Iraq: The way they were...

My good friend Matt let me take a wild stab so here goes.

When I received my orders I knew it was coming, my chance to enter mans greatest effort, WAR! It takes more societal effort to go to war than any other human endeavor, so I figured I would get my chance to make a difference from the inside.

Telling you that the Tigris and Euphrates river valley reminds me of tropical Mexico with poverty stricken people and little or no infrastructure with lush green surroundings, doesn't really paint the whole picture. I would have to relate to you the eerie sound of calls to prayer that are carried on dusty afternoon winds and used to issue attack plans, and the way children chase every American vehicle along bomb blasted roads giving you a thumbs up and yelling for sweets. Children are a gift, a sign of safety as explosives aren't placed where children play very often. I would have to tell you this and much more. Its a strange land.

Iraqi men are fatalistic, "In'shallah", they say. Death is seen as glorious and forgivable, most men are worth more dead than alive, if they become martyrs their families are given a small allowance by their Sheik. So, in essence to seek a living wage for his family an Iraqi man seeks death. Truly a strange land.

I can tell you that the industrious Iraqis are reviled and tortured by their fellow Muslim brothers, two Iraqi workers where I live, in Tikrit had their arms removed for selling bootleg movie DVD's to entertainment starved soldiers. This is truly not what was envisioned when I was told the oldest American doctrine "Fight the enemy in their home, so you don't have to fight them in your home". This is not the way they were...


Blogger Matt said...

Theron, thanks for posting. You have a unique perspective on this one, please feel free to continue to share your observations...

November 23, 2004 at 8:33 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Definitely. This is the kind of stuff I wish the media would cover. What's the general feeling of the people over there toward the war, and how optimistic are they about these elections actually working?

I'm also curious - do you think cutting off those men's arms is the normal punishment for illegally selling dvd's, or was there animosity involved for some other reason? I'd always heard the penal code over there is really harsh, but that seems extreme.

November 23, 2004 at 9:15 AM  

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