10 June 2008

The Butter-Cutter On Iraqi Interpreters

“OK! What's yer problem today?” The Butter-Cutter asked.

“I don't have a problem. I'm just interested in your view of an effort by American war veterans to bring their interpreters to the USA.”(1)

“Why d'they wanna do that?” he asked.

“I'll give you an example to explain it: an Army officer worked for a year training an Iraqi battalion and now wants to bring his interpreter back to the States. The interpreter told him that his life was in jeopardy for working with the Americans,” I related. 

“So, this American officer wants ta bring this guy over here.”

“That's right. Since 2006, 2,000 Afghan and Iraqi interpreters have applied for special immigrant visas. Because of the difficult bureaucratic process, a number of military officers are working to help them come to the States . . .”

“Whoa!” The Butter-Cutter jumped in saying, “Ya mean ta tell me that we got American military officers who are tryin' ta help 2,000 interpreters come here?”

“Well, it's estimated that more than 20,000 have worked as interpreters since 2003; so, I presume that the 2,000 figure will grow larger,” I said.

“Man, somethin's f***ed up here. Ever since we took the first bite o' this shit sandwich, I've been told that we needed more interpreters. If we need ta INcrease the number o' them interpreters, why are them officer-types workin' their bolts ta DEcrease that number?” he said quizzically. 

“They feel a loyalty to those who worked with them,” I explained.

“Oh! They're bringin' Afghans 'n' Iraqis ta our country ta sit on their asses while Americans are bein' sent ta their countries ta fight their freakin' wars. What kinda loyalty is that? Sounds like them officers are givin' us American Snuffies the ROYAL wiggly finger treatment,” he said with a scowl.

“You don't understand. They are in especial danger because they're interpreters working for Americans,” I said with irritation.

“WHAT!?! Now listen close: EVERY Iraqi who works fer Americans, includin' them who work in that little America in Baghdad called, 'The Green Zone,' is threatened by the bad guys. On top o' that, we came here ta get rid of Sodom and his Sodomites 'n' did. Now . . .” (2)

“No!” I interjected. “It's Sadda . . . never mind,” I caught myself in mid-sentence realizing it was hopeless trying to correct his pronunciation.

"Good!” The Butter-Cutter answered and then continued, “As I was about ta say: Now we're supposed ta help these guys build democratic countries. Tell me! How the f*** are they goin' ta build democratic countries if all o' them that can speak democrat leave? Huh? 'n', waddabout our officer replacements goin' over there, don't they need interpreters? Them officers need to pull their heads outta their asses so they can see what this shit is all about.”

“What horrible things to say. Those officers are demonstrating unselfish loyalty by aiding those with whom they served and shared harrowing combat experiences. They receive nothing in return other than the satisfaction that they helped a friend,” I told The Butter-Cutter.

“BULLLLL SHIT!” he answered. “If them freakin' officers wanted ta be loyal ta their combat buddies, they'd be workin' ta bring back everyone in them battalions they served with; like when the shit hit the fan, the raghead soldiers who were in front takin' the hits while their interpreters hid behind them,” he barked back.

“Apparently, those soldiers aren't asking to come here,” I suggested.

“That's right. The trigger-pullers aren't askin'. It's them camel-merchant interpreters that're hustlin' the touchy-feely officers inta thinkin' they're threatened more than anyone else. Well, I'll tell ya why they really want ta come here. They had a peek at the good life 'n' it ain't in rebuildin' their countries; it's here in The Land Of The Big Green Zone.” 

Semper . . . sigh,

Anthony F. Milavic

Major USMC (Ret.)