Kwais wrestles apartheid-era machinery, flies on a sneaker, dreams of throwing down with Saddam

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Frequent commenter Kwais frequently entertains us with his tales of Iraq, and I've generally been inclined to believe him because kwais means "sweet" or "A-OK" in Arabic, which didn't seem like the kind of detail your garden variety bullshitter would come up with. It turns out, based on this Reno Gazette-Journal article about the boxer/commenter/warrior, that Kwais is not only a veteran of two different service branches the U.S. Marine Corps but a death-defying merc in the Red Zone. Bureaucratic irony alert: At a time when married soldiers with children are getting killed at a steady clip, Kwais, who spent 11 years training for combat, had to transition to civilian life in order to get into the shit:

"After 11 years of training and warfighting experience it was looking like I was not going to get the opportunity to serve my purpose, that millions of dollars had been spent training me to do," he wrote in an e-mail. "I was approached by others and they said that I could go over as a civilian, and I would still be fighting the bad guys, but not in uniform. So I got out of the Marine Corps, and went to work for some private security companies."

Whole article, with plenty of good adventures, as Kwais struggles to drive a "Casper," reviews the local airlines, and gives his perspective on the invasion. Thanks to Jennifer for the heads up.

NEXT: TGIF

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  1. Damn dude, what a better man than me.

    I have long suspected that Iraq was a distraction in the war on terror. Not a distraction for us, but a distraction for them. Give them Iraq to pour their money and their jihadists into

    Now there’s an interesting thought. Is GW devious enough to think that way? He’s devious enough to act and speak much dumber than he really is…

  2. kwais, you are awesome.

  3. Makes me want to go back and re-read all the threads. Fascinating stuff.

  4. Kwais, thank you for your service. Good luck and Semper Fi.

  5. Grrr…the above post was supposed to include the quote, “Is GW devious enough to think that way?”

  6. I met a soldier who had served at least one tour in Iraq. He was shipping out the next day for another tour. This time with the State Department at much higher pay. My only point is that there are a lot of players in Iraq outside of the military.

  7. Now there’s an interesting thought.

    See, also, “flypaper”.

  8. It’s an interesting thought if you think the number of terrorists worldwide is fixed and can never increase. That seems ridiculous.

    – Josh

  9. Thanks all, you are too kind.

    Note to Tim C.
    I was just in one Branch of Service, the Marine Corp. I served first as enlisted, and then as an officer.

    Bubba,
    you are correct. There are about 10 to 12 thousand British soldiers here last time I heard, and there are over 20 thousand private military guys, not including local nationals hired as such.

    So private security contractors are effectively the second largest (or third largest if you include Iraqis) military in the coalition.

  10. See, also, “flypaper”.

    See, also, “deficit”.

  11. Wild Pegasus,
    The last two dudes that were caught by the Iraqis that work near me were Palestinian. I don’t know if that means anything.

    But the way I figure it there is going to be a certain amount of money and bad guys going to fight us if we are in a moslem country. Maybe more if we are in two moslem countries.

    One of the Moslem countries is crazy dirt poor, and has been known to crush undefeatable empires. The other, not so much.

    My personal crazy theory is that X amount of bad guys and x amount of dollars going into Afghanistan to fight us can do a lot more against us than the same or more into Iraq. And Iraq is going to attract the lions share of bad guys and bad guy money because it is an Arab country.

    Some Iraqis that I know believed this, and were somewhat resentfull that we were using their coutnry to attract bad guys and bad guy money to, that we were using their country as a battlefield. I think they wanted us to invade Syria.

  12. “… Iraq was a distraction in the war on terror. Not a distraction for us, but a distraction for them. Give them Iraq to pour their money and their jihadists into.”

    So- our excruciatingly brilliant strategy reveals itself. We will spend billions to operate recruitment and training facilities for Al Qaeda and their subsidiaries (wholly owned and otherwise) worldwide, based on our devious expectation that… they will run out of cash and foolish young believers before we do?

