• Somebody Stop Me Now

    November 22, 2013

    Tags: ,
    Posted in: Embassy/State, Iraq

    I just can’t keep doing this.

    I try to stop, maybe go a few days, but then I’ll be feeling a little sorry for myself, maybe a little lonely and I say, just a quick one, just one web page, and then I’ll quit. I’ll pop over to say the US Embassy in Baghdad site, for example, you know, just for a quick look, and then before I know it the room is spinning around me, I can’t find my shirt and somehow the clock is showing 5 am and I have to explain to a seven year old why daddy never went to bed last night. Again. My wife just rolls over; she already knows.

    I want to stop– really– but then this happens and I can’t. Here’s just a taste of the hell I live in through because of the Embassy press releases I binge on:

    Ambassador Stephen Beecroft hosted a business roundtable with the representatives of several U.S. companies operating in Iraq. Although the local market presents certain challenges, there is an increasing number of substantial U.S. companies making strategic investment commitments in Iraq.

    Then it spirals out of control for me. I frantically look for any reference, just a link maybe, to any of these “several (substantial) U.S. companies operating in Iraq.” My hands shake on my mouse as I Google madly, trying to find just one name of one company that participated in this roundtable. I find none.

    My thirst grows. I return to Google, eyes now blazing, looking through the world’s media for any mention of this roundtable outside of the Embassy’s own press release. I find one: Iraq-Business News. But even as my hand steadies and the electrons start to flow into my brain, there is no relief. The article is just a word-for-word republishing of the embassy press release, with ads selling some sort of flim-flam “How To Do Business in Iraq” consulting reports.

    My last hope fades as I re-read the line from the embassy press release “Although the local market presents certain challenges…” Challenges? Like open civil war, car bombs, al Qaeda, bribery, hatred of Americans, need for 24/7 armed security, kidnappings, murder for hire and an almost complete lack of infrastructure, banking and transportation? What mad mind summarizes that as “certain challenges?” What sick, sick person thinks anyone will be persuaded by such pathetic words? Are they doing this to break me? Are there gray men and women in the embassy in Baghdad writing this, knowing I’ll read it, State’s slow revenge on me?

    I pound the keyboard into plastic bits, the tiny pieces mimicking what has happened in my head. I tell myself this is it, I can’t– won’t– do this to myself again. I will quit cold reading Embassy press releases, not just from Iraq, but from Afghanistan and all the others. I will start writing instead about, I don’t know, gardening, or something to do with kittens, and re-find my soul.

    I dream of gin-scented tears to run down either side of my nose and allow me to conquer myself. But then I reach for the mouse. Someone on Twitter has posted a link to another press release and I close my eyes and click, click, click once again, knowing I am doomed to repeat the cycle. I no longer have the choice. I love embassy press releases.

    (My sincere apologies to any reader wrestling with real substance abuse. I hope you can appreciate the attempt at humor and if not, sorry for the offense.)

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  • Recent Comments

    • pitchfork said...


      Now now Peter…It’s ok..we understand. After all, you were indoctrinated into submission for years and then crucified for dare speaking truth to power. Remember.. you are in last stage therapy. You will win. We’re here to help. I even promise not to comment on any new DoS posts…er..maybe…(gasping for air)..ummm..what was that you were saying? Oh god..give me strength…what was that?
      Certain challenges?..unhun(starting to shake)yeah..we know about certain challenges alright..like right now……(banging head against wall) NO! NO! NO! I will NOt comme n t..(head falls to table) DAMNIT PETER..RESIST! RESIST! I MUST RESIST! …..sheeezus..(hands reaching for keyboard) NO! I can’t..can’t (voice in head ” OUTRAGE REACHING LEVEL RED!”)
      ARRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGRRRRRRRRRRRR!! This is killing me I tell you! Worse than heroin! Worse than beer!!…….oh.god! B E E R! Me want beer…gotta have ..NO NO NO!! No more beer. No more DoS!

      !!@*&*%(^)&^$%^^##$%$#%%^Y& it! I can’t STAND IT!! (voice in head: RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!!)

      OK OK OK… I’M WEAK..can’t resist..must comment..NO! YES! NO! YES! …fuckit.

      “(My sincere apologies to any reader wrestling with real substance abuse. I hope you can appreciate the attempt at humor and if not, sorry for the offense.)”



      11/22/13 3:21 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...


      (post fix..)

      now..where were we? Oh yeah. Iraq snakeoil salesman.

      quote:” I Google madly, trying to find just one name of one company that participated in this roundtable. I find none.” unquote

      Looks like a setup to me. They knew you couldn’t resist that one Peter. Like handing a heroin addict a needle. The ole revenge by subterfuge trick. I mean..that one should have alerted you. I mean..c’maan..business opportunity..in IRAQ?? Sheeze Peter..your slipping. Hahahahahahahahahaha!

      Hey..got any tricks for growing roses in the middle of December? I need a new hobby too. This one is getting the better of me.

      11/22/13 3:31 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...


      ps..that NSA disclosure about “messages from space” was living proof. sheeezus. Talk about addictions. And gullible maroons.

      11/22/13 3:33 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...


      Somebody Stop Me indeed. yank my Cat5..right now.

