20 Episode results for "Iraqi Army"

Fruit of the Poisonous Tree

Raven 23: Presumption of Guilt

24:56 min | 1 year ago

Fruit of the Poisonous Tree

"They think again in this episode. Were opening the government's case files in the square shootings in Baghdad. All of the case files especially the evidence that the government curated or just plain hid from the three grand juries and three juries. It took to put Dustin heard Evan Liberty Knicks Latin and Paul Slough in prison five years ago since this podcast went live. I've been accused of whitewashing. A massacre of thirty four innocent Iraqi civilians there's even a petition out there demanding that Fox News. Apologize FOR AIRING. Stories about my podcast. These people are completely missing the point. This case is not a Red State. Blue state line in the sand. This is about a complete breakdown in our criminal justice system. That frankly scares the hell out of me. Listen to the facts from the same investigation. The government conducted to imprison the men of Raven to three. And Ask yourself instead? Would you feel confident enough in American justice to go on trial for your life in these same circumstances? This is Robin two-three presumption of guilt multiple Iraqi police with a k. forty-sevens. Were running apparently preparing for some type of attack. Shortly after arriving I started to hear small arms fire varying from my life pulse and wives at my ton I engaged vehicle and stop the threat at the same moment. I look at the direction of the fire and observed two men in civilian clothes firing in my direction in her impacts around me landing on my vehicle located next to the pillar approximately a hundred and fifty meters from my position anymore shooting in my teams direction the Iraqi Army Iraqi national police and the US all converged on these sorts square within minutes to threes exit as we mentioned in our last episode. The New York Times. Put the death toll at no more than eight. In the Iraqi government issued a statement condemning Blackwater for combined twelve fatalities injuries in this little square. There were only two bodies and no autopsies were conducted except for the White Kia every other vehicle had been moved or removed so no meaningful bullet trajectory analysis or other forensics were performed. Although it was clear from the statements you just heard Iraqi militia. Were involved in this shooting that the Iraqi national police was infiltrated by Iran backed militias the investigation was inexplicably handed over to an Iraqi police. Colonel deemed barris Kareem. Here's how creed went about identifying victims own television commercials asking people who were victims of the niece or square shootings to come forward. If you've ever watched an episode Thalia ad or any other class action lawsuit commercial on a news network. These are the type of commercials that they've ran people who suffer property damage. Got Two thousand five hundred dollars those with injuries five thousand dollars and deaths ten thousand dollars from the US embassy in Baghdad. There was no attempt to preserve the scene or match American bullets with Iraqi Victims. But there were two slim chances that integrity would win the day. The first were photographs of AK forty seven shell casings taking in about twelve forty. Pm On September sixteenth two thousand seven by US Army captain. Peter Deco Decker. Oh heard the gunfire and his post at the nearby forward operating base prosperity adjacent to Source Square. He brought his camera amplitude to document. What did just happened? Decker photographed enemy. Shell casings behind the bus. Stop where the Raven. Two three team reported enemy gunfire he also told the FBI later that Iraqi army officers were picking up shell casings and other objects as you watched and removing them from the scene remember Deco and Raven two three had no contact with each other yet the locations where he documented those enemies shell casings are the exact same as the team members described and their statements just two days later. Here's what Decarava told the FBI in two thousand eight. I didn't hand count it but I can estimate there was over hundred hundred and fifty rounds. There were all along the southern end of the traffic circle and I said it was a mix of the five fifty six and the larger seven sixty two like I said without counting it. There was more seven sixty two than there was five. Fifty six to translate with decorative just said there was a mix of five fifty six shells the size used by American forces and contractors and seddon sixty two shells used in the Iraqi Ak. Forty seven assault rifles. That sounds like a two way firefight to me. But in this powder keg of a situation decorous first instinct to smooth things over with the Iraqis in his testimony. He describes putting out flyers saying basically. Please let us know if you are. Some of your family. Were involved with this incident. If you have damage to your house your vehicle we wanna get you some monetary compensation. He told the jury. We just wanted to make sure we didn't harm. Some of the good we did in rebuilding the schools and local infrastructure decorative turned over the photographs to the FBI but they mysteriously disappeared. For seven years. The photographs resurfaced halfway through the two thousand. Fourteen trial of destined heard Evan Liberty. Paul Slough next Latin the assistant. Us Attorney actually described his failure to turn over this exculpatory evidence. That directly contradicted the government's theory. That square was an unprovoked massacre as an innocent oversight so photographs of the enemy shell casings. Just disappear that's bad but there was even better evidence available to the defense in a report. That blackwater itself commissioned right after the incident. I learned about this report from Eric Prince when I interviewed him earlier this year. He's mentioned this report in other interviews that I found on Youtube. Here's what he had to say about it. We hired a former chief prosecutor walk. He had retired after she prosecuting Saddam. We hired him to investigate this to see who actually hurts because we the ones that were hurt. We actually paid You know Called salacious just like the military times if someone is injured or killed accidentally Donald so we investigated he investigated and visited. Each one of these people. Swath these families and there was eleven people that were killed. We don't know that they are all killed by Blackwater around but we know that they were killed in the desert square incidents. There was a lot of other people that were injured wounded and brought to American military facilities to see treatments and when they removed the bullets being signed. It is a seven. Sixty bullets weighs a hundred and twenty three things which is exactly what a forty seven rounds and it's very very hard to to misinterpret cats as any other round is one of our men. Were shooting anything like an eight people. Seven round neck and forever the point being a lot of the other wounded and a lot of the dead and because of the the Muslim religious requirements to Gary then within twenty four hours. Each really don't have time to detailed autopsy and a very detailed post post incident analysis Above these all these happenings but you know medical reports on the number of cases because people were bringing wanted in. Hey I need payments this This incident this incident was years. Military happened initial square. You call us. Military incidentally was obviously this report clearly is not secret but try as I might. I can't lay my hands on it. I asked Eric Prince and his minions repeatedly for access to the report. I called consensus the company that acquired blackwater after the square incident. I called the American law firm that I think wrote it up Nada. Nothing and no explanation as to why I can't see a report. That's supposedly exonerates. Paul Slough Knicks Latin Dustin heard and Evan Liberty several days after the shooting on September. Twenty two thousand seven to be exact. Us Army investigators went back to square specifically. They went back to that bus shelter. Where the team said enemy. Gunmen were firing at them. Some of them called it a shack in their statements. The investigators were looking for evidence that proved raven to three statements and they found it. This video was on the thumb. Drive that Tony Guerrero gave to. Tommy Vargas in two thousand seven. The voices you hear are army. Investigators showcasing on top of the book. So what does that mean near? Enemies from the government's they're finding AK forty seven and yet they deny it and tail reasons to certain times they hit you from all different five. Only remaining what they're saying. It's an old around other animals Russia. Well there you have it witness testimony about a gun battle and physical evidence that somebody was shooting the insurgents weapon of choice in Nisar Square. So how does this result in manslaughter or murder charges? We asked criminal defense lawyer. Joseph Low for some answers. Low is a former. Us Marine who defends servicemen and. Women accused of warcrimes. He is not involved in the Raven to three case but since his client was the only defendant to walk free in the Pendleton. Eight case and he represented the chief witness in the recent. Eddie Gallagher warcrimes trial. I figured he knew what he was talking about. He's also an instructor at the Academy in California. So you you have a client that comes in and says he's a soldier does just say soldier because look these guys were in a protective doing diplomat protection right keiser that they were came into art traffic circle right after a car bombing and they were supposed to clear out. This place called Nisar Square. They say that they were shot at. There's plenty of physical evidence that they were shot at and even though the government initially Said there were. There's no evidence they were shot at. They change their minds in two thousand seventeen and said that they were shot at so. What's your defense against manslaughter? And murder charges. What is a complete defense for manslaughter and murder charges in that situation? There's two defensive yourself defensive another or you can even say defensive property so if someone is shooting at you you can shoot back in kill them and be absolved of a conviction for murder because you defending yourself if they are shooting at one of your loved ones or one of your friends you can shoot back and kill them and being solved from that. Because you're descending another or they're coming in and shooting you WanNa steal your wallet you can shoot back and kill them in again The absolves of vertical fiction because you defending property. So it's pretty simple right yes on that same day A. US Army officer named colonel. David Bus Ligo told his men to Scour Nisar Square for evidence his men saw investigators picking up AK rounds at the treeline that Tommy Vargas mentioned in his Radio Calls. Remember too in the tree line but bustling. Oh testified it. All three trials that there was no evidence of an ambush. He admitted however that his Iraqi handlers wouldn't let him view the entire square and that they weren't looking for physical evidence anyway in the second trial bus Ligo actually admitted that he wasn't even in square when all this happened despite massive credibility issues. The government relied heavily on him during the trials. Here's an actor. Reading his testimony. I was only able to observe generally in the vicinity that we actually walked around with. General Hussein Al Wadi so I didn't go around the entire circle at that time there. Judicial System operate on confession based manner. That was all he cared about the idea of forensic evidence it. Sarah was something that the. Us forces was attempting to introduce to the Iraqi police in justice system but it was meeting with resistance. This is one of the many areas where people just scratched their heads and think we're back into conspiracy theories. Why would bus Lego Li- like that? And why did prosecutors rely on evidence that was so obviously tainted when they had clear evidence that the Raven to three convoy came under fire from enemy combatants will get into? Why later in this episode? Mike let's start with how how were American prosecutors able to ignore such overwhelming evidence of a gun battle? The answer? The man in charge of the investigation Colonel Karim declared upfront that there were no insurgents in Nisar Square but a helicopter crewman flying overhead saw something different gunmen dressed as Iraqi police. Just like the Raven to three men described. This is an actor reading helicopter. Crewman Timothy Spikes testimony in twenty fourteen. I did notice that several times. A blue shirted police officer would roll over the top of the haskell barrier cake shirt off drop his gun and walk away okay so you have insurgents dressed as Iraqi police on the scene tainted evidence lying witnesses and a complete defense against the charges. How could this case ever go to trial? What was the result? The government wanted. And why well Keith? George has an idea bat. He thought the reason for change in the investigation process with an Ambassador Ryan Crocker had taken over the US embassy in Baghdad of six months later and unlike his predecessor Crocker hadn't agenda to make it look like President Bush's surge was working and all of the reform actions taken to reform the Iraqi military and the Iraqi police working as well. Crocker apparently was willing to give away the farm to make that happen. And I believe ambassadors who had been there It would have been handled much differently Probably correctly and ambassador Crocker start fan of Blackwater bones about about that and You know was probably more good stereotypical State Department ambassador type near the kinder gentler always need to do is hug it out and it will be okay. Well since George serve two years under CAL's add any year under Crocker might be biased. So we did a little digging. Here's an excerpt from a two thousand Sixteen New Yorker magazine Article. It confirms Keith. Georgia's impression and explains why Crocker worldview with a little different from Kellyanne. He was trying to negotiate peace in Iraq. With Iranian General Qassam Sulamainiya after Saddam's regime collapsed. Papa was dispatched to Baghdad. Organize a fledgling government called the Iraqi Governing Council. He realized that many Iraqi politicians were flying to Tehran for consultations and he jumped at the chance to negotiate indirectly with Sumani in the course of the Summer Crocker passed in the names of perspective Shiite candidates and the two men vetted each one crocker did not offer veto power but he abandoned candidates who Sulamani found especially objectionable the formation of the Governing Council was in its essence and negotiation between Tehran and Washington. He said let's go back to my friend and to convert the former president of the Iraqi National Congress Iraqi government official and somebody who's been warning the United States about this for over a decade. This is what he told us when they kept you didn't have assets it's ideal people who they lie on to do. Operations against the United States are the followers of what they call. Mandy the oddity. They ought to be hastily. They started killing hastily because they founded easy to do it. Second Round for it. I WANNA keep the the accusation against them. They'RE GONNA ask for it. And they found it easy to do as to produce because they were watching the Saudis. Doing it and it's bringing result. What were were the results that they wanted to get the Americans out what? What was the goal and never to leverage to post people people and never needs to say the Iraqi decision making never in getting their people and highest position even with the US supervision. So let me get this straight. We're inviting the Iranians. That's the country. That's vilified us as the Great Satan for forty years into Iraq where they've been killing our soldiers and diplomats and were handing over an investigation of American citizens to these same people why I asked her criminal defense expert. Joseph low whether we were all off our rockers with this conspiracy theory what he had to say after spending a decade in the military and the next two decades defending his former comrades in court was eye opening to say the least it will use criminal court to achieve this agenda politically. And there's plenty example history in the United States. You don't even need my help with that but I work with you one just when the. Us government was supporting the rebel movement in the Philippines back in the eighties and in order to help the bill teams out because the team's going to renew our base contract that we had their the neighbor base. They want had the. Us government had to help the incoming horizontal Goldman was removing the Marcus van Hilda and so in your decided to prosecute 'em Markos for crimes against people involved in Financial Kranz. Or what the hell would we have anything to do with that kind of situation in federal court using the US attorney in New York and my mentor tried that case representing them elder Marcos. And what is he was able to prove that you know what I'm saying. Which is the federal government will use its criminal courts to James Political agenda to do so apparently History is repeating itself again. You heard all this before so. My point is that governments. Don't care about casualties. That's why there's war soon. As they changed the label from an innocent person of risen to casualty of war. That's doing this political prisoners. Really Raven three is a production of think against studios. It's written by Gina Keating and Mike Flaherty. Our producers are Ashton Smith Gina Keating and Mike flaherty executive producers of Chai Ling. Lindsey fellows and Valerie McGowan. Mitchell wind edited this episode. And he also serves as our associate producer along with Kyle Hartford and Tina graph. Lindsey fellows Aaron Fuller and supervise the music. Our theme song is performed by Khloe Caroline. Thanks to Annandale corkery for their kindness. Generosity finally we owe a debt to our men and women in uniform. Thank you for defending our freedoms that strangers may one day. Enjoy them as well for more information about this podcast. Go to think again dot me there. You can find additional research and primary resources regarding the case of Raven to three you can learn about future episodes and receive updates as events continue to evolve. You can also learn more about our future projects as well as award winning films music and books created by our team. Thanks to everyone who donated so much of your time and talent to this passion project

government United States Iraqi Army Iraqi Baghdad US Iraqi National Congress Iraqi Iraqi government Evan Liberty US Army Iraqi Ak murder FBI blackwater Iraqi army Iraqi Governing Council Paul Slough Fox News Nisar Square AK Iraq
Freed By ISIS, Yazidi Mothers Face Wrenching Choice: Abandon Kids Or Never Go Home

NPR's World Story of the Day

07:05 min | 2 years ago

Freed By ISIS, Yazidi Mothers Face Wrenching Choice: Abandon Kids Or Never Go Home

"Support for NPR and the following message come from Dulles International Airport with the highest on time takeoff percentage of any airport on the east coast. I a d means I'm already departing more at fly Dulles dot com slash fast with the last piece of ISIS territory, liberated in Syria women kidnapped by ISIS five years ago are now being freed most of them are from the ZD religious minority as NPR's Jane raff reports from northeastern Syria those who emerged with children face a heartbreaking choice and just a warning. Here's some people might find this story disturbing. The little girl has been crying all day long. She's five years old. And she's cried herself sick the women. Here. Say we're in a room with foam mats, spread out on a concrete floor in the village in the Kurdish region of Syria. It's a halfway house for people held captive for five years and now freed from ISIS with the fall of the caliphate. The women and children here are waiting to cross the border to Iraq to return to what's left of their families. But not the girls two year old brother children have different fathers. He Brahim's was Moroccan ISIS fighter. The boy was born after his mother was kidnapped and forced to marry a member of the group that carried out genocide against her people. His mother is twenty two. Now, she's been told that if she wants to go home, she has to abandon her son. It's such a sensitive topic. We're not using the mother and daughters names. I mean, I love him just like my daughter, but my parents won't accept him. Nothing is in my hands. The group. She's with had tried to cross the border that morning. They left Ebrahim behind. Even my daughter was crying saying why is my brother not coming with us? I want to go back to Brahim. She cried the whole day when they got to the border. They were turned back because of a dispute between the Iraqi army and Kurdish Syrian forces. When I came back. He saw the car and ran towards me, and he shouted and hugged me. It was very painful. They're going to try to cross again. So this might be her last night with both her children. She sits on the floor her daughter's head in her lap stroking her hair, or is the little girl cries her other hand reaches for Ibrahim's tiny hand of stretch. Does he sleeps? For three years. I haven't been apart from him for a single minute and leave him in one minute. It's very hard. Mother cries, the little girl cries, practically everyone in the room starts to cry. The woman leaning against the wall with an arm broken by nicest wife, the young woman was shrapnel wounds lying on a bed even the older UCD women taking care of them who've seen this dozens of times. All of the mothers cry. They don't want to give them up they cry and the beat themselves because they are from the mother's flesh and blood. But if they go with their mother, the family doesn't accept them and the community doesn't accept them. So they are forced to leave them here. That's Fahim Sulaiman one of the women who helps families who have just been freed. It's been five years since I says kidnap thousands of ZD women and forced them into sexual slavery. I ask how many children have been separated from their mothers. Joe their thousand says Shammy Remmel another visi women running the house. On the mother says she pleaded with her parents to let her bring her son never to name him as I have so many friends that were freed some brought to children and some brought three children and their families. Still don't accept them. My parents tell me no one accepted any of these children. And that this applies to everyone it applies to everyone not just because the fathers belonged to a group that slaughtered and enslaved disease. But because only those born E D parents are considered ziti since they have Muslim fathers. These children are considered Muslim. There are hundreds of ziti women believed still hidden among ISIS families in the camps in Syria. The mother says some of them won't come out because they're told by those families their children would be taken away. If I wanted to stay with my son, I would have had to stay with ISIS. I was told they take the children away from their mothers. And it's true. Once the women crossover into Iraq. They're not allowed by security forces to cross the border again, a twenty two year old woman. ZD husband little girl's father was kidnapped with her five years ago. And she thinks he was murdered like almost all of these women. She's completely dependent on her remaining relatives Sulaiman says any family taking an daughter with a child from a nicest father would be shunned by the community, and he won nearly novel. The no one will look at them. No one will drink their water. No one will visit them. Getting any the women's Ebrahim like other children abuse ED mothers nicest father's Hobie left here in an orphanage run by Syrian Kurdish fighters for local family to adopt. None of the officials. We asked to know where that orphanage is. When we come back the next day, the young mother and her daughter and the rest of the group are gone this time the Iraqi army allowed them to cross the border. Ebrahim is still here. He plays with a set of blocks. Visit her brought him and he doesn't seem to realize right now. Anyway that anything is wrong. Both of them of searing ziti man with luxurious white hair in his sweeping white moustache Benz down to play with him. This part of Syria is run by secular Kurds, and it's one of very few places in the region where Islam doesn't rule mood raw show. Another series. Ziti says of Ebrahim went to Iraq, other children would always consider him a son of ISIS, and he would face discrimination. He says they will find good families here for the children occas. Zien Yogi family, we're giving them too. They must be a good family. They're thinking must not be radical Islamic. They must be secular and open minded says they'll be placed with families with no children of their own who can afford to raise them. The new family will likely change Ebrahim's name. He doesn't know he was born in the ISIS caliphate. And he probably won't remember his mother. But his mother will remember as she says, he's her flesh and blood. Jane, Arraf, NPR news in northeastern Syria.

ISIS Syria Ebrahim Iraq Iraqi army ZD Fahim Sulaiman NPR Dulles International Airport Jane raff Brahim NPR Brahim Ibrahim UCD Shammy Remmel Ziti Arraf five years
The Lion, The Bear and The War Zone

UNDISCOVERED

37:22 min | 2 years ago

The Lion, The Bear and The War Zone

"Twenty four teen was a big year for ISIS Saddam Audie. Full. Vodka. June. They announced the establishment of their. Prophesized. Caliphates. The now controlled thirty thousand square miles in Syria. Iraq stretching from the Mediterranean, coast to the south of Baghdad. In other words, they were in complete control of an area. The same size as Portugal and it was to be a true Islamic state. Do the what's now. Listening to ISIS leader, Boubacar albuque- daddy declaring just that this little known Jihadist turned up unexpectedly in Mosul, Iraq's second largest city. He turned up at the great mosque of our Nuri just weeks of the ISIS over to a city to deliver this. But this isn't a story about the rise and fall of ISIS, and their quest to bring about the apocalypse. This is actually a story about a lion and bear on about zoo in Mosul Iraq. This is a story about the almost always forgotten casualties of bloody and violent conflict. How big is this issue in the world? Things. Many many hundred thousand of safari give it just is not about it about whatever is human suffer animal suffering. Unless not forget, it's also a story about those brave people who risked their lives to save them. So you felt it was worth risking your safety in life to save animals. And they will do each time. I'm Jay Warren. And you're listening to underscore it the pocus that brings you the stories you didn't know you cared about. Soldiers say the fighting has been intense in recent days, but they are in control here. Now. Then suddenly, the sound of gunfire from inside the local market by twenty sixteen. It seemed the supposed might of ISIS was waning, and by October of that year, the battle to liberate Mosul, one of their major strongholds had begun the people of Mosul now trapped of the almost two years of surviving. I won't call living under fundamentalist Islamic rule. Each day was choice to face. The least threatening scenario flea face of brutal execution of court awfully and become a refugee. If not put we'll stay and wait for the war to reach their front door. Twenty seventeen the liberation of Mosul was declared that by that time neighborhoods of family, homes were flattened rubble and dust flooded. What one city streets and public areas, turning them into mass graves. The human loss of this conflict has been astronomical. Estimates put the civilian death toll alone at nine thousand in the bathrooms, recapped the city, but aside from humans lost in conflict, with the local population focusing on survival who else needed saving namely, what was to become of a local zoo controlled, and then abandoned by ISIS and the eighty animals trapped inside wa- condition. Would they? Of the building. Khalil is a veterinary doctor who has spent the past twenty years going into conflict zones to save what he calls animal refugees, and a more refugees. Mino be term that you regularly here, which is more testament to how we report on animals, coal to more zones or natural disasters. Took a little how big is this issue in the world? Would it? What is human suffer animal? Are suffering beside his hundred thousand of human are suffering this hundred thousand of animal suffering wanted. Understands the whatever there are humanitarian problems, the animal problems the to institute wind. So he's made it his job to chase humanitarian problems for an organization could four paws international. And he's been to some of the worst conflicts imaginable, with one goal in mind to save as many animals in need as physically possible is different type of conflict could be military could be political footballs was in Egypt during the revolution in Egypt in two thousand eleven from Egypt. We went to Libya. I wasn't Tripoli's. What is the same Qaddafi left? His house is not far away from there's five hundred meter nearly. So it was a military conflict area. There's a lot of. Also able to sort of women was hungry, because no one is there so animal witness infect cabins, so we were able to help in Libya and three blue were able to help in near to Aleppo was in I was in the beam. I was an India, I was in city Lenka. Emmy and Gaza. I was nearly six time in Gaza in location or places. We are animal need help, and I think I have this opportunity to give to his team to able to help such type of animals in both capacity who is not able to escape or to do anything collapses, onto out from tuition is no mature when it comes to navigating these conflict zones, the well over he's been doing this for a long time. I, I went to a mation was list, experience or million civilians was nineteen ninety eight I was in Bosnia-Herzegovina at was directly of the war, and they realized to look a little here, but to feel to smell what mean who maybe thousands of human have to be viewed g and this Cape to rethink this. Right. And it was very interesting to see all international media was focusing on military conflict, but going was speaking, about animals. I saw not of I would say bad things. Was human and plowden this. They have nothing Zoli. I have it's my knowledge. I don't have weapons. I don't have car and something to be on. And after few weeks back into Kosovo new started the first veterinary clinic, and the city called the Libyan, which is not what we from preached city, and do start to help because we learn also allow even anyone could be not only two apart to be in captivity or suffer. But in some places in military conflict Biba use animal as tool. So if we want to have revenge, the take whatever what's valuable animal is valuable for agriculture for a lot of things to some military versus combo on water source of Lincoln for animal agriculture, because able to steal or animal. Just to kill them. Just is how to make a bean for those for goods of this creature are part of life. War is very ugly thing. Disaster relief mission. We went to Kenya where it was a big drought, three years, noting that in some of seventy percent of the livestock, no water gross and die. And we were able to help a small team from for POS at this time was water and food everage between ten to twenty thousand per day. It was a lot of risk. We would also be subject to be kicked a decision, but we learned that this is very important. People are very carefully when you, you help them and his team view helping animals trapped in conflict zones as a fundamental part of humanity. Whatever auto situations. They find themselves in this includes one, particularly curious case, and Iraq war, there, in two thousand three rural able to help many animates in back then too, because American wins. Zehr. Everyone is caped evens, anyone keeper keep from people looting and all the animal valuable zoo evens as you're off, and was stolen of let in invite them. How do you a giraffe and a flat? It sounds strange. But it was the looting time in Baghdad. Louis in the museum was all what is valuable it was money from the Bank? It was a lot of culture things, which is history nation because things were stolen, but also animal is valuable, so this tools they will sail and you're off and took it in a flap. How has your point? I don't. I'd also house, but the storms of. Troy, even which was not able to be stolen destroy it. I mean, I had picture still keep them how really even the ostrich the wing was broken and. That's very ugly to be area because you see everything suffering human suffering animal suffering, and you can smell. It's not what you see what ways mail. And you feel field is a field of animal, which was about the lost. You talk about this work that you've done all over the world on the whole. Why do you think that live animals on valued as much as the lives of human beings? Listen, I do I can just observe I can three animal. I see all the time car in should not be divided. A kind diverse on should be kind not only to human kindness mean he should be to human to animal. I cannot separate. I cannot divide this world kindness. Ama- and his team traveled the world from one dangerous conflict to the next the fight to take back Mosul from ISIS in Iraq was culminating in the summer of twenty seventeen. With the full liberation of most incite Iraqis celebrating. Billions. It's Iraqi prime minister Haider out of body announce the city's liberation that happened in July. But the violence continued on for months with pockets of ISIS cells remaining before I was like ordinary city, just like us cities, like going to our cover normal life, seeing France, gutter, or is. So it's like normal life, ever, this is had Cam Zerara, who is from moso like many of his, he was trapped in the city for the occupation of ISIS and the preceding battle to be liberated from them when I just came to the city became like going to another universe became like leaving literature in hell. Everything was forbidden even your luck. You can't shave your beard your clothes. They have to be in the certain way. It is, like, no internet, not allied, no music. They just joined the teaching to big jail. So nobody can leave the city they get you leading the city that when execute immediately aecom, noticed the between the gunfire and struggled to scrounge and survive every day, the animals of the local zoo, who had been trapped under ISIS control, had seemed to be abandoned account decided he had to step in and help those animals. Whatever white, he could something inside me told me that you have to do that. Goes those animals was suffering. And that time, nobody was like, caring even about a humans because everybody has his own problems. Everybody was hurt was injured. Even one had his house was hit by an air strikes. So he won't care about anyone family members died. So, of course, he will not be interested to take care of the annual. In the situation like this, no one can be playing for pursuing self-preservation. If you're in fifth your life and for the lives of your loved ones. Would you stop to consider animals trapped in zoo, amongst the chaos unfolding? We'll how candid and time was of the essence here with his ISIS had long since abandoned, what was affected. One of their defense locations in their fight and the conditions inside the zoo, unknown a camera to the most ally, Oman, Muhammad a local professor and historian who ran a secret blog, documenting the atrocities that were happening in Mosul essentially risking his life. Sharing pictures, videos and information on Facebook and Twitter, put the outside world audience, grew and grew as he highlighted, the realities of living on the ISIS rule, and it was for the power of social media. The eventually word of these animals. Plight trapped and desperate conditions made its AMI and the four. Paws offices in. Vienna. In the beginning of two thousand seventeen I mean, sure I, here's news, the regular paces daily basis, and I was concerned about the tuition in. I would say Mosul, and then a rock and gentlemen. A message came to me from I was from a neighbor from the Muslim neighbor would like to, to help, I want to get recipe what the what the lion. So sure it was interesting question. Sure, I answered. Off the Amer was able to make contact directly with a Cam. He did what any sensible person would do. Right. He sets on his own to Mosul to see how he could help and the only way in was to travel. I Bill in Kurdistan. Want alone to repeal because it was only I will see entry to go to Mosul. They have to go to Kurdistan and it was easy to fly there. I was like you said, say, let me get department also I was very excited. I check point second checkpoint. Sarah checkpoint. Four point and severely. I am in motion. I'm his journey from a Bill to Mosul was a dangerous one although geographically close, it would lead them for destruction desolation into close proximity with death so Jordan's attribute was twenty kilometer. It was very log in my mind. But during this twenty kilometer is all of suffering. I saw people walking choose a family and believing. I mean, everything the Korea plastic back, I bust through the city of Mosul. It was quite it was. Yeah. No market. You can seize shops are very, I would see destroyed all the building are destroyed along as throat. All the business was loaded or nothing inside just open doors. And broken if a law. He's a law. I saw also even buddies or dead bodies or split was nobody Skillet above Ella, tear of human PM, which is this was sure there it was injured. It's not something supernatural or otherworldly hit. Old city, the damage new the city gone, and most most free, vice the streets still being ground to rubble and a last hundred yards of ISIS. The suedes around can Syria down here. We're told. Mosul wasn't in the battle for its liberation from ISIS in twenty seventeen. The animals were left even fervor isolated and stopping calm and his local community were able to save some of the more domesticated species, but what would become of the wild animals, a giraffe in a flat is one thing, but a lion. And a bear starving to death. Is quite another. Immediately after the Gration. There was like nobody giving foods to the animals. Nobody cares about them. Even the owners, they leave the city Goto, our Bill, so those animals who are suffering, and they were like starving to death. Some of people manage to take the non wild animals like monkeys, and chickens and dogs. They took them to the houses, but they let the, the bear and the lion, 'cause they are wildlife almost, and they can deal with them with bombs and mortars, exploding around them, the situation, the symbol, the lion alluded, the bath became ever, more desperate, originally, that with free lines. But Simba and her mother eights the did father in order for them both to survive chose to die in order to similar to live, leaving her the last of her family. Similarly, Lula the bear had eaten her free cubs, either out of stress and desire to survive. All to put them out of misery from the once vibrant zoo of approximately eighty wild animals. They now became too. I arrived to dissolve in the second day which was on the twenty February. It was very clear. It was very clear for me is that I would see is was there, because at the inference of who you can seize this billboard, which was broken on the ground. And you can see the face of the lines appear was sprayed was black color, because it is haram, to have a faces of human. But I, learn also animal is forbidden to seize faces. So it was clear is this was their fingerprints even at Cecil at first I really way to the same for few minutes. So I, I don't enter quickly, I just met the hikum, or Verizon's, who was waiting for me. I entered through who'll short. I cried I'm really big place. It's like a public place garden. But nothing is infect. Amir witnessed was the abandoned remnants of a walls on unrecognizable from zoo. I solve empty cages bones of animals was indicate indicators. You can see the lion pair, so armee meter. Smell of this place. Was, I would say very bad olive really very adamant was nearly. If I'm not mistaken, sixty days. No-one clean Noam to care of this place. Zada look very, very, very weak. And I have to take decision was very clear. It is very. This was the moment of truth now Amir had seen the reality of the situation with his own. Is he had to now, if there was any small chance of saving Lula and Simba, so he got to work with Cam and a few of volunteers by his side? So it was like moment to really for me, 'cause I know things will go into better for the animals. So we make them in conscious to bear on the line and Jake him from the cages and killing the ages. Dr Amir, give them some medicines, and Egypt their medical condition, and after that he say, we will look after them until will find like suitable solution for them. So I give me some money and you say you can buy food for them. I it was a very difficult job. 'cause during that Daniels, like no food at also no food for people. So we were feeding the line of breads. Imagine like the king of the jungle was eating bread. Also, the beer but there was forced to, to that, because otherwise he will die. It seems unimaginable. The city still reeling from being a battleground against ISIS with food now. A scarce commodity has to somehow also support the needs of a fully grown lion and bear. I'm in knew he had to buy time. So I put the target one month, I have to be ready with a plan was a safe place for this. But to go back the twenty kilometer this was for me the most difficult logistic part how to pass through. Now imagine if you will the sheer logistics of transporting alliance lion, and now compounded with the fact they're trapped in a war zone without rule of law. It seems impossible, right? The mayor of his vast amount of experience, had a plan up his sleeve. When I left Mozell, I went to appeal I checked all those places I checked about the medicines, which could be needed and the vaccine. So I checked pharmacy checked airport condition which cargo irreplaceble can go. I checked company if I'm able to drive for most to Jordan, how long it's take thought of things, but the main point is I needed him. So I selected a team which is competent to join me in such mission and also should be brief cause at this time if you see are going to Muslim all the news about how many people die in most daily basis war. I'm gonna to make sure his team prepared to enter active Moser. I organize security company, because if I have a team from for polls, I have to care for the security so organiser security company, armored car also be somehow protected from stivers, professional security person's was us by giving us direction to produce cages also if I want to move I need cages, it's much easier to produce cages in Mosul. But if there is no electricity, you cannot produce cages and start to reduce it will take time. I also organized cages in repeal. So I make every double to be safe sites. We organize them. We have to organize also the place where we risk is animal, I have two built for lowland Simba place. They need the home. So we need to build sows in this month. We have to build the Jordan, and to improve the place animal can Beatles about Zealand. They have safety. We need a lot of document. Most have no administration muscling workings there. So if you need a three minutes from where you want, get animal transport need, also, get sick neither sport veterinary certificate unit export import you need minister of agriculture. I have to communicate was Baghdad ministry, and I realized that is political problem. I have solvability conflict people in Iraq are not happy to leads an animal move to Mussa. While plans were made to organize a temporary home for Lula and Simba in a sanctuary Jordan, getting the logistics may have been tricky for, but the real difficulty came when he returned to Mosul. He knew the only way for his plan to work would be to enlist the help of the Iraqi army on the ground. The only issue however they were somewhat preoccupied with the fights against ISIS. I went to the to the army commander in Muslim army sent additional protection to open for us and to protect us. And when we went to as with animal the army left us, and we drive. I'm surprise the army agreed to help. They offered protection or the four post team evacuated the animals from the zoo and loaded them into cages onto trucks, but then we would've very near very near to above and army comments to this as a kid structure animal have to be back to what. We get my, what is going on the same army who help us to evacuate those who the same army guys come again, and say they get animal have to be back to the cage. It seems Amei was being accused of stealing Lula and Simba. But what was the main reason from armies, Zaid's information's, this is a public zoo, which mean we took Amer which belong to the Iraq government. And this is not true because it's private was not a public. So, so we have to bring back we have to Baru this not public Zoll. We have to bring the owner of the animal, and his wellness and the comment which shows, that's our comment. I show that comment from the export moment from said, no and to be back, so armee bring back to the same south and lift cages outsides, as joining. So often meticulous planning effort, and within touching distance of success. They were now back to square one. I'm undeterred wasn't going to give up. We went to back to repeal, we find a lot of problems really a lot of uncomfortable communication sending of killing. But we succeeded to find the owner which we were contacted before he offered to come to join us despite obstacles of red tape, and even the fret of violence. I'm air managed to successfully track down the owner of the zoo, who had fled moso for his life. To this later went back to Mosul, but was the owner of animal, which he signed for us agreement of sale, t- hands animal to us, and the army was cave with the hoops jumped through and the paperwork done. It was time to saddle up and try again time was running out to save Luda and Simba. Mission tool which examined lagging cages again on the car to about the checkpoint, arm, stop us again. You cannot go. Lie. The signal is a chairman or the boss of the army said he's gonna stop you. He's the one can give you Burma. Unbelievably the rescue mission once again, was folded. It seemed Ammon needed the personal permission of a big shot Iraqi general, we would waiting communication one hour to hour. We were very naive. We thought it will take me okay to three hours. But in fact, the first night was slipped outside. It was Rayleigh unconvertable. It's it's dangerous. Food is that our water is you can take from soldiers people make fun about you soldiers. What is this guy's crazy? Warzone military's on war zone, and your was aligned pair, liberal, you have everyone bossing asking you. What is this? Why are you here from where it was? Now, crystal clear they were being stonewalled and all the while the animals conditions were deteriorating. The I mean we try first tonight, second day, Saturday, we tried to go to other places. They told me you have to go to this offices and you get a security clearance. What means security clearance? It's me. I have to prove that this lion and despair are not ISIS. They are not terrorist this creators, like a human being. If you leave also you have to choose officers, and you have to prove to enter as prove how do you prove the bear, an Alayan not members of ISIS apart from that being obvious? With ama- frontally seeking permissions and clearances. This could only be described by the old adage of bureaucracy gone mad in what world could symbol, the lion and Luda the bad be considered as potential ISIS terrorists. And moreover, how on earth could have proof that with paperwork. They was stuck in limbo. With no sign of moving. We went to the big office of the guy wins a helicopter coming American army, and they have one of my quick, and that was waiting. I was waiting three hours ten is are all of morsel army operation coming with a lot of American Iraqi, what are coming from the war. I understand. And sure I was waiting after is asking me to, to wait till he took his. Lunch or whatever here is sure, after the War I can understand. I wave. I'm in new, this could be his last chance. He had to throw himself on the mercy of rocky military leaders who were in truth. A little busy doing other things I thought to myself, what I tell him to come out from the rooms. Big Ron lots of not of. Uses Egyptian guy are this was this sorry, stupid animal, but in any ugly. Arabic, we speak Arabic shore. Yes. Are you aware of what we are doing? A war is, is the way I. One of them said to me, you have this problem. You have a problem to animal, okay? You can solve the problem exist able to poets in my hand and solve your problem. Shoots. This was the solution. He offered with Lula and Simba sitting at the border so close to safety and the chance of a future to Millie shoot them and become of it. I was very very annoyed. But I have to keep quiet. I have to keep. In this place. I have to be you ice locked Pirelli react. 'cause inaction will be. We were nine days about the chief of this military policy was really unpredictable to ours. His inquiry liars and it's being possibly some cronk. He don't believe we come for animal. He's chief of the secret service this area. So in most of the time was up the army distrusted, and he knew he was never going to get permissions required. The animals would dying and his team were in danger. He needed a hail Mary in the form of a cunning plan. So it was nine days line disease. We develop was a team, I would say difference, and all you have to go to go out. It was just it was dangerous for the team into the military place, foreign our soldiers, and it is a best target for ISIS. The team ready to do what was needed to go from being animal doctors to being animal smugglers. I have to spreads almost every cultures was cameras those. So we make plans that we brings bathrooms and spread that we are very fire that teams I have to bring back to so and this, what I I took the forms of Oregon serotype back to those adult ages. In order to a knack this plan, I'm gonna have to inform. The authorities he was returning the animals to the zoo in those squalid conditions and certain death in reality. However, he had very different intentions. We just change the car. We change truck. I bring the team out and we call them vegetables. Lula and Simba were loaded up to the trucks and hidden away to make it. Dash for the code astound boulder. The greatest Skype was on. I was really that's a lion bomb thrower. Just one raw at the wrong moment, and the gig would be up the mission. He also let you point again is different checkpoint. And little by some magic it worked. I'm made with his cargo of vegetables into Kurdistan, and hopeful today to the airport. So we organized everything because team was alert Jordanian team waiting all of the KOMO toria. We move the animal for I will say the secret police on appeal to the airport. Tells a lot second all of us were, I would see concern despite successfully crossing the border into Kurdistan. This was a race against time how long would it be before someone noticed missing lion, and a missing there, if the army figured out, I'm Ed pulled off who knows what they would have done if the army understood what happened, maybe they will arrest us as airport. Maybe they will stop us. Maybe they will awesome gene of the waiting and running and smuggling they've done it soon. Fear changed the joy as they realized they were in the clear. Where aeroplane was animal. We were very very. Food. So hubby to be was animal in the same place conceded metals. A cargo claim. We'll just get you as we were very happy. She might be wondering what happened to looted the bear and similar line as of twenty nine teen Lula is living a sanctuary in Jordan, cooled Allawas for nature and wildlife, which is run by a local organization called the Princess Alliott foundation set up by members of the Jordanian, Royal family and Simba made the journey to lions rock, which is a big cat sanctuary in South Africa early this year where he's doing really well. Four fours recently visited Simba to see how he was doing the plan is to socialize him with a female Linus, named Andy. So he's not alone. It seems the African sun is Rudy benefiting him as he recovers from his traumatic past and water on my so. As for the zoo itself and Mosul, Cam tells us the with Simba and Lula gone, they were the last wild animals to live that this amounted to the closure of the zoo. If you'd like to find out more about this story, just go to the message heard Instagram, Twitter Facebook pages. If you wanna find more undiscovered stories, Mike sure that you subscribe to us on a car, apple podcast, Google podcasts, or whatever you get yours.

ISIS Mosul Simba Lula army Iraq Baghdad Kurdistan Egypt Syria Mosul Iraq Luda Portugal Jay Warren Gaza Libya Jordan Saddam Audie Iraqi army Twitter
034 Hamody Jasim