  13. Great article. Semper Fi.

  14. Just amazing, kwais. The Casper story is especially good.

  15. Number 6:

    Now that you mention it, I do seem to remember some administration people saying things to that effect, but I always assumed they were flailing around for an explanation for invading Iraq after the WMD thing fell through.

  16. So it’s now established that kwais doesn’t even have the “just following orders” defense?

  17. No 6: they referred to this as the ‘flypaper effect’

    The camp right next door to mine is the incarceration facility of the infamous Saddam Hussein.

    I drove past that on a daily basis.

  18. One of the Moslem countries is crazy dirt poor, and has been known to crush undefeatable empires.

    Well, the Afghanis (with plenty of foreign support) managed to beat the Russians, but they actually got whipped by the Brits at least two times out of three. The Brits won the first two wars, although they didn’t try to leave a permanent administration after wiping out their opposition in either event. The third war, resulting in independence, can charitably be called a draw, with the Brits dictating the terms of the armistice.

    Plus, we are not, of course, trying to establish an “empire” in the Afghanistan, and are not, contra late stage Marxist theology, an imperial nation, so the implications of the reference to “empires” are misleading at best.

    Historic and linguistic quibbles aside, great stuff, kwais. My hat is off.

  19. and were somewhat resentfull that we were using their coutnry to attract bad guys and bad guy money to,

    and yet, warmongers always claim that they are making iraqis lives better.

  20. I’ll do it, but I won’t like it.

    Mr. Hill may be brave, daring and perhaps a hero but he is not a soldier or marine. He is a mercenary. It breaks my heart to see privates risking their lives (the actual citizen soldiers) for a relative pittance while mercenaries are paid at least an order of magnitude more for their services and it disturbs me that the use of such “private security contractors” is becoming normal.

    Of course, I’m still so naive that I think the nest way to defend a republic is with an army of citizen volunteers, not with an army of highly-paid mercenaries.

  21. Many thanks for posting this. Definitely one of the best things I have seen on the internet this year.

  22. Trooper Jones,
    We shouldn’t pay soldiers? If we should how much?

    What is the difference between a soldier and a mercenary? I mean why is one ok and another not?

  23. And we’re NOT pouring money and warriors into Iraq?

  24. Thanks for the correction Kwais: I was working off the article’s claim that you were in Army Ranger school, then got a commission in the Marines. Fixed now.

  25. Yo (ya) kwais,

    I’m a bit confused as well. Marine at Army Ranger School? That mean you were headed for Force Recon? (If the Marines still have Force Recon. My knowledge about this is dated.)

  26. Trooper:

    To kwais’ point – A friend of mine was in the infantry stationed in the DMZ for a while. The ROK regulars thought the US Army was a bunch of mercenaries because they got paid.

  27. Yep, as enlisted I was in Det 4th Force Recon. I also spent a short time at 1st Force Recon.

    That was when I went to Army Ranger School.

  28. Patrick D.
    Force has undergone some changes. I think there are 6 Force Recon companies. Including the newly formed Tier 1 unit, that goes by varios names. I think that 5th force has merged with 3rd Recon.

  29. The Col. mentioned near the end of the article wasn’t named Mahaney, was he?

    Thank you for your service, btw.

  30. kwais,

    The problem with that strategy is that an enemy with a sufficiently long will to fight can defeat if our will sags over time.

    R.C. Dean,

    …contra late stage Marxist theology, an imperial nation…

    One doesn’t have to be a Marxist to believe that the U.S. is an empire.

  31. Kwais,

    From another 11-year vet with a Southwest Asia (bronze star), Thanx for your service brada.
    Still got the FTN fever though….

    FTN! And Simper Fi! Wooooooooohooooooooooo!

  32. When mercenaries die is the press allowed to photograph the coffins as they are unloaded (presuming you aren’t buried in Iraq and that there are remains to return) and are they draped in a US flag? Does the US taxpayer have to shell out to bury you? Do you get taps played?

