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Phuc Uuu | phuc•uuu | phucju

noun ( pl. –s )

a nocturnal, highly vocal lizard that has adhesive pads on the feet to assist in climbing on smooth surfaces. It is indigenous to coastal regions of Vietnam. • Gekkonidae family • ORIGIN middle 1960s.: imitative of its cry.

The Great Phuc Uuus Massacre

Iraq bothered me because I was certain my eldest son would go [he did not]… a peacekeeper veteran of Bosnia in the Guard. Iraq also bothered me because it seemed we had learned nothing POLITICALLY as a result of Vietnam. Our Vietnam deep involvement was engineered by our combined military/State Department/CIA/corporate industrial complex profit motive with the phony ‘Gulf of Tonkin’ incident… a remarkably false event sharing the identical value of political deceit found in our accusations of Iraq having weapons of mass destruction and Al Qaida ties… one million dead Iraqi civilians later, this is all a part of process in my head, a process not entirely set aside from multiple attempts on my life for my combined life experience and politic- going to military intelligence and psy-ops skills… not only my successes as an investigator

The bottom line is this: It is all about money, a corporate share-holder orgy in government and, now days, with the beyond ‘Orwellian’ twist of religious fanaticism, Christian fanaticism and corporate profiteering Christian driven Islamic fanaticism, thrown in

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I remembered the Medal of Honor winner who would not cut his hair for Nixon at his White House ceremony after leaving the Army, he’d told the press “I was stoned and I freaked out”… relating to his acts of heroism. I wonder what our ‘Bible Patriots’ of today’s American military’s 15,000 strong fundamentalist “Officer’s Christian Fellowship” would think of him? Maybe they would spit on him like the rumors had of our returning Vietnam Veterans experience?? That never happened to me..

Our Veterans service organizations drive off members with their redneck social ignorance and drunken bar scene of regaled war glory, lives and years past, in utter disdain of persons like myself, providing no sober and peace devoted alternative… “blessed are the peace makers”, Jesus wasn’t talking about Colt revolvers… and they can get you psycho money, as your veteran advocate, with their fill in the blank (your name) forms requesting disability reviews for physical and/or mental disability

Funny how that psycho rating climbs but not the rating for physical disability even with your health deteriorating as you help Native Americans win successes against corporate criminals… corporate criminals who counterfeit compliance to the law to steal Indian resources.. corporations like Chevron with Condoleezza Rice sitting on the board of directors.. while attorneys with names like Yoo write legal briefs to assist fixing things on the inside

I did not appreciate having to go to the same major university medical center the Veterans Administration sends it schizophrenics to be studied, for my evaluation, and pay quite a bit of money out of pocket to get a clean bill of mental health and undo their label ‘psycho’… how would they turn my clean result down? They could not. Our labeling and persecuting political enemies had been a bit more careful than that of the old Soviet Union… our more effective dissidents are quietly murdered, typically with difficult to detect poisonings meant to look like natural deaths, or arranged accidents when they cannot be discouraged or discredited. Very likely people such as Karen Silkwood and Paul Wellstone, not only Omar Torrejos

And then you have veterans peace organizations driving off (with their socialist drivel) people who’d otherwise be members, leftists who won’t work with the conservative anti-war folk to push change for our common secular sanity and very life survival

Our grassroots reform culture, liberal and conservative, seem like a couple that always fight, gossip and consequently turn off the neighbors… to the wealthy corporate criminals’ advantage and life is a drama like some morbid reality show, when in fact this essay is a fair glimpse of a very present reality in relation to reality past… we are NOT learning from our mistakes and uniting to force change in our politics, rather allowing the same players play the same subversions of our rule of law with their corporate criminal influence buying game in ever more dangerous gambits in an ever more dangerous world

The 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg, 1972

I did not know anyone who went to church. Some undoubtedly did, but it was not pushed in our face. Our self-sobriquet in those days, the jumping junkies, was a barracks neurosis of fitness, drugs and frequent lockdowns

A murderous collective killing machine to face in battle, no doubt, despite numerous soldiers whose life was a cocktail of fitness and drugs… men that easily could win commendations or medals for valor, ‘freaking out while stoned’, our training was that good, that had been demonstrated by many of us already in Vietnam

