Saturday, June 23, 2007

Arab-Americans In Iraq

By Cernig

The BBC spoke to Arab-American servicemen who have served in Iraq, as part of their World Service radio programming. You can listen to the program here, but here's a couple of snippets:
Jamal Baadani - "I was out with a couple of my marines, and a woman came up to say 'I want to thank you for serving our country, especially at this time.' Then she asked me where I was from. When I said, 'Egypt', she had this look on her face and she said, 'you're a terrorist.' And that was in a Marine Corp uniform. I cussed her out - I called her every name under the sun. I'm an American too - how dare she tell me I was something different."

Mohammad Khaled - "When I was a kid, I was one of those guys that threw rocks at the Israelis, and I was really good at it. I became so good at it I became famous for it. Seriously, the only thing that got me out of trouble was my American passport.
In the summer of 2004, we were in the city of Haditha in Iraq, in a convoy tippy-toeing around. We were so scared, it wasn't funny. I was shaking. As we passed the Haditha Middle School, we got a shower of rocks. They were flying off my flak jacket and my helmet. I felt so tiny, and so fogged-up with emotion. Because that kid throwing rocks used to be me. A rock hit me at the heart. I kept it."

Rajai Hakki - "In Iraq, they tell you there's a smell of death - and there is. It's nasty, it makes you nauseous. You end up having to shoot the dogs - because you'll see dogs in the street with human parts, like hands, in their mouths. I am not going to defend anybody - but unfortunately, as much as we tried not to kill civilians, some do get killed. We gave a big warning for civilians to leave the towns, but some have nowhere to go. Once you've seen the first kid that died, and the first woman - later on, it got so normal, it was just like a movie. You just fast-forward.
Read the rest.

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