    Also, how many foreign mercenaries have have been killed in Iraq and would the Iraqi resistance be better off (tactically) targeting them/you rather than US forces?

    If you die in Iraq is your death as an America equal to, greater or lesser than the death of a US solidier and should your corpse be counted and picture be shown on the news like a US solidier. Why becuse you are making money killing people should your corpse be counted as less?

  33. Kwais, much respect and appreciation.

  34. kwais,

    First, props.

    Second, what’s a “semi-good guy?”

  35. “One doesn’t have to be a Marxist to believe that the U.S. is an empire.”

    There are a number of National Review writers who quite openly equate America’s wars and foreign policy with empire. Mostly the British and Roman. This is not meant as a criticism, but as a straightforward fact, or even a compliment.

  36. kwais,
    Would you accept suggestions as to the ideal world hotspot in need of your services?
    Not that I’ve thought about it much, but perhaps others here have.

  37. < “I was approached by others and they said that I could go over as a civilian, and I would still be fighting the bad guys, but not in uniform.”

    Hmmmm…fighting, but not in uniform…I had heard that was considered a bad thing…

  38. R.C. Dean & joe,

    I am trying to suggest that the U.S. is an empire; just that one doesn’t have to be a Marxist to claim such.

  39. “Yep, as enlisted I was in Det 4th Force Recon. I also spent a short time at 1st Force Recon.”

    So, kwais, I’ve gotta know… given that individuals with your military profile are supposedly ideal and in short supply given current needs, why weren’t you going to see action if you stayed in the military?

    Was that mentioned in your comments or did I just miss it?

  40. Correction:

    R.C. Dean & joe,

    I am NOT trying to suggest that the U.S. is an empire; just that one doesn’t have to be a Marxist to claim such.

  41. “and” not “or”

    communication skills degrading

  42. Screw you, Kwais. You’re a mercenary. I feel nothing.

    just kidding, stay safe

  43. Kwais,
    God be with you and keep you safe.

  44. I am amused by the idea of forcing illegal immigrants to build giant pyramids out of rock. I mean it is wrong, but pretty cool too.

    My personal crazy idea is as follows;
    Allow imigrants from Mexico into the US contingent on that they stay employed for as long as they are here, or until they get citizenship.

    For every Mexican that comes into the US we export one welfare recipient over to mexico (we still send them their welfare money, which would be huge in the Mexican economy.)

    That is my quota system.

    the more I think about it the more I like it.

    Comment by: kwais at June 24, 2006 05:39 PM

    1. kwais: shouldn’t you be thanking the US taxpayers for your sweet-ass Audi during this moment in the spotlight?

    2. Deporting welfare recipients?! joe: when did you start celebrating people who think like this?

  45. Hmmmm…fighting, but not in uniform…I had heard that was considered a bad thing…

    Not a bad thing, Boatman — just means that he would not be accorded the protections of the Geneva Convention. (If the enemy there so much as pretended to give half a rat turd about the Geneva Convention…)

    Give ’em hell, kwais. Despite what the long-haired glue-sniffers claim, y’all aren’t manufacturing bad guys — you’re killing them Over There, instead of us having to kill them Over Here.

  46. .. kwais,

    .. may I ask, how is your nom de guerre pronounced?? .. I read it as k-ways but I could see how it could be k-whys (or something else!)

    .. excellent article, btw .. thanks for your service .. my son-in-law just made it back, Jah be praised..

    .. Hobbit

  47. Kwais,

    I can only dream of having balls of your magnitude.

    Thanks!
    TRB

  48. Kwais,

    Way to go.

    And when you get a chance, please swing by Grylliade’s. We have a thread there for you too.

    (And it’s harder for the assholes to get to.)

  49. Kwais, thanks for the service, both enlisted and private. Even those of us who question the decision to go to war must respect the soldiers that carry it out. If those men and women were not around, the government would come knocking on the all the pacifist’s doors with draft orders.

    And believe me, I am way too much of a pussy to want to be drafted.

