(Originally this was going to be a short comment reply, but it took on a life of its own & led me in a completely different direction. I should state that I found no answers just more questions.)
During the past weekend, a young black temp was working with us. We started talking about the war in Afghanistan & Irag & he mentioned two of his friends who had recently returned from combat duty in the Middle East. They told him that "the terrorists shoot up pure adrenaline before every battle." This adrenaline fix turns them into super fighters who can, amongst other amazing talents, "leap over a two story building with ease."
At first, I thought the guy was either incredibly credulous & they were pulling his chain or his friends were the credulous ones & the US government was yanking their chain. Where could they possibly get all that adrenaline? Didn't seem even remotely feasible.
But a quick web search demonstrated that the story definitely had legs, albeit of the mutant variety.
First, I found this quote form Staff Sergeant David Bellavia's book about the Battle of Fallujah, House to House: An Epic Memoir of War.
In Muqdadiyah, my squad watched a drug-crazed Mahdi militiaman charge Cory Brown's Bradley. The gunner blasted him with coax machine-gun fire, shredding his legs. He tumbled off the Bradley and flopped face up onto the street. As we approached him, he started to laugh. The laughter grew into a hysteria-tinged cackle, then ended with a bone-chilling keen. That froze us cold. Watching us with wild eyes, he then pulled a bottle of pills out of a blood-soaked pocket and drained its contents into his mouth. Then he went for something under his jacket. Thinking he was about to detonate a bomb vest, three of us opened fire and riddled him with bullets. We shot and shot until he finally stopped moving.
Leaving my men behind, I went to investigate the corpse. His right arm was torn off. His legs were nothing but punctured meat. Most of his face was gone, and only a bloody lump remained of his nose. Both eyes had been shot out. I put a boot on his chest. The Mahdi militiaman didn't move. I kicked him. No movement. Given how many times he had been shot, I didn't expect anything else, but just to be sure, I shot him twice in the stomach. Then I marked him with a chem light so the body disposal teams could find him later that night.
A few minutes later, a Blackhawk landed and we started loading wounded insurgents into it. While we worked, two men carried the shattered husk of that Mahdi militiaman to the helicopter. To our astonishment, he was still alive. Blood bubbles burbled up through his mangled nose and mouth. Blind, in agony, he still managed to scream through broken teeth and punctured lungs. We loaded him on the helicopter and never saw him again.
We later discovered the Mahdi militia had gained access to American epinephrine -- pure adrenaline that will keep a heart pumping even after its owner has been exposed to nerve gas or chemical weapons. A dude with that in his system is almost superhuman. Short of being blown to pieces with our biggest guns, he'll keep fighting until his limbs are severed or he bleeds out.
Is it me, or does this sound like bullshit? We're expected to believe that a mouthful of epinephrine metabolizes fast enough to keep a shot up lump of ground meat alive long enough "to scream through broken teeth and punctured lungs?" Wow, it all seems so Hollywood, doesn't it?
And what about "American epinephrine? Is this a special brand.
I attempted to find the amount of "American epinephrine" America sold to Saddam Hussein back when we were pals, but I came up empty.
One interesting fact I discovered about epinephrine is that its efficacy is of a short duration. While your fire may burn intensely, its very intensity depletes your fuel quicker. In other words, ya run out of fucking gas. And, like all stimulants, constant usage causes more problems than it solves.
Anyway, it wouldn't be surprising that soldiers enhance their survival with stimulants. I would. I believe that dextro-amphetamine has been doled out to soldiers for a good 1/2 century or so.
The military is also looking at "the stimulant ephedrine, non-stimulant "wakefulness promoting agents" like modafinil (aka Provigil) and erythropoietin, used to improve endurance by boosting the production of red blood cells."
Why bother when a little adrenaline turns you into Superman?
There's also something about devout Muslims & rabid drug use that just doesn't add up. Y'know, like Mohammed Atta's cocaine habit?