Mike Drop

4:01:47 hr | 2 years ago

034 Hamody Jasim

"To mic drop. The podcast were relevancy is irrelevant, and we don't give a shit about your feelings. The saying that they is work is never done. Could not be true or growing up and living in Iraq, you had to work hard to survive. But looking back at all the good times, and the bad. I'm not sure I'd change one minute of it all of it, shaped me and made me who I am today. I've learned to appreciate life, and I'm grateful for what God has given me as I reflect on my family my friends, everyone, who I lost in combat the terrorists, I fought and everything I endured, these unique experiences made me into something someone who would fight evil on any soil. I have been called terrorist, whisper, according to the dictionary to call oneself a whisper. He need to be able to excel at calming or training hard to manage people or animals using noncoercive methods based on an understanding of the animals or persons natural instincts. I was called a terrorist. Whisper by people I worked with and helped when their family member or child had been kidnapped in my heart. I wanted to help because I didn't want to see another person die for no reason at the hands of the terrorists. But after my story, I will let you decide a terrorist is someone who operates behind a curtain to scare others and gain power through fear and intimidation, I would go behind the curtain, understand what their motive was find out their identity family tribe, and their greatest weakness. Many of these terrorists are promised rewards, if they carry out evil actions, I find nothing rewarding and taking someone's life life is wonderful precious and meaningful to me. If you take an innocent life, you're nothing more than a coward. Ladies and gentlemen, as always, it's both distinct honor and pleasure to welcome. My next podcast guest, he is the youngest sergeant major ever in the Iraqi army. He's both a warrior and a patriot for both the Iraq and US countries responsible for saving countless American lives during operation Iraqi freedom. He is a certified terrorist whisper, and no matter how bad you thought your fucking childhood was. He will make you feel like Walt Disney was your dad and you grew up in the magic fucking kingdom. Please welcome Hammadi just seem. Thank you. It's an honor being here. Well, it's a pleasure having you here. Once one really interesting thing, I head one of your brothers and comrades, Johnny Walker on a few months ago and. I found myself sitting here thinking, kind on, on a deeper level you and I are obviously closer age than he and I are, but. The things that I remember growing up, you know what was happening in your country. What was happening in this country and just kind of the cosmic likelihood of you and I sitting here, today, given the circumstances of, of where we came from where I've been where you've been kind of how it's all come full circle is, is pretty fucking special and really hard to, to kind of wrap your head around. So I thank you very much for coming making the time and, and being here. It's, it's really interesting story that you have, and your book is phenomenal. It's called the terrorist whisper the story of the pro American which I love the subtitle. And I just, you know, to me, the story that you have the tell both in the movie that I watched that you've got coming out in the book and contrasting those two things is, is a really, really neat story. And one that without question every American needs to needs to hear read and understand. So thank you. I like to start off by just kinda throwing some lightning round questions at you to lighten the mood a little bit. What is your favorite food, both back home? And now here in America. Now that you live here barbecue both. Yep. No shit favorite barbecue dish by. It's hard for me to say what was my favorite food growing up in Iraqi no it because I really didn't have the same life that I have today on America. And it was quite interesting because I was having this conversation with my wife today this morning. Go into the airport bag on the day. I did not have many options, as you know, Iraq was put under sanctions during the nineties, and it was really hard for families who are middle-class to survive. I barely remember eating meat during those days. I think the, the bread that we were eating were not even something that's humans should eat. I believe looking at the shaves and the cows are not able to digest that kind of food, and I was not always thinking how how the hell can I able how to be able to digest food? And during the sanctions, of course, you know, Saddam was, in power, he had all the good life in the money and everything and the power. But the people under where. It's living. There were literally surviving the whole mission for every day was to survive the day to get by. And, and I think as a as a child would of my book my one of my biggest goals back, then is to have a burger. Probably something that I couldn't afford to have maybe in a year to two year window. And you'd think about like, what do you want to be you didn't think about what you wanted to be when you grow up in rocky thought about like, what I can eat. What can I imagine myself eating a year from now or going to be able to afford something? So life was very different. There was no favored. There was just what you can have for the day. I still to this day since I came to the United States, I have not, but as Kenia my mouth because when I grew up there, all we had is what we had and, you know, I was eating zucchini every other day, and it was just to the point like I was like, I'm so rice doubt, Iraqis, eat a lot of rice tomato soup. And I was so rice out. I was so done. And when I came to this country that's when I started doubting into it, really I want this is the right place to, to do what you wanna do. And, you know, come on. From why comb from that was not an issue. Yeah. It's interesting. Just hearing you answering that it kind of turns the question on its head a little bit. And I think, you know, the, the perspective that, that one should gleam from, from hearing, this interview, and being fortunate enough to have a conversation with a guy like you is something as simple as that as that just by saying, hey, what's your favorite food growing up like dancer of lightening fucking, have a favorite food, because I mean, that says a lot, you know, and it's a lot of a lot that I think, you know, I hope that even without mentioning it people would hear that and be like, holy shit as opposed to, you know, have an having me half to extract that from, from the answer. But I, I noticed myself, especially in reading the book. I mean, the, the movie does a good job getting into the weeds of kind of the operations, but reading about your childhood, which got a number of questions. It was a lot of things that really kind of rattled me a little bit in terms of trying to just imagine growing up that way and we'll, we'll get into them, but it was is fascinating. And very humbling, frankly, to, to hit that reset button for me understanding that I was handed a fucking winning lottery ticket by being born in this country that a lot of people don't realize that they have. But we'll, we'll get into that is, is there a favorite barbecue dish, now that you're here is do you like something in particular, actually? Yes, I'm Texas barbecue. Is my favorite I go to this place in Nome. Nome and Fort Worth is called Cooper bid barbecue all times overpays now. It's still my number one. Because I been hitting every barbecue as I traveled doing speak, and he gave him in so. Traveling doing work. And, you know, I it was a really interesting thing for me to adapt into the American culture to, to do the things that every American that was able to do at birth. And these are the things that I enjoy, so. I've been I think I'm more exposed to the American culture than any other Iraqi in country. Taken full advantage. My wife is from here. She's american. So we kind of do all the fun things going to barbecue North Carolina. We have the own style of Barbie. But I, of course, I prefer the tex- Texas style goddamn, right. Yeah. It'll a little salt and pepper. That's good. That's good to hear. The good news is you're in good hands here, because I'm absolutely a barbecue fiend. So in taking you back, we'll swing through one of my favorite places, and let let you try some of their burnings and brisket think, but what is the weirdest custom both here, or I guess, both here at or the one that we might find as the weirdest in your country, so something that we do here, that's just kind of customary as being an American that you find as being really fucking odd and something back home. That, that is fairly customary to Iraq that we would be like what in the fuck you do that for is there something that sticks out. Honestly, I think the one thing that, that I have a hard time, you know, digesting this country's the American politics, the politics in how people think of something. It amazes me. Because, you know, I meet a lot of people think because I speak very good English. They don't realize I'm actually from Iraq and I'm an immigrant myself, and I only been in this country for about ten years. So when I meet people, I think the one thing that I find odd is that the way the media is picturing, countries lack Iraq and Afghanistan to the American public, and the only people that I can have a normal conversation with people like yourself or people like me, who was been in that who who has been to Iraq or Afghanistan was been deployed. It is. It's like a language that we speak with each other that we understand each other. And that's the one thing that I find odd is because I see the what goes on, on the ground in Iraq, and of ghanistan is one thing and what the media educates. The public is another. User is there anything that comes to mind from your perspective as to why it's so heavily misrepresented? I think the media is very bias. I don't see more of like their reporting of what really goes on. I think I see more of the opinions of what they think of things, and as you know, in Iraq, you couldn't have opinions of what you think you need to report, what was on the ground, and it kind of the American citizen in a very where they have a box in their head, and they can't see really what goes on round them and is hard until I can on a really till some of these Americans is that I'm actually Iraqi I'm willing to raise their and that's when they kind of like, well, you may grew up, and I'm like, no, actually I live out. I I've been there I've seen everything through there. And that's when they kinda stop. And I'm like, that's what you see is one thing. And what what you what do you what the truth? What's going? On, on the ground is another and has been a major struggle for me because I'm always explaining to people repeating what goes on. And I find that very odd. And I don't understand why as an Iraqi things out to be the way it is. For sure. One thing that I agree in drives me nuts, as how, how the media, you know, kinda collectively seem to be self proclaimed experts on fucking everything when they really don't know shit about anything. You know, I've been there a reporter does one three minute story on something. And now you know they're, they're the expert on it. And yeah, I can I can only imagine your frustration with that. Is there is there a custom back home that we would find strange that stands out? I think back home, the psychology of people in Iraq. I think is different the way people think, I think people here much more. You know, people are much more, you know, you can say like they're more to themselves here than it is because of the cultural difference. I think in Iraq, we do have some things that might look odd in American cultures. But it actually their normal in Iraq and, and the way our culture shaped in Iraq is very different. And we are very can say what's Audubon, Iraq. It's a, it's a very huge conspiracy theory country really be because we'll hat trip. We lived under dictatorship for three five years. We were believed every single day of our lives, that is such a conspiracy theory country to the point like when I started working as an intelligent asset, I realize, there's always ten stories before you get to the truth. You'll hear ten versions of it before you really get to what's going on. Because the country psychologically is conspiracy theory. And I mean obviously it stands to reason as far as just, like, what you said, is that if something happens, you're thinking of thirty different reasons as to why going going way overboard on it. That's interesting. But, you know, again, makes perfect sense. What do you miss most about home? My friends. Yeah. You've been touch with them much. I unfortunately I lost a lot of them on the recent fight against ISIS and bar. Problem is and Mozell that was the rough time for me. And actually that was the time the book got released in the reason to gut release. It's because I wanted to kind of owner their legacy their service, and I was here, here at home and joying my life, enjoying my freedom, and they entered one of the worst battles of their lives. You know watching their Raqi army. Demolished. And, and you know, sitting home hearing each day, one of them is getting someone got killed. Someone got injured some losses legs. It was a tough time. Do you have the ability? Relatively speaking to keep in close enough. Contact to get that kind of news from I do. And that's, that's the beauty of it was that I was actually in contact with them, daily and woods. You kinda give the message when you lose contact with them. And you know, especially when I was just about, you know, fifty meters away from their front line. You know, things just change dramatically there over one hour. So it was hard to see one after another was getting killed. And they felt they were betrayed because you know they weren't giving up. They weren't handing their weapons. It was more of them running out of ammo not being able to fight anymore. And perhaps, I have a buddy of mine his body remained in the same place. He got killed out for a year until we got the bar province back. From ISIS on he got killed on the ISIS remained and took that place and decided to leave him as an example, to the people on bar province, and his body got left to the same location on till about a year later when Iraqi military one bag to take it back. So it was the people just I miss those individuals I miss their spirit their left to Iraq and their country in these were good people, you know, that good people that we had in our country, you know, we as you know, we have a lot of shit bags in our country that don't deserve to live. But these guys were the good people of that country that wanted to do something and. Watching the diet was really hard for me. I can imagine. I would only be able to assume that you probably felt a little helpless being here and, and, you know, not being able to do anything about it, and I know again from reading the book and watching the movie the positions that you put yourself in, I mean, we're, we're incredible. Like, in terms of how, how much you were hanging, you're nuts out to, to help Americans collectively as truly remarkable, and I understand a hundred percent. You know why you, you can't and won't go back do do you find yourself. Feeling survivor's guilt at all. I do. I mean it has been something that has been with me since two thousand and four since I got out of high street. And you know, I, I kind of like. Used to call myself lucky that I'm a life. And fortunately, when I left Iraq, I was forced to leave. And if I didn't I would have cost my team members more of my team members to die and the nasty game about being assassinated or having them getting killed while going to see their kids that is the one thing. They couldn't do something about, and I couldn't protect them. I couldn't send them with a convoy. So. There's always guilt, you know, like why am I still here? Why? Like there is twenty people in the picture. And there's about four seven life, and I'm here and the other three are fighting is still in the same battle. But, you know, I think everybody took different path in life. And in order for me to cost in damage to the enemy back, then I had a very small period of time and that was historically. The only time that I could have stopped al-qaeda those lung state back on their wheels, because it was an opportunity. And I wasn't between either. I took that -tunities. Attune ity and decide to fide bag or or I don't and walkaway. And in either way, I was going to die. So it was just about making the right decision do or have has there been any friends family men members that cetera that have kind of held that against you, any of them are pissed that you did what you did, of course, and I mean I kept myself away from family members since two thousand and three I didn't go home. I stayed in my base Ryan and the one thing truly is because I didn't wanna get shot and the bag on my head while in uniform trying to fight them in the worst battle, I'm like, I am not going to be a week to go home. And we were talking about that earlier that I didn't have family or kids at an have, I was not married. I look at life differently now that I'm a family. You know, I'm a dad, I have a kid and I kind of understood why people had to take so much to go. See their kids. And I used to get angry at them because when they get killed. It's a it's a hard moment losing a member like that losing a fighter all of a sudden. But of course, there's always those people who has been raised in that not just the culture who has been raised to be able and. You're not going to be able to change that mentality because that mentality has been soaked in agenda. Bravo Gunda, and so much stuff. It's hard fortunately came to the point where you're in one line, and they're another, so and so if I'm understanding correctly, you had either friends or family members that actually were on the other side. I is on the other side like where I grew up in my neighborhood people were vicious there. My neighborhood as you read the book before very bishops where bro government. Then all of a sudden, they're started adapting into all Qaeda into all the getting radicalize. You know, I grew up playing soccer with these guys. But years later, these guys were not the same individuals and I don't look at myself as we were friends anymore because I was in one lane and they were another. And if we have ran into each other asserting whoa, we are going. To kill each other and someone who ever faster. Whoever is better is going to have to figure it out. So these are the people, I stayed away from regardless of, who they are not looking at them as a friend, or a family member, I would watch out of them because I would know who they really are. And, you know, my family. No. My family were very peaceful, people that, that just lived very peaceful life. But everybody around you always have to keep an eye on. You have to be careful. And as you know, many Iraqis were not tilling others. They worked for their Raqi military or work for the government or anything like that. But for myself, I didn't want to take that route. I wanted to people this is what I'm doing if you don't like it. You're gonna have to do something about it. And if you want right here. Too far off. Otherwise, that's basically. What what's the biggest misconception that the United States as a whole generally speaking has in viewing Iraq and its people do think like we're we're do we get it wrong? The most I think not understanding how the Iraqi how Iraqi people think the psychology of the racket people, I think that they looked at the rocky people that, you know, I think what really one wrong is that. Not understanding how their Rockies things not understanding what really Araki's wants. And of course, you know, I don't expect Americans to know that because when Americans came into Iraq in two thousand three people were looking at them differently. People have welcomed America's coming into Iraq in two thousand and three and even terrorists until about two thousand and four were very frayed about making any step doors, America's because they thought Americans were some kind of, like July workers or some shit. They thought they had magical glasses that they can see everything and it took him about a year until they figure out like oh, they really don't know what the hell's going on. So Liz get them. And that's really change. That misconception is that, you know this enemy Kevin calm because they were scared. But when they realized that they had leverage, they got vicious. To kind of synopsis that, would you say that? Iraq and its people are for more capable than most Americans give them credit for absolutely lightening up a bit. What's the hardest thing that, that you have found in terms of getting used to American women now that you're married to one, what's the what's the hardest thing to deal with guide. I can't go there this is my job. That's like the Noman land, right there. God. I mean, I think that, you know, the really one thing that I'd Meyer about American women American women are hardworking women. You know, and I admit that, you know like. Merican women are hard work and women, and I had honor to work with a lot of women in combat serve with a lot of women in uniform and American women are here, like hard work woman. They work they they're part of the military. They almost come to do the same exact duty. Men can do now days in two thousand nineteen we have women going through ranger school. And, and it's gone amazing because we are does the nice thing that about America, that may be America's don't realize that is that we teach our, our women, even like our children to excel, and that is something in Iraq, that we don't have much more suppressed in term. It is very suppressed. You know, women over there are literally just meant to cook, and get married and raise children. And now we barely just start in starting to benefit from the American experiment, where we started to actually into. Thousand four to get women to be able to join the army, and to, to have women be part of the military to have police female working and doing their job. And, and I think that it's going to take us here as took America longtime to adapt. I mean, nothing happens quick, whether it's government or whatever. But it's interesting that, you know, in terms of the question, the hardest thing to get used to is, is something that's that I mean, I hate to use the word simple. But it really is. There's and again, it's just it's a huge paradigm shift or difference between our country and most others. Frankly, one that again, I, I hope that the listener realizes that as much as a lot of people in this country bitch about how things are, and how slighted every pick a fucking category of, of anything other than a white, man. And, you know, we're fucked and removable and we're oppressed. And all this other shit is that, you know, there's, there's a lot of other places on the planet that. You know that are not even in the same fucking universe of the different worlds about people are treated. But what is your morning routine? Look like to ask everybody that just to get a sense of, of how you start your day my morning. Routines early. Just I Mike, any of the American dad, I get, and I before I do anything I get excited about watching my daughter, go to school. I think the way I look at things right now after everything I've been in my life. Everything I one through is that the, the joy of it is that I get to see my daughter, go to school. Get the right education living exactly, the opposite life of what I lives and every single day I'm trying my best really make sure that I I'm the one driving my kid at school. If I'm traveling even I make sure I take the ride with her and, you know, my morning is very. Very calm, nothing. Like, what I used to do back in the day, you know, because I don't remember having a morning, I think I used to work for like seven to seventy two hours trade. No sleep when I was in the modique. I never had a normal day there. But now, I really kind of get to enjoy life, I get up and make some rocky breakfast. And. What's that all about? Oh, god. It's, it's a kind of guy make all the, the omelets Iraqi omelettes mix in food and tomatoes and, and shoreline eggs and all that stuff and just get to enjoy the freedom that, that you have in this country the, the privilege then that you have to do what you want without being afraid someone will break your door and try to shoot you in your head. And that's, that's the beauty that I enjoy every single day and you know, to wake up and see kits getting ready to go to school, and get spend time and have a coffee with my wife and it's like very calm, very different life that I live now but comparing it to what my mornings where back in the day when I was in Iraq of waiting as an intelligent asset. I don't think I even converted a morning back man. It sure refreshing to hear you say that appreciate that recognize it. And again, for the for the listener, you'll see a recurring theme in in your. Homo appreciation for what you have now. And I think what I hope is that it serves as a powerful reminder to everybody listening to this right now. Even though I know there's a number listeners outside the US, but just, you know, how good you have it and to fucking appreciate it. Does the wife she getting behind the shore? She digging some of the Iraqis cheese. She I count on this. I kind of took her through our own, but straining you know, go into every Middle Eastern restaurants. I think she's now more into it than than myself. Does she make any of it for you? She learned quite you know, she's tapping. She's working women as well. She's a chiropractor, and, you know, she she works and does, you know, busy herself. But we always go to the Middle Eastern. Restaurants, try to you know, and it's something over choice. She's of a polish heritage perogie is all they have in the pitcher literally, you know, so we go allow we go online. That's one thing drew truly enjoy here about America's that mean my wife been like literally trying every other culture food, and that's the beauty of really living in America, because Iraq, you can never go and try. American food, or polish food, or any other that you don't have that diversity that we have here in America. And that's something that not many countries have. Has your family been accepting of marrying into marrying an American woman, having children with him or not at all? Really? Yeah. Yeah. Because it really is that I come from a culture where they have to make your own decisions for you. I want to be honest about it because, you know, I would lie. So, yeah, you know, some people don't and it depends on the education. These people the ban is education level of education. They have reached they might be understanding and where they come from an Iraq, also an important factor. And. You know, I think that I grow from in a culture that or you can say that where they want to the culture. This was customize us way there, Greg, Greg, grandparents did the same thing. So they think it's okay, where I am someone that got Americanized at age seventeen years old. And I got to have a very different experience in their lives. And to the point, where is just like I wanted I came to a point in my life is I wanted to do what I want and to break through and. Not to have this blind loyalty because I think that's also goes back to. Why we have terrorism in Iraq. It's that blind. Loyalty, you have a brain you need to use it. You need to think what the right decision is for me. Should I drink this water? I should should I not. And is just use your own brain? You don't have to have someone make decision for you. And as you know, in Iraq, we have religious leaders Iraq controls. Millions of people, and those people are like sheeps they follow them, not realizing. Those people that are not even religious leaders, there should backs when they go home. They're not really in a good people. I and, and you're just following this fake, big ger of somebody. That is just completely, not a good person. So I kind of more wanted to be in my own, and be my dependent and, and make my own decisions what I wanted in life, you know, I think I didn't think that I would fit with Iraqi woman. I mean, I only seen in Iraqi woman for the first half of my life, I didn't think I could have been married to Iraqi woman. I don't think when have worked and. You know, I was pretty Americanized. I was seventeen years older, instead of US-based talking to Americans begins American women, and actually, one of the first, you know, I'm sure you'll get that later, one of the first American women's, I met as a friend in combat was Megan MacLagan, who's the first marina office officer to be female to be killed in combat. And it's really is just that I. I think that would encourage so many Iraqis, who in my situation, is that if you if you come to this country, this is the rigidity you have to be who you are. And you do not have to be someone else for somebody else. You don't you just be who you are. And this is why you fought your way to come here and say he can be who you are. Of the recurring theme of appreciation. You have and really taking advantage of what, what America is all about. And why it's, it's as prosperous as it has been, you know, it's something that, you know, not to get too far in the weeds here. But you think the American experiment will call it has been around for, you know, two hundred seventy some years. It's two hundred fifty whatever the hell it is. I'm a math major as you can tell get the Abacus. You know, south three hundred years and by comparison to pick another fucking country. Is that most countries especially if you contrast to say China that's been around for thousands? Is that if you look at the leaps and bounds, the strides of progress in every way in every area, whether it's technology, whether it's a side whether it's freedom and liberty, whether it's? You know, equality diversity at cetera and making it work where it's not a detriment to society, America has done that in a very, very short amount of time. And I think it stems to stems from the constitution in that, that individual liberty being the backbone of our society, and that being protected or it's supposed to be protected. I think it just it says a lot about how valuable that is how important is, and how brilliant, the, the framers of our constitution, and our founding fathers were, and they, they hung it out. I mean most of the framers didn't didn't survive, you know, after a few years of fighting for this country to become one, and that houses burned down and wives executed. And they didn't just talk shit. I mean, they backed it up and to me, it's just it's neat to hear somebody from such a different background be able to recognize that pretty quick. Take advantage of it, and appreciate it. You know, and I think. Says a lot about both you as a man and our country as, as a whole, but I love hearing. One of the things I moving kind of forward into like talk about childhood a little bit. And some of the things that I read in the book, I like I said earlier, I was rattled by it, and I just I can't even pretend to try to fuck an imagine the scenario is you found yourself in as a child, you know, especially when, when you see kids here, in the things that they go through, and I'm not sliding or minimizing struggle, because it's all relative. You know, if you have a way better life, much less important things are going to seem like a big deal in, in. It's still a big deal to the kid, and I get that. But, but I just found myself thinking like holy shit, our kids, have it just unbelievably fucking lucky here. When I read some of the things that you went through, and I'm curious, we'll, we'll get into a couple of the events but in terms of your siblings. I know that from what I read it sounds like they're largely successful, one of them actually lives here as well. What was the dynamic? Like in your household growing up between them and your parents, it sounds like it was very tribal and family oriented, and strong, but was earning nuances between you and your siblings, that were conflicted or any issues where y'all super super tight, the whole time or what did that look like it was actually we were like so much. Separated in age and. The one thing that we were concentrating on is education educate yourself. Learn. And, and we were able I can say we were fortunate to do what we wanted to do. My older sister wanted to become a piano, and now she's the best bananas in Iraq. And she was able to go since the age of aid, and moving, and pursue something that was looked at, in our culture as of rarely shameful thing you know, using saying was not something you'll be proud of but. When the allowed her to do what she won't now. She's a professor at the music kademi in Baghdad. She has performed in Juilliard in New York City. She's a world leanna, and that's something that is that we were able to excel once we of broke ourself, a little bit from being very strict culture, everybody and did their own thing. Got educated in our grandfather was in someone who went to school, but, you know, he decided to do something, because he didn't go to school decided to send children to go to school. And that actually revolutionized the way we were brought up because we everybody everyone of us went to school got educated. I was very interesting learning the English language, as you know, during Saddam town were not really able to practice that or talk, like talk speaking English and public, but I had plenty of books at home where a whole entire library that we will read in and get through, and just kind of kill the time that you're there in Iraq because. Was Iraq during that time was very hectic country. I mean when I mean by that is you can run into the wrong people. And if you do can cost you life, and it's better for you to keep yourself away. And that's something that I did is reading as a kid and educated myself on my own pretty much one of the questions I thought of when I read that I have it here later in the interview notes, but I'll ask it now since you brought it up was the English thing and it being a problem under Saddam's rule. And I was curious did was was that a manufactured perspective within the people of Iraq did most people think that same way like oh, you fucker you speak English, like you sell out prick, or was it just Saddam doesn't want it. So we're gonna I think, is because as we said earlier in the podcast that it's a very conspiracy theory country. So the way. You get labeled by people back then is that if you spoke English, you means you're spy, and that people could make so many different assumptions of you on, then I remember story actually they used to have some kind of festival in Baghdad where other countries comes in and show their product from Asia all over, and I remember that because we are so beliefs, and that there is intelligence services, Jonas, downtown, and police and back pointy members dumble party members who are very active very author -tarian, and the society, and I remember someone went to that festival and decided to have a conversation with another person from another country. And I think the racking intelligent picked him up like a minute later and question him about what you really said and that conversation, and it's hard for you, as someone who doesn't speak English. What you really trying to say. And you're really just asking him about tomato his country. You're in really exch-. Changing formation in any and sort. And that's the one thing that bag, then it was a different life. And that's the thing I see in Iraq, today's a very different than the life, I lived and. Iraqi's might not pre she'd their freedom today, but they had no idea, especially the generation. Well, it was like for mine. So, you know, it makes me I guess curious about trying. You know, is there a way that you can explain to the listener that obviously hasn't read the book? They haven't seen the movie yet, but you know what would be the best way that you could kind of capture what it was really like living under Saddam? And I know it's hard to, to say it in a couple of sentences. But I you know, I think for for the listener it's hard for them to imagine just because it's so dispirit from how it is here. It's just it's just so incredibly different than it's hard for people to wrap their mind around, can you try to explain in a couple of maybe a couple of examples of what that was really like I can talk about my personal experience. I don't know how it is for others. You know, a lot of people today in Iraq says, you know, at least we had this in this and. That under Saddam. And maybe because their situation stuff, right? And during that time, what I remember the things that remember that remember right now in my head from downtown, our fear hunger, and it's very different life. You know, you were not living the quality life like he was living. You're hungry. If you were not a pro-government, if you're not somebody that was getting paid by that government. You struggled with the bath party within the bath use drugs. And that's and that's the thing is I lived in a neighborhood was a lot of bath party members, a lot of people a power emended that I couldn't lift my head up walking into that neighborhood. I couldn't mess with certain people. If someone had bullied me, I couldn't hit that person bags of I do, it would turn into a hell can can you explain to things, I guess, number one is kind of the breakdown of the Saddam government structure, the bath party, the fedayeen, how that all worked basically and then also I'm curious because I have no fucking idea. How how many if you can trust the population of the country to the legit Noche it, this is the roughly the amount of people that were in the bath part of the feting within the Saddam. Government that were part of that inner circle how big of a group was that actually, you know? The Raqi military was was a massive number. But it didn't mean they were actually pro Saddam. Everybody was forced to Iraqi military, everybody was service journal during Saddam time, it was actually mentor, everybody to go to the military. It didn't mean these people wanted to really fight or loyal to Saddam. I mean, people from both sides, you know, Sunni or Shia down was the kind of person where he did not care, who the hell you were if you want against him, you could be his son, and he'll kill you. And that's what he did. And that Saddam had been known to get rid of people that are very close to store, his brother-in-law popular, it's still conspiracy, or this day still not nobody knows what really happened and some people says as an accident. So people says, no, because so many accidents around down why it happened to be anybody. That had a disagreement sounds like the Clintons. Pretty much, you know, I mean Saddam will look innocent at this point. I you know. And it really is just that. It was a very different place. And, you know, alpha dying was very different organization in alpha dying was created by Saddam Hussein's son older son was day and. Alfred I was bunch of ruthless thugs that ran away from the racket, military, and more of like. He wanted to stab his own gang in a way, so he stabbed Fidel and they started doing all these Brabek gun dawn TV and more mobsters is kind of more of like that. And it was actually for people who did not want to go serve in the rack mount area because it was such a harsh conditions so decided to upgrade and go fa dying. And of course, there's a mid. Quite a big number of them that was actually very loyal. And these people are but into training where they started attacking dogs and chewing dogs, and while they're alive in going after animals, and slowly transferred them psychologically, into going after humans and cutting people heads, people are not loyal to the government or anything like that. And. And the truly the army was just like any other army in people are just joining the army doing their job doing their thing, because they're forced to be mean, people want it to be in the military, but they were forced to. But there are these fewer gone is Asians that pretty much controlled everything else, where it's like this special guard alpha dying their Raqi national security, Iraqi intelligence. These are the people that you could mess with these are the people that, you know. You know, if you run into one of them could truly lose your life, do know about how many of them, there, were that, you know, completed that whole inner circle of special, there's actually Fedun was a big organization. There's like quite a few thousands of appeals. They're, they're not small. But if dying probably was one of the biggest but also had special guards, the people had the racking telling, but it wasn't really that big number. I think that a lot of people where doing this of a way to maybe get living to make living and once things really went down, and they all went home and didn't do anything, but there are some who are vicious and believed in every every thing that, that regime believed in and. And I think these people were just trained assassins. You know, they, they were trained to make your life harder. And that's what it is. And we were a conspiracy theory country, always say that because, you know, you're being watched by everybody, you know, your neighbor could be about twenty member and he can write a report a false report about who you are. And, and that can get you just to go away, and you have all these entities, all these intelligence and all around you, and you're, you're surrounded, so we, we had a saying, Iraq assaying that even the walls had ears because people were so afraid in Iraq to suppress, whether they are feeling in front of their own brothers or their own family members because they don't trust each other their freight. It's hard to imagine growing up in that environment. Do you do you know about how many bath members there were all God job you're talking about laying the whole country? Majority of the country was in the bath party, because if you didn't you couldn't really survive. You couldn't really have a job. You couldn't really you could really get promoted. You couldn't really keep your job you couldn't. So I think that it would be crazy to say you know what every member in the bath party with it was personalities are the people, you're worried about the people who are hundred set and vested in it. These are the dangerous people. I guess what, what I'm curious and trying to trying to get to the bottom of guesses. The overall population of Iraq is X number the true number of Saddam loyalists that you know, he entrusts enough to, to run things on his behalf at cetera. What's that, that contrast look like, like how, how small of group not a lot like few thousand less than that, believe it or not, not a lie because these people who later on who used to be bath party members high end in the bath party, or intelligence services, and then they turned into all, and then they turned into ISIS, what I believe, is that these people are the big dogs in the room for so many years, and all of a sudden they were nobody, and that is what really God them motivated because they wanted that power back says that two thousand three wasn't as violent and arrack two thousand and four. We were just started to get in that bag because there are just out of it for. A year and they couldn't really live without power. They couldn't really live to be equalized citizen like everyone else, and that's they never been. They lived like for thirty five years, and they did today felt they didn't have to. So getting radicalized coming back to take power was more of a, a way of them to get back into power. And Dow was one of the thing about their psychology is that they were not more really hating Americans. They hated us more than anybody as well. They were more of wanted to be back in power, and whatever it is that they're going to have to do to be in control. It would do it because minutes sensually at that point, they have everything lose. Exactly. In reading about some of the examples of you growing up that I found interesting and I wanted to share with the listener was that frankly, kinda surprised me was that almost country boy lifestyle that you had guarding sheep. And what I thought especially with what I do for a living with dogs and reading body language and being self aware of my own body language in terms of communicating with animals and how big of a role that played in your childhood, and your fascination with wolves and the relationship between predator, wolves and sheep. And you kind of getting in the middle is pretty interesting parallel. I think can you talk a little bit about that, that lifestyle growing up, and what impact that had on you later on because the psychology component it sounds like you learned a lot from something is simplistic, as being a hurt or basically, but drawing off of some of the lessons you learned there to apply to your military service later on. Can you talk a little bit? About that. I think you'll learn a lot from animals. I think people don't understand that animals animals are much more smarter than we think. Four and it's you know as a child. I lived when I would go away every summer to my grandfather form and sit there to protect sheaves that was our biggest thing to protect from wolves. Because Welsh combs in try to steal our animals, and it's a loss for us, and watching the, the way animals operated. It was it was fascinating to see specifically how the walls would come in packs how they would operate the way they move. It was more of like looking at it today. It's more of a teamwork day, do not go on their own where we had so many humans are being lost. They don't know whether doing they have no idea, how really work with each other. How to work in a team they need more of a motivational speaker consultant teach them how to do that. Well animals already have adopted that, that they already learned that from one another, and they worked in form. And that's the mazing thing is I learned that as that enter standing. The thing in front of you understanding that thing how thing is thinking is really the only is, is the key to thinking about anything as the kids, even encoding how the terrorists think what a truly this terrorist is here today in why is he doing this Louis we can look at terrorist from all one picture. But there's always a reason that turned those people to the way they are. And that turned in their life is with turned into the way they are. And that's something that you learn from animals as the psychology behind the animals and that once you understand psychology. Then nothing will stop you start to understand everything talk to have that communication skills easily Andrew standing the things that are front of you and watching the walls. I think so many things what learning from the walls working in teams getting into in a way to Oprah eight and Kip their mission accomplished and get the one thing they want without being disturbed without making any noise and Ghana Ghana like the start of learning. Like, really how a team works you watch those animals. No, it's fascinating to, to read that again because. Plays such a big role in my life. One thing that I found myself thing was like fuck, I didn't realize that Iraq had many wolves do they look similar to the ones here or not at all hours, very different very smaller, what we have this out of Iraq and, you know, because it's a very different environment of there were here. They have a little bit more options to hunt down there. They don't really have many options than you're the only hurt her in the middle of veal. Bunch of goodies. And they want to have some of it so they, they adapt to putting so much work to make sure their mission six hundred because they knew how hard it is. And, and, you know, I think that it makes me laugh. I remember my grandfather would lose his shit for losing chickens and turkeys. And it was like a, a really a war. You know you didn't have a war, but it was like a war between learner cat and mouse game. Exactly. You know, it was a war is about how many losses you had, and whether causing you and what you're gonna do, and no matter what you did to scare them off for kill them. They still come back. Relentless perseverance, you know another good lesson. You had an AK made me wonder two things. Number one, in terms of the population, generally speaking in Iraq were were firearms fairly prevalent. Oh, yeah. Everybody had them is were there any restrictions. I could just buy have whatever the fuck you want. Not at all. Yeah. Everybody had firearms. And so here's my at least my second question when you see the legislation, and the restrictions and the rules, even though by comparison to say, Canada, Australia, most European countries, we have crazy lax gun laws, but they're very strict comparatively to places like arrack and other ones where you can buy fucking RPG's and shit. What is your take as somebody who grew up in that environment where prevalent primarily from of, I think, our, our understanding Melby at a perceived one of the purpose of why the second amendment was drafted in terms of ultimately to four Tierney, by our own government or opposing? What is your take on gun control and the issues that we seem to be embroiled with here as it relates to firearms? I think that when it comes to the United States that we're not very much struggling with gun problem. I think our problems mental problem. It's not a gun problem truth is we do have people in Iraq that have guns, and we do have people in Iraq that shouldn't be having guns. But the guns were the only thing that we're able to stop the bad guys. And to me that, that single sentence. Right. There is something that everybody needs to fucking understand. But sorry. And, and, you know, there's so many examples in Iraq. That happened that, that we couldn't really have gone laws, arrack, and the only reason that because even though we have them we we'd been making new laws about crazy Raqi shooting guns in the air and bullets landing killing people absolutely wrong. But you have an example when ISIS took over Iraq in the last few years when they were able to they almost thirty percent of the country. They were like three miles outside of Baghdad. And what was the one thing that stopped him was that people with guns? Remember, like a when Moselle fell down to ICES on bar, province fell down to ISIS and somewhere outside of Kirkouk Iraq was a small village that fought for like ninety days and they did not have any military support. They just fought against ICES. They are in ready to give their women as sex lives ICES, and these were farmers dad where hardcore have various trick culture, and they weren't really just going to submit and decided to five bagging ISIS spent about ninety days fighting for a small village that if you couple donkeys and they're couldn't take him. That's awesome. Because these guys had guns they were train. To use the guns. They lived with them all their lives, and they for their honor. So they literally said, not today, ISIS right about pretty much and I think that the time actually it was a trend on Twitter because ISIS members were on Twitter, and then it was a trend that was going on Iraqis, picking up an ISIS saying, you know, hey, you know, it's a, it's a small village and have of more women and you couldn't take. Balls. And, and it was kind of like, there are picking on him on it. Because truly it just showed that the people were different mentalities where we have while we have people in the cities of ISIS took him fifteen minute, because the Raqi military demolished, and all of a sudden they showed up and people had nothing than have the mentality or the, the, the same culture to actually do such a thing. And it's, it's really it's no different here. I mean, we were talking about when you first got here, you, I lived in the city and you're like shit isn't for me. And he's out to more ruler America. I really don't think it's any different anywhere in the world. Correct. His that, you know, when you have huge population centers that. Let's, let's fuck and be honest, any big country or I'm sorry. Any big city in this country rather, the overwhelming majority of those inhabitants depend overwhelmingly on other people for almost everything that I mean for water for power for construction for handyman work for protection for food for EV trash fucking, everything is somebody else's doing it for you is -actly generation after generation it, breeds, complacency laziness and, and from my perspective, a dangerous mentality in inside of that complacency, because they start to think that this is normal, and it's not really not how the fucking world works. And a lot of people, I think get, get complacent and lazy and suckered into that. And that's where you see a lot of these crazy fuck in social Justice policies coming out of where just like not seeing the forest for the trees and not really understanding that. You know, we're, we're in a time right now that granted is probably, or arguably the greatest time to be alive on this planet, in terms of technology, and what resources are available the internet at cetera. But it's also one of the most dangerous times in that, you know, I think people that get to their head and don't realize that, that fucking fast. It can go back to the stone age with a couple of shitty things happening, and now it's really boils down to you and somebody else stand there, and there's resources for one you, and, and it's at that fucking primal level where one of the two just isn't gonna make it. And there's not enough, you know, reminding of that, that goes on in, in our society. But it's I love here in the stories as bad as they were, but I think it reinforces what a lot of people in this country, still understand. But unfortunately, too many don't understand. And they and they fuck a need. I hope they listen to this, and they get some, some healthy perspective out of that. How old were you in the Gulf war, and ninety one when it kicked off the first one five years old? So I was I was a little older than you. I was in seventh grade. I was about twelve but I'm curious this is one of the neatest parts in reading through your book is, is, is hearing, you describe a reading you describe what it was like. And I kinda almost transposed both of us in my mind, like I was sitting we had this little tiny seven inch fuck fucking shitty TV in our kitchen. And I was sitting on a wooden stool, watching the air campaign the night, that kicked off, I was watching it on TV in my kitchen, like an asshole, you were sitting on a rooftop, basically. Why watching it happen? And it just re really kind of struck me as like holy shit. You know, in we're going to sit here, again across the table from each other living to world apart. And now we are full circle. It's nineteen ninety one was definitely crazy. I think it was the first time ever my life to really see what's like living inside of a medal of honor game. You're watching everything right in front of you life, three D, four K. Whatever it is, you're feeling you're right there. And I think the time Baghdad gusts so bad. You know, Dom had to use the style of actually hiding all the Republican guards and all the special gourds within people and emend that you are you just became officially military target because they're sitting right in front of your house. And there was nothing much you can do they're getting hit. And you know, when you hear about the beefy twos and the bombers come by econo- like thinking, like where can I do right now to get out of this situation? So the time we end up going to the Sava rack going out to more people were running away towards the field's going to the Oba lands where no nothing going on. Military, so you're not you're away from targets your way from all the craziness because Baghdad yacht hammered bat. And as you know that we want to the south hoping that things would be safer. Nobody was expecting that at whole entire revolution was going to start their people are going to Iraqi states, we're gonna fall down under resistance. And, and. Things got turned around really bad, and that was my first time in my life opening my eyes to what a war looks like even though I was born in a war during their Ron, Iraq war, but that was the first down to really see what's like to be a war. And you know as a five year old you should should not be seen any of the stuff. It shouldn't be afraid of jets or cruise missiles or any something shouldn't be in your head. But you are just trying to survive. You're on a survival movement were police officers is strange having a child now that you can kind of look back on. And no. When I was her age, this is what's happening. And then now this is what I'm able to provide her with school, blatantly different lives. I see her more of a child as you said, cheese, a child. And I look and I see the maturity that I had as a six year old, a five year old, it's like you forced there to, to mature because you're not at a kindergarten. You're not at a first grade. You're in a war zone on and you're being of you're on this treat beam bombed by the most bar fuller force in the in the world. And it just you're in the survival mode in you're, you're not just you're not afraid of the bombings. Only your friend of the people that sitting front of your house, what they do to you journey times like that. So it really is just you were you were just trying to survive, and that, that kills the child inside of you. And that's why you see anybody comes out of a war at that age. It just it just kills. It robs neutral it robs your childhood out of you. And you're not able to be a child anymore. Especially in reading the swamp excursion with the mass killings in the southern part of the country. I guarantee you that most people listening had no fucking idea that, that most of that took place. I vaguely remember hearing about it, but -absolutely to nowhere near the detail you provide in the book and I would love for you to, to walk us through the listener as best you can the story of while you're out the farm, and basically they're coming for you guys. If you could if you could just kind of walk that she'll comfortable with it, I think people should hear that. What had happened is that when the US military injured, Iraq, people have thought that they were going all their down a bag out to sit down? So people in the south Connor excited dead. This is over Saddam is gone. Everybody's going to give back and living their life, and that was a mistake they made in their lives because the US military went all the way down to Baghdad and decided to pull out in Baghdad. That town was Rebublican guards who are kept in Baghdad and the Republican guards units. There were killing Baghdad were very close to the regime. These are the most vicious fighters, that Saddam has that kept in Baghdad when they went to Kuwait, these are the only units day he kept in Baghdad. So what happened is that was US military had pulled out, Saddam got a clarity for airspace. Was able to get helicopters on on the air. He was able to get back up and get his power back and people were not expecting whether they were going to see, you know, you're just sitting in the south the Usov America's coming in your heard them and. All the sudden things goes quiet for a day. And you have no idea what goes on in the world. You're, you don't have TV. You don't have enter net you. You don't have cell phone. None of that existed. All you had is a smaller radio with a few batteries. And if you run out of batteries, good luck, and then you had no idea what goes the hell goes around you and people did not expect because some of these. Iridium backed up militias or bag than people who just didn't like the regime decided to go after the bath party member decided to kill him, drag him on this treat, because you're not expecting that's down would be back and all of a sudden, you had an angry dictator who has sent you most of his elite troops, and he wanted to take no prisoners, and he did in care, whether your child, whether you were an alderman, whether you're an older woman, you are considered an enemy of his state, and people did not expect for the Republican Guard to be showing up hours later, one do nothing what they considered everybody in that area have helped Americans just because you shoot them. It means major weapon, and it was a horrific day because our family have wanted to take out of Baghdad so we can get away from danger and all the sudden things changed. All of the sudden you are the one that have been the target and you are the one being in the most dangerous place and the country. And it was horrific in every level because the American came in and out, they did not bomb civilians. They were not there to kill you. They, they were only fighting the racket military and it was a it was a traditional war. But when these guys came back, Iraqi, Republican Guard, this was not traditional war. These are the people that were killing their own people for decades, and they're good at it, and they showed up, just because one guy in your village or your neighborhood fought against a regime day are not going after that guy. They're coming after that guy has neighborhood his cousins. Hedge family, his wife family. And if they wanna make you one of them, they'll just decide you're, you're one of them and no matter what you can say or do is you're not going to be able to prove you're innocent, so you just not sure what to do. Where to go and your only option was to run run away. Get as far as you can and was people. So the rack is, I think the rack is bag than where more frayed of their own than they're afraid of Americans and horrific day. Never forget in my life seen all that you at five six years old, you have no idea what you're running away from. You're not expecting to have solutions of what's going on. You're just being told to run in you run. And you have no idea what's coming at you and took you years to understand, really. What was going on because politically, you're not informed just a child, but you are being told to do things that a soldier probably won't be able to do at certain time and you're hungry. You're thirsty or you had no idea what goes on around you and that was the thing is that. Every time I see back, then my grandfather would be listening to the radio and how closer there AKIs were coming. How how far the Americans were going. People are trying to figure out what goes on around them in. That was hard thing to do and show. Many people informers innocent people that didn't have anything just sitting in their own homes, and all of a sudden they found themselves to be executed or being taken to mass grave, and there it alive. Struck me as being very powerful, and frankly kind of hard to read being a father, myself, and my kids are a little a little older than than you were at that point. But hearing about, you know, basically the entire village running through your guises farmland to get to the swamp area and the examples of being mortared while you're running and seeing children from your neighborhood ten feet away, getting just fucking vaporized. And while you're running like I can't even fuck fathom it you know, I mean like. Truly is it's hard to even read it let alone try to understand what that was like going through it in the impact that it would have later on. But can you can you kind of walk through that running through the field and getting into the swamp and the two helicopters that come and it's fear? It was like fear in every level, and you just don't know what they're really coming after you for there's no much time to ask your all the sudden being ran after for a crime. You didn't commit. And there was no there was. No, there was so much anger from Saddam's regime that these are the people, the fight against the racket military. These are the people that were killing the bath party members. So when they came into Wor not looking at it go, she ate, they're not looking to ask. They were not looking to investigate. They were looking for one thing is basically to kill you had no auctions and they didn't care because. At the time Saddam's cousin. Come lee. Have have a showed up in the area. With big massive trucks, that actually can destroy homes and these kind of tool trucks, that can take soil off the ground and digs out of the ground. And they told him that we have heard some resistance in this area, and he said, well, I want you guys to clean that area. One mile why with Inman, wile straight there like will? What about the people? He's, I don't care. I don't care if it's a child. I don't care who it is twenty guys clear that area. And, you know, when these ordered vicious Republican guards showed up, they were not looking to make any exemptions to who you are. They were people actually who their parents were actually members of the Baffour, well, and they got excuted, and they did not get by nothing. Got you by that day. So. Running. You know my may running away. It was just as Carrie and every level, you know, you asking about a three four year olds to swim. And run and swim. You are doing things that are like your body, your legs, how much distance, your legs can run not able to and you watching death thing. You know, the only reason we came out of Baghdad is so we can be safe. And how are we? Are we just end up things change and you end up being in the worst place in the country, and now you are thinking about how can I get home? How can I get out of this place and which whereas the way back to come back to, to get out of this thing? And it was a scary moment. It was just people running for as you'll can. And that time, I think it was I physically lost my childhood, I lost my sense of being a child. I lost my. My life at that point. That said it was just a point where you turned off from being who you are. And just accepted the reality. This was your reality in this, what you are, and you just have to figure it out. And, and so in the in the instant goes the swamp ended up saving your life basically. Exactly. So you, you run to the swamp you get there. And you're swimming on boats, and hiding under canopies and whatever. And so you stayed in this swamp area for several days. Right. While they swept through and. We were we were running away, and we were lucky. Ed prog- artless. What Saddam's orders were to kill people. There's still a human side inside of that. Inside of some of those individuals. I think not everybody wanted to be a vicious killer, some people were ordered to kill and under Saddam. If you don't you'll get killed. I think that some people didn't wanna but bloods in their hands. And we were lucky that they notice they were just nothing but bunch of villagers that have no idea had nothing to do what, what, what one down, and all the revolution that started against Saddam, and all the people that were killing other other bridgier members, we were just people that set on their form, watch everything. Just went down front of it, and all of a sudden, they think that you're the ones who are doing that, and we had set there for days and. They didn't have enough food. It was hard time. It was not a good time for for anybody, you know, the member of the time, they had little babies some of these women had little babies in there. It was just a time where you really just being hopeless. You had no idea what to do, and they're bubbling guarded, the town did not even have enough time because there were moving forward. We're luckier an area where they needed to move forward towards Bosnia. Because Bosnia was one of the most important places force down because of the oil and everything that's in it. And if you got captured and. Got taken to be looked at by by Cummock, Lally, Saddam's, cousin or any of the people that he said, because when the war, one down, Saddam have sent people to lead that campaign and the two people were come Kelly, which was his cousin and he had sent his son law, whose name is saying camel who he later on killed and executed him. So who actually? He was the one that went to Jordan and unformed the US about weapons of mass destruction under Saddam Hussein. And these are the two people that got sent out because they said that Saddam at the time thought he has lost everything. And he was getting ready to run. And these are the two individuals that volunteered and asked him for a couple days of aching things bags and the way they got things bags. These were the most vicious killers downs regime, these individuals. And what's so interesting is these two individuals and one killed and other. You don't come Ali was in that raid that killed Hussein, comma when he came back from Jordan into Iraq. Just those people have known. Sympathy even for one another. And when they came in, they were looking to get rid of anything in front of him in order to get downs bag onto his power and over the couple period, hundreds of thousands of people were murdered, right. Douse of Iraqis. Yeah. Again, it's hard to hard to wrap your mind around read the book because it's a minute. It'll grab hold you. And you can't put it down. It's, it's fucking gripping for sure, and a very powerful. And I think important for for people to read, for again some perspective. So that kind of subsides you end up, basically getting back back up north now fast forward as a twelve year old. You become a political prisoner which, again, in reading that story. I was just like holy fuck. You know, the shit that you went through as twelve year old having now already gone through such tumultuous childhood leading up until that point. And now this is, you know, another just holy shit story. Can you can you walk us through the the being jailed as a twelve year old for getting Shukan up on the street by dirty cop and tell us about that? It was a common thing during that time where the hall country was corrected. People didn't have survived that people had to have to steal a hat to get money, one way, nether. So it was a common thing bag then by police officers or people that see someone the person that is weak that they can take something out of their pocket. Take what they have where they own and at the time, I have collected about what's equal five hundred Iraqi Dina's, which I wanted to buy myself shoe, and I kept that money. My pocket and I love. School, and it was like late day in school, and I left the school, and I walked out and I got stopped by this. Known to be like a thug. Police officer that actually comes in gets people cigarettes or teenagers at the time was known to be smoking, and he would take cigarettes will take what I have in your pocket. And usually they will give him what they have. And they will just drive away with his two guards in his car. I was not that kind of a teenager and smoke I didn't have anything to offer him, but I did have that money that I worked together to by myself shoe. Because at the time I couldn't afford to have one in mind was in about shave, and you had to collect for so many months to get that money to be able to afford to, as you really wanna half and. Run story short. Is that when he's stopped me that day I was not willing to get my money and I walked away. I didn't listen to orders. I just kind of cut blocking just going home, and he got out, and he hit me when he slapped me down in the ground me, heart. He was a six toll man. And I was just twelve year old when he hit me hard. I went down to the ground, and I cursed him in our cultures that big deal any curse someone's family or considered a big deal in their in their ethics, so how it's a big deal, but it wasn't a big deal for him to steal someone else is the literal. Translation of translation, just basically saying fuck you or what we pretty much courses sister. Talking about moms zapping thing about alcohol, too. You know, like if you wanna really fuck somebody, I would just say, like, you know, your, your mom's a bitch, that's like something into other bothers him more than him stealing taking someone else money. So when he hit me down on the ground and. He came in and got turned into not just about money. It was more about getting back at you. So he grabbed me he threw me into the car and what he threw me into the car. I said, in that car, and I was tearing up at the time I got head in my face really hard by this guy who has a big hands, and he slapped me so hard and I went down the ground. And I sat there and I wasn't really showed he's going to do you know the money, probably going to be calling by this time and, and probably going to beat me up. But last thing in my head that I wasn't gonna come out come home that night it wasn't in my book. I have no idea what that is. And I kind of set there, and I remember the conversation that went on between him and the two other guards. And there was like a guy who was like, maybe in his. Early fifties set in the bag was guard, and he just said, hey, took his money you hit him. You know, one just slab him one more time. Let him go on. And he said, well, if you keep talking when I throw you with him tonight. And talking to the older older guy talking to the guy hit me was younger go. And but the guy was a higher rank, and you can tell by the way, they dress people who are not people power. They don't dress the same as people of power. He obviously looked like someone was a higher rank in the bath party. So he has more power into what he doesn't his job than other regular people and. I heard that I felt like. Should just got real digits. I'm gonna go somewhere and I don't know where I was going to go, and as a twelve year old Serra fide scared. I didn't know what I was going to do. And he drove the car for about exactly forty to forty five minutes, and I had no idea at the time in Baghdad where the hell I was I'd never seen that place before. And I'll remember it was a checkpoint that I went through, and it was more of a special broad that actually no one, no regular people can drive through once you come to that checkpoint, you go through. And it was the probably the cleanest road ever seen a bad data that time goddamn bat cave entrance. And I was like where, where am I? And it started to get dark. And I ain't got nervous, and I looked I was so scared the guy next to. He said, look. He just made make you sign something will go home. And I said, falling, you know, I'll walk out of this with records, whatever I just wanna go home, and he drove into an I realized I was actually going into the racket ministry of interior and to the right side of it, it was a prison. That was a very known big prison in rack to this day, and I wanted inside and I remember the slide door that opened, and I went inside and the car parked. And I look around me what looked like cages and behind those cages like facilities, and look like detaining facilities. Looked like now and he got out. He went in and I read when he hit me. I read the whole entire name, his, his tribal name personal last name, and tribal name. And, and when I got out of the car, I look at every other guard. Would that badge has the same exact last night? And I he went in and they wanted to a room and then they brought me into this room and it was bunch of them. Towards the same style as he is just to clean his is just to sharp and same style and I was given a pen and they said time. And I didn't even read, and I'm looking like some of these guys had actually bats. Like what looked like bats in their hands and I was wondering what it is used for. And I took the pen and I saw. And, and I have never signed in my life at that point. And I just took it and I signed. And I looked at that older man, I said, I going home after this. Right. He didn't answer me. And I got walked right into this dark hallway, an open door, and I got into this were house that was full of people adults and I was in my school clothes, and I had the time I couldn't actually afford a pack back. I had four books wrapped up together. And I walked in at that point, I realized that this is it, you know, I was lied to go home, and, and I didn't realize it exactly what I signed into what he did is he had made a report that I have actually attacked a police patrol and how do you how does a twelve year old attack? A police patrol with three police officers Lisieux some vicious scary, you know, person that does that. And. That got taken seriously, you know that got that very seriously and I went in, in the night, set there and the first thing about after having our my name cold, and some of these guys were his cousins, and started getting hit, I got taken into a room towards the end of that prison, and I started getting hit, and that was the first time I left really getting hit to the head and seeing what's like to get hit in the head by an adult that you can't fight against. You can try to stop. And I think that time in my life, without point, I think my soul was broken like my soul got broken that day and I didn't have any options and I thought I was never gonna go home. If it wasn't for my family. Putting money to actually pay money to prison. Director to actually smash the report. So I can go home and I didn't know about all that being going on outside and the only thing that saved me that night is that I had two hundred fifty or that cat and my pocket that he did not find. He took the other money. He found. And that I gave it to a corrupted guard to actually co my family to call that number to let them know where I am, because I have any idea where in Baghdad. I was what's the name of the town, and what, how to get a message to my family to I was my family knew is that I didn't come home that night from school, and they started wondering around going outside asking people, have you seen him. When was the last time you've seen him when did he leave schools looking for teachers and, and I set now prison that night and I realized that like life was not worth living anymore. If I may, I was also very impressed at the little tactic that you used when you gave that corrupt guard the, the two hundred and fifty DR to call your family. But you also one very important. I asked tell me, who you talk to said, I need you to know who do you talk to because otherwise the name, and I wanted to know that of the message get delivered because the people were just about money. They could care less. What I was. They care kid. They didn't have that sympathy. That's the thing that America's don't understand is that we have that sympathy Ennis, and those bastards did it, you know, he was more looking in my two hundred and fifty dinners that I had in my hand. A prisoner have helped me at the time he said, look, I, I know this guard, he will make that phone call and what he does he would he would go inside and clean the commander's office in there's a phone in there, and that's what he would do. He wouldn't let anybody know he was doing. And I said, I need a night said, if you're going to talk to somebody told me, who you talk to. And I knew who my family is. So when he came baggy called me, my brother's name, and I felt relieved regardless of what I was going through that, that night I felt relief. I'm like, at least now they knew and they don't have to be wondering looking for me all over the place. It's it and I said there and I think the prisoner is were nervous. They didn't know what the hell was. And what is someone that age doing there? What did I do for God's sake to be there that night? And it is my first time my life that I just was in shock state of shock. I didn't know what to do and long story short is when my family have paid the money to smash the report. So I, I don't end up going to a higher trial or a losing my life. Perhaps I. Got asked to four weeks to walk out of that prison. I have no idea what I was my came out. I was started. It was exhausted. And the same slide door that I entered four weeks prior opened. And I was just getting ready to just really just kind of done. I didn't care what happened. What would happen to me that day? And I saw my dad when I saw my dad, I realized that, you know, my family has done something and was asked to walk away, and I walked out of that place and. It was awkward. I didn't say anything I walked out. And I didn't say in my dad, I didn't say anything, and my dad, I just walked, I walked out of place was quiet and. I took one last look about place when I turned around and I looked at it and something in my heart. I said, I said, if one if any day of my life. I give their. Retune. Ity. To fuck you guys up. I won't. That's awesome. And I really like I didn't know that time in my life is like. Did I ever think America's will be my house, when they know there's none of my head is no nothing like that. You don't think Saddam will be gone. And I just turned around and I remember and I looked at that, if I ever get one day, somewhere, somehow, I'm going to give this paternity if I would do. I, I will I will fuck you guys out and I walked and I just kind of walked away, and I went home, and, you know, my families took trait to the doctor the trying to see what happened to my skin to happen to me. And if I had eating, and it's still a member of that. You know, my, my mom saw me. Did you have you eating anything and I said, they gave me chickpeas with water and it was not water. It was chickpeas in the water. And this what I was eating, and I was actually chewing through that rachi base pretty much and to survive, and I didn't use the bathroom for weeks. I was in a tough situation. I got home and since that day. I started not doing well in the school, I didn't have any interest in going to school anymore. I didn't bother with anybody, I play like any other kids. I just kinda did my own thing, and I was like literally failing all my classes that I was getting an A in just a month prior us filling everything and didn't do much with my life until I opened my door. And I saw on America's older standing there. And we'll get right into that on a second one question going back to while that month or so that you spent in jail as twelve year old, they tortured, the shit outta most days, right? Was there any sexual assault in prison as to know that wasn't actually any sexual assault? It was more Bangor, because after I him and most of these guys were his cousins, and they felt like a bride into hitting me and. They. They were like someone wearing a military boot and hits you ahead. All the power they got. It hurts. And you know, it's kind of interesting, because, you know, I don't miss sure if you knew actually, I've, I've been fighting a brain tumor did for the last two, two months, and I was just having that conversation yesterday with my would my doctor and he goes my doctor read my book, and he said, who knows he said, you're never a child the trauma your brain been into is not normal. So you don't know he's like your brain is been messed up. And this is not something where. Should begin in hit with someone who is completely bigger stronger than you to your head? And I just got to a point whereas I was not feeling the kicks anymore. And I that's when I realized that something went wrong because I was numb, I was not feeling the cakes, I was not feeling and the worst part of it is when they slam you with a steak or something in your back, and they will hit you hard and so fast to the point your skin gets numbed and after a few heads, you don't feel anything, and I just kinda got to the point I was I was more used to it. I was used to it. I was used to get hit to the head. I was ready to take any hit into my body, and I wouldn't feel it. And when I left that prison, I think for months, I would. Have a weird knows in my years. I would here like a ringing something in my ear that something is not right. And at the time, they, they didn't have the technologies or anything to do an will rise. You just went to a doctor any looked at you. And he said, you know, motorized beat it take some of Tobia deke's, and whatever I just came to the point. And, you know, I, I was at that point is I told people is that, that point I was not a child anymore. That was the point is that it's done. You're not a child anymore. You are just nothing but someone that has to live with this environment and have to deal with it. And as I said, is that everything was different for me until until that America soldier stepped right in front of my door? And as we get into that the kind of the final question on your childhood, that I have been very curious in learning of you. Your story, reading the book, watching the movie from from kind of a broad spectrum standpoint now, looking back and contrasting to say here in this country where kids with certain upbringings. They were bullied at school or. Their, their dad slapped him around growing up or fill in the fucking blank with. Less than than ideal childhood, the negative impact it has on some, some kids versus not to me, is, is, I hate to use the word interesting. But I try to understand why it's so negatively impact some when it when it seems like it's far less. Agreed just than say somebody that went through what you went through into look, where you're at in life now and how you grew up under all of that turmoil as a five year old running through fields with. Division of professional soldiers. Trying to murder you and your family to being, you know, have the shit beat audio by Ba'ath party member kids growing up, and then being thrown in jails, twelve year old and things that, that again, pretty much everybody in this country as they're listening. I'm going to say themselves. Holy fuck like I can't even imagine what that was, like, but to sit here and to meet you to interact with you to talk to you. You've handled that exceptionally well considering what you went through. And I'm curious. Why somebody like you has the ability to adapt and overcome and other people it crumbles? I think because variances that's the mazing part about the human body and the human brain is that they experienced his makes you doubt and to these kind of situations that I didn't I wasn't a tough kid. I was a kid choice, but he didn't have any choice but to adapt. I mean I was not with bunch of. You know, I was not with bunch of fifth graders. Or, you know, I was with prisoners, and you were nothing but to adapt to adapt into that environment in and you start thinking differently sti- behaving differently. You're behaving based on them buyer men, that's around you. So do did. I want to be a kid. Yes. Hell ya. I wanted to be just like any other kid that I wanted to be like, just like any other kid that went home that day. But I didn't have that option and the not just for myself. But many kids, Iraq, specifically, it changed personality is shaped him into different someone else because of these experiences and these experiences. Change everything in, you know, it change your soul change the way you think and change the way, you're gonna make decisions at a forty year old one day in your life. And I think here in America, we may be a little spoiled very spoiled not a little bit. You know, I am not someone that would like to allow my kid to do whatever the hell they want. There are certain disciplines, inserting, sorting things that you have to make sure that because you're building somebody this kid is being built, and, and you want to make sure that they know what's right and wrong and how to behave themselves and giving them everything. And it's a great thing to have everything and have all the freedom. And but also learning the respect to learning discipline is important because that's what they're going to pass on to their to their to their kids one day, but going back to rack no Iraq. There is thousands of stories of other kids that probably been worse through worse. So what I've been through probably been experiences where they. To feed family of five or six people at age eight years old, and they had to work and do something, and it's an unfortunate. That's, that's the sad part about the war zone man is common. It's their kids kids born into that pays for it is, the full price. It's a it's remarkable to read. And again, I found myself just being incredibly humbled and appreciative of being born here and being able to raise my kids and environment where they're not having to deal with that kinda shit and. It it continued as I read through the book continued to build a, an enormous level of respect for you. And what you've been through so in, in with oppression Iraqi freedom. That's essentially five years later, now, you're about seventeen years old. And now that kind of the next intro to this type of conflict is in American soldiers standing at your door. And this is now now our paths are crossing essentially chronologically, and that I was in the country. You know, at the start of the Iraq war. We took down the oil, platforms minute, Al Bacher. Core alleman. I think it was called. The two main main oil platforms down, just south of baazar about thirty miles off the coast or so. And then we went up into Nazarenko on Newman IRA northern Baghdad and ultimately up into to Crete and then went home from from there. But it's interesting reading your depiction of what it was like for you as a as a seventeen year old in, when I was there, I was twenty two twenty three year old and you know, not not far from each other at certain points in time, you and I weren't weren't that far from one another. But. Can you kind of explain what that experience was like America coming for round two essentially in your lifetime? I think for me it was changed. That was the biggest change in my whole entire life. You know, when you live my life, and this is not even a dream that you can see this half as Airdrie, and then you open your door, and you see this whole reality just just shifted, and you're in a different place in your life. And when I opened that door think people were nervous. People were thinking about the nineteen Ninety-one experience is the Americas going to be there. Are they going to pull out Saddam's gonna come back are these real Americans are the Americas or are they special guards by Saddam Saddam trickiness for something people were so? You know people were so loss conspiracy against various theory, things are going in, you know, for me when I opened outdoor kinda like, you know, this cannot be one of Saddam's guys, because this is probably the whitest version. And I still have the conversation that guy was from Texas. And I looked at him. And I said, where are you from, sir as from the United States of American? I said, we're in America from he sound from Texas and shut the door in his face. I looked at my failing. I said, I said this guy cannot be Iraqi. So this is the white or rocky overseen in my life. I said, this is definitely American and looking at the tanks and the Bradley's and everything. Like you know what look Rockies don't have that kind of armored high armored thing. These are definitely Americans and people slowly started coming out getting close like you're watching a while animal. You started slowly getting close to Americans and talking to them, and it is different in weird for us because we been soaked in doubt, agenda of Americans being nothing but by Lind haters wants to kill you and take your life and take your oil, and take everything you got like we were really living the greatest life in the world. And they wanna take our, our freedom away. And the opposite was just you look in them, and I was having a conversation. And I just talked to, and I said, I said, are you guys Lee? Leaving this time. What do you mean leaving? I said, are you guys gonna go where you going next from this neighborhood? Are you going America? You're going to the next neighborhood. What are you going to do? And he said, no, we're staying and he has short me that with strong boys like we're going to stay and I said, what a bus Deng dumbs gone. And when he said those words, just like you in pinch yourself is Israel, like my looking at this, this dream. And I just kind of like that point I had the biggest mile on my face because all these powerful people in my neighborhood that I spend years looking at I couldn't find a way to see where the hell they went they disappeared. And I looked let them ride them like what do they go? And some would ask some individuals. Where did this guy go? And they would say, oh, he backed up his family. He ran, he left all his furniture, everything in house. And I just laughed. And I'm like, wow, I'm like took a guy from Texas to come all the way. To get these guys out of out of their out of their homes, and it was enjoyable moment for me. And that time they just kinda like really thinking, like continually is what's going to happen to Iraq? What's next now? We got rid of them like what we're gonna do. How are we gonna live in what? Life improvements. We're going to be looking at and, despite what Iraqis things today like you know, we went from having nothing to start an wondering around, we were like animals that lived in the zoo, most of their lives. And all the sudden got released to the wild and that's the exact feeling that we had and seeing sales changes and seen everything it was amazing feeling, you know, you're sitting there, and I assure member that America's started broadcasting at channel, it was the US military sigh of units were putting all this channel on. And you couldn't believe you're looking at an American a urine screen, and that was like insane, you know, sitting home, and I'm looking at the screen, and I'm seeing that person, a uniform talking to people and talking to us like with respect which was weird. You know, you're talking to someone talking to you and saying, you know, you can come out, we'd like to have the police back to come into your jobs. And, and you kinda started slowly seeing. That the Americas actually not as violent as it were, we were told they are. They're actually seem more human than the people that we've been living with also of our life. So I. Was like a hungry kid with looking for over -tunities and within days. I hear in the radio they were Salish into new Raqi on me like fuck. Yeah. Let go of the old Iraqi army, then people are like all the old ARCHE army and actually watch old. Iraqi army soldiers were coming back from battle broken having no close and, and all of a sudden I hear that and of neighbor of mine at the time they say he's like, did you hear that? They could establish a new army. He's like, who, who is the craziest person gonna go and do that? And at the time members of the bath party, and the first American cowboy that got attacked on Iraq was just about three miles away from where I lived. So things were just getting heat up starting to really get. Kind of shaking up a little bit. And I kind of like felt like this was my unity. I wanted to go. This is the only in my life to carry a gun and be able to respond back to these people that controlled are less that I couldn't say no to. But now I can shoot them and I ran into the rocky recruiting station. And when I caught there was like four people in the line. And like literally, nobody and even was so scared to move into the checkpoint. And I'm like I want to join the like going this line. And I looked in his four people in there and was people were way older than me. Walked in and they walked into that door. And there was an American civilian there. I think I don't know what, what his job was. And he, he just looked into people ideas with his interpreter, and I came through, and I showed him my Iraqi Agencia, which is Iraqi ID. He looked at it. He's like, stop and he said, you are seventeen years old. He's like, I'm sorry. We only take an eighteen and above. And as I was like, what do I do? And he's like you don't come back, maybe next year, I walked home, and I couldn't really figure out how the hell am except the home, how I'm going to go live in other year before I can do what I wanna do. There was a guy when Abraham that knows how to fake ID's because. Our ideas were, like, really handwritten for us, and clipped with these little plastic materials, such thing that was easy to fake. So he changed news like if I was you, I would not go back today. I'll go back another day away like a week. I'm like, sure. And I went back the same day. I said, you know what I said. It's a it's a very hot weather. Iraq said those Americans are not going to be able to handle the weather said, probably going to be someone else. So I go back to the checkpoint and I see the same guy sanding there. He must be probably been from zone or something, because he was like, there, the whole day and I showed up, and I showed ID, and I put a hat June. My shirt. Now, it's like you know, world Iraqis he's probably not going to sing which do we looks? And he looked at me and he's like oh, and I thought you're seventeen this morning. I looked at it, and I was like, AO, I know eighteen and he looked at me laughed and he was, like you really wanna get into this. He's like, how did you do this? I was like I just want to come in. I just wanna go inside of that mop station to get checked and find out when I'm getting shipped, and he looked at me, and he's like, look go get one of your parents to sign this on my lectu it, and I went and got my mother, she was like the only non English speaker of the house prior, and she signed, it is like you can go in, and it was like going through heaven. This little tiny Iraqi door that I was going through to me amend the world to. But my foot inside of that room to see what really goes on. And it was like stations from there, where you got medically checked, you got everything checked, and they gave you a shipping date and to win. You're actually going to be trained and it was an exciting moment, like I was in the first group that got shipped to train in Karkosz and Karkosz near the arena. Borders by a company called MPRI, and you were number nineteen right? Yep, nineteenth good. I would have been probably number four. If he led me. I couldn't help. But think as I was reading this is that if you kinda cumulatively look at your entire life leading up until that point it really seems like your, your entire existence had both lead and prepared you for that moment, exactly almost like a divine intervention. If you will make it is it prepared you and you got them, one of -tunities you wait for that. You are tracked it that opportunity. You thought about it all your life, and I, I get in and. I was dying to be that uniform. That was my biggest dream people that Tom thinking about, like, how rich I was going to be, what kind of business, I'm going to open what I'm going to do. And I was choosing the one thing that nobody wanted to do, because the military has said the military was mentor, Jimmy Saddam, and who wanted to be in the military. Nobody it was just these three of hopeless guys in front of me and myself. And I went in, and I was being shipped with the first group of Iraqi military, and I was curious going into that bus, and we got escorted by US military convoy all the way down to the borders, and you're just curious. You're going to face. What are you going to what's going to happen? And when I got there, and I had a Vietnam war marine works for them. Be awry retired mostly retired structures. Get in the bus and was not the best welcome ever. You know, and you know, especially for the ones that don't speak English. You have someone screaming at you with a thick southern accent, and you have no idea what's going on. And they want you to come outside of the bus and do push-ups. And that was the probably I was a smiling with the biggest smile on my face while doing these push because it was such an interesting moment. And I was just looking at other arrack couldn't understand where to go where to stand whether doing until I heard the word pushups started pushing everybody saw me and they just followed. And it was it was enjoyable moment. It's hilarious. You know hearing your perspective through it. I know you know, my experience bootcamp very similarly, one of the things that I remember from boot camp that I thought was pretty, pretty fucking cool. Was the that the feeling of being in a totally foreign new environment with a bunch of people that had no fucking commonality in background or very few. The so there was a huge disparity between or there's a big difference between all the different, you know, people that were there and their backgrounds and everybody was kind of equally worthless and scared and not knowing what the fuck was going on. It sounds like there was a lot of that. But I'm curious with Iraq being a considerably smaller country in both population and area. Did did you find that there was a lot of diversity in candidates, or did y'all kind of have a similar background? Actually, it was a huge diversity, and this was the first time this was ever done in Iraq. And this was a credit to the Americas actually, who did that what happened was. They have established three recruiting stations in Iraq, one from Baghdad as where I come from in the first group. And then when it was one in Bosnia in this out of Iraq, and there was one at our Bill and northern Iraq. So what had happened is that they have shipped three different ethnicities through different. People from three different recruiting station, and those MB awry, contractors did is that they wanted to mix each petunias about ten people from each recruiting station. So that way that way you have between from with people of all backgrounds coming from every area in Iraq. And that was the beauty of it, it was, like how to build a team is that you had people from all different backgrounds in Europe, attune, and some of them don't even speak Arabic, which people don't understand how could Iraqis those some of them are not era. Some Kurds, someone come from area Kurdistan. They never seen an Arab in their life. And now they are following orders over, and it was such a like a. Hilarious moment, because you're out there next to a guy from your own country. But don't understand what. Well, it's, it's, it's much that way, when you get somebody from Seattle and somebody from rural Georgia, exactly in boot camp together, and they can't even fucking understand the same moment. You had a foreign instructor. Structure screaming at you in a different language, and it was just like a moment where you really lost. And you had no idea what the hell to do, and slowly, you started getting the body language of this trucker's into what they really want from you. How really behave and took took first day really to give him a lot of credit for trying to get we look like sheep the first day. But I think the first thing they did is they taught us how to make the bid. And when your bed didn't get done right. They throw it out of the window. Major. That is nuclear American. Yes. Fucking hurricane room, which. Yeah, there's for sure a shitload of buds trainees out there. Some of whom may even be listening hurricane. The fuck out of your room and put detergent all over your clothes, and shaving cream all over the mirrors and completely destroyed people's rooms. But that's funny shit. But it is it's a it's an interesting tactic. That's very effective because it kind of hits the reset button on it. You know. So that's, that's neat that they were able to accomplish that. So in terms of your military career, and again, one of the things I was kind of taken aback by was, how fast you progress and I understand the why, and that it wasn't a huge unit. And you showed a lot of, you know, consummate leadership skills and found yourself in a position relatively early on. And there's kind of a couple of key points throughout your military career that I wanted to just have you kind of explained to the listener now the first one was the PS detail. Which was kind of the first thing that you got involved with can you kind of tell us about that a little bit after graduated like we graduated basic training? We were getting signed to go to different kind of training, NCO training. Doing all kinds of trainings, and then they were looking to stab the first Iraqi military police unit, and I got signed to go for an MP, and they want, specifically specific soldiers. They picked up out of like at that time we had about. Four hundred soldiers. I the time, you know, some people who just came to join the racking army, then second shipment after me from leaving that Baghdad recording station and a car bomb blow up there and people got discourage from going into the recommend. So you've got stuck with few hundred people that you had to work on to build a whole entire military in a way to decide who was an infantryman, who is not inva- tremend-. So you any finish your infantry training, you're going into military police in out of the four hundred people, they had three Marine Corps instructors, and that was the first time we broke away from our MPRI American contractors, who are training us. And we were getting trained by people in uniform. So our marine we had a three marines that came of to the military police school to pick twenty out of four hundred and we were told to perform at our best doing raids and doing everything we were training performance, your best because. If you want to be in this team, you have to be distinguished, so we were looking into a nicer. Remember this conversation, me and another guy. But we both made his team that we're looking. We're said, look, most of these are, are floppy. What we needed to do is that we need it to be professional painting details, and we need to take this seriously, where most of the others, were really not sure what this is, but we wanted to be in that team badly. So we were performing our best in these Marine Corps instructors would do is, we'll come to you and says, what's your number, and you'll give him your number that was assigned to you, and they will walk away, and it was such a psychological moment, because it just like you're doing your best in your freight of make any mistakes, and we're doing these raids, and we have to pay attention. There was any bombs in the in the in the end the room, I clearing these rooms. And they came in one day, one of this structures came in and said. Was a gunnery instructor. Kevin small got of Kentucky. He said he said, I need your number. I gave him my number and the end of the graduation. They said everybody else graduate and go into be an MP and we're going to be calling twenty numbers. And if we call your name leave that unit pick up your stuff and stand right here, and I think they called about nine names or front of me. And my heart was light literally pumping through those moments. And I am sitting there and all I heard seventy six and it was my number and you had to pull out salute and walkaway that's a source oppression from your unit. And when they called my name is like I was waiting for my buddy to be called, and he was the next one. And we're kind of like twenty guys that got together. Most of us didn't know each other this is your friend Khalid who is names. Khurram Khalid was the rock was actually. Early member of the team. And he got cold in, if you of them got called in most of us didn't know, each other maybe three of us know, each other four, five guys, don't know, each other, and never met each other, just having to see each other on training, and they were all picked up by these three marine quarter structures and they said, okay, all of you guys pick up your clothes because of your bags you're all going to be living together. And we just entered this barracks and all the Senate we all lived in the same. Place and the second day, the training sorted. And everything we trained for before it was nothing like what we're going through it, because we realize what kind of marines these where we realize these were. Embassy security, high trained, bodyguards marines that are specialized and training personal security detail guys. We went in and I was the smallest youngest guy skinniest that team. And I was the first victim to be hit my stomach, because the structure came out and said he came in and we have three structures. One of them, we call them the mean guy it was name was David Labonte, who is now a captain, in the Marine Corps, actually, and stationed Japan stuck team yesterday, and he came in and pulled me out pulled me from my. Uniform, and he said, take this guy, protect them do everything you have to protect this guy, and I walked front of this person and he came in and he punched me. He was the somebody lifting, really heavy and I was like nothing. I looked like a little water bottle of them, and he came in and he grabbed me and he beat the shit out of me and until I really get up. And he said, he looked at me and he says your guys did he died and I got up. And that's when we realized like, okay, these guys really don't care. There is no liability here. There's no injury. Or if your bunch of Iraqis and their bunch of marines that got tune ity to really not worry about being sued by anybody, and they're going to take full advantage day, going to imprint to these training into you. So the training went on and in the first four days, four people dropped. They gave you the option to quit. Okay. And walk away and four people. And we graduated with only seventeen guys and. About three three people that left in seventeen guys, graduated, and I was bleeding out of my knees and. And I was in back shave when I graduated, but everything every skill. I learned it was really during that training. Shooting with hands learning how to pay attention. How to be a good sharpshooter all with these guys. And to