No one I knew needed to be motivated to patriotism or simply do a good job as a soldier with mandatory Bible studies, the fundamentalist crap being force fed today’s troops. I’m getting ahead of myself in the story’s timeline, but I wonder how our Vietnam experience stacks up to today’s military’s fundamentalist Christian reality, my recollections are of a more honest military, or are just more honest recollections and certainly no less brave

Fort Lewis, 1969

In Indian country, where I am from, it is the size of your heart that counts. I was in two fights in basic training, and I did not start either of them. The first was picked by my trainee squad leader who thought he had to be a bully to lead. I did not back down. He was easily 1/3 larger than I, physical stature and weight. He won that fight, but I was not defeated and he knew it… I gave him far more than he ever could have expected, in fact about the limit he could handle, and showed no fear. He left me alone after that go round and stopped picking on people. He was smart enough to learn. The second guy I fought, closer to my size and none too bright, was put onto me by a bigger guy that did not want to take me on. I made short work of him. No one made us go to church

Fort Rucker, 1969-1970

Your army gratitude for graduating the light observation helicopter maintenance class at the aviation school… which means you could be sitting on the back floor of a four seater, legs out the side, feet on the skids with a machine gun in your lap, playing tease for a gunship you are partnered with in a ‘hunter-killer team’… is to be washing pots and pans in the school’s cafeteria while waiting for your assignment

West! Vietnam! I never saw the guy’s face, my orders appeared as papers clutched in a fist thrust through the slot for trays with dirty dishes… my reaction was a strange mix of adrenaline and sinking stomach… nobody was making us go to church

At Travis Air Force Base, 1970

Shipping out, I’d heard of the Vietnam ‘fuck you lizards’ and took it to be an environmental psychosis, I did not, I could not, see this as anything short of a soldier’s urban legend. Lizards simply do not say “fuck you.” That was my naive reality… and the fact is, no one was marching us to church. And lack of church is NOT why we lost Vietnam

At Vung Tau, 1970-71

I’d been transferred to Vung Tau after six months inland as a member of the smallest combat assault aviation unit in Vietnam, I had been assigned to brigade aviation at a brigade of elite light infantry shock troops. We were brutal to the enemy in combat AND unchurched. I’d never heard a ‘fuck you lizard’ so much as mentioned, let alone seen or heard one

It was on my first night shift guard duty at Vung Tau, I’d had smoked a joint of potent Vietnamese marijuana, that was normal by now, was settled in behind my small sandbagged breastwork for what I figured would be a boring night. And then, from ten feet behind me… clearly, and not meekly, a human voice had stated: “Phuc uuu!”

With every hair follicle on my body an instant goose bump, I spun 180 degrees and would have cut anyone standing there in half with my Colt automatic rifle… if someone had been there

Now, worse than the non existent Viet Cong taunting me, the marijuana paranoia called the ‘noids’, began to work. I had completely forgotten about ‘fuck you lizards’ and my sanity was crumbling… no one at Vung Tau had warned me of this enemy because, for the soldiers already stationed there, this was ‘normal.’ I probably thought, ‘Man, I should have gone to church’

The lizard’s accent is like an American saying ‘fuck you’ through a kazoo, only 95% human and 5% kazoo… hence the perfect Vietnamese accent and spelling- ‘phuc uuu’

It must have been the alpha male phuc uuus which were at times particularly vocal, a sort of major mucus throat clearing, before hurling the spitwad: “oh-aw-ickk-phuc-uuu-phuc-uuu-phuc-uuu”

The CIA propaganda teams trained the lizards, that and the fact of our Vung Tau Viet Cong phuc uuu  heroin smugglers, kind of makes me snigger at the idea of $500 million Taliban heroin profit claims… because it was phuc uuu reptiles dressed like ‘Men in Black’ delivering the heroin via the CIA’s “Air America” planes, to supply our Vung Tau addicted soldiers

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The Vung Tau Viet Cong phuc uuu lizards were selling our good food downtown, using U.S. Army trucks to deliver, our soldiers had to buy their own food back to get a decent meal, sort of making me laugh at the thought of our ‘Christian’ military leaders pointing fingers to corruption in Afghanistan, following on Halliburton in Iraq

One of our cooks was so outraged at preparing the substituted friendly fire killed Water Buffalo for our meal, he made marijuana brownies for our phuc uuus cadres (and went to jail saying oh-phuc)

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The lizards took a cut of the taxi fares, from those taxis allowed to use the premium parking outside our base gate, the phuc uuus drove up the fares this way and our soldiers drove the taxis away from the gate with a wrist rocket and ball bearings, muttering: ‘phuking phuc uuus’