  50. I told you they’d like it, Kwais.

  51. “kwais, you are awesome.”

    thoreau,
    I say unto you again: stop encouraging kwais.
    He needs no steenking encouragement.

  52. given that individuals with your military profile are supposedly ideal and in short supply given current needs,

    Not so much, I guess.

    Evil liberal,
    I don’t know much about the coffins or the taps. Don’t really care. I care more that I do the right thing when I am alive and that my actions mean something, not my lifeless corps.

    Jemez Hobbit,
    The word is actually Egyptian arabic, not Iraqi Arabic. The word is more like Kwayyis. In Iraqi it would be Zien.

    Re the Empire debate;
    I don’t think the US is an empire, nor should it ever be. But, for practical purposes of a powerfull military being cut to pieces by a tribesmen it is the same.

  53. All,
    Sorry I can’t comment and answer all the postings on the thread about me. I don’t get to spend that much time on the net. I’ll be back 12 hours from now, or thereabouts to make comments and answer comments. If the thread is still up.

    And on Grylliade, also inshallah.

  54. I care more that I do the right thing when I am alive and that my actions mean something, not my lifeless corps.

    Lifeless corps? That’s certainly an unfortunate typo for a former marine.

  55. Brad wrote: “Even those of us who question the decision to go to war must respect the soldiers that carry it out.”

    No, we don’t. Per Herbert Spencer:

    “Some years ago I gave my expression to my own feeling — anti-patriotic feeling, it will doubtless be called — in a somewhat startling way. It was at the time of the second Afghan war, when, in pursuance of what were thought to be ‘our interests,’ we were invading Afghanistan. News had come that some of our troops were in danger. At the Athenaeum Club a well-known military man — then a captain but now a general — drew my attention to a telegram containing this news, and read it to me in a manner implying the belief that I should share his anxiety. I astounded him by replying — ‘When men hire themselves out to shoot other men to order, asking nothing about the justice of their cause, I don’t care if they are shot themselves.'”

    http://praxeology.net/HS-FC-20.htm

  56. I’ve generally been inclined to believe him because kwais means “sweet” or “A-OK” in Arabic, which didn’t seem like the kind of detail your garden variety bullshitter would come up with.

    Today’s lesson: If you want to pretend to be a veteran of elite military units with experience fighting in the Middle East, pick a screen name derived from Arabic, not a name associated with a Romance language.

  57. jack,

    “Some years ago I gave my expression to my own feeling — anti-patriotic feeling, it will doubtless be called — in a somewhat startling way. It was at the time of the second Afghan war, when, in pursuance of what were thought to be ‘our interests,’ we were invading Afghanistan. News had come that some of our troops were in danger. At the Athenaeum Club a well-known military man — then a captain but now a general — drew my attention to a telegram containing this news, and read it to me in a manner implying the belief that I should share his anxiety. I astounded him by replying — ‘When men hire themselves out to shoot other men to order, asking nothing about the justice of their cause, I don’t care if they are shot themselves.'”

    Oh, what a nice, loaded way of saying kwais is an amoral kill-monger, very brave of you jack. Of course, you can always craw-dad your way out of the by this part “asking nothing about the justice of their cause”.
    And consideting that part of his job is also training the Iraqis to defend themselves against former Baathists and all sorts of vermin that want to blow up women and children to “harm the occupation”, what exactly does this do to that snobbish morality of Hebert?
    I don’t think you can answer those things with some pat quote, which has such a nice escape hatch too…

    kwais,

    Dude, you kick ass.
    Forget the haters, keep up the good work, and make sure your trainees shoots straight 🙂

  58. My balls might not be as big as Kwais. But they’re prettier. It’s quality of balls that’s important – not quantity or size.

  59. FXKLM,
    Not so much a typo as not knowing how to spell.

    All the people who say nice things,
    Thanks much, I wish I really were that cool, but actually I just try to not fuck up at a higher than average rate. Also, it has been said that I already have a big head. The psyche dude said that I was way more confident about myself than the average person. So beware of feeding my ego.