this day, you know, my whole life is thankful to with everything. They taught me. It's neat to, to read the again the perspective from your end. And contrasting it with, you know, my experiences being there and seeing that stuff being set up. Once we got back, and no one, a lot of guys that were involved in different training. Detachments of, of different Iraqi groups, and it's cool to hear the, the other side of that, you know. I know you lost in one of the operations, you lost your friend Khalid. And I thought it was really touching thing that, that you had the ability at that point to, to bury him in the national park where where he asked to be to be buried. And I think it just it says a lot about the camaraderie and the relationship that soldiers have with one another and just kind of touching thing to read to, to see that. As those operations kinda matured into further stuff for your military career you found yourself influenza, which most people in this country are, are actually familiar with, because that was such a hotbed area that SUNY triangle of Pflueger Ramadi in that region is was was so tumultuous. And we lost a lot of American soldiers and it was a pretty rough spot for, for everybody. So people are pretty familiar with Faluji here. But I'm curious again I know a number of teammates that, that were they're both times and their experiences their love for you to, to kind of just talk a little bit about your your experience there. And what that was like fighting alongside Americans essentially Filleul two thousand four was when the war broke out in there. It was it was very different time, because you did not have enough arachne military in the ground. That was able to cover. So we only had the I Raqi division, which was trained by the MPRI, which where we come from, as, as a Iraqi army soldiers and how how many guys were that division. I mean what time we were by the time. We really that was about three brigades. That's all we had. And everything else was an Iraqi civil defense corps that was recorded, they recruited locals, that basically serve in their own areas, and it was not as a highly trained or prepared or quipped to enter an infantry fight. So when the Iraqi government at the time had only one division to send in there was the first Iraqi division and about how many people would that have been. I mean at that time to be honest, I would say. No more than probably. Twenty five hundred to three thousand soldiers. When the war started in may one to legit Louis kinda like sucked every Raqi soldier they have, and they just sent everybody there. Those like I kinda like war, we officially entered kinda thing and the first test of you. I asked because what they were doing is they were sending the ice unit tonight CD's units where like either running away or not getting thing. And by the time they send the first racket division there to train soldiers infantryman in the ground. It was it was a disaster. It was like an appoint where the biggest weapon we had. It was at peak AC. And you were fighting an enemy that has everything from mortars to RPG's, more quip. So you needed to actually be with the Americans in order for you to keep that firepower to be more effective that being alone was not being effective. It was just bunch of gang standing in, because you don't have the same amount of firepower that enemy has. So it was a moment where we really kind of felt like this is what we've been training for. That was the moment that this is what we're meant to do. And everybody kind of found that meaning and that was like the test to see. See who is going to remain. There were people that said fuck this, of course. Then that's the thing is that we like they would send three thousand Iraqi soldiers and win the war starts than divide starts. They will find like fifteen hundred because you think about it is that some people not everybody in that in the racket military at the time, where someone does coming over to fight for Iraq or have a motive some people have showed up because it was a paycheck to paycheck. They were getting paid. And they never got paid one hundred and fifty thousand dinners and their life. I have people served with me. Actually, never had seen anything more than fifty thousand dollars, which is equal to like fifty bucks. They never seen nurse. And when we got paid, it was so interesting is that I was getting paid one hundred and fifty thousand Iraqi Dino's, which is equal to like not even one hundred bucks. When I first joined the racket military when the war broke out and Faluji we got paid close. Two million. Dina's. They raised it out, because they don't want people to run away when people just keep thinking they want to trick those guys who wants to stay for the paycheck, saying, just just remained closer, you may get paid a little bit more. And I still remembers me going to get my salary that month. And they decided to pull the MP's they said we don't want to MP's internet. We needed him to go. Protect importing facilities in Baghdad. And we went back and I received a million rocketing in my whole life. I have never seen one God that cash, you know. You know. Like you wish you had the time. Do you know like the true is that true thinking in my head? That day is when I got that much money and I'm like. How many what are you going to buy today, that you didn't have some food jeans? I wouldn't. I went and got him. I said, I'm going to go and buy a blue jeans. And, and I got g's, and I still have a picture actually mean few of my friends, we all win by jeans, because it was expensive. We can afford it back now ball jeans. Right. We're gonna go buy some jeans like one of my friends said, oh, I'm gonna buy four fried chickens, and it was gonna eat them. Like I never had them, it was just a moment that we all enjoyed it, it was, like something that, you see all these guys were able to see a life change, and, and some of them, kind of, like, really had a motive to fight, and it was kind of great moment because you got rid of the ones that didn't want to be there. And we're just really more of a heavy weight on you. That there aren't going to do anything and we got rid of him. So we went back to Baghdad and then I remained actually protecting the Iraqi recruiting center, where I got recruited in almost on the air force base near Haifa street, obviously, from, from kind of a tactical standpoint, you know, that's a pretty vulnerable and important strategic target. You know, is that if you and I remember them being targeted pretty ferociously? What was that like faced with trying to protect an area that, you know, is a critical node in terms of the enemy saying, hey, if we cripple their ability to bring people in, you know, your, your sensually starving, the resupply troop lies? I mean that's some challenging ship. It would really have is truly is that the after the, the war broke out and Falloon two thousand four. These guys were used to facing the ice. The rocky civil defence corps, which is guys bunch of AK47.'s. They're able to blow them up and hit there and won. They dropped the first infantry Raqi division on the ground, and they so people are going to deal with him the realized effectiveness of having Rockies native Iraqis fighting side by side the Americas. And they realized that they needed to do something about limiting that from happening where grown even more. So they're Fritsch target was the raccoon center as where people were showing hundreds of people because they heard all the sudden we were getting paid a million DNA, or a month, people all want to be part of that. And people were showing up trying to fill up locations and what they wanted to do is they wanted to fear Iraqi people hearts from doing that. So that is where they shifted all of their efforts, every terrorist organizations were shifting all of their efforts from hitting Americans to list. Kill the Iraqis make an example of them. So the Americas still remain blind still remain alone and don't get that backup because as. Native Iraqis weakened smell these guys from while we can look at them and we'll do it. You're in the special. Yeah. Just like with ISIS exactly. You're not a homeless man. You're not a good herder because you don't look like a goat herder, and that's the thing they were nervous about. So they I wanna got assign until they're accurate recording station that was only like six car bombs blew up in the gate when I won there was a daily attacks. So they would do is that during the morning when people coming into full locations, they were sending suicide bombers. They were sending car bombs, and the car bombs, that blow were vicious like you just come into the middle of many people saying that we couldn't control the lines at the time, we could not control. How many people were observing we only had one checkpoint and to search everybody clear. Everybody come inside why everybody waiting side, you always going to have that crowd being outside, and no matter how much how many soldiers how much work we did. Perhaps we had. Suicide bombers showed up to the crowd in his detonator doing work. And until somebody yelled and says suicide bomber guys tackled him. They were sending people in the daily basis. And. Got to the point that car bombs blowing up is slowly bay were turning people off people start realizing oh, Al Qaeda's Cohen through I could get beheaded. I don't have to Rick's so you got to the point where you're only getting the really hopeless people like myself really just said, if I make through this door, AVI fine. And I don't have to go home anymore. That's that Bima. We were getting started getting the quality people that we were looking for because of the actions they were taken. And at that point. They have taken a different methodology of how to do something. So they decided to kidnap. They have made some deals with the public transportation drivers that pick up people from location, go home, come back for sure. In day, and what they did instead of taken them to what they come from and decided to get him in the public transportation and drive them to have a street because they knew these guys to be Iraqi soldiers so that day they have excuted twenty five of them, and they have took taken their bodies and places in somewhere and high I read towards the end of high street near little religious place near the Tigers river, I was a young to sergeant I got a call from my commander. And my commander said you have pickup trucks, you're going to go towards the end of high street. And you're gonna go inside pickup. Those dead bodies, put them in the pickup trucks. Take him to the Iraqi hospital in the more, but them they're so their families can come back them up. Truly my community did not probably going to go to do that mission today. Decided to send somebody see what happens setup attune, see what happens and that, that was truly the feeling of it. So when I got a mean my young tenant of the time and. Just kind kinda got in the trucks, and we drove we when there, and we drove through high abyss street and something didn't look. Right. That day. You know, the place is very usually, crowded or people on the street. And you drove in there, and you can drop a pin here as something didn't look right in where the buys replace looks worst. And in the rack yummy, you couldn't just really said, I'm not going to do this job told you to go do it, and you're gonna have to do it. So we won there with our pickup trucks at the time, we didn't even have humvees or anything back then. And we saw the bodies were laid down right next to the river in a place. Like you look at them like that's didn't look like this where they were shot, but the body's got placed there. And we got out of the trucks are goners in trucks and. We got on a literally just walked towards the bodies, soon as we walked towards the bodies this, when the first RPG hit one of our trucks and went on from there. And the point of it was to capture in Iraqi army soldier in uniform. They thought this would have been more effective to actually scare the Raqiba. They actually kill a soldier in uniform, that would even be more. So they're playing a big psychological abrasion that that month to stop their recruiting center from doing his job and had out firefighters started. It was. You could see your hands anymore. They were hiding behind the walls. They were a higher ground than we. Are we have what ourselves and very lower ground under a bridge, the rivers right behind you and the right front of you? And you had one little stairs that goes up to the bridge, that's above you. And they had a place, a sniper on that building to actually anybody's trying to run away. Try to get up to take a high ground will killed on this. There's three racket soldiers died immediately trying to run up to take highground and the person that designed that Bush was named what Sade hitch him who was later on was killed by us forces. He was a former Republican Guard staff officer who went to war college specialized, and designing Bush, even though the fighters were not be as a professional but he was designing the whole thing for them. And to the point to where he knew Accua ref would come to get us and he has already placed ideas for the QR F, and he knew exactly what route the Cura will become from. So we got stuck there for about an hour. Forty five minute at that time, I did not know how many soldiers have lost. During the mid of that fight I lust communications with my Lieutenant, and he was not answering the radio anymore later on find out that he had run onto 'em own. He has surrendered and beheaded and all that was going on in front of me. And I couldn't even tell this was happening and he got beheaded, and then we heard screaming 's coming from intersections were thinking they were gathering to come through his us. They're actually hanging the body of our between leader. And at that point is I was completely. Tired? I had my eyes open from shrapnel from Grenada shrimp on my knee. And I didn't even realize I had it. I was bleeding. I'll thought it was someone else bled. I was trying to treat. And I had Renata Emel and I have. Cold in the radio for Kiara ref multiple times. And I can hear the cure of getting hammered, and it was a moment where you really just came to the point. And you just said, I'm gonna customize my death today because they gonna capture me, but how do I wanna die today and that was the questions they were asking yourself point? And. Some of my soldiers at the time, which I didn't even count until the end of the fight. We're looking at each other and saying, like, what are we gonna do, like was the best point? And one of suggested says take out of your magazine but in your pocket, you run a viral everything you know what to do with that bullet. You're going to place that bullet in that gun, everybody their head because they're going to burn you. And they were already burning the bodies of some of these soldiers and you don't want your family to watch you get headed by knife boob rave and just put them bullet through your bright and. My fingers, probably couldn't get that bullet out trying to take it out of the magazine. I didn't have this Trink to pop it out. And my hands were shaking. I just took it out. But in my pocket, and I wear through my pinhole, and I just said there and we kinda cease-fire who said, if they get close to us, we're going to open fire. They don't get to sit here where do anything and untold America's actually figure it out the first gallery unit figured out. What was really going on so decided to comb through the other side of Baghdad to cross the bridge, go around so they can avoid all the ideas that were playing place to get to us, and they came around and the by the time they came around when I got out, it was like about nine of us. Out of home any out of twenty twenty nine total that day cruised at I didn't even know who was with me. I had couldn't see in this I for some reason I thought it was a sweat, and I didn't realize this, actually, my right eye by. Right. I was open, and there was an American medic came in to get us out and. I was counting my soldiers I'm trying to count and I mess up and I go back again. And I'm like, where's the others whereas little tenant? And as I was walking up that hill after being pinned there for a while, I looked to the hill, and I see a body. Title to a traffic light and it was the body of my tenant. But I wanna see the head. And point that medics said you're bleeding, and I said, it's not my blood I had treated somebody that passed away and try to treat it out of sniper. One of my buddies had sniper bullet that went through his kidneys, and I was trying to treat him. But it was a. A big big win die. Couldn't really stop the bleeding. I didn't even have the proper medic stuff to do. And I said, it's not my blood. It's his blood needs that he's right there. And she said, no, no, no. It is you will bleeding. And I said where she said you're is right above your, your goggles, or opened. And I put my hand is little my hand and I looked down, and I see my pants my left side of my pants is all red. Literally when she told me that I felt on the ground, I felt everything that was going through my body before that. I don't know how long I was I was hit. I didn't feel it. I didn't know didn't notice and show. She told me that I set on the ground and couldn't move, and I got to my unit I got treated in the hospital and they've been seen and the green zone. And then I got back to the unit when I went back to the unit the first thing I see through the checkpoint. It was members of my unit have dropped the uniforms picked up their civilian clothes and their bags and the were leaving. I asked where whereas these guys they said they quit. They heard who died and roommates and it just they just quit decided to leave. You know, and it's like fifty percent of unit where quitting, right front of you to go home. One thing I was curious of did that calorie unit. Did they push the, the assaulter back soon as they saw the erica's run away as the one thing about them is that when they when they see a rack, as they give they get extremely brave because they knew firepower very limited? But when they see Americans in tanks and Bradley's coming in. It'd be right away. They ran away. So I sort of Americans actually were able to get on the bridge. They, they right away. So with taking all of those heavies, both logistically, and mentally, how did you come back from that? I really just went to my room that day and I have lost my buddy and I went to my room and I set and I, I was watching some people leaving. And I just had an is like what, what really I wanted to do that day. What is you don't wanna make if I get out of that door? What do I go? Most likely is I'll go to my neighborhood and they'll kill me and they'll do exactly what these guys are trying to do. Two main high of history. And I said there and I just didn't care was going to happen that day. My commander said, oh, you're going to get rewarded. You're going to get money. You're going to do this, and that and I just didn't care that point. I just said there and try to think like went how long it's gonna take me to heal to come. Come back to SRI and come more people, and as the only thing that was thinking about that day and my commander. Came in and said, you know, you guys are going to be with Iraqi ministry of defense, and I went there and. Preparing the bodies of my comrades, too, for the families to come pick them up. I went to the racket ministry of defense, and I got promoted to command sergeant major like fucking twenty years old at nine thousand nineteen nineteen one thing I am. Mm find myself wondering during that story the the. A group of assholes ambushed you in that case know who they were mean by name, so. Two things that, you know who it was were they fellow countrymen where they Iraqis Iraqis, some of them were Syrians because this was a hub for Syrian refugees that lived under Saddam Iraqis that we knew we knew like the personalities. There's like a group of people that were actually involved in the previous regime, and there were some who are thugs who are gang members but they decided to join these radicalized groups, and they felt like it was a resistance against whatever. And we knew them by name, actually and. That's an interesting thing as a fellow soldier, you know, every, every instance of combat I've been involved with has been not in this country and against almost a faceless enemy for all intents and purposes because it's somebody that I have no fucking idea who it is. You know, I don't know their name. I don't know what their child. So to me, it's hard to imagine a situation say here where I'm fighting guys that I know who the fuck they are like a wild prospect to a different level too. And when we found out who they really were. I the time they wanted to, but an end I street, so they gathered all the Iraqi civil defense corps soldiers from sixty miles away. Iraqi army units, they gathered so many soldiers and funding airflow base in, we decided to retaliate into actually walk into hive issued with trucks, and that day was, like about seven thousand Iraqi soldiers really just walked drop their vehicles and just walked to bring it motherfucker, and we pretty much went into inviting them, we'd like we entered like six o'clock in the morning, a few days later, and we kinda just went in. We knew that because of the number and the number we were entering that they knew they to pick up fight with us that day. But because we knew that personalities and individuals we went to surround their homes, get them. Get the people that we can get and take him to the base. And, and that's what we did. And we actually searched each building each each place that we were suspicious suspicious about. And we went in, and it was just like a crazy day, and my commander of the time, you know, said, look, you guys have lost people might be very but you cannot go in and shoot somebody who's not fighting if someone surrender. But their guns down to not shoot him. Bring him down. Listen, Terry gate was find out who else is there because most likely going to meet more people. You gotta face more people in there. And the biggest target was hit him, who was pretty famous there for bleeding, all these fights and they couldn't find where he was. But we got the few people that we were suspecting that we thought who, who was shooting at us. What was the name the few of them like they were known by name like they had a guide names, Uday, and has mom was known to be a woman that sell don's, and we got a few people. And once they got Bush to the face if you times, the who was there that day, and they will tell you the son of the lady that mix nuns and is slowly collected intelligence like. Who is that person? So we were actually trying to figure out who this Naipaul was and the building. And there was him and we went to figure out who that person was and few people kinda brought a few names until we got to him. And we kind of mmediately felt like it was definitely a confirmation. It was this guy. So we got a few of them, we couldn't get all of them. We Brown down to the base. And. And that time thing my commander was trying to keep the soldiers off from smoking right? Then from killing them right there because he was taking them into his personal truck than there. Because if you put them in the other trucks, he can't guarantee that the soldiers one just kill him from hitting them with a gun or trying to stab. And we're doing something and it was so much anger going on. So I came back to the unit, and when I got promoted and the racket neutral defense American special forces has noticed me, I was the only NCO spoke English. So my commander Cam pulled me up to his all hurts. And he said he said, you're leaving the unit. Where and he said, you'll go into the racket ministry. He said it was actually the Americans that in order for you to be then CO. I see for the racket ministry of defense, and he's someone they can communicate with easily, and I left and I felt like hair I left. I'm going to go be with Cima might be as team members and I'm leaving this chaos and I'm going to go into this easy mission of really just managing security of building, which turned to not be such a. Dangerous building in the world. So I walked into. Was quoted by Marine Corps officer at the time and he was walking me through the building going through the checkpoint. And then I entered this place was full of Iraqis about four thousand Iraqi employees between military personnel. And I walked into was. It was a lot of people. And I look at the faces of these individuals that were working out of that building. And I looked and I said, what was my machine again? And they say, oh, you need to protect the French one to protect this building to ensure this building can do job, and you're just facing the outside facing this treat, and I looked and I said down in the corner and I laughed and my NCO's looking at me like what are you laughing? I said, you know, it's interesting that these guys, which mend Americas is one to protect the building from the enemy, while they don't realize enemies already. I'm like, literally, he's here. And his cousins gonna come attack our checkpoint tomorrow. And we're kind of like, like, how's it going to be interesting? And we went in, we had massive as you saw the film. We had massive attacks on the points every single day. Check point. One and the grey zone was right next to us, and it was a hub for suicide bombers and all kinds of crab going on. And. And the same time you have to worry about what goes on inside, and I have met a few individuals, and there was about fifty American advisors who has their job to cross from the green zone. They were legend John betray us. To cross from the green zone and the and to go into this Iraqi M OD, which call the ministry of defence stands for the for the MO D And to go inside which is not in the part of the grains. Oh, it's sorta red zone, but as a tach to graze on so to door for these Americans to cross, and all of a sudden they find themselves with these four thousand Iraqis and to build the infrastructure of the new Iraqi military to build everything from the scratch communication, deployment operations everything supplies, logistics, and you're looking into this mission news, lake these America's were come in with, like, the lowest rank, you would sees a captain or major or all the way down to a full Colonel would walk hand, and all these four thousand Rockies, given the looks because they don't look like full quipped American soldiers walking there with a nine millimeter in the legs and all full of confiscating fucking duck and. Some of them may be a reserved officers that mostly where civillians the most their lives and they walk into all this. They had no idea what the hell's going on. And at that point. This was the biggest turning point for terrorist organizations in Iraq because at that point realized they didn't have to hide anymore. Gained so they can be part of the rocky government. You can just form political party and have a part of piece of the cake. Just be part of it, and all the sudden you so this religious division, they were divining positions in the Accu ministry of defence, based on your religious background that show is going to have the navy and the Sunnis, we're going to have it was just a weird. This is not how the military should be formed. And we came from the first division where people of all backgrounds leading each other, but you're looking at that leadership, who's fucking call was that was an American decision, actually, the magazine Zemin realized that, that game, the America that point they had no idea because they were watching the Iraqis coming through, and they were like trying to love their AKIs be sovereign government. And that was the bullshit, Americans Bod into we're like you don't understand. So the gave them too much freedom too much. If you ask any of my soldiers today in Iraq, who should have been in charge bagman. They'll tell you the Americans in knowing both sides. I can understand the hesitation with that is that I'm sure you can imagine too, is that, that, that evil empire Taran country that a lot of times, we perceived as and sometimes, I think some of the things we've done have invited it, but, but by and large, not I think we as a nation, both politically and foreign policy wise or so fucking hypersensitive insecure about that. Because we get labeled that so much that I would imagine that it's safe to ascertain that, that was the reason for exactly our leadership saying, well, just take it because we don't wanna be the Russians all over again in Afghanistan. I think that's what they bid into, like, that's where that's where these politicians Iraq realize that. Oh, that's how. Eric are thinking this really get them on that. And they just said, look, we're now sovereign government got let us do what we do in America's went Khokar, no problem. And Dow was the problem that started in Iraqi because what happened was all of a sudden, Nick, you know, we had a miniature who is a house of Chalon, who was a Shiite, who is a British citizen lived in his England, most of his life, and then things were switched all of a sudden. And these political parties were coming, really heavy because we went from a country that had one party. The bath party to have in ten of ten eternity had, like hundred of them, and all of a sudden they figured it out between each other, and, you know, the Sudanese in the house when you take this. I take that you take this part and rocky defense was a very vital because this is a historic protectors. Iraqi people this is where the biggest budget in the country, of course, every terrorist goes is going to be part of it, and every other political party, even though they're not terrorists want to have some part of the cake. Because that's where the money is. And they want to steal the entire goal is how can I get hold of cash? What is it going to be for me? It wasn't for the country. And that's what Americans didn't thing like. Oh, these, we're so proud of these Iraqi ball Titians. We're going to be building a new Iraq. Now they weren't all looking to how much money they can make. And they came in and they got us and new minister from bar promise and imagine as Iraqi sitting you'd have fought this fight. You have lost a lot of men and you're getting ministered offense from province and ninety nine percent. Literally like ninety five percent of the province, where fighting fighting is the Marine Corps that point. And you barely met person from providence actually was a pro American is is that tied into where Mohan returns Mohannad is another story if you wanna get into obsolete. Yeah. Mohannah was. Piece of shit. Iraqi officer dad came back, and this, we, we go back here, again, to the Americas, not realizing what the hell's going on and not knowing their head from their toes. Seems like there's a recurring theme of in four thousand Mohan being one of them. But you've got all of these bad fucking players essentially behind the curtain. Exactly. And this is Deborah -tunities of realizing the Americas don't have a magical glasses. They actually don't know what the hell's going on. They don't know their head from their toes, and let's take advantage of it. So people like more haunt who came back who are not even a successful officer in the British army. He was someone who worked as an intelligent officer for the bubbling guard. He was not supposed to be in the new racket military. We had a law in our constitution, the new constitution that people shouldn't be there, people who are involved in the bath party should not be part of the new rocky military. He was put in prison during the nineties by Saddam for tilling joke. About saddam. So when they came back, they formed, some kind of something where anybody been to prison as rocky officer is being considered a political prisoner. He was not a political president bullet buzzers, mostly, like either dig- tortured. He wasn't. He just told a joke while he was drunk in the nineties, and he would imprison for six months, and he went back to work. So he took advantage of that incident and went back into the new Iraqi military and when he did is he stablishment own little gang inside of the racket military, where if a good Iraqi officers coming to serve this country, and I might challenge him and the power instead of the recommend. Sure of defense, he would just send somebody to send them while ago home. So I mean to me, the I know the answer is that it was excruciatingly hard, but I mean, it seems almost impossible to be able to build a ministry of defence knew army with the amount of corruption and infil. Trey tion of native insurgents within that country coming from almost all different sides. Obviously, there's challenges there's double agencies in element that, that almost seems impossible. The one thing that I found unique and interesting was that not unlike here is that, you know, you being a native Iraqi have the ability to say that guy is from here. I can tell by his fucking last name the way that he dresses or whatever, so he's probably aligned with so and so to me, like I found that in my correct in stating that that was probably your most valuable examining or asset. Bring bring to the table in terms of being able to distinguish all of that, for the Americans. Exactly nothing. That's one I got. Things got so hard for the American military that point because it was too late by the town, realized that this building just got filled with crime tease in corruption and terrorist organizations and even reading operatives people who operate under the proxy Iranian government. People who've been living in Iran and Americans didn't realize these are actually equivalent to a Major General in Iran. Who's and be like another in the Iraq Iraqi Modise sitting right foreign of you. And that's the sad part is by the time, they realize it, they decided to assign an American intelligence collection team that was going to be sitting there for twenty four hours to figure out what's going on and my job came into this is why I met Colonel Burke and his team. And these were not the most lucky Americans to be assigned to that job to work there twenty four hours when I found out that they were going to do that. You know, I, I was kinda like protect him during the night project him during the day in case of emergency. He makes you how to evacuate these people back to the green zone where they come from make sure the Rockies leave without one of them in there and their bags and without doing something. So it was when we got that, and all the sudden, we this minister from the Anwar provice. He showed up. He was a tribal, man showed up and his nephew at the time was a memorable Qaeda. All of a sudden, if you're an all Qaeda member and bought problem is you're being chased by marines and navy seals and you get an opportunity to go to the green zone and get a badge to fuck I would take it and they came in. So what he did is he came in and he told the nephew, I want you to go brain bodyguards. He, he brought two hundred men from the bar promise, probably most of them were wanting them by province. Didn't want to be detained you want to be arrested and they find opportunities, take a ride and just be with the minister they showed up they entered the building. They all hide AK47.'s. And, and as soon as we see the minister comes into receive all the thirties and everything in the rack game OD, and we see all these bunch of guys got out of the car, who had dark spots in their in their forehead, which they pray a lot because when that Dr spot in your forehead it means because they pray to the ground allot it end up leaving scar in the middle of your forehead, it's like a. Very dark spot. And they were religious, obviously, and you look at their elbows very dark elbows, they're not going hers. They're all military age and people from that area, all to be known former military, whether they were Republican goes special gorge. They're known for that kind of jobs. They hold that kind of job. So for those of you listening in the dark elbows, meaning they're on their elbow, sh- behind a gun and, you know, all look like military-age they don't look like young. Is there was military age that was that military age? And we're so my soldiers looking at it and going like what the fuck. What was this guy doing three few days prior who was he shooting at and the areas known to be not, not? Friendly to the Americans is very anti-american area. So our mission just got like harder, and all the sudden now I have two hundred guys like a wild animals walking around looking at an American major walking through with a nine millimeter in his leg won't Makoto say, good morning and was interesting part is that I'm sitting in my office. I'm looking over the Modise and I look, then the way they look the marika's they way they were react when they actually see in American like when in American walk through the door. I don't look Americans actually look at their behavior. Look like what are the reacting, and I can see their, their head angry turning as American walk in by, and we're looking at them? Like I said, probably they can't believe that they're looking at one American, not, not hundreds, looking at one just can't believe they can just guy out, and they it was just to the point, where like. Something is not going to go right when he toned formed American. We need to evaluate you need to understand what we need to do. Now, the time they had a leader who came in and he asked for one of my towers that faced the, the red zone. To be emptied. And we said, this is a tower security guard tower, and we do not pull towers to be barracks. It's a tower it has rooms in the bottom, but these are soldiers guards. And he said, well, it's an order from the minister he was using the thirty of the minister to say, get out of the tower, we need that tower. And we said, well, we have plenty of space, we can give you guys, but definitely not that tower. So when they ask for that, and they showed up, I said, well, the Americans are. Insisting that this tower does not get into barracks. And once they heard the Americans that walked away and doubt, point, we realized like what the tower was where they wanted it. This is not for a sleeping area. They chose that are for a reason and we came back and we started to keep a closer island him. And we were like trying to figure out what's going on. So every American adviser leave the four as Iraqis leave the building Rockies leave from one side in America's go back to the great own, and only for that until June collection team, the Raqi joint center to stay on the rocky operation center and report, everything. That's going goes on to general betray us every morning and. They had only one reason to be in the building. Those guys to be with the minister and leave with him. And Ron one nine eleven o'clock at night, they showed up. And they. Without the minister. And it was a lot of at eleven at night, and they showed up without the minister. So when my gate have called me and said they're here, but there is no minister much of them here, and it was this leader named Subodh delay me he was leading everything was the same person walking around the building. He walks in areas where there's no reason for him to be who would walk around hall tie. He would see all our T walls. He would be looking at everything literally can see the guy was doing something and they showed up in our first reaction was, there was a few Americans on duty and they're going for. So we ran in immediately say, showed up God that calling radio, I rent in and I merely asked all these Americans trying to well back to the green zone, we're gonna take you through the other side of the ministry before they even walk into it, and go to where you come from. So they went in and as we were trying to walk them. I have sent couple of my soldiers to clear the second floor because every department has an advisor or two. That is in charge of working with them. And it was a protocol to make sure Jesse. In case someone that fell asleep just pain. Addition detail was just clear, so they wanted through the second floor and they realized that there was actually an American officer sitting in the second. And when they got back on the radio, they said, not just at all the locks that you have to the back of the buildings being broken. I had both locks and chains are hurting gates that goes towards their red zone. And they said they told me that the chains in the locks had been broken, and they're the only ones had access to that area. And when I when I heard that I pretty much knew that they have noticed a one guy, he did the same thing. He was new the country. He was not pre briefed correctly by his officer replaced him that he was replacing and he was not. He was supposedly before PM out of the building completely. He was not part of that team to be there. And he just sat there and they computer doing his thing, and he treated as a US territory or US base. And it wasn't was a complete present and all the Iraqis and Saturday, building are not cleared by American checkpoints or like they are on the grains, and they don't have green zone badges. But they are they have rock Cambodia badges, so you don't know who they are. And they we ran in immediately. So once I got that Cohen, the radio immediately. Knew where they parked their car towards the back of the building. And the way they broke the locks that they were going for that guy. So we ran in immediately grabbed him and on the opposite side of the building, and they entered and they initiate, literally, as we were backing out of that hallway, we just told him to run and get out, and we got everybody out and they went up the stairs. They peaked to look the realize he wasn't there. They want check the bathroom deceive. He was in the bathroom and they couldn't find him. And we just kind of went back and I immediately picked up the phone, I called the American intelligence officer and George and it said, I said, this is what's going on. And when he got the coal general betray us, but in order to pull all American adviser out of the building. No one was going in. And when it for about forty eight hours, where no Merican advisers can go on Oprah. So they decided to do is to that intelligent team. Back in only few people to see if anyone kill or shoot him would do something. So they thought is, is that they were going to repeat their attempt. And that's the moment, we're actually got a call from that Colonel from Colonel Burke, and he said. They ordered us for you to meet with an intelligent collection team outside of the building an secure location. And I just said, I said, look, I said, I have no time to anything. And I said, I cannot as what you need to do as an American is you need to detain, these people right now. And if you don't, I'm gonna have to open fire on them. And they said police hold off. This is not something in our in our power to do something about us illness. They want you to stop because where they come from would, you know who they are, and I got coal to the green zone had a grey zone access badges. And I went in and I got picked up by three civilians and was a female and. Two males, and I went into this secure component agrees on we had a seat and introduce herself. She was a member of ODA, and she went to speak to me by individuals, and specifically want to talk to me Busta where you come from, and I said, this is what's going on. And I said, what are you going to detain them, and she said, we're not going to detain them. I said, well, I'm gonna order my guys to shoot them today. And she looked at me. She's like, no, what I'm gonna shoot. Nobody and I said about point I got angry. I lost myself. I said, you know, my guys sills me Americans are useless. I said, you guys are useless, your enemies right in front of you and you're not doing anything and the ride there about this. Now, one of you, and perhaps for Colonel, and you're doing nothing. I said, you know what you might deserve to be where you are because you not do anything, and she said, look, these guys come from is important for us to know where they come from, at that time at that stage of the War, I didn't realize there were like hundred marines dine in that area. You know, like you realize what was really going on. And she said, just go back for me and pull older. ID cars. What did they already cars? They get in from the rocky personal department which where we take pictures of them taking their fingerprints take their full names last names, the rule until on the social said just go back. That's all I want from you. And if you won them detail. Just give me that. And I went back and I was a nineteen year old full of her moans. And I went through and I want to that building. They started pulling all but ID cards, everything around them collected all their formation and that was the accurate to those, they're real actually used their real names. And that was the beauty of it. That was like the beautiful part of is they use their real names. They had Iraqi gency as they didn't have probably the time to fake them. They just showed up and they, they didn't care. And I took those night return back to her. And she said, you know, she said these are maybe wanted people that we were looking for, and that we've been looking for them, but obviously here in this secure location, their escort and then minister everywhere, and they can never be detected. They never be arrested. They can ever be detained. So I took them formation back to her. And they're older racket military had a database, not for the whole entire Iraqi military, only for the people that worked in this special guards or work to closer. And higher end intelligence agencies under Saddam as politically members of dying. There was about five thousand names that they had in database. They have collected somehow or some rocky data officer from the old army decided to sell it to the American for money. And they said, all we to be just into names if fingerprints everything and shoot took it came back. And when I came back to sit in the table, and she said, do you know who this person is I said, no, I know is just dispatcher leading everybody. He's, he's about to either kill or kidnapping American ability. She said, this is a member of Fidel you. And he was a rank of major and she's this is a very high operative and she said, we don't want you to touch them, and they were trying to make sure that I'll go shoot him. I don't see him in the hallway just pop a bullet into his head. He's just wanna know what their routine is whether doing where they're going because they take about three weeks of work, and then the go away, and they were like we want to know where they're going where they're staying where they're from. And obviously, they were going to onboard trucks, and what they had is they had Iraqi ministry of defence ID cards stating that they will work for the minister's office, which means no checkpoint kit. Stop them go into bar province. They have kidnapped that American that night does not want checkpoint. What have stopped these guys because there will be an Iraqi convoy in a probably would have driven by Marino. No way would have no. And they had the access. They dreamed off. This was a touchdown for them, and they were going to receive that they were going to repeat it. And snatch anybody they want to? So they have track to put a tracking devices vehicles day switch shift, and we were waiting for that specific individual sombody Lamey to actually go home to the Barnes and the day he was getting ready to leave. That's when we formed him dead. They're getting ready to leave in from there for about four days. I didn't know what happened of the sudden. They came back from the bar promise, and it was many of them, not as many as they left and I went back into when I met with her. And she said I said, whereas what happened so by this about gun? So what do you mean we got him? So when they got him it was like. A moment of joy that they have that she said, this guy has been finding in the bar province has been shooting marines have been planning doing everything and the village what he was from. And they were never suspected, because they carried these cards. And once they were gone. It was a big relief in a way, and I think I came to my barracks at night, and I just said there and I'm like, I'm relieved that for the first time you're able to head this enemy to chest. And if you didn't help there was no way that they would have figured out, who this guy is and where he come from, and I said, just day, and I think it was just a. Joy of that moment to see that. It was it was something magnificent. And after that, I was officially working as an intelligent asset for the United States, and I was ordered to actually after that to go into the rack Hammo OD and put a list of all the suspicious individuals that Oprah inside of the building, and the lists was long. Because when you are good Iraqi officer. You'll come out of that, building, you get assassinated minutes later. But when you lived in Denver area, there was full of al-qaeda, and you go home, every single day that told us something about you that you're not a target, if you're walking with impunity than your career, and it kinda started clearing the dust out of the pictures, finally, for the Americas say, look. This department belongs to specific group. This is the group that belong, selection example, we had the department of the navy the, the commander of the rocky Navia time was a young Lieutenant Colonel. They promoted to John all because he belonged to a certain party. And they wanted to be controlled in that because the navy was in Bosnia and control the oil, and these were people who came from Iran. So, like you looked at them, OD, it was like guy, the Iranians, you guys al-qaeda does Llamas state, and you got other entities who are small resisted entities as well who are fighting for power. So it was it was. As. Crazy as it was. It was finally to list, and new, this is not just an a level terrorist organization. This is finding overpower, this is fighting over Iraqi military contracts fighting over weapons. This is over a lot, perhaps, if you remember as the leader of McStay, bagman, remember when a group, I'm relatively familiar with. Took his ass out. If you remember had he had showed up in Iraq with. He had done a video shooting in the middle of the desert shooting, a random target, these actually were weapons assigned to the racking Molter. These are weapons. They got from Jordan to come all the way down to Baghdad. And once they went through Ramadi, they got hijacked by members of state, and they were able to get a hold of hundreds of Iraqi weapons and the people they told him or gave him don't formation to Wendy's weapons. Common and Wendy's. Convoys were coming to Baghdad. It was working in the Reichmann showed events, there, actually given them every information every bit information they need to know goes able to put all those pieces together yet and because the personalities we were figuring out who the personalities who they really are. So my job was really to locate these guys figure out who they really are trying to give them to either get them away. Get them out of these places and to figure out getting into the right people, and that's where we talked about. Mojo coming into the place. Interesting. Is that the American generals of the time, we'll say, we'll we'll like somebody and they want to sign this person to be the rocky. Join commander joint operation commander, and as soon as person, get mated, by the Americans, we'll go home and die the same day like a sodas name brought up minutes later. So what does that person go home out of that? I'm OD building will get assassinated. So the time, we had a Joan jonelle Yod, who is known to be Iraqi, nationalist, someone who is not belonging to anybody just Iraqi officer guy wants serve his country, he got nominated, and he went home that same day, not assassinated. Got shot two bullets in the head. The guy before him also got killed to the point that, when you nominate the wrong person in doesn't get killed. Then you realize this person actually working for them. It's a good way to sort people out. But. Coming to that point. Geez. Because they mastered the art of assassinating and they were building groups inside to where you will accidentally will not have made the wrong person. Yeah. And so there's two things. I mean, one there's a number of really, really fascinating stories, and both a book and in the movie about your time, and Modine, one of, which is a suicide belt that manage to get its way into the compound almost get detonated. I'm actually going to save that for the reader. You gotta you gotta get the book and watch the movie to, to get that story, so that we're not divulging everything. However, one of the stories in there that I would like to share because it hit home with me. And I know it did with you to from the sounds of it was the soldier of yours that you hadn't seen his family, and six months and was saying, you know, hey, let me, let me go home and see him, just for a couple of hours and you, you kinda were on the fence and ultimately you end up saying, okay go, but be quick and whatever. And fourteen minutes later, he was assassinated. You know. Can you share what I mean? How, how do you deal with that? Unfortunately, in the job like mine is an intelligent asset mistakes were not acceptable or being weak in a job like that it was not acceptable. They knew somebody was working for the American as they were seeing the marika's advancing a little bit with information inside of that building, at that point was we have a stub suicide built and from getting built inside of the Rackham OD. That was the moment, they actually realized who I was. I was not being just looked as a. Traitor Raqi soldier, protecting the rat gamble. I was being looked as, as an American spy. And when they figured out who I was in what I was doing bay started putting a lot more efforts into who aware and every movement of our. So I doubt point, I was at a point of my life, as an intelligent asaid, that I couldn't talk to anybody. I couldn't go near anybody, and you're being washed, not by one. You've now been washed by all of them because they know who you are. And they wanted crack your neck, but they can't because you're a person uniform. You don't leave the wire, and they tried every way possible to figure out a way to leave the wire. But I don't go home. I don't go to my family knew your name, or they just knew that guy. No. They, they knew they knew they knew my name, but they didn't know my last name. Okay. They didn't know why came from to your family, they couldn't, but their target was me, and they wanted to figure out who your family is, but you don't. Goal outside of the building for them to figure it out. So they were waiting for that moment. I would I walk out of the wire, and they can do something I would get dinner invitations by Iraqi generals outside of the Modine. I would know that immediately that this is where they want me just to leave for any reason, but I wouldn't go and the American intelligent teams. The town would make ensure that I don't make any mistakes any costs and they'll tell you that those generals are fucking corrupt right? If there, I knew them personally, and I'm like, well, why all the sudden you wanna invite me over fried chicken, a like, really all of a sudden, we're buddies, you know, like, I knew that they were trying to figure out a way to kill me or earned by me, something, or they would send some Iraqi girls who works in Iraqi ministry of defense. Try to ask me for a date somewhere and I'm like, yeah. Sure. Your way out of my league. No fucking way. Would that come without becoming with a suppressor without how would that go, but truly was just like more of like you knew their tactics? And that's what pissed. Them off as dead. I was able to figure out their psychology new their steps ahead of the game. Women and at that point, they had been watching everybody. Anybody that I worked with anybody that one home and most of my guys, I have God them at the time green zone badges. Most of my team members might be as team members and especially if he has eighteen members I relied in the inside on I wasn't tracking people alone. I wasn't watching people. Even when I saw this build I have multiple people that were like following this guy to every minute of his life. Even when he went to the bathroom, we were checking everything, and I got them owned by. So when they go home they would go through the green zone and they will go through checkpoint one checkpoint to choose away different ways of leaving. So you can't be tracked by other Iraqis. He came to me. My team member one day, and he said, I'm going to go see my, my family and. Something. You know, I felt like you know, as like maybe I'm the only one wanted, maybe they wouldn't care about him leaving going to see us families just said, dick sure, no one sees you. They had access everywhere. They even have access to the phone records. Even the cellphones were using their Rockin cell phones using they had everywhere, and he left and. He wanted to see his family have bought a couple things from the PX and wanted to go Dagan. There's kids see them in. He left, I think, after about exactly fourteen minutes, we got a call, and they said there is a dead body, a car about few miles away. And we just reported, as you know, an Iraqi soldiers and, and so my soldiers came back, and they said. We, we might think we know who this is. And when I went there. And I realize it was just my buddy L left for two minutes prior and they shot him in the head. And obviously, they shot him. They had a suppressor on when they shot him, he lost control of his car, and hit another car and stopped people don't even know why the car stop. They thought someone passed out or. And when I went in and I realize he was shot in the head, but tool bullets and doubt moment was just you kinda fell guilt because they, they were after you and this was a message from them. Showing you that there were going to do everything they can until they get you? They gonna kill anything around you any friend, anybody until they can find you until they can get hold of you and about one of my life. I just kind of like it was a guilt moment for me, because that could have been me that should have been me. They wanted me wasn't him. You know, he wasn't costing them as much damage. It was me. And. It was it was a moment where you felt like you know, he has kids, I didn't have anything I'd have kids at the Tom and have my life, wasn't really important to any anybody at that point, and could have been me not him. And he lost his life instantly. And. It was hard. It was difficult time to for you to become that body and go try to hand out body back to his family. I can only imagine. And I know in reading that as a dad, who has done that I don't know how many fucking times, you know, been somewhere where thought you know what I bit my kids like this, her to pick that up or whatever. And something that as a father is such a sweet gesture and such a fatherly thing to do. You know, in Alta midly, you know, here and read that by by desiring to see his own children, and bring them something because it's been so long cost him as fucking life. You know, to me, it infuriates me reading that. As a father as an American. As a human being frankly, to know that as precious as life is that somebody would would take it because of that is. It was tough to read, you know, and I can I can see it in your face now. And you can you can see it in the interview in the movie, and it's just it's such a feeling of despair. When show like that happens. It seems like not long after that it was kind of a breaking point where you realized, you know, you're kind of at a point where you're, you're so valuable now that your your existence is doing more harm than good. Was that a fair assessment? It is. I realized that if I stayed. That more to my members will die and look into the faces of their children and their lives and everything head of them. It was easier for me to. Inject myself out of that building. Take every danger with me take all that anger. Yes, me because they were not looking at them, as Americans buys, I was the only spy traitor. They wanted to kill and they wanted to make sure that I'm out of that building. They all have my not all these terrorist organization. My some of them not got long with each other. But the one thing they had in common. Is they all hated me? Don't want to kill me and they don't have any leads so was messages being sent that of. They'll do everything to make me psychologically, leave. And when I was losing a friends, I realize is just that how long can I keep my team members from now? Going home. I can never tell dad who has three kids. And see his wife and not to go home to see his kids. I was only like a twenty year old person that didn't have much of that life. And I couldn't do that. And I can't do the point when his like I had to be in their shoes and I was responsible because I put them in that situation and. Accepted for a job to work for the intelligent to be spying on these organizations in Iraq. You have to how balls to do that. And if you do you have to know that you will not come back from that there was no coming back. There's no future out of this. You'll end up dead or beheaded or being put on national TV or and at that point, is that I put them in that situation, my team was doing their job because I was asked to and I myself in that situation. So I knew that the best thing for me to do is transfer all of them to defend units. So they can get out of that building efficiently and I take myself away from that place at the time. The intelligent had offered me months prior to that, one that build was stopped to leave, you'll you can leave you can go, you can do anything you can go work as an interpreter. You can you can move on. You can go live in a US base how fun and your have to deal with this anymore. And I came to the point where I I was just doing my job. I was in uniform. I was in charge. I wanted to. To do my job to the last point, I wanted to be that soldier that dies in uniform. I didn't want to be I felt like a coward walking away from him. Because the same time I enjoyed watching them lose is a big deal for me to watch a member of Qaeda member of long state back, then it's his head, not knowing what to do. This was a dream come true for me. This was a moment that I dreamed off to watch people that I could even look at Durham, my Tom now I can, but their face in the dirt and get him to his men, and that was the joy that I had for it. But when I walked away from that building that night, I felt I was giving up, and I felt I had no choice but to leave. And when I got out, it was hard moment, I cried that night and. I told some of my team members or some of my soldiers to this day. And I said, I'll see you guys if you minutes like I was leaving to go to the defect or, and I never turned have you come to terms with that now at this point, you know, a decade, plus later that that was the right decision and you do not feel that way anymore, or they're still elements of, of course. I mean it was the right decision for your team. Yes. You'll do everything as a as a as a leader, you'll do everything you do for your team wasn't about you about them. But as a as a person, you know, I wish I had more time. I wish I had more time. I wish I had a little bit more time. You know, I didn't really care if I have lived or made it out that day, but I wish I could have walked into Mohannad gave him the right execution to their head and gave him what did really deserve for all the lives? They got taken all the families that are now probably Hungary and this trait, because they lost their. Dad, brother and because of a bachelor like that, just felt like you know, there's no one Justice can shoot a guy but heroism right in this building. I am a guy with a gun and he's not. No. And I just ended right here this evil right here without going any further without going cancer growing into somebody and, and so many times, like. Look at those Heli point points bullets in my gun. But like you could just end it right here with these guys. But it was so much bigger than me that it shows now with the comeback vices and how some of these guys are now running rack some of these guys now are actually in charge of Iraq. They're of these guys know billionaires and control rack, and, and if they had a hundred fifty people under them operating during my day. Now they have about six thousand people overeating they became bigger, and, of course, as Americans, we gave him Dabur, tune ity, because they always dreamed of getting the American influence out of them OD. This was a dream come true for them. Get Americans out don't let America's just for you. And in two thousand twelve we pulled the troops, and we just said, can take all rockets all yours before we get into the rise of ISIS and kind of where we are. Now I am curious. I'm sure. The listener is to when you first came to America where you go. And what was that? Like. I ride here in non. Twenty seven and two thousand eight when I came to this country, I. I couldn't believe actually I, I went onto the boarding variety. I couldn't believe I like I was in the plane, I was out of the borders, and I don't know if I but this in the book, I was angry with everything that was happening, and I spit of the window, and the plane, and I just said, you know, I said, I gave everything I gave that land everything. And it took everything from me. You know, I gave you everything, but you took everything from me. My friends, my team my everything my childhood, my life, my happiness, every normal thing in my life. You took it from me. And I was excited about coming here in America Santana was scared. This was not my environment. This was not my nature and landed in JFK. And this is a message for any immigrant come into this country. If you're coming to the United States, do not go through JFK. This was the wrong idea. I ended JFK and you see, like, how Jeff Cain two thousand eight in a bad shape. I landed I was like is this is all America in being told about this is it. I mean, I'd rather died point, it was just kind of like you shocking, but once you get out of JFK, you see the world and I had Burke was Colonel Burke, was waiting for me. And they report and I got on my legs was swollen shot. And, and I just looked at a. Add just looking at life in America. And it was just like, I'm looking at criminal Burke, and lake it's the first time I see my life, not wearing body armor, you know, like just wear the uniform like that, that's all you do is I guess you don't have a gun. No. And I'm like, well. I was like you can go get eggs, just like that. Yeah. And it was just like a different life for me. And I'm like happy. It was happy at the same time, I was just getting that for a sexual freedom, and you just didn't know how to react to it. And, and it was a I got out, I got on the car, and I had pizza in Queens, New York. Later. Indoctrinating yourself right out of the gate right away. What did you think of New York pizza? Did you like it was great? It was awesome. I was so hungry point, I think it was with pop aronie, and I wasn't eating. Just. I was taking a break from it was just really the first time in your life. You're enjoying a meal without watching your back without just not just feeling like you know, and I just. Enjoyed that ride. And I got to Colonel Bork's house and ES kicked his cats out of the room and I slept. And I think I went to sleep that day I think is left for like fourteen hours, fourteen hours. I slept for that. I went to sleep and it was the first down like in, in five years, I actually went to sleep and without having a loaded gun under my pillow without locking my door without, you know, and thirty times and to this day was so crazy. Is that that experiment of being in the Modise being in that environment? It have changed me to wrestle my life to this day. If you go talk to my wife is I will never go to sleep without locking door. I can't I lock every door. I I'm always alert. Even though it's been years, but it just kinda you adopted into that live style. And but I'm more calm now more comfortable. And, and of course, I, I'm I have people working with me to God me away from that life, like to thank my therapist, Dr mccraw. She has worked with a lot of seals in Utah, and they run the PTA our group in or not necessarily PTA Zeba pizzas are helps a lot of veterans. A lot of them are seals as well. And have helped me kinda doubt from being living in that high intention, high alert life, having your enemy right outside the door any second to just living and enjoying a nice steak every Thursday. And it was a big change for me. So I've been enjoying it but I enjoy rebid of it. It's really an encouraging to hear and will deserved. As we all saw kind of the rise of ISIS from the time you got here moving forward and seeing it at its height, you know about when the book came out and then here in the last couple years, it getting crush pretty hard. What's that been like for you? Witnessing that. And I know we talked a little bit before we came on air in terms of losing a ship ton of friends to ISIS after you've been gone, and you felt like it was kind of winding down. And then they spend back up and that roller coaster of emotions. Can you can you talk to that a little bit about the rise of ISIS and just some of the points about the reality of who they are foreigners versus natives how to defeat them just kind of a generalization for the listener as we as we kind of closed the chapter if you will just just talk about ISIS and the resurgence and where, where Iraq is now that the rise of ISIS in Iraq, many, Americans things, and even as some intelligent in DC, and then tell community where thinking of the time when Obama was the president back, then they're thinking at the time that most of these fighters came from Syria, and that was actually wrong, assumptions does not one fact proves that most of these fighters were the same fighters. That was fight. In two thousand five same individuals. We would away in prison that we got right off. We're able to locate him away. What had happened is when we pull the troops out of Iraq? These guys went from an American detaining facility to being handed to Iraqi government and the rocky government were not quipped already anywhere, quipped already to handle that kind of Cheney's. I mean you're talking about members of kinda that you put away during the surge. They have been together in jail for so long. Now, they're more informed. More quits, and there have been conspiring, they're fired more radicalize. And they have to console along to form themselves again and. As soon as the US troops hold out of Iraq within forty five days. Exactly, which I have these dates, and I have followed all these dates and all these facts, forty five days. That's the time grow prison. Got attacked seven hundred members escaped out. So these weren't nobodies. No is where the high level operatives at you away. These are the guys you and I have fought face to face. They just got another chance, and they never thought they would ever come on US facility and all of a sudden they find themselves in a building that look like high school. I mean, they're not going to sit and wait, they're gonna take paternity, so they immediately the. There was some cells in Syria, starting the fighting in Syria, and everything that was going on in Syria, all the people that came from Syria, where the small cells that broke the prisons, that did those little attacks to lead the organization comes back up when they came out, they had different loyalties when they came out they were much more radicalized, much more vicious and wanted to kill even more and came back and their rocky government at the time was in very bad shape. Corruption-wise the racket military the time, which a lot of people say, oh, the rack your army gave their guns, Iraqi army lost their battle. Look, I know these people personally, I know these Iraqi military members each one by one. I know all the leadership, that's above what have happened was the corruption is what God ISIS to win those battles the rocky prime minister of the time, I'll Maliki have been told that he. Had over three hundred thousand soldiers in the ground facing towards the area. Mozell and reality. When the fights started it was only fifteen hundred soldiers between a soldier and police officer. All these names were fake names, and from reading in the book that was basically just to Ponzi scheme for them to the generals to get rich business. It was business money laundering. It was money laundering. It was a business, and they call them the aliens, and what was so interesting. Is that I left the racket military in two thousand eight I found out in two thousand fourteen that somebody was receiving my salary and the books, I never left. No. Sure. That's how corrupted this organization was. So all these generals were turning these divisions into business. And what was happening was is that in order for you to become an Iraqi division commander, you have to buy into it. You have to buy you have to pay like a couple of million dollars to get into that. But once you get there, you're gonna be making a lot more money American like twenty four million. I'm not kidding. When you're talking about millions of dollars, it is. Because when they're assigning you extra amount of soldiers, who support. It'd be impaired about between seven hundred dollars to eight hundred dollars a month equivalent to that. And you have all these names and to the point, they ran out of names were making news. They call him the Ilian so they did is they separated fake names, that would just create it and. Of course, ISIS came into the battle. And then they took Moselle with lake fifteen minutes and there wasn't enough quits. The leadership was very corrupted. Not good shoulders in the ground. And. Isis came back to the to the face, and they actually they took advantage of that weakness. Iraqi government. They killed the soldiers in the ground. They were fighting their little soldier few soldiers that were left. And of course, you know, as, as a military person when soldiers feel betrayed by the leadership, they're not motivated to fight when they don't have ammo. They don't have food. They don't have anything and you pulled Americans who are there to be their firepower to be their supporters. You pull them all away that Don. They don't even have the uniforms, they actually started buying uniforms from the black market because their commanders sexy uniform sell it to the black market, and the soldiers goes by out of pocket, so that soldier was broken and have, and then ISIS came over where thirty kilometers outside of back that they almost took the whole entire country and. They came back and ice is have now much more psychologically, advanced they've figured out the psychology how to get into people how to tarnish the picture of the Raqi military. And, and I blame all of that. Not getting into politics are abbreviated administration germ, President Obama. They have acted poorly by pulling the troops out of Iraq that should have never happened. And if we want to do that we should have done that and steps, not the way it is, not the way that we just gave those guys, golden opportunity. And if you were in their prison today, they will never give you that chance. And what we did is we gave him that chance to come back and rising in. Now that we're going bag again, even though we liberated Mozell, and people here like thinking that we're all happy, liberated Mozell. But Americans don't understand that ISIS wasn't muzzle for how many years. Several couple three years now what have they done in those three years fighting they don't a lot. And that's something that we don't understand about ISIS. And how they think what they have done of these three years have taken every single child from his mother and train him and radicalize him and brainwashed him. So guess what you're not facing the fighters anymore. Now you're facing a whole entire young generation who was coming up with young with, with, with bad. Ideologies. And now Mazzola is not only destroyed has taken down to the ground who needs millions of dollars to come back up. The how much they toners society. They must have that society, they those people who were Mozell were not radicalized in, Janis from muzzle. Johnny walker. You know, some of these people were known to be the biggest party animals. You'll have they drink. They have fun. I can attest to that. Some of them are not Muslims some of ZD's, and the crazy part to show you that what ISIS ideology is, and what they do some of the kids that blew themselves up against Iraqi troops were coming from a non Muslim family. There were eighties. Well, they were taking us children. Brainwashed turned into suicide bombers and actually watch the video of two kids who blow themselves up against troops of against the Iraqi military there and their allies who are not Muslims who are parents reside. He's and some of them are being able to save to bring them up and say, look, man, your, we know it's been four five years or four years that you've been under these guys. But we just wanna let you know you have nothing to do this. You're not even a Muslim. You're ziti. And they just killed your parents. They took you as a kid and you're now a teenager, but we have to sibling all that. So society wise. Isis has cost us more damage, even though they, they lost the actual battle on the ground. But our ballot started with them now. And what are we going to do years from now? What are they, what are they dealing in Iraq with today are now sleeping cells? Do feel as though Iraq is lost. Iraq have always always been lost. But they come back up. And that the prove of it is, is that ISIS take turtles, but the Raqi were able to get back up and realized like, and that's, that's what separates us from of ghanistan that we we're able to get back up and say, look, we gotta give these guys out. We might not get along with each other. We might have religious differences. We might have disagreements political disagreements, we might not we might be different than each other. But this these guys want to kill all of us. So then let's tomorrow morning, we'll wake up and it's prime minister Hammadi prime minister of Iraq. What, what, what do you do? How do you fix it? Please don't ask me. I'll probably go shoot. All the bad guys. Immediately so that way problem solved. Now, I think, really is, is that if, if I ever ever to lead arrack, I think I would want to concentrate on the quality of citizens that I have, I would want to improve education. I would want to, I would want to change the mentality of people and you I mean you can't go back there. I can't there's no way I can ever go back. Do keep in touch with your family much at this point that Stiller. I do. I do keep in touch with all my friends that are still alive. Still in the racking military, perhaps, one of my as team members from two thousand and four is now the command sergeant major for the Raqi special rations. Been really up there of their friend was the first arachnoid graduate. The ranger school in America Athers where they're all like have advanced in their career. But if you look at the same time they've been in war for fifteen years, and it's crazy to me to think, you know, when I was there, I remember me granted, I was in my early twenties, but seeing little kids running around, and now, those little kids are now fighting age males. Yeah. You know that are running around probably doing fuck, and who knows what but it is. It's a tough scenario as a as a nation, you know, as an outsider nation getting involved and to the point that we did. And now it's it seems like such a fucking mess. I'm curious you know, kind of the second part of that question. Terms of US, Muslim relations, or US, Iraqi Muslim relations. What, what do you think the United States should do at this point as it relates to Iraq, the United States should never take her hands? You know, they're not say should never take its hands out of Iraq. Because if you do, they're able to Iran and Iranians has been involved in Iraq at one hundred percent off trying to control arrack political wise, what Impala Titians in the right place. They came to the point where not around, call the shots, and the Raqi politics, and we should have never done that, you know, that between ity we gave them in two thousand twelve was a golden opportunity, and even though they were involved in the evening got stronger, and they got more involved. And we never do that. Because the Raqi people now are they don't want Iran and America got duped? The got convinced that the racket people did not one them in Iraq in two thousand twelve dollars. Absolutely untrue. The rocky people were most of them, working for the Americans, the people that didn't won the Americans in Iraq in two thousand twelve where the Iranians and the people that told Americans that we don't want you here where the Iraqi politicians who Merican, our American government in realized there are actually Iranian citizens first before they were Raqi citizens, and they have fought in the Iranian military against Iraqi militaries in the eighties. So how, how loyal these guys that are on the very loyal. They fight against the rocko would the would the Iranian military. So these were not the guys we should be listening to these guys should be telling us what to do as a US government. And that was the mistake we did is that we, we made a warn -able term on and now Iran calls all the shot and taken Iraq as little side wings. And I know you heard in the last forty eight hours been peyot was visiting Iraq and I heard it was not nice. I heard he gave him the last shoddy. There you're with us either on there's no more there's no more plane in the middle. And that's what these politicians do. And I wish and the rocky people do wish that to say that they wished Americans comes back, believe it or not. They wish the marika's comes back, and they grow a set of balls and say, this is what we're going to do. And that's what we want and doesn't hurt the Iraqi interest in anyway. People don't want Iran because there aren't have brought nothing but damage to Iraq at had took all of Iraq assets that has taken all every anything good on Iraq. They have got rid of it. I mean, there's a stories and stories that I can tell you that are discussing when the Iranians the way they thought and they're stealing everything from Iraq, and now they have sanctions on them. They wanted to utilize Iraq to make money and to get their money into Iran. But I hope they're AKIs mixed the right decision, and being able to be a sovereign government and not lead. They take over. So that leads to my kinda my final question in terms of big picture relations as far as that goes. As a as a white male growing up in mid midwest America served in the military been all over the world couple of times fought in Iraq. I would say it's, it's a general assumption on most Americans part that the Middle East by and large is a fucking mess. Whether you're talking, you know, around rack Afghanistan Saudi Qatar fuck and Jordan, Israel Palestine, and that mess the spillover from that. And how America gets involved in heaven. Israel's back and it pissing the rest of the Muslim world off all the way into the nor- North Africa, Morocco and Libya, and Egypt and in, you know, spilling into Syria in the weapons connections. And it's all kind of just a an abortion of, of conflict and different countries. Whether it's you know, proxy situations between Russia and America and China and south North Korea and nuke. Programs like the complexities that exist. I don't think most Americans probably can can really rationalize, but I see a problem Nossa no different than what you experienced when America came, and we'll use air quotes liberated Iraq from Saddam is that it's essentially like such an oppressive environment where you're almost like breaking a jail, and expecting the prisoners to understand freedom and how to respect it live by it and live honorably by it, and I see a recurring theme with every one of those countries that has hyper oppressive tarantula regimes running people don't even understand how how to enjoy freedom. You know as, as a Muslim man who grew up in Iraq. Looking at it now as being an American citizen and having a family here been being woven into the fabric of our society, is that how do you, how do you fix that? Do do we even try is at our business like what are your thoughts, I think, is going to take years for us to get to that level to start learning how to use their freedom because people don't understand that we did not have freedom, and all of a sudden, we have at all, and we're not used to that. And that's every country over that's every country. But if you look at a rack, we didn't have an all of a sudden, we had it when we have this freedom, all of a sudden. So it is a mess. It's been a mess, but I won't say there is a positive side to them. There's a positive side to even America go into Iraq. There's a positive side to everything, of course, and the positive side paid off in this last fight against ISIS. That module ration- was so fright of making a move against any terrorist, or any person of power, the generation that we liberated does young kids. They kids that you watch playing on the streets. Some of these kids now were the ones against ISIS said, no, you're not coming to do this, where the all generation where fear planet in their heart, and they were not able to make the dishes. All they learned is Doron away, like I was doing as a kid and as my family learned to run right away. Don't face it. And the positive side is dead them in Taliban. Iraqi people today, regardless of what you see in the news, regardless the mess them and tally of the Iraqi person today is a lot different because of the, the freedom they got because now they have access to internet. They got excess to TV. They got cell phones. They got so much resources, which I have and today, which is interest me. I was watching something yesterday that interests me today. There is a lot more different opinion. Iraq today. Not all Raqi today. Think Americans are evil as people saying, you know what? Cut the bullshit, you guys did this for years, America's Eva. What about it? Ron Ron is not evil. Like look whether doing country and a lot of Iraqis today, saying, I wanna have a really good relationship with America on to good relationships. I wanna do exchange. I want to do business with them. And there's no more hate. So there's a positive side to it is that we might be a mess today, but we are improving and tremendously would them in talented people, I looked today, who are nineteen year old are much more confident, much more free much more educated than what I was a during that time. So I think that we might be a mess, but we're coming out of it. We're learning just like how it took America so long to get to this level. I think it's been what no sixteen seventeen years was going to be is gonna take a while. But you'll be. Christ. One day sitting at your house, and you're gonna see younger Raqi. I was going to be very different than what you sell. So I guess one thing that I think Americans myself included tend to be a little guilty of as lumping the entire Middle East into one pocket. And you could argue that there's some relevance there or justification rather in that the, the cultures are very similar compared to ours, religion culture. Dress food, etc. Are all pretty similar. And so it, it is easy to do that. And there is an element of that's not, not exactly fair either around not arrack Iraq's not Syria, Syria's, not Libya. But I guess from your perspective as again with that you grew up in the Middle East as a Muslim, and now you're you're woven into our fabric. Do you think the United States should moving forward? Get involved in any of the other countries. Do you think we should have Israel's back? Do you. Think we should have the deals that we have with Saudi Arabia, and turn a blind eye to the, the human rights atrocities in women's rights atrocities that exists there. And. At what point do we say? Yes, you know, it is our fucking business, or you know, or stay in the fuck out of it. I mean, the question is look at it this way, if you're not involved who else is going to be the question is, is that for non involved are they're going to be on their own. No. The thing is, is that we have a very common enemy. We have Iranians or wants something, something that you probably don't know either that there something in the Iranian constitution. Is there believe in in sending their revolution every country in the Middle East? Their dream is to control the Middle East from the river to the ocean. And that's always been the Iranian Ardila JR. The crazy part is that if we don't if we don't involved. I mean. Yeah. We can, it's a great idea to say, look, the Middle East be the Middle East. Let them do what they do. And we'll just walk away, love them. Do what they have to do and the truth is if we do that Iran, we'll take the whole entire Middle East. And then you are dealing with a whole entire enemy, and its agenda. So what I think is. As that we might have to be a little partial, and we may have to look things in the big picture, and ender standard. But at the same time, I think that we as Americans need to be involved in a lot of people say, you know, pull out of Iraq, pull out of all this and legislative it alone. The truth is Yuna how that works. You do that. They'll come home. They'll come to you damned if you do if they'll, they'll, they'll get to the point, it'll get so much more strengthened, they'll come to you. And that's the thing is that. Marika's in the Middle East or our military being in the Middle East as actually getting us a lot of strength is keeping us in the game. And. These countries even corron wants to have peace and don't want to be nasty and don't want to be controlling other countries, and don't to be stealing everybody. We have no problem, we should be able to be on our own and they'd be in their own and nothing. But when they're enemy all they're doing is going to want to destroy you take control and be powerful. And this is ideology deal with you cannot afford not to be in front of them. So I feel the Middle East no matter what will be a mess because that's what they're marketing. That's what they want. But they've been pushing for of the entire region in terms of bad actors, do you consider Iran to be the worst? Iran is definitely the worst. I mean, look, the Palestinian Israeli conflict, a lot of people I as an Iraqi, I grow learning that Israel, was the most evil power and the earth, blah, blah, blah. It's all gender to be honest with you, but I grow older, and I came here, and I met people from Israel, I met people from Palestine and fighting Iraq. Got me to learn a lot more about ideology, and how this works. We have a twelve hundred Palestinians of blew themselves up and the recent fight against ISIS against us. And we were not Israel. We were in Iraq so Palestinians, transplanted to Iraq and fought on behalf of ISIS against you. They were members of ISIS. People don't realize that, right? Actually. In congress member Russia, Talib the other day on Twitter and said, look, can you just answer me this question. Can you tell me why these twelve hundred Palestinians came from Palestine to kill us as Rockies? We did not take anything from you. But why are you there to kill us? The question is, is dad that could be peace between Israel and Palestine, and I know that sometimes people wanna say, as aero specifically or Muslims said, you wanna say Israel is wrong is dead wrong, and the truth is not only Israel is dead wrong that the Palestinians it also dead wrong. We see one side of the truth if Palestine wants to have peace with Israel, they can make that happen. You know what I mean? You don't have to get blown up, and you look at it from the way where the Palestinians are shooting rockets, they made on their own garage and against Israel. And what do you think Israel is going to respond with? A read a even remember where I read it, but the gist of it was if Palestine laid down their arms, there would be peace if Israel, laid down their arms. There would be telecast. Yeah. And is true because I do have I now have an Israeli France and it's not what I used to think of them because I look at the whole picture, and they do have a concern because I don't have issues with them. But I can imagine if some my next door neighbor wants to call me the whole time. I can't imagine how I be I would I react. And that's the one thing is that the Palestinians has also been radicalized Iran is now but their hands in Palestine against Israel, and now started supporting HAMAs and doing all this, and you can't blame Israel for doing what are doing for what needs to happen is that the Palestinian Israelis, this is their matter. They need to come together, and they need to figure this out without any outside influence. Just like a runway to Ron doing right now supporting HAMAs weaponising HAMAs against Israel, and as if I was a Palestinian. But like this is not doing me, any well, what am I doing with Iranian money to go kill Israelis? While Israel is gonna shoot. Bagging kill Mike. It's what's the point of that nobody's going to win? So I believe that that's own conflict is historically, and in needs to be done by both sides. They both need to come to an agreement. It's religious sides are important to both parties that should be a way to coexist. And figure this and the Palestinians, not just Israel's out to assist that the Palestinians needs to figure that with our own because I come from that culture, I understand the hate. That's planted every single day guests somebody one another and it's not getting word but that's his own thing. But the Middle East end John wrong. I don't think there will ever come to look at the history of it read the whole entire history of that area that region seems like kind of the happy medium, or the smart answers stay as involved as we have to. We have to spend no more than that. No more than that, because you don't have a choice. Mean just like of ghanistan you want into it. And now you can't get out of it now. And just like the thing is just that you have to be involved now to keep this enemy from moving forward because you started the game. And now now you have to, to be involved. Iran is the way it is today because they want to be involved. They wanna take control of the whole Middle East. And it's always been a dream of the Persia before they even came to them last couple of questions as relates to this country congresswoman Ilan Omar familiar with her. What are your thoughts on her with her every day? It's priceless. She seems poisonous toxic to me like she seems like shit stir. I wanna thank you for asking that question, because I've been lately, trying to express myself as in Merican, born Muslim above this topic and a really makes me upset, you know, because now I can't blame people for being angry at what this woman is doing is that she's making more people angry and hatred making more hatred toward the Muslim in America, then then already was. And it's like almost were either. We have a Muslim to hate American congressman that we don't, and that's not the case. That's not truly the voice of American Muslims. Look, I talked to a lot of Muslim Americans. I know how they live everyday life. They live and some of them are actually extremely conservatives, some of actually came here, they understand appreciate where they've been through in their life, and the she this country, they love it. And they wanna protect it as much as you do. But they, they give frayed to repress their opinions, they automatically they have to turn into a democrat. They feel that's the only way for them. And this shouldn't be the way and. What Ilhan Omar is a product of the Democratic Party is not a product of the Muslims of an America. You know, the are some Muslims in America. You know, personally who drinks Jack Daniels every single now and fuck up play debate bake in two other. Right. And they, they're not these people are not a threat to you. They're not threat to any of this. You know, there's just live life. They don't care what, what Ilhan Omar is a product of the Democratic Party and us I am not to the politics is. But don't be using that kind of stuff to tap into communities to, to bring Ilhan and now because they wanna do is they want to change them in Taliban, every Muslim American look. This is what this country is doing wrong to you, and that's not true. This country is not doing anything wrong two's, country, gave me an opportunity to come here to live in peace. This country is a treat him me so much better than any other country in the world. So there's a I'm not saying necessarily, she had to do with it. But there is a if you saw, there was a video of a group of young school kids, that were singing a song it was chanting some pretty evil shit and Eric. You know so to me what? And again, this kind of goes back to your point that she's creating a sentiment. That's, that's pretty anti Muslim by some of the things that she says, but stuff like that does to especially I can tell you as a Cornfed blue eyed fucking white boy, to see high school students that get suspended for wearing a shirt with an American flag, because it might offend somebody and then you turn around, and you see you see kids chanting shit like that, in air bec- it. Honestly, like it makes you wanna fuck and kill people does. And. And I'm curious like how, how do you how do you combat that because it's some of it is the media, some of it, you know, you could say as the Democratic Party. But, but the reality of it is, is that, that, that duality in that hypocrisy, it exists, and it infuriates people. How know to handle it? What do you do with it? I think what truly it is that we need to combat that ideology. With more which I hate to say that. Or is this all can do the friend of mine who's in who's actually an intelligent agent or in DC? And I was talking to just just just about this topic actually just about that specific person. And we need more people. Of color, who are service. When people who comes from the same background of Omar to combat her ideology because she's using the race card. She's using the religious minority card, but women cards, she's using the women car, she's using all that will probably she has never been through any of these experiences, she's never been through, and she's using that to tab into the people emotions, this is how we get treated. We could treat it so bad. And I think it's the wrong representatives for Muslims. And I curse lots of Muslims, if you do not agree with us out, because if you don't they going to think, like her, and I don't I don't think anywhere, like, when I saw this woman come out first, and the way she spoke, which surprised me. I am not born in this country, but my accent is a lot better than hers. But you guys don't understand because she lived at her own community. She never been exposed to the American culture, and she has nothing but hated for it obsessed me. And I'm like, you know, if you hate America that much. If you set what you said, right now in Somalia, they do to you, and I call her the other day. And I said, I said before you teach us about humanity before you teach us any of that. How about you take a look, Somalia, and whether doing people who are capita staking people, hostages and keeping them for three hundred sixty five days in harsh conditions and how about you call that out. How about that humanity? What is it that we're doing for a worse than them, then I'll give you every right to do so, but what about you? Call them. I she respond to. I know she doesn't force, you know, she, you know, she talked about also calling out the American heroes dead fought and mecca d show and she called him like they killed innocent. People were like juju. Even read the reason we won there we were providing humanitarian aids, and visit was a terrorist. Muhammed had he was a terrorist. So now you're make Slee making terrace look innocent. I mean do do do do victims die innocent people die in wars. How many times I have that happen? In Baghdad all the time, but her criminalising America is very dangerous move. And I do not think and I disagree hundred percent that this is the voice of all Muslims. I, I will tell you the truth, this, every person that voted for this, she came from an area where everybody from her own ethnic background lives in that area. And that's why she is where she is. She needs to lay off. I think in my opinion because she's making things worse. She's putting people like myself in danger and the society by trying to speak in my behalf speak, my impact on my feelings have of what I think, and she has no rights to do that. It's an courage in fantastic to hear you say. You know, in response to more people in that minority group, whether it's of color, or that, you know, religious background culture. What have you is to stand up because it's really it's no different than, you know. Really any group like I, you know, for me to say you need to knock that shut off, while you're just an oppressive white male asshole. Right. Like nobody's going to give a fuck what I think you're gonna get called a racist, which, which is the go-to crutch know if I disagree with you, and I can't win an argument. I'll just call you a racist. Misogynist prick that, you know, everybody. It has to be, you know, people of the same origin culture, all of that calling around, and holding not just that honestly, you know, is just to have experienced people and front of people like her on honestly, I been a huge fan of. The former seal that ran for congress. Dan? Dan, Dan, I have a huge fan because not just for the fact he's veteran. I'm supporting him because he's doing something experience. He has been to the field. He knows how to talk to the other day I saw him talking in Spanish to be well, like this guy is really is really getting people faces like he's doing something. And that's the point is we need people who has that knowledge. You know, we have a lot of politicians and. I don't know. I think in years, if I run, I think, because why come from rocky? I'm my. I, I might get a rusted going. But, you know, it's really if I see someone like her representing my boys representing trying to hijack my density as, as an American, and I'm not afraid, I'm not like her. I'm not afraid to say, look, I'm an American I before I'm a Muslim. Someone like her would would try to silence that or silence people like myself, but I'm not frayed to say and I'm like, look, I respect the religion I was born into that religion and I have respect for all religions. But what America gives me no one goes. And yes, I'm not to say, yes, I'm American. I'm gonna love this country before anybody. I don't care if you share the same religion with me. But this is my country. This is the country that gave me the things that neither religion or, or my, my original country that was born in had gave me that right. So why should I be ashamed to be proud of it or or to love it or to protect it to me somebody with your, your experience, background perspective, would be an enormous asset to run for political office of some sort to influence direct and ultimately legislate? Policy on behalf of both foreign policy. Inter inter personnel relations within this country it cetera. I think I think you really should. But last I swear this last question, because we do we need to get you back to the airport. But. In terms of immigration being an immigrant. You know, it's another huge hotbed topic that I think gets so over politicized, and emotions run, so hot, logic runs low, what your take on border policies wall, you know cetera. What, what are your thoughts? I mean truly it's a very it's a very difficult situation because, you know, you look into it, we all well, country immigrants, people come from different places, but we also are the number one target in the in the world. And if we don't protect ourself or make sure secure self enough. This would not be the right way to do. I mean look at Iraq, when you know when they didn't have a good borders, could ISIS fighters, enter the country, all kind of things. And I think, you know, America should do what it should do, what it takes to protect itself, when you look at them a gracious in the wall, and everything there's always two side to the stores. There's always you're gonna hear that just imigrants wanna come in having a paternity just like you. And everyone else. Yeah. That's another one with that. But also, I watch a lot of people who have lost their daughters to gangs, and their kids got shot by people who are illegally. No, no. We, if we wanna bring people, I'm not against bringing people in Sutri. I'm not against bringing an immigrant in this country. I'm not against given an opportunity. But if we do we should give it to the right people. Give it to the people that who wants to be part of this country and wants to be a, they could be a great addition to this country and nothing wrong with that. And but if someone is coming here to caused nothing but harm. I don't know what business we have for them and every country has bores and. We are not Germany. We are not Germany. We're not building. We are America, and we have a lot of people who hate us, and we should definitely have something to protect ourselves under the same time, we should be able to get everyone to have the same opportunity that me and your. Great ancestors, have in this country and and build a life. Well. Well, it's, it's again, it's as most of the things that you said, incredibly refreshing incurring, I'd like to take a quick minute. To thank you for not just coming here, and sharing your story, which has been amazing. The book is phenomenal. The movie is fantastic. Everything that you've done for this country. You know, on behalf of a grateful nation. Thank you, pleasure. And for those of you listening. I say it all the time. I'm not asking you. I'm telling you this book, the terrorist, whisper, which is available on Amazon is we didn't really even scratch the surface of everything. That's in it. If you want to gain perspective on how appreciative you should be for the life that you live here in this country. You should read it. But more importantly, is that for all this man, and his family have done for us for all of us. The the very fuck unleashed. You could do is go on Amazon, and buy that book to support him. And they can get it autograph from my website, fucking smoke them. If you got him. There you go. If you don't choke yourself the. The reality is that is the least you can do for the amount of shit that he's been through for you. You know, we all to him and his family to, to support everything that he's, he's done in Ben through so go to his website. What is the website? It's WWW the terrorists. Whispered dot com. Doesn't get any easier than that. And they come autographed if they ordered from the west there you go. Just fucking do it. The stories are incredible. The individuals sitting across from me is incredible. And I'm appreciative that he would spend the time with sharing his story before we wrap up. Is there anything that you want to add, I say, I want to thank my my, my friends at T S are actually who actually got me the flight to gum here when they heard of your show. They actually been a big fan of yours. Doctor Crawford and get her on she's in Choubey interesting for you guys. She has really gone doing a huge research with human psychology, and she has worked with me, personally, because I did not have the VA benefit. And I needed some someone to help me get back to my normal life and Dr Crawford and Timothy Timothy wanna cod who's a firefighter also in Idaho. And they both have helped me tremendously. They actually got me to fly here because they've been listening to your show for a long time. And they've ever excited when they heard about that, and I want to thank them, and I want to thank you for giving me over to, to be here and share my story with your audience and. We hope that we can make a difference. And we hope that the listeners will enjoy this Hammadi twenty twenty. Right. Not ready. Quite not quite maybe, for the barbeque for. No. We're always ready for the barbecue joint, but. Folks, as always, we couldn't do what we do without the humbling and overwhelming support for mic drop like to thank everybody for tuning in, in terms of all the shit that I have gone on to team dog dot pet for all the products that we have available that's where you can check it out. I just want, I'm not going to sit here and spend forty five minutes fucking talking about it. Just go to team dogged up pet sign up for the training by the products. You know the drill. But more importantly, thank you guys. I tell you to choke yourself. I'm mostly serious, but somewhat joking. And more importantly, I'm appreciative of your guys is overwhelming support. So keep that shit up while you're joking yourself. And tune in next time it's going to be a great episode. Stoke to release it. I hope you guys have enjoyed it. I know I sure as hell have. And thank you again, for everything you guys are the reason I'm here so until next time this is. Mike.

