June 12, 2004

I am still amazed at the naysayers who continue to press that "America should have left well enough alone" in Iraq. Because I know Dave personally and know that he holds the highest standard of integrity, I believe his word over any reporter. I know that his purpose is for the people of America know the truth, not attempt to sway them to a liberal self-serving agenda.

Dave should have been a carpenter as he always hits the nail right on the head!

Dear Dad -

The past week has seen both an increase in temperatures and an increase in violence here. Unfortunately, the violence has been particularly deadly for the Iraqi citizens who have not picked up arms against the coalition. It is pretty obvious here that the insurgents have determined that their best course of action is to kill any Iraqi who assists the coalition in any way. This means that even if a man hates Americans with every fiber of his being but takes a job pulling weeds around a US base, he is subject to be killed. The mujahadeen literally wait outside the bases near the highway and watch for Iraqis leaving a base. They either flag them down or they simply pull up along side of them and empty a magazine from an AK47 in to the vehicle. This occurs daily - many times a day here. Of course we are out there patrolling and trying to interdict these murders but it simply pushes the muj back and they wait further down the road. The amazing thing is that the Iraqis keep coming to work because they want to feed their families. Lately, the workers have started to arm themselves and there have been full blown shoot outs in the streets.

The following is a recap of events that have happened in our zone in the past week. Early in the week, one of our translators (Iraqi guy out of Baghdad) left one of our outposts and walked into a local restaurant to get some food. Three masked men came in to the restaurant and took him out. He has disappeared. We have made every effort to recover the guy but of course, no one knows anything.

Two days ago, a couple of boys that do odd jobs around one of our positions came in upset. They saw three dead bodies in Falluja on their way out of town that morning. We sent the Iraqi Police in to investigate and they brought the bodies out to our position. All three were Iraqi contractors who worked on American bases. One was a generator technician on our base. All three had their hands tied behind their back. All three had been beaten severely. One was shot in the face and another was shot in abdomen. The third was beaten and stabbed to death. Just like that, these criminals went out and picked up three men, all with families and then proceeded to torture and kill them, leaving their bodies in an alley.

What is even more outrageous is that no doubt that the people who are extolling the muj to go out and commit these crimes are the same ones who later in the day demand that we provide "more jobs." However, the jobs that they want are simply hand outs. They want us to give them large sums of money so that they can hire their own people. Of course, only a fraction of the money (if any) gets to the people. The majority go to the same band of criminals who have been running this society for decades. There is one local imam who is deeply involved with the insurgents who we suspect gets 30% off the top of all contracts! Again, the hypocrisy is astounding. This same guy will get up during Friday prayers and claim that we are trying to steel Iraq's oil and subjugate its people, meanwhile he is stealing a third of the money going into the town.

We have had some successes this week that you should know about. Earlier in the week, the muj mortared the same small town that I wrote about last week. Tragically some women and little girls were grievously wounded. As the Marines in the area responded to the attack, the mujahadeen attempted to ambush them. They set off a car bomb on the patrol and then opened up with RPGs and machine gun fire. Three Marines were wounded. All will recover. However, the Marines fought through the ambush and during a running firefight that lasted for hours and several kilometers, they hunted down and killed 7 mujahadeen and captured 2. That alone is another example of the heroics that the young Marines are executing daily. However, the truly encouraging element of the firefight was the response of a few Iraqi security forces guys who were operating with Marines in the area at same time.

At one point, the firefight was ongoing near an Iraqi Police station that was attacked at around the same time as the patrol above. A truck load of muj drove up and opened up on the police station. A small group of Marines were in the Police station in a joint position with Iraqi Police. The few Marines held firm and returned fire. Most of the Iraqi police fled. However, a handful stayed and fought with the Marines. While the Marines and Iraqi police held, the joint patrol of Marines and ICDC moved in to support. The ICDC soldiers did great and actually attacked a building where the muj were firing from. They are led by a Marine lieutenant who, along with his platoon has lived with them for months (another great story).

The Marines captured an Iraqi on a nearby rooftop who was videotaping the attack on the police station so the muj could use it for recruiting purposes. Imagine that, they want to record and gloat over attacks that target innocent Iraqis who are trying to raise their country up and maybe make better lives for their children. Of course, they do not have the courage to acknowledge the mortar attack that hurt the women and children. Inevitably, they blame it on the US.