That got us all into trouble and we became the phuc uuus confessing in formation. Our phuc uuu 1st Sergeant: “I want the device and I want the responsible parties to step up front and center!” From the back of the formation: “Phuc uuu.” That came from my squad and suddenly the 1st Sergeant was at the rear of our formation, in my face, “West! Who said that!!” From the front of the formation came the words: “Phuc uuu”

The ‘Biggus Diccus’ scene in Monty Python’s “Life of Brian” HAD to have been inspired by the “phuc uuu” interrogation at Vung Tau

And the one guy I knew of in our company who’d ever gone to church, our Jesus freak, was a good guy, never pushing it in our face, but most of us knew no piety at all and we did great work rebuilding the war torn helicopters

At Camp Frenzel-Jones (Long Binh) 1970

We called him O, no kidding, simply that, O. Behind his back some called him Psych-O, one of his helicopter combat team-mates had told me O became sexually aroused in combat.  I thought that was interesting but who cared? O was a killer and a good one and, that was premium in our business

But killers, in the military, not only on the street, must be managed, like the time I was driving an errand and O had wanted to come along because it was along the route where he could buy good opium laced marijuana cigarettes. Coincidentally, these were commonly called ‘o-jays’ by the soldiers, rather fitting…  I stopped at the small business stand on the highway between Long Binh and Saigon where O made his purchase, I’d gotten out of the truck and was checking things out when O’s eyes suddenly seemed to roll up behind his lids and come up again from below, a different person… he had pulled a 38 caliber pistol from his pocket and was about to shoot his drug dealer for short changing him when I stepped between them, pushed O’s arm holding the pistol away while making eye contact and saw recognition registering as I told him “Get in the truck O, we’re leaving…” I was not a serious pothead, just curious

O was a 50 caliber door gunner on a Bell UH-1-H model helicopter converted to a gunship, a frightening killing machine packing O’s 50 Cal, as well there was a modified XM-27 ‘mini’ gun system: a large volume, multiple barrel, high speed modern 7.62mm crew directed Gatling gun driven by an electric motor- a grenade launcher was onboard, also assorted hand grenades that could simply be dropped out of the aircraft by the crewmen (our crews flew with the doors removed), these included fragmentation and ‘white phosphorus’ grenades… a white phosphorus grenade dropped into enemy positioned using jungle canopy for cover can be especially effective in panicking and flushing targets into open space where they are easy kills. I don’t recall we were ever taught this was a war crime violating Geneva Conventions, or maybe it was not banned yet, but I doubt it would have mattered… it was about killing the armed enemy in combats and it was called ‘whatever works’

Being good killers does not come naturally to just anyone, and most of us, unlike O, had to learn. Many learned to kill by learning to hate. I recall one of my fellow soldier’s laughing about having dropped a CS (tear) gas grenade on a Buddhist funeral procession as they flew over at low level… I thought that was pretty mean but it was emotional survival to him, he had learned to hate the “Gooks” in order to feel right about killing them. He might still be maintaining his hate and emotional survival by telling war stories while drunk in a Veterans of Foreign Wars club

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None of the soldiers I knew believed our political leaders godless communist enemies were ‘children of Satan’ we could indiscriminately kill, families included… that is happening now days with our special operations in Afghanistan… Our Vietnam soldiers accepted surrenders and I never knew of any murder of civilians other than the My Lai massacre and the murder I prevented. But our crews did have lots of those ‘feels right’ hate opportunities to do things like drop tear gas on outdoor weddings and funerals.. because we flew just above treetop level most of the time… in order to be a brief and fleeting target away from any unexpected enemy ground fire

Back at Vung Tau

I don’t know or cannot recall who began it. Maybe it was a soldier snapped and said “I’ll show you fuck you!” It was after dark, on a weekend. Between thirty and forty of us had not gone to town on pass because we had no money or simply did not care to. The numerous phuc uuus were especially vocal that night. Someone had found a stick and began killing the phuc uuus and the soldiers suddenly mobilized as though ordered to the attack and went on a lizard killing rampage. Flashlights were brought out. More and more killing sticks were located. It went on for maybe two or three hours, until a living phuc uuu could not be found. Lizard bodies were everywhere

If there was anything we could have learned in Vietnam, it is: even the lizards were meant to hate us

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The Satires