Iraq Iraq United States America Saddam Iraqi army Walt Disney ISIS Hammadi Johnny Walker army soccer Middle Eastern Texas North Carolina Saddam Hussein Fort Worth Saddam Raqi army
Introducing Undiscovered: The Lion, The Bear and The War Zone

CONFLICTED

39:22 min | 2 years ago

Introducing Undiscovered: The Lion, The Bear and The War Zone

"Hello there. This is Thomas small host of conflicted. I've got something very special for you today. I'm here with Jake Warren, my producer as it happens, the producer of conflicted who also is host of his own podcast and new podcast called undiscovered. Hello, jake. Hello, thomas. Thank you very much for be so Jake. Tell us something about undiscovered, so undiscovered brings you the stories that never cut through the noise news feed. So this is idea of trying to step away from the million of what Brexit means for tomorrow, or what Donald Trump tweeted today. It's kind of meaningful. Interesting stories from around the world that perhaps, you even have an idea of all no idea of a tool undiscovered stories that you will have overlooked exactly. Well for listeners, have conflicted, you're about to hear an episode of undiscovered a really fascinating story set in the Iraqi city of Mosul in northern Iraq. Ancient Niniveh the biblical city that a few years ago was conquered by. Isis. It's when ISIS conquered Mosul that ISIS really hit the big time in everyone became aware of it as a great threat. This story is set, funnily enough in Mozell, zoo, and the fascinating work that combat veterinarians do in conflict zones to look after animals. Exactly. And Fru ISIS is okay. Patient. And for the liberation of Mosul from ISIS, you know, these animals will left defend themselves, basically, of the wild animals, only two survived one line and one bath, a lion, and a bear, well, this episode of undiscovered, I can assure you is fascinating Jake if having listened to this episode the listener wants to hear more, where can they find undiscovered? So in all the same ways that people have been enjoying conflicted. You know, this is everywhere that you expect it to be. So it's on apple this on Spotify. It's on acoss basically wherever you can listen to a podcast, you'll be able to listen to undiscovered. I'm certain dear listener that having listened to the special episode, you will want to hear more. So subscribe to undiscovered tha. Today. Enjoy. Twenty four teen was a big year for ISIS Saddam. Audie mother flood Harada. June. They announced the establishment of their prophesized caliphate. The now controlled woman thousand square miles in Syria and Iraq stretching from the Mediterranean, coast to the south of Baghdad. In other words, they were in complete control of an area. The same size as Portugal and it was to be a true Islamic state. Hamdullah lie behind. What's now? Listening to ISIS leader, Abu Bakar albuque-, daddy, declaring just that this little known Jihadist turned up unexpectedly in Mosul Iraq's second largest city, he turned up at the great mosque of our Nuri just weeks off the ISIS over to city to deliver this. But this isn't a story about the rise and fall of ISIS, and their quest to bring about the apocalypse. This is actually a story about a lion and a bear on about a zoo in Mosul Iraq. This is a story about the almost always forgotten casualties of bloody and violent conflict. Talk, Phil, how big is this issue in the world? Things that is many, many hundred thousand women so far, give it Justice not reported about whatever it is. It is human suffer animal are suffering. And let's not forget, it's also a story about those brave people who risked their lives to save them. So you felt it was worth risking your own safety in life to save animals. And they will do each time. I'm Jay Warren. And you're listening to undiscovered the poll cost that brings you the stories he didn't know you cared about. Soldiers say the fighting has been intense in recent days, but they are in control here. Now. Suddenly, the sound of gunfire from inside the local market by twenty sixteen. It seemed the supposed- might of ISIS was waning, and by October of that year, the battle to liberate Mosul, one of their major strongholds had begun the people of Mosul now trapped of the almost two years of surviving, I won't call living under fundamentalist Islamic rule. Each day was choice to face. The least frightening scenario flee face of brutal execution of court awfully and become a refugee. If not put we'll stay and wait for the war to reach their front door. Twenty seventeen the liberation of Mosul was declared that by that time neighborhoods of family homes with flattened rubble and dust flooded. What one city streets and public areas, turning them into mass graves. The human loss of this conflict has been astronomical. Estimates put the civilian death toll alone at nine thousand in the bathroom to recapture the city, but asides from humans lost in conflict with the local population focusing on survival who else needed saving namely, what was to become of a local zoo controlled, and then abandoned by ISIS and the AT animals trapped inside walk condition. Would they? This is the building. America Khalil is a veterinary doctor who has spent the past twenty years going into conflict zones to save what he calls animal refugees, and a more refugees might not a term that you regularly here, which is more testament to how we report on animals. Caught in more Jones or natural disasters took a little how big is this issue in the world? What is human suffer animal? Are suffering beside his hundred thousand of human are suffering hundred thousands of animals are suffering, one wide. Understands the whatever there are humanitarian problems, the animal problems the to institute wind. So he's made it his job to chase humanitarian problems for an organization could four paws international. And he's been to some of the worst conflicts imaginable, with one goal in mind to save as many animals in need as physically possible. That is different type of conflict could be military could be political footballs was in Egypt during the revolution. In Egypt, two thousand eleven from Egypt. We went to Libya. I wasn't Tripoli's where is the same adult he left his house is far away from this five hundred meter nearly. So it was a military conflict area. There's a lot of animal pasta way, but also of animal was hungry because. No one is there. So. A witness. In fact, what happens is, so we were able to in Libya and three blue we were able to help in near to Aleppo was Bob. We was beam. I was in India. I was in city Lenka, EMMY and Gaza by was nearly six time in Gaza in location or places animal need help. And I think I have this opportunity to give to his a team to able to help such type of animals in both capacity who has not able to Cape or to do anything collapses, onto out from tuition is no mature when it comes to navigating these conflict zones, the world over he's been doing this for a long time. I went to a mission was lists experience or nearly civilians was nineteen ninety eight I was in Bosnia-Herzegovina at was directly of the war, and they realized too not only to here, but to feel to smell what mean who maybe thousands of human have to be g and this Cape to see everything this throat, and it was very interesting to see all international media was focusing on military conflict, but going was speaking, about animals. I saw too. I would say bad things. Was human and plowden those they have nothing. So listen. I have, it's my knowledge I don't have weapons don't have car and something to be done, and after few weeks, back against two hundred started the first veterinary clinic, and the city called the Libyan, which is not what we from Pristina city, and do started to help because we learn also I learnt even anyone could be not only to apart to being capacity or suffer. But in some places in military conflict Biba use animal as so if we want to have revenge, the take whatever what's valium. Animal is valuable for agriculture for a lot of things. So some military persons can boys on water source of Lincoln for animal agriculture, because able to steal animate or animal shows to them just it is how to make a bean for those. For this creature part of life. War is very ugly thing. We look disaster relief mission. We went to Kenya where it was a big drought three years, Noreen. That in some boroughs of seventy percent of the livestock, no water, new growth and by and we were able to help a small team from for POS at this time. Was water and food average between ten to twenty thousand per day. It was a lot of risk. We were also maybe be subject to be kicked a decision, but we love this very important. People are very careful when you you'll help them and his team view helping animals trapped in conflict zones as a fundamental part of humanity. Whatever awful situations. They find themselves in this includes one, particularly curious case. Iraq war in that in two thousand three rural able to help many animals that's because American winsor everyone is caped evens, animal keeper is Kip from all people looting and all the animal valuable zoo evens, as your off was stolen of let in, in Viterbo. How do you a giraffe and a flat? It sounds strange. But it was the looting time in Baghdad. People loads in the museum. So all what is valuable was money from the Bank? It was a lot of culture things, which is history because things were stolen but also animal is valuable, so this tools will sale and it your off and took it in a flap. How does your winters? Those storms. Troy? Even the which was not able to be stolen destroy it. I mean I had picture is still keeps them how really even the ostrich house wing was broken and. It's very ugly to be area because you see everything suffering human suffering animal suffering, and you can smell. It's not what you see what ways male and you feel the fear of animal, which was about the lost. You know you talk about this work that you've done all over the world on the whole. Why do you think that lives of animals aren't valued as much as the lives of human beings? The only thing I do like I can just observe today, a little tour I can three. I see all the time car in should not be divided. A kind diverse on should be kind not only to human kindness mean he should be kind to human animal. I cannot separate. I cannot divide this world kindness. Ama- and his team traveled to weld from one dangerous conflict to the next the fight to take back Mosul from ISIS in Iraq was culminating in the summer of twenty seventeen. With the full liberation of Mosul. Incite Iraqis celebrating. Civilians. It's the Iraqi prime minister Haider, Al Abbadi announce the city's liberation that happened in July. But the violence continued on for months with pockets of ISIS cells remaining before I his most lost, like ordinary city just like us cities like going to our cavern, Armel life, seeing France, gutter around Ortiz. So it's like normal life, ever, this is had Cam Zehra, who is from Mosul, like many of his, he was trapped in the city for the occupation of ISIS and the preceding battle to be liberated from him when I just came to the city became like going to another universe became like living literature in hell. Everything was forbidden even your luck. You can't shave your beard your clothes. They have to be in the certain way. It is, like, no internet, not allied, no music. They just turned the city into a big jail. So nobody can leave the city. They get you leading the city that when execute immediately Cam noticed the between the gunfire and struggled to scrounge and survive every day, the animals of the local zoo, who to had been trapped onto ISIS control had seemed to be abandoned account decided he had to step in and help those animals. Whatever way he could something inside me told me that you have to do that. Goes those animals was offering and I that time nobody was like gearing even about a humans because everybody has his own problems. Everybody was heard was injured even one had his house was egged by an airstrike. So he won't girl about anyone his family members died. So, of course, he will not be interested to take the annual. In the situation like this. No one can be blamed for pursuing self-preservation, if you're in fear of your life, and for the lives of your loved ones, would you stop to consider animals trapped in zoo, amongst the chaos unfolding? We'll her Cam did. And time was of the essence here because ISIS had long since abandoned. What was actively one of their defense locations in their fight and the conditions inside the zoo, unknown? A camera in the most allied Omar Muhammad a local professor and historian who ran a secret blog, documenting the atrocities that will happening in Mosul essentially risking his life. Sharing pictures, videos and information on Facebook and Twitter, put the outside world, Muslin's grew and grew as he highlighted the realities of living on the ISIS rule, and it was for the power of social media, the eventually word of these animals. Plight trapped and desperate conditions made it to Amer and the four paws offices in Vienna. In the beginning of two thousand seventeen I mean, sure, here's the news, the regular paces Hussein daily basis, and I was concerned about this tuition in, I would say, Mosul, and in Iraq in general. A message came to me from I would say from unable from this in motion, the neighbor would like to, to help his animal to get a recipe what the beer and what, what the lion. So sure it was interesting question. Sure, I answered. Off the Amer was able to make contact directly with a Cam. He did what any sensible person. But do. Right. He sets off on his own to Mosul to see how he could help and the only way in which the travel, I Bill in Kurdistan. Want alone to repeal because it was only I will see entry to go to Mosul. They have to go to court STAN, and it was easy to fly. There, I was lucky said, let me get permanent. So I was very excited. I check point second checkpoint, sir checkpoint. Four point and southerly. I am in motion. I his journey from a Bill to Mosul was a dangerous one although geographically close, it would lead them for destruction desolation into close proximity with death. So during the trip it was twenty kilometer it was very long in my mind. But joining this twenty kilometer I saw a lot of safaris. I saw people walking choose as a family and leaving. I mean, everything the career plastic back, I bust through the city of Mosul. It was quite it was. Yeah. No market. You can see the shops are very I will see destroyed all the building are destroyed along this road. All the business was loaded or nothing inside just open doors. And broken, it is a war. I saw also even buddies or dead bodies or split was nobody Skillet above Ella Terry. Of human PM, which is this was sure there. So it it was dangerous. It's not something supernatural, or otherworldly Senate. The old city, the damage new the city, gone and Mosul, most free, vice the streets are still being ground to rebel and a last hundred yards of ISIS. The suedes of around can Syria down here. We're told. Mosul wasn't in the battle for its liberation from ISIS in twenty seventeen. The animals were left, even further isolated and starving Cam, and his local community were able to save some of the more domesticated species, but what would become of the wild animals, a giraffe and a flat is one thing, but a lion and a bear starving to death. Is quite another. Immediately after the Gration. There was like nobody giving foods to the animals. Nobody cares about them. Even the owners, they leave the city, go to our Bill, so those animals who are suffering, and they were like starving to death. Some of people manage to take the non wild animals like monkeys, and chickens and dogs. They took him to the houses, but they let the, the bear and the lion, because they are wildlife almost, and they can deal with them with bombs and mortars, exploding around them situation for similar lion and looted the bath became ever, more desperate originally, that with free lines. But Simba and her mother eighth there may say father in order for them both to survive. Her mother chose to die in order for similar to live, leaving her the last of her family. Similarly, Lula the bear had eaten her free cubs, either out of stress and desire to survive. All to put them out of their misery, from a once vibrant zoo of approximately eighty wild animals. They now became too. I arrived to dissolve in the second, which was on the twenty February. It was very clear. It was very clear for me is that I would see is this was there, because at the inference of who you can see this Bill port, which was broken on the ground, and you can see the faces of the line, and the pair was sprayed with a black color because it is haram, to have a faces of human. But I, learn also animal is forbidden to Caesar faces. So it was clear is this was their, their fingerprints even at at first I really way to the same for a few minutes. So I, I don't enter quickly. I just met the Mr. Hicham or persons, who was waiting for me. I entered through who'll sure I cried I'm the left Disraeli a big place. It's like a public place garden. But nothing is intact. Amir witnessed was the abandoned remnants of a walls on unrecognizable from zoo. I saw empty cages bones of animals was indicate indicators. You can see the lion. The pair Saudi army says male of this place was, I would say very bad. Cliff really very ugly Smith because the sentiment was nearly. If I'm not mistaken, sixty days. No-one clean Noam to care of this place. Zada look very, very, very weak. And I have to take decision was very clear. It is very. This was the moment of truth now Amir had seen the reality of the situation with his own. Is he had to now, if there was any small chance of saving Lula and Simba, so he got to work with Cam and a few of volunteers by his side? So it was like moment of relief for me, 'cause I know things will go into better for the animals. So we make them in conscious to bear on the line and take him from the gauges and killing the cages, and Dr Amir give them some medicines. And each check their medical condition doctor that his, we will look after them until we will find like suitable solution for them. So I give me some money and you say you can buy food for them. And it was a very difficult job. 'cause during that Daniels, like, no food that also no food for people. So we were feeding the line abrasives imagine like the king of the jungle was eating bread also there. But there was forced to, to that because otherwise he will die. It seems unimaginable. The city still reeling from being a battleground against ISIS with food now. A scarce commodity has to somehow also support the needs of a fully grown lion and bear. I menu he had to buy time. So I put the target one month, I have to be ready with a plan was a safe place for this animal. But to go back the twenty kilometer this was for me the most difficult logistic part how to pass through. Now imagine if you will the sheer logistics of transporting a lion, and now, compounded for the fact, they're trapped in a war zone without rule of law. It seems impossible, right? The mayor of his vast amount of experience, had a plan up his sleeve. When I lift Mozell, I went to appeal I checked all those places I checked about the medicines, which could be needed and the vaccine. So I checked pharmacy airport condition which cargo irritates can go. I checked company if I'm able to drive for most to Jordan, how long it's take a lot of things, but the main point is I needed him. So I selected a team which is competent to join me in such a mission, and also should be brief cause at this time if you see are going to Mosul on the news about how many people die in most daily basis war. I'm gonna have to make sure his team will prepare to enter an active war zone. I organized security company because if I have a team from for polls, I have to care for the security so organiser security company, armored car. Also be. Somehow protected from Steiber's with professional security persons with us by giving a structural to produce cages also if I want to move I need cages, it's much easier to produce cages in Mosul. But if there is no electricity, you cannot produce cages, and start reduce it will take time. I also organized cages in repeal. So I, make everything to be on the safe side. We organized the medicine, we have to organize also the place where we risk animal I have built for lowland and Simba a place they need the home. So we need to build sows in this month. We have to build the Jordan, and to improve the place animal Beatles about Zealand. They have safety, we need a lot of document. Most have no administration muscling workings there. So if you need a terrific, eight from where you won't get animal transport need, also need a passport veterinary certificate. Unit export import you need minister of agriculture. I have to communicate was Baghdad ministry, and I realized there is political problem have solvability conflict people in Iraq are not happy to leads the animal move to musuem. While plans were made to organize a temporary home for Lula and Simba in a sanctuary Jordan getting the logistics right may have been tricky from, but the real difficulty came when he returned to Mosul. He knew the only way for his plan. Some work would be to enlist the help of the Iraqi army on the ground. The only issue however they were somewhat preoccupied with the fight against ISIS. I went to the to the army commander in Muslim army sent additional protection to open for us and to protect us. And when we went to as with animal the army left us, and we drive. I'm surprise the army agreed to help. They offered protection or the four paws team evacuated the animals from the zoo and loaded them into cages onto trucks. But then we would've very near very murals over and army comments to this as a kid them structure, animal have to be back to what? We what is going on? The same army who help us to evacuate. Do the same army guys come again and say they get animal have to be back to the cage. It seems Amei was being accused of stealing Lula and Simba. But what was the main reason from armies, Zaid's information? This is a public zoo, which mean we took animal which belong to the Iraq government. And this is not true because it's private was not a public. So, so we have to bring back we have to prove this, not public. So we have to bring the owner of the animal, and his wellness and comment which shows, that's our comment. I show them that comment from the export permit from government said, no and to be back. So the army bring back to the same south and the lift cages outsiders who joining. So often meticulous planning effort, and within touching distance of success. They were now back to square one. Undeterred wasn't going to give up. We went back to repeal, we find a lot of problems really a lot of uncomfortable communication sending of killing. But we succeeded to find the owner which we were contacted before he offered to come to join us despite obstacles of red tape, and even the fret of violence. I'm air managed to successfully track down the owner of the zoo, who had fled moso for his life to this later went back to Mosul, but was the owner of animal, which said he signed for us agreement veto sale, the hands animal to us, and the army was cave with the hoops jumped through and the paperwork done. It was time to saddle up and try again time was running out to save Lula and Simba. Mission tool, which looks animal cages again, on the car to about the checkpoint, arm stop. You cannot go. Cli- signal is chairman or the pulse of the army said. He's one. Stop you is one can give you Vermont. Unbelievably the rescue mission once again, was folded. It seemed Ammon needed the personal permission of a big shot Iraqi general, we would waiting communication one hour to hour. We were very naive. We sort it will take me. Okay. Two three hours. But in fact, the first night, we slept outside. Twas, Rayleigh uncle for. It's it's dangerous. Food, there is that our water is, you can take from soldiers people. Make fun about you soldiers. What is this guy's crazy? Warzone military's on warzone and your was and, and pair liberal, you have everyone bossing asking you what is this away? Are you from where it was now crystal clear they were being stonewalled and all the while the animals conditions were deteriorating further. I mean, we try first tonight, second Saturday, we tried to go to other places. They told me you have to go to this offices and you'll get a security clearance. What means security clearance? It's me. I have to prove this lion and despair are not ISIS. They are not terrorist this creatures like a human being. If you leave Lucile you'll have to choose offices and you have to move to enter as prove how do you prove that Abed and a lion? Not members of ISIS apart from that being obvious. With AMI frontally seeking permissions and clearances. This could only be described by the old adage of bureaucracy gone mad in what world could symbol, the lion and Lula the bear be considered as potential ISIS terrorists. And moreover, how on earth could prove that with paperwork. They was stuck in limbo. With no sign of moving. We went to the big office of the guy wins a helicopter coming American army, and they have one of my quick, and that was waiting. I was waiting three hours, ten is bigger all of Mossel army operation coming with a lot of American Iraqi, what are coming from, or I understand. And sure I was waiting after this asking me to, to wait till he took his. Lunch or whatever here is after the War I can understand this. I wave I'm in new, this could be his last chance. He had to throw himself on the mercy of rocky military leaders who were in truth. A little busy doing other things I thought to myself, what I tell him to come out from the rooms. Big Ron lot of a lot of. Uses Egyptian guy are uses was this sorry, stupid animal in Erie, ugly. Arabic way 'cause I speak Arabic shore. Yes, we are you aware of what we are doing? A war is, is the way I. One of them's to me, you have this problem. You have a problem to animal, okay? You can solve the problem exist able to pull it in my hand and solve your problem. Shoots. This was the solution. He offered with Lula and Simba sitting at the border so close to safety and the chance of a future to Millie shoot them and become their. I was very very annoyed. But I have to keep quiet. I have to keep. In this place. I have to be wise. Looked purely act because inaction will be we were nine days about the chief of this military policy was really unpredictable to ours. His inquiry are liars and it's being possibly some cronk. He don't believe we come for. He's chief of the secret service this area. So in in case eat most of the time was up the army distrusted. And he knew he was never going to get the permissions required. The animals would dying and his team or endanger. He needed a hail Mary in the form of a cunning plan. Was nine days lime disease. We develop was the team, I would say difference, and all you have to go to out, it was it was dangerous for the team into the military place, foreign our soldiers, and it is a best target for ISIS. The team ready to do what was needed to go from being animal doctors to being animal smugglers. I have to spreads almost everything cultures. Here was cameras those. So we make plans that we brings bathrooms and spread that we are very fire. The teams I have to bring back to says, and this what I I took my forms of Oregon serotype back to those adult birds in cages. In order to a knack. This plan had to inform the authorities he was returning the animals to the zoo in those squalid conditions and certain death in reality. However, he had very different intentions. We just change the car. We changed truck. I bring a team out and we call them vegetables. Lula and Simba were loaded up to the trucks and hidden away to make it dash for the Kurdistan border. The greatest scape was on. I was really praying that the lion bomb thrower. Just one raw at the wrong moment, and the gig would be up the mission. He also let you point game is different chick point. And by some magic it worked. I'm made with his cargo of vegetables into Kurdistan, and hope for to to the airport. So we organized everything 'cause team was alert Jordanian team waiting all of the KOMO, Tori. We move the animal for I will say the secret police and appeal to the airport. Tells a last second all of us were, I would see concern despite successfully crossing the border into Kurdistan. This was a race against time how long would it be before someone noticed missing lion, and a missing there, if the army figured out, I'm Ed pulled off who knows what they would have done if the army understood what happened maybe will arrest us as airport? Maybe they will stop us. Maybe they will awesome gene of the waiting and running and smuggling they're done it soon. Fear changed joy as they realized they were in the clear. Where it'll plane was animal. We were very very. Food. So happy to be was animal in the same place. You can see medicals a cargo plane. We'll just I can get you as we were very happy. She may be wondering what happened to the bear, and similar line as of twenty nine teen Lula is living, a sanctuary in Jordan, cooled, Allawas nature and wildlife, which is run by a local organization called the Princess Alliott foundation, set up by members of the danillon, Royal family and Simba made the journey to lions rock, which is a big cat sanctuary in South Africa early this year where he's doing really well. Full force recently visited Simba to see how he was doing the plan is to socialize him with a female Linus, named Andy. So he's not alone. It seems the African sun is really benefiting him as he recovers from his traumatic past in war-torn. So. As for the zoo itself, and Mosul Cam tells us that with Simba and Lula gone, they were the last wild animals to live that, and this affects amounted to the closure of the zoo. If you'd like to find out more about this story, just go to the message heard Instagram Twitter of Facebook pages. If you want to find more undiscovered, stories, make sure that you subscribe to us on a car, st-, apple podcast or Google podcasts or wherever you get yours.

