Saturday, July 08, 2006


From The Front: "...All They Want Is For Us To Leave."

My friend, Jim B., is a good guy: he’s a V.N. vet and as anti-war as they come. He sent me this—it’s a heart-breaker:

Friday, 7 July 2006
The Hearts of Men
Posted By Ben at 1:56 PM
The Hearts of Men
War is an ugly business. The true nature of a person can be revealed
when confronted with this ugliness. Whether its cowardice, deception,
caring, brutality, or any other way a person can be, their true colors
will come out, and a person is always changed after going through a

The darkness and ugliness I've seen in some of my fellow soldiers
often disturbs me. I hear too often,"we should just kill all these
people," or "when ever an IED goes off we should just spray down
everyone in sight." They don't care about who's innocent or who's not.
Or to hear things like,"I can't wait to kill one of these haji's,"
I hear things of the sort all the time, it just makes me sick.

Most IED's (Improvised Explosive Devises) are hand detonated,
meaning there's a wire leading to a control switch, or there's a person
with a remote. About a month and a half ago my section came across a
rather intricate IED. There where two wires enclosed within a piece of
bamboo, and when ran over the two wires touched closing the circuit,
blowing the IED.

The IED blew on our lead vehicle, knocking the vehicle off the
road and injuring all within. Thankfully nobody was killed. The second
vehicle started opening fire into a nearby field, later saying he saw
movement, and thought it was an ambush. The only thing that was moving
over there was a cow, which didn't move anymore.

There was one cluster of about three houses very near by, so
once our reinforcements arrived we decided to raid the houses. As us
one of our sister units, which is known for their hair trigger antics,
entered I could see the malice in some of their eyes. We found three AK
47's, which one is allowed per household in Iraq for protection, and
some old military equipment. Nothing was found that proved that these
people had set the IED. We took two of the men in for questioning
anyways, and discovered nothing. Not yet have we found someone dumb
enough to plant an IED in front of their own home.

So no one was brought in for justice on this most unfortunate
incident, but the next week I found out what our sister unit's idea of
justice would have been. While escorting one of their NCO's
(non-commissioned officers) to another camp he had told us,"Yeah, if
that were us, we would have immediately went over to those houses, and
shot'em all!" It made my stomach turn, and I wondered how many times
they had done such things. How many innocent women and children had
slaughtered. Or how many houses had they blown up with their MK19's
(automatic grenade launchers) when a few shots came from a near by

Everyday we make more enemies, here and across the world. All this
war is doing is breeding remorseless killers, out of them and us. For
every attack they make on us, we make one on them and vice versa. This
back and forth fight will never end, until we pull out of here. And the
sad part of it all is the innocent people dieing in between or
which is what is making most of these enemies.

I will kill in the defense of myself or of my fellow soldiers,
but only if I can positively identify the threat. Otherwise it's unjust
murder. Our rules of engagement even state that you must positively
identify the target before using force, however this is not happening
here in Iraq. I don't want to go through life with a guilty conscience
of innocent blood on my hands. Who am I to play God with these peoples
lives. Some of these soldiers don't care though, and have no remorse
about the bad things that are happening here. Look at what happened at
the prison in Baghdad, Abu Ghraib. What those soldiers did was sick and
wrong. Then in retaliation the Iraqi's cut off an American contractors

Can't we see it will not stop, and that it will only get worse.
Most the people who hate us here and are causing most of the attacks,
all they want is for us to leave. So please use your voice, help get us
out of here, and end all this senselessness.


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