Iraqi expatriates return to battle U.S.

by Trauma_Hound 48 Replies latest social current

  • hillary_step



    I really do hope that you are right. I am in my early fifties and will probably be in wooden box-land before we see what effect this war has had on the World theatre. It will I suspect, bring short term peace but long term misery. The spectre of Northern Ireland is never far behind these anaologies.I truly hope for a better world but I have very little faith in human nature, and even less in political agendas, be they Arab or Western.

    I do believe in education and that is why I am enjoying these threads on a Board that should prmarily be dealing with JW/XJW issues. I have learned a lot the past few weeks, as of yet my mind has not been tipped in the pro-war camp, though stranger things may happen!


  • ozziepost
    the way that the Coalition has acted will NOT defeat the inner forces in the Middle east that gave birth to Saddam, in fact it will empower to them.

    That's the way it's seen by many downunder right now. With our large Moslem population, and with Indonesia on our doorstep, we could be in for a very difficult time, with our population becoming polarised and threats from our neighbours.

    I do not have to remind you that the US has been providing military aid to this barbaric government and has been training its brutal anti-terrorist troops.

    Australia too! Indonesian troops have been coming to Oz for many years for military training, as well as having military trainers in Indonesia. The Oz government has been providing huge amounts of military hardware to their Army/Navy.


  • hillary_step


    See what I mean about education :

    Australia too! Indonesian troops have been coming to Oz for many years for military training, as well as having military trainers in Indonesia. The Oz government has been providing huge amounts of military hardware to their Army/Navy.

    I had no idea!

    Thank you for this information - HS

  • ozziepost

    Thanks, H.S.

    Greetings to you.

    In addition to what I typed above, the military training is provided at the Military Academy at Duntroon where all Australian officers are trained.

    Australia has been equipping Indonesia with coastal patrol boats too. We have close bordering sealanes and it was felt, with all the illegal boat people coming to Oz, in Australia's interest to have the sea-lanes well patrolled.

    Cheers, Ozzie

  • Satanus


    Don't forget that the sanctions of the last eleven yrs have had a tremendously depressing effect on iraqi economy. This would cause many families to head for greener pastures. Previous to that was gulf war one and the iran war that may have caused some to leave. I don't know the proportion of those who left because of political pressure compared to those leaving because of economic contraction, but i suspect economic had a larger influence. It would be something to look into.


  • borgfree


    I am sure the problems you listed did cause some to leave Iraq.

    It should always be pointed out though, that the sanctions allowed sufficient income for Iraq, from oil sales, to provide the necessities for the Iraqi people, food, medicine, etc.

    Saddam chose to use most of that income to build his military (forbidden by cease-fire agreement) his 100 or more grand palaces (some a mile or more in length) and to increase the wealth to him and his inner circle

    The lack of food and medicine was in no way the fault of the US or even the UN.


  • Satanus


    Again, while you are right to a degree, saddam had been doing a lot of building before the sanctions. So, to point at all of the palaces as the reasons for kids starving is a bit one dimensional. Before the sanctions, saddam had been big time into cultural stuff, like art, history, archeology. If i remember right the baathist party was into traditions. 'Course, me saying this doesn't mean that i like saddam. Just giving the devil his due, heh heh.


  • Trauma_Hound

    All I gotta say, is a big F*&%ing I told you so! But no the bush borgians can't listen to anything but they're own flap traps.

  • Double Edge
    Double Edge

    The other side of the coin... Iraqi exiles are also returning to fight against Saddam. They reported on this earlier today on CNN. The article below is from the weekly standard.

    Iraqi Exiles Go to War . . .
    From the April 7, 2003 issue: Led by an impressive special forces colonel.
    by Stephen F. Hayes
    04/07/2003, Volume 008, Issue 29

    Near the Iraqi border
    A group of bleary-eyed soldiers has gathered at 3:45 Thursday morning in the truck bay of the firehouse they call home. They've come together for the most serious of purposes--to send soldiers to battle. Most of the American soldiers gathered here sport a "high-and-tight," military jargon for a crew cut. The exception is Lieutenant Colonel Dan Hammack, a Special Forces officer commanding this ad hoc unit of Free Iraqi Forces and the Americans who've spent the last two months training them. His normally well-coiffed hair is tousled, shooting out in several different directions.

    The bedhead doesn't seem to distract those standing at attention before him--three members of the Free Iraqi Forces, Iraqi-Americans who've volunteered to help coalition forces liberate their people, and "Doc" Snyder, the U.S. Army reservist and university professor tasked with taking the three to hostile territory. Hammack's speech, all nine words, is directed primarily at the Iraqis: "Listen to Doc. Be safe. See you in Baghdad."

    He snaps his hand to his forehead, and the four men return the salute. One of the Iraqis is late, raising his hand as the others lower theirs. No matter--there are handshakes and hugs all around.

