“Artificial Intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.” ~ Unknown
Chicken-Hawk Down is the true story of two modern day gung-ho arm-chair American generals who are sent to inner-space on a critical mission to capture the hearts and minds of intelligent book-reading people. When the mission goes terribly wrong, due to incompetence and forged papers; as well as a lack of knowledge of their own troops in the field; the men find themselves outnumbered and illiterally fighting for their lives, credibility, and reputations.
These are the true adventures of those two great arm-chair commandos. Two brave men who, even though they had never met before, find their lives intertwined in a commiserable case of ignorance, braggadocio, and fibs in a vain attempt to cover their asses; and continue with their daily faade of intelligence.
I know about this story because I was there. And it isn’t pretty; but then again, when is war ever pretty?
The initial invasion attempt
It was a bright and sunny morning. Commando Rich had been drinking coffee and watching too much TV in his suburban American apartment. He was restless; it would be hours he’d have to wait before Commander Limbaugh came over the airwaves cheering the troops to fight on and to give guys like Commando Rich their reasons for living, as well as their American History lessons; for they certainly didn’t learn any in school.
Things looked bad in Iraq. Fallujah was being blasted to the ground all the while other cities in Iraq were falling to the insurgents. As with any guerilla war, the enemy had melted away before the invading American forces. Commando Rich, who had gotten his war training through reading Sgt. Rock comics in his youth, had a burning desire to support the troops. But how? He could go down to the Army Recruiting station and sign up, but that would be dangerous and risky. Not only would he lose his job as a short-order cook, he might wind up actually getting shot at himself! And, actually, he didn’t really want to personally go into Iraq; it was much more of a fulfilling and vicarious thrill watching people get killed on TV. No, going to Iraq and actually fighting was out-of-the-question.
“It’s hot over there and, besides, I’m the best omelet maker at the Bun & Breakfast. Who could possibly take over? Who could possibly make a better breakfast than me?” He justified in his mind. “No! Joining the military was out; I have other, more important, priorities.”
Suddenly, General Idea came into the room. It wasn’t a particularly good general idea, but it was the best Commando Rich could do with the tools at hand; a PC, some cool soldier photos, and no girlfriend to keep his miniscule upper-works occupied.
Commando Rich set off on an inner-space propaganda mission that he was sure would turn the tide of the war toward the Americans favor: He created a mass e-mail that had a photo of an American Army soldier who, on his sleeve, had insignias that said, “(USA) Doing the work of:” And was followed by three decals of French, German, and Russian flags. The script read:
“Look at the black patch under the U.S. flag… You gotta love them and their humor. This SHOULD be on the front cover of Time, Newsweek, etc.
But it won’t be.
Let’s you and I “put it there” by forwarding this all around the world (so to speak)!”
“The flags are France, Germany, and Russia — in case you don’t know.”
Commando Rich figured that he had to explain to his American compatriots what countries those flags came from. He was an expert, an old pro; Rich figured that if even he didn’t know what they looked like, if he had to look them up; the receivers of his e-mail certainly wouldn’t know what they were. Here is where Commando Rich’s Psy-ops training from the Sgt. Rock manuals came in handy.
As sweat poured down Commando Rich’s face, he gritted his teeth and kept hammering away at the keyboard; altering photos to look real was no easy task and Rich knew that. Soon Rich became famished, he had been working on altering the photo for several hours now. The apartment was hot. It must have been 79, maybe 80 degrees in that room. Commando Rich thought, “Well, if the boys in Iraq can take it, so can I.”
Even so, he knew he’d need his energy for the night shift later that same evening. He popped a couple of “C” rations (Chicken Pot pies) into the oven range.
“40 more minutes!” He thought, “40 more minutes until I can take a much needed break from the front lines and chow down.” He wiped the sweat from his brow. He opened the fridge and “pulled the pin” from a Diet Coke hand grenade and took a few big swigs. He wiped his mouth with his shirt sleeve and swaggered back to the computer.
After several more attempts at making the photo look like the real thing, Rich had to call it a day. Besides, the bell on the oven range had rung over 10 minutes before and it was just about time for Commander Limbaugh. Rich hurriedly sent his propaganda bomb into inner-space.
He clicked the “enter” button and put both fingers in his ears and shouted:
“Fire in the hole!” The mail was now blasted into inner-space.
He was satisfied with a job well-done, two over-cooked chicken pot-pies… And a Diet Coke.
The plan unfolds
Meanwhile, on the other side of inner-space, General Bob had received the propaganda mail. He too was a crusty old veteran of watching other people’s wars on TV. He was a supposedly well-educated and hardened American patriot through and through.
