Saturday, February 14, 2015
Fives and Twenty Fives by Michael Pitre
Fives and Twenty Fives: A Novel, Michael Pitre. Sydney: Bloomsbury, 2014. e-book, 317 pps
I believe Michael Pitre when he says he was there in Iraq. Fives and Twenty Fives is his first novel. It is a fictional Iraq in which a platoon is out fixing potholes blended in with the aftereffects for some members of the platoon. From the interpreter to the people he met along the way before landing in the somewhat safe haven of the Army as a terp to the leaders and the grunts, the smell of war is intermingled in its pages.
All of my paternal male relatives have served in various wars and actions. Of those who came back, they were changed. Those who didn't make it back live on in my memory.
As a youngster, I didn't understand the why behind wars. As I got older, I learned about the huge vastness of empty grayness between the over-simplified version of black-and-white that we were compelled to learn in school.
My quarrel today is not with the veterans. My gripe is with the president who felt it his duty to show up in Saudi Arabia to honor an old now dead king and to greet a new king who is more of the same. Because Big Oil is more important than lost lives and because beheadings in the background become white noise that he can somehow sleep through. Those kings in Saudi Arabia support beheadings of the citizenry and human rights advocates who dare to disagree. Five beheadings happened during the first week of the new king's rule. I don't understand how the president was able to sleep at night in that country knowing that human beings were suffering and continue to suffer cruel deaths.
We as a country have to wake up and smell the gasoline. Campaigns for us to lessen our usage have failed. We need to develop our own resources in our own country NOW so that we can become independent from those other countries who provide us with oil but would just as soon kill us all or place us under the bondage of Sharia as look at us as human beings. We are the infidels who must rise up.
Secondly, we ought to continue to develop modes of transportation [cars and like that] which are "green," that is depend upon renewable sources to run.
But we, in our own stupidity, will not do these things. We will continue to have presidents who kiss foreign asses for Big Oil.
sapphoq reviews says: A true winner of a novel. Highly
recommended. Must read. It is haunting. Read this one.