We conducted a joint operation with the Iraqi Army back in December, 2006. We integrated "IA" personnel with us and went house to house through a neighborhood in Baghdad. We were searching houses for weapons and getting a feel for the community. I'd like to add that the people of Baghdad are some of the nicest, most hospitable and interesting people I've met.
We went into our first house with our IA counterparts. I searched a couple of rooms while the IA soldiers talked with the family in the living room. After I finished my search, I returned to the living room. THe lady of the house offered my team members and me a seat on the couch. While we sat, the conversation between the IA soldiers and the matriarch grew heated. They started yelling at each other in Arabic. My squad leader called outside for an interpreter. The "terp" came in and listened to what was going on. She told us that the woman was saying that Iraqi Army guys came to the neighborhood and shot at the houses. My squad leader, playing the diplomat, told the "terp" to say that "the bad guys" will dress up as IA and do bad things. The interpreter said, "Yes," and spoke in Arabic to the woman. The matriarch spoke and what she said enraged the IA soldier. They started shouting. The interpreter told us that the woman said that the men were dressed exactly the same, had similar weapons and had IA vehicles- "humvees." Again, my squadleader made a feeble attempt to asuage the woman with stories of "bad guys." The interpreter then brought up a very good point. Why were the IA guys being so defensive about this? Every time the matriarch made a statement, the two soldiers started yelling. What about the humvees?
We went from house to house with similar results. There were many quarrels between the people of the neighboorhood and the Iraqi Army. I came to find out that we were in a Sunni neighborhood and that the Iraqi Army was mostly Shiite. As we walked from house to house, the IA guys would periodically point their weapons at people and yell at them. When we entered a house, the IA guys had no respect for their belongings. All day there were reports of IA personnel stealing from the people and being violent. It seemed as though they were "casing" the houses for a later visit to the neighborhood. All of us could feel it. It was very uncomfortable. When we were in Mosel, Iraq, we had to help the IA man an outpost. We would have a few American soldiers at one of their bases. A soldier from my platoon told a story of something he saw there. He was looking for someone and going door to door to find him. He opened one door and saw an IA soldier standing on the chest of a detainee while another IA soldier whipped the detainee.
The above, noted by Eddie, is Justin C. Thompson's "The Iraqi Army" (Burst Assunder). It's one of two Iraq sites that Veterans for Peace noted and we're noting both this morning -- and a post in full due to the fact that the military is cracking down.
We're also noting it in full because the New York Times is so useless this morning. The public has turned against the war, they're 'impatient' for the illegal war to end. What to do? For the Times it's time to push hard on 'terrorism' which means not one, but two articles on terrorism.
The first is from Jordan. It's key point may be best captured in "most of whom are believed to be foreigners" which, of course, has no attribution. Possibly, we're supposed to insert "according to officials' pillow whispers" ourselves. The second is about a 'terrorism' 'propagandist' being supposedly captured and, before you get excited, they haven't carted off Michael Gordon in chains. Fans of the Giddiest Gabor in the Green Zone (Willie Caldwell) should enjoy this. The rest? Well it is early, but if you're up to drinking, Damien Cave allows you to take a shot every time "said" appears next to Willie's name. You should be hammered by nine. Strangely enough, Dames leaves out Jill Carroll. Now she is mentioned in the story, the supposed propagandist was supposedly involved in her kidnapping. (And we may have used more qualifiers in the last sentence than there are in Cave's entire article.) But somehow the fact that, when shown a photo of the man yesterday, Carroll stated she didn't recognize him from that photo just slip-slides away from Cave.
Lastly before moving on to the next entry, Vic notes "Coffee house raises funds for war resisters" (Nanaimo NewsBulletin):
The Nanaimo War Resisters Support Group is organising a coffee house in the Red Willow series at Hope Lutheran Church, 2174 Departure Bay Rd., on May 4 at 7:30 p.m.
Performing will be Sue Irwin, Joan Wallace and Barry Hall, the Rabbleberries, Tracey Meyers and Myron Makepeace, Sue Solomon and Dan Miron, The Owl and the Pussycat and Penny Sedora.
Admission is by donation at the door and includes refreshments. There will also be a silent auction.
Funds will be used to help with legal costs for one war resister living locally and to help provincial and national support groups.
With no end in sight to the Afghanistan war and reserves being called, support groups are also concerned about Canadian war resisters who may need help in the future.
For more information, please contact Joan Wallace at 758 8973 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The e-mail address for this site is email@example.com.
the new york times
justin c. thompson