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Response to think (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 05:08 PM

23. I know it's not the same, but I raided my share of wrong houses when I was in Iraq

we'd plan these elaborate large-scale raids where we'd target 6-10 houses in a smallish community and hit them all at once with 400+ Soldiers and all of their accessories. On more than one occasion I remember getting the neighbor's house or being a block or two off from the intended target.

I really felt like crap for doing it, but we'd kick int he doors, throw stuff all over the place, segregate the the women, children, and men and start to process the people we thought we should detain. Kids and women would be crying and all hell would be breaking loose in the houses. Then, the battalion intelligence guy would say that we got the wrong house, we'd cut the zip-ties off of the wrists of the men and leave as fast as we came and hit the supposed correct house.

Talk about winning the hearts and minds of the Iraqis... I always felt terrible for panic I caused - especially after having kids of my own. I couldn't imagine how I would feel to be woken up in the middle of the night to a group of 20-40 heavily armed Soldiers with Tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles ripping up my house, scaring the crap out of my kids, and arresting me and taking me away from my family.

Actually, I really feel like crap for most of the stuff I did in Iraq. I had a lot of opportunities to display compassion and to soften my presence and I blew most of them. I really could have made a difference at least to the small sector that I worked out of as a Platoon Leader and been a much kinder and gentler person. The sad truth is that I was probably just as scared doing what I was doing in Iraq as the Iraqi people were of me and I was just trying to survive long enough to get home. "Violence of execution" is a major tenant of operations and how the military functions and, as a younger and more naive guy, I executed all too well without enough restraint.

I know that this is starting to turn into a lengthy rant now, but my experiences in Iraq in 2004 really shifted me hard to the left and made me a much kinder and gentler person.

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marmar Feb 2013 OP
NYC_SKP Feb 2013 #1
Recursion Feb 2013 #2
Ikonoklast Feb 2013 #3
Post removed Feb 2013 #32
BlueStreak Feb 2013 #4
think Feb 2013 #5
LineLineNew Reply I know it's not the same, but I raided my share of wrong houses when I was in Iraq
Victor_c3 Feb 2013 #23
think Feb 2013 #25
Democracyinkind Feb 2013 #27
dballance Feb 2013 #29
Victor_c3 Feb 2013 #31
LisaLynne Feb 2013 #6
Initech Feb 2013 #7
NickB79 Feb 2013 #8
Glassunion Feb 2013 #11
NickB79 Feb 2013 #13
Glassunion Feb 2013 #16
azurnoir Feb 2013 #20
hatrack Feb 2013 #9
NickB79 Feb 2013 #14
AtheistCrusader Feb 2013 #17
pediatricmedic Feb 2013 #19
hootinholler Feb 2013 #22
barbtries Feb 2013 #10
Glassunion Feb 2013 #12
Cleita Feb 2013 #15
valerief Feb 2013 #18
Spitfire of ATJ Feb 2013 #21
Demo_Chris Feb 2013 #24
Historic NY Feb 2013 #26
Socal31 Feb 2013 #30
packman Feb 2013 #28
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