When General Bob received the message, he knew exactly what to do; for he was a member of a “patriot cell” operating on the West Coast of the United States, he sent the mail out for his contacts to disseminate.
“Humph! That’ll fix them!” General Bob twittered. He tuned into Commander Limbaugh all the while watching “Temptation Island” on TV with the volume turned down.
Japan enters the fray
When the photo came up on my surveillance computer, I knew that the dorks were up to no good again. I sent a short reply that said:
After dealing with fools my entire life, I always try to keep in mind an ancient Chinese saying:
“The only one to argue with a fool is a bigger fool.”
So I left it at that; or so I thought. The e-mails began going back and forth between other people at a furious pace, each side struggling to get an upper hand. I attempted to stay out of the fray, but was dragged into the fighting as the e-mails kept getting forwarded to me. Why is anyone’s guess.
But as any intelligent person knows, you can’t argue with a Chicken-Hawk, they will keep changing their stories. Perhaps it is due to too much television; perhaps it’s due to Attention Deficit Disorder; perhaps it’s just plain stupidity. But, hell, I’m not a medic, how should I know? All I knew is that there were two Chicken-Hawks invading my world and I was beginning to get irritated.
First off, I proved that the photo was a fake. I referred all of the guilty parties a copy of the Army Regulation 670-1 concerning Uniforms and Insignia. Of course, anyone with any common sense, or military experience; or even a basic knowledge of military history would know that such insignias are a sign of disrespect to the uniform. But these weren’t people with any common sense or any of these other vital points of interest: These were Chicken-Hawks.
General Bob meets heavy resistance and takes return fire
Upon being blasted by another person General Bob wrote:
“OMG, you are blind. The footage in Fallujah shows us cleaning out scumbags. And how can you even talk about France in anything but utter disgust?” He then goes on to add, “I sent you that photo because I am proud of our soldiers.”
“Hmmm? He says he is proud of our soldiers, yet he sends around a photo disgracing their uniforms!? Typical, twisted logic of a Chicken-Hawk.” I thought.
General Bob also wrote:
“Check your history and tell me when France last won a war. If we aren’t involved, they get their assed kicked. If we weren’t involved saving their quiche-eating asses in WWII, they’d be speaking German now.”
The past comes back to haunt General Bob
General Bob’s lack of knowledge of history, especially American history, really irked me as he, in typical arm-chair General fashion, acts like he knows what he is talking about; but he doesn’t. Slagging off the French after they helped save the United States from the British at least twice, I could not hold my fire any longer. That was it for me. I figured since these kind folks were bothering me with their bickering, no sense in me not taking action.
I knew what I had to do. I had two big, juicy Chicken-Hawks in my sights; I had several batteries of SAM missiles loaded up and ready to go. First up, General Bob had to go down in flames. I hit him with everything I had. I wrote:
“In 1974, General Bob was an honors student at High School. I believe he was captain of the swimming team (anyway, he was one of the top guys on a very powerful squad). He was a straight “A” student and honors all the way.
Every year, the president of the United States appoints two students per year, per state to go to the United States Military Academy at West Point. (I reckon that means nominees could go for free to get a university education at a very respected school). Richard Nixon was president of the United States at the time and we were out of Vietnam by then. One of the two people nominated from California to attend West Point was….. you guessed it!.. General Bob.
General Bob’s father was an ex-career marine and he was ecstatic! His mother, having lived in a country that was heavily bombed in World War II didn’t like the idea at all. Also, one of his mother’s best friend’s husband had gotten killed in Vietnam.
Anyway, our own gung-ho General Bob gets appointed by the president of the United States to go to West Point. To hear General Bob today, you’d think he would have jumped at the chance to go! But, nope, he didn’t go.
General Bob and his father had several massive fights about West Point. Of course General Bob’s father wanted him to go — he was a marine. General Bob’s mother was a bit negative-ambivalent. But good old gung-ho General Bob, the guy who we all hear cheering the troops on, was dead-set against it. I clearly remember one night when General Bob and his father were fighting about it and General Bob said:
“There is no way that I’m going to put on a uniform and go and kill people.”
Ultimately, after many fights, his father gave up and General Bob went to some Hippie university on the West Coast.
Now, to hear General Bob talk today, you’d think that he would have volunteered for military service, never-mind the West Point nomination; but he didn’t go. Heck, just like all these other big-talking Chicken-Hawks, if they really wanted to support the troops, they’d go and sign up today. But they don’t, because it’s all just that, “Big-talk.”
