The Colonel starts to blow Marine smoke about how the Corps can handle it and how if the Iraqis want to put up a bigger fight just because of Chemical Ali, they can expect to have their asses handed to them, et cetera and things of this nature, but CIA's not hearing that either. "-- Colonel. This is no longer a Marine operation." He introduces the guy in the red cap, Brigadier General Zaid Alhamadi, who is the commander of what they're calling "liberated Iraq's first brigade of freedom fighters." A Russian truck drives by behind him full of very, very young Iraqi boys in uniforms. "Trained with our assistance." Great, call me in ten years when you've completely forgotten about them and left them in a shithole with no infrastructure or reason to live, so they can become terrorists and blow up some more parts of America. "They're moving into position after dark. Advance units will infiltrate Al Shatra tonight, make contact with resistance elements, and -- following the show planned by the Navy -- they attack at dawn." The Brigadier indicates through gesture that he would like to borrow Patterson's sunglasses, which are clipped to his shirt. "It's historic, gentlemen. We're spearheading what will be the model effort of joint American-liberated Iraq cooperation." Yeah, this will go well. This shit's gonna sparkle like Edward Cullen, mark my words. The Brigadier puts on Patterson's sunglasses; the Colonel and Patterson are collectively so unimpressed that, once again, Patterson can do nothing but grin like it's his birthday.
Bravo! I missed you! Sitting still on the original mission north, to Al Hayy. "Updated reports state there are small pockets of resistance south of the city... Godfather FAC is pushing Cobras north to sweep the routes. Observe everything, admire nothing." Planes and explosions fill the sky two kliks up the road. Brad notes that the Cobras spotted the Zil with all the uniformed good-guy Iraqis, and it makes everybody shiver a little bit. Ray bemoans the fact that Alpha's mission is cool, while theirs -- currently, sitting on the road waiting to keep moving -- "sucks." Nate drops by to tell Brad that they've discovered RPGs two hundred meters up the road, in a ditch, and Brad complains that they're sitting there wasting what could have been a "perfect shitting opportunity." Evan laughs, but Brad decides to go for it. Ray takes off his helmet, bored and uncomfortable in the heat, while Brad digs his little trench.