The Colonel coughs. "We lost twenty-four hours." Lots of things can happen to a dead Marine in twenty-four hours, while you're waiting for a futile mission and another burnt hand. Patterson's just all, "Sir, it seems General Washington made off with my Oakleys." The Colonel laughs, because it turns out CIA and the Brig were right: this is exactly the correct metaphor for the historic joint American-liberated Iraqi freedom mission. The Colonel looks up at the sound of small-arms fire toward the city, and Patterson gets on comms.
Fawcett radios back a bit of confusion, because he's seeing the same thing they are: Much rejoicing, music, the gunshots being fired into the air. "We have eyes on the northeast corner of the town, and there appears to be ... some dismantling of the outer barricade, general revelry and what passes for Iraqi house music." Patterson tells him to make sure everybody knows the AKs and just for fun. "They're celebrating. They've been liberated." Barrett asks exactly who it was that liberated them, which: right? Fawcett: "Damn, they're fucking it up. I thought we were gonna fuck it up..." The Colonel notes that it's happening all along the line: Republican Guard abandoning their positions and getting funky. Patterson: "Assassin Two Three, this is Assassin Actual. Prepare your men to move into the town and find that Marine. Over."
In the town it's crazy, there is much looting and guys trying to sell crap to Alpha. They bargain without language; Burris does his whole "Habudaaba? Habidabadaba" thing, and there's a generally friendly vibe until Patterson shows up and tells Fawcett to pull them together and stop fraternizing. "Scott, take off that shit and stow it. Back to the Humvees. Get on that fucking gun!" Burris continues to chitterchat at them as the radio informs everybody that there's no engagement without hostile intent. So the "fast and loose" ROE just got bent back the other way, even though supposedly this city was clear of civilians to begin with. A truck comes rolling in with guys on it and Burris asks if they're a target. "These are the bad guys, right? We're just gonna let them get away?" Fawcett just looks at him and he slumps down in his seat, sad.