ISIS Mosul Lula Iraq Simba army Mosul Cam Baghdad Jake Warren Facebook apple Mosul Iraq Libya Portugal Amer Donald Trump Iraqi army Egypt Mozell Saudi army
#170 Riyadh Ahmed Khalaf Al Ahmady

First Class Fatherhood

38:46 min | 2 years ago

#170 Riyadh Ahmed Khalaf Al Ahmady

"Yeah. Lace? Welcome to first-class fatherhood. Welcome everybody up sold. One seventy of the podcast. I am happy as always the be here with you. Thank you for stopping by. If this is your first time listening to the podcast, please get over there and die nets strived button. You do not want to miss all the action coming your way right here on first class. Fatherhood. All right dads. I am extremely honored to bring you today's guest. He is originally from Mozell Iraq. His now. An American citizen Riyadh Mati better known by his codename Johnny Walker. He served hundreds of missions right alongside the elite US navy seals as their interpreter. If you are unfamiliar with his story, you have got to check out the book codename Johnny Walker. The extraordinary story of the Iraqi who risked everything to fight with the US navy seals. It tells the story of this man warrior hero husband, and I last father. I mean, he is a man who has won the hearts of the most fiercest fighters on the planet. And he's the only man who can rock the navy seal Trident without ever having completed buds training, and it's kind of funny. How? Have a media that seems to be so extremely pro immigrant. I mean, you would think Riyadh would be a household name by now that all the studios would be fighting over airtime to have this guy on the show. I mean, he has done so much our country his sacrifices have been immense, and we as a nation Riyadh Alamatti and his family a great deal of gratitude. And I am just extremely honored to have the opportunity to speak with him right here on a podcast in which I have been blessed interview. So many navy seal. So this is a fun one for me. I hope you enjoy police sit back and stick around for today's interview. Right. I do have a scheduling update to hit you guys with. Unfortunately, my interview with Greg card don't has been pushed back to Friday. So I'm going to have to bring that once you're next week. I have moved up an interview that I was saving for next week. Former United States Marine, Alex Duran will be here tomorrow. He is an expert in the subject of bullying. He is known as the bully magnet. He has got a wealth of knowledge to share with us about a subject that I have not covered as much as I should have. So it is a subject that's very important to so many of us father. So definitely do not miss out on that. One in Friday. Of course, I will have former navy seal David Rutherford here for a frogman Friday edition of first glance fatherhood. And let's go please spread the word here about the podcast. Let every father that you know, about first-class fatherhood fatherhood rocks fairly values rule and every day is Father's Day right here with me, and I'm gonna jump right into the action now with Riyadh Allah Mahdi, better known as Johnny Walker on alleghenies. And you're listening to first fatherhood. I cannot say thank you enough to all the listeners out there. You'll hear a word from my sponsors in the middle of today's interview if you'd like to help me make first class fatherhood, Ed free, please consider becoming a supporter of the podcast by hitting the link and the description of today's podcast episode. All right. Joining me now is a first class father. He has recently become a United States citizen. He served alongside the United States navy seals on hundreds of missions as their interpreter, and their slingshot extraordinaire, he is known by his codename Johnny Walker. He is a hero a warrior a combat veteran. And he is a very proud American. It is a great honor for me to say Riyadh Ahmadi. Welcome to first-class fatherhood. Thank you for having me. And wish we can do the weekend for this country. All right. Let's start here. How many kids do you have? And how old are they? I have four kids and. Two boy Suge. My oldest daughter. She's four years old my boy twenty two poppy my eighteen years old and the last king most of must always being chosen. He's fourteen years old, very cool. I have four children myself a bit younger than yours. My oldest is about to be a teenager here. So we're kinda ducked for cover. So we have this NBC level. Yes. All right. I know that you were a big basketball player, what type of sports activities of the kids into most. He liked to kick boxing him. He is on the cards a great this type of thing. Knew about modeling degrades. If things popping my I don't know. I can I'll tell yet. Suppose she's end up on, you know. Entered near computer, social media, and she's lied to prize with from high school to awesome. Alright Riyadh do me a favor here. I know there is a lot to tell please just take a minute here to hit my listeners, but a little bit about your background and bit of the time line of events that led you up to your citizenship. So as you mentioned my name my name is Riyadh. I'm from Iraq from beautiful city also Fiat called most of kind of mountain area and people announced by. High rank in Iraqi army before not now, and then to physics focus of signs all this kind of things. I born with three brothers and. Three sisters. Two brothers cat killed one of them because the fire another one guy. But guys tilted, you know, grew up in poor family has no money option. But in that time. Was gathering off is love of the family and love of our patterns, and you can tell the different tactic of between father and mother when you make mistake onto your mom all this kind of things. So anyway, my back found she's. Iraqi, Jim, and you know, the deal he goes by other. He goes by time, he need everything goes by the show, my mom, she's sweet hub as all the mother in the world sheets like to give the love we need and secure feeling we need. So anyway, we all in this family and. I'm in with Kindel making trouble biting all this kind of childhood fifty things and they figured all the best way to. Two. Straightened out guide. Yeah. Guide me to the right bath. As pulled me of problem. The slingshot to another thing shot, but it's basketball and my cousin. He is famous player. He take me with him the first two days. So I go, but after that, I stopped find myself through the game and something will open myself, and I play for my city, and also I they hijack. And if you look at those two spoiled you have to have. Dreams beside you to make you. Continue in the fun difficulties. So the the thing is with me I stopped watching how team to develop my skills and Harding team. Take me to another chain, which is something music. Joe? Mueller. Joe? And from country music. Take me to John Wayne, and I figured out this nation like holy shit. That's amazing. That's cool. I wanna know more. The people watch cowboy movies Todd like as best I can to collect a small pieces of employee, and I have my own dream one day, I will live in this country United States America and the front of the lake and small house Bill by would bite my hand, and that's just been my life in this country. So this is until nineteen eighty. I work in that dream. But after that, you know, Iraq, Iran war, you so that this every day on this tree they bring their buddies all this kind of nasty things. The new secure feelings and something you fight for not put what do you believe you I to fight? And if you run away, they will kill you. And they will take the price of the bullets from your family after they kill you, all kinds of things and. The presence is that time. He go to his me me me and his greatness and Zo Telesis Bill his own kingdom and leave the people with no hope so from that time kind of smuggling with mightly, and I'm my beautiful life. We have mazing love story. Nineteen eighty seven. We get mad at the nineteen ninety one on this candle. Give me bridge. To is from the slugging. I am and because she supposedly was all though, I need and I want to motivate me to continue my best. After that saw going between two jobs, like heavy machine the clip -ment. Eighteen wheelers Turkey drive, and that time all what I do is working hard to keep keep food and Mike it's miles. So this is kind of bomb grow up invest city and two thousand three when American I is startling show up in my city Muslim. So let's me everyone. Smilin grace women men kids, they love it can. And this is where I stopped so bad to find job with with American forces that couldn't and one of the days by an accident. I have a job. With the military police and stuff work with them over myself, my skills, and they were commend me to the navy seal. Maybe they pick me on. We don't get sick. Yeah. And then ABCL's they are the best of the best. I mean, I've been honored to interview about twenty five or so of them right here on the podcast you actually fought alongside of them. What was that like for you Riyadh to fight alongside these guys because I'm gonna imagine that they were really unlike any type of military force you ever fought with before. So you know, I work with military police and a huge for me. And I I went to this youth come on because I have to say the compound with them because we don't know when the mission, and they show home, they have long view. And different thin in years. No, I don't hear anyone. Call sir. So looks like that no officer how those guys work and very Hampel. You ask him. They won in front of you to do whatever they can and. This is kind of good me sows sows in question is like. Who I dealt with right now. You know what I mean? Yeah. I remember the first mission. You know, we went to the brief and they talk for forty five minutes. So imagine from the forty five minutes, I understand only one world. The jackpot name or the name has him the LA and just because the name is Oliver. That's why I understand the name. So imagine how much put language I have and that time and the same mission we went, and they have one guy is called me by uniting from my shoulder left. Right. Stop move and need to target. And I saw them. They do something on the gate. I couldn't understand what is it. But after one minute I hear boom. So it's vives kill of like, you know, what I'm this is not my day to die. So I stopped one away. Because I thought we under attack. I didn't know the useful to bring the fridge. The gates. You know what I mean? So from there, and we start catching bad guys as the beginning when I work with military police work because it might've into the Merican and also get money behind it. But when I moved to the seal is complete change from money from dream to something I believe I can make different to the people. And some people always ask me. Oh, how you working? I was side. Smoke. You'll side as people side against averages. You know what? I mean. I do. Yeah. It's a matter of stopping evil, and I am just thankful that we have guys like you took the fights in these bastards. I mean, you have done more for this country than I ever have. And I gotta say thank you for your service before forget to mention that and Riyadh because you served with the seals. I mean with the Americans in general was your family under any kind of threat from people who you might have fought with your friends just because they were either upset or kind of pissed off that see that you were fighting with the Americans. The beginning is big up to with Americans. And I'm telling you now one time. So how'd you build he took me with the Kamboi humvees to my apartment in front of all the people, and they look at they to me all these that Riyadh. He's working with American. This is like big Unal. And what they have some issue with any American and all Iraq. They came to me on. Oh, you have to do this. It's like this is not gonna work. They don't understand the system, you know, because over having era. Corruptive part of our culture, like if you know someone who's in judge about police station. That's mean, you can do whatever. So this is what I'm struggling beginning. Because people they asked me to release people from the jail, they have some kind of issue difficulty traveling, and I have to to do that for them. I will on. No this no respect, and they don't know the American process, anyway, just giving you Zampa l- how much people they are respect me. And they just wanna talk with me. But after two thousand five one by the building until show among people using American mistake against them. And you know, we met of mistake. This is where most of the people against American people. American. Plus is you know, what I mean? So from he'll. South calling me trade of so these he have used different. Yeah. You walk in disagreed. And you have like protein about yourself from you Aachen visits and. You spec. Someone came from behind you and shoot you. So for my family, they look like gypsy. No, they they cannot stay in one place while I'm working with this yields. They have to move every two weeks three weeks four weeks house to house because you know, the by the intelligent is among us. You know, what I mean, they don't have any Cami like American plus they have the uniform. So this is kind of tough to tell who is a friend who's enemy. So what do we decide the unbathed, and this is on Beida, my wife shoulders to move everytime. She feels and no more than one month. Like if she lives in this house for one month, and the safe she cannot say she has to move you have to move. And this is include the village, different religion, Mohson and villages close to the city. Antill two thousand. Devin. She moved to from Mosul to that. And they face the on the kids from the fake checkpoint. And thank God, they make it safely to beg that I'm back that the big city, and that's why that is no that is threaded there. But not like because most people know each other very well. Wow. Yeah. What a brave woman beta your wife after go through all of that that she ever at any point. Riyadh. Ask you to kind of stop serving with the seals that she ever say enough's enough of this. She don't know I work with feels because if I thought I work with us she can have less because we don't know something else. He'll. Maybe he'll maybe some people to care anymore some kind of group or something. And after what I saw the dangerous, and all this kind of thing is like snow not gonna tell her what I'm doing. And she no I am helping engineer will like giant generation or whatever to record such in Iraq. Okay. It's time to get an important word from our sponsors. Then back with more with Johnny Walker. I'm Alex lace. And you're listening to first class fatherhood. We are all about creating good humans. Right. But if you're finding your kids are more interested in listening to cartoon characters than you the parent. Here's a great way to get your kids thinking about what good behavior really is. The sir game show app is so much fun for kids five to eight who are challenged figure out. What's polite or rude who left a mess or what's right for the environment while absorbing good messages about how their behavior can affect others checkout, sir, dapper dot com to learn more. That's sl. R D A P P dot com. Brand list when it comes to choosing a product that's better than the rest. There's only one label that matters to me, and it's brand Lewis. 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So you can enjoy the high quality products that you deserve today. Seek keep taking your kids to a ballgame is one of the greatest experiences in all of fatherhood. And now I plas fatherhood has partnered with seatgeek, and you could save twenty dollars off your Knicks ticket purchased by using the promo code first class. That's one word first class. Maybe you wanna go to a Broadway show a concert. Seek has the best prices for a wide variety of events. It's a slam dunk deal dads get over to WWW dot seatgeek dot com and use the promo code first class to get twenty dollars off your next ticket purchase seat dot com. Okay. Yeah. I could see why you'd want to keep that from her. What about the family life over there Riyadh as opposed to over here? What are some of the major differences of life at Iraq and life now that you're here in the states? So as a man I have to face. I have to be able to kill whatever come to whether my family. For them. They have no to moral. And they have no place, and they have no. And you know, if you don't have those three things you will have no life over here. Like, I'm telling you right now. My wife she's in the highway. She's a college she's speak English than me. She correct my grandma she have goal in her life. What she wanted to be imagine. If she is most now, she would never drive. She would never be in the college. She would never do what she believes right and personal level as women zero. To complete life of life in front of you. Yeah. It goes without saying that many of us over here in America, take our freedom for granted, we could never imagine the type of challenges or struggles that your family has endured on a day-to-day basis. I mean over here if the smartphone drops the three percent people are dialing nine one one. But and speaking of smartphones. How is it over there? Did your kids have access to video games and all the technology or did they not see any of that until they came here. So from the day the seal they asked me to buy. Some funds to me and to my family onto the team. So from the first time the cellphone show up in Iraq. My family has it. So they'll get with technology and what I try to keep them to buy them. Some like XBox PlayStation all the new games because I want him to stay in the house. And also I want him to practice in the English without I tell them you know, what I mean. Yeah. Wow. Yeah. So and when they moved to beg they have more freedom. They can go shopping and and limit times, you know, what I mean? And also that time that teams like any Brown new game. Oh game devise they send to me right away and give it to my kids. But still like my oldest daughter. She still ankle killed and uncle. But in front of she saw of blood hyphen too. So when they came here they Gle little bit. But right now that probably making. Wow, that's just incredible. To imagine have have any of your kids read the book codename Johnnie Walker. Or would you feel comfortable with them reading it? I don't know. I mean for me, I don't like to read anything or I don't like to listen to my interview. I don't know because I believe what we did is what will be believed not to tell about it is just an culture. But for Mike is. Yeah, there is and. Sometimes they ask me questions like guys using all the ceremonies how sometimes they. They stop. No, what are we being doing? And what kind of signifies we made to have the chance to live with this country. So they kind of Browde immigrant too. You know what I mean? Yeah. And have you traveled at all since you've been here, the take family vacations and all that have you hit any of the hot tourist spots. Yeah. We went to few places. We I took him away to LA guy to LA Hollywood studio. Yeah. We have good times. Also. All right Riyadh. What type of advice? Do you have other dads who maybe just recently immigrated here from Iraq or somewhere in the Middle East are listening in on the call here? What kind of advice could you give them about adjusting to American life? So I have I have. Message to every immigrant not from Iraq or from everywhere. I if you're doing believe about this country, don't come easy and simple. And when you came when you land must gonna give you ten billion dollars to American you have to you'll sell hob to deserve a few minutes live as completely human beings in the United States. Second things when you come have to the fucking. No, one can ask you. How do you are you Christian? Do you? What's your believe? All what they ask you to lawyer up to this country. Things. I'm this is funny things I'm gonna mention that here. One of my friends. He tweets. Congratulations for me. And he is happy about it. And I don't know if you know, it was determined woman sandwich. Females yet, the congresswoman. Yeah. So anyway, she's kind of I don't know shoot wanna take this. Nation back, you know, and and away. So anyway, I'm just not my business pretty country. So why is he tweeted in the tweet saying, congratulations? My brother, we all show hubby to have you this and that she jump and she's we'd yeah. But don't forget we we are illegally. And basically a lot till thousand people and we lost four thousand soldiers of this. And that. And she's congresswoman American congresswoman. The question is. This is the only minute I will have as Americans is in. And you wanna steal from me. And the state of your mind. Meanwhile, people killed have congrat- me, and let's have the lesson from my story to let another immigrant make that sample. You know what I mean area? There is no doubt that there is a big problem with our politics here. There's so much anger and hatred. I try to avoid politics on the podcast when I can it does seem like one side is dead set on destroying America and people like her they're a part of the problem in they're they're not a part of the solution. That's a sure I'm telling you now is no I mean, we cannot avoid politics because those people they stopped attacking with everything we believe, and we love, and like, I told you the most expensive moment in my life me on my family is when we give citizenship, you know, what I mean someone interstate all coverage on congratu. Does he wanna pull down? So look like this nation is not build and taking other people happen is build and given and buses have given. You know what? I mean, they jump. They jump in wargin him and his family. Maybe you and your life and your kids you jumping wagging and you have no lethal weapon. All what you have your have your faith in this country, and you face all this trouble of the rest, and this is how would make this country. Amazing country and greatest greatest nation life forgiveness between us by love. Each other. Not by and divide the community by religious of by. The personal believe, you know, what I mean, this is what I can. I don't want involved with politics too. But this is kind of affect our daily life like in the state of mentioned about people killing. Did she is it any American soldier the grave and show some respect that question? No that she supported the Iraqi victim, the also now, so from my understanding, she monopoly, everything, especially human things to political agenda. And this is the worst thing we can face in all of nation. You know what I mean? Yeah. A hundred percent, I agree with you brother policy people because north right? But people they person us. Like as you know. I am listening. Right. Right. But I mean, I do consider you at American as well. And as a Muslim American, how do you feel about Donald Trump, and in particular, the so-called Muslim ban that he imposed or was trying to impose I twelve. Maybe you don't support I respect that. But I have my own reason on my own logic because I can't from country that is no buzzer, they'll corrupt government. And I know what happened. You know what I mean? I don't wanna see it in this country to and what he's doing. He's doing that. I think for Muslim Christian for why for yellow for black for for everyone when he stopped. Some people might come into the country until they complete that that Abass. He's protecting us me. And you you know, what? I mean. Yeah, I agree with you. Yeah. And and you know, the bomb on the mall not gonna I'll kill you Christian. Are you Muslim we're in the same and the same should Bain? And and guy joked, you know, what I mean? So how how was that? Look people of a little uncomfortable a lot of races with no reason. This is one. And imagine that. Like, Tina state light. And if I follow the procedure within five here, I will take my citizenship. Right. And I kind of I can vote. I can't enjoy my rights like you, the one who lived two hundred three hundred years right and group with generation after generation you deserve to be pictured, and you've loyal to this country and me on the five years. And the government. They can tweet me the same thing treating you with up to unity, go to all of the country. Yeah. What hundred percent Riyadh and listen. I move to Iraq and lived there for ten years. They would never consider me an Iraqi. But you were just sworn in the other day already. I consider you an American, and there is no other place on earth where that happens. Yeah. And and you e if you say fifty years nothing years, you will never be easy to you know, what I mean. And also they called Trump races. Right. Because he tried to check everyone. When he came to the United States, right? How about the question for you? And I know you know, to to answer the question but question for everyone. What do you call the Muslim country rich Muslim countries, or the I'll be Kuwait Oman UAE a mixture of the studio, maybe one mile maybe handle mile, not sows in mile and ocean between us on Syria. What do you call those? Countries we have races. What do you call this company? I've multiple coming. They not allowed to anyone come to the country, and they kill them. They can't without permission. What do you? Call those people. Yeah. Good point. I was thinking call them racist. These this that like people they they wanna polite titles when relates facts put on benefit like Oma. Had she went up like happiness on democrat agenda. We have not going anywhere. Will you guys? The way how you guys think look at Trump. He is a month exaggerate. If I says the only president he's fighting to keep his promises. Yeah. And that's because he's not a politician. I mean, we have been waiting for somebody like an outsider to get into the office someone that hasn't been bought like every single politician has been and now that he's in there the media's saying, oh, no, no. You can't listen to him. You gotta trust the politicians. They're the honest ones. But I mean, most people know better, and I'll tell you what Riyadh. That's kinda. Why I stick the fatherhood and family life, just because as a father, it doesn't matter. What color you are what religion you practice or what side of the aisle that you're on voting for we all want to protect our families. We want the best for our children. We love our children when it comes down to it. We're all after the same thing. We all want the same dream, and there isn't a single father that would leave his door open at night and leave his family and protected, and that's why I told you I don't wanna have. I don't wanna have any of this country as father, Katie my. Weapon. Again, go to protect my family. I don't wanna see that this country. You know what I mean? Yeah. One hundred percent Riyadh and have any of your kids shown any interest in maybe getting involved with politics. No, no. They are not good politics. I mean, they could talk, but they go when a. To any Saigal anywhere. Anyone of this nation? They love me and my wife, of course supported from. It's funny things like, you know, when you get your citizenship, and you get get out that is to kind of shop or can't Republican and democrat and in San Diego and this weird like my wife when she gets into the ship before me, and she went to the Butler, can she's the only one, and she's looks like we're, you know, tens of people democrat tent, and she's only person. Is a free country when you believe so I think with me when I went to them. Same feeling like, you know, what I'm gonna say. This is not my business. I'm going to try to do that. I well, listen Riyadh. I am. So happy that you have become a US citizen. I thank you for your service and your sacrifice what's next for you. What kind of goals are plans that you have but a future? So you know is not how you make victory is how you keep the victory. So I'm victory when I get my citizenship beyond my family now, we can work so hard for this. Bigalow. Sponsor, but you know, shoulder to deserve the another citizenship every day by doing things and make difference. And God help us to do that. Well, said Riyadh. God bless you. God bless your family. And I gotta say Riyadh Alamatti. Thank you so much. Give me a few minutes of your time on first-class fatherhood. Thank you so much less you, and you know, what? And does the day we have big dreams, and we have big things to this country. Do the brother right Riyadh? And hey, anytime, you're over by New York City hit me up, and I'd love to buy Johnny Walker Rudge of that the brother. All right. I'm going to be back with a couple of closing thoughts and just a second year. Back to wrap things up here on first class. Fatherhood. I gotta give a special. Thank you once again to Riyadh. I'll almighty for giving me a few minutes of his time here that was such an honor police at me up on Twitter guys dropping a DM run. It's the Graham let me know what you thought about today's episode. I always love to hear your feedback and lock it in tomorrow. I got a US marine Alex Duran. He's known as the bully magnet. We're gonna cover a subject that is near and dear it's all of our hearts as parents. And that is the subject of bullying rights. We got a lot to cover Friday. We're gonna have former navy seal David Rutherford in next week a five banger. That's all I got you guys today. I'm Alec lace. You have been listening to I last bothered, and please remember guys, we are not babysitters. We are fathers, and we're not just fathers. We are first class fathers. Sophie. I open. No.

Riyadh Iraq US Johnnie Walker Riyadh Alamatti David Rutherford Alex Duran Mozell Iraq United States Marine America basketball Mike Iraqi army navy Greg Ed John Wayne Aachen Mosul
The WarDawg Trail - 1st Tour to Baghdad

DV Radio

56:26 min | 11 months ago

The WarDawg Trail - 1st Tour to Baghdad

"Because they do not influence. They built their social media platform ground up for far less than any other and they adhere freedom of speech to the core. Old Veterans and do it all for free? Who are they say say say scale you can grab your profile on say scape downloading the APP on your android and IOS devices if you'd rather. Dot Com your profile from your computer stop having forced posts in advertisements and your social media feed. While algorithms choose. What you get to see say scape is where you can choose what and who shows up in your news feed say enough is enough escapes gay day download on your mobile device or had to say scape dot com now. Say Say Skating Gait Dot Com remember the views and opinions expressed by this show or any other show TV radio and it's guest strictly those of Said, individuals do not reflect those radios staff nor the Steph dysfunctional veterans. I know. No. Run? Is. I'M A soldier Loria. Damn amount. ME. down. Through. DR. This is the more trail. Welcome back episode seventeen. Nice episode. We would discuss. The rest of my post. Excuse who discuss the rest of my first tour in Iraq. After we crossed the border will go onto. Some highlights on what's going to be happening with the sergeants. OPS report. A new newsletter that I've. Made up that will. Be Available for Weekly email it so. Again. That's the war dog. Trail. As this podcast and I will soon be sending out A. Newsletter called the sergeants ops report and the sergeants OPS report. Will have international news that. I pull from the State Department's Overseas Security Advisory Council. Happens to be run by the Bureau of Diplomatic Security. Ds. An offer those of you who know. What protection is like a? Foreigner Hostile airy. No one does better than. D. S.. Few. Do It as well as Diaz? Especially, retire center national liaisons. For the USO. For under Paul. Few. Raucous. Heart is. Develop security. So my heads off to them Solo. What are we will have? Some of their. International news reports from their Oh sack reports. And the Sergeants OPS report newsletter. As well as news on what's going on. With sergeant. Dog. TV The new the web series. Excuse me. And Camp Doghouse the. War veterans shelter. I also WANNA. Add that I now have press credentials. All right. I press credentials as a reporter journalists and Photographers from three different accredited agencies. So I will start to now try to get media passes to enter. A military basis to interview military personnel about what their jobs like I wanNA. Start a show entitled. What's that military job where interview? Different active duty personnel on their basis as much as I can to try to immerse myself. And the Sergeant Wardrobe TV web series into their lives to show America in to show the world what it is, they do to help protect us and keep us doing so. Well and keeping the country. So Great. Cause outside of you know what I do an infantry. Can weapon walking around with a gun in my hand there are hundreds of other jobs that truly support our country that you may or may not know about. So I'd like to highlight those neither medium press credentials to do so. still going to have to on actually gaining access to certain basis or. Tron acquire media passes to get into certain events. Now man 'cause our going to treat this like full on of production company. wherever we can go to record and interview people we will because we are now voice and an outlet from the web series to this podcast. So Sergeants playlist we have. Or even the blog. I'm not sure for New Year where the. There's a blog by the name of the war dog trail that I put out, but it's content is completely different from what I drop here on the war dog trail podcast and speaking of which more good news. Soon, I'll be bringing you interviews from marines that I serve within a Third Battalion Fourth Marines Marines that have been to Iraq three or more. Tom's plus some towards the Afghantistan I will have raw uncut war footage interviews with them, men that I actually know personally who say my ass watch my ass and WHO's as I watched saved a return if that's what it came to our so that'll be a new. Segment that a working on. It's going to be called tales of war Sergeant Aldo. Within the next two weeks I think have I interview lockdown? So we can. Get that part of the. Content out to you and most importantly. This podcast will now be syndicated in broadcast on the DVD radio network, and for those of you who are not familiar. DV. Stands for dysfunctional veterans and the Devi Radio Network broadcast live. On the live through sixty five APP. and. Now, occasionally, you can catch me live on the Saturday nights with their podcast cold a bears talk. which is all from nine o'clock to eleven pm. Eastern Standard Time To great show. Great family great network to be a part of everything that you listen to. On. The DVD radio network is Veterans Center. Combat Veterans Center so you know. You're in the right place where I community are right all the perspectives you here are coming from. Host that our veterans, Ho set of Combat Veterans Ho set of already been there done that. But mostly. Who are your sod? We're just here to relay. The information they have and to. Try. To entertain you as much as possible with their shows and podcasts just like I am trying to get you to. Continue to fight continue to hold on your life. Battling whatever battles you have over demons overnight mash. Try to continue to hold on struggle on just as I do. Salute. Before we begin with the first part. Of. The remainder of my first tour in Iraq. When open up with. The song slum life. By series. Out. Of Warren Park Florida. That feature in one dog. Also out of water park for skull as a permanent to. What I know may my enemies my? Mom. Felt. Vaguely my path was hitting the. Soon to be breathless. Yes there when the graveyard soon to have my sanctioning. Are treated my right to soul equivalent to a necklace. Yes like there's a hell of a thing but you know what they say for you to spirits, the jaws of life we must endure. Even. Block caretaker would say she. Would've been slow like crowded look. People say. To stay giving this long-life Knicks. People. Would say Like he's you won't see another day they would say civil money. To. Say. Mama slash two parts the racing for. Slap, basically in Kardze. Have your heart racing bras like what? Lipa kids across to ozone o'clock. Ladies. Now it's High Soda. Place to did you make page in town and you don't know what you? On. The state needs only incriminates Watson. Ago Crazy how to sit back and see. The came make good Luke Attorney. Network. Riskier Berm Return. Internet ice looked at the. Head. The tragic hang up your. Coat of did. You. Air, he was much. Hey, you went in the mail nobody. Cheek, don't care. See only be easy they want. Own. Break. where he'd be making you way home as babies. Any fool say got. To Your Lozano secret say this my. No, no plot here. Maybe. Somewhat to stay. Slow like granite on the block. Would take. Somewhere to stay if in this life. Savings. He say you won't see another day people say Civil Monday calls you. To say. Hey they. Should. Get. The cut to scrap to. Keep changing the loud say the free. Me Donald Thank you a tree for mandate I'll. Tell you would. Crackers giving bid. On the crew takeaway from. or You would. Make awake for cheese. Now you're looking at five look at when you get you're. Going to be nine and you'll. Be Seeing Shula. Bed Okay. Now, you said. This is what it sounds like. thinking. was looking at into a flash. Now. On the air. Block here. Tasting. Somewhat to stay. Slow like granite on the blocked here day. One. Some weather. Stay Slow I. Would say simple Monday called. Stadium. You. The other day they would say civil cows you somewhere to stay. Just on the way to look flower grow right. So be more time. That's my prediction. Who led? People could but then the whole crucifixion. But that's the. Of leaderships. This the position. Curses well as a guild. Yes bid. Dot. Set by busters. But Buster. We must. Muscle. Libanaise. National Life. A. Slum life by C. Reese I dangle. Excuse. Me Of slum life Bussey. Reese. You can find him on Instagram at series I dangle seven forty. And featured one dog. You can find one dog on instagram at. One Dog. W. P. Eight three. Correction Correction. You can find him on Instagram at one dog. Eight three W. P.. Again At one dog eight, three, p.. All right moving on. I think alas. Left off on this first tour talking about. First. Few days after we cross the border and we entered Iraq. Off from there from what I recall. Will we had to trick about three hundred, fifty miles of to get from the border to Baghdad. And there were many Iraqi army. UNIS tower station in between us and trying to get to that border. So we had assignments to get to where they were and take them out. And eventually the orders from taking out military. To take out police also and then. Because they were violating the Geneva Conventions, we were also ordered to take out a ambulances because at one time. Under normal circumstances the Geneva Convention. You know we'd never touch hospitals, ambulances mosques. But once those were being abused and you know the bad guys we're using those to. Shoot at us from even became. Authorized to be firefox because there was also threat of call. Guam's you know Iraqis were sort of just beginning to break out their whole. I D network of. Whole. Of ID, attacks of the through upon us for the next several years. So We hit cities that I can't with so many cities and villages I can't name. Each and every one to you. I will take a lot out had set a map, sit down on a map and even then I told you I was nineteen. So things were happening so fast. That Primarily the the primary thing I remember is always clinks of the on the doors. On the tracks on the Amtrak's on Av's are also marine amphibious assault vehicles. Once they rear ramp comes down to lead us out. You always hear that familiar clink clink. Clink. Clink here your fellow guys. Or Commander of the hauling out you know Graham coming down so that everyone knows then. I'll say ramps down to you out you hall to go wherever we're no. You know pandemonium chaos shots fired. Explosions. Dropping Hannah bodies faces, blood. Feces. You know full long sandwich of worse like. To Go to, war. Now, things I do remember certain says saying Iraqis hundreds of them walking down streets they leave in their war-torn cities in passing out yellow humanitarian maurice meals ready to eat. Passing Outta humanitarian rations to them as not water bottles waving children. constantly and people tell me things like you know Bush good Saddam down. So flight that are Tell me how great they were. We were moving soft Saddam from power I sort of thing saying. You know Bush out. I'm sorry not Bush. PUT A SADDAM OUT SADDAM DOWN SADDAM DOWN. Thanking those same things like that. In the meantime we fall on, you know we will knock down you know efforts Mouse Swat. Type of OPS as far as clearing on. It was a mix of. A. Mix of urban ops. Where we had to clear you know buildings homes. Bathrooms closets each and everyone each house one Woah. On the hot and then Tom's we'd run into units that were dug in for traditional. Battlefield fighter man they were dug into five holes of so holes we got to man, but he's motherfuckers even had a bags full of cocaine in the finals with. So they were you know hopped up like hell when we came to final. I seem some of them take should. They tire magazine of. Two to three or four, five six because they hopped up so much on coke. On fuck out was about but And as that's the way they fought mice away does so. It is what it is. There was once city that we attacked that I remember. You know I didn't even mentioned the fact that the entire time. Both Time magazine. Reporter, by Simon, cameras last time now it's been so many years they were signing his photographer. And then it was. Reporter by the Jack from San Francisco. Chronicle are both embedded within our a unit within talion thirteen, four Marines and Time magazine was actually embedded in my platoon. Imagine how crazy that was right. Of all people of all places, all Tom's in your life. three squads within opportune time magazines attached to sake squad where. I work how weird is that each store day transmitter Tom's the interview guys coming right there homegrown from Europe tone. And being published in magazines. Rwasa. Anyway. One of the city's we ran ended up in a newspaper. Speaking about how bad fighting was the way to get through? What I remember. I'll fast forward to. Approach Baghdad and finally making it to the river. And the deal bridge, which is about seven miles outside of the heart of Baghdad from what I remember. I we arrive there after the war began on March Twenty First We arrived at the. River pushing a fighting through US three, hundred, fifty miles or so to the board of days. No shower. Thirty On the hunt being shot at fired at. True Warfare Mayor for Law should you do? Yeah we were. Rolling and. I remember as we approached the deal bridge, there was one day. Were we Is One day where we hit. An army headquarters are at. And then Saad, that army headquarters was able to grab a few you know war trophies, war souvenirs. No weapons, guns but things you know flags helmets shit like that. Figured if I did you know I was looking for my dumb ass to. Become a grandfather something one day I would be able to. Pass things on our show have heirlooms you know Just, as you've seen the war veterans do from. World War One all the way through Vietnam, Gulf? No can't stand you. Very, certain things back tell store for your future survived tells US store. So I do remember wants hitting an army headquarters like that and bringing things back. Then I stowed away on my backpack, which is attached to the. A. Session tracks. Also, is able to still helmet as I say got that all the way back home through customs whatnot an Iraqi him. As well, as Iraqi Beret. From an individual. Iraqi, police patch. Arm Patch. But also from individual. Of C. Okay. So as we approached the all river one day we. Were clearing. And I remember we had to blow align charge and hey paw. We had a blow align charged somewhere. The fact that. Trevor Building, a house or city we were in. Once. We were told that that was about to blow. We seriously had to get away from every window or glass. You know piece of glass in the House because the line charge blew so strong. That it blue glass out of every house on several blocks. I can't is plenty how powerful thing was. Something like that it's normally used to clear mafias force. Especially when we're on certain. I rather you know we'd rather blow everything that's in that area. Or Ma field rather than risking a US grunts on the ground having a lose legs you know. Feet. As sort of thing. Or Your Life? Obviously. I'll one day. We hopped out on foot still wearing our our green NBC. Suits, nuclear, biological, and chemical suits. And To get to my objective We. All head to jump through some kind of like sewage pipe. Half sewage pipe. I remember wading through that like chess deep jumping up. All of US jumping out on the other end, you know watching security walking through high grass. Tall Grass 'cause We're approaching the river approaching the Dale River. And as we approach. Their mortars. Trotted dial in on our position drop where we are the dropping in the river next to the river near the river. But not specifically on us our soon as we get out to where they are disorder like a small white sedan. That unhappy to notice, and I'm carrying Miam- to forty nine. So I immediately lock onto that car and try to engage in the gas tank. And now, fortunately, I wasn't able to get the blow, but I did get the two drivers and occupants whom. I wasn't sure if they had weapons or not I thought. So on drive a the way they knew we will come for them. And they hopped on whole days. Eventually later we did. search their vehicle and. Did have a Military uniforms or not that they change dot of. So you know we almost had a match made in heaven, but they took off really WanNa. Be a part of that fight at a time. We spent the night there along that river. and. I can remember my normal fire watch duties. I can remember my ceo, tell me that We should cut holes in the fence that was behind because we happen to have some Iraqi bayonets that we could acquired. As well as. Iraqi grenades and the bayonets though they allowed us to cut they had wire cutters on back now are. Franglais war. Cutters. Yeah. Basically, why are cutters may was strong enough to cut the Iraq fences? So we cut. Squares circles into the wreck fences. In, case we started to. Take. And too much incoming fire that we could. Back up through those fenced areas and then re group and re attack from different areas from there. But, we didn't want the fence you know impeding in our movement. Towards. The fight or time to. Take. Care of any of our fellow marines. So I remember spending a night, there are member. One other. Marina. Doing something in the middle of the night where we had to. Walk. To maybe pass a message and. I remember getting lost can never forget though we got lost. But eventually, we did find opportunity back talk sleep ascites. We each did our one hours of fire watch for the by staying awake while the rest slept and there was no heavy heavy and we activity that first night. But I do know we had an operation going where we sent him marines across the bridge to try to recon it to try to find out of three Iraqis rigged. With explosives of any kind. And sure enough they had blown a hole in the center of the bridge. They blew a hole in it so we couldn't drive vehicles across. But the hose. Oh. I guess. Short enough. In size that. If. We found the right covers for we could still crossing foot. and. That's also the time when they ran into an individual on the bridge that might have been prior a military as will but who happened to have some strapped on his chest he had a green military bandolier strapped on his chest underneath his shirt and jacket. And with what I assume was some sort of explosive inside. As We ended up having to take his ass out. So. He wouldn't take out our our company. With a Whatever bullshit US trying to bring through was tempted to cross a bridge with us that night. He's individual that you see pictures run in that book that. Entitled the War in Iraq a photo history. On page twenty nine. then visual slammed beside me in that Book Center Visual Talking About Right now I did not take his life. But I do know individuals that had to. And as you can see in the book, He did have the green bandolier strapped underneath his clothes a cross chest. And Obviously, he intended to fuck some so. With those explosives so he had to be taken now offsite. Taken out onsite. Excuse me. All taken out on site fruit. Now, the debt very next mourner. CHAMPION BDO a seventh. Two, thousand and three. Scheduled across the border to get the PUCK. Diyala river. Bridge so that we could enter. Baghdad. Out that morning we were all up as we were each warner. Dr Stanton to stand to and the Marines means a goes all the way back to. you know. The Brits are though the Indians where everyone knows enemy attacks at dawn. So, what do we do before? All men everywhere a man wakes up within a battalion. All eleven twelve, hundred rose and is ready for anything everything to happen at the crack of dawn. Every brand is awake man his gun. Men, whatever weapons system they are signed to and ready. For Shit, to go down says, prepare we are, and that's the way we rocking marines. I will stand to. And? Shortly, after that was over, we gathered in. An Iraqi home. Gathering the yard of hall. And we were preparing you know. Making last minute adjustments, checking check and weapons. One of my buddies he somehow fell into. Like, a water pit full of water. So he couldn't cross bridge with the C. ended up. Leaving a platoon having a cross with one of the and physical amphibious assault view. Excuse me later aw. But. As reset in that Iraqi yard. On a nowhere. An Iraqi artillery round flew over my head from the other side of from the Baghdad side of the bridge. Flew over my head. Flu, maybe I don't know thirty to fifty yards away from me and landed I looked up and all I heard research. And now. They exploded striking one of our ABC's head one of our tracks. killed two marines inside instantly. I felt the the heat from the ball of flame. that. Emerged after that? Explosion and then immediately. Things got chaotic and of helter-skelter where we were all. You know M pandemonium checking and find out who's hurt who's not. Where the Iraqis were if they had us dow Dan if someone was watching us and was directed Mattel, tell him exactly where we were. We spread out. We were ordered to spread out was as you do when you're dialed in of indirect fire like the. especially like said, artillery rounds and not just. Mortar rounds or anything of that nature small we were dealing with the big ship the big ships fired at US and kill to all initially. We thought the damage is much worse than just two Marines. And we were told it was much worse than two Marines several of my buddies were named as. Data wounded. After that martill around stroke. And I'll admit. that. was probably one of only three times while truly tear fun. Because I didn't know. Any of the marine. Where that indirect fire would lay? You know motherfucking Kobe. You hear dropping. You see drop. You look up in the sky you just wonder where it's going to draw next. war-scarred drop next. Excuse me. Probably one of the most helpless positions of marine themselves. Unit, they are carrying thousand rouse and into four to not. solve. Against Indirect Fire Man Inside tillery mortars. Plays Drop Annoy. Shaking get? Hectic for. As long as I can put. Anywhere. Short while later my sergeant major from Third Battalion for years. He came out and he let us know we still going across the. Bridge. Regardless. I won't stop wash show. They weren't gonNA stop shy. We're cross the bridge in Baghdad regardless. On everything. told us we had about thirty minutes to get off shit to go and then we'll move. Sure. Enough. Thirty minutes later, we made plans. And crossed now, we're not a simple cross. Remember I told you Iraqis blowhole in. Abridge. Blew a hole in the. Verge, that was too big for vehicle to drive across but were individually able to find a the combat engineers. If you've seen the. Magazine article that features marine. Combat. Engineers Yellen. Adas is used a lot to represent their war but the comradery news actually yell at us to hurry up to bring planks that they'd found on the ground to cover the whole ground. So the rest of the company could cross for. And that's was what? That is what my job was during the initial phase it across. My jaw was to run. With planks with the rest of members of first. Platoon. Their squad. And bring planks up. Colbrad. Whole. Turnaround go get more pike's I actually end up crossing that bridge twice. Iran wants dropped off planks ahead. Ram Beck. Picked up more planks, and that's when you see me in that Vulcan during the war, the book picture were on wall. Next to the did, Iraqi. Body is actually when I was coming actors actually have already dropped off. While the middle planks and I was coming back from a second one. That's when I picture was taken by the. While the photo journalists that happen to catch their. Publish that and the the book. The Iraq war photo history on page two, twenty, nine. So After that second trip ov- covering the whole pint metroplex that were to cut fine. We proceeded across the Russell Bridge. And got into first available building that we could see that a code I was told enough. That offered a great vantage point. we got in, we took over that building. And somehow some way. That building coral far. And all I remember is. Running throughout the house from the first floor to the roof. To let the Ghazal Maruf No, the house is on fire and that they need to get down some spots. What I did. So everyone. Left House. We found MELA safe spot. And sell up security again on the other side of that bridge so that The rest of. Our Company and eventually our battalion before. Their retirement for brains? Kilo Company could cross bridge now was later her was later told excuse me that. Pontoon Bridge was actually put up built on Diablo River. Soda. We could get our vehicles, tracks tanks, a these Humvees across the bridge of ballot bone by Iraqis. A on. Proud to tell you that. I am part of on the first wave of Marines to that day all bridge Antuna Baghdad. and. To See. From there to eventually US pulling out Saddam statue in mode of said. We'll take a break here bring her into another song from SARS playlists. Once again, this a series would they saw forevermore Dan. J You, wear A. Pants. Came to the rescue. Upside. Down and? Thank. You. And I'm thanking. Dan. Just, beat the best. Next. Big. Only Brathwaite. Came on way threatened. By the Way Now. We did. We did. and. Yup. Yup You. Did. Job. Point. I want to say thank you. Came, from the same place. As our room out to be real by the situations around me and as you. Go. Look. Out. They mind. Watching. Guy. In one guy that nickel. A ride that were serious. Find. Him On instagram series I dangle seven forty. With his song forevermore peeps. This has been the war dog trail episode seventeen we've been discussing. The remainder of my first Iraq tour. Before the break. Told you about US finally crossing Ridge making it into first house, their side of the bridge and a Baghdad which. Choices pose housecall fire. After your relocated. And took up security positions We ended up. Laying in Promo man just waiting and watching as the rest of the. A reservoir reinforcements cross rate of and problem stomach gun. That into four now for next Sano four, six hours. As waited. then. We fell asleep right there in place across the bridge. That night. That night we ended up all. PRETTY MINIMAL ACTIVITY I'll say Very. Minimal activities. Most of the houses that we laid on had been burned down pieces special from. Willy Pete Combs for the White Foster said been dropped. Off. The houses were decimated ashes some someone. I mean I lay down on few. Areas where they were houses it. I, look at my down. Best and just blow off the Dutch Savoy. Right down which is. Crazy orders. Not that next day very next day as we were in online. Just a little north or just a little past the bridge. Of the jail version working away in debate. That, we had to start setup. Setting. Up Roadblocks. And we sit up roadblock. Vehicles. To, be stopped so that they could Ryan, choice car. Preserve more more borst beginning to come across the country, a suicide bombers. So. Don't won't particularized. A vehicle approach happen be. A. Van Ole School van. So until I go the double Punchbowl Lookin. Van. Early of eighties. Approach. The warning shot was given a second shot to the grill. Cars Niro. But vehicle still stop and they proceeded so. Through. Thirty machine on his they ripped into the vehicle in order to stop. and. Somehow someway. I have to everyone in the vehicle I've been. Taken out. The, very next morning. A woman. opened the door today van and crawled out. and. We have footage of it's it was captured by Time magazine but. Simon is her chagas for all. But. That was crazy site to not at she stayed in the van. All. Night long with the bodies of her did family members. And we tried our best with our upper. To let her know that we. All Jaws of we told him stop you know we need to stop this very dangerous Jewish. Approaching us. COMES, around. New. Voice Tom. was probably one of the first instance on Seoul. In. E, to be, obse Shout at me five. Sorry. Private First Class Shop. And sorry to stop far had the vehicle to. Get hold his fire or stranger so. Because the entire. Line. Thirty one CERVO gunners they opened up to forty go there M to forty goals. Are. Four. G.. G.. This, letter. Military Alphabet for. Or goal. The. Opened up for the man to forty goals like never before several vehicles that approach. But don't get me wrong wasn't like any type of abuse. We haven't esscalation force and rows of engagement where like I said, we fire worn show us and the Sky I want a shot at ground. From vehicle, them will fire at the grew of the vehicle charge stop engine Blah and not until after all those steps. We found ready in prepare to take out the job. In which case you know if we have two. Things here sub. So we've already covered a law information, a lot of movement. Throughout the first tour war. Around the Baghdad. His final across the bridge enter Baghdad. Live you. One final song from SARGE playlists against one boy series. This time featuring low key solve good Tom. Dan? It broke our. Suddenly. You've finished dangle big. Who'd? Good we are. A fee. We have. Beaten. Track. Taking Bid O. G. T.. Over here. Man I might visit call. Up. Fried out trying to buy. Snow? Your. Daughter side. down. Pat. We have. Out. We have. We have. Was Meet on group. Do. This patrolling. This. Battle Sauce. Such beautiful day just in my view is. down. Time cool. The Summertime St. Lois do one thing. Good. Thanks. Quite. Paulo. Trying to. You. Know We. We have. We have a good. A. Look. Out. For SOKAIA. Amendment so Much when the trunk say Nola to stay to. Give me a bit Bob. Bos in the watch drop. Of Quality Templeton. Pop Civil Jane and thanks right now with. So much. Money's. Sad that. This Joe. Really, play. Have a good. Good. This as the war trail. This is ben episode seventeen. I hope you enjoy my tales war which. Reward. Loop I know. I know shoe. A. Dog. Tails what happened through? For. You Talk. Radio Okay listen up before we start this understand what it is. The Spartan pledges a battle drill. It's what to do when you don't know what to do. Remember that. The. Two things every warfighter needs. To see is a battle buddy. And the mission. Last Repeat after me, I will not take my own life by my own hand. Until I talked to my battle buddy I tell. My mission. is to find a mission. To, help my warfighter, Fan. Thank you now taking the sport and pledge don't let it die here. You are not authorized to go and tell other people. Other warfighters don't take it for yourself you take it for them. It's an agreement so they know where to go when they're having problems. Take this, go give it to others'. All the way. Make it happen. Go give it to others'. Make. It. Happen. Radio.

Iraq US Baghdad Tom dow Dan Time magazine Saddam Baghdad Reporter WanNa assault Dot Third Battalion Fourth Marines Overseas Security Advisory Cou USO Iraqi army
Ep. 457 - War Story, a novel by artist & USMC vet David Richardson

