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May 19, 2007

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laptop

Not to be too cynical, but you have to understand that everything we do (the Americans) ultimately has a selfish intent. Yes, we will 'help' you and give candy to the little kids on the street and sweep up the garbage piles ... but it is all contingent upon you (the Iraqis) understanding that Daddy sets the rules and we don't want any funny stuff (flamboyent Islamicism). As long as you show some respect to our puppets (CIA funded don't you know), install a few more Dominos Pizzas, and let us tutor you on http://www.batteryfast.co.uk oil exploration ... then we might just let you have a few hours of AC. C'mon, show some gratitude to your liberators.

kathy

I would like to say i am sorry for all you have endured in iraq, their people, our american soldiers, i am truly sorry. I am doing what i can to get things done from here. But i am just one small voice, but i have many more with me.

I want you in Iraq to know i would love for us all to get along and work together dispite our differences. It can be done, many of my college friends and I have always agreed to disagree on things. But we can work together toward common goals that benefit us. I came to believe that education was the reason for that, and lack of it lead you to a life of doing what others ordered you to do.

I dont know if i am making any sense here, but if we could truly get to know each others cultures and respect them, and not push any believes we have on each other, we could get along, it can be done.

I know the heat has to be unbearable over there, and i shudder as Hurricane season starts over here again, we have more than people to fight and recover from. Mother nature is on her on warpath from the looks of things. And we all need to be working together to save the planet so we all have a place to live, not distroying another part of it.

My son is over there, and i assure you that he is one of the good guys. How could he not be with my heart, and he has that heart. Many americans do wish and want the best for you and your country. And i am glad Saddam is gone, but i thought that was our mission and its been done, now its time to come home and let you decide how to do things over there.

We have enough problems at home. If anyone wanted to get to us, just dont do anything, we have enough idiots in the govt, that will do us in, and you have to do nothing for that to happen, just sit back and watch.

Just lets agree to live and let live and stop the wars. The planet is going to give us all enough trouble and we should be working together to see we have a planet to live on. Wont matter what religion you are or what polictics you are, or if you have gas or not, when mother nature takes her final blows...we will need each other to survive. And i truly believe, the time has come for us all to behave accordingly.

I would die for what i believe in, but i would not go and blow myself up for anyone, how can we stop that? Please a clue? There is no honor in being a coward and killing many as well as yourself. I know of no God that would think so.

Its kinda hard to fight cowards that hide behind women and children and innocent people and hurt them. Yes i hate the what is going on over there, very much so, but the reality is this, what can you do? And since the answer is nothing....we need to come home and leave it to them to fight it out. Maybe they would stand up and do what is right to protect themselves, if we were not there to enable them not to.

They should not be dependent on us and we should return the favor and let them have their oil and us not use any of it. Maybe then they would see we are not after their oil and not all of us just want their oil.

I cant help but picture in my head the rich oil men in the middle east scratching their heads and saying, what happened to all that money we use to have, we went too far in trying to jack up the prices and it all went away! Then and only then, will we be respected again, it seems.

Funny how people will do bad things and never see the overall picture. WE all do need each other, and about time everyone realised that and tried to work together.


ljm

Hassam, it's like everywhere with leaders. power and money corrupt absolutely. It just depends on how much power and/or money for each person. With soldiers, most are very good people, but the military attracts some bad ones. They aren't always the best and the brightest.

ljm

That is an amazing account from Chris on what he sees and is experiencing on his two tours in Iraq, thank you, Chris. I also want to thank you for your service. Bush gave a press conference today on the war funding bill in congress and he said outloud, "if the Iraqi parliament voted they want us to leave, we'd go." I'm paraphrasing, but that is what he said. Like all our McClatchy friends on this blog, Chris, please be careful out there.

Hussam

I am one of the Iraqis who have suffered from the insurgency and all the other stuff we say to excuse the mistakes done by the US administration here. I know how the Americans have been so noble but I also wonder, "When those soldiers and commanders lost their nobilty?"

