Big Boy Rules by Steve Fainaru Quick...somebody pinch me, life is good after all and I have the proof. The other day I was stuck at the Courthouse with the Special Proceedings clerk who was going to slowly and methodically process nine new foreclosures of mine after she finished the 14 that were there before me. I pulled up a chair at one of the many VCAP computer terminal tables along the marble covered wall within sight of the clerk. There were only 40 pages left of the latest nonfiction work that I had been reading by Steve Fainaru, an amazing book titled Big Boy Rules.
Prior to writing Big Boy Rules which was published in 2008, Fainaru had covered our Iraq War for the Washington Post starting in 2004. With that journalism experience in the Middle East Steve came across the truth of the thriving contract business going on above the surface but below the radar of most self professed thinking Americans. The ratio of U.S.Troop to Contractor during the first openly active Gulf War in 1990-1991 was 1 to 10(In WWII that ratio was 1 to 100). Now, 2010 that troop to contractor(all contractors from mercs to those who are cooks, truck drivers, fire fighters, photographers, retail managers, plumbers, electricians, HVAC guys and pretty much any other profession that you could conjure up that would be needed for an American Occupation led reconstruction project in Mesopotamia) ratio War wide for our nation is 1 to just MORE than 1. Steve Fainaru's literary effort took me inside one of the more obscure contracted professions being out sourced by the State Department. Tens of thousands of individual human Mercenaries that are protected by CPA 17 from being prosecuted for breaking Iraqi, American or International Law are representing scores of Companies with fancy names and corporate logos stitched onto the chests of their uniform polo shirts. Framed around other real life events similar and parallel this book gave me the horrific and truthful details of just one example of only one insurgent attack against one(Crescent Security Group) of the many contractor teams that are running security for the logistics of supplying an American occupation. When I think about our now war which is pretty much everyday I want to learn as much about it as I can and this book educated me to a new level of understanding the cold reality of the business end. There are consequences for the specific actions of a collective nation and I believe we have not yet seen the true blow back result of what we are creating.
So, I opened up Big Boy Rules while the clerk worked quietly on the other side of the glass. The end is just that for the journey home of one of the main characters whose body in a steel box was unloaded from under the plane onto the tarmac in Buffalo while the rest of the passengers on that commercial flight sat in silence waiting for the hearse to drive away. I sat distracted and enthralled by what I was reading while around me courthouse business was the usual bustle of civil process. Land lords were looking to get someone out, there were small claims against each other over nothing lined three deep at one window, tears tired eyes walked by alone staring into the windows with their paper clutched trying to figure out who is summoning them with the judgement and the hurt girl in the corner was filling out her paper for a protection order against the domestic violence coming her way from the man in her life but she didn't even realize that in three days she would let him back in. The concluding pages were so filled with such emotional transfer that I began to realize how hurt I actually am. Not in the immediate physical sense, that would soon follow with a hollow heavy heart and inner body filled with cement feeling but in the core chakras one that is the receiver. I lost it in the form of looking through the H2O-NACL filters building upwards from the tops of my lower eye lids distorting and bending what my visual cortex was receiving even though no one around me noticed. Their awareness was tied up with their own local realities as I looked around quietly through two little fish bowls against my eyes. I closed the book just as the knocking on the glass from the clerk got my attention back from the place it had been. Thank you Steve Fainaru for reaffirming my thoughts on our reality with your truthful insight and cumulative experience put into words.
I highly recommend this book to each and everyone of you.