There is so much shame in this society that the people cannot believe that fellow Iraqis would do such a thing. The people simply deny such an attack occurred without bothering to reason through the facts. However, when their fellow countrymen respond courageously and with honor, the message resonates. On these occasions, the lights come on and people talk openly about how much they hate the muj. Maybe even for a little while they see that a better future is possible. Unfortunately, when this happens, the insurgents recognize it immediately and act out brutally against the people in order to re-install the atmosphere of fear and instability that is required for them to succeed.

Slowly but surely, it feels like we are gaining ground. The heat and environment take their toll but you would be amazed at what the young men and women are doing out there every day.

I am copying the text of an article printed in Baghdad that clearly illustrates the chasm that is the cultural divide here. We get a kick out of these incidents when they happen. Inevitably, we stand slack jawed during moments like this. Doubt that you get a chance to hear about them but they serve as good entertainment. Have a great vacation,



FALLUJAH SAVED BY "DIVINE INTERVENTION" Residents say God sent spiders, ghost riders and other creatures to join their fight against American troops. By Awadh al-Taie in Baghdad An image hangs on the walls of mosques in Fallujah that seems to show United States soldiers with foot-long spiders dangling off them. Some people describe the image as merely two camel spiders joined together. But many Fallujans say the picture shows a giant spider sent by God to attack US troops in the battle for their town in April. "The soldier says that it runs fast - about 40 kilometers per hour. It is poisonous and it makes a screaming sound," said a poster in the mosque, entitled "Miracle of God in Fallujah". Although no Fallujans interviewed by IWPR claimed to have seen the beasts, many had heard tales about them. "A spider emerged from the railway tracks near the Golan neighborhood," said Abid Bin Allawi Ubeid, 32, a public servant in Fallujah's electricity department. "It killed 60 Marines." The heavenly arachnid is just one of several supernatural entities, including white-robed horsemen and doves, said to have taken up the fight against US forces. Ubeid said he had heard of white doves which hovered over Marine snipers and gave away their positions, as well as phantom white-robed knights on white horses who attacked the American troops. One insurgent, who refused to give his name, claimed to have experienced divine intervention during the fighting. Although he fired 150 rounds from his PKS machinegun at two Apache attack helicopters from a hilltop near al-Thirthar lake, the fighter said he was protected from being spotted. "It was a veil made by Almighty God," he said. The insurgent even credits divine intervention for the US decision not to press its attack on the city, "God sent these creatures to support us. I can't imagine that the Coalition forces would have been unable to deal with a city like Fallujah, especially when you see their equipment and numbers," he said. Local religious leaders support such claims, too. "Such things can be, because God has soldiers on earth and in the sky," said Sheikh Jamal Shaker, the imam or leader of a local mosque. Shaker himself said he was aware of at least one miracle in which the bodies of fallen mujahadeen or fighters did not decay, but instead "smelled of musk". Awadh al-Taie is a trainee journalist with IWPR in Baghdad.

Posted by Rae at June 12, 2004 01:22 PM

Thanks for posting that. It's great to find sites that post some of these personal accounts from soldiers right there in the thick of it so we can learn the truth. The media in America is so corrupt I don't believe a thing I read in the mainstream press anymore.

Posted by: Cranky Chick at June 13, 2004 12:07 PM

Hey Cranky Chick. Welcome :) Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Viewers welcomed, commentors adored (well, most anyway).

I have seen you over at Patrick's place, right?

I so agree with you. It is very sad to me that I have such a feeling of distrust of those on whom I should be able to trust for facts.

Posted by: Rae at June 13, 2004 12:26 PM

Those who say we shouldn't have invaded Iraq are usually the maggot infested rodents the left like to parade around as "intellectuals." They would have said we should never have invaded Europe and uncovered the concentration camps.

Posted by: Desert Raspberry at June 22, 2004 08:25 AM

I have often wondered what damage and lives we would have saved had we entered WWII earlier....

Posted by: Rae at June 23, 2004 04:18 PM

OK, Kid, Dave's letter opened the tear ducts in this ex-G.I.'s system. I kinda like living in denial, a skill I've recently honed, so I'm not going to say "thanks." Ahh, thanks, I guess.

Posted by: Marco at July 12, 2004 04:52 PM

Welcome, Marco.

Dave is a beautiful writer. His letters take us from Spartan partisan writing into the soul of a Marine fighting a noble battle disrespected by many of his countrymen.

Stop by anytime and thanks for commenting.

Posted by: Rae at July 12, 2004 11:39 PM

Thank you for this nice site!

Posted by: HomeL at August 6, 2005 05:26 AM
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