Chris

Hey everyone. I'm here just to drop my two cents of the merchandise. The rest can stay with you. Currently I'm serving in the United States Armed Forces deployed in Baghdad, Iraq. This is my 2nd tour since the last time I was here in 2004. This time I can see the difference between our progress and mistakes. It's almost like a compare and contrast situation. When I came here on January 2004 I was stationed in the north in a city of millions called Mosul. We spent countless hours and days operating out of FOB Marez conducting patrols in the immediate area and executing raids on individuals believed to be insurgents or involved in terrorists activities. I was new out of basic training. Funny how the US military trains our youth today and ship them off to join the ranks of those who've had more training then you and yet you feel like you can be a part of that group but are welcomed with shallow attitudes towards you because you're the new "cherry". The military has it's way of making you feel like a loner in the beginning. Anyways having arrived there I didn't know much about what we were doing or who we were fighting other then that there were people trying to kill us as we all walked the streets of Mosul. Being that this area was way north it was relatively quiet at times and had less insurgent attacks as opposed to the Anbar province which today is still a "hot spot" for sunni extremists who believe they can influence the residents with their cowardly acts of violence against coalition forces, and the community which finds itself hopeless under fear that they will be the next victims of "sectarian violence". Nonetheless Mosul was no paradise or safe haven. It was vulnerable to attacks on a weekly basis that caused it to be on it's toes day-to-day against local nationals wanting control of the area. Having been part of the new Stryker brigade combat team out of Fort Lewis, Washington, we were deployed to many parts of the country. From Telafar, Mosul, Samarra, Taji, Balad, Scania, Al Kut, Baghdad, Najaf, and the list goes on. Our ability to be a unit that's mobile serves a good purpose in this country. But what's the use if they keep moving you around and never really get to know the people of that area. Today in my 2nd tour this is becoming an issue. The Army can't keep us in one area long enough and is always shifting us around. We are now based out of FOB Liberty in Baghdad, Iraq. So far we've been as far as Mosul up north and Mahmoudiya down south. We've been to the east of the Tigris river and as far west near the Euphrates River. We've been fortunate to still be here at Liberty this long as opposed to last time. As for what I consider to be progress I don't know. I can't say I see anything positive every time we go out on a patrol since it really is hard to discern what's good and what's bad in Iraq. Some kids will wave at you while others will throw rocks at you or whatever object is in their hands. Local nationals will wave at you and give you a thumbs up while others will "mean mug" you and give you dirty looks. And in between all that we encounter the bold and courageous who fight for their lone cause. One that to me is pathetic and confusing. This so-called "Jihad (Holy War). On what?!?! Who?!?! Why?!?! Is their any reward at the end of the day? Most Iraquis I've noticed don't help us or don't want to since their scared for their lives. And the ones that do either do it to receive something of good will in return or to set us up for failure. Eventually we run the luck of taking small arms fire followed by an IED/EFP (Improvised Explosive Device/ Explosively Formed Projectile) or in most cases an IED/EFP followed by small arms fire. Insurgents are still lurking around at night in the streets even with all the technology we have and the 160,000 plus soldiers we have in theater. Insurgents are killing their own in selfish attacks to reach "Martyrdom" status. The only place I can say I see improvement in is our bases. Which to me is ok to some extent. I'm not going to complain about that. Yes we need better living conditions. Yes we want a way to communicate with loved ones back home. Why not? I'm going to be here an entire year! Oh wait it's now 15 months mandatory policy from Defense Secretary Gates approved by President George Bush enforced by our Chain Of Command at the Pentagon. Lovely. We take it as it is since we are soldiers following orders. Yes we joined the service to serve our country. Well some of us did. I don't know about others. But I can speak for myself. Being at this FOB we have all the resources we need since it's big in comparison to other places I've been to and stayed at. I've experienced some pretty bad situations with living conditions and a shortage of supplies. I hear about all these billions and billions of US dollars and congress passing all these bills to fund this war, well atleast before not as much now since now they are trying to regulate where all the money goes. And apparently Bush doesn't want that. He just wants the damn money sent over here for the "troops". Still I wonder where all of it is going. And to who? I mean I still see places here in Iraq where the sewage system is a disaster with most of it if not all is on the streets. The smell is just so awful you can't help but cover your nose and mouth since you can actually taste the stench of it all. Then there's those neighborhoods where the generators shut down and the whole area or "muhalla" (Arabic word for neighborhood) goes black. Another issue that surrounds us are the crooked Iraqui Police or the individuals who are part of the Iraqui Army who also have ties with insurgent militias through out Iraq. This has been a constant thing since the last time I was here. And it hasn't changed at all. Instead it has gotten worse. Obviously we're trained them so now they feel better off without us and counter attack us when we're in the area. Sure they work with us and I'd like to think that there's some out there who are loyal to Iraq, but not the Iraqui government since even there it's a shady environment. When I heard that they wanted to take 2 months off this year as a vacation I was like what. In what country which is going through some of the worst history in their time is their government going to take a vacation more so a 2 month vacation. Come on give us a break. Apparently that tells us they don't care and they expect us to make it all better. Well I could go on and on since I can speak my mind about this whole situation and conflict going on here in Iraq. No it's not a war. Yes there is a civil war going on. But the Bush administration is ignorant and refuses to call it that. We're in the middle mounting up the casualties. And I blame him for this and other autrocities. If there ever was a war crime he outlines that subject very well.

michael

A series of military installations could be maintained around Iraq, with a total of total of 30,000 to 40,000 U.S. troops, for a long period of time — maybe a few decades. There are currently about 160,000 U.S. troops in Iraq.