SOFREP Radio

1:25:56 hr | 2 years ago

Ep. 457 - War Story, a novel by artist & USMC vet David Richardson

"Is it doesn't just not using? You're listening to sulphur lady special operations military straight talk with the guys in the community. Some brady. Oh on time on target. This show is brought to you by great Quba club. Four men by men of gear handpicked by special operations military veterans, visit crate club dot US for an exclusive motion for our listeners of twenty percent off your subscription is the biggest discount we've ever made available, and we don't know how long we can keep this promotion wives. So go to great club dot US use the coupon code Safra and get twenty percent off either the seasonal or annual subscription. That's great club dot US coupon code Safra for twenty percent off sign up now we have the author of war story. David Richardson, coming in studio. Jack is here with me. I mean Scotto of course, and we have dentist here for the first time it was going to be taken over for me on production duties. I mean, you're technically were here last time, but I figured the audience get acclimated with Houston sue kind of shadowed everything I was I figured I would sit back. Learn from the master now, you did a phenomenal job, by the way. I want the audience to know that accident laid it out and Chris up it really was. I mean he he gave me the bible. Not literally viable Old Testament, New Testament, but the the radio bible came in here. Showed me, exactly what to do told me how the ropes are run. And hopefully it's a seamless transition from you to me. Yeah, I think it will be if you guys are hearing, the show and it sounds good. You're going to be the one who added some produce all thing. So it sounds correct. You know in terms of like format. Thanks to this guy with that. What's get into some different things going on. I've some emails. I was going to mention that I listened to tolsey barred on Joe Rogan's podcast. She was on recently. Yes, she was on for. I mean it was like a big three hour interview. I've listened to probably two thirds of its so far. I wasn't as for millions her hers, you and I have to say Weichel water, the thing she said, on foreign policy, and it does seem like there's a lot of unfair criticism of her being a like supporter of Assad, which I think she will probably said the same about you. Right. Because you met with him that. I mean, it's just one of those questions that, like, every, let's say anti dictator anti anti-saddam action, every anti Russian action is not necessarily by default in a pro American action like right now, we're ramping up to go to war with Iran by all indicators, which we're gonna get into Email, every anti Iran action is not necessarily pro American. You have to keep that in mind if we get bogged down in another fifteen year war over there. That's not a good thing for us. No. And we're gonna get right into that in a little bit because we have an Email about that. And I know you wrote an article about that daughter thing I was going to mention real, quick, is speaking of people running for president, mayor Wasi. Oh, the day that we're recording this just threw his hat in the raise the cover the New York Post, yeah, we're just a bunch of faces laughing. I yeah, I don't I mean I don't expect him to do very well. Yeah. No one. No. I mean he doesn't have it isn't have any wall STA on the national stage. You know, I don't think anyone really gives us shit. I'd say in New York state as a whole, he's not very well liked he did get elected city and reelected. But yeah, but I mean then again, we all I mean, Donald Trump is somebody who, who could never get elected mayor of New York, because people knew people in New York New him to. Well, yeah but he got himself elected as president. So the dynamics are weird. All right. Well with that we'll get into some emails here, and the first one, I'll cover does have to do with Iran. Because as I said, you just wrote a piece for news, rep titled America's America's war-drums beat for Iran, and that's exactly what the Email is about this one's from Thomas, of course sent to suffer dot radio. It's offer dot com. Jack with the movement of the I R G to the state, sponsored terrorist and the announcement of a carrier strike force in bombers headed over to the Middle East because of a possible Iranian, plots at the recent sabotage of Saudi Oilers are the war drums beating louder here. And then he says, Ian Sar -sego, good luck with future endeavors. Thank you so much Thomas, and then as for that question. Well, I mean, I think I think Thomas put all the chess pieces together there and can see what's going on. You have these things happening and rapid. Succession, they pushed Madison out, it was a big impotent to any kind of attack on Iran. He wasn't going to. He wasn't about expanding the wars, right? We put the I R on the foreign terrorist organization list of. Te'o, which makes it a lot easier to attack them. Right. They can be attacked under the probably right, under the fold it right under the af. The authorisation for these military force that we passed after nine eleven and it's been used to prosecute the entire war on terror from Yemen to Afghantistan to Iraq to Syria. So then you have these other things happening Israel, telling the United States that we have intelligence that Iran is putting an attack against you guys. There's no proof of that whatsoever is just like some innuendo. It's about as credible as the yellowcake claims Iraq in response, we send a carrier group into the Persian Gulf ver very provocative action, but not necessarily wrong in, if it self, but you can see that we're trying to escalate tensions. We're trying to provoke things there, then you have these sabotage incidents of sabotage against oil, tankers, the UAE against Saudi oil tankers off the coast of the and then actu-. Oil tankers belonging to the UA, who's behind that sabotage, we don't know but publicly Iran, it's catching the blame for it. So we can see all these things happening in fairly rapid. Succession of one another, and I honestly, think that John Bolton and his boys are trying to provoke a sort of Gulf of Tonkin type situation, which was what led to the esscalation of the Vietnam war under the Nixon administration. So I think if you keep pushing and pushing the Iranian regime, you're basically just waiting for them. The fuck up to make a false start or a bad move to screw something up. And then we find ourselves very quickly into some sort of shooting war, which probably start with, they'll sell it to the American public as limited strikes against targets in Iran, where it goes from there. I mean, once we, we initiate, a war with Iran. It's gonna punch that entire region indicate all over again. And where that war ends? We have no idea. The Iranians almost certainly have sleeper cells here in the United States, and I guarantee you if it becomes an existential crisis for the Iranian regime. They will launch attacks against soft targets in the west again. I cannot tell you predict exactly how it's all going to go down. No one can. And that's the scary thing about it like, we don't know where the bottom is. And that's what I see happening right now. Scary things and read the piece as well. On news, rep, America's war-drums beat for Iran. It's up right now. You just wrote that or just went up yesterday. So that'll be up or it is up right now on the news, rep dot com. Second Email is for Matthew Ryan first off, I would just like to say that. I love the work, you guys do at news, rep keep up the good work second. I wanna wish Ian well in his future endeavors, away from news rep as well as tell Jack that I just finished Burke's law, and I really enjoyed it we're getting. Out of that. Finally, I have a question that hopefully jacket answer. You have referenced quote, checkpoint pasta multiple times when talking about Somalia, but I can't find anything about it on the internet. It sounds like the Italians were doing some shady stuff in Somalia at the time, can you please explain what checkpoint pasta was, this seems like something that would make a good article for Jack to write given his history of writing stories about obscure military history that nobody knows about, like debt, K debt, a blue light and a ninety four Panama prison riot? That's Matt Ryan. Yeah, it could be a topic. It will checkpoint pasta was just a checkpoint, that was manned by the Italian forces in Somalia back back in, like ninety three when all that stuff is going down. And there were Italian special forces there and the checkpoint came under attack at one point, there was some kind of firefight, and I would have to do a little bit more research, like you should be able to find some information online. If you look for it. And yeah. So I'd have to research that, I mean, there's, there's a lot of other smaller actions that would be interesting research, but yeah, that's one of them. I know the people I could go and talk to about it or I could even get. What was his name, Paulo Palumbo? You. He wrote an entire book about the Italian special forces unit like their equivalent of delta force, their counterterrorism unit, but it's only available in talian. I have a copy of it, but I can my talents, not so good. I can't really read it. I could ask him. He's written articles for past. Benny translated, I, I could ask him to write an article for us about it. So. Yeah. That's not bad suggestion. That'd be cool. All right. And then one last one here from ONA. Hey guys who writes to us all the time. Hey guys, I have two questions for Jack regarding the twenty twelve Benghazi attack any sites. This article for military dot com reading it yesterday. So it's called untold Hirose and behind marine secret navy cross Benghazi. Is that the one scene? Okay. So two questions. Here question one it tells us of an infantry assault marine assigned to a delta detachment asked out of ignorance alone. No disrespect. What can marine bring to a group of delta guys qu? Question to the article says they carried the bodies of the dead down a wider in the book thirteen hours. We're told by one of the authors. The bodies were thrown over the edge of the roof. What's your take on this discrepancy? Thanks, jack. He says I've listened to Murphy's law twice now. I mean that's a lot of listening to you. Those the whole book twice, and everyone should get the book all the best for the future to you, Ian, thank you so much, and that's from ONA. Well, thanks for the kind words, I've heard a couple people who are like I'm reading your book, it's like very humbling and flattering here. All that, you know, very few books to be honest. I've read twice ever listened to a book twice. And I've had a lot of people tell me like this is unlike every other military memoir, I've read, which I mean, I it's touching for me. I agree. So thank you for that in regards to this question. What can our marine bring to a unit like delta force? Well, I would humbly go back and recommend to software radio episodes done with Totta pulse. Easy, and you will find out Todd was a marine who went and served as a delta operator. He was a troop commander and before we ever had him on the show. I asked around like as this guy legit and, you know, my contacts got back to me says, yes, he was a j sock operator and he was a good dude. And we liked him. Invited me over do coaster. Yeah. Yeah. So I think that there's that there are a lot of marines who they bring a lot to the table, but also it's part of an exchange. It's an exchange of ideas as well. So you're bringing a marine in. You're letting him serve in the unit, and then you're sending him back. So there's there can be some exchange of lessons learned, as well. You know, I remember Todd said, you know, when he came back from his tour there, he said the biggest lesson, I learned was relationships and it wasn't about, like, you know, cool guy blown down doors and shooting people in the face, his who's about the importance of maintaining and building relationships. So there's, there's a little takeaway from that is far as what happened in Benghazi with a different. This is different marine named jolly Tate as was in the military dot com. Article names him who was awarded the stitched service cross for his actions at Benghazi. So another marine who was serving in the unit. Was one of two unit members who responded to what happened in Benghazi, and they got to the annex after the initial attack was over at the embassy. They got to the annex just around. I think just as the, the Motors were falling on the on the compound. And I don't think there's a discrepancy, I think what happened was that there was an injured GR servicemember, so G R S is the CIA protective staff guys that you can go back, what two interviews back and listen to our podcast with Tomba Cora, who was one of those CIA protective guys you learn all about what they do. One of them was injured up on the rooftop from the motor that fell and killed Glen Doherty another G R S guy. Former navy seal who we knew. I believe the marine, the marine who is serving as Jason operator tied that injured. G R S dude to his back like with rope as I understand it and climbed down the ladder carrying him down. I think the bodies of the dead were thrown off of the roof to get them down to the bottom now. We can ask Chris Parango and get to the bottom of that one. But I believe that's where the scratchy is. I think the dead dropped to the bottom to get them down off the roof and I think the guy who's injured was carried down. Interesting. All right. So that someone answers it, maybe Chris Brown could give a full answer to that, since we talked to them regularly, and I guess that's it. The only other thing that I was wondering before we get over to David Richardson, or not wonder, I think for the westerners since you're going to be an integral part of this podcast, people might be wondering your background dentist, and what you've done. So went to college for production, stuff like that went to the Connecticut school broadcasting to further that along, I've been at Sirius XM. I know you were there for quite a while. So we probably cross paths years ago. It's such a big role. Yeah. Yeah. You wouldn't. It's not like either us up now. But I, but I also know Ron Bennington, which, which I worked on the Bennington show, which was a blast. So if runs listening, thank you for the opportunity. And then I was over at CBS sports radio for three and a half years. I wanna say and then really live sports radio is a whole nother animal as we've talked off air. So getting used to that, and then I worked with TASR the former professional wrestler, I did his live daily of video, and audio show, which we turned into he gets mad, if you say podcast because it's not a podcast, because it's live, but his live audio video. So I did the turn around for that. And that was an opportunity that was other-worldly so was doing that. And then saw the ad for this applied got the gig. And here we are. So that's what got me to right here right now. Awesome happy to be aboard, by the way, I should I feel like I should mention. And that man, now this is cool, and I'm glad to have someone of your experience, you know, taking over, I told Nick, I wanted this transition be seamless as possible. So hopefully I can Philly shoes for the fans listening. If I can't feel free to let me know I'm sure they work. They do you Twitter Twitter. I do. See, I'm not very active. I'll be active with the with the show's Twitter and Instagram, obviously. But my own personal Twitter is at Dennis underscored Jones four four because there's forty three other Dennis Jones and the Instagram is the same. So Dennis underscore Jones, four four Coleman while excited have on board. And right now, we're gonna get over to David Richardson is new book once again is worse story. So let's get right into it with David joining us in studio in studio with us for the first time David Richardson, marine combat veteran, painter, and the author of his novel war story, which is based around marine, and an Iraq. Defense forces Lieutenant Colonel willing to put their lives on the line and come together in pursuit for an ideal and the interesting thing about this book is, it's like two guys from completely separate cultures coming together through war, and dated Enda. It seems like the American might loosely based off you as a painter, and yeah. So full disclosure most first novels, you may be able to test Audubon auto autobiographical. This one's probably eighty percent. And the reason is, you know, you start writing, and you've got a bunch of stuff you wanna dump, and you kinda get it out in the first novel that way, your second third fourth and fifth novels are actually fiction rather than so much heavy. Autobiography autobiography. So, yeah, it is autobiographical and some of the charac-, most of the characters based on real people. I think it's a good thing, though. I mean, writing fiction and when you right when you write fiction to draw on your own experiences, rather than, you know, done both, of course. But. As opposed like doing research, a lot of novelists go out and do tons, and tons of research, and pour that into their book. But I mean doesn't it brings something special to it when you're drawing in your own personal experiences and author vacations. Indeed, it does. And I think there's a because there's a tone that you can give it essentially, you can people can read between the lines when it's your own experience because you give it that tone was chat with somebody today, and one of the biggest bestseller, John route. There is like young adult fiction, and there's guys, my age right in young adult fiction. I don't know how they pull that off. I mean either. Or how people read it at our age. Yeah. Hobby will Rina's I don't know. I could read my book, I thank you, and get something from it at the age. I am so yeah, I think having lived it helped me lend a tone and allows people to kind of read between the lines and match things up. Things I left a lot out. But I think that part that I left out, gets in there by inference had I used a lot of adjectives verbs and build a little bit more wordy probably would have been eight hundred pages and nobody would read it. So chopped, it down to four hundred got rid of adjectives, and adverbs. And that's what you got. And you were saying to me prior to us recording. There's a reason that you chose not to do a memo or not to do autobiography. Yes. So the reason I didn't do an autobiography was because it was my first foray into writing. And I kinda wanted to show that I could I could write a novel which is a lot harder than writing and autobiography there's a this is a gold. And fleece novel. Since you have the hero that goes way, and he comes back with answer to a question. Or whether it's Goldie comes back with, or whatever it is comes back with the question it's hard to build that in much easier to linear memoir, and, you know, having not written before I was afraid if I wrote an autobiography, it would have been something like, you know, the autobiography of Dave Richardson subtitled it gives a damn. I wanted people to actually read the thing and get through it. I tried to make it a page Turner. And that's why I wrote a novel vice a memoir was the cover drawn by you because I know your background in art, so so indeed, it was the cover the great cover. Thank you. The cover. When I was in Ramadi with the first time I went on patrol, I looked up to see a billboard. Painted on what looked to me like a piece of plywood of a man hoisting, a barbell over his head and over the months that billboard disintegrated, essentially from random gunfire. So came back, I wrote the book somebody read the book and they said, you should do paintings of muscle. Man. I kinda scratch my head and the next call him back. And I said, I got it. I'm going to do Mosul mad, but I'm going to do it in a series of three paintings. I'm going to have the one I saw in January of two thousand six that wasn't very shot up the one from two thousand or March two thousand six which is that one on the cover which is kinda shot up, and then the one from may of two thousand six which is essentially there wasn't much left of it. So I painted it and then eventually I put it on the cover of the novel as a non. Novelist. What was I think it's kind of clear on one sense. There's clearly some sort of ODA ration- you're going towards with. You know, the disintegrates over time. Oh indeed. And then there's two there's two pieces of that. So it disintegrated over time which kinda showed what was happening in Iraq overall. But what was happening specifically in Ramadi between probably the summer two thousand five or two thousand four right on through the Sunni, awakening, soon after I left in late two thousand six but there's also another piece of that the great Gatsby. Dr Berg sign guy with the glasses. He's, he's a he's a doctor and driving out to Long Island. I think it is. There's that signed staring at them, and it's mentioned a couple times f Scott Scott FitzGerald. I didn't realize I had used that until later, I realize that's the that's the payroll. So two different things one Ramadi disintegrating the other the great Gatsby, I had a similar experience with his soul and going there and two thousand five and it was pretty beat up. Going back in two thousand nine and it was really beat up. And now I haven't been back there since I mean, we all know what happened in missile. I mean places just leveled now, I don't think we're going to have the Vietnam experience. John. Mccain had would go back to Hanoi and you know, it actually looks decent. That's not going to happen the next thirty years. Yeah, I think it's going to be torn up for a while. I've often imagined you know, if I flew over there for vacation, you know what it would look like. It's definitely not what our grandfathers my father would have seen if he'd gone back to say, Berlin. Berlin in nineteen fifty two where they'd actually cleaned it up from what it wasn't nineteen forty five or Japan for that matter. But we're not gonna experience that. I think it's going to stay like it is, which is kind of sad actually to rewind a little bit. Tell us a little bit about your own experience. How did this journey begin? Eventually led to the novel with joining the Marine Corps, and so I joined the Marine Corps in nineteen ninety one I was actually painting in Chicago. I went to the army and they said, well, we can't guarantee that, you know, we can you'll be carrying a rifle in combat. I went to the navy. They kind of gave me a little bit run around and I went to the Marine Corps and they said. So I joined the Marine Corps that was still paying when I was in the Marine Corps, which my peers found somewhat odd. But what's, what's different about that is overtime? They all kind of accepted it, and it was like rich Richardson Manatt ball. He's pretty good marine paints like private joker. Yeah. A little bit like that. So, and they kind of accepted that, and it's time we're not ended up just book takes begins as I get to the jor or this character gets the George Washington University, where he is a professor of naval science, which is a high flute in turn because I don't have an advanced degree. And I was kind of chuckled, when I looked at my card, and it said, I was a professor, I was just a guy that had read a lot of books. And so I taught there, and that's right, when the war was kicking off, and like most marines, Moshe, Rangers most guys need a second airborne when there's a war on. They wanna be there. So autobiographical part of the novel is where I pick up and he's trying to get to war, and he's painting and showing his work and Washington DC, and he runs a foul with some art galleries that own money. So he goes and gets a lawyer, and he goes on. And eventually, he, he goes to Camp Lejeune and then goes onto the war also on the first part of the novel introduced the character of Colonel goule Gede, who I knew Gede. And she told me what happened to him before we met all the way back to the eighties when they were in the Iran Iraq war than the first Gulf war. And then what I call the, the wars of nine eleven. So he kind of told me that and I kind of capture that in the first half of the book, and it goes on from there, we meet, and we kind of become fast, friends, and kind of get the mission done. So then what was your your experience again that bleeds into this novel in Ramadi, working with machine? So that's my experience with them. That, of course, is a big cultural divide. And my experience with them was they were undermanned undertrained and under supported, and I'd be I mean, by that the war as all war since will were to in the Korean war wars, always political. But I think after World War Two and I believe the cream wars, the real first modern or postmodern war, because it is, so political. There's many political considerations. We had to look at career that we didn't have to look at, and we'll war too. So there was a lot of political things going on in the Iraqi army, the struggle between the soon as the Kurds and the Shiites that was always a dynamic Gede was a professional soldier. So I was able to relate to him on that level. And I was also able to relate to him because he was he was struggling so hard to keep his unit to. -gether so that dynamic all kind of came together. And there's one odd thing I think about machine. Ni-. Machida surprise that. I could talk about the Old Testament, and we don't realize how much the. Muslim culture is actually steeped in the old test. Yeah. And we had a conversation, one time that could would've may have gotten bad. If I had been a religious fanatic or wouldn't have gone anywhere had not known anything about the Old Testament, and that focused on, who was the sacrifice of Abraham was Ishmael, as he said, or was it Isaac, as, you know, essentially Christianity, and Judaism, believes I didn't make it a big deal. He said it was Ishmael, and I left it at that, so you kinda get the dynamic, and we both like to smoke cigars, he smoked cigarettes, and we both ranked t-. So we kind of had a pretty good dynamic. And one thing I never did to him. I never demeaned him in any way because they weren't his unit wasn't that great. That's what we were there for. And I think he sensed that it was kind of like reading between the lines. I understood as plight. I don't know how, I think it was from reading so much about the confederate army probably, but I understood his plight with an undermanned under-equipped army, that had two big of a mission to complete. They had that incredible amount of responsibility to try to stop their country from coming apart at the seams. But as you said, like I had this conversation with a friend yesterday. Their government was so corrupt. They were getting no bullets. They're getting no fuel food and water Cal. I mean you're marine, you know without a logistics line how long is the fight gonna last? Right. They didn't have any of that. And that really comes out on the book, by the way, in fact, that's the mystery in the book. There's a thing about American dollar bills and remember, the palette of hundred dollar bills that got lost the one that was drawn from the Federal Reserve yet and I had the money it was like it was, I can't remember trillions of dollars that just got lost on a pallet somewhere. Got lost floated into Iraq. We had horrible problems. There were warehouses full of gear that we had give. Even them they never saw. I don't know what happened to it there. Would there were vehicles coming into the country, nobody accounted for so? I don't know what the parallel is. But imagining it's just flooding someplace with a with a ton of cash and a ton of equipment that had no way to absorb it, and it really didn't have the culture to absorb it. So they really struggled with that getting paid. There's a whole thing about ghost Jundi, which essentially means June d you have on the books. You still have on the books, although they're dead or the desert, you're still commanders. Twelve year old daughter is on the payroll right, right? Yeah. You're collecting the money for them. And there was really no accountability. They didn't have you know they couldn't go to the cash machine. They had to drive to Baghdad to the mega sandbag literally sandbag Fulham remember the bag. They would come back and these bagful of monies, and other advisers. I wasn't really like this. You know, would really dig into the shit about that. I never said a word and it's not like I condoned all that stuff. Look, it was a different culture. They had their own way of doing business. We've got our own way of doing business that looks kind of funny to foreigners and some of it can be viewed as corruption and nepotism, and all that they had their own version of it. I never dug into it. I just let it be I tried to get him to reduce his ghost Uni as comes out in the book but I didn't criticize him for that. And I didn't demeaning for that. Well, what was the mission you guys were trying to accomplish because this early on the war, you said, right, like thousand four thousand six okay? So on six we're just trying to get our head on our ass. Really what we're trying to do. There's there's a great scene in pockets now where Martin sheen shows up and he's at this base in Vietnam. And there's a broken down helicopter Anderson, playboy bunny. In there, and they're kind of stranded, you know, so no tell them, what's going on and Martin Sheen's walking in the rain, and he smoked, a cigarette or something. And he says to some troopers like, hey, who's in charge here and looks and goes shits there? I thought you were, there was a little bit of that going on Ramadi when we got there. So we flew in our mission was to team up with train and fight alongside the Iraqi soldiers and specifically, Colonel Majid's battalion. So we went to Ramadi we weren't in camp reminded, we actually outside the fence, and that's what we did in Ramadi. And then we moved to flus and when I say that was our mission. No one told us how to do that mission in our case we found out. We were going Tober. We kept waiting for the team to get together or band to get together and we didn't get together till the first December, and we left on twelve January. So there's only six weeks that my team got to know each other and we flew. And did this mission? And the other thing is really told us what to do. And of course, I was professional soldier. I was a major, but I remember my lieutenants look at me and saying, what the fuck how are we going to do this? And I said, look, you've been trained by the Marine Corps, you've gone to the basic school, all of us know, the basics of being rifleman, we will get this done, you know, the fundamentals of marksmanship, and that's where we're going to use, and, you know, instead of looking at me, like I had a dick on my forehead. They kind of gave me the thumbs up and said, Roger, sir, that sounds like a reasonable plan, but that was our point. That was gonna be my next question, actually. And I don't mean this as a cheap shot at the marines by any stretch of the imagination, but dole were a lot of units. I mean, the bulk of our military. They went over there to train equip, advise, their Iraqi counterparts and this was traditionally, a special forces mission you have highly trained special forces team to go and do these missions and because of the numbers of Iraqis, we. Working with the conventional forces conventional American forces subsumed the bulk of that mission. And I just want to ask you what, that was like to have marines doing this. I mean, was it something that they had a difficult time adapting to or did they I noticed that the younger conventional troops jumped into it really easily, and it was kind of older institutionalized ones that had problems with it. Yes. I think you're getting the difference between a Titus marine. I mean you've known the type of your ranger, you know, the types and somebody that can swing a little bit. Yeah. And kind of make it happen in a fuzzy situation. And there were varying degrees of that in the Marine Corps. Some of us were. I mean I was a little bit oddball anywhere. Anyway, I was a painter, you know, and I went, I kind of did this mission and later on people told me like I heard about, you know what a good job you did. I scratch my head and I thought, well shit. I was just doing my job. Some guys couldn't hack it, some guys went over the top about trying to stop corruption, you know, or just training, Iraqis and let them go out into combat by themselves. I saw that in both the army and the Marine Corps. So that was a lot personality driven. And there wasn't there wasn't a whole lot of selection, like who's kooky enough to get done and make it happen. Right. Because if you're looking at a guy that's very concerned about his career getting the right slot. What you know, whether it be botanic, so or the operations officer, overly concerned about those things, he's probably not going to do real well, but if you take a guy who's maybe done a few shady things inside the bring outside the my put him in that situation and he's mature, I was forty years old. We just got it done, and we made it up as we went some of those guys who are like, dress, right, dress. Like they just can't handle the like, oh my God. These guys don't pull security. You know, we can't we haven't shoot there as they're not on paper. These dudes don't even have compasses wanna fuck. Look. They can load and shoot derive, as long as they're not shooting each other. We point them in Joan direction and get them going. Four six different types of uniform. Freak some people out. They didn't did you ever see him, do jumping jacks? There's a video online that shows ten Iraqi troops and bless their hearts that. Yeah. They're all guarantee, if I said, right now, if I got us all formation, we could all do pretty much the same type of jumping Jack they ten different. Iraqi soldiers did ten different types of jumped jumping jacks. The did just not part of their culture. But, you know, kind of going on a patrol picking yourself a chicken carrying it back and coming back with the watermelon, and come back with the guy you were looking for, they could do that. And that's all I really want, I was not trying to make them marines. I wasn't trying to make them army. Rangers. Or navy seals. I was there to train them to get these basic things done. Despite the fact that they lacked, a lot of the gear they didn't have any RPT's. All they had were pistols. And K forty-sevens didn't give them grenades didn't have any of that stuff. We had plenty of that type of year and they didn't most of them didn't have sappy plates. Eventually they got some type of savvy plates. Some of the most officers I should say most a lot of the officers took their sappy plates out. And that's what they put the American money or the money they got extra from 'em OD, by the way, which was definitely the problem if you've got shot in the chest, and you can have your sappy played in instead, you had American money in their Raqi money. Whatever so, yeah, if you're real tight ass. It was not the job. I guess what I'm trying to say. And I wasn't a real tight, and I think most of my buddies could attest original wasn't too much of a died. So then what? Was the Genesis of the novel? Yeah. I mean this was an experience. You had that, obviously, you know, it meant a lot to you it resonated with you probably an important moment in your life that you wanted to capture in a book. Yeah. Indeed it did. So I had had an art show here, New York City, that didn't go how I wanted to go. So I decided, I'm gonna promote my paintings, I'm going to write a book about it. I got about a month into the book. I said the book is not going to be about promoting your paintings. The book is going to be about something else. And then I kind of went off on a stream of consciousness, eventually figured out. I was trying to answer the question for myself a question that probably drove me into the service in initially as a kid got me interested in the military and war. Drove me into the service and I'd been trying to answer, which is why is man fascinated by war. If you go to the toy store right now about a quarter of the toys. Whether it's camouflaged as Kaplan captain America, or it's an actual armament are about some type of warfare. Same with games. Same with films. Same literature. We are fascinated by war. I tried to get to the bottom of that. In my now, I think I did actually took a lot of thinking. I did not try to answer the question. Why Worsham horrible? Why does man kill man? Those were questions. Why did we go to war? Those are questions asked by somebody else. And I think in many cases satisfactorily answered by somebody else, I picked that question, because it's a question that I had asked myself unconsciously over the years, and I'd never see. No one ever ask. Why are we fascinated by war? I think we're afraid to ask it. Yeah. Because once you ask the question, first of all, you have to acknowledge that indeed, we are. And it's hard to deny that and then answering the question you start opened some union doors that. In some cases might be better off left shut as horrible as war is. And we all know it's horrible. You know, stating the obvious there's still this undeniable romanticism around it. Right. We're fascinated by it. And the reason is, and this is not a spoiler is because just like the melon I when I met you the day I went back and read about what he had done. I thought to myself shit. I don't know if I would have done that myself, but there are moments of. Courage demonstrated in war and wars likely are most ferocious and greatest. I don't wanna call it game but, but, but endeavor. But there are unselfish acts of courage in war that lend dignity to the dung heap that is war. That is what we're fascinated with. We're fascinated with young guys that get up off their ass being shot at and go save their buddy. And that's what this guy that I met the other day, did we're fascinated by men like chesty puller who repeatedly demonstrate leadership in combat sustained leadership in combat. Both of those things are Harav deeds. And that's why we, we keep reading about war, and we keep looking at it on TV we keep playing games of war. We keep reading about war, and we keep playing. Keep playing with toys of. I think it's true now maybe than ever before, our, there's this search in our society for authentic city, and in war, there's this authentic experience, that there's nowhere to hide you, those doer Di moments where you have to throw yourself in front of the bullets, you have to go and do these brave things, and it's not like there's a place you can retreat to. It's like you either get it done, or you don't. And if you fuck it up or something goes wrong. You die. There's a finality to it. That doesn't exist elsewhere in society. Right. In a boxing match. Chances are come out alive. Yeah. Yeah. Football match chances are you're gonna come. If you lose you're still going to come out the head of the rest of the side as far as payment goes. In combat when you fuck it up. You die or worse, you enable or you make a mistake where somebody else gets killed, and then probably worse than that is actually having to kill somebody else. We don't realize that we actually have an version is probably two percent of people out there on, on either end one's a psychopath and one's just a what we call a sheepdog. They're willing to that killing other people doesn't bother them one will do it for the good society. The other one doesn't for the detriment Sidey most of the rest of us end up in the military. We're kind of somewhere in between there where. Killing people regardless of how well we're trying to do it still bothers us got got into that. But it's interesting, though, because I don't know if I've had conversations with guys who have been on this podcast off air. And I don't know if you have Jack you know, obviously not gonna say who they are. But they were like very excited, every time they killed someone told me that they like they loved it. I think a lot of them are full of shit. Tell you the truth. And this is in private conversation completely off air. I would say they are enough of those two percent. If you're ever David Grossman's book breaks down into two percent on either end the psychopaths and the guys at actor trying to protect society. So maybe they were two percent possibly. I know for me the first time we kill somebody, the first first time put it this way, the for some. I fired my weapon there was somebody dead on the other end. Bothered. The shit outta me trotting home. I thought you know, somebody is going home to or somebody's gonna come home tonight or dad's not gonna come home tonight. That's gonna be somebody eating alone, grieving tonight in about the shit out of me the times after that, it really didn't bother me so much. But the first time it did really bother me and that told me something about myself that told me that I'm humane at least home. I'm not a psychopath because it did bother me that bad get the first time. Well. Seeing terrorists killed never bothered me to tell you the truth soon, the civilians caught in the crossfire, something that really haunted me and still does to this day. But yeah, I mean in terms of owning something about yourself. I mean that I was able to stand over bodies of dead terrorists fuck them. You know, it's like there's something broken inside of me that. So the next day we kill this guy found out that he was covered with gun powder residue. And I was like fucking. Yeah. Kind of like. Kind of like plenty would in the law, Josey Wales winning spits on the guy's forehead. He's just killed an essential says, I'll fuck him. Well, you know, we were both uniform soldiers. We understood we go to a battlefield just like the bag is everyone knows someone's going home in a body bag. There's no surprise there. You know. And it better be him. Yeah. That's why we train like we train. So when you watch somebody go from full brain matter to dead in a matter of seconds. It is you find out something about yourself. Yeah. I if you enjoy doing it, you're either one of those to your psychopath, or your one of the cheap wolves naturally protects us on. It doesn't most of us, I think fall and that other range somewhere. It didn't really bother me to see the guys killed that needed. It did bother me to see the folks that was questionable. Whether I think a lot of those people who brag about killing people or talk about. How happy it made them the kill people or a lot of ways camouflaging. What's going on behind the scenes? I think they're full of shit, and they never did it or they are, they're cracking up with PTSD. They have a lot of residual problems. And this is a way to kind of keep people on the outside of that. I mean I see. No. There's, there's guys like I said, we've been on the show that you've personally interviewed that their book is I have this many confirmed kills of kin and it's something that they are proud of I think they're lying themselves to be honest with you to say that the, they're proud of it. They're happy about it. And there's plenty of them seals army Rangers who that's you know, a big part of their identity. Yeah, I don't know. I, I didn't read Chris Kyle's book. I've read sections of it while standing the PX. I saw the movie, I think, at some point you could be trained well enough where my body but it goes back to my thing, the first time it really bothered the shit out of me other times. It didn't. To see the bodies and that type of thing, but the, especially the very first time to shock the nothing about combat the first combat, and you're gonna test to this is not that bad. It's when you have to go out on patrol the next day, and the next day and the next day because first of all getting shot at is come exhilarating the first time, and then you either, get used to it or it just bothers you every damn it bother me every shit. I gotta go and get shot at. And I had to get myself out of the rack put on a happy face or some type of face and go do it again. It's also the first time it's kind of a surprise deed. I talked to we interviewed Dale Comstock, who's on the Kurt muse rescue mission in Panama eighty nine and there are other accounts out there and read about the guys among a dish in nineteen Ninety-three. And they talk about how when they were in the heat of it, they were just doing what they were trained to do. But then they come back and like they get back to the safe area, and they're told a you're going to have to go back out there. Like we got guys missing. We have a follow on mission. And then it's like oh shit. I gotta go back into that. And that's when you start getting like. It's hard. I mean you're, you're scared and you gotta go back with the training kicks in particularly if you're leading. Guys have to get. You've got people looking at you got people looking. I tell you what the Braves I ever was a combat which when we took a Lieutenant Colonel patrol with this one day. Suddenly he was responsible for everything. And I didn't give a shit about anything. Okay. Okay. The burden of being the senior guy on the spot with something lifted for my shoulder. And that day I was brave son of a bitch. That's probably the one day. I mean other than having to say damn, I gotta go through this again. Well, you know, it makes you brave though to have that burden on you because you're not thinking about yourself. You're thinking about the men that you're in charge of right? And I tried to weave that into the book I tried to show kind of the burden of command. If I wasn't a command I was it was a I was officer in charge amid team try to show that in the book, anybody who's done it before we'll be able to to see that in the book. And I think once again, it's I wrote from personal experience those who haven't kinda re between the lines, it kind of sense. It in the book, buddy of mine told me it was entertaining and he's been commanded a couple of times, which was actually pretty good compliment, because I know my buddy would've tore my ass if there was a bunch of shit in there. So he said it was entertaining, which I was glad to hear that because I didn't write the book for military personnel. I wrote the book for the general population. That's one of the reasons I kept the peace in there. That's one of the reasons I tried to ask answer the or ask, and then answer or allude to why man is fascinated with war. I put some mystery in their told a lot about the Iraqis, I tried to put it all that enter to make it palatable to civilians overall. That's why I wrote the before. And you wrote the book from the perspective of these two protagonists switching off indeed. I did. So the first half of the book is major. Claire steer. Fourth Marine Corps, then x which is to Colonel boom, she'd Iraqi army, and then halfway through the book they meet. And then they go on from there and what's interesting about it, and this, this, some could some could say, I was innovative other was just not that smart of a guy. The machine part is written. In third person. The major Klay steer fourth is written in the first person. So when they finally do meet the reader, kind of has a leg up on steer fourth. The reader knows who she'd is, and what he's about steer fourth meets him for the first time and knows nothing about him. So in the back of the reader's mind, he's got something up on steer fourth because I know who she is when they kind of kind of unfold from there, but that's kind of something unique about the book and also something unique about the books. I don't think anybody's written anything from the Iraqi point of view, if you wrote about the war, it was likely a memoir, and if it was a memo, or you told about the Iraqis or the Afghans, or whoever it was in this case, you actually hear the voice of an Iraqi officer as a sensually, Colonel Maggi told me, I tried to recreate it as genuine could. Made up a few things. But what you see the character of Chroma Gede is from conversations between me the beginning to book it says, I change all the nights. I didn't I think it's great that you took some time in this book to humanize the Iraqi side, and in this officer you worked with an talk about your partnership, because that is absolutely something that gets glossed over and forgotten. I mean, we typically we being veterans have tendency to write this, you know, these books in these works. It's all about Geraldo American soldiers waving the flag. There's a there's another side of that. And there were these people in Iraq, who were, you know, they didn't get to go home. They didn't rotate home in six months. They live there, and they have to deal with that shit day in day out, we were critical and I say, we the Marine Corps some of their units were very critical. When I look they went on leave for two weeks. How the fuck could go on for two weeks. Well, they've been doing this for two years, back home we go on leave for two weeks. This blocked Lee for a bunch of them. A lot of marine units possibly weren't very sympathetic by that about that. The and one of the things that gave me sympathy for them was was a specific incident when somebody pointed at me, one day and said, you guys and they were referring to me, and the around another marine, and essentially, that, hey, you see this ego of Lanker anchor on my left breast pocket. I'm one of you. I'm doing with the Marine Corps told me to do. No, no. That's the Lawrence of Arabia fact, native, you're exactly right. They thought I was right. I'm Dave Richardson, a major of the Marine Corps. I I'm not with them, but I'm with you. I'm how they're training him. So you're right. And, but that's what partially gave me sympathy form. Once again, I never went native, but I knew that they had their side of the story. And when we were when all was said and done, and we were gone. They were going to tell the story likely as if they won the Victor themselves anyhow, so you might as well aknowledge that we worked and fought alongside each other. I don't think we've done a whole lot of that back in the states. Where is your Raqi counterpart today? Do you know somebody told me he died of throat, cancer and muzzle? Really? Yeah. I recently chief officer Anthony about ski who was on my team went back a couple of times after that. And he told me that Machida died Gede was an interesting character for many reasons, but the Iraqi chain of command wasn't that crazy about Majid's because MS g essentially out showing them I have I have a theory, which I put the book of why his men were so loyal to them and indeed had with money but he was kind of on the outside. Anyway, he left the army shortly after. And then he went to Mosul in about the last I heard him which. You know, it's kind of disappointing, I spent essentially four years of my life right in book about mean Colonel machine as it's novel, but it's centrally Barbie. And find out that he died, and I'll the never see the guy gin it bothers me. Yeah. I mean that's sad. He I mean he must have been a little bit older than me in you because he served in the Iran Iraq war at the time he was about forty five forty six when I met him. So I kind of put his time line in the book, he would have been a Lieutenant some somewhere nineteen eighty probably, and he'd been awarded for valour there. He told me that in the in the Iran Iraq war, his valet or is Batman or whatever you call had been shot through the face actually, in Iran, Iraq. Who's was missing teeth from it Hussein. He'll never I don't think ever shaved walked around dirty t shirt cook fish all the time and had a wearing flip flops and Cam easy. I mean you so if you're a Titus marine, and you saw you're like, oh my God. I shouldn't I got home. I was like a man, this ditzy Rog. So I love those stories here from from those guys would tell you sit down and refer to it as when I served with the previous regime. Yeah I just call it the old Iraqi army. Yeah, yeah. One of them had a story about he was, he was on tank, actually, like t seventy two during the two thousand three invasion and they pulled their tank into a cave to hide because F16.'s swim. And he was like, as a scariest night of my life. Because I thought you know missiles just going to find its way right into the cave and destroy us. The swat team commander, I worked with also he was in the Iran Iraq war, the Gulf war, the two thousand three war, and then with us. What's interesting about that is so ten years, fifteen years earlier, we were fighting them, and they were on the other side, and we would have killed them and they would have killed us. But there's something about two professional soldiers media, no hard feelings. All that goes away when we're just trying to kill each other. Yeah, but now we're not trying to kill each other. We're working side by side. It's kind of like the old John Wayne movie where he meets up. He's a union soldier the fought at Shiloh, and they meet some confederate guy and suddenly, they're, you know, they're working side by side and miraculous they get along. Well, that's kind of how it is well, delving deeper and like the whole metaphysics. I don't know if you get into your book or not, but do you think there's something fucked up about how politicians, you know, they have this beef? So they send a bunch of like blue collar professional soldiers to kill each other. When maybe politicians should just like I don't know throw fisticuffs. Maybe they should go that, that would probably be a better solution. So speaking. In politics that may be the reason that I did not bring that up in my book. If you read the prelude of the book talks about who goes to war in this country, and it's there. There's a lot of different ethnic groups the. The major one has been the Scots Irish Cullum, hillbillies column rednecks, call him, white trash Latian America Americans, we go to seventy percent of the white people killing Vietnam, were scotch-irish. My point is I kept the novel at that level. And this sounds probably kind of bad. It's probably only in retrospect, I wasn't going to give the politicians any. Recognition, whether it was grief or praise. I just took them out of the picture and wrote the novel from our point of view. Realistically, I mean you didn't give a shit when you're on the ground and Ramadi, right? Oh, I didn't I didn't care at all. I, I had a mission at hand. I knew under man. But I wasn't looking for the guy in Baghdad or Washington DC. There's responsible for that. I had I had a mission to do just like MS Gede had emission to do. And we were stuck with whether we like it or not. We had to do it. So there was no use bitching about it or, you know, somehow, you know, writing home to the Washington Post and tell them how fucked up this year. I never did any of that stuff. I just stuck with emission as professional soldiers, and you know, guys that have been drafted and recruited or volunteered have been doing for millennia all the political stuff is discussion for another arena and that goes back to why man's fascinated war man's not fascinated by what? By war with because of what poor or great decisions politicians made in war. Men is actually fascinated by war by what the trooper. Yeah. The marine the grunt the guy from Naty second. The ranger you know, has doing on the ground. That's why they're fascinated by war. They're fascinated by what the sergeants are out there doing the generals almost become a facsimile that wars kind of written from the general point of view history kind of written from the general point of view. But the fascination of war is, is not there. The fascinated awards actually with the foot soldier, the artillerymen, the pilot, those guys are actually throwing the lead titanium or whatever have you that Raghman grenade down range? That's how we make the movies about. Yeah. You can get you can squeeze a movie out of MacArthur. Can't squeeze out of Marshall. You can squeeze out a lien grant. It's hard to squeeze one out of Schwartzkopf. Yeah. But you can squeeze a movies out of grant. Hopefully, somebody a squeeze a movie out your memoir. My novel it kinda squeezed one out of mcchrystal, but it wasn't favorable. I didn't see it. Yeah. I don't know how I didn't know that. I guess they did do war machine. Netflix film was Brad Pitt? Yes. Started to watch times. I like Brad Pitt? In fact, I watch moneyball the other day which alert. Yeah. I'm not a sports fan, but I like moneyball so yeah. The war movies that are worth watching by the general public are the ones that are about the dude on the deck or soldiers. John Wayne in the green berets. Exactly what we're the ones that you like so my favorite war movie is probably dust boat, because it shows the burden of command and it shows the commander making mistakes, and command. And of course, full metal jacket classic Apocalypse Now can never watch it enough. I think I've been some of those places in various parts of the world. It's not strictly realistic, you know, air quotes, but it's a great film. I like it because literary Joseph Conrad's heart. I would say, probably the best war movie, made in the last thirty years, though, is, is other than the series band of brothers and Pacific. I'm talking to war movie. I got a hand to Oliver Stone Oliver Stone fought in the Vietnam war. And then when I recently watched tune kind of had a hard time getting through it, because it's so good. But toon is a great movie part of the greatness of the movies, do by the way to Dale die, who was stones adviser, and he didn't let stone take down the track of we burn villages, and killed people. He kind of kept it a little higher level. But that movie but toon is a fantastic movie about war and the psychology of conflict within a unit there. Some of the inter inter inter fighting in my book, and I drew some of that too from platoon. I drew some of it from a movie called the crossover n-. I read the book, which is directed by Sam Peckinpah, who was by the way marine and based on a book by German soldier from World War. Two haven't seen it, of course, Barnes, outstanding movie watch it, it was one of the first movies where they use slow motion when Dutra getting shot. And that type of thing, a great movie. So I'd say crossing iron platoon Apocalypse Now passive glories of good movie. That's Stanley Kubrick. I was just talking about that with a friend the other day. And I haven't seen it. I always wanted to something. I gotta track that one down. Yeah. If Stanley Kubrick, probably the greatest, filmmaker ball, it's a World War One films one, if you ever go chance, watch berry Lind, and that's another one that shows some eighteenth, century fair. So those are my those, my big, but daas boat is probably the best war movie I've ever seen. It's awesome. And it's about sailors, by the. Squid's out there. I wanted to ask you about, as well is being a more for its structure in the marines that has to be its own story? So we'll tell you being a martial arts instructor. Other than the novel was the hardest thing I've ever done. And I had a couple of buddies for like Richardson. You're forty years old. What are you doing? I'm I've always wanted to do this, so we get we get our belts, you know, but I wanted to be an instructor. So at Camp Lejeune, I, I volunteered for this course, I went to the course and the structure was probably twenty nine year old staff sergeant I showed up, and he looked at me, and he said, fuck cer-. How old are you? I said, I'm forty just don't have a heart attack on me. Because you got some of these by twenty years, you've got all of us by at least ten and this is not like this is not going to be easy ninety degrees out. We didn't exercise one time as I recount in the book where I couldn't walk I had to crawl out of the fighting pit so it was tough. I'm gone. I did it. And being instructor. I was did most of my short in Korea was very, very satisfied. I'd love to being a Marine Corps martial arts instructor. What's. Your background and more. Farts, Marine Corps martial arts, but no specific. No. I mean, there's, there's not a whole lot of finesse, Marine Corps martial arts and you don't have to know any previous resent lines training back in the day. It used to be lying, but they advanced a lot. A guy named Lieutenant Colonel schuss go, who's still teaching Donna Quantico, by the way, he's in charge of it. He was a I don't wanna I don't wanna miss, quote, any of the things that he was. He was a ho- KADO guy. He was a jujitsu guy. He was a karate put them all together Marine Corps. Martial arts is. Is ground fighting and then it stand up fighting and its weapons manipulations, like how to retain your weapon how to take weapon from somebody, it's knife fighting and it's also some philosophy but I will tell you violent in it's not. It teaches you how to break bones and teaches some lethal maneuvers as well. And to put people down, it's there's not a whole lot of finesse to. It's rough right up Jake Sally. Yeah. It's very effective. I, I have no qualms about walking down the street somebody jumps on my back. I'll take care of it to guys up to three. I think I can handle it as long as they're not martial arts guys himselves when it gets beyond three, I'm probably going to run as an instructor. I mean, did you have a lot of twenty year old young marines wanting to challenge, you know, because they were that's the old dog marines. Learn quick, like the authors. Got some shit that don't know. And they didn't actually marines. Tell me something they were in my class, and we were in career they go. Hey, so the shit works. I'm like, what are you talking about who filed this weekend out in town, and this and this happened? Soldiers jumped us in this, Mike. Okay. We're not gonna talk about that. Stays here for shit works. So it does work. It's brutal. It's violent if you wanna learn how to be Marine Corps martial artist. Call me up or joined the Marine Corps. They will teach you. It's, it's, it's a it's a, it's a good piece of gear to have with you, when you're out and about whether it's war or in the streets of Washington, DC, New York, LA, or anywhere else. The other thing I would be remiss if we didn't ask is you tell us a little bit about your art, and your background as a painter. So my mother was a painter and she was a flower painter, and she painted, you know, she was she was a farm girl and she painted. I have a rooster that she painted in my in my bedroom, and it's always going to be there to the day. So she was a painter and she taught me color. She taught me how to stretch color, which from your own personal, color, stop the composition. And she taught me grit. My mom painted every day, it was just a half hour, she'd go in there and paint. My brother was a painter. So it's not something I came to in college that grew up. It. So it's kinda for like those folks whose parents golfed, or when a lot of occasions, something you end up doing. So always kept it around doing join Marine Corps. I tried to quit it a couple of times, and I never could. But the main my pain, really, really kicked off when I was instructor while I was teaching at fort sill, and then I went to Washington DC to be talk to George Washington versity, and I was accepted by gallery there. And I was painting these paintings about their abstract paintings or near abstract about their symbols their mining to the characters in the Trojan war, so someone abstract and he kinda got feel it's kind of like reading between the lines of the pains. My favorite paintings, are the shotgun paintings. And I took that from the war just like the cover my book, I've taken a bunch of playing cards painted on corrugated tin, and then shot up at shotgun. My dad gave me when he died and they're kind of back. And that type of things and recently oddly enough, I gave them a girlfriend Stacy a book Ahah of roses for Valentine's Day. And I looked at those roses went down. I'm gonna paint the roses. So I've been painting large, flower paintings recently kinda after my mother, although the style that's coming on doing. So that's, that's something I've done on my life. I do show my work, I do have dealer in that type of thing he's oil paintings. Primarily oil paintings. Of course, the one that did a Corbetta ten I did all and ski with a spray can, of course ban. Ski probably can't shoot a shotgun in London, he lives, he's a mysterious guy. But I use a shotgun on that one and also working acrylic now and then that's awesome. I think banks skiing band skip thanksgiving. Yeah. Only if you had a shotgun, he would be maybe a greater ours. I actually think band ski is a great artist. Yeah. Now he's what he does. So thought provoking base Ke's interesting. I know for a while the higher world kind of shit on him. I think they've come around, because he is a fantastic artist. There's other famous ones out there that I don't really think much of banks great. There's a handful like banks key who are popular with the public and eventually the art world has to come around gritting gritting, national gnashing teeth and say, okay, we acquiesce he actually is worthy. She had, he's one of them because every collector, wants their piece. Right. So they're kinda. They were beaten into submission by banks key, only if I could I could team up with banks key with my shotgun attempted to do should it. Just invent your own Jonah of shotgun. Art. I mean you're on your way. Yeah. I'm trying. I'm trying. I gotta get it in the right hands. Like I got I need somebody like you to kind of say, this is what it is. I need somebody to tell the back story. So that's most of the thing with contemporary painting spent five minutes, looking at the pain, and then, you know, two hours or somebody over dinner, telling you about the back story, I wanna split, it kinda half-and-half ex people want people to like want the painting hanging in their house, not in some installation somewhere, and I wanted to be acceptable to them, and then they can tell the Bank, the, the backstory, they don't need, you know, somebody in the inside world to tell them and try to tell them the back story. So is there another novel in you? Yes, there is. So I've actually I lost my computer. So find my computer out there. It's got there's a craft on there. There's a draft on, it's a quarter of the novel with the outline. I lost. I lost somewhere between Los Angeles, California and Dulles in Washington DC. That's heartbreak so restarted it about two weeks ago. And I've written outlined, and I've got another novel and probably two more after that. I've got a planned out Klay steer. Fourth comes back to the war from the war. He gets out, and then he starts working for DHS that's a last place. It's Audubon, graphical. And then it goes off to imagination from there. There's a little conspiracy theory in there. There's a little bit of, you know, distorted I love this type of stuff there's a little bit of Pakalitha type things. So it's going to be an actual sequel to this book. It will I keep the same, I'm gonna keep the same guy. So, you know, that's that's kinda how this kind of how the dollar stack up, you know, you keep the same guy going going going who probably get shot at a few times. I bet he's going to be the kind of guy can kick your ass with martial arts. Never have to use a gun till. It comes right down to it. Unless he meets another martial arts, guy only use revolvers because semi autos are prone to jams. Exactly. Yeah. That kind of stuff I bet he's got chickens and his yard in Arlington Virginia. Couple of those things, probably still smokes dream. He would probably the kinda guy that show up for an interview, and drink whisky while he's. He's that kind of guy that's gonna hide girlfriend trust long. York with him. So that's awesome. And a new painting as well for the sequel. Yeah, I'll figure out whatever. I'm working on at the time and you probably won't be flowers won't put flowers but it will likely be something from the shotgun series because I don't know if we have any gun enthusiasts there, but there's something definitely listeners you are. Yes. Okay. Create something they go out and shoot it up with shotgun. You'll like it even more, especially if it's not that good start with the shotgun ads this show, I was talking about the randomness of Jackson. Pollock painting Jackson Pollock didn't have shit on a twelve gauge shotgun. Well, said the last thing I have on less Jack is anything else, you got to shout out the guys who listen to the show because you were telling me the reason that you reached out or publishers publicist reached out. Is that a couple of guys that, you know, said, you gotta go on software radio? Stephen van, Amerian Kaby, Henderson, who I work with soon as I was talking about getting the book published that I gotta go on Safra radio. You know, they'll talk to you, because you did some stuff in the military, we're not sure what, which talk randomly sometime and we thought you tear at syndrome was actually just you chew random shit. Need to go on offer radio autumn about your book and my publisher. Hooked me up. John bog del before I had a chance to contact y'all. So those are the dudes that initial initially introduced me to your program. That's awesome. It will really appreciate coming on. It's been an awesome interview for the westerners. Your website is d- Richardson dot com on. On Twitter at D rich war story. Anything else that you want to get out there. Maybe for your art. You can probably get the book on Amazon Amazon, Google Books million. Yeah, you can find just Google Dave Richardson, Washington DC, or Dave Richardson war store. And you can get the book or you can see the paintings and you can also show my house. The shotgun, I'll take along with me to make some are. Just don't pointed at me. Excellent, this has been great. So up wars story really appreciate you coming in with us. Thanks. This has been fantastic. Absolutely. We'll do it again when the next book comes out. Okay. I'll try to make out in the next twelve months. Awesome, having David in studio. And I mean beyond just his writing really great artists just looking at stuff and just the cover in general stands out. His girlfriend was showing me some pictures on, on her cell phone of his art, and it's really nice. Yeah. I, I haven't seen much more at school that you got a chance to check that all out that she came suty. Yeah. Yeah. Just all around great dude, and writing a book, that's different than a lot of other books, and it's great to see. I mean, sometimes you feel like this market gets saturated with all the veteran authors. But you realize a lot of them bring something totally nude able so absolutely with that be short checkout crate club. It's a club for men by men of year handpicked by. Special operations veterans now I've been a widow out of the loop of some of the changes over the sites, and I'll be leaving the podcast next week and have been busy with that. I don't know if you you're familiar with this Jack, I just checking out the site to make sure I'm up on everything, but currently were just doing the dash one crate. So we have that dash one crate available at seasonal or annual rate. Both of those options are available at Craig club dot US. And right now running an extremely limited promotion of twenty percent offer Alsop radio listeners. That's the biggest discount we've ever made available, and we don't know how long we can keep the promotion wive so get on that right now. That's crate club dot US coupon code Safra for twenty percent off our dash one crate, either seasonally or annually. Sign up today, once again, Craig club dot US, promo code up. Also as a reminder for those who are listening now is the time to sign up for the spec ops channel. That's our channel that offers the most exclusive shows doc. Commentaries and interviews covering the most exciting military content today. The spec ops channel premiere show training sell follows former special operations forces as they participate in the most advanced training in the country. Everything from shooting schools defensive driving jungle, and winter warfare climbing, and much more again, you can watch this content by subscribing to the spec. Ops channel at spec ops channel dot com and take advantage of a membership for only four ninety nine a month that spec ops channel dot com sign up today lashed, if you're not already signed up at the news, rep dot com, you've gotta get on board expert reporting an actual intelligence from favorite writers. You've heard on here Jack, it seems like we have a few different guys writing right now. Like isn't stop rose doing some stuff with us. What's the full current lineup? You would say starve ropes Greg. Walker is going to be writing for us regularly, and myself and Nicole Kidman perfect. Right. So those are the guys that you're. Going to be seeing. And also, the guest writers you pop in unlimited access to news rep on any device, unlimited access to the app. Join the war room community invitations to our exclusive events and it's all ad free for members. We have a trial offer up right now. You can get four weeks for only one ninety nine. Sign up now at the news rep dot com. That's the news, rep dot com, by the way for those not in the know we have our own Soffer radio app that you can download for free on iphone or Android, and are home pages, Soffer radio dot com, or you can see the full archive of shows as I said, last show since we'd Vicky Behan on something like that old episode of Michael Vana, that's up episode eighty eight it was great talking talk her, by the way, as always keep up with us at Soffer radio as well with that, man. How is Europe? I didn't get a chance to ask you that it was good. I was in London for four days meeting with my wife and she was doing the UK premier. Documentary. Excellent documentary. I'm the rebel. Yeah. And in well, is that the talian cultural center, which is in the one of version of embassy, row actually able to get a picture where the SAS had hit the Iranian embassy back in nineteen nineteen eighty operation Nimrod those like conic photos, you know, SAS repelling down, and we interviewed rusty Furman, who is on that operation. Right. And so as able to get a picture of it, you know, just classic moments of counterterrorism history. I'm a military nerd, so I have to go as audience, pay pilgrimage, but anyway, to screenings of benny's documentary pack, the place, probably two hundred thirty people together, you know, there's a lot of people, there's a lot of people showed up, when is this thing going to get a wide release? I mean, the enthusiasm is there the New York release was completely sold out when somebody buys distribution rights, but it's just so funny. As as we both said when. The film had the New York. Premiere it's like there's this big outcry. For more women in film, more women directors women producers, and then you have a film, that is a film spotlighting women combat completely produced directed edited by women where is the financial backing for this. I think Benny is a little mystified by that. Also. She's like I don't understand why you know, this isn't how come it's not getting accepted into more film festivals. Like, is it a problem that technically the film isn't well, made enough like, no, that's, that's not it is it something to do with the content. And I think, in my opinion, I think it's a couple of things I think one, it's a cross cultural movie because features Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. That's a very hard sell to American audiences. Unless there's an American protagonist somewhere in there. And I think the other side of it is that American or western sensibilities, when it comes to feminism is very much. In my opinion, just being real bad. I think it's very superficial. I think American feminism is kind of weak feminism in the Middle East. These women you seen the documentary is pretty strong all the way up to the point of women picking up Kalashnikovs and shooting. Motherfuckers, speaking about the, the why PJ Kurdish militia the female militia in, in Syria that she spent time with. So it's a different. These are women in camouflage. They're women who are challenging orthodoxy and challenging their governments in these countries. You can see Salai, who is a secular politician, Afghantistan, fighting for women's rights like one of the scenes in the documentary Salai on a new show with this, like Taliban, dude. And she's giving him knife hands like yelling atom. So I think you know, like and she received death threats all the time all the time she has to travel around with armed guards. So I mean American feminism and a lot of ways, it's like, oh, look here, we're about your individual identity, where as this film and the women in the film are like no. We are challenging the entire paradigm of how, how women are perceived in exists in these societies. And I think so I think that in the west, we have a certain way we're comfortable with you confront confronting authority. And this film is much more confrontation. Than what western it's used to. So I think that may be part of it. I loved it. I thought it was great. I think it should have a wide release. I mean, I would think at the very least get this thing on Netflix. Yeah. I mean, that would be amazing. I at least get it up on Amazon. You know, so people can go and purchase it on there. But right now it's a question of securing distribution rights. I got a lot of questions when I posted up the picture with Benny brazing the film, a lot of our listeners can we sit? Yeah. That's what I hear all the time. And then Benny as to be like you can't. Yeah, you could come to the premier and you know. Yeah. England or, and you also got to meet facilites Bill after years of working with Bill, working remotely because he's Greek. He has immigrated to the UK, and he has a decent government job there. And so we both found ourselves in the UK at the same time, and we're able to meet up. So it came came down to London from where he lives. And, you know, we spent the day together, we went out, we had, we had launched went out had some beers, and then went to benny's mom's place and and had dinner. So it was great meeting him in his wife is amazing as school guys, you would have expect. Yeah. Man. Yeah. Really? Very smart guy, too. I'm really happy for him that he found a steady job, because, you know, being Greek they have a problem with employment there, and he's a great guy, but his like many, many other Greeks struggled to find work over the years. Yeah. He's one of the few guys from the site, I've never met, you know, for obvious reasons, he will have to meet George hand. I've never I don't know if you've ever met George, I've never met him in person. He's one of the only guys there've been person because he's out well. Remind but he's out. He's out in the mid west, you know, in the south somewhere, I feel like George is one of my biggest fans like he, he oh, constantly talks about the work doing, and it's crazy. Greg, the, the work. He's doing is incredible with the, you know, combating human trafficking. I'm just a guy who produces radio and stuff like that. But he's done a lot of like, really mind long stuff. So, yeah, Georgia's done some amazing stuff and Bill. I always joke that he looks like the Taliban is big like black beard. And when every post pictures of him and his wife, poor girl, has been kidnapped by the Taliban, the picture that he had up as a Facebook profile. It almost looked like I'm not gonna look like a special ops porno movie as as the the picture of him with his gun. It's just very it's very stereotypical that I posted a picture of it when he was talking about. A look. I think that's his current profile picture. It was for a while. I'd have to, you know find your search through there. Yeah. Look for the at he I mean, from what I know. And from his appearances on the podcast, all around great, dude. Yeah. No, he is, we'll have to try to have a Mont again sometime. All right with that. I mean, I guess all that we have to plug is for those who still haven't picked it up. The book is out Murphy's law. If you have not bought Murphy's law at this point, you're letting the communists and terrorists when all right. It's simple as that folks. We are hanging by thread right now. I'm just. This is this isn't like. Yeah. Alex Jones or even mainstream news, just trying to terrify people all the time. But the book is out it's been out for about three weeks now. And I've been super happy to hear about your all the responses and the reviews and you know, it's really connected with people. And, you know, even people who've listened to this podcast for years or lack, man, I never knew all these stories. I know you're involved in all this crazy stuff. So it's out there. The audio book is out there, which I narrate, so if you haven't picked it up of if you grabbed a copy, and if you ever at it on a really appreciate it, if you can drop a review on Amazon, you know, good bad indifferent. You know, I'm not I'm not going to tell anyone how to review the book, but reviews out, you know, and really I've seen his five star as right now, Amen. I mean just, just tell right at tell it. How it is, you know, and, and it only takes a couple minutes throw up a review on Amazon helps get the visibility up and Awadhi will be excited to know well next episode, we have a guy on who's been getting around in terms of podcast and promotion. Seen him everywhere an improbably going to for his name. I haven't heard him say, but Remmy outta Wiki at Alexi former navy seal from Nigeria really interesting story became an extra transformers movie. I'm excited to talk to him. I think he's going to have a real unique story. Yeah. I shouldn't even say extra need a small role in transformers score role. But yeah, I've seen that he's doing a lot of podcast, people speaking really highly of them, so much to talked him and will be my last week shows. But for those wondering, I mean, it's not out of the question that Jack now work on some outside, stop together, we do some podcast up, again, in the future just kind of walk away from this, and focusing our male prostitution ring that and not doing, but as mentioned focusing more on voiceover, and some other outside ventures. But it doesn't mean that I'm not going to continue to do stuff. Misfield opportunity comes up absolutely open to it. So awesome. Thanks again today for coming in. Thanks Dennis who will be. Reducing this whole show and yeah, tune in next episode he'll be up on Wednesday. Awesome. Listening to rep. New episodes of every Wednesday and Friday, follow this show on Instagram and Twitter at so read lady.

Marine Corps Jack Iran Iraq Ramadi David Richardson Rangers Benghazi Ian Sar New York City John Bolton US officer Iraqi army America Dave Richardson New York Post army Somalia
NPR News: 03-13-2020 10AM ET

NPR News Now

04:39 min | 1 year ago

NPR News: 03-13-2020 10AM ET

"Live from NPR news in Washington. I'm Korva Coleman. Stocks opened higher this morning as investors look to Washington for some relief in the face of growing corona virus. Npr's Scott Horsley reports. The Dow Jones industrial average jumped more than a thousand points at the opening bell. Major market indexes rebounded sharply in the first few minutes of trading stocks regained. Some of the ground. They lost on Thursday in the biggest one day route. Since nineteen eighty seven investors are hoping that Congress and the White House can agree on a package to help prop up the economy. Even as workers and consumers try to adjust growing restrictions put in place to control the corona virus pandemic lawmakers have been working on a plan that would include more food stamps unemployment insurance free testing for the virus and help for states facing higher healthcare costs. The House is expected to vote on the measure as early as today. Scott horsely. Npr News Washington House Speaker. Nancy Pelosi is negotiating with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin over that legislative package. Democrats unveiled a bill late last night. But some Republicans and members of the trump administration have expressed concerns with key parts of the package. The Food and Drug Administration says it's ramping up the ability for private labs to start testing for the corona virus. The expanded testing will start first in New York state. Dr Anthony Vouching Director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases says the private sector will help boost the number of test kits available in the. Us I must say that anyone and everyone I'm saying it's going to be markedly improved in. What has changed is that there's been a major involvement of the private sector the companies that generally do these kinds of tests for living now going to be major major league involved in getting this available to the public he spoke to MSNBC Iraq has condemned U s airstrikes militia backed by Iran the overnight strikes were in retaliation for the deaths of US and British personnel. This week in a rocket attack near Baghdad. Npr's Jane Arraf Report on the strengths and Iraq. The US says it hit weapons depots used by one of the major Iran linked groups tab Hezbollah which it accuses of attacks on US forces. The Iraqi government though says the air strikes also hit a civilian airport under construction in Karbala and an Iraqi army unit racks military condemned the attack saying violated agreements with the US and coalition partners. It said the casualties included Iraqi army commandos KHATTAB HEZBOLLAH AND OTHER RONNBACK groups in Iraq have threatened revenge on US forces over the drone killing and Baghdad of a senior Iraqi security official Jane Arraf NPR news on Wall Street. The Dow was up six hundred seventy eight points or more than three percent. The Nasdaq is up. Two hundred fifty four points or three and a half percent this is NPR commercial satellite. Imagery shows what appear to be mass graves being dug in Iran. Npr's Jeff Brumfield reports. They are near the epicenter of the corona virus outbreak in that country. The images were taken on March first by the company Max are and showed trenches dug in cemetery on the outskirts of the holy city of Qom. The Washington Post which broke the story also published social media posts in which a large number of bodies appear to be taken to the site. Comb is at the center of the outbreak in Iran which is one of the largest in the world. The country has reported over ten thousand cases and more than four hundred deaths so far but some feared the count may be even Higher Jeff Brumfield. Npr News Washington. California's governor has issued a sweeping executive order that would allow state officials to take over properties to deal with the Corona Virus Governor Gavin. Newsom order would allow the state to commandeer hotels and medical facilities to help care for people in California with the illness. The order also bans. Large gatherings of two hundred fifty people were more states are taking fresh steps to prevent the spread of the corona virus. They're closing all public schools. School closures had been limited to areas where clusters of the virus had turned up such as in Seattle now all public. Schools are closed in Maryland Michigan New Mexico Ohio and Oregon this morning Washington. Dc announce it. Starting Monday students would not report to school for the rest of this month again on Wall Street. The Dow's up seven hundred twenty four points. I'm KORVA COLEMAN NPR news.

