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Mon Jan 30, 2017, 01:04 PM

Iraq war vet livid about Trump immigration ban

by Michael J. Zacchea, U.S. Marine and Iraq War vet

The White House's executive order banning Iraqis from entry into the United States is not only bad policy, it's a betrayal.

I returned from Iraq on March 1, 2005. I was returning from a year-long tour as an adviser to the 1st Iraqi Army battalion, built, trained, and led in combat by the U.S. military. Our undertaking was historic no American had ever built or led in combat an Arab army. The last westerner to train and lead an Arab army in combat was T.E Lawrence, commonly known as Lawrence of Arabia.

It would be difficult to overstate the hardship and dangers the first American advisory team lived through. Our Iraqi soldiers shared the danger. Our combat included the 2nd Battle of Fallujah in November December 2004. Several of our Iraqi soldiers were abducted and tortured. Several were assassinated, including by beheading. And their families were subject to the same atrocities.

The glue that held us together, the sine qua non without which our mission accomplishment would not have been possible indeed, those who likely kept all of us American advisers from being betrayed and handed over to Al Qaeda in Iraq were the Iraqi interpreters. Iraqi insurgents considered them traitors and apostate to the faith; average Iraqi civilians considered them collaborators, and treated them and their families that way. Our interpreters soon learned not to reveal what they were doing or for whom they were working. They developed elaborate cover stories and false IDs to hide their true identities and protect their families. Theirs was an experience all their own, and their story has not yet been told.


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Reply Iraq war vet livid about Trump immigration ban (Original post)
HAB911 Jan 2017 OP
renate Jan 2017 #1

Response to HAB911 (Original post)

Mon Jan 30, 2017, 01:48 PM

1. it's just heartbreaking

Most if not all soldiers must consider their interpreters to be closer than brothers, having been through so much with them and having risked so much for each other. To see their brothers' loyalty and bravery repaid with a kick in the face... I cannot imagine how painful and enraging that must be.

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