1 October 2004
I would have to say that the most frustrating thing to deal with here is the absolute refusal by the civilian populace to inform us where the bad guys are. I understand that they are frightened. I understand that these people have been through more in the past year and a half than anyone would ever dream of having to deal with. It will only get better, though, if they tell us where the bad guys live. When the general populace gets absolutely sick and tired of being shot at, blown up and targeted by their OWN countrymen, then things will begin to improve. Yes there are those that do inform us and we take care of their information swiftly and with extreme prejudice. We do not sit on information for days at a time so it gets "cold" and we wind up missing the one(s) we originally were meant to apprehend.
Yesterday was a time of grief for many people, civilians and soldiers alike. Not too far from where I am stationed, a series of explosions occured, injuring and killing many people. You watch and read the news, however, and they immediately try to place blame upon the soldiers on the scene as quoted by one small child who was injured, that the soldiers called them over to hand out candy. Well, I can tell you from first hand experience that the children here are NEVER invited. They come of thier own accord. I cannot get out of my vehicle and walk three paces until I am usually swamped by children asking for candy. If I have any, I give it out. If not, I inform them so. I talk to the children and for the most part I love the children of Iraq and it breaks my heart to know that so many were hurt and killed yesterday. They are the true innocents in this whole shitty mess. I have seen firsthand on more than one occasion where a small child has been broken, battered, wounded, and just generally messed up for the rest of his/her life, and for the most part it has been by those responsible for the insurgency here. Yes, there have been times that children have been hurt or killed by American forces, but I can absolutely assure you, that as far as my unit goes, that would be totally unintentional. I pray for peace constantly in this affair, as I feel great sadness for the children. Most of the adult populace I really don't care either which way, for they refuse to cooperate, and most of them collaborate against us anyway. Don't get me wrong, I have many Iraqi friends here of all ages, and not just ones that work for us either. There are those that I talk to on a regular basis and I call them friend. There are many special people here. Not all Iraqis are bad. I do not hate Iraq or its people. I hate the attitudes and the indecision amongst its populace to harbor, aid and assist the insurgency and then blame us for it.