Npr NPR US Iran Npr Washington Jeff Brumfield Iraq Baghdad Jane Arraf Iraqi army Korva Coleman Steven Mnuchin Food and Drug Administration White House Scott Horsley Washington Post Iraqi government Nancy Pelosi
20191008 Nicole Sandler Show - Everything You Need to Know About Kurdistan

The Nicole Sandler Show

1:00:06 hr | 1 year ago

20191008 Nicole Sandler Show - Everything You Need to Know About Kurdistan

"The following program contains graphic material including offensive language your discretion is advised you WanNa take arise broadcast throughout the sprawling outskirts though Florida everglades a congressional district well I looked at this as better know a world region and I say region because Kurdistan isn't actually a country Donald Trump doesn't know what the fuck he's doing he obviously knows nothing about the Kurds and and sort of reverse order so I'm going to start today with this interview I did with Ban Sami Abdul Remond in again from on Sami Abdul Ram on now bay on Remond is the Kurdistan Regional Government representative to the United States. You know look he's the president now he should do his homework and learn what he's talking about before he opens his stupid mouth but going along with mine and what a time for them to be out right because keeping a handle on everything that's happening in the news is pretty at the news of the day today I'm going to save the news for last because I have a couple of interviews to share with you the first one I actually ran the eastern Syria which normally would be a good thing right I mean I want to get us out of these wars we need to stop it's madness however when I awoke to the news just yesterday morning that we woke up to hear that Donald Trump was tweeting that he's pulling the troops out of In which case I I really apologize to youtubers I promise you I will work on tonight and try to figure out what the Hell is going wrong in the meantime we got a busy busy and when I got to talk with her it was it was two thousand fifteen it was July two thousand fifteen so it was four years ago the you know I didn't know much about the you know I a few years ago was introduced to a woman named I wanna get her name right Bayon on yesterday on the broadcast yes I'm still filling in for bread and desert they should be back now hopefully hopefully next week wanting it's a daunting task because there's so much going on but you know we'll work it in today along with everything else so this interview that I want to start with Monday if not before and I'll let them fill you in on what's been going on but you know Brad lost his father and so I've been doing double duty trying to keep his show so with no further Ado WanNa get to this now we we are going to talk about the Supreme Court today and the case they heard today and we will get to the news but so we're doing it in so for you today with so much going on in the world I'm GonNa do things backwards the opposite of the way I I usually start the show with a look at lie of two thousand fifteen fifteen two thousand and two thousand fourteen I'm so confused hopefully this'll clarify the US but I think we lack when it comes to geography world geography I'll tell you my daughter I adopted from Khazakstan which has Kurds I really didn't so I took this as an opportunity to You know how Stephen Colbert on the old Colbert Hor used to do better no software that I use to stream live to youtube it's called a wire cast and it still messed up so hopefully we'll make it through today we may have another show with audio only can you explain more Kurdistan is yes sure we'll festival I'd like to say it's a great pleasure to be with you today so thank you for here at the Nicole Sandler show and all my goodness youtube is still not right you know I messed with it over the weekend I upgraded to the newest version of this formed just after the first World War and actually President Woodrow Wilson the the US president at the time Can Turkey and Syria so you have Kurdish people like me I was born in Iraq my parents were Iraqi all government representative to the United States I you know I a lot of people here. Unfortunately we've a decent educational system in entries peaceful countries are Iran Turkey Iraq and Syria and cut astonishing. This shape was nothing but Kurdistan is even more complicated because Kurdistan isn't isn't a country you're not you're not a nation you're a re unfortunately in the Post Fest World War discussions spy the victorious allies Kurdistan lost thanks for you buy on Tommy Abdul Rahman am I pronouncing correctly Yes they are they on okay you're the Kurdistan Regional Kurds but my husband is from Kurdistan and Iran mind maternal grandmother was occurred from Syria and I have many it was a huge nation and so I can't tell you how many people when they learned she's from Kazakhstan say what's that they don't it's kind of sad and out and so instead of having one Kurdish state in the Middle East the Kurds were divided into these four countries Iran Iraq on and off to the north with Turkey and I know that for instance we we hear a lot about Iraqi Kurdistan in region. Yes what's happened is that over the past a hundred years or so since the first World War the concept of self-determination peoples around the world have the right to determine what state what nation they want to be part of a very the top the northernmost tip of Syria it's larger than Iraq it also shares a huge border with Iran many decades were not allowed to even speak Kurdish we're not allowed to give their children Kurdish names And the state of the Stan reads region are they subject to different rules than perhaps those who are more in the in the Iranian relatives who are Kurds in Turkey so even though we have these borders that divide us we are all linked by blood we are linked by blood and family destructive of Kurdish society it tore it the fabric of society but I have to say that over the past decade or fifteen in a way have lived parallel lives but also have had different experiences so the Kurds in Turkey for DP one thirteen percent of the vote and this is the first time that Turkey has a Kurdish political party inviting me cut the stone is actually divided and a piece of Curtis on exists in four different with Kurdish members of parliament there have been Kurdish members of parliament before in Turkey but they stood as independent right now and I have it up on the screen we put this out on Youtube so people who are listening concede a map as well and the the the Kurdistan region is huge area who have no citizenship rights whatsoever so that means they can't own their own house they disqualified from getting against the Kurdish people going back in the Shah's time and then again under the Islamic republic as well so again the three million the number of Kurds in Turkey is maybe twenty million maybe twenty five million we don't know in Iran you know and and so the different you know the the countries with which you share some land The say the Turkish Curtis it does slow this is good oh goal Sadler show all right welcome to a Tuesday at the start of a brand-new week he really And in the recent elections just a few weeks ago in Kentucky for the first time a Kurdish political party the HP looking back over the past several decades or even one hundred years or so the Kurds in Syria have been equally badly treated they have been he denied even the existence of anything called codes or Kurdistan actually and this was of course candidates this is the first time that they stood under the umbrella of a Kurdish party so this is the situation in Turkey and then of course there is the Kurdish organization and in that one incident but he used chemical weapons against about two hundred communities that's villages towns hamlets I represent the Kurdistan region in Iraq in my post in Washington in Iraq perhaps your listeners one there are about ten twelve million Kurds and Iran also unfortunately has had a policy of oppression cut cut ish people's rights in Iranian Kurdistan and not necessarily recognized and then coming to Iraq which is where I'm from and he bumped the the city of Halabja in nineteen eighty-eight with chemical gas chemical weapons and five thousand people died years or so there has been a great deal of progress in Turkey so that now the language is no longer banned there even schools that teach Kurdish not many admitted since there was this new settlement in Europe and then also in the Middle East the codes and the full parts of Kurdistan in those four countries on the Kurdistan Regional Government representative to the US The Kurdistan Iraqi do you have three other counterparts or do you and then fortunately for us he invaded Kuwait and unfortunately the United States and the coalition and he also engaged in genocide campaign that he called an fall and this was his final solution for the Kurdish people in Iraq coming and we all have the same aims and the customs the same language the same aspirations we all want people wow you know I'm looking at a map He was extremely brutal he used chemical weapons to bomb civilian communities and most famously or notoriously pulling in the history of the people of cut us on in Iraq so they're now you are the representative again we're speaking with Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman affair and silence and then particularly against the crowds because we rose up against Saddam repeatedly we never accepted his rule Turkey called the PKK which has engaged in armed struggle against the Turkish state in Syria again pushed him out of Kuwait and we rose up against Saddam Hussein again in early nineteen ninety-one and may remember in nine hundred ninety one TV images of millions of people on the mountains dying of starvation dying from the cold have more information about us than out of Kurdistan Iraq was a dictatorship for many years under Saddam Hussein area they have party political representatives who might be working in Washington or London or Paris I see he put down this uprising very very brutally and over two million Kurdish people fled to the mountains and some of your listeners et recognized as a region so we're fortunate that after the Liberation we call it a liberation of Iraq in two it was just biblical scenes and again the United States and Britain and other countries came to our aid and this was a big plan in Iraq is recognized as a region our regional parliament our regional president and prime minister and our records dictatorship and his grip on on the country everybody it didn't matter whether you're Kurdish or Arab everybody lived in fear and there was a culture of cruelty the Iraqis the Kurds the needs she is sat down and negotiated the constitution and in that constitution the Kurdistan region sensitives abroad so my post all of these recognized so it is only the Kurdistan region Iraq represent all of Kurdistan to the US cut us on Iraq is the only part of Kurdistan that is efficient that has these positions of president prime minister the Parliament's representatives overseas the other parts of Kurdistan in Turkey Iran and You know we're still talking about the flawed decision to invade Iraq after all Iraq never attacked us they were not in government jobs their children come on go to university and so on the number of Kurds in Syria today is about aided in the belief that this was a huge international blonder that cost certainly Americans on an unimaginable ignored They were even they still are today a few hundred thousand maybe three four hundred thousand Kurds in Syria who fought in Iraq and particularly to those who lost their lives or who are injured I have always felt that for the families of those soldiers who lost their lives in Iraq it must be so disheartening to constantly here that the intervention was a disaster. How would you prefer that we did come in and get rid of Saddam or prefer that we would have left you guys alone of of Iraq obviously over here a lot of our finger-pointing during wearing a new Presidential Cycle I mean Kurdistan is larger than much larger than Syria one of the nation's it it it it I guess it cuts across the thousand three I realized that there are many people in the United States and other countries don't see it as a liberation but you know if you have lived under a dictatorship who is committing surridge was a failure that Iraq is a failure well there is one corner of Iraq the Kurdistan region in Iraq which is successful action in Iraq or the liberation of Iraq should not have happened and it was a mistake and also I should express gratitude to all of the Americans the threat to us we were either lied to or misled or some combination of the two but for the most part most Americans are pretty and but honestly even before Saddam Hussein Iraq was never a stable country there will always rapid and violence changes of government in in two thousand three this was another turning point at which the United States intervened in Iraq and for us in Kurdistan it it the Congress of the United States for everything that has been done for the people of Iraq and particularly for the people of Kurdistan Wow all right so that's that's the overview of Kurdistan the history and where you are today I'm still stuck on the you know the liberation of Iraq has always had a very bloody and violent history under Saddam it just reached a peak so that as he strengthened his came to our aid because Saddam was again attacking us and millions of people went to the mountains and they would dying they were dying by the thousands from the precise both in blood and treasures you put it that the United States has made and and I do want to genuinely thank the people in the government and in in lives and treasure and you know and the Iraqi people as well but are you guys if you know if we could go back fifteen years or so laments from starvation from cold the United States and Britain and other countries created a safe haven international community because don't forget whenever there's a dictatorship the dolls are closed dictators do not want to travel they do not want foreigners to come in either you have a democracy we do have well we had a prospering economy until isis came and we are grateful to the United States and we appreciate the genocide against your people it feels like a liberation when not dictator is removed so after the liberation of Iraq we the liberation or was it a an invasion was it a mistake in my opinion the liberation was correct it was right to remove people could return to their homes and then they created and implemented the no fly zone over Kurdistan and this enabled us to have I ever elections and Curtis that then led to the creation of our parliament our government and all of the institutions that we have today and again I I I do recognize an I have heard those points of view many times and I respect the point of view the intervention for neural spirit in Kurdistan and and we have really done our best to build our society going back to your point about was so just the fact that people could breeze they could travel foreigners could come and see us we could do business all of this opened a new on Davison another break and over the next decade two thousand three two thousand thirteen we were able to build our economy we were able to open our doors hey okay yes yeah I was GonNa say you may very well be the first person to have said that I'm sure I'm not the person I genuinely felt it is genuinely felt because as I said in nineteen ninety one when the United States and and the other countries lectu wilderness itself South Lodge the outer regions of humanity that equal blue do justly a dictator who not only terrorized and murdered his own people but he calls instability around the Middle East and he tom US interests however that doesn't mean that everything went perfectly that everything went smoothly after the liberation out of calls for Kurdistan to become its own independent state. Certainly I know you'd be a much better ally of the United States than any other this mechanism or defense system so with the Peshmerga really doing having list lifting over there because they are after we got there we're seeing two groups really in your region stepping up to fight against Isis question that every occurred themselves every day honestly every Kurd that I know thank you for that again if you're just joining us we're speaking with the Curtiss Kurdistan Regional Government representative to the US it's President Obama's fault because we no longer had this robust military presence over there obviously the Iraqi army had troubles before we got there and had troubles the player in the region what what is what's stopping Kurdistan from becoming an independent state how how would that happen I think that's one is shockingly enough for many of us over here Iran the other are the Kurds How do I cur hurt? A lot of blame is being pointed at Obama for following through on that status-of-forces agreement and withdrawing the troops per the schedule that was agreed upon and you know the political divide over here so the Republicans are saying it's Obama's fault the rise of Isis American forces were training the Iraqi army there was a a what what is it a status of Forces Agreement made by community and I thank you for doing that to thank the servicemen and women who sacrificed their lives or maybe they they wounded well maybe peshmerga to describe fighters but peshmerga for us means soldier and it literally means those who face death George W Bush with with the Iraqi government before Bush left office that had US withdrawing our troops from Iraq. The you know the history there I'm learning so much from you so now after Saddam is toppled you know the the over a certain amount of time and so President Obama followed through on that agreement and now once we're gone it seems like everything kind of fell apart Iraq I don't know what's going on there it seems like the all the weapons we left behind for the Iraqi army has fallen into the hands of Isis There have been a lot I love soldiers Pysche my gut and I think I'm I know that name yes happy that so many Americans use the word into specific timeframe right now but in the foreseeable future we will have a referendum so that all Iraqi Kurds Kansas lost friends Iraq and we appreciate that very much we appreciate that they live with that for the rest of their lives law on behalf of them once an independent Kurdistan in the in the heart of course the political realities sometimes dictate something else what we have said in Kurdistan and Iraq is that we will hold a referendum within the next year or two Dan have its own army apart in separate from Iraq from the other nations we have our own army and we called and so I will Pysche actually according to the Iraqi constitution taught of Iraq's Defense Ban Sami Abdulrahman you're based in Washington DC And I'm sure you split your time but you know I so appreciate the independence now in an ideal world I'm very sorry in an ideal world we would achieve independence funding yes and then our leadership will have the mandate from the public to go about achieving uh on the question do you want to stone in Iraq to be an independent state and I can guarantee you the answer will be a resigned all of Kurdistan have expressed their will for an independent state and I believe that's over the past decade because Kurdistan region from a Kurdish point of view Baghdad or Iraq rather just doesn't work for us and I can come to that in a moment and that the people in a peaceful manner we want to be able to speak to our friends and colleagues in Baghdad and explain to them that has functioned as as a a prosperous vibrant region because we had democratic elections we have a very vibrant parliament very augmented parliament and so I think we have shown that we can function as entity we have oil that we can export we are building other industries and Kurdistan so I hope that over that time and I believe that we and and you know the the speculation that certainly over here is that Iraq as a nation is false and particularly with all this volatility and instability that we see across the Middle East today not just in Iraq but if you look at the Middle East and at the heart of much of this not all of it but at the heart of much of this is the Shia Sunni rivalry we have we have shown too many friends in the neighborhood and also in the international community that we we you have Iraq you have the crisis in Syria you have a war and Yemen you have Libya disintegrating those terrorist attack on function as an independent state it doesn't mean that everything will be smooth and perfect but certainly being part of Iraq is not smooth and perfect no eighteen of Iraq would disappear well everything's possible and borders are not sacred so I think hiring and that you know for instance that you talked about the borders being drawn after World War One they were drawn kind of haphazardly and there are those who are areas in your neighborhood that are really stepping up to battle Isis learned today astoundingly that Saudi Arabia because they've had to flee from Isis we have all of this and we believe that Kurdistan can be strategic partner we witch goes back century and has not been solved as a centuries and I don't think we'll be solved in the near future either so you know I would argue that we in Kurdistan have proven ourselves to be a reliable partner to the United States saying that the that the nation of Iraq may not survive in that perhaps Iraq would be split up Kurdistan would become its own nation and maybe chip this is really beyond what we Kurds or Iraqis might plan on my once a lot of it is just even bigger and wider than that but but we regrouped an Pysche mega have been taking back territory from Isis we have taken back about twenty thousand square for the United States a stable and spill point in this very very volatile Middle East and I think the United States states needs ex in in Tunisia really there's sort of a a waiver instability and turbulence that is going through we we do a lot of trade with Iran in instead of for example Food and agriculture and that sort of thing and in the we are building democracy we have religious freedom in Kurdistan excuse me we have religious freedom and cut his son days when Isis you know started to attack the Kurdistan region last summer it was Iran that came to our help agents policy is to have good relations with all of our neighbors and what a yes and especially when but even on the international stage Iran has to be taken accountable so from our perspective we need to have good relations with Iran and You know now we need to get that on all fronts I know we're running short on time I'd be remiss if I didn't ask you in the wake of the recent news and they've every cut the confidence that the United States has our backs and we of course we were taken by surprise by Isis we have from the US advises on the ground has been very very helpful the United States and the coalition have been sending weapons to that politics and war can make strange bedfellows I mentioned earlier that again the the Kurds and the Iranians are the two before anybody else and this is very very early days when we had no idea if anybody would help us and you know when you're in that situation as you know building a fence a wall around the nation that's brilliant they sound like a are Republicans here the the you'll take the health wherever it comes from fortunately President Obama did order airstrikes and this was a game changer it moments is and any part of Iraq that is considered the Kurdish is now under Kurdish control and Isis be pushed out so fight full and they fight and we've been very effective against Isis and have pushed back that's that's incredible and it's so good to hear it's dates I'm curious to know if you have any thoughts on what happened this week it's difficult question to answer because their assignment previously in the region you know the Gulf countries are extremely concerned about Iran's nuclear we were able to just you know with with knowing that we have the US supports in the strike sorry strangely effective the The support that we have so many minorities the Christians Sunday Caucasians others coming and sheltering in Kurdistan Peshmerga as well not as much as we would like not in the quality or quantity that we would like but nevertheless the weapons have been coming and again the million we have taken in about one point eight million displaced people from Iraq and refugees from Syria is being an instrumental in and they bleeding our fish Moga who was still frankly outgunned by Isis but you know I'll push mega have caused in space because the sanctions will be lifted so in a way it it reads as a win win situation but I think the concern concern all of us so going forward again Bay on Sami Abdul Rahman what what can we do as as ally program and so I think this agreement if it really is based on fare fixation as President Obama has said it is I mean what is the relationship between Kurdistan and Iran well Cata Stan region Up Policy Cut US on you're a region you're not even a sovereign state you don't have much choice Iran is a is a powerful neighbour it's a plan not just in the Middle East then that would provide reassurance to the United States and to the Gulf countries in the Middle East and for the Iranians it it allows them the breeding the church is through charities anything I mean the refugees need everything they need blankets they need boots to manage it was an agreement or not what really concerns us is the Middle East is heading for an arms race even bigger than any arms race we've seen any unknown man I think it'd beal is better than no deal however whether the is is neighbors what would you like the average American to know and and and possibly to take action on going forward well one winter they need books for their children they need healthcare so any kind of distance on the humanitarian front would area of immediate reaction is to help us with the humanitarian crisis cut Assan region population is about five point two for all of us in the Middle East is that really the Middle East generally heading for an arms race and this is already an area that is extremely volatile and that has can't cope and the UN is saying that it's short of money so any assistance that your listeners or the people of the United States can give us through that so we have had a huge jump in all population in a very short period of time and many of these refugees sleep are living in trump's ridiculous statement to Turkey's Erta one about you know about President Obama and interestingly enough she talked about Saudi Arabia building a wall my how things have changed and Oh that that obviously Kurdistan was not involved in this negotiation for the Iranian nuclear deal but as a neighbor and an ally of the united be a very very much appreciated and would make a difference to people's lives all right Bay on Asami Abdul Rahman which I freely enjoyed talking to you me as well all right take care thank Unical thank you bye-bye Van Sami Abdul remind today two hours ago she tweeted out a Kurdistan regional government statement on developments in northeastern Syria. So let me Click hotness last night and we of course need partners like the United States to to be with us speaking of partners you know I sometimes well through to it and I'll read you the whole statement it's not very long they wrote the Kurdistan Regional Government is deeply concerned by the United States decision to withdraw from the safe zone in northeast encompass but many others are sleeping rough in half finished buildings in construction sites on the roadside and foreign the consequences of military escalation have implications far beyond series borders creating the conditions for a return of Isis and a mass displacement of people and is her name that in case you weren't here at the beginning of the interview that was recorded four years ago it was July of two thousand fifteen when I spoke with her that's what she was talking the the Kurdistan the Kurdistan representative to the United States almost I almost got through without saying Kirghistan and there I blew it at the end the government has consistently stated that the crisis must be solved through a stable political solution which enshrines the rights of all Syrians including the Kurdish people AH invading Syria and taking out the Kurds I knew I had to rerun that interview for you I again I hope you enjoyed that it it's so nice talking with you I I'm honored that the came on this show I so appreciate it I've you've opened my mind under Bush Clinton and Obama he's a he's a director of the program on peace building and Human Rights at Columbia University to try to avoid any initiative that would undermine the progress made against Isis including jeopardizing the secure detention of terrorist fighters there's the latest regarding Kurdistan boy it is an ugly ugly situation and in fact on the broadcast tonight one point one million displaced people many of whom fled that conflict it is the responsibility of the international community to prevent this happening again much as I did now I just checked bay on twitter feed because she is on twitter she's on twitter at Bayan B. A. Y. A. N. Remond r a h e and then it it it concludes with this the Kurdistan region paid a huge sacrifice in the campaign to defeat Isis and currently hosts how they have not so anyway I hope you found that as informative as I did I when this news broke about turn Syria and by reports of potential unilateral military operation by Turkey the government calls on Turkey as a member of the global coalition his the United Nations is of course helping us with the refugees but the scale of the problem is just so vast that we we it is crucial therefore all parties in the conflict including the Kurdish parties engage in dialogue to deescalate the situation. What a Concept Institute for the Study of Human Rights it's a great interview and so he goes into a little more of the current situation in Kurdistan he he wrote the book on Curtis K. R. J. The Kurdistan Regional Government will continue to closely monitor the situation and work through multiple channels on this issue so great ways I mean a lot of stuff that I did not know I'm sure some of our listeners didn't know either so I thank you I I and I hope we can talk again thank you very much? Man Bayan Romano One word and and the tweet I've been checking it for the last couple of days and she hasn't tweeted anything really until certainly there were many mistakes offset the liberation of Iraq and we all recognize that but I think it's important that people like me a given the and I'll I'll run it here either tomorrow or or or later in the week I've got an interview with a gentleman who worked in the State Department under on the broadcast tonight here later in the week again I'm doing double duty and trying to shuffle guests and interviews and keep it all straight and it's in his book that's been out about six months is called the great betrayal how America abandon the Kurds and lost the Middle East so anyway that interviews coming up uh-huh until later we'll see then or tomorrow thank you for listening everyone have a great night bye bye and currently twenty states only twenty states have explicit statewide employment protections for LGBTQ Rick Aces all arguing that LGBTQ people should be protected from employment discrimination under title seven of the Civil Rights Act of Nineteen come forward to reveal wrongdoing now people it's insane and here in Florida I personally know people who have been fired because they put a picture of in sixty four which prohibits discrimination based on sex right it sounds like a no brainer but this is Donald Trump's Americ- well they he and his spouse on his desk therefore became known that he was gay and he was fired it's insane but her courtesy of the one and only Boca Brittany summers whistle blowers those who bravely they just put your legs together Ben Dover and blow that's the question that was before the Supreme Court today so I wanted to get a Oh I lost the interview hold on we now know the identity of Watergate's deep throat but the safety of today's whistleblowers must be taken into account must remain anonymous but today what the Supreme Court was pondering is a question that it just is so ridiculous whistleblowers for your collection of whistle blowers not to mention the most famous whistle blower of all with Jasmine Beach Ferrara she's the executive director of the campaign for southern equality and Well here's that interview us to me but it's where we are right now basically the I thought I had the here it is okay they're hearing oral arguments in was the first major case of the term and I don't mean to demean whatever cases they heard yesterday in fact I remember hearing something about it was kind of interesting it is this whistleblowing we'll tell you I am with so many things for I walked by night many strange tale hidden in the heart of men and women who have stepped into the shadow yeah I know the nameless terrors of which they dare not speak blowers with the foods to step forward and whistle whistle along with a whistle blowers it's easy it was the beginning of the new term of the Supreme Court you know it starts the first Monday in October and they heard they heard one case yesterday but today gotta find gotta find it again we spoke okay I spoke with I think this is the right file here anyway so I did I can have the greatest missile lowers of all time low their whistle for you yes it's whistling whistle patients today can you explain a little bit about the campaign for southern equality absolutely and thanks for having me on the campaign for southern equality it based then Asheville North Carolina and we work across the entire south to promote full LGBTQ equality under the law but also in how we live our daily happy whistle blowers said whistle blower this your cats have all the cases combined into one kind of big umbrella about LGBTQ rights and the and the central question here is if people should be protected from employment discrimination under title seven of the Civil Rights Act which prohibits discrimination based on sex and it's astounding. I live in Florida on the line with us now is Reverend Jasmine Beach Ferrara she's executive director of the campaign for southern equality before we get into the reason for our conference I'm calling you today is because while the Supreme Court kicked off its term yesterday first Monday in October and today they're going to hear oral arguments in actually three with Remond and our interview coming up dealing with the case that was heard the Supreme Court today so we will we'll have our our pallet cleanser the one and only wonderful Boca Brittany Summers all right now that we got that out of the way today well yesterday we should say yesterday there's a reverend in front of your name are you a member of the clergy I am not ordained minister in the United Church of Christ Gotcha okay well today the reason the reason ah we were launched in two thousand and eleven are very honored to get to

Kurdistan United States Kurdistan Regional Government President Obama Iraq Iran Syria Kurdistan Iraqi Kurdistan Curtiss Kurdistan Regional Gov representative Ban Sami Abdul Remond Turkey Iraqi army Isis president Florida Donald Trump Sami Abdul Ram Remond
Can Iraq survive the U.S.-Iran conflict?

The Heat

17:07 min | 1 year ago

Can Iraq survive the U.S.-Iran conflict?

"The government is into in control cannot unified. We feel that we need United States to keep you know their commitments to the Iraqi people and establish real democracy. Their democracy twelve inches a dysfunctional. Because this has breath not to benefit the people on Wednesday. Two rockets were fired at Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone this less than twenty four hours after an Iranian missile attack on military bases housing both Iraqi and US troops Iranian attacks came in direct response to the assassination of Iranian revolutionary. God General Qasim Sodomy last week while. US President Donald Trump says Iran appears to be standing down. There's no evidence of peaceful resolution is near and for Iraq. Its security and its people. How much longer can the war torn country and your being the battleground for this ongoing conflict. Hello I'm honored Neider. Welcome to the heat. PODCAST with us to talk about Iraq's position at the center of the conflict between Iran and the United States is a smile al-saddani. He's a security and military expert who previously previously served as Brigadier General for the Iraq Army. He joins US via skype from Virginia. Smart Welcome to the podcast. Thank you for having me now. Shortly before four we recorded this podcast. There was a rocket attack as I mentioned in Baghdad's Green Zone that's home to the. US Embassy of course Israel other Western diplomatic insecurity compounds. What can you tell us about this area. And could you tell something about Baghdad. I mean would the city be very tense right now of course back. That is very tense. Because of the situation escalated between Iran and the United States Iraq has been in the middle of the conflict and because of that situation is security should be very tense as well. The Greens on itself is a very fortified zone within bag that and and it is to be the housing of the government and the foreign embassies as well as the ministries of the government. It's already controlled rolled for the their entries and exits from this area. It looks like that because of the security situation the checkpoints orange has returned back to orgeon locations What is happening in Iraq is becoming in the middle of the conflict because Iran has they're on affiliates whether politically our security. What is the security situation like in Baghdad. I'm and we hear that the a Myriad Korea D- militias operating in the city Not all of them as you point out under the control of the government. Exactly you know. These forces appeared on the security theater. Visibly after twenty fourteen when Isis took over Mozell and some other provinces is in Iraq so they have been activated to operate against the Isis and the area of operation in different different areas of operation in fact and They have taking the fatwa which was issued by Shiite clergy as as a platform to recruit people to join them. Iranian has jumped didn't to support them and provide them with training and and ultimately after two years from that twice against Isis Parliament. Have you know past the bill to recognize them as security apparatus. Unfortunately these forces are politically motivated and they have a political. Party's influence over them. So they become you know A military wing to the political parties. Show they operating in Baghdad and some Shia majority provinces and that they control on the security internally and after defeating Isis. They become more powerful because they're politically backed up while the Iraqi army is in having having any political support right so they became more weakened or vulnerable to war these forces just getting back to the Iranian attack which took place less than twenty four hours ago. It seems that it was a very well Or carefully calibrated attack attack caused some damage but it didn't cause any casualties either American or Iraqi. It was carried out by the Iranian military. Not by any of its proxy forces. It seems that the message eh or the intention was to send a message to the Americans. Do you think the IT succeeded. Iran was seeking to You know make a direct reaction for the drone attack that resulted in killing journals. Damani in a Baghdad airport. That was taken as a very serious. Jio by Iranian because it was a direct hit to them and in my perspective that was the most significant attack that Iranian in have been taken from the United Sates. This man is considered the second man. He's a military man and he is the commander of the elite forces for the Iranian in my personal perspective I think Iranian do not want their proxies to hit back on behalf of them because because that is there on national the bride and dignity so they want to store it in front of their population or their citizens since they have selected a military target and the casualties that is that Iranian claimed but American said there was no casualties. Everybody was feeling that persuaded and a took the credit for winning this stage or this round around if we look at where Iraq finds itself right now in this conflict over the past two weeks we had the demonstrations and the attacks on the United States embassy the. US responded responded by Assassinating general money. And now the Iranians have responded with these rocket attacks so that does raise the question of how vulnerable Is Iraq security in the midst of this conflict that theater or the security theater very conflicting and very confusing as as well for the Iraqi government to take charge. Not only that Iraq is still fighting Isis in several areas where they are have been defeated. You did what did they have is still having some sleeping cells in some remote area you know the Iraqi security forces Coauthored them and Armie are from time to time launching some operations in the area of responsibility to pursue dominance of Isis. And also there for is another Issue on the security which are disputed area between could the sun and the central government could cook for donations and Kurdistan claimed there that ownership of leashes disputed areas destruction is not settled and the Nina have a plane as well and some other areas north and east of Iraq show which is very complicated. I would say a and it's very fragile. Because the government is into in control cannot unified the Iraqi security for the National Security Strategy Underwent Command and control. And that's what we have seen in the past the hour weeks again you know There was also another threat threat. which is the ongoing protests against the government? which I believe. This is the root of the problem of you. Know heating up the conflicts between Iran Iran and the United States because the government factions. Surely the She'e because the process if you look at the map of the process you'll see it's Shia majority. Population provinces are uprising against the government demonstrating and protesting that means that the Shia majority cheap people are disperse waded with the Political Shia political class. Because of the political process has it created lots of a problematic issues like corruption mismanagement and other issues that would be difficult to overcome the appears to be some deescalation right now in terms of military actions we had the Iranian attack and then president trump talking on Wednesday in Washington didn't threaten Iran with military action. He said Iran appears to be standing down but we did hear from the supreme leader of Iran who said that That attack against against those military bases was a slap in the face for the United States but have both sides. Now step back from the brink of Any military confrontation I think both countries know very well that all out to crises in the Middle East wouldn't be off their interest and that will be hurting both of them badly United States has a an election and the administration is not ready to receive the of some bad news about the conflict. You know and they know very well that Iran is in an easy enemy to defeat. General Suleimani also played had a key role in the defeat of Isis in Iraq. Of course it's not just one man that fought isis but now that he's been assassinated fascinated now that he's dead. Do you think Isis could pose a renewed threat to Iraq. says has lost a significant capabilities inside Iraq. They lost also all the local support in none of the areas. Where Isis Two thousand fourteen now in accepting uptick. Isis people have rejected isis. And they don't want isis to come back but isis is. There is snow in the remote areas in their hideout hideout in the mountainous areas and in the desert if the American believing of furnace that would be a gap at that would be a security security. Vacuum would be taking the place and And since the Iraqi forces is prepared well and since we are told divided the you know we don't have a unified security force. We do not have a national security strategy that would that bring all the elements of security elements together to why to one enemy. It is posing some kind of a threat but not not for the immediate term. I would say but maybe for the mid or long term they will be reconstructing themselves again and you know maybe they are- brand themselves and they would have some other in a notion or ideology or another objectives. They would be having the new names. Yes so they would be trying to attract and some besides the people around in the urban areas show to return back. Okay Yeah confidence that the Iraqis Would be able to stand up on their own without the presence of foreign troops. I doubt unless the government government would be in full control over the security forces and B. M. US needs to be reintegrated without any political become influence. Not only that the dispute between criticize John and the central government should be settled in the perfect manner. So no no one would be complaining about each other because that would would create kind of air in the disputed area kind of security vacuum that Isis Isis will be taking charge of Ishmael. It's been seventeen years. Since the United States invaded Iraq occupied Iraq they overthrew Saddam Hussein. How how do most Iraqis feel about the US presence in the country. Now well let me tell you that Iraqis are disappointing with the seventeen years years That have been paused without any progress without any really concentration without real building the state tate capacities ender version of that. The Iraqis are having The the most corrupt political class us in the world Iraq is equal pie in the very late. You know ranks in in the Transparency Index X as well as the fragile states index Iraq is not a being recovered. Since seventeen years at let me let would be Cold by Americans. Who are you know in charge of establishing the foundation for the Political Nikola Process for the Posta invasion and unfortunately Iraqis are are very frustrated intact for the Americans and we have no problem with Americans in fact off for me for any any Academy or any analyst say or educators person. We feel that Americans are important they were you know have supported Iraqi security forces in different areas that Iraqi forces really require like the Air Force support the logistic intelligence agents Training equipping and and you can name so these are very important but we feel that we need united it also To keep you know their commitments to the Iraqi people and establish real democracy the democracy that was established his this dysfunctional and Awful democracy because it has not to benefit the people it has penetrated only a small group of people that is political class in my perspective. Also I think that Americans should in revising their policies in Iraq in order to gain back Iraq otherwise they are losing Iraq. Because you know they are dealing with Iraq as three the entities and Iraqis are very proud of their identity. They shouldn't be treated as a three entities that are Shia Sudanese incurred Americans are unfortunately discriminated between the Iraqi people according to how close how oh good friends. They are to eat to these factions for instance. They are very close to cure because the Kurds making good friendship or relation with with the Americans while they are not good enough with the Sunni the Shia as not as good as the curse at that is the core problem in Iraq it because United States as the patronage of the of the Iraq of Iraq should build a strong government. Women should build a strong democracy should build the state institutions these are fundamental issues that policymakers the foreign policies in the US administration should think seriously about it if Iran losing ground because US They are supporting the most corrupt political parties into Shiaz treat A medical so losing. I think the credit because they are not serious build Iraq in the perfect manner small. Thanks so much for joining us. Of course my pleasure smile. Elsa Donny is security and military expert. Who previously served as a brigadier general in the Iraq Army? The heat is produced by. CGT NOT IN AMERICA ARE Executive Producers Tear at H. and the senior producer. John Gilmore Guests producer Zana Shave Joshua Bala produced. Today's podcast in our director director of digital development is Michael Sugary once again. I'm on ninety. Thanks for listening. You have a comment or question about today's podcast. Send US an email. You can find us. at heat podcast at C._G._T.. In America Dot Com. And please if you like. The heat helps spread the word by subscribing rating leaving a comment with your favorite part cost provider.

Iraq United States Iran Baghdad government Iraqi army Isis Isis Parliament Iraqi government General Qasim Sodomy US Embassy President John Gilmore Donald Trump Virginia Neider Middle East Israel Kurdistan
#215 Hamody Jasim

First Class Fatherhood

30:49 min | 2 years ago

#215 Hamody Jasim

"Yeah. Lace welcome to first-class fatherhood. Welcome. Everybody episode to fifteen in the podcast. I am happy as always the be here with you. Thanks for stopping by. If this is your first time listening to podcast, please get over and bag nets scribe button, do not wanna miss the action that it's coming your way right here on first glass fatherhood. All right. Have a true American hero. Joining me today on the podcast. He is a first-class father who was thrown into a Saddam Hussein prison at the age of twelve years old. He was beaten and he would eventually get his revenge by becoming the youngest sergeant major in the Iraqi army for several years. He fought side by side with American forces at the height of the global war on terrorism in Iraq is known as the terrorist whisperer Hammadi Jazine will be here in just a few minutes. So please stick around the at the view I will have the honor of meeting Hammy and seeing that documentary that was made about his book, titled the terrorist whisper. It'll be screening war in New Jersey, this Saturday. So if you're interested, you're in the state area, you wanna see the film, I would encourage you to come on out the. In the description of this podcast episode will take you right to the details. All you need to know. And if you do decide to go, please hit me up with a DM I would love to meet up with Aaron say, Hello on a much more personal note here. My daughter finished pretense yesterday, and she had her little ceremony with some, some music, and some dancing, and it was awesome. She did such a great job. It's hard to believe that all four of my kids are now done with preschool. I will definitely miss these pre K days, I was honored to be a class parent for class this year. The teachers were great. We really enjoyed so much fun. It was a fantastic year. I know that many of you dads out there have kids that are graduating either pre K kindergarten fifth grade eighth grade high school college. Whatever it may be wherever you are on this journey, congratulations to you. And one of the songs the kids sang yesterday was Lee. Greenwood's God bless the USA. And after having this conversation that you're about to hear with Hammadi seem I was emotional already. But it really added to me, feeling just so blessed to be an American, thank God, that I'm living here in the United States of America. The amount of sacrifice that has been given on this altar of. Freedom can really only be repaid by living a life worth dying for, and you are about to hear from a man who really sacrificed greatly. He saved countless American and Iraqi lives. So please sit back and enjoy today's interview and shared his podcast with every father inundate, or in your contact list. Let them know about the podcast, that celebrates fatherhood and family life. Fatherhood rocks. Family values rule. And every day is Father's Day, right here with me. And right now, I'm going to jump into the action with the terrorist, whisper himself ham, any disease on Alex and you're listening to I last fatherhood. Thank you for listening to first class fatherhood. You were going to hear a word from my sponsors in the middle of today's interview, if you would like to consider becoming a sponsor of first class fatherhood, please hit me up with an Email first class, fatherhood at g mail dot com. All right. Joining me now is a first class father. He is a hero who saved so many lives, his story has been told in a book that is now a documentary, titled the terrorist whisper in the words of a retired United States intelligence Lieutenant Colonel quote. I've seldom encountered individuals who were as dedicated principled and fearless as him. He was a patriot worthy of trust in a time and place where very little could be trusted, and quote, it is an extreme honor for me to say. Hammadi Zime, welcome to first-class fatherhood. Thank you very much for having me, appreciate that. Okay. Let's do this. How many kids do you have? And how old are they do? I have a daughter she's six years old. Okay. Very cool. Is she involved with any sports or activities yet? Oh, absolutely. She likes to, you know, she likes horse riding she's doing dancing, and all kind of stuff and just like any other six year old who was pretty much into everything. So like kinda. I went from fighting terrorists to now, looking for Barbies over toys, and rush. Oh, yeah. Talk about one extreme to the other it in. That's the ship. All right. Happy. Please take a few minutes here just to hit my listeners, but a little bit about your background and what you do. My name is Hamid you seem author of the terrorist whisper. I was born a raising arrack. I went undercover for the US intelligence during the surge of between two thousand five to two thousand eight in Iraq and my job was to locate terrorists who were infiltrating their rocky government and terrorists who are killing American soldiers in Iraq. Yeah, your story is just incredible. I'm really looking forward to checking out the documentary this weekend. More on that in a minute here. But you've had some crazy experiences in your life Hammadi. So how did the experience of becoming a father kinda change your perspective on life, absolutely everything? I mean, I can't imagine, you know, working, you know, battling, one of the most dangerous terrorist organizations in the world in the same building early and being a father, you know, I'm, I'm lucky that I didn't have kids or family back there. And I couldn't leave the wire because my fascinates will be waiting right? Outside for me. So definitely have changed my life. I have lost the teammate. Bagging in Iraq, who actually left the wire outside of the Rockingham. OD what I was Oprah rating and end up getting assassinated fourteen minutes later, so I kinda understood a lot once I became a father, I guess, that made a lot of sense to sorting events that happen to me. And once you become a father, it's a different feeling. It's a different stage of life that you're in and things changes. I think even decisions that you'll be making in your life. It will be a lot different than the decisions you made before you were father. So, you know, I'm lucky that when I was opening through all this dangerous, crazy stuff in Iraq, that I didn't have a family. But today when I do I understand emotions attachments, that you have, so it does change your managed changes you as a fighter and it changes you as human being as well. So, you know, I changed you to a better positive person. I think it's a different different sense, different feeling if you know what I mean. Yeah, I do. And that's one of the reasons why I mean just being. Adad myself. I'm just blown away by the images that I see of Iraqi kids holding weapons and being involved in warfare. And I know that, that child has to have parents somewhere or at least some guardian that cares about him. So how does it get to the point Hammadi where children are given guns and are used as pawns in this theater of war? I mean especially for me because I got shot by child, you know a grenade thrown on me in two thousand four. It was actually my thirteen year old, unfortunately there's a lot of children. There who are and attended have no families or out on the streets on their own. And you know, this wasn't advantage for terrorist actually, to take advantage of these little children, because terrorists are cowards in every level, and they were looking really good their lives of in the front line. They're using young kids who are lost within have money or food to eat, and offer them a couple of hundred dollars to join them and militia or terrorist organization and taught him how to throw a grenade in tech. The pen out and throw it out people, and it's pretty hard because, you know. Yeah, the soldier you're, you're at addition, where you either kill a kid and become a work criminal or get killed yourself was one of your soldiers. So it's a very difficult position. A very difficult situation because there's not one or two, there's many kids and you know, you can't. Judge them based on that situation because when you are thirteen year old or twelve year old didn't know what the hell's going on in the world at that time too, and you kinda really get stuck in that situation. But, you know, poverty, poverty really beats anybody. It changes any human being when you're hungry. You'll be able to do a lot of things that you couldn't do and unfortunately, the war in Iraq as violent as it was as, as crazy, as it was back, then there was an emotional side do it. And if you're not able to handle that emotional side, especially when it comes to children, you'll either get killed or you'll find yourself out of the four. So it's pretty emotional when it comes to things like that. But I feel bad for this kids in every sense, and it was hard. Yeah. A lot of times we take for granted just how blessed we are to be living here, the our kids growing up in America. Now, what are some of the? References Hammadi a since the end of the Saddam regime here. What are the differences between the kids who grew up during the regime as opposed to the kids were growing up there today, of course years difference right now, between Iraq last night and rocks today? You changes because, you know, bag under Saddam regime that, you know, our generation was not allowed to look at the big picture or have a free freedom of this beach or have the media. You know, we were pretty much kept under control almost like North Korea. We couldn't have access to anything the internet or anything else. So, you know, we were growing up under Bravo Gunda, you know, hating Americans, aiding America aiding all the west but thinks change today, because the new generation of Iraq today, the young generation who grew up without any fear. Regardless of the war, regardless of the car bombs are blowing up these still grew up and decided to be who they wanna be. And I can see there was a huge difference. Analogies today. When younger Raqi children are out there fighting ISIS who are able to rise and fight ISIS kick him out of muzzle. I mean that's balls. You know, this is something my generation, my older generation couldn't do. It was only few of us I decided to do that. But today you see all generation that fearless and willing to fight for their country and fight for their freedom, and I'm proud of that. So that's the change right there. Yeah. Well said, and that is awesome to hear and I did do an interview at Riyadh I'll Amati better known by his codename, Johnny Walker. He of course served with the United States navy seals and his family was under constant threat, just because he was helping the Americans. And from reading up on your story here when you went to join the Iraqi army, there was no long line of people waiting to join up. So if this Dom regime was so bad, why did so many Iraqis not want to join up and why would they have a problem with the guys? Who did you know to be honest with you? It wasn't much of their Rockies. It was actually the previous regime members under Saddam terrorist organizations, who were actually very new. Faces Iraq like how Tida Islamic stayed, you know, when Iraq was, you know, liberated in two thousand three the borders left open, so a lot of different new faces injured, which is radical Islam Dacian that entered the country. You know, those huge worry for them because we're not Americans we're born and raised there we can tell who they really are from mile away. And this was not a good idea for our enemies to see Araki's fighting side by side Americans. So they decided to kill everybody and connec an example, out of every single person that would be part of the new government or part of the new process in Iraq or health Americans to prevent people from going to that site because, you know, the American forces when they first got attacked and two thousand three two thousand four. It was really hard for them to figure out what the hell's going on around him. But when you haven't Iraqi who works in your arsenal and understand that culture knows area, really, well, it makes it harder for them. So, of course, we were much more of a bigger target than Americans. Itself to them. So this was going to be very dangerous move for them. So they decided to encounter that as much as possible, and to this day, you know, they are still assassinating people that help Americans or report of Americans. I mean when it comes to my case, I was by working for the us intelligence against Iraqi terrorist organization. So, of course, they wanna put your your head is so they can get there for -tunities. But I was lucky that I would never in a place where they're a lot to do. So. And the only way for them with the fish man battle. Yeah. And unfortunately there has been so much bloodshed and sacrifice here. But there's also been so much heroism displayed here by people like yourself. Now that your stories out in the open here with the bulk and the documentary how much how much does your daughter know about your background? She no, you were involved with the military at all. I think my daughter just find out that I was actually from Iraq. Wow. So, yeah, she doesn't know much about it. I think she sees all these pictures of soldiers and generals and all this overwhelming guns and stuff. And, you know, I think she sees stuff and she wonders, and she just looks around, she's only six but she just found out that I was actually from Iraq. You know, I'm not from, you know, I wasn't born in the United States in America. I'm an American citizen now. But I wasn't born here was born in the foreign country. And, you know I try not to, you know, expose my daughter to my life in Iraq because as much as the bubbly enjoy my story, enjoy my life. It's, it's not just a story to mates at pain. A lot of things that I endured over the years of, of being tortured a young child in Iraqi prison to losing teammates in the in the line against, you know, Qaeda, and vomit state. You know, it's pain for me, it's not something that I would enjoy remembering so, you know. I'm glad she just knows where I'm coming from. I mean, this is important for my child to know but other than that, I let her be who she wants to. She's in American kid, and she was born in the best country in the world. And if not one of the greatest countries in the world and, and that's why she's able to do things that I wasn't able to do as a child. Yeah. And is so awesome that after everything that you went through that not only are you here, but your daughter now has the abundance of opportunity. That's in front of her. Now, what was the Genesis of you writing the book here, Hammadi, where you approach somebody, and ask the right or was this, something that you decided, hey, this story needs to be told. It's time to get an import where if mar sponsors than back with more would Hammadi xeme. I'm Alex lace and you're listening to first class fatherhood. All right. That's here's your chance. You wanna share your thoughts on fatherhood hit me with some feedback or suggest the guest, send me a voice message voice messages, earn easy way for you. To send me audio that may end up in a future episode of I last fatherhood. They're the latest feature from anchor the platform, which I used to make this podcast. So if you have questions for me comments about an episode Dowd. You'd like to hear from on the show. Maybe you'd like to wish your father a happy birthday or say something about him on the air, I will see all of your messages, and I will add some of them to a future podcast, you could send me a voice message right now from wherever you're listening, just tap the link in the show notes. The description of today's podcast episode, I can't wait to hear from you. Let's go dad's. Summertime is upon us here. And there is no better way to spend time with your kids, this summer and to take them to a live event, whether that's out at the ball field, a monster truck rally or even a Broadway show by your tickets on seatgeek dot com or use the seatgeek app and apply. My code first class. That's one word I class and I class fatherhood listeners are going to save twenty dollars off their ticket purchase. Get over to seatgeek dot com or use the seatgeek app and buy all your tickets for this summer's fun. Maybe wanna take them to their first concert. Go to seatgeek dot com and apply my code first class one word first class and save twenty dollars off your ticket purchase fatherhood is the best seat in the house. Are you enjoying first-class fatherhood? Did you know you can actually get paid just for listening to this podcast? It may sound insane. But it's true. There is a free new ABC cold pod, coin and it literally pays you listen to podcasts. Seriously? Just download the free pod coin app on your iphone or Android. And if you use my special code first-class, fatherhood, you will get three hundred pod coins, just the signing up the more you listen. The more pod, coin you earn. And then you turn those pod coins into gift cards for places like Amazon, Starbucks or more. So go ahead and listen to this podcast on pod coin and sign up using the code first class. Fatherhood. It will change the way you listen to podcasts. Now, what was the Genesis of you writing the book here, Hammadi were you approached by somebody and ask the right it, or is this, something that you decided? Hey, this story needs to be told, honestly, you know, they would never attention for me actually, my story and get it out to the public, as, you know, stories like mine all military intelligence, operations, that were happening during the surge even veterans who fought in Iraq during that time did not know about what was going on in the back behind the curtains, but truly after the, the fall of Mozell two thousand thirteen and I was losing my teammates who are in Iraqi military day by day, most of my shoulders, and my teammates, actually died in the recent fight against ISIS, and Mozell because they were still in the racket military and this was personal for them. And I was sitting home in, in two thousand fifteen. Getting messages, every single morning, I would wake up out of my bed and look at my messages. And would be told that I lost two of my teammates, people that I fought with for years. People watched my six for so many years, loyal to me that with their lives in front of mine. And you know it was hard to hear that they were losing their battles. They were betrayed and they did not have any ammo and the rocket government. Betray them and the American government back then betray them as well. And were just love there to die for vices with very limited capabilities, so. It was heartbreaking for me. It was a very hard moment. I didn't know where I was gonna do scape. I wish I didn't have the family that I had here, I would have gone on the first plane and go to fight with him. But an end of the day, look at is if your daughter, and you knew you're out of death by once if you ever get back to you'll die. So I decided to grab the pen and tape my story and honor their, their service on or were, they don't to this world. And I decided to release my story and let the world see it. Yeah, I'm glad you did. I mean, it's a powerful story. It's a story that we need to hear right now. And how about as far as the documentary goes here, Hamid he had that all come about. And what was it like for you to have to relive some of these traumatic experiences that you've been through in order to make the film? I think it was actually one day I was working out. And then I was just thinking, and I was like you know what? Why not give this story into documentary because they're always, there are so many movies out there about Americans or special operatives or having a bad day, or get impounded, or getting shot out or having a bad day in a, you know, all these survival and courageous stories out there, but there was never a story about the terrorists having a bad day on I decided to let people enjoy this as much as we enjoyed it watching these, you know, bastards getting a hard day or loser battles. And, you know, they might have injured seventeen thousand three hundred eighty one American soldiers on the ground. You end the surge. But we have really fucked them up. Intelligent. We were collected on them as much as possible, and that's what I came. That's what my role was. It's the collective in because I'm born and raised there, I understand their culture. I know what they come from. I know exactly what they're thinking. I know their next steps ahead of their their game. So we decided going up just get it out. So I decided to give the same exact people are involved in my story, like general betray us Colonel, John Burke, out of New York, Lieutenant-Colonel failure out of Oregon. And all these other intelligent agents involved that manage me over the years and to give them together approach with idea. And we decided to get it out there to to the world. And we were able to release a lot of the true footage that we have from the battle in Iraq and we decided why not. So this is the first military. Intelligent ovation to be released the bubbling, we're excited about how people how much people been enjoying it. We've been doing a lot of private screenings of it on a few states. Perhaps, we had you know, we went to either. Maho two Oregon, we have secre, and, and North Carolina as well. We have screened in Texas, twice and Dallas and Austin, and we are screening next week in New Jersey. So anybody listening to this wants to be wants to see the film for free. We are secreening New Jersey, and you're welcome to be there. Yeah. Pumped up the see it this weekend. I'm going to be posting a link in the description of today's podcast episode. So any of my New York, New jersey, tristate area, listeners out there? If you're interested tap, the link come on out and see the documentary now have any what kind of advice could you offer to other Iraqi dad's, maybe just recently immigrated to the United States, and they're trying to figure all this out here while raising kids? Enjoy your life, raise your kids, the right way to not have to your kids in a box because this is not the reason you came to this country you came to this country to be free and enjoy your life. Let your kids to be who they want to be and to enjoy life and to get out of the box. You do not have the Iraqi or as a young as Iraqi or a Muslim person that immigration tonight's state. You do not have automatically have your loyalty to a specific political party in this country. Once you chain the citizenship of being an American citizen you have, and the chance to think and open up your head. And to decide what's best for your interest, as an American, not as an Iraqi, not as a person that came from out of the country twice for the interest for the country, protected you and gave it ever. Tune ity to become a citizen of it. And to be treated equally like everyone else, yet very well said and. Here's to hear your opinion on this Hammadi, what was your feelings, or your reaction to the so-called Muslim ban that President Trump put out there I actually supported the band b-, believe it or not people looked in know that, but I supported the ban because, you know what these countries I, I did not support the pond, Iraq was part of it, because we, if you years bag, I would absolute support that then with Iraq being part of it, but at that time Iraq was fighting against terrorism. Iraq has fixed a lot of issues when it comes to vetting people, we had a very strong intelligence of vetting that was going on people. So I didn't make any sense for me for a rack to be on it, but under president honored that as well. And took Iraq off the list immediately, when it comes to the other countries, of course, we have to make sure we found these countries because these countries, do not check people who are flying into us, do not that or have the proper procedures or the clearances to check people come into our. Countries. So we have every right. I've as Americans to banned these countries and Ben their citizen before coming to our country. I look, hey, if one of these countries rise up against terrorism, like Iraq, did and start having a very strong vetting and start caring about our safety like they cares about. There's I think the president will be glad to take them off the list. So this is not just about a president. It's not just about the politics in this country. This is about the safety of Americans and what we are bringing here to our soil. Yeah. Good stuff Hamid. He and I understand that you were recently hit with some very tough medical news. What led you to getting that diagnosis in what's your plan with it moving forward? What the newest me I'm always fighting something for God's sake. So, you know, this was a shocking moment. Honestly. And you know what was actually long way come in. I kinda felt this what's going to come. One day when I was reading the Raqi. I'm OD. Working to cover. I had so many fascinating. We're looking to kill me at the time and you'll see that in the documentary. So I had to change sleeping areas. And unfortunately at the time my sleeping area was radiated with Iranian. And, you know, when I came here in two thousand eight there was somewhere symptoms that paint this into, and in the last two years, the symptoms got really aggressive. A lot of changes were happening with me. And finally military doctor out of I God bless his heart, Dr Ryan coal actually diagnosed considered it out. And they found a tumor was the size of tennis ball between my up nerves. So it was about a half an inch from cutting my vision and destroying my vision permanently and we've found it just on time, and we've been battling this for the last two months. Now, the first month was going to vicious, and very strong battle, as, you know, any treatment goes, you are not used to the treatment, or your body when. Handle the treatment. But we've been able to overcome the danger zone now and our just still fighting and fighting. And, and that's all we have to do. Yeah. Wow. Incredible. And as you said there, you have been fighting your whole life. And so many people are alive today, because if you end your heroism, so I would just like to say, you know, thank you, many for all your service to this country and what you have done, and now that you are here, and you are an American citizen, what type of goals or plans, you have here for the future. I don't see, you know, my goal is just to live in peace and being able to, you know to, to see my child grow up and be a fine member of society. I you know. Lee, you know, sort of like that require sacrifices only God knows how many other sacrifices that impacted my life every single day that took the sleep out of my eyes every single night. But you don't if your sacrifice you can't just sacrifice, once you have to sacrifice all the way. So for me, you know, it's a lot of challenges but to be honest, you know, I wanna I wanna see my daughter enjoy her life. I wanna see her enjoy the American dream and, and I gonna enjoyed as well. You know with her. I want to be part of it. So, you know, for goal for me. I am enjoying a lot of things in America have been enjoying the freedom. I haven't been joying nice steak every Thursday have been enjoying a lot of different things. And, you know, and I'm thankful for everything I already, you know, already enjoyed come into this country America, the learning experiment. And it's such an honor to be part of this experiment. Crazy experiment. You know. And, you know, regardless of the challenges, you know, I'm enjoying my life today, every single, I enjoy the good Americans know that I need every single day, the people that truly support me from the bottom of their heart. It is really nice to meet people that you might have fought with on the same line, but you never got to meet them and to hear them really thank your hug, your chil- your gratitude. It means the world to me, you know, because I know these people are worth it. And, and, you know, my goal is to see my child, you know, enjoy her life and her freedom. Yeah. And you are exactly what makes this country. So great. I mean, we are in nation of immigrants, but we're a nation of immigrants who wanted to come here and to contribute, and to make America, a better place and to enjoy the freedoms of Vides and also be willing to fight and defend those freedoms, and you've done exactly that you're, you're exactly what makes America's so great. And the last thing I wanna hit you would hear happy. I love to ask all the data get on the podcast. What type of advice, do you have that new, dad? Or for that about to be father who's out there listening. You know, if you're just about that the data I think my vice to you is to enjoy your kids as much as possible try to be there for them because it's your mission. Now, once you become a dad, it is your mission to ensure their safety and wellbeing and everything. So if you become a father, congratulations is new chapter in your life and get ready to walk away. If you're chapter, once you become a father, responsibility, and be strong enough to take on this responsibility and stand on your feet, and but your other life, your past bachelorette life behind because now it's not about you anymore. It's about back child. And that's when it comes to. Yeah. Well said, I love the advice. This has been a true honor for me. I gotta say, Hammadi Zime. You are a first class father. And thank you so much for give me a few minutes time on first class. Fatherhood thank you very much for having. Honor being with you. All right. I'm back with some closing thoughts in just a second here. That's a wrap things up here on first place. Fatherhood. I gotta give a special. Thank you, once again, to Hammadi Jazine for giving me a few minutes of his time here to such an honor up onto the guys me that the over on Instagram, let me know what your door about today's episode. I always loved the redefined back. And if you are interested in seeing the documentary this weekend in New Jersey, hit the link in the description of today's podcast episode, it'll give you all the details. I love to see you there. And if you're interested in listening to a more indepth interview with Hammadi, you gotta check him out on Mike richland's podcast. The mic drop podcast. He doesn't four hour interview with Hannity. Mike, of course, is a former guest of the podcast here. He's a first class father all the way and he really doesn't great job. What is interview? So if you want to hear more about the indepth, details of Hamid disease life checkout. The Mike drops latest podcast episode. All right. That's all I got for you guys today. I'm Alex, you have been listening to first place fatherhood. And please remember guys, we are not babysitters. We are fathers and we're not just far. There's we are. I. Fathers? Open. Oh, no. Town.

