Due to the United States’ legacy of greed around the globe, they are about to be taught a lesson in the real use of power. You will be witnesses.**
/2001/ September 11th
What kind of terrorists are you? / Who said we were terrorists?
When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.
/2003/ Mission Accomplished
All of you, relax. This is a matter of inconvenient timing, that’s all. Military action was inevitable… and as it happens, necessary.
/2004/ Abu Ghraib
Mr. ████, I could talk about industrialization and men’s fashions all day, but I’m afraid work must intrude and my associate ███ has some questions for you. Sort of fill-in-the-blanks questions actually.
What do they put in these things anyway? / Sugar-enriched flour, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, polysorbate 60, and Yellow Dye No. 5. Just everything a growing boy needs.
/2006/ Al-Anbar Awakening
Now I have a machine gun. Ho! Ho! Ho!
/2007/ The Surge
Just another American who saw too many movies as a child? Another orphan of a bankrupt culture who thinks he’s John Wayne? Rambo? Jack Bauer? Jason Bourne?
You know your mom and dad are very important people. They’re very brave people. So is there something you’d like to say to them if they’re watching? / Come. Home.
/2009/ Afghanistan Redux
Are we going to have this conversation again? We did this in July. / We never finished this conversation. / I had an opportunity, I had to take it. / Yeah, right, no matter what the consequences. No matter what it did to our strategy. / What? It didn’t do anything to our strategy, except maybe change your idea of what our strategy should be. / I don’t think you have a clue as to what my idea of our strategy / I know exactly what your idea of our strategy should be.
/2010/ Civilian Casualties
I shot a kid. He was 13 years old. Oh, it was dark. I couldn’t see him. He had a ray gun. It looked real enough. You know when you’re in training, they can teach you everything about being at war except how to live with a mistake.
/2011/ Osama bin Laden
What idiot put you in charge? / You did, when you murdered my boss.
Nine million terrorists in the world and I gotta kill one with feet smaller than my sister.
She’s heard me say ‘I love you’ a thousand times. She never heard me say, ‘I’m sorry’.
Yeehaw!! Just like fucking Fallujah, eh, slick? / I was in junior high, dickhead.
They got a freakin’ arsenal up here, they got missiles, automatic weapons, and enough plastic explosives to orbit
Ask me that goddamn computer sent you out on another wild goose chase. They’ve been chasing bugs in this system ever since they installed it.
/2017/ Military Force
Authorization? How about the United States fucking government?
/2018/ A continuation of politics…
is the last resort of diplomacy. Then couldn’t we just as well say that terrorism has an equal claim on being that too?
/2019/ What next?
…take off your shoes and your socks then you walk around on the rug barefoot and make fists with your toes.
/2020/ As in?
/20██/ Will it ever end?
**Italics are direct quotes.
Olivia A. Garard is an officer in the US Marine Corps, an Associate Editor for The Strategy Bridge, and a member of the Military Writers Guild. The opinions expressed are the author’s alone and do not reflect those of the US Marine Corps, the Department of Defense, or the US Government.