Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Stars and Gripes
Apparently an Army officer serving in Iraq has been forging sick notes—wait, make that "glowing appraisals of war progress"—for his charges, and instructing them to send the letters to newspapers across the country. As ABC News tells it:

Each letter was signed by a different soldier, but the words were identical:

"Kirkuk is a hot and dusty city of just over a million people. The majority of the city has welcomed our presence with open arms. After nearly five months here, the people still come running from their homes, into the 110-degree heat, waving to us as our troops drive by on daily patrols of the city. Children smile and run up to shake hands and in their broken English shouting, "Thank you, Mister."

Amy C_____, of S____, Mass., knew as soon as she received the letter from her son A___ that he did not write it. "He's 20 years old and I don't think his language or his writing ability would have entailed that kind of description," she said.
...yep, that's some pretty intellectual writing. However, the WULAD news team has managed to locate a copy of the original, undoctored version of the letter quoted above, which reflects much more accurately the language and writing ability of a 20-year old soldier:
Kirkuk, the centre of the northern Iraqi petroleum industry, is located at 35.47°N, 44.41°E, in the Iraqi province of at-Ta'mim; the estimated population in 2003 was 755,700 people. It is exceedingly sweltering and bathed in a fine coat of dust—a dust as ephemeral and easily borne on the desert wind as the deep, dark dreams of its inhabitants. The vast preponderance of its native population has joyously lauded our triumphant ingression with amicable embraces. After the passage of five lunar cycles, the populace continue to spring forth from their humble abodes into the oppressive and blistering air to deliver salutations as we, their watchful hussars, pass by. Their smiling progeny approach on tiny merry feet to clasp our palms, chirping mellifluously, "We are eternally grateful, gallant sirs!" Also please send porn. Porn and air conditioners, Ma. God damn.