      11/22/13 3:36 PM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...


      Welcome to my world. Bwahahahahhaha!!!!

      11/22/13 3:45 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...


      quote:”Welcome to my world. Bwahahahahhaha!!!!”unquote

      yeah, well misery loves company ya know.


      11/22/13 5:12 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...


      Speaking of misery.. your blog isn’t the only one I’m addicted to Peter. I must be a masochist. Seriously..it seems like I can’t get enough of the daily onslaught of the USG’s Greatest Show on Earth..I mean, fer christsake..who would punish themselves year after year after year, with 24/7 coverage of everything from the highjinks of DoS, to the murdering exploits of King Obomber, to today’s local militarized SWAT/LEO’s murder of another innocent citizen, to the unfolding NSA/DOJ Empire of truth docudrama, including the Congressional 3 ring circus, not to mention the latest Drone victims stories, both IN Congress and the killing floors of Pakistan/Yemen..oh..and then there’s various exploits of the collectivist anti-2nd Amendment crowd, of which leads to covering daily ATF related issues like Fast&Furious and…well, you get the idea.

      And here you thought YOU were going crazy Peter?
      Step in my world dude. My wife thinks I’ve gone completely off my rocker..which I probably have. All it takes is the first cup of coffee and 4-5 habit sites, and I become a raving maniac, your blog notwithstanding. Hahahahahaha!

      god..I gotta go for a walk. In the snow. Think about roses..or something..yeah..that’ll work…


      11/22/13 5:35 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Swallowing any Embassy press release, not just from Iraq, but from Afghanistan and all the others, is as healthy as swallowing fast food: it tastes good in your mouth but will be sour in your stomach.


      11/23/13 2:56 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      11/23/13 3:00 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...


      Apparently, there are more ‘closeted’ individuals in the same boat. Some are lucky to get to channel their energies working at the Daily Show, combing the web for those Dave Barry-esque stories that cant be made up.

      The most fun stories include some kind of ‘official’ response to international events, enhanced by the great seriousness exhibited by some of our public officials (Congressman Wexler is unintentionally something good to watch for a change in the seg below) and their staff, struggling to ‘control’ the messages to get out to us minions:


      11/24/13 4:32 PM | Comment Link

    • Lisa said...


      Peter I feel for your addiction. It is the skeevy wording of the things: “challenges”; “substantial”; “strategic” … It is like Steven Covey-talk for State (must “sharpen the saw” …) There’s nothing wrong with reading, but it’s the tripe, isn’t it — the bald-facedness of the lie. I’ll be writing on the topic, soon, as well.

      I am reminded of the last sentence in Samuel Beckett’s “The Unnamable”:

      “I can’t go on, I’ll go on.”

      11/24/13 11:02 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...


      quote” but it’s the tripe, isn’t it — the bald-facedness of the lie.”unquote

      Indeed. Speaking of tripe..I just had to scan the site Peter linked to..the Bagdad Embassy site..where, of all things, a link to The Office of Criminal Justice.


      Down at the bottom, after reading all the bullshit tripe, is a quote from Mr. Tripe himself in regards to..ahem..War Crimes.
      “In the words of the President’s May 2010 National Security Strategy:

      From Nuremberg to Yugoslavia to Liberia, the United States has seen that the end of impunity and the promotion of justice are not just moral imperatives; they are stabilizing forces in international affairs. The United States is thus working to strengthen national justice systems and is maintaining our support for ad hoc international tribunals and hybrid courts. Those who intentionally target innocent civilians must be held accountable, and we will continue to support institutions and prosecutions that advance this important interest. Although the United States is not at present a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and will always protect U.S. personnel, we are engaging with State Parties to the Rome Statute on issues of concern and are supporting the ICC’s prosecution of those cases that advance U.S. interests and values, consistent with the requirements of U.S. law.”unquote

      Read that last line again.

      “…we are engaging with State Parties to the Rome Statute on issues of concern and are supporting the ICC’s prosecution of those cases that advance U.S. interests and values, consistent with the requirements of U.S. law.”

      So, the ONLY cases we “support”, are those that “advance U.S. interests and values”. Fuck all the rest…ummm..like our OWN fucking War crimes.


      sheeezus..it’s only 7am, haven’t even finished my first cup of coffee and I’m already pissed. I can see already how this week is gonna go…..

      11/25/13 12:58 PM | Comment Link

    • witness said...


      Peter, I feel your pain. Seriously, you have to take stock of your personal life, reckon with the folks and family around you. This is too big. Get a job at a feedstore in rural Kansas and teach astronomy to the Boy Scouts, for heaven’s sake. While we appreciate your Van Buren Agonistes, this blog post laid bare what you are going through personally. I totally get it; I’m on the inside, still. But it’s not worth it, friend. It’s not worth it. When you pass away, is this fight what you want to say defined your life and consciousness? Maybe so. But not for me. And you have a chance also, to change course now and leave this behind. It won’t change on account of your agony.

      12/7/13 6:59 PM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...


      I appreciate the comment, and sometimes wonder myself. Not sure if anything will change, but that change, if any, in me or what’s around me, will be documented here.

      12/9/13 9:29 PM | Comment Link

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