General Bob is a war hypocrite; a Chicken-Hawk.”
General Bob went down in flames — I’m sure he has lost respect among his group of Chicken-Hawk friends. They’ll never let him forget this. Why? Well, of course it is a characteristic of Chicken-Hawks to always try to divert attention away from their own disgraceful shirking of duty. So now General Bob will be on the receiving end of their boots. Shame.
I find it appalling and quite disturbing that General Bob would be so “rah-rah” about war — any war. And after hearing this incredible true story about him, you might feel the same as I do. But is it really his fault for not having a basic grasp of American History or current events? Is it this poor man’s fault for being so ignorant and blind and getting his information solely from people like Commander Limbaugh? Shouldn’t I be more kind and forgiving to this poor man? Shouldn’t I show more compassion? Nope. No way. Not when the USA is bombing and killing children in other countries for no good reason and guys like General Bob call those kids scumbags and support their killing.
He deserves what he gets.
Commando Rich falls into the trap
Not being a person who likes to leave any job undone, I began my own little Psy-ops operation onto the creator of this insolent “joke.” I noticed an e-mail address on the bottom right hand corner of the photo of the soldier and “borrowed” a name and some comments about the photo and sent this message:
“This is a degrading slap to the men and women in uniform. I demand that you cease immediately the dissemination of this photo. This is a God-damned disgrace.”
To which Commando Rich responded:
“Get a life. It’s an editorial composite that was created for an international magazine.
P.S.: You shouldn’t use the Lord’s name in vain, it doesn’t make you more of a man and it offends people.
“A-Ha!” I thought. “I have already caught Chicken-Hawk Commando Rich in a lie, that was fast!” In Rich’s first piece of propaganda he writes:
“This SHOULD be on the front cover of Time, Newsweek, etc. But it won’t be. Let’s you and I ‘put it there’ by forwarding this all around the world (so to speak)!”
Now he says, “It’s an editorial composite that was created for an international magazine.” Oh really?
Commando Rich goes down in flames
After receiving Rich’s rude (expected) reply, I wrote and told him who I was. I told him to tell me the name of the international magazine because I didn’t believe him and I wanted to check his story. I also told him that if he didn’t write an explanation or apology and launch it into inner-space to all of the usual suspects, I was going to write this article. Let’s call it “a little promotional exposure” for Commando Rich and his activities. So any time you see, from now on, any sort of photo with that e-mail address on it, you’ll know it is fake. And you’ll know that Commando Rich is too, well, not a truthful person.
Commando Rich doesn’t want to write back to me anymore. Gee, do you think he is a Chicken-Hawk?
I’ll bet he is. In fact I know he is. And that’s what’s wrong with Chicken-Hawks: They all talk a big game, but when it comes right down to it, they have no guts and they lie. But they’ll keep lying to you telling you that they are not lying, just like 10-year-old little boys; because that is the psychological level these people are at. Kind of like president Bush; a chronic liar.
Does Rich deserve our contempt? Yes. His mother might pity him; I just think he’s pretty lame and typical.
The Chicken-Hawk Down epilogue
What is the point of this entire article, you may ask? Well, that’s where I show you my easy plan to eliminate Chicken-Hawks everywhere. That’s right. Do you realize that if all these gung-ho Chicken-Hawks would have a back-bone, instead of a jaw bone, we probably could have had sufficient troops in Iraq and Afghanistan today and had those countries free and on the road to democracy and prosperity a long time ago! Yep (Well, at least according to Chicken-Hawk logic).
So all you pro-war people are now called Chicken-Hawk unless you have served in the military. You may avoid being called this by joining right now or by forcing your 18-year-old sons and daughters to join the military. I know the Army would just love to have your children — probably just as much as you Chicken-Hawks would just love to kill rag-heads and scumbags. So you join, or send your kids, and everyone’s happy! No more name calling; no more lack of troops. A free Iraq! A free Afghanistan! You or your kids get killed — but you can be proud! No more evil! We’re there.
I do have better things to do than argue with ill-informed supposedly educated people who are painfully ignorant on the topic that leads to their own uncouth, boisterous behavior. So sign up for the military today! But until you do sign up, please don’t send me your pro-war Chicken-Hawk emails; I don’t want them.
Besides, I already eat chickens for dinner.
Mike (in Tokyo) Rogers [send him mail] was born and raised in the USA and moved to Japan in 1984. He has worked as an independent writer, producer, and personality in the mass media for nearly 30 years.