Protein Wisdom Hits The Bullseye
Navy F18 Tests Countermeasures

The Sheikh & The Editor's Podcast

The Editor's podcast is up at Military.com. Ward is shmoozing way above his pay grade with Maxim radio's Diana Falzone. Too bad for him it was by phone. I pipe up after with a look at Haditha since the last Marine facing charges SSgt Wuterich has his Art. 32 hearing Thursday Aug. 30.

Reader and poet Paul Z sends this very cool bit.

SHEIKH
by TSgt (Ret) Paul Zimmerli, August 2007

The muezzin's cry that splits the dawn...
       Reminds you it's time for bed...
You've done your work in darkness...
       Now, let others count the dead...

Your men are cheered and happy...
       Their bombs have slain a score...
In the city's marketplace...
       Such a pity, it wasn't more...

They were, of course, your countrymen...
       But all must chance that fate...
It's Allah's will they're targets...
       For the weapons of your hate...

So housewives seeking vegetables...
       And men out doing their work...
Are blasted into bloody pieces...
       By faith that's gone berserk...
Police and troops are hunting you...
       But they won't find you this day...
You set your timers and you left...
       So you'd be far away...

You were born a sharif...
       From Mohammed's loins you came...
But all you learned came not from him...
       The great Prophet was too tame...

Oh, you use all those connections...
       And you cry, "Allah is great"...
But there is no room for Allah...
       In the litany of your hate...

You enjoy all your honorifics...
       Though half of them are fake...
You rejoice at "Mullah" and "Imam"...
       But the one you love is "Sheik"...

You scour through the many slums...
       Well-guarded by your troops...
You accept the grudging hospitality...
       Of rivals from other groups...

You go from house to house to house...
       Drink tea, eat lamb and sleep...
The fathers offer gifts to honor you...
       While you're searching for new sheep...

You find a kid who's kind of slow...
       And direct him to enlist...
The family has four other kids...
       This one won't be missed...

You send him to a madrassa...
       A learned school of note...
Where he sits and learns the Koran...
       Entirely by rote...

And when he's done you bring him home...
       His brain packed full of verse...
He can't read or balance the checkbook...
       That's in his mother's purse...

But the reason for his schooling...
       Was to tenderize his brain...
To make him a religious warrior...
       Impervious to his pain...

You give him a Kalashnikov...
       And tell him he's now a man...
He struts and swaggers through the souk...
       In accordance with your plan...

You negotiate with your sponsors...
       Furtive men of much higher rank...
You're ready for an operation...
       Once the check is in your bank...

You scribble out a fatwa...
       To support your evil plan....
Since your troops can't even read it,
       They think you're a learned man...

You carefully select your lamb...
       From among your many sheep...
Yes, this one will do nicely...
       For his fervor's running deep...

You dress him up in funeral garb...
       Kuffiya, and white thobe...
Wrap him with explosives...
       Covered with a robe...

You send him off to pray, and then...
       You film his fervent martyr's joy...
It will soothe his family, and help...
       Recruiting yet another boy...

You turn to your lieutenants...
       Who take him through the door...
His mind is filled with virgins...
       Your mind is on his gore...

You sit and drink your tea at ease...
       And as the hours passed...
The noises of the city...
       Are sundered by a blast...

You shout praises to Allah...
       And give his parents sums of money...
As a "token of compensation"...
       With your tones of silken honey...

Oh, yes!  The money buys them...
       A few years of relief...
It's good that your own morals...
       Are untroubled by belief...

Of course, the little drips and drabs...
       For the bomber's family coffers...
Are only a minor portion...
       From your sponsor's offers...

For you've fought your way to power...
       Lied and cheated, stole and killed...
You wouldn't be a man to respect...
       If you had been weak-willed...

And so, you'll start all over...
       With your visits near and far...
Ghosting through the darkness...
       The authorities seek your car...

And then the game begins again...
       The mongoose and the snake...
But you're an expert player...
       That's why they call you "Sheik"...

But if your luck should turn at last...
       If you discover it's your fate...
At least you've left disciples...
       To carry on your hate...

And, as you're slipping into hell...
       You find you've lost your bet...
Because like a bloody elephant...
       Allah does not forget...

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