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February 19, 2005

A little news from Iraq

From an email:

This is an extract from a communication (today) from Lt Col Smith, the commander of my son’s unit. It’s a little longer than my other occasional snippets, but you’ll see that it is worth it. The zone he refers to is 30 miles south of Bagdad and includes what is called the Triangle of Death. Mahmudiyah is one of the towns in their area of operation.

...And, by the way, on this operation we assigned our Iraqi Army counterparts, for the first time, their own search sector. Marines from the Civil Action Platoon from Co E acted from overwatch only. And, if I might, the Iraqi Army performed magnificently! They found several caches of insurgent/terrorist weaponry, and they moved and acted like professional soldiers from start to finish. Yes, they are inching ever closer to the day that THEY WILL operate without US Forces, and will crush those who oppose law and order.

There is no doubt the tables have turned against the insurgents in our zone!
The atmospherics we get from the people are SIGNIFICANTLY different than
when we first arrived. They talk of fighting back against the insurgents. They talk openly of their respect for us and their gratitude at our assistance. They are far less afraid to be seen talking and cooperating with us. They are growing… … …

… … … While on this patrol, they were approached by a local who told them of a shooting a couple of blocks away. The local explained that armed men pulled up in a couple of cars, sprayed another car with machine gun fire, kidnapped the male driver, left the female driver for dead, and then placed a bomb in the trunk. Now, immediately, the Marines of Co E knew this was a standard tactic of our enemy who knows no limit to his cowardice. They approached the scene cautiously and established a safe cordon around the vehicle. From the cordon, the squad's US Navy Corpsman, through long range observation, saw what he believed to be bubbles forming in the blood underneath the nose of the supposed dead female. "Doc" made the decision that she was still alive. With that information, the Doc and the Squad Leader moved forward, extricated the female, and were approximately 30 meters away when the car detonated in a huge fireball of death and destruction. This entire episode was captured by one of the Marines on video and is as dramatic as any Hollywood scene you have ever viewed. Now, we can debate the smartness of their actions all we want, but what I ultimately know is this: this Marine and Sailor COMPLETELY AND
UTTERLY DISREGARDED THEIR OWN SAFETY TO SAVE THE LIFE OF AN INNOCENT IRAQI WHO HAD BEEN GUNNED DOWN IN COLD BLOOD, IN BROAD DAYLIGHT ON A BUSY STREET! Now unfortunately, the women later died at the Mahmudiyah Hospital. But know this, the Iraqi crowd that had gathered to witness this whole event, well, they cheered. No, check that, they celebrated in the Arab way of near hysteria for the heroic actions of the Doc and the Marine. They saw once again what AMERICANS are all about. And, I have no doubt, once again, they have learned. They have learned for future actions. They have learned evil and terror can be fought. They have learned that there is a heavy price, BUT GOOD ALWAYS TRIUMPHS OVER EVIL!!!!! (Now this video should be released soon, and if it does not make the major media outlets, well, then something is wrong! But if it does not, we will show it to you all upon our return.) It is heroism in action, and just another day at the office for the Mad
Ghosts of 2/24.