Saturday, February 25, 2006

War Stories from Iraq

I don't even remember how I found this site, From NYC. Freelance journalist/photographer, Brian Palmer, is embedded with the U. S. Marine Charlie Company at Al Asad Airbase in Iraq.

Every time I hear our non-com militarist leaders Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney or George Bush wax on about how democracy is taking a foothold in Iraq, how the Iraqi Army is almost ready to take over stabilization efforts, how the insurgency is in its "last throes" - I wonder how courageous these men would be, how decisive they would be about sending young men off to a pre-emptive war if they themselves were actually embedded with the Marines for just a short time. Here are some excerpts from Palmer's blog:

The shooting is loud and furious and disorienting, particularly to me. This is my first real firefight. I point my video camera at the loudest clump of shooting. I pan to my right toward Marino and his team as they fire rounds into the field at an enemy I can't see. I’m trying to concentrate on the action happening in the viewfinder while keeping my head parallel to the mud . . .

Someone spots something or someone moving in the canal among the reeds. A wounded, possibly dead, fighter is either hiding or dying.Gunfire erupts again. I peer through the swaying stalks but see nothing. Marino and the Laube spot the body. Marino puts two final bullets into the man. All I see is a spray of blood after the second shot. That’s the fourth and final “enemy KIA” . . .

I crouch behind a berm with Marino and a squad of Marines. “Thirty seconds!” Corpsman Chin shouts. Then, Boom! The Explosive Ordnance Demolition team has “blown in place” two of the dead fighters, one of whom wore the suicide vest. (The other carried a grenade with the detonation pin pulled, Marines said.) “Stand by for body parts,” shouts a grunt. I don’t hear anything hit the ground after the blast, but as I walk back to the farmhouse, I notice moist coin-size bits of pink, brown, and red glistening in the dirt. I identify one chunk as a piece of liver. Corpsman Chin corrects me. “That’s lung."

These kinds of images and stories won't be seen on NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN and certainly not Fox News, which yesterday had their neocon intellectuals speculating over the question, "All-Out Civil War in Iraq: Could It Be a Good Thing?". There are just a few degrees of detachment here in America, as we sit in our recliners watching filtered news clips from our very own war of choice.

1 comment:

Hal at Ranch Ramblins said...

Thank you for the lead on "From New York" It is compelling reading, and helps fill in the information void that seems to have permeated the mainstream media.

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