Iraq Hammadi United States America New Jersey Iraqi army Hamid Alex lace Saddam Hussein Hammadi Jazine Lee Hammadi Zime New York ISIS Hammadi xeme Aaron Hammadi Zime Hammadi Jazine Greenwood North Korea
Col. Douglas MacGregor, U.S. Army, Desert Storm

Veterans Chronicles

41:09 min | Last month

Col. Douglas MacGregor, U.S. Army, Desert Storm

"Guest this week on veterans chronicles is retired. Us army colonel. Douglas mcgregor he is a combat veteran and is the author of margin of victory five battles. That changed the face of modern war. We'll be talking about his career and for much of this hour. The book margin of victory. Colonel thanks very much for your time today. Thank you for inviting me. Well let's start with your service to our country Where were you born and raised. And how did you join the service. Well i was born and raised largely in philadelphia pennsylvania with the exception of one year when i was sent abroad to germany to study. I spent my eleventh grade year and in germany. And when i finally managed to graduate from penn charter which was a very fine quaker school in philadelphia. I ended up going strangely. Enough to virginia military institute for year largely because my performance in math class was appalling and i wasn't terribly interested in mass. I spend a year in improving my performance on the sat's so the following year. I was appointed to the us. Military academy graduated from that place and nineteen seventy six. Did the usual things airborne ranger and so forth went off to armor basic and then spent the balance of my really in a series of assignments to our cavalry mechanized infantry formations but i was usually assigned to armored cavalry and tanks. What was about that that fascinated. I guess it was the assignment. I also you had to do it. But what challenge do you what What inspired you that. I was in the fifth grade as i recollect and i was with my mother on one of her shopping spree somewhere and as we were in the checkout line. I saw a book called Panzer battles ridden by german general name melon and I was already interested. Because i'd seen the movies With the germans and wanted to know what are those people saying. I was furious because they in those days they would have everybody speak english but then the germans who were obviously the enemy they would understand it so when i saw this i said well this must be interesting and i picked it up. It was in english of course and it was all about Great battles From nineteen forty one until nineteen forty five on the eastern front and i was captured by a fascination with mobility fighting fluid operations and i also noted the very heavy casualties taken in the light infantry which didn't appeal to me in the least so i became a an advocate for mobile armored firepower early life and so about fifteen years after your commission your in desert storm. What was your role there. Well that that was a wonderful strange event for me. I at the time was really quite despondent in nineteen ninety. I had been on active duty as you say for fifteen years and i'd served twice on the german and walk in german borders and cavalry units. The first time with i of the first cavalry is the second with the second armored cavalry regiment and i had been assigned after a short stint as regimental adjutant to be the s three. My career is almost exclusively operations services and operations officer at every level. All the way up to the very highest strategic levels and i was the operations officer. And i was sent down there by the regimental commander. Who brought me in and said doug we've got a big problem. in the squadron. It was the second squadron of the second armored cavalry regiment. They failed at gunnery. They failed their Inspector general's inspection the organization is morale is in the in the cellar. And i can't believe the people who were there who are in charge. So i'm sending you in replacing the current three. He's leaving and you're going to have to go down there and try to with this organization in shape and that was march of nineteen ninety and i went down there and the first thing i started to of course was to talk to everybody. Talk to soldiers sergeants lieutenants and captains. It's always been my abbott. I find that they're much more truthful than senior officer and i asked several of was wrong and they said well you know they ever gave us any training. I said what are you talking about. Said well before we went to garner we really got. We really did not train. We had all these other distractions and since we did not systematically train wolf to gunnery didn't perform very well so i got that from the scouts who were on the bradley fighting vehicles. I got that from tankers. I got it from the artilleryman. Everybody said the same thing over and over and over again so i then began dealing with the leadership at the time which was difficult because the commander was he was actually not demand who had been picked to command a unit to the band it was picked for one reason or another was removed from the command list. He was a secondary selection. And i think it was very insecure and very unhappy about that but he was happy to be in command. I just don't think he was ready for it. We had a difficult time but we developed a relationship That allowed him to finally trust me and overtime That trust to evolved into a relationship that allowed me to do what i thought was really important so by july and august when we went back about the time that saddam hussein moved into kuwait The performance was brilliant. And of course reginal commander came. Data had a long talk with me. And i told him what had happened. He was very pleased. We just eliminated distractions a of these classes and activities. That seem so important in peacetime. But don't have any meaning whatsoever when you want to action. And i was very focused on readiness to fight so then saddam hussein did us a favor of invading kuwait and rescued me from what i thought would be boring tour in germany. As of the last thing. I want to go back and repeat the same old process maneuver training and gunnery training and everything else and eventually we were. We were deployed over there. And of course that was for me and for anybody who understands both history and the region a paradise. Because you're you're talking about a flat desert. It was the indianapolis five hundred for armor so we were suddenly able to spread out and do things that we had never been able to do before and garrison in germany. And the thing that i struggled with at the time was how impressed. I was with the very high quality of the individual soldier who was technically very competent. Who could master the computers that we had who mastered the technical requirements of the complex weapons systems. Like the chain guns the tow missiles and so forth Who could make decisions quickly. If he was confident that you would back him up very impressed with the with the officers junior officers and what i also impressed with us was the absence of fear because it didn't take very long to look around in saudi arabia and conclude. You know these people here aren't very impressive. They seem to be polite Somewhat confused about themselves. And i told this older said you. You're absolutely right. There is no restrain the arab here in the arab on the side of the border. And so we. We developed very early on a much more measured. I think accurate picture of the potential adversary and at the same time from the top down. We were getting deluged with all of these ridiculous. Reports about new divisions in new formations arriving in new weapons systems had made saddam hussein style sounded like stalin and the iraqi army in front of us law of often and says just nonsense ultimately. We had the best of all opportunity because we we had this gradual introduction over several days of interaction with the enemy. And that's very good. Because we were all green troops. I had one man who was with me. My op sergeant. Major had been to be at phnom he was superb and did a brilliant job catching tall handsome distinguished looking black man who just radiated confidence and he kept all young soldiers that we had in very good spirits kept telling him look being here before not every bullets made for you and so forth and so on and we talked to soldiers i think collectively he who shoots first wins and we were the lead unit into iraq so we saw the iraqi enemy over three days before. We finally fought the so-called republican guard and that gave the soldiers an opportunity to develop self confidence so they went from being green troops to being very confident combat troops and when they hit the republican guard they struck the republican guard like a thunderbolt and the republican guards fought much more effectively than any of their predecessors. They didn't lack for for guts but they weren't very well organized and they didn't present a coherent defense and so we smashed them up very very quickly and we attacked moving which nobody else in the theater did. In other words we didn't stop when we saw the enemy. We went right for the jugular. Which is what we trained to do. And that Was a profound experience for me. I came away with the view that this organization technology human capital mix getting the right mix of high quality people with the right technology inside. The right organizational construct was the real answer to victory on the battlefield. So i took that into command in my unit to when i was commanding the first of fourth cavalry at fort riley kansas in november ninety-three turned in the best performance of any unit history of the national training center. We won all but one of the battles we had a high for one. An utterly annihilated the uproar. Which of course is not what you're supposed to do. You're supposed to go lose and learn. But i told the soldiers. I said i'm not interested in losing and learning. I want to go there and win and teach and that's what we did. It got mixed reviews at high levels because people didn't like the idea of a unit showing up they'd beat the living daylights out of the up for frankly but again that had a big impact on me and i was also able to integrate ground and air at that point because we had a substantially reation component from there on out That's what i wrote my my second book I was a my doctoral dissertation but the second one was called breaking phalanx. That's what i began looking. How would you reorganize the ground force to integrate with aerospace power for your striking power. And then i went on to become the director of joint operations at shape headquarters during coastal air campaign and that was even better learning experience. Because now i saw the rest of the forest from the inside and the capabilities and convinced me more than ever if you could integrate these effectively within the right construct your unbeatable so those are the really the principal experiences from my military career. That profoundly influenced me and ultimately had have a great deal to do with the book i've written. It's a perfect a prelude to the book which we'll get to just after the break. We're talking with a retired. Us army colonel douglas mcgregor. The book is margin of victory. Five battles that changed. The face of modern war will tell you right off the bat. Four of them don't involve the united states and we'll explain what those battles are and why they matter so much to the evolution of the modern fighting military. I'm greg columbus. This veterans chronicles honored to joined in studio today by retired. Us army colonel. Douglas mcarthur also author. Douglas mcgregor also the author of the book margin of victory. I'm sure you don't mind the promotion but Actually he's a distant cousin is he. Yes amazing we're descended from the same bunch in the islands so margin of victory We're gonna look at battles from world war one A pair from world war two the israelis at the suez nineteen seventy-three and finally desert storm. Why did you decide to write this book. One of the critical lessons that i took from nineteen ninety-one was the enormous amount of time. Invested in the preparation of the armed forces between nineteen seventy five and nineteen ninety across the board in all of the armed forces but especially in the united states. Army some of your viewers will remember that things were not good in the aftermath of vietnam and we were fortunate to have some general officers who had actually served in the second world war and they set out to build a new army that could take on at the time the soviet armed forces because they were presumed to be the most likely enemy and their modernisation went hand in hand with the organizational construct and a mus effort in training and bringing in better quality soldiers sergeants lieutenants captains and giving them the right training and experience to make them effective and that taught me something and then decided when i wrote this book. I'm going to go back and look at what has happened in the last hundred years. Not because i think the previous several thousand not important but the twentieth centuries close to us and most of what we're dealing with right now is fall from that century absolutely and what you find is a similar story. In each case decisions made ten fifteen sometimes twenty years in advance. That influence. how you fight. How you organize how you think about. Warfare the technologies that are chosen for integration into the force and then finally the quality. I'm talking about soldiers sergeants lieutenants and captains of individual soldiers as well as that construct for command. How you integrated a high level. Particularly in this case i'm talking about the operational level just below the strategic and then the strategic decisions that lead to the to the war national culture plays a major role in all of this each nation treats its military differently and treats the challenges of preparing for war differently. You mentioned In just in passing there about the decisions that are often made a decade or two or even more Prior to battle or a war that often make a huge difference. Talk about why. That seems to be A concept most of us don't think we often think of decisions made in the heat of battle being being so critical and why it's important understand that we'll americans. I would say that the british are very much like probably. We both speak english. Were both insular powers. Similar culture similar governmental structures shortly after the boer war which was not a resounding success story for the british army but was nevertheless declared a victory for the british and they did win There was a conclusion reached by a new liberal government in nineteen o five that it was time for the army to be reformed and reorganized. We could not go forward in great britain and fight as we had in the past so they end up with an attorney a lawyer with no military experience but a remarkable background philosophy who's also dramatic. File speaks reads and writes german. Studied there he steps in and with great skill and efficiency takes this british army which is designed to suppress tribesmen insurgents. rebels chase them through the desert's hills and mountains and forge it into a modern army that is designed to fight potentially the russians. Germans french chinese. They're not really sure. Quite frankly in one thousand nine hundred five. That army becomes the british expeditionary force that is a subject to the first chapter and he builds britain's first general staff and he tries for the first time to integrate what the royal navy does with what the army does in a way that makes sense. So that's one of the examples and then it was a very successful outcome For britain wants it ended the war. Because had that not happened the british frankly would have had virtually nothing to send. Instead they had this rapidly deploying force. It was devastating. I think we are in a very similar position right now. As the british we are coming out of a of a long period where we've been chasing insurgents and rebels and the forces which formerly could fight a capable enemy. Just don't exist. They're not trained. They're not available. We're at a point where we need to go through a similar process and when you look at the other states that are that are mentioned here. The japanese for instance they discovered during the russo japanese that they could take on and defeat a russian opponent but they tended to learn lots of the long wrong lessons they tended to think that they could sacrifice thousands of people and that was all right because they're people were braver than the enemy. And so there was a failure to look at the industrial base and the criticality of modernization long-term that comes back to haunt them when they end up in the second world war fighting the united states and the soviet union they are simply not in a position technologically to compete on the other hand the soviets after world war one are now governed by bolsheviks Committed marxists who tend to view the world almost exclusively through technological is and they set out to build a force to conquer the world. They are at war with the world from the moment. They takeover in moscow. Stalin picks this up and he created the world's first mobilization state so when the war begins he has enormous reserves of material enormous numbers of people but the force takes time to be effective and it depends also very heavily on mistakes made by the germans because the original german army never thought in terms of war with the world. So i you see different kinds of decisions made for national cultural reasons that at the time made sense but sometimes as reasons punish you later and you lose colonel. Let's pause right there. We'll be right back more with retired. Us army colonel douglas mcgregor. The book is margin of victory. We'll be right back. i'm greg columbus. This is veterans chronicles on the radio. america network. we are joined in studio today by retired. Us army colonel douglas mcgregor. He's a combat veteran both of desert storm as well as the war in kosovo and he's also the author of margin of victory five battles. That changed the face of modern war. And colonel you set the stage in our previous segment. About why you wrote the book and some of the lessons that are important to learn that often get ignorant or misunderstood by history. Let's just start at the top of the list It's the battle of mons. It's very early on august of nineteen fourteen. The guns of august That begin world war one after the assassination of archduke ferdinand and then all these countries jumping on on different sides germany. Very nearly a wipes out. the western front In the first few weeks of this campaign and you focus on the british expeditionary force as you point out in the in the previous segment the title of the chapters mission impossible. The british get hammered. You're at monse. But the ability to retreat effectively is the takeaway here and it's from concepts the z. Mentioned were developed decades before. How was the british expeditionary force able to live to fight another day. Well i think there are three things first of all as you point out. This was the creature of richard haldane Who builds this thing almost from scratch starting in nineteen o five and then the. The force is assembled in england largely for training He improves the educational standards and actually tries to set up educational programs in the british army. For soldiers recognizing how important it is then he outfits them with new equipment especially rifles and machine guns and they learn how to use these generally very effectively. So they're ready when when the battle begins and what they are there to do is to prevent the french from being outflanked that was really their mission and they managed that not so much because of their size but because of the inability of the german armies to envelop and destroy them. The german commander of the first army almost becomes obsessed with this small british force. That's in front of him. Not only do they inflict casualties on his his advancing force but he can't catch and destroy them so he he instead of moving further north and further west which would have been the smart thing to do essentially just move around them. He follows them and Fight several battles against them taking losses along the way which quite frankly he. He didn't need to take the british. Take terrible losses. Fifteen thousand and ten days to two weeks but the army holds together which is remarkable. The strain is unbelievable because this is a new kind of war for which no one was prepared and they managed to retreat to the marne. They hold their position and thanks to their performance. A french able to move more troops to the center of the marne where the real battle is decided against the germans and the germans end up seeing thirty thousand british troops one more time on the mar and show up between two armies the second in the first which tends to unhinge the german high command and the rest is history. The sleep and plan. Which was the german push through belgium to get to the paris. I often think of it as almost an offensive lineman using his ability to push the the rushing defender out of the way of the quarterback and and paris was saved. If the british expeditionary force does not execute the retreat with the excellence that it did this survive. No i think that the british expeditionary force it'd simply done with a lot of people wanted it to do at the time which was standards ground dig in and fight would have been annihilated. The germans would simply have rolled over like a steamroller and that loss would have opened the flank In a way that would have allowed the germans to march directly into paris. So i think anyone who suggests that perhaps the british this small force of at the most one hundred and eighty thousand. When would finally assembled did not make a difference is wrong. I think it had a profound impact on the outcome of that opening campaign. Which is we know. Leads to the stalemate and when you talk about the stalemate world war one perhaps the least imaginative tactics overall and certainly modern military history. How much does what. The british expeditionary forces able to accomplish standout compared to the lack of imagination. The rest of the. There's no room to be blunt For much imagination wants to steal made begins in fact lord kitchener who is a minister of war said. This is the war of spayed. And wire i don't know anything about this In fact everybody on both sides was really prepared for war of movement. the british had For the most part light artillery which was very mobile which they thought would be terribly useful as it turns out large heavy guns pound people into the dust. Turn out to be decisive but again At the outset there was no appreciation. For what would happen. Despite the fact that they'd seen the japanese war and there should have been in understanding that firepower had reached a point to it would not permit the kind of maneuver that people wanted to engage in as a result. You really see most of the Focus after this. Initial campaign switched to the east. Frankly for the germans because there is the opportunity for open movement that doesn't exist in the west. Was there a lot of copycatting. Wants people understood what the british accomplish their no. I think what happened was that this was the end of a form of warfare That involved highly trained regular professional troops. And what we sold in was a new kind of warfare that was really attrition. An exercise and firepower and mass masses of citizens that sat across from each other and trenches until one side or the other collapsed in fact there's a term used for cold competitive collapse and the challenge was to see who could hold out the longest take the losses and survive and ultimately had we not entered the war in one thousand nine hundred seventeen and then showed up in great strength in nineteen eighteen. The austrians germans would have prevailed in the west. There's no doubt our arrival was very timely. And we took terrible casualties. In order to convince the germans and the austrians that it was hopeless three hundred and eighteen thousand american casualties and just one hundred and ten days incredible incredible figures and all sides in that were of course last huge numbers Let's move on to world war two Barely twenty years after The battle of mons in chapter two of your book talks about the battle for Shanghai you tell the story of how Japanese leaders in general matsui were transforming the military over a pattern about ten years. They brought him back out of retirement to to to spearhead this effort to take shanghai. This seems more like a bloodbath and slugfest. so what. what is the Transformational tactic here that that makes this one. Most important battle with the japanese sent all of their officers all over the world to the united states. Great britain france russia in an effort to try and chart a course into the future. They came back with the following conclusion. We should have a navy. Like the british in an army. Like the germans. A general lugansky. Who eventually because minister of war does everything. He can to build a german like army in japan but he loses the battle because the old guard generals want hundreds of thousands of men with rifles and bayonets. They are convinced that is the key to victory and he argues no it. Isn't we need mobile. Armored firepower aircraft better artillery mobile artillery and and so forth and so on he has some midas modest success which shows up at shanghai because in the absence of those new capabilities tanks and aviation and the cooperation between aviation and ground forces and mobile artillery. You get the world war. One stalemate and shanghai begins with the japanese largely organized world war one against chinese enemy. Who's just exhausted from years of civil war and of course it's a war that really didn't need to be fought because relations between china and japan at that point actually very good and it was a decision taken in a heat of passion tokyo by the then minister of war. Who persuaded the emperor to do this. Disaster ensues obviously. The japanese can overpower the chinese. But they take heavy casualties until finally they begin to concentrate. What few tanks. They have used them in coordination with aviation and they begin to make progress and break through the chinese. and then of course you get to Nanking and the the tragedy that ensues there because the killing is so ferocious becomes a kind of latter day culture war race war between the chinese and the japanese. It should never have happened but did and the great tragedies matsu e that you mentioned who was the commander is actually a friend of sonia sin and had actually been an advocate for liberation of china from colonial influence from the west. And i think most of the japanese thought. That's what they were doing. Initially they were liberating not just china with the rest of asia from western colonial influence. But it didn't work out that way And the japanese sadly don't learn a great deal from this. They never learn the criticality reducing the size of your force to extract saving so that you could invest it prudently in new capabilities. And that's the real lesson. The japanese of course today have learned that but the other point that that needs that. America's you take away from this chapter and one of the reasons. I wrote it to understand how terrible that experience was. And this legacy of war. With japan that haunts china in the present because this war lasts for years because it results in this occupation which the japanese could not end because the chinese one put an end to the war. This drains them just as the occupation so to say in. Russia drains the germans occupations always drain armies. There's no end to this war and the japanese Threat is still very real in chinese minds and they tend to associate us today with that and they associated with the royal navy and the colonial experience with a british. So if you read this you got to gain an appreciation for the things that runs through chinese mines. Explain their behavior that is not really inherently hostile to us at all. You mentioned germany. And let's move to the eastern front and the european theater now for chapter three. And that's the destruction of germany's army center. Nineteen forty four years of course focused on d day and patents march across france. And that sort of thing But over in the east germans are bogged down at this point because in nineteen forty one. They tried to do a quick win on the eastern front. They didn't get it and that sets up the point. I think you're making here. Where stalin played the long game and hitler played the short game and stalin wings. That's right and hitler was never prepared for the long game. He always had short game army and stolen on the other hand. Did what the czars have done. Historically which is retreat into the interior and leaving hitler with a an eleven hundred mile front that he could not possibly defend effectively surrendering the initiative to the soviets the destruction of army group centre however is very important. Because it's lessons reverberate right up into the present. This is the battle where the soviets after years of practice against the germans are able to. Very expertly integrate. What today we call strike the striking power of air power artillery rockets missiles with an attacking ground force that is heavily armored and has mobile armored infantry in it this synchronization of the two is brought to a high art in the destruction of army group centre at the same time. The germans are now exhausted. In fact. Hitler is so insistent that the attack will not come where it does that. Most of the troops are sent on leave now. I really studied the german journals. Because the papers because i was convinced that the german generals decided hitler was crazy. The soviets were coming because it was not a surprise. They did know they were coming there. But hitler refused to believe it. And i think they may have set a lot of these soldiers on leave to save their lives to be blunt and so all of the prudent measures that are recommended to hitler about adjusting. The lines falling back to rivers changing the plan of battle and so forth. Everything has rejected and the soviets are handed on a silver plate. An opportunity unlike any they've ever had they get everything right. The germans get everything wrong. And this largely on motorized infantry force with a few antitank guns and some artillery is just smashed to pieces by this very modern force that is highly integrated and to give you a quick example. General eisenhower negotiate for almost nine months with the air forces to get them to bomb. What he thought was important for the success of day. During the attack on army group centre marshal zhukov. Simply gave an order that he wanted five thousand fighter-bombers to attack fifty thousand and circle germans. It happened in fifteen minutes. That was the level of integration and unity of command that the soviets achieved that nobody up until that point and i would argue no one since has matched and that unity of command was vital to victory. Was it easier on the eastern front because they were the only allied power and they didn't have to work with other powers. Supreme head large numbers of non russians in their force but they treated them as components of their army. They did not brook any disputes from allies. In other words shut up get in line. We're in charge. That's the way the russians run things. That's soviets run things. That's the only way to run it. If you're going to win we didn't do that. That's true but we had another problem and that is the service problem. I'm the air force. This is my war. This is my way of doing things. We can win this on our own impossible. In the soviet military structure everyone is focused like a laser on the goal and everyone pulls his or on the ship that is sailing towards that goal. So no air marshal would have said. Stop if you'll let me pick the targets deeper Win the battle if he'd done that. Heat of been shot seconds before our next break. The toll on the russian population from world war was immense The numbers vary but anywhere from twenty five to thirty million. Probably if when you factor actually much larger. Oh yes when. I was in moscow in november two thousand and one i was there with a group opening Discussions with the russian general staff and russian general staff academy and the deputy chief of staff of the russian general staff had dinner with me. It turns out he was fluent in german. I was fluent in german so we had a great together and he told me that the n. kb archives which were still open at that point. They'd be opened in the late nineties for inspection by historians had revealed thirty nine million nine hundred thousand dead and he said they were still counting. There are even higher figures. Now this Caused such an uproar in the soviet union russia today that mr putin passed a law that there could be no public criticism of the conduct of the war and he closed the n. k. d. archives period not allowing anybody to go in there and see what was in there so the truth is actually far far worse than we ever appreciated and if you begin to look at the demographics studies were done after the war by mandate murray fischbach Very very brilliant Demographer he really demonstrated this was true. Whole segments of society vanished. It was a break in generations. It that's how terrible losses were and of course the only way they could do this was with the gabi with the divisions of secret police forces paramilitary forces forcing people into action a huge tall to make this strategy. Effective a colonel. Let's pause right there when we come back. We'll talk about the last two chapters in this book and the lessons from them. We'll be right back. We are back with the final segment on this week's edition of veterans chronicles. I'm greg koroma's thanks for being with us honored to be joining studio today by retired. Us army colonel douglas mcgregor. The book is margin of victory five battles. That changed the face of modern war and is often the case on the program colonel Time is getting away from us a fascinating discussion. And we have two chapters left so after four Is about a war. That i think most americans are aware of but not necessarily in the details. And that'd be the kipper war of nineteen seventy-three Israel of course sixers earlier had in six days Wiped out The threat from its neighbors but Than the surprise attack in nineteen seventy-three what's the takeaway from from that the takeaway is that the israelis have a national general staff. They have a high command that could operate on two fronts simultaneously in defeat both of their opponents effectively by allocating resources ground forces air force's naval forces as necessary making decisions about when and where they would concentrate and the other point is the high quality of the individual israeli soldier highly. Intelligent very thoughtful. Well educated technically competent ready to take risks ready to make decisions on the site that were critical to the outcome of battles on the egyptian side. Egypt had a much tougher time because only thirty two percent of the population was literate and so to address this problem. Sadda- mr sadat harnessed all of the national university students to the military bringing them into critical positions and egypt's army result foot infinitely better than it ever had and surprise the israelis and they worked within the limitations of their potential and they managed to seize control of a portion of that canal and hold onto it because the goal was not to destroy israel the goal is to regain the sinai and egypt egypt's national honor. They managed to do that. They were still on the losing end at the end of the war in a strategic sense but on the other hand strategically they achieve their goal. And i think that's what We should look for in future wars. Which is look for solutions that end conflicts that both sides can live with very important and then we talked about it earlier and that's desert storm. That's chapter five and Basically a kind of a brand new approach For the us military in a way that as we mentioned earlier coming out of vietnam there was a lot of hesitation about what we could accomplish and the us military exceeded all expectations. What what was the the thing that made that. So successful decisions made in the late sixties early seventies about equipment about technology organization and human capital. In all of the service's pay off handsomely. You have a navy which is brand new navy that is built largely from scratch. Thanks to admiral and a lot of the decisions he made. The air force goes for similar process. Us you suddenly have superior technology superior equipment and first class. Human capital soldiers sailors airmen marine operating them. All of those things stemmed from decisions in the late seventies mid seventy s and you arrive in nineteen ninety doing something that you really hadn't seen since nineteen fourteen. With the british expeditionary force you've moved hundreds of thousands of troops and equipment along with ships and aircraft all the way around the world thousands of miles in something that no one else in history has ever done and you assembled them in the desert and then you hurl them at the enemy. The problem is that. In contrast disraeli's there is no national general staff. No national high command. There is no unity of effort and there is no coherent planning thought through in terms of purpose method. In-state what are we doing. How are we going to do it. And what do we want this to look like. When we're through none of those things have been thought through and to a large extent. I have to blame that. On the senior generals the army generals who were still very traumatized from vietnam period. They were surprised. By the performance of the units that they commanded shocked that it had gone so well and this after forty days of unnecessary air campaign to be blunt We did not do with the russians did in the destruction of army group centre. We did not organize ourselves. Integrate the capabilities. Had we done that. That war would have been over a few days and stead dragged on and on and by the time we finally attack of course the enemy is weak but as i point out in the chapter for reasons of national culture that enemy was never able to present the resistance to us that we imputed to them and so the lesson of that is a gain. National cultures were important. Understand yourself as well as your enemy know your own limitations as well as the enemies limitations and then look for ways to maximise the effectiveness of your force by integrating it and achieving that synergy which the soviets did the germans did it from time to time. The japanese managed little of it. The british did not in nineteen fourteen. But we knew that in ways today and that's the importance of isr strike maneuver and sustainment those capabilities intelligence surveillance reconnaissance integrated with the striking power of your aerospace naval forces. As well as your grandma who were force our has gotten away from us. Colonel fascinating discussion. Thank you so much for your service to our country. Congratulations on the book. And thanks for your time with us today. Thanks for inviting me retired. Us army colonel. Douglas mcgregor combat veteran of both the gulf war as well as the kosovo. He's also the author of margin of victory five battles the change the face of modern war. I'm greg columbus. This is veterans. Hi this is greg columbus and thanks for listening to veterans chronicles a presentation of the american veterans center for more information. Please visit american veterans center dot org. You can also follow the american veterans center on facebook and on twitter where at abc update. Subscribe to the american veterans center youtube channel for full oral histories and special features. And of course. Please subscribe to the veterans chronicles podcast. Wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks again for listening. And please join us next. Time for veterans chronicles.

douglas mcgregor british expeditionary force Us army germany army greg columbus saddam hussein penn charter us british army iraqi army kuwait national training center Douglas mcarthur philadelphia britain stalin virginia military institute archduke ferdinand monse
In the Driver's Seat: Armi Ratia

Encyclopedia Womannica

09:27 min | 3 months ago

In the Driver's Seat: Armi Ratia

"This women's history month encyclopedia will manica is brought to you by mercedes benz mercedes. Mercedes-benz celebrates all women driving change and is indebted to those trailblazing. Women who punctuate the brand's history like bertha benz and every route splits. These women defied the odds to change the auto industry. Forever and mercedes-benz applauds the tenacity and courage. It takes to pave the road ahead. Listen along this month. As we share the stories inspiring women in charge at the top of their fields powered by mercedes benz. Hello for wonder media network. I'm jenny kaplan. And this is encyclopedia. Britannica today's episode is about one of the most celebrated entrepreneurs in the history of finland a pioneer and modern textiles and the industrialization of artistic product design her signature style. Bright colors big patterns remains extraordinarily influential on global fashion and design today. Let's talk about army. iraqi army. Attiyah was born in nineteen twelve in cutter alia contentious on the border of finland and russia in her early twenties army studied at the central school for applied arts in helsinki and majored in textile design in helsinki. She also met her husband. Feely odorata in nineteen thirty five army. Move back to korea for four years. She ran a small beefing studio where she produced original textile designs in nineteen thirty nine. Just three months into world war two. The soviet union invaded finish could alia followed was the quick brutal winter. War armies family fled after their homes were burned. She later said that she survived the war with nothing but a raincoat and a gas mask that leaked army made her own contributions to the war effort by working on a military code development project while her husband was on active duty after the war. Army began working as a copywriter. For an ad agency in helsinki her husband video left the army co printext limited which made oilcloth fabrics in addition to her work at the ad agency army served as a business consultant for print tax. Unfortunately sales never met failures expectations. No matter what they did to try and increase business so in nineteen forty nine army had an idea. What if printext moved away from oilcloth. A waterproof fabric often used for things like raincoats. Picnic blankets and started creating and marketing modern textiles from her previous experience with finish artistic craft work and textile creation. Army was well aware of the product. Versatility that beautifully designed and crafted materials could allow while oilcloth was popular for a decidedly specific set of traditional products. It's growth opportunities. were limited. they needed fabrics and patterns. That could be used in a variety of ways and fashions and that would appeal to a much wider swath of consumers to bring this vision to life. Army brought on my Easter lot to serve as the company's first full-time product designer maya's work had a bold distinctive style that critics love but the public found her bright pattern designs intimidating in one thousand nine hundred fifty one army decided to hold a fashion show which she called the mahdi meko project. She also created a firm of the same name. The goal of the fashion show was to demonstrate the potential of the fabrics. They were a textile company after all not a fashion house. The clothes themselves were not for sale cloth and sewing patterns. Were supposed to be the main attraction but the shows went wild for the finished products. Women's started buying the outfits literally off the runway army shocked by the response seized the opportunity and announced the clothes would continue to be sold. The next few years would prove a steep learning curve for army and her company marimekko was still tied to print tax which was run by armies husband. Tensions arose around macos popularity and the finances of both companies as independent firms that were built with the explicit goal of doing design. Work both marimekko eco. And print tax pioneers within the design firm space. Well this allowed them to do some extraordinarily creative work. It also put both businesses at constant risk of failure but in nineteen fifty-nine marimekko fortunes changed. Benjamin thompson an american architect side business in furniture and interior decor saw printext fabrics display at the brussels world's fair. He immediately reached out to offer me. And they eventually arranged for her to travel to cambridge massachusetts with a big selection of protects fabrics and modern eco. Clothes thompson gave me and her products. Excellent placement in a finnish theme design. Show that he was helping to organize thomson show was hit. New order started rolling in. It didn't hurt that john kennedy. Who was campaigning for. President at the time did a spread in life magazine with his glamorous wife jacqueline wearing body mecca addresses and the magazine. Hit newsstands modern eco. And print tech. Sales went through the roof. All of a sudden autumn me was a celebrated figure in the fashion and art world's especially beloved by intellectuals and liberals who saw her as a fellow traveller in nineteen sixty two army decided that marimekko would become as she said a cultural phenomenon guiding the quality of living. She adopted the idea of creating a utopian global village that she called the mari village project. It's aimless to house. The staff of mac and print tech's exist is a living laboratory for the two firms product designs and ideas and to develop new ways of life. Mahdi meko and printext merged in nineteen sixty six under the name madi mac though while the company continued to grow at an extraordinary pace massive expenditures on things like decadent nightly parties in the modern village threaten the future of the company by the late nineteen sixties. It became impossible to continue operating with such financial negligence. Things have to change in nineteen sixty nine jakko. Less seila was named chairman of mati meccas board and immediately began trying to bring the company's finances under control. He got rid of the modern village project. The related parties and a bevy of other extraneous expenses for all intents and purposes me was sidelined but after a few years during which met go regained. Fiscal health. Army returned to the helm of the company. She subsequently made the decision to sell licenses for. Mardi meko design textiles to firms in japan and the united states. This allowed foreign companies to manufacture ahmadi meko designs in their own plans. It ended up being a brilliant and highly lucrative business move in nineteen seventy-two army became a celebrated figure in finland once more with the release of clothing line that became the unofficial uniform of influential young radicals who had risen to power a few years before with her renewed popularity and additional money coming in from the sale of manufacturing rights autumn. Me once again started up. Wild filled with influential artists media figures politicians with all of the out of expense. The company started losing money and once again jakko seila was brought in to put muddy macos house back in order by that point even me herself was starting to slow down in her final years. Army lived a somewhat more relaxed. She finally realized that her company was perhaps too large to run wholly by herself even as she remained the personification of the monaco grand army retired from mac. Though in nineteen seventy six. She passed away three years later on october. Third nineteen seventy nine in helsinki all month. We're talking about women in the driver's seat for more on why we're doing what we're doing. Check out our newsletter manteca weekly follow us facebook and instagram at encyclopaedia manica special. Thanks to liz caplan. My favorite sister and co-creator talk tomorrow.

Mercedes army helsinki benz mercedes bertha benz jenny kaplan iraqi army Attiyah central school for applied art Feely odorata finland Army ad agency army marimekko Benjamin thompson soviet union korea russia Mahdi meko printext
2: The Unravelling. Saddam at War

Jocko Podcast

59:10 min | 1 year ago

2: The Unravelling. Saddam at War

"This is the Jaakko unraveling podcast episode two with Daryl. Cooper and me Jaakko willink. I know that the last episode you know we wrapped up with A. Pretty a harrowing account. and. You kind of said well. We'll move on to other things, but. I gotTA keep us there for one more account here. It goes like this horror in. Iraq takes endless forms. In, one, thousand, nine, hundred, thousand, nine, hundred, Eighty, eight Iraqi air force helicopters sprayed scores of Kurdish villages with a combination of chemical weapons, including mustard gas seren in VX. A deadly nerve agent. Scores of thousands of Kurds most of them, women and children died horrible deaths. Of those who survived many were left blind or sterile or crippled with agonizing lung damage. But most of the Kurds slaughtered in that season of mass murderer were not gasped, but rounded up and gunned down. Into mass graves. Those victims were mostly men and boys. And their bodies have never been recovered. In one village near Kirkouk. After the males were taken to be killed. The women and small children were crammed into trucks and taken to a prison. One survivor Salma A. Ban. Described the ordeal to t to journalist, Jeffrey Goldberg. WHO reported on Saddam's war against the Kurds. In The New Yorker in March. More than two thousand women and children were crammed into a room and given nothing to eat. When, some starved to death, the Iraqi guards demanded. That the body be passed to them. Through. A window in the door. Seizes six year old son grew very sick. She says he knew he was dying. There was no medicine or doctor. He started to cry so much. He died in his mother's lap. I was screaming and crying. She told Goldberg. We gave them the body. It was passed outside and the soldiers took it. Soon, after she pushed her away to the window to see for child had been taken for burial. She saw twenty dogs roaming in the field where the dead bodies had been dumped. She said I looked outside, and saw the legs in hands of my son in the mouths of the dogs. The dogs were eating my son. That I lost my mind. And that is from an article called Saddam's shop of horrors written by Jeff Jackie. And I was from the Boston Globe in. Two Thousand and two. So. You that's two thousand two right. It's not like. It's not like we didn't know that this stuff was happening. Right. We didn't invade until two thousand, three, two, thousand two. We know what's going on there. So. Where does that kind of Where's that guy come from? How much you know about his origin story I. Know Pretty be a decent amount. I mean it's a it's a super villain origin story in some way complete you know. He is father and brother die of cancer while his mother's pregnant. His mother so depressed that she tries to abort Saddam, but he survives, and so she just abandoned him, and he goes to stay with an uncle for a while. He eventually comes back to his mother. After she remarries stepfather just abuses them terribly, and so he flees and goes back. It's like well. That's how you start. That's that's those are the those are the opening ingredients for you. Get a guy like this, but I think it's important to remember to like the stuff you're reading right. They're all this stuff that happened. One guy does not do that. One person cannot do that Hitler can't commit the Holocaust by himself. You know instead dom could not create that. Tear state all by himself either. Yes I'll tell you what man. Leadership is the most important thing on the battlefield, and it's guys like Hitler and guys like Saddam the man they set the conditions, and then what's really scary? Is You know as we see in with atrocities? Take Place Right. Sure it's not. It's not that leader. A doesn't take. It doesn't take much. It doesn't take much. To. To. To lead people down this road like all the all the all the YOU WANNA. Throw it out there that people are you know. Naturally Benevolent and they're naturally. People want to help each other. I get it and I I. I know that that is a thing to. You can convince yourself of, and it's probably right in many cases in the right conditions. you those conditions. And it's it's it's. It's not a stretch. It doesn't take as much as you would hope it takes. Two to lead people down this path it just that's the. That's the horrible truth, and that's why we have to be. So aware of it. That's why you have to understand it. You know when we did the when we did the podcast on the me. Lai massacre and the Sand Creek massacre and we went. We went through those, but when I did me lie on my podcast. You know those were normal people. That was a that was a cross section of America. Now one of those! Ob and I had this conversation with Jordan Peterson as wall which was. I had told. An army group that they had sadist in their platoon like I said listen, you got, and they were looking at me, and I talked to a lot. I can read a crowd and they were looking at me. As if I was a little bit crazy, and maybe just you know trying to be extreme or whatever and I'm looking back at them, and I'm thinking. They don't believe me right now. They don't believe me. They think I'm wrong or they don't believe me your, or this is just hyperbole, and no, no, no, and it's all away, would second you guys are looking at me like I like I don't know what I'm talking about here. Like you're like you're going to be in a platoon and this was actually young. You know Officers on the way to being commissioned, so I was an officer candidates or cadets. As, you looking at me like I, don't know what I'm talking about right now. And and I said. Let me let me ask you this if I'm wrong than how did how did MEELI UNFOLD? How did that happen? If if you've got a platoon? Or Company and there's one hundred and fifty guys. There's no bad apples in there. How does that happen? That one that one company just happen to get all the bad guy. Every bed and you know when I actually. Drilled down a little bit with Jordan Peterson and I said. Hey, you know this is what I told. These army guys. I said I told him in a platoon. They gotta say in there. Am I right. I said murderer to which I don't know what the I don't know how you draw that line, but. He said well. He said how many people in two hundred forty and he goes. Oh, yeah, you're good you're you're you're in? And especially because there's a whole chunk of civilization that just don't go in the military right at that chunk. That just doesn't want to go in the military. Almost none of them sadist right you as soon as you're in the military, you have a higher percentage of you know. What are you? What are you signing up for signing up to shoot people and kill people? That's what I'm signing up, so there's a there's a whole element. It's already gone so one out of forty. It's Pretty Pretty Pretty Nice. Pretty Generous. And so as we talk about this, it's like. Yes. I get it that. Saddam clearly. But man you. He absolutely set the conditions for this, and that was the other interesting thing about the massacres that. It was one officer. You Know Thomson. Who'd flown in saw was happening. Flashback headquarters said these guys are murdering people tell you need to stop it. And the the commanding officer on the Horn and says hey stop killing people and they're like okay. They stopped like instantly. It's instantly you wouldn't believe you saw it in a movie. You wouldn't believe it like waking up from a dream. You wouldn't believe it if you saw the movie. They just GONNA. Stop now. No, that's what happened. They got told no and they stopped. I wish I would've brought i. read an account by a guy who was a member of Isis, and he had this. He had done it all sex slavery. Killing I mean everything. and. He sort of. He describes it as like waking up from a dream. He's in the middle of massacring village of an assault on a village, and he snaps out of it and goes. What am I doing? And he found his way out of it after that he st talks about this stuff now I have to. End Immoral and you wonder like okay. That's a guy who's capable of waking up and saying what am I doing. The same guy who was he's raped. He has murdered children. With. Conviction doing it with conviction. You know. We're we're complex creatures and we're very adaptable creatures and we can adapt to. Whatever environment we find ourselves in and I think one of the things that you know we have certain. Models that we use for thinking about other people's behavior we think about. You know we think about like the French Resistance in Germany right or the partisans out in the east when when Germany overran them. We think well. They didn't give up right. They just kept fighting and they resisted the power. Okay, what if what if it's over Hitler One? Because that's what happened in Iraq Hitler One. It's over. And now you've got to adapt yourself to that society because nobody's coming to save you. Not until two thousand three at least I mean that's that's it and you got to figure out how to survive in a place where? You don't just get killed for treason. You get killed because you know somebody's having a paranoid attack, and that's it and or some needs to send a message to a bunch of other. People's got nothing to do with you, and you got to figure out how to navigate that people can become very different creatures than They kind of naturally devolve into when they live in. Vermont. You know. I've seen some pretty devolved creatures up in Vermont. Yeah. No, it's. Actually Vermont probably a place where you wouldn't evolve you get better. You become a better person up there in in the woods in the sticks, so let's go back to Saddam. Where were we? Have you ever seen the video? It's an amazing video the video. When he at the at the bath this meeting where he took power. It is an I tell I. Tell everybody to watch it and watch him. And, so for the people haven't seen it. there's like a nine minute version kind of cuts his short. You can go see the thing, but. He's got all so he's taken over right from general. Qassim was the guy before him, and he's taken power, and he calls all the Baathist party leaders and senior senior membership into this assembly hall. And there you know some people who talking and everything Saddam's strides up and he is I. Mean You watch him? He is just like either a great actor or he is confident. He is just striding up there with an arrogant pose. And he starts speaking about the traders that are out there, and all the people that are besetting the country of Iraq. The Party and Blah Blah Blah and the people are like yeah okay. And he reaches down just slowly pulls this big long cigar out of his pocket and lights it and he's there on stage, and he starts smoking this cigar and he just starts saying. If I, call your name. Stand up and go to the back of the room, and people are kind of start to look around each. He's planned all this, so he's having it filmed and he knows who's going to be called so like the camera will go to some of them sometimes and as he's calling, his name's people are kind of looking like what is going on. They know what's going on, but they're just they're. They don't know what to do, and so they get up and they head to the back with the guards are. And finally one guy goes stands up and he says wait. Why'd you call me I? Didn't do anything I didn't do anything and Saddam just says. If I. Call Your name. Please stand up and go to the back with the guards, and the guy just goes back and people go back and people are starting to look at each other and realizing like what's happening here and. That these guys are being called back to go be executed. And then afterwards he up. He says a few words and all of a sudden the people just break out long live Saddam long live Saddam and they're giving him like a big standing ovation. Because what else are you going to do in that situation? and. You know this is a guy who was in power for over. For almost thirty for twenty five years, and he had a long long period of time to find exactly the people. To put into positions who were going to do exactly what he needed him to do to keep control of that of that society, and the rest of the people there had to figure out how to survive under that. I mean from. The moment Saddam takes power. He is at war essentially. One, thousand, nine, hundred, seventy nine. He takes power, and he's at war with Iraq next with Iran the next year. And it's a war that kind of gets lost today. A lot of people just slide right past it I mean it was one of the it was probably the worst war and second half of the twentieth century in a Lotta ways. It was. For sure. Brutal over a million killed. you know devolving to a point where the two sides are just launching. You know. Ballistic missiles at each other cities just population centers indiscriminately just launching them at each other. Chemical weapons being. Used on population centers. Purely to terrorize. To let people know that you not rise up. And This at this point. Saddam's pretty a pretty secular leader. Yeah! I mean this isn't a guy. That's out touting Islam. As the as the rule of law around Iraq, he would stay that way until the nineties. Yeah, yeah, the Baathist party is a secular. Socialist Pan Arab Arab Nationalist Party. And That's why one of the things I think. People really really lose a little bit today. Is, they think like America in the middle. East that we've just been over there. Pulling the strings like the puppet masters from all the way back from seventeen, seventy six or something that that's what we've been doing. When Centcom wasn't even stood up until nineteen eighty three. The Iraq. War been going on for three years. This is ten years after the oil crisis in Central Command stood up. And I remember after the US stark got hit. The frigate got hit by a cruise missile in one, thousand, nine, hundred, seven, even in one, thousand, nine, hundred, seven, the response to that from a lot of the navy brass was. Why are we over there? What are we doing here? We were very much reacting to events, and we didn't know a lot about who these people were you know when when somebody like Saddam comes along, He seems like a secular nationalist type leader Scott some worrying tendencies, but he's only been around a year, and meanwhile we've got the Iranians over here. Who just took over with like an extreme Islamist revolution? Overran our embassy took a bunch of our people. Hostage and are are starting to act out some pretty extreme ways, so that's the context that Saddam comes into the picture and all of a sudden. He wants to fight with Iran. He's got a big Soviet army. You know the Iranians unfortunately have a pretty well equipped military as well because we were shows, you know. We were his friend before that, so they took his that we had just in the last few years before nineteen, seventy nine had sold him a bunch of F. Fifteens and a bunch of just great aircraft. And it gave Saddam fits in the war because of that, but I mean they had a pretty well equipped army. Iran as an ally for years, and now you have this revolutionary government. Yeah, this is when you see the pictures of Iran. In Nineteen, seventy four and the women are wearing miniskirts out in town, and it looks like a Metropolitan Western country. And I I. You know it's one of the reasons that a lot of people get on my case because I tend to give I tend to give Saudi Arabia a little bit more break than a lot of people I know, and the reason I do it, though is as opposed to a place like. Iran where Iran was a certain way. You know we're women were free, and it was relatively modern place, and then they had this revolution, said no, no more of that, and presumably a lot of those people who were enjoying their lives back in the day. Still Live there now. They have to live under this regressive aggressive manner. Saudi Arabia for however however they look to us. Obviously, it's not acceptable according to. The way we do business. There's liberal now they've ever been. You know it's a slow long project. It's not like they were a certain way. And then they got taken over by these crazy Islamists and you know. Iran's not that way ran was a relatively free and open secular country where women were free, and so all of a sudden you get this revolution in the revolutionary parts important right because it's not just a government that's kind of hostile now and maybe doing things passing laws, social social laws and stuff that we don't like. It's a revenue. It considers itself a revolutionary state like the Soviet Union did so. It's not just an enemy country. It's a revolutionary movement, and they're eyeing the rest of the Muslim world. You know that's why they established has belonged Lebanon. It's why now they're still trying to establish an Iraqi version of that to this day. Is. It's built into their system into their ideology that this is an expansionist thing that there's a larger project, so it doesn't just involve them. In involves the rest of the Muslim world. So that's very worrying to us. Nineteen seventy-nine still got our people. Are Holding captive from the embassy. Saddam comes along. He starts fighting with these people, and of course it I were Kinda like all right. Maybe this guy's all right. Let's see how this plays out. Hasn't done all the things he's going to do yet. I'm he's not a nice guy. We know that. But. We don't have the whole story and we kind of have some hope in, so we start out in the Iran. Iraq war. And you know we're kind of hoping that maybe he can. Who knows maybe create enough stress on the Iranian regime that they flip back over something like and you're also. You're also looking at the situation you've got gotTA leader coming into power, and you don't really you know like you said you know he's bad, but you kinda think well. He's stepping into power. He's GonNa Influence. He's going to need what we have we can. How can we? How can we? How can we bring along? How can we bring him on? RT? Our Team, yeah! That was definitely the thinking and you know we didn't know who we were dealing with. We did not recognize the the level of of beasts that we were dealing with with Saddam. And I think by the end of the eighty S. we had a pretty good idea that that was the case. because we'd end up at war with ourselves shortly after that. I mean but the Iranians again like they. They seem very dangerous at the time. This is a big country, large population, a well-equipped military with an expansionist foreign policy and when they were fighting Iraq. You know. These are people who who were who were sending human waves of teenagers across minefields to clear them with no weapons, just sending human waves, kids across minefields to clear them out. This, is it? This was a regime that look very very dangerous and they were dangerous. We, just maybe you know. We allowed ourselves to get sucked into some allusions about how how controllable Saddam Hussein was. That's for sure. When. I think. Is a lot of there's a lot. We don't know about the casualties in the Iran Iraq war, but most estimates have between eight hundred thousand million people. It's a big war. It's a big conventional war, the battle of Bosnia toward the end of it I think was the biggest battle since the Second World War if I'm not mistaken. Maybe since one of the one of the Korean War Korean wars, battles, but I. Think Sixty five thousand Iranians and twenty five thousand Iraqis were killed. I mean it's a big battle. That's a big. A set piece battle. Or, we're just not used to those kind of things where there's a lot of trench warfare going on, and they are just a war of attrition literally. I mean they're at the point toward the end where they're manpower's depleted in there, just launching Scuds at each other cities you know and. Brutal thing. And that ends in one, thousand, nine, hundred, eighty eight. Month before that is when US intens shutdown that Iranian airliner. But as Iranians now know from their recent experience. Things happen yeah I brought that up. A I was surprised. It wasn't brought up more. After this recent incident, and this is again you know when you start talking about the the theme of having a threat die back to, but yeah the Vincennes. Shot down an Iranian, airliner. However, many souls were on board. You know hundreds of one, hundred fifty or whatever that number is. In, so it's A. Massive loss of life and we. Very very actually very similar circumstances. When you pick that apart, you know the. The Iranian shooting down the airline. Iranian shutdown of the airline was it was so similar like the panic buttons going off, you know they. There's there's uncertainty going on. I remember I had some people that I knew not military people who? When the Iranian shut down that airliner! They were kind of like Oh. Something like that doesn't happen by mistake. I'm like no total. Very. Who's running that thing? They've never been in combat before that. The person running that air defence battery has never been in combat. They've never had a situation where it counted. And they're in a situation where they're probably expecting to be. Up You're waiting to get attacked by the Americans and all of a sudden. You know you're you're? You know you and I can picture this. He probably better than me because you were in the. In the? Combat if information centers at the. So you're in that on a ship, and there's all of a sudden. You know someone's going right. We got tracking. We're tracking inbound and there's spin off of the voice, and and now you gotTa make a decision. You GotTa make a decision to what we're GONNA do. We. See something on the radar where looking at it. We know we're vulnerable to attack right now where we're anticipating attack. Oh, where is it heading? We're tracking August. We're heading for us. All Right? Hey, we need to take this thing. This is a missile attack boom. This is A. This could so easily happen. It's ridiculous actually how easy it could happen in eighty seven, when the stark got hit by Iraqi cruise missile to cruise missiles, I think the Te'o, tactical action officer and the commanding officer they got disciplined for failing to defend their ship and I. I got to Imagine I. Mean they're sitting there like? Is this really happening right now? If I hit fire, am I going to kill a bunch of civilians like that's a? That's a worrying thing you know, and it's got to be a tough. I've never had to make any decision like that obviously and it. Yeah, it's a tough one. I mean especially if you're paying that, I have to imagine that night. When the Iranians launch those missiles at us a few months ago and They must have just been sitting on pins. Seattle's bracing for impact especially with trump. You know what that guy is GonNa? Do and if he does respond, you know it's going to be overwhelming. And they had been bracing for impact. I mean it up, you know. They called the head and everything supposedly, but golly you just don't know. And the Vincennes had had similar like spin ups going into that shootdown as well where. That, wasn't that wasn't A. Again I'm not saying not making excuses, but. Sitting here, I can understand how that unfolds. You bring up the fact that in Ramadi. There was blue on blue. There was Humvees shot other Humvees so so think about that. You know like Humvee when most recognizable vehicles ever made. which is. Solely used by the US military, and I guess we had Iraqis Houston at that point as well, but the enemy was not driving around these. Years later Isis was driving around in Humvees. But at that time there was no one driving around in Humvees. No enemy and you know a young guy paranoid and freaked out and scared, and you know sees a muzzle flash or sees whatever and engage. That's what happens. It's horrible knowing that it you know. If you fail to act then the next second, you might be dead and you just gotTa do it, and it's the wrong decision, but and and yeah, when you're doing something like air-defense. You're not looking at an aircraft up there. You're looking at a blip on a radar screen. You know at an aircraft that's out of visual range. and so Saddam Yeah, we're talking about. Saddam sky comes in power and seventy nine starts. Executing people starts terrorizing population immediately goes to war with Iran has an year long war. It's the bloodiest war the second half of the twentieth century. just a brutal. You know horrible war that's fought with credibly brutal tactics. That ends in late nineteen, eighty eight, and you would think that like. Maybe Saddam would want to kind of take a breather. But it's nice now with this guys. And it was kind of draw. Yes, it came to draw basically yet. No neither side achieved any. Any Games through it. Saddam was the one who wants the war and he didn't achieve any gains. You could see lost on that count, but yeah, but yeah. yeah, nineteen, th. That's late nineteen eighty-eight by early nineteen eighty-nine. Saddam is already telling Kuwait. So a lot of the other, Arab countries worried about Iran too, so they were financing Saddam. They were loaning money things like that. And, already by early nineteen eighty-nine Saddam is telling Kuwait you're GONNA have to forgive that debt because we were defending you too, and we're not paying that sixty five billion dollars. And Kuwait's not willing to do that. They say that we're not going. Do Saddam's Oh. You're GONNA do it. and. By the next summer summer in one, thousand, nine hundred. He's invading Kuwait. So no rest for the weary. And he's he doesn't unpredictable way. I remember seeing an interview with Mubarak the Egyptian President at the time longtime. Egyptian, president. And we're allies Mubarak. We knew him well. He was not just allies with friends with Saddam Hussein by this point he knew him. They talk on the phone. And he called Saddam on the phone and he says what's going on here. You GonNA, Invade Kuwait. And Saddam tells him. No. No I'm just bluffing. Just don't worry about. It totally fine the next day. He invades Kuwait Owen so actually here's what happened or something else in there is. Mubarak comes and tells us that he says hey, he's bluffing. Don't worry about it, and so our ambassador at the time gets called in by Saddam. And Saddam wants to feel him out right. See how we're doing with this whole thing and our ambassador had just heard from Mubarak. Piece bluffing. Don't worry about it. Don't don't push him, and so he says you know Arab on Arab. Lake Affairs that's not really our business. We're not. We don't really not invested in this and Saddam right and the next day. He invades Kuwait right. So Mubarak nobody had any idea what's going on here I mean I don't even know if I read that quote in the last episode that he tells somebody one thing he tells another person and other thing, and then after that does. Does something completely different this surprises? He's even surprises himself. So maybe it was something like that. I mean He. It's not beyond him. Just the mentality that you're dealing with you eight year war, and by the way you're sitting in a place in a country that's got these incredible amount of natural resources and. Saddam Hussein could have lived. Like a king, but like he could live, because he did live like a king, but he could lived like a peaceful king, and just had an incredible. Incredible existence especially with Iran right there, threatening everybody, we would have been happy to him. The face of the Arab world. We would have been happy to do it, so that's where you start the OH. That's where you start to really. You know look when people are driven to some sadistic evil. pathophysiology in their wife because they don't really have a choice like you go kind of understand that imagine what even if you, even if you're like, let's say you take power and just to set everyone straight. You murder, a bunch of people that you think might rise up against you. And then you look around and now everyone is just totally good to go there. They're cheering for you and you go you know what? All right okay. We're good I'm going to ride this out. I'M GONNA. Take advantage of this. Maybe. You're a little bit crazy and you go. You know what though I Kinda WanNa be that guy. So I WANNA start a war with with with Iran, with my neighbor over here, so you roll into that. You get you know hundreds and hundreds of thousands of your own people killed. You. Don't get what you want, but you know what you get. You finally end up with a truce. Everyone knows that you'll fight. If needed so now. Maybe you look around and you go. You know what all right I I've kind of established myself. Everybody knows not to mess with me. I've got billions of dollars worth of oil. I've got security because my my my protected my borders. I'm good I'M GONNA ride this one out I'M GONNA! I'm GonNa Watch Netflix and chill right. What kind of person gets through all that and has the opportunity just to like? Do. Live a good life. And says you know what. Man. Kuwait looks pretty tasty. That's a that's a. that's a really. And I guess you could make the same you know. You can make the same argument with Hitler I. You know I mean how much is enough. And he, how much is enough your your storming in into? Check Solanki? Your storming into Poland. You've got these great resources now. Russia England going that's like a different mentality, yeah! and. Yeah, and after Kuwait's military stands down because they have no chance against Iraq, that guy now owns over twenty percent of the world's oil that guy. Right. That's what we're looking at. And he's massing troops on the Saudi Arabian border which just down the eastern. Shore over there is where the vast majority of their oil is. So. That's that guys now got this place. And this is right after the cold. War Right the Soviet Union still around in nineteen ninety, but the wall fell in eighty, nine America's kind of a the the big. Everybody knows that. And George H, w Bush was president, and he says this kind of an opportunity to show the world. What the American led global orders going to be going to be like. And He. One of the things we gotta remember about this I think this twisted up in our heads a little bit now that the Gulf War was kind of you know because it went so well and everything just kind of because the Iraqi army fell apart. We were not sure about that going Yep, for sure so seaman recruit willink. Joined the Navy shipped out. September Thirteenth Nineteen Ninety. So. You're we hadn't started yet, so there was still a lot of unknowns in man. How was fired up and I remember? And I'll have to try and find this at some point in my life I remember hearing, they anticipate forty thousand casualties in the