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by: Jaeger S. Meistersen

Desert Shield.

Anybody remember that motherfucker? For those who donít, itís the name of the first military action in Iraq that lasted for a handful of weeks. The United States went to Iraq to flex its muscles, make a show of force and tell Iraq to stand down. They were given a few weeks to surrender and back off from Kuwait without any major military action taken.

Then one night we started bombing Iraq and Desert Shield turned into Desert Storm and I was a little 7th grade pre-geek sitting in my parentsí living room and crying in front of the TV.

The next day I went to school all prepared to be sad and find my friends and worry in groups about the future of our country and ourselves as we grew older and closer to military draft age. Vietnam was too recent a dream to have fully shaken off the horror of, and the reruns we grew up on occasionally still made mention of the draft and the fear of it. Tour of Duty, China Beach, and reruns of M*A*S*H were still on television.

When I actually got off the bus and walked into school, I was mortified at what I saw. I expected the jocks and the sports fiends to start talking about how military they would be when they grew up. I expected the kids who had been migrating towards hippie-ism since the start of Desert Shield and Saddam Husseinís campaign of bullshit to be sitting in flower shaped circles crying on each other. I was met with exactly the opposite.

The jocks looked nervous as they saw the grim reality of their football scholarships and basketball careers vaporizing in the grim face of war. And the hippies were happy. Those dirty fucking flower children were dancing in the halls of the school like the hormonally imbalanced preteens they were. They were smiling and happy and I knew just why.

They were happy because they were fucking right. No matter what the greatest preponderance of their classmates said before they really did want peace and they really didnít want to go to war and we like children felt like atheists in a foxhole finding God because nothing else could be turned to. And those hippies were happy about it. They were glad that we were silently admitting they were right and we were wrong and they were fucking gloating in our teary-eyed faces.

One of the dirty little scalawags even dared to suggest that I was getting my due, having said the day before that weíd never go to war because they were so much smaller and totally incapable of fighting us. The unwashed little peace-puppy got right in my face and gave me a good laugh and a totally unnecessary "Told you so!"

Upon first seeing the circus my school had become, I was stunned with abject horror. This little nimrod helped snap me out of that initial shock and turn it into something far more productive: Wrath. 

I donít think he expected to get stuffed halfway into my locker before I realized the rest of him wouldnít fit and the Industrial Arts hack saw was halfway across the building. Whether or not he expected it, he very noticeably refrained from celebrating anywhere in my presence for the rest of the day. All things considered I pushed, prodded, elbowed, kicked and glowered at a few dozen hippies that day.

The beginning of the end...

It just turned noon, today. So far there are three planes that have crashed into important buildings and two more shot down on the way to buildings of national significance. Forty planes are landing as soon as they reach their destination, four more are totally unaccounted for, and the entire nationís airports are on lockdown. The potential death toll so far is 61,000 and the expected actual death toll is expected around 20,000. NPR is still receiving information faster than they can report it and the commentators have resorted to saying things like "Something coming in right now off the AP Wire," which they only do when things are extremely nasty.

Tomorrow the news will finally start settling down and I have no doubt the hippies will be back out in unwashed droves verbally masturbating in their self-satisfied shouts of "Told you so!" I fear tomorrow I'm going to have to go Hippie Hunting again.

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