Miram Shah, FATA, Pakistan (November 20, 2013)- Perplexed by a government that is $17 trillion in debt yet can still find $1.6 billion dollars in bribe money for its erstwhile “ally” Pakistan, and denied the ability to re-enlist in the US military due to a massive drawdown and policy changes related to tattoos, large numbers of former US service members are flocking to join Pakistan’s armed forces, in part, we’re told, “because they still have money.” A group of intrepid reporters with enabling support from anonymous backers in an underground organization known only as “ShadowSpear,” traveled to the rugged and lawless Federally Administered Tribal Region (FATA) of Pakistan for this exclusive. Their purpose was to meet with and interview some of the many thousands of former US service members who have recently joined Pakistan’s army. These are their stories.
The reasons US soldiers are deciding to work for Pakistan are many and varied. While many are financially motivated, others cite recent changes to US military policies. Reporters expected to hear about the revocation of “don’t ask, don’t tell” and the inexplicable decision to allow grossly unqualified female soldiers and officers to try out for the infantry to be primary drivers of dissatisfaction. To the surprise of all of the reporters, not a single person interviewed for this story brought any of those issues up. One interviewee in particular seemed to sum up the general attitude of American service members. “DADT? Chicks in the trench lines? Nobody cares about that,” said one former Air Force Pararescueman named Aaron. “But after the Sergeant Major of the Army revoked Captain Swenson’s Medal of Honor simply because he had long hair, I knew it was time to bail,” he added, now sporting a luxuriously coifed mane and sideburns that would have made Elvis jealous.
For the most part, the new recruits in the US military seemed happy in their adopted country. “This is WAY better than the US military,” said one new recruit, a former Naval Academy graduate who was drummed out of the service for drunkenly assaulting character actors at Disney World. Although he left the US Navy as an ensign, he now wears the stars of a Pakistani admiral. “Imagine a world in which a squid officer gets cashiered for beating the shit out of Minnie Mouse at Epcot, and got balled up by a zoomie and a jarhead who happened by during the attack, yet still ends up an admiral,” he added, sighing deeply. “Only in Paksitan…”
In addition to being awarded ranks that are in most cases six to seven rungs higher than they ever could have climbed on the US’s rank ladder, many of the men the reporters talked to in Miram Shah were financially motivated. “When they told me I’d get paid on time, and that I wouldn’t have to sport a reflective belt everywhere I went, like I was a competitor in the Special Olympics, I signed right on up,” said former Navy petty officer Luke Gordy.
Others had similar financial motivations. “I mean, we’re asshole deep in debt as a country right now. There was a time at the beginning of last month where we [military service members] weren’t even sure we were going to get paid. The government even closed down the World War II memorial. We were broke as a joke. But there is one thing that the US can always be counted on to find money for, and that’s to buy off our ‘ally’ in the war on terror: Pakistan.”
Another former US service member, former Coast Guard cook Alex Smith, agreed. “We just can’t help ourselves. We’ll keep throwing more and more money at Pakistan, trying to get them to like us, to stop supporting the Taliban and al Qaeda, and to let us use their roads and ports to resupply Afghanistan. But the reason I joined up? Because they, unlike the US, still have money.”
Other US expatriates cited frustrations with the US government shutdown as what drove them into Pakistan’s open arms. “You know what happens in Pakistan if the government shuts down? The Army re-opens it. None of this ‘we can’t agree’ bullshit. Government doesn’t work, the tanks go in, there’s a coup, wham-boom-bam, a new government and shit starts working again.”
Some new recruits were more introspective. “I think a lot of people underestimate Pakistan,” said one former Army soldier who retired after 15 years of service with the rank of specialist. “I mean, these guys had Osama bin Laden camped out in a villa about a mile from their equivalent of West Point for like ten straight years, and we never knew about it. Then they strong-armed us into believing that they didn’t know he was there. And then they acted all indignant when we went in there and took bin Laden out, and we actually paid them for ‘violating their sovereignty,’ as if they have any of that left at that point. I mean, these are the same people who lost like half their country in 1974, gave a piece of it to China in 1963, has India sitting on its claims in Kashmir, and has the US and anyone else who wants flying all kinds of armed aircraft over its country and shooting whoever they want. Hell, Birdwell Island has better territorial integrity than Pakistan,” he added.
Only one of the new recruits took issue with the way reporters characterized the latest US government handout to Pakistan. “I wouldn’t really call it a ‘bribe,’” said one former service member who was too dumb for us to want to use his real name for this article. “The US calls this ‘aid,’ so that’s what it must be. I’m sure that this massive amount of money is being used to support US interests, and that the leaders of Pakistan can be completely counted on to be good stewards of all of this taxpayer money. This is definitely not some kind of attempt to buy off the Pakistanis and convince them to finally be our friends for real. I mean, we’ve been trying to do that for decades and it has never worked. Why would we try such a failed policy again?”