    Jennifer,
    Thank you very much.

  60. More on my version of the flypaper theory;
    Ok chances are this may be flawed reasoning.

    (RC Dean says the Brits defeated the Afghans twice, my understanding of history was that they had their asses handed to them three times. Something about 47,000 troops of the most powerfull military in the world at the time marching from Kabul to somewhere, and only two making it)

    Having been an enthusiast of the Afghans as a kid when they were doing what seemed to be impossible in fighting the Soviets, I believe;
    If we left Saddam in Charge of Iraq and tried to wage the war in Afghanistan and win, the price in blood for non-defeat would be more than the US public would be willing to accept.

    All that the money and people coming into Iraq now would be coming into Afghanistan, plus whatever money, personnel, training, and weapons Saddam would want to add to the mix.

    We might have been going nucular by this point.

    And that would be sad and wrong. And we would end up having to go into Iraq anyways. At the end.

    Of course I can’t make predictions, on what could or should be. Or how things and opinion would shape.

  61. Claudius’s statement illustrates why H&R needs to start allowing people to post pictures.

    Or perhaps not.

  62. But kwais has the biggest balls of them all!

  63. Bukvich,
    the story about me or the thread?

  64. I wanted to go over there and get a picture of me and Saddam together throwing up gang signs.

    Damn, that woulda been sweet! Oh well.

    kwais, you rock!

  65. kwais wrote:

    “All the people who say nice things,
    Thanks much, I wish I really were that cool, but actually I just try to not fuck up at a higher than average rate.”

    Me too. That is why I really call my Good Conduct Medals “didn’t get caught” medals…. heh heh….

    Zeal Integrity Loyalty… whatever… heh heh

    Please don’t make fun of my Pig Latin “Roman, Romantic, Romance” call sign…

    I am a Tlingit Atheist pretending to be a Latin Diety… Sheesh….

  66. kwais,
    Nice article. Even when we disagree it always interesting and respectful. Keep your wits about ya’ and kick ass.

  67. Frank A wrote: “Of course, you can always craw-dad your way out of the by this part ‘asking nothing about the justice of their cause’.”

    I’m not “crawdading” (whatever the hell that means) out of anything. If kwais (or anyone else who *deliberately* seeks out the opportunity to get themselves into an illegal war of aggression) gets his guts splattered across the windshield of his truck, good riddance to him. The world is a better place without psychopaths, which is what someone is if he willfully puts himself in a position to kill other people when, by his own admission, he would not have been in such a situation living his regular life. Is that blunt enough for you, Frank?

  68. Jack – you suck. Quit being a fag.

  69. I’m not “crawdading” (whatever the hell that means) out of anything.

    It’s a Louisiana colloquial term, refers to the sideways movement of crawfish and colloquially used to refer to people who “sideways” themselves out of an arguement.

    I am glad that you have the guts to stand by your convictions, a lot of the others didn’t have the balls to do that.

    Unfortunately, that does nothing to solve the intellectual wasteland that produced this:
    The world is a better place without psychopaths, which is what someone is if he willfully puts himself in a position to kill other people when, by his own admission, he would not have been in such a situation living his regular life.
    Reeealy? Considering the fact that soldiers, cops, and even the anarcho-capitalist praised private security forces (which combines aspects of both and militias as well) are by necessity have to live lifes of violence.
    There will always be people who snap and other evil men…oh who am I kidding, why am I even doing this?
    This arguement will go nowhere since I am clearly arguing with some true-believer whe believes his shit smells of roses and tastes like Snickers.
    So here’s my rebuttal in full: Blah, blah blah, bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, TADA!

  70. Jack – you suck. Quit being a fag.
    Comment by: the other Mark at July 2, 2006 01:26 AM

    Great minds think alike 😀
    And just to add nationalist salt in the festering ulcer of this asswipe:

    American girls and american guys
    Well always stand up and salute
    Well always recognize
    When we see old glory flying
    Theres a lot of men dead
    So we can sleep in peace at night
    When we lay down our head

    My daddy served in the army
    Where he lost his right eye
    But he flew a flag out in our yard
    Until the day that he died
    He wanted my mother, my brother, my sister and me
    To grow up and live happy
    In the land of the free.