    Hammack is a man of few words, in a relatively formal setting like this one. When he was first introduced to the Iraqis he now calls his men in mid-January, I'm told, the normally boisterous group fell silent. Their classroom, at an air base in rural Hungary, was a shuttered section of a warehouse bigger than a football field. The temperature outside was 9 degrees Fahrenheit, and large heating vents noisily pumped in air to keep the troops warm. The military trainers strained to be heard over the din. But when Hammack entered the room the noise disappeared. "You could hear his feet hitting the floorboards," says Curtis Mancini, another trainer.

    "They didn't know what to make of the colonel," Mancini continues. "He gets up there and there's silence. He takes out his wallet, and a picture of his family because he knows how important family is to the Arabs. And he tells them that he expects to go back to his family when he's done. He tells them he expects them to go back to their families, too."

    He ended by telling them he was proud to serve with them, and by asking the group if they were ready for battle. They responded in unison, "Hoo-ah!"

    The entire speech lasted four minutes. Its impact, though, endures. Hammack and his cadre of supporting officers helped transform this group of Iraqi-American volunteers, many of whom came with no military experience, into a significant asset in the current war. To be sure, the Iraqis brought a detailed knowledge of their native land, specific information about the enemy, and an unparalleled desire to rid the world of Saddam Hussein. But creating unit cohesion, establishing common goals, and instilling firm discipline is done only through strong leadership.

    "There's a phrase in the military, SWAG--it stands for silly, wild-ass guess, and it's the way some people work," says Capt. Michael Maguire. "Hammack says, 'F-- it, this is my mission, and I'm going to accomplish it.' He walks into a room and people can feel the confidence level rise, and people will help you do anything if you have their confidence."

    Hammack is short and well built, with sharp, well-drawn features. His uniform is decorated with what his troops call "scare badges"--Army Ranger, Airborne, Special Forces, Pathfinder, Halo Wings, Combat Infantryman's Badge. Married with three children, Hammack is now in the Army reserves. He owns a heavy construction contracting company in Edison, Georgia. It is currently being run by his father and the company's second in command. Hammack's southern drawl is prominent. Hungary is Hung-gary, Saddam is Sad-damn. He speaks in crisp, short sentences.

    I ask him about leadership, then about training the Free Iraqi Forces. "A commander has to be solid in his resolve, decisive in his thinking. Steady. I'm not pretentious. There's nothing fake about me. I'm never acting."

    He continues. "Some men look for causes, some causes find the men. This cause has found the men. We all come here by fate, even you. There's a lot of stress in a combat environment. Men need a leader, but they need someone who cares about them. Not only a leader, but also a friend. That's the basis of trust."

    There are limits to the friendship. Each night here in the desert, Ltc. Hammack and Sfc. Mancini carve out a small circle in the sand. They stand inside, smoke cigars, plan their mission, and consider life's big questions. No one is allowed inside the circle unless invited, and, naturally, what is said in the circle stays in the circle.

    On Wednesday, I was invited into the circle for the first time (and maybe not the last, since I recently returned to our camp with a box of 25 "Romeo y Julietas" from Havana). As we talked, several soldiers formed a ring around us, standing just outside "the circle." When one of them inched his toes across the line in the sand, he was greeted with a swift reprimand. "Get the f-- out," Hammack barked. It was a good-natured scolding, delivered with a laugh, but no one questioned his seriousness. When a second soldier toed the line, Hammack shot back with a warning glare. The line was not breached again.

    Hammack's group, known around here as Task Force Hammack, has placed most of the Free Iraqi Forces with units now well inside Iraq, including the 1st Marine Expeditionary Forces and the 101st Airborne. They are near the front lines. Hammack is characteristically blunt when I ask him about the risks to those newly minted soldiers.

    "Some of them will die. I think to myself, Did I do everything I could to train them well? It keeps me up at night. But you can't dwell on it. March forward."

    So Hammack sends them deeper into Iraq with a few words, a salute, and a handshake. One man on hand Thursday morning to bid his colleagues farewell is Hakim Kawy, a leader of the Free Iraqi Forces. He waits patiently to head further north, confident in the training he has received and grateful for Hammack.

    "When we say goodbye to those guys, I watch his eyes, not listen to his words," he says of Hammack. "I can see that he has the courage, but he also cares, like a father. I see his face and I almost . . . I get emotional and I have to drop my head."

    As the group breaks up, Hammack turns to Mike, a beefy Iraqi from Windsor, Canada, who is going forward with this group.

    "You're going to what we like to call Indian country," Hammack says. "Be ready."

    "We are ready, sir."

  • Trauma_Hound

    Wooo, a whole 4 people! You didn't mention the 4000 supposed suicide bombers, and this is just messed up, do you enjoy seeing baby's get killed? Now because of the suiced bombers, they're firing on women and childrent, 13 of them, 7 of them were killed. You bush people can go to hell, as far as I'm concerned, and acording the rules of texas, you need your asses kicked. I knew this was going to happen, I just knew it, people don't listen, people don't think for themselves, had we had international support, it would be different, but we don't, the only Arab country backing us, is Kuwait, and even some of them aren't totally for it. Wake up people! This is this century's vietnam, mark my words.

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