From PATHWAY TO PARADISE: A Guidebook to Islam:
The Islamic injunction concerning intoxicants, that is the complete forbidding of drugs and alcohol, seems idealistic for American society. Yet it is the only solution. Allah commands Muslims in the Holy Qur'an:
"O ye who believe! wine and the game of chance... are only an abomination of Satan's handiwork. So shun each one of them that you may prosper. Satan seeks only to create enmity and hatred among you by means of wine and games of chance, and to keep you back from the remembrance of Allah and from Prayer..." (5:91-92)
The Arabic word "al-khamr" is used in this verse which means anything that intoxicates or alters the mind. Thus, all forms of intoxicants are forbidden. The verse clearly explains the problems created by the use of intoxicants; first, they lead to hatred and enmity amongst people, causing murder, violence, immoral behavior etc.; and secondly they lead people away from Allah and His religion. Allah wants the believers to keep their minds pure and clean, so that they worship Him fully. A Muslim may not offer prayers (salaat) when he is not in full possession of his senses, even if that is caused by excessive emotion or a state of sleep. Certainly, a mind that is intoxicated is not able to focus on Allah.
Finally, it is important to note that drugs and alcohol are used as a means of escape from overwhelming difficulties and responsibilities. The attitude of one who has truly embraced the teachings of Islam cannot be compatible with this state of despair. A true Muslim places his reliance on Allah for the relief of hardship. When the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) proclaimed Allah's commandment concerning intoxicants, his followers broke their pots and jugs of wine until the streets flowed with it. This is the example for the new convert to Islam. Some hadith of the Holy Prophet about intoxicants are:
1. If a large amount of anything causes intoxication, (even) a small amount of it is forbidden.
2. An undutiful son, a gambler, one who casts up what he is given, and one who is addicted to wine will not enter paradise.
3. Tariq bin Suwaid asked the Holy Prophet about wine and he forbade him. When he told him that he used it only as medicine, the Holy Prophet replied, "It is not a medicine, but is a disease."
Interestingly enough, Mr. Balavia's book kept turning up as the only link between terrorists & their epinephrine monkey.
So, reaching the proverbial dead end, I looked at Staff Sergeant David Bellavia.
His book, House To House, is evidently quite popular at Amazon:
#24 in Books > History > Military > Iraq War
#26 in Books > History > Middle East > Iraq
#77 in Books > Biographies & Memoirs > Leaders & Notable People > Military
receiving nothing but rave reviews.
Let's visit Dave's website.
Cool. Dave has some videos. Let's see, under the heading "A man I want to Choke," Dave offers up this video:
And under the heading, "The Sin isn't falling... it's not filming it," Dave offers this knee slapper:
Hmmmm...I'm going to go out on a limb & say that Dave falls to the right of the political divide.
Let's watch Dave talk.
"Fallujah is now being run by Iraqis?" Yeah, and the Vichy government was comprised of Frenchmen. So what?
The Vichy Regime maintained some legal authority in the northern zone of France, which was occupied by the German Wehrmacht. However, its laws only applied where they did not contradict German ones. This meant that where the regime was most powerful was the unoccupied southern "free zone", where its administrative centre of Vichy was located.
Pétain and the Vichy regime willfully collaborated with the German occupation to a high degree. The French police and the state Milice (militia) organised raids to capture Jews and others considered "undesirables" by the Germans in both the northern and southern zones.
Dave is conveniently forgetting that Iraq didn't attack us. Iraq also had no WMDs to attack us with. It was all a fantasy, packaged up like Oreos & then sold to credulous America.
Dave is also conveniently forgetting that we left other things lying around Fallujah.
Someone should point out to Dave that the "lifestyle" he so gallantly protected by invading Iraq is the same lifestyle that produces folk he either wants to laugh at or kill.
And do my ears deceive me or is Dave advocating the deployment of US Marines to Chicago.