    Now this nation that I love
    Has fallen under attack
    A mighty sucker punch came flyin in
    From somewhere in the back
    Soon as we could see clearly
    Through our big black eye
    Man, we lit up your world
    Like the 4th of july

    Hey uncle sam
    Put your name at the top of his list
    And the statue of liberty
    Started shakin her fist
    And the eagle will fly
    Man, its gonna be hell
    When you hear mother freedom
    Start ringin her bell
    And it feels like the whole wide world is raining down on you
    Brought to you courtesy of the red white and blue

    Justice will be served
    And the battle will rage
    This big dog will fight
    When you rattle his cage
    And youll be sorry that you messed with
    The u.s. of a.
    cause well put a boot in your ass
    Its the american way

    Hey uncle sam
    Put your name at the top of his list
    And the statue of liberty
    Started shakin her fist
    And the eagle will fly
    Man, its gonna be hell
    When you hear mother freedom
    Start ringin her bell
    And it feels like the whole wide world is raining down on you
    Brought to you courtesy of the red white and blue

    Neener neener neener 😛

  71. On the one hand I see no reason to automatically praise an individual soldier, marine, etc. On the other hand I see no reason to automatically think of soldiers, etc. as negative figures. It seems to me though that such automatic praise or derision is exactly what both camps here are advocating, and that strikes me as bizarre amongst a group of supposedly “free-thinking” and “open-minded” libertarians.

  72. see no reason to automatically praise an individual soldier, marine, etc.

    My opinion is that anyone who willingly goes over to the sandbox and puts himself in harm’s way is automatically deserving of respect. That even goes for the jihadis to some extent, though I hope they all die horribly.

  73. My opinion is that anyone who willingly goes over to the sandbox and puts himself in harm’s way is automatically deserving of respect. That even goes for the jihadis to some extent, though I hope they all die horribly. Comment by: the other Mark at July 2, 2006 11:25 AM

    Why even give the jihadis of Al Qaeda that.
    They do not abide by the rules of war IN THE LEAST, so they shouldn’t be given the same respect at all.
    Should they be beaten at Guantanamo, no, but we as a populace should be gladden everytime one of them turns dies because that is one less fanatic to deal with.

  74. It seems to me though that such automatic praise or derision is exactly what both camps here are advocating, and that strikes me as bizarre amongst a group of supposedly “free-thinking” and “open-minded” libertarians.

    I thought I was the only one that made those kinds of comments around here. You’re gonna crowd my space man.

  75. Jack – you suck. Quit being a fag.

    Relax. It’s just a preview of coming attractions, we’ll return to our regularly scheduled programs soon enough.

  76. “free thinking” and “open-mindedness” aren’t necessarily words I associate with libertarians or libertarianism. That’s not necessarily, or at least always, a bad thing. Free thinking and open-mindedness could also be synonyms for ad hoc thinking, thinking without principles or a philosophical basis to anchor one’s ideas in. One of my middle of the road friends always complains about people whose positions you can predict ahead of time. Yet, the problem with his thinking is that it’s a just a mixture of contradictory notions and half-baked concepts. Every conversation is “one the one hand…. but on the other hand…” Better to have principles and a sound philosophy guiding one’s thoughts then to be at the mercy of ad hoc whims.

  77. the other Mark,

    Well, right there you are making a distinction between soldiers, etc. and folks who put themselves in harms way. Indeed, your argument seems to apply to soldiers in combat and war reporters.

  78. “They do not abide by the rules of war IN THE LEAST, so they shouldn’t be given the same respect at all.”

    I think that’s what the Redcoats said about a certain group of sneaky, drygulching, anarchists.

    Happy Independence Day, y’all.

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