"I Miss Iraq, I Miss My War, I Miss My Gun"
When I got up this morning I had never heard of Brian Mockenhaupt. I was better off that way. He is a pathetic loser and a sadistic SOB.
In an awful tome entitled, "I Miss Iraq, I Miss My War, I Miss My Gun," Mockenhaupt waxes sentimental about having the power to kill people. That is the long and the short of it, but he covers his bloody urges with nonsense about missing the adrenaline rush. If all he wanted was a rush he could take up sky diving.
I will do my best to translate through Mockenhaupt's BS. It is a tough job but someone has to do it.
But war twists and shifts the landmarks by which we navigate our lives, casting light on darkened areas that for many people remain forever unexplored. And once those darkened spaces are lit, they become part of us.
Translation: I was an ordinary asshole before, but in Iraq I had the power to make good on my secret desire to be a killer.
War is exciting. Sometimes I was in awe of this, and sometimes I felt low and mean for loving it, but I loved it still. Even in its quiet moments, war is brighter, louder, brasher, more fun, more tragic, more wasteful. More. More of everything. And even then I knew I would someday miss it, this life so strange.
Translation: I am such a loser. I have no clue how to bring joy or excitement to my life, so having the power to kill filled up my worthless life.
We often raided houses late at night, so people awakened to soldiers bursting through their bedroom doors. Women and children wailed, terrified. Taking this in, I imagined what it would feel like if soldiers kicked down my door at midnight, if I could do nothing to protect my family. I would hate those soldiers. Yet I still reveled in the raids, their intensity and uncertainty.
Translation: I don't give a fuck about other people, especially if they are not white. I know what I do is wrong, but I couldn't care less.
I didn't have any Iraqi friends, save for our few translators, and I'd rarely been invited into anyone's home.
Translation: I am so stupid. I actually think an occupier would be welcome.
Leaving the war behind can be a letdown, regardless of opportunity or education or the luxuries waiting at home. People I'd never met sent me boxes of cookies and candy throughout my tours. When I left for two weeks of leave, I was cheered at airports and hugged by strangers. At dinner with my family one night, a man from the next table bought me a $400 bottle of wine. I was never quite comfortable with any of this, but they were heady moments nonetheless.
Translation: I was an ordinary guy and then I was important and got attention I didn't deserve. I still want the attention I had when I walked around with a big dick, um, gun.
There are no electric bills or car payments or chores around the house. Just go to work, come home alive, and do it again tomorrow. McCarthy calls it pure and serene. Indeed. Life at home can be much more trying.
Translation: I hate my life. It is filled with quiet desperation, so much desperation that I find serenity in terrifying women and children.
I'm glad Mockenhaupt took the time to tell the world what an awful piece of crap he is. He didn't tell me anything I didn't know already, but if I had written the same thing, I would have been dismissed out of hand. We should give him credit for telling the truth about why some men love war. That truth is ugly and Mockenhaupt thankfully let the cat out of the bag.