Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Description of Middle Class Iraqi Home, Mistaken Case of Rape, Punching a Woman in the Face, and the Fallujah Resistance Mystery

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10 March, 2004 2230

“There’s some nice houses in Iraq,” SSG Sommers said. “I remember one raid when we went into the house and we felt bad about going in, it was so nice you felt like taking your shoes off! It looked like a house in the States. The kids’ room had posters of Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, Pokemon, it’s crazy, I’m telling you. And the whole family speaks fluent English. The wife said, ‘Oh, please don’t destroy our house, we’ll show you everything,’ very nicely. And they did, the showed us everything. She kept showing us things, saying, ‘This is from my trip to America and my university days in the States,’ she said. It’s crazy man,” SSG Sommers explained, still in disbelief.
One story I heard not too long ago was pretty interesting. “So we’re up in our tank observing our sector, it’s broad daylight,” Sergeant Marshal says. “Well, we notice a car out in the distance and see a man get out with a woman. It looks like the man puts the woman in the back seat and then gets in too. So I’m thinking, ‘Holy shit, this fucker is about to rape this chick!’ So, we fire up our tanks and haul ass down the hill and to the car, and you can see this guy all over the woman. So we pull up and jump off our tank. We run up to the car, reach in, and pull the man out. ‘So you like to rape women, huh?’ we kept saying while we beat the shit out of him, and the woman starts screaming. Then she starts screaming in English, ‘NO, STOP, STOP! He’s my boyfriend!’ ‘Oh fuck,’ I thought, and we froze up and immediately let the guy go. Well, it turns out, she was a school teacher and still living at home, so they had no place to make out, so they were doing it in the car in broad daylight. The just picked a bad spot that day.”
Then there was the story about the tank car chase, again with Sergeant Marshal. “So we set up this roadblock, and this Iraqi guy goes right by. So we chase him in our tank and actually catch him by pinning him in. So, we get him out of the car and start beating the shit out of him. All of a sudden, this guy’s wife shows up all crying and she won’t go away, she keeps grabbing onto sergeant (I forget his name). All of a sudden, he turns around and punches this woman square in the face, and her whole face exploded. He ended up breaking her nose, and blood was fucking everywhere.”
Here you hear all kinds of stories. Most of them are believable. You hear a lot of bragging in chow lines or lines in general. You notice the young, redneck military police guys (and their tomboy female gunners) bragging about harassing or beating Iraqis. As individuals, they don’t give the impression of being very good people. They are troublemakers now, high on their egos, and they were probably troublemakers back in their redneck town. A lot of these young men are just juvenile delinquents. They act like hyperactive devils. They just do what they want. I remember one time seeing them go into an Iraqi store acting like children, dropping goods, or tossing them around, then stealing glasses and gloves. It’s just a shame. “Do you fuckin’ understand a fuckin’ word I’m sayin’ boy?” a redneck MP said to an Iraqi store owner (who I know, and he actually speaks fluent English) while holding up a DVD video. “DO – YOU – FUCKIN’ – HEAR – ME,” he said in a deep southern accent.
‘I can hardly understand your English,’ I thought to myself.
One group of MPs that I heard talking were saying, “So we had this guy, and we are beating the shit out of him,” a young MP bragged as I listened pretending to be impressed. “So, after we’re done beating him, we put a sandbag on his head and zipped his hands behind his back. THEN, we tossed him in a ditch and drove off. I don’t even wanna know what happened to the fucker!” And laughter erupted in the group.
Fallujah is a hot spot in Iraq. There are heavy attacks there very often, and foreign fighters have moved in and gained support there. It wasn’t always like that though. Many bathroom stall walls at BIAP read a long list of “R.I.P. PVT John Doe.” One day I noticed a second scribbling referring to 82nd Airborne in a hostile way: “Fallujah wasn’t bad until 82nd came and fucked it up by shooting up an anti-Saddam rally! Fuck 82nd Airborne! R.I.P. Fallen Soldiers!”
I thought this was interesting. I noticed even more graffiti attacking 82nd Airborne in Fallujah. I asked Sergeant Cole about it. ‘What happened in Fallujah?’ I asked, wanting to figure this out.
“Well,” he said, “82nd got into Fallujah and got all nervous. There was a rally, and 82nd felt threatened and fired on the crowd. I think about 14 people were shot dead. After that, all the people turned on us. When I was there for Operation Longstreet, people were nice, inviting us into their homes and constantly offering us food.”
There were firefights though. Sergeant Cole shot some guys. They killed one guy, “and wrapped him up in a military tarp. We got him wrapped up and a ‘UHHHHHH’ sound came from under the tarp, and one of the soldiers immediately fired a bullet into the tarp – he was jumpy and got spooked. That finished the guy off,” he told. “There was one guy we stopped on a Jawa motorcycle and we found homemade grenades on him,” he said. “He said they were for fishing. He was missing a hand and some fingers on the remaining hand. He had the motorcycle rigged up so he could drive with one hand. He couldn’t have the Jawa though (they were outlawed because they were purchased by the Saddam right before the war for the Fedayeen), so we kicked it to the side of the road and fired a few rounds into the fuel tank until the bike exploded. Well, the commander finds out about this and orders us to give the guy another motorcycle from a bunch we already confiscated. Later we search his brother’s house in a separate operation and find all kinds of explosives and RPG rounds.”

[1] Fallujah was not completely hostile towards Americans in the beginning. Problems began to develop when the Iraqis demand that a military post be moved from a school. Although it was hardly reported, several Iraqis were killed when soldiers shot them. The BBC reported the incident, but other news organizations did not. Most assumed incorrectly that hostilities in Fallujah simply grew spontaneously.

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