This first appeared in The Havok Journal on August 16, 2021.
The first time I saw you was in the Khyber Pass. You came with your technology, elite fighters fueled by revenge, and the hubris to believe you could disprove history.
This was a war that you didn’t have the stomach to fight. But I’m glad you tried.
We bled you the same way we bled the Soviets in our Holy Land. We bled you the same way the Vietnamese bled you in their homeland. We did it patiently and deliberately.
Patience. Something Westerners never learn.
Our history is millennial. We don’t yearn for an early victory when the Infidel ravages our Holy Land. Our victory is celebrated decades from now. We’ve endured, then ravaged every standing military that crossed our borders. Why? How? We’re patient.
In 30 days, we’ll be stronger, richer, and have control over precious natural resources that you need for your pathetic life dictated by comfort. We will have women, riches, land, guns, and ownership of one of the greatest chapters in military history.
If you want to try again, we welcome the challenge. You will fail regardless of how much money you burn in our deserts. For pity, here is free advice that may contribute to your future success; should you ever decide to invade again.
You recruit your warriors and supporters from a drug-addicted, distracted, disillusioned population that’s obsessed with comfort and entertainment. A population obsessed with altering their mundane reality. Alcohol, marijuana, pills, and our new favorite — Tide Pods. Every time your doctors prescribe opiate painkillers, you line our coffers with gold. Your population’s thirst for our pristine heroin has never been more lucrative for our warrior tribes. We will keep feeding you poison for as long as you keep your hands out.
If your population wasn’t so spineless, undisciplined, and self-loathing, then you might be able to compile a raiding party with enough tenacity to outthink ours.
Our fighters are born into war. Raised in it. It’s a way of life that evades your “first world” nations. They live a life of such immense misery and pain that they’re willing to fight barefoot in the snow for the opportunity to martyr themselves. They yearn for the opportunity to die. When they do have the blessed opportunity to sacrifice themselves, they sit above Mohammed at the right hand of God. Blessed in Allah for eternity
What honors do your fighters receive? Their empty sacrifice is remembered in the form of a “three-day weekend.” The majority of your population uses this sacred time to get drunk and grow more fat as a way to celebrate their fallen warriors. Sadly, we pay tribute to their death more honorably.
The colored pieces of cloth you pin on their chests are similar to the jewelry worn by our women. What good are accolades and vanity if you don’t have the stomach to endure a fight? We don’t offer the burden of healthcare to our fighters as they often want to die for Allah. Your fighters fight to live. Their inability to reconcile the inevitable outcome of our patience leads them to kill themselves. Your medications, counselors, and non-profits will never undo the pain and suffering you’ve forced them to endure. It will never remove the pain we’ve caused your broken nation. You are your own worst enemy.
We will give your fighters credit. Some are creative, tenacious, and fierce. They outgun us in every way possible. But again, we simply wait them out. Allah is patient. You cycle them through our Holy Lands every 3 to 12 months for their combat rotations. After their tour is complete, they return to the comfort of their warm beds and endless entertainment. If you left them here, in our Holy Land, with no way out but to win, then you might of have had a chance of success. The longer you poisoned our Holy Land with your presence, your “rules of engagement” only strengthened our position. There is only one rule in war – that is to win.
Your commanders made you fight with your hands tied behind your back. Your rules also confused our fighters too. “We’re clearly the enemy; why are they letting us go?” Thank you for your compassion as it allowed our fighters to kill more Infidels. We began to feel as if your commanders were on our side. We’re thankful your most vicious dogs were never allowed off their leash.
Your showcase Generals make us laugh. You spend millions of dollars flying them around our country, inventing new ways to win while ignoring the guidance of our most capable foes. Your Generals make decisions to minimize risk to their fragile reputation with the ultimate goal of securing a lucrative retirement–jobs with suppliers that fuel your losing force. A self-serving circle that’s built on the backs of your youngest and most naive fighters.
Your retired Generals “earn” tens of thousands of dollars talking to your political, industrial, and financial leaders about “teams, winning, and discipline.” It’s a mockery of the war they refused to fight. It’s a mockery of the Infidel warriors who died in our lands. We urge you to continue following their vacuous personalities so we can further watch your once great nation collapse.
Your statesmen and elected officials are spineless, narcissistic, and more cowardly than your Generals. They crave power over you above all else. They come to our country, hide behind blast walls, and only heed the word of the indigenous leader they put in power. I believe your soldiers call this a “self-licking ice cream cone.”
They’ve burned billions of dollars in a wasted effort to bring clean water, electricity, business, education, agriculture, and exports to a region that didn’t ask for it. You should have saved yourself the effort and simply given the money directly to us. Don’t worry; your diplomatic friends gave us plenty of your American tax dollars. If you want to give it another shot with your “soft power,” send those with real experience, not fancy degrees and silver tongues.
Over the next few months, we will make the world understand that you failed worse than any fighting force that’s ever invaded our lands. Today we celebrate victory.
As you evacuate your embassy, our fighters will be standing in the shade. Our RPG marksmen will be patient. We thank you for the parting gifts. You’ll find surface-to-air missiles staged in the back of Toyota pickup trucks that you purchased for us.
We saw what Extortion 17 did to your nation and the morale of your fighting force. Do your citizens even remember that victory? We’ll be repeating and improving upon our victory while your citizens and sympathizers evacuate in disgrace. Every one of your foes around the world will know exactly how to break you.
You are welcome to fly your empty drones, target our cell phones, and send your spies. But they, too, will ultimately fail. We’ll use their failures to show the world that you’re not all-powerful. You’re a false front–an empty shell. You lie, cheat, steal, and are easily defeated because you lack the spine to fight. This is your history now. We’re grateful Allah gave us the opportunity to show the world how to defeat the Infidels.
We look forward to seeing you again across the battlefield.
Praise be to God,
If you’ve read this far. Thank you. I’ve spent the past week trying to find a way to communicate this to the American people in a manner that would cause anger, rage, action, and understanding. Writing in the voice of a Taliban felt right.
If this made you angry, cry, or contemplative–then our goal is achieved. Our hope is that it inspires you to take action with your elected officials. They’ve been repeating the same failing playbook since World War II with your sons, daughters, and tax dollars. If you want this to keep happening, do nothing. If you don’t, then do something. If we all do a little, together we do a lot.
About the Authors:
Matthew Griffin is a 2001 United States Military Academy Graduate, Army Ranger, Combat Veteran with the 75th Ranger Regiment (3x Afghanistan, 1x Iraq), CEO of Combat Flip Flops, author, and 2019 Henry Crown Fellow with the Aspen Global Leadership Institute.
Scott Chapman is a 2000 Murray State University Graduate, Army Ranger Fire Team Leader from Alpha Company 2/75th Rangers (‘01 – ‘05), OGA Blackwater Alumni, entrepreneur, and author. Combat Veteran ( 21x Afghanistan, 1x Iraq).
This is shared with permission from Combat Flip Flops.