Alrighty then. Time to move on.
Curious, I expanded my search to any report of hopped up terrorists and, wonder of wonders, the only other references I could find were at a couple of right wing websites. Pamela Geller's Atlas Shrugs, where we're given this picture of the Mumbai terrorists:
along with Geller's Declaration Of Independence From Muslims:
WE, THE PEOPLE, MUST FIGHT THIS WAR. Our elected officials are on the Saudi payroll, emasculated by petrodollars. Obama declared on page 261 of his book, should the political winds shift ......he would side with the Muslims.
The left will not fight this war. Historically, leftists have always slept with totalitarian regimes. We are witnessing it here in the US yet again. What is discouraging are those on the right that have turned tail on the war and moved left.
They have become part of the problem.
We must stop the State department from importing whole Muslim communities - they come and seek to impose sharia and Islamic supremacism. We must pass Tancredo's jihad legislation. We must get on a war footing.
The world has 1.2 billions Muslims. They must take sides. They must take to the streets shouting not in our name. They must take action to fight this pox on humanity.
These attacks on the West will not only continue, they will get worse. The enemy is empowered and they are winning. I have been documenting this holy war for years, what they are planning for the US is difficult to imagine. They were planning Mumbai for over a year.
Then, at the American Power Blog, we're given a link to this news story:
The Mumbai terrorists may have pumped themselves full of drugs to keep going during their murderous three-day rampage.
Indian police sources say tests on the bodies of dead Islamic fanatics revealed traces of stimulant drugs.
One said: “We found injections containing traces of cocaine and LSD left behind by the terrorists and later found drugs in their blood.
“There was also evidence of steroids, which isn’t uncommon in terrorists. These men were all toned, suggesting they had been doing some heavy training for the attacks.
“This explains why they managed to battle the commandos for over 50 hours with no food or sleep.”
The source said one gunman is thought to have injected himself with large doses of stimulant so he could keep on fighting after he was seriously wounded.
Okay. I can buy the coke & steroid angle, but LSD?
That didn't work too well for the British, did it?
So, is the drug angle just a ham-fisted attempt at scaring an already terrified Joe Blow America by saying, "Hell, they're not just terrorists, they're junkie terrorists?"
I don't really know. Like I said at the outset, more questions than answers.
But really, if the US needs to see some hop head commandos, I don't think they need to look anywhere but in their red, white & blue mirror.
The U.S. could face a wave of addiction and mental-health problems among returning veterans of the Iraq and Afghan wars greater than that resulting from the Vietnam War, according to experts at the recent Wounds of War conference sponsored by the National Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA*) at Columbia University (Join Together is a project of CASA).
Rather than the heroin addictions many Vietnam veterans brought back with them from Southeast Asia, however, today's returning soldiers are more likely to be addicted to prescription medications -- the very opiates prescribed to them by the military to ease stress or pain -- or stimulants used by soldiers to remain alert in combat situations.
"I think there's a lot more [soldiers addicted to] pharmacological opiates than the data show," said John A. Renner Jr., M.D., associate professor of psychiatry at the Boston University School of Medicine and associate chief of psychiatry at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Boston Healthcare System. "A lot of them were using opiates before they went, and a lot are reporting that opiates are freely available in combat areas."
Nora Volkow, M.D., director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), noted that while many soldiers receive prescription opiates for traumatic injuries and pain, the drugs also are effective in relieving stress. "So, even if you don't take it for that, it will work," she said.
Prescription drug abuse may be a top concern among conference participants, but experts noted that excessive drinking remains a huge problem among soldiers, sailors and airmen despite being banned from combat zones in Muslim countries.
Historically, substance abuse has "not only been present but fostered by the military," said keynote speaker Jim McDonough, a retired U.S. Army officer and former strategy director at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. "At Agincourt, the Somme and Waterloo, soldiers got liquored up before combat ... There's been almost no break in that [tradition] today."