American Heroes

I must post this blog from An Iraqi Blogger.

I have another post from another blog I’d like to share.. but this one is just too poignant to delay.

The mosque strewn with bodies of Iraqis- not still with prayer or meditation, but prostrate with death- Some seemingly bloated… an old man with a younger one leaning upon him… legs, feet, hands, blood everywhere… The dusty sun filtering in through the windows… the stillness of the horrid place. Then the stillness is broken- in walk some marines, guns pointed at the bodies… the mosque resonates with harsh American voices arguing over a body- was he dead, was he alive? I watched, tense, wondering what they would do- I expected the usual Marines treatment- that a heavy, booted foot would kick the man perhaps to see if he groaned. But it didn’t work that way- the crack of gunfire suddenly explodes in the mosque as the Marine fires at the seemingly dead man and then come the words, “He’s dead now.”

“He’s dead now.” He said it calmly, matter-of-factly, in a sort of sing-song voice that made my blood run cold… and the Marines around him didn’t care. They just roamed around the mosque and began to drag around the corpses because, apparently, this was nothing to them. This was probably a commonplace incident.

We sat, horrified, stunned with the horror of the scene that unfolded in front of our eyes. It’s the third day of Eid and we were finally able to gather as a family- a cousin, his wife and their two daughters, two aunts, and an elderly uncle. E. and my cousin had been standing in line for two days to get fuel so we could go visit the elderly uncle on the final day of a very desolate Eid. The room was silent at the end of the scene, with only the voice of the news anchor and the sobs of my aunt. My little cousin flinched and dropped her spoon, face frozen with shock, eyes wide with disbelief, glued to the television screen, “Is he dead? Did they kill him?” I swallowed hard, trying to gulp away the lump lodged in my throat and watched as my cousin buried his face in his hands, ashamed to look at his daughter.

“What was I supposed to tell them?” He asked, an hour later, after we had sent his two daughters to help their grandmother in the kitchen. “What am I supposed to tell them- ‘Yes darling, they killed him- the Americans killed a wounded man; they are occupying our country, killing people and we are sitting here eating, drinking and watching tv’?” He shook his head, “How much more do they have to see? What is left for them to see?”

What is there left to say?

3 replies on “American Heroes”

  1. What is there is left to say is that war is hell and yes, our Marines are heros.

    “Lance Corporal Ian Malone and Piper Christian Muzvuru, 1st Battalion, Irish Guards, RIP, took no such precautions in Basra in April last year. They simply ignored the body of the dead fedayeen fighter as they dismounted from their Warrior armoured fighting vehicle – and it, being on a suicide mission, promptly rose up and shot them both, before itself being blown apart. Thenceforth, the “Micks” probably made it their business to re-kill every corpse they saw.”

    I agree it’s not nice. War is not nice – and the US marine that the entire world has now seen kill a defenceless, wounded man, had probably spent the previous two days in street-fighting and house-clearing. This kind of warfare causes unspeakable stress, for soldiers are in danger every second, for hour after hour after hour. It is simply fatuous to sit in high moral judgment on the split-second decision-making of some 20-year-old in the middle of such combat.

    In other words, I’m saying the marine who killed the Iraqi did the right thing – he put the lives of himself and his colleagues first. Ask Mrs Malone in Dublin or Mrs Muzvuru in Harare what they now fervently wish their sons had done.”

    I believe that the perspective of the Telegraph is as valid as Riverbend.

  2. ll, I don’t agree with you jane. But you knew that 🙂

    I don’t care if it’s “just part of war”. It’s another example of why this war should have been avoided at all costs.. and the tone of the Blogger I think reflects a very dangerous trend… Iraqis should be thanking that Marine.

    But they’re not. And that bloggers tone is such that it indicates his desperation with the situation and his desire for things to have been done very differently.

  3. Yes, of course, you seldom agree with me but nevertheless, I’m right. 🙂 And when everything turns out well in Iraq, I’ll be first to say “I TOLD you so!” 😉

    I used to read Riverbend a lot. He is a “she” by the way and has always been totally devoid of any appreciation for the prospect of Iraqi freedom from a tyrant such as Saddam. It is thought that she is a Sunni whose family has Ba’athist ties. Whatever. I assure you there are many many other Iraqi bloggers that do not hate the Americans or the freedom from Saddam as she does. She is the Maureen Dowd of Iraqi bloggers. There is a lot more to read and other perspectives among the very articulate and educated bloggers from Iraq. I find many who do thank the Americans and look forward to the day when the Marines clean out the terrorists and insurgents from their midst. It’s coming and the Iraqi population WILL be grateful.

    MY favorite Iraqi blog is “healing Iraq”. An intelligent secular Baghdad citizen and not in love with the US but wants the terrorists dead and a government that works. Me too, no matter how much Riverbend agonizes over the war.

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