The bases would be located in various strategic locations, ones that served by air landing strips, for instance. The bases would be sealed and U.S. forces wouldn't be on patrols


When are we going to wake up THE TROOPS ARE NEVER COMING HOME not until the oil is gone or we put our foot down

Big Frank

"We should go fight a war against Mexico. Those nachos are great!"

UncleSammy

Bring Them Home Now! Son, some of Americans are actually willing to get off our @sses and go into our senators offices to tell them the same. Those are ones who truly support the troops-yes I am one who does that.
Did I ever do this before this unGodly war? No, I am embarrassed to say it took someone like George Bush to get me up off of me own rear...

A Carter

You are preaching to the choir, Man. Two out of three Americans want the same thing. Rumsfeld did say we'd leave if "the Iraqi people" told us to. Now that the Iraqi people can vote (sort of), maybe you and your neighbors could suspend the violence (that gives us the pretext to stay) long enough to petition your (more or less) duly elected government for a plebiscite to throw us out. After we go, you all can figure out what to do with Iran and Saudi Arabia and we can figure out how to get OUR country back.

Heather Ann

Thank you for sharing this. I have been wondering what the point of view was from Iraq regarding how to "resolve" this "situation" (which of course would not exist if we hadn't invaded in the first place.) I will add my small vote, and I will share this with others in hopes that their votes can join as well, to GET US OUT! But I wish their was a quicker way to help.

ljm

This article in The Guardian explains more about how Iran took over Basra.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,2083387,00.html

ljm

I read an article in a 2003 edition New Yorker magazine about how many hundreds of millions of $$ was awarded to Bechtel to work on the water, electricity and other systems in Iraq. This was the company that Rumsfeld came from when he became Sec. of Defense. Obviously, we don't know how the money was spent. Bechtel pulled out of Iraq some time ago. All the commanders of those earlier years in the war are also long gone. I suspect the generators are part of the plan of Gen. Patreus, who really does want to find solutions by working with people and not just blowing stuff up over there. The commanders over there know how hot it is. If they don't find a way for people to cool off, people will die. Perhaps they want to create places that can be cooling shelters for people to go to if they don't have electricity. You have an internal refugee problem in Iraq, so maybe that's the strategy. People could resort to violence or the people who have electricity could decide to share with those who don't.
Meanwhile, I also read that the oil ministry there denies the GAO report about the missing oil over there. Somehow, I'm not surprised they'd say that. Also, there's a deal with Iran to put in a pipeline between Basra and Iran to send oil there. Iran and Russia are also being encouraged to bid on building oil refineries in Iraq.
As for the insurgents, over here they call it, "whack a mole." When you get rid of them in one place, they show up in another. It's true that we don't want to have more insurgents over there. Ending the insurgency is the key to us getting out of Iraq. It's not about being afraid of them.
Stay cool for those extra hours, Laith. It's the right thing to do for your family. I hope your neighborhood gets one of those super generators. They you all can have cleaner water and stay cool for more of the day. It's all about getting through the hot months of summer.

Ray

Not to be too cynical, but you have to understand that everything we do (the Americans) ultimately has a selfish intent. Yes, we will 'help' you and give candy to the little kids on the street and sweep up the garbage piles ... but it is all contingent upon you (the Iraqis) understanding that Daddy sets the rules and we don't want any funny stuff (flamboyent Islamicism). As long as you show some respect to our puppets (CIA funded don't you know), install a few more Dominos Pizzas, and let us tutor you on oil exploration ... then we might just let you have a few hours of AC. C'mon, show some gratitude to your liberators.

THIS IS THE SICK SHAMEFUL REALITY

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"Inside Iraq" is a blog updated by Iraqi journalists who have worked for McClatchy Newspapers. They are based in Baghdad. These are firsthand accounts of their experiences. Their complete names are withheld for security purposes.

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