Originally from somewhere in Eastern Europe, as the Soviet Union was crumbling:
An elderly man has been waiting for hours outside the meat store when the clerk announces that there is no meat today
He loses it. "I worked hard all my life. I fought in the Great Patriotic War. And now I can't even get a piece of meat? This whole system stinks!"
A large, thuggish man steps up next to him. "Comrade, comrade, think of what you are saying! In the old days, you know what would happen to you." He mimics shooting the old man in the head.
When he got home, his wife greeted him. "So they're out of meat again?"
"It's worse than that. They're out of bullets."
So how do we know we're in Real Trouble in Iraq? We're running out of bullets.