargy is rapidly and comprehensively dispelled by the sound of gunfire and/or explosions. Even through the haze of a barely-receeding pre-dawn hangover, the proximity of combat tends to focus one's attention. And, to be clear, although I had my weapon with me, I most assuredly did not engage any of the bad guys (see point two, below). And yes, I can, if called upon, shoot well enough to hit a building. Maybe even a small building.
  2. True, and that is in fact what happened, except that as noted above, I did not fire at them. I merely stuck my head out to survey the situation and they decided to fire at me. Fortunately, the bad guys generally can't shoot for shit, and the ANP, for all their bravery, are not much better.
  3. Actually, whether by accident or by design, most Afghan houses are bulletproof. Not much is done properly here, architecture-wise, but the walls of this place are approximately eight inches thick. It would take a lot more than a 7.62mm AK round to pierce that. Of course, that doesn't help when one is on the balcony.
  4. Granted, but isn't that sort of stating the obvious? I mean, I'm not here to oversee an agricultural project or school construction. A certain amount of risk is unavoidable in this place. Plus, although I dislike the word "cause", I like to think that I'm doing something more than just getting paid.
  5. Also true, there is only one of me. And I think I can reliably speak for most of the people who know me that one of me is more than enough. Also true that there are many of them. However, it is worth pointing out that, in that particular moment, there were three of the bad guys and about a hundred cops, and me. 101-3, I'll take those odds any day.


Anonymous said...

Well played.

Anonymous said...

FYI, the new Call To Duty - Modern Warfare 2 refers to Afghanistan as beibg like the "old west"