However, Tor Mohammed al Haq, a key operational leader of Pakistan’s Haqqani Network, the premier terrorist organization run by Pakistan’s ISI, didn’t see a problem with calling US “aid” money what it really was. Speaking with reporters shortly after receiving a suitcase full of US dollars from a man in a Pakistani army uniform, he said, “We mainly use the bribes that the US pays us to train, equip, arm, and direct jihadis that are fighting Americans in Afghanistan anyway. So now we’re really just cutting out the middleman. Having Americans here allows us to have, among other things, a live-fire OPFOR to train our guys before we send them to Afghanistan, India, or New York to attack Americans and American interests.” Tor Abdullah did lament that the live-fire portion of the jihadi training program had to be terminated due to the unintended consequences. “The last live-fire force-on-force we did resulted in 171 dead foreign fighters and zero casualties within the US OPFOR. It turns out that even without airpower, heavy artillery, and Division-level staffs, American soldiers really are just better fighters than we are. Who knew?” At this point, Tor Mohammed terminated our interview with him, explaining he had to go plan and personally lead another attack on Bagram airfield in order to ensure that American dollars kept coming from this Pakistanis government handlers. But he made sure to introduce us to the head of the Haqqani Network’s propaganda arm before donning a suicide vest and heading west to get his jihad on.
“The US troops are absolutely indispensable in doing the kind of propaganda that our worldwide audience has come to expect,” said Abu Gamal, Head of Media Operations for the HQN. “Since the war in Afghanistan started, we have managed to capture a total of exactly one US soldier, and he kind of defected to our side anyway,” Gamal explained. Having a steady flow of Americans around allows us to generate all kinds of great stuff, which is clutch because unlike politicians inside the US, we won’t get paid unless we can actually show some results.”
Abu Gamal led us to a sophisticated sound studio where we observed a former US solider of African-American heritage seated on the floor before the black flag of Al Qaeda. He glowered menacingly at the camera as an American M4 rifle was pointed at his head, and unintelligible religious chanting in Arabic echoed in the background. A short time later, he was helped to his feet by laughing HQN technicians, who complimented him on his acting ability. After he stripped out of his costume (US fatigues, boots, and web gear), he eagerly agreed to talk with the reporters.
Former US Servicemember Hired as Training Aid for Haqqani Network
“This is a great gig,” said Jim Jefferson, a former US Marine. “I always wanted to be in show business, and now Pakistan is giving me the chance. And unlike the US, which is pulling out of Afghanistan in 2014, Pakistan is in this for the long haul. I have unfinished business up north with the IMU, and Pakistan will let me get after them.” Asked why he didn’t simply stay in the US Marines if he wanted to go back to Afghanistan, Jefferson explained, “I have one small tattoo on the back of my right calf, which I had done to try to cover up an ugly shrapnel wound I got in Fallujah. No way I’d be able to re-enlist in the US military with that tattoo.”
Reporters were surprised to learn that not all former US service members were welcome in the HQN’s ranks. “No fobbits!” exclaimed Azizulhahallah, the HQN’s Chief of Infidel Recruiting, who like many Pashtuns uses only one name even when it could easily be broken into two or more. [EDITOR’S NOTE: For our readership ignorant of the term, a “fobbit” is someone who spends his or her deployment time in a support position on a large US forward operating base, or FOB. Fobbit is an internationally-recognized term of derision used by warriors of all nations.]
“In addition to being pretty much useless for anything other than clearing out the shelves of the post exchange, and bitching about rolled up sleeves and speed limits on the rare occasions when real war fighters come in from the field, fobbits on US bases inside Afghanistan actually help us more than they do the US,” he explained. “Those massive bases are where we get all of our intel, most of our supplies, and a significant portion of our funding. They are also the softest targets. We need fobbits working for the US in Afghanistan, not working for us here in Pakistan.”
“And no women!” added Abu Gamal’s assistant, Sanja Bay-Raydali “Women are the devil! If there were women around, none of our recruits would have an incentive to get to heaven so they can finally get laid. All women are distracting and evil, none more so than American women,” he added, unable to avert his eyes from a female reporter.
The HQN proved to be excellent hosts, all the way up to the point where they tried to kidnap the entire reporting team on the road back to Karachi. Armed only with camera tripods, a bag of pork rinds, and poisonous invective, the reporting team held off their attackers until the evening call for prayer caused the attack to be broken off, allowing a chance for escape. “I told those clowns to only extort you for safe passage, not to try to kidnap you,” an irate and apologetic Tor Mohammed said later, calling via a US-funded satellite phone from the Green Beans café on the US’s Kandahar airfield. “Who did those clowns think you are, David Rhode? Sorry about the misunderstanding.”
Having completed this mission, the reporting team returned home for its next mission, a deep undercover expose to determine once and for all, “what does the fox say?”
This has been a Hit the Woodline SATIRE piece and should not be regarded as truthful. No reference of any individual, company, or military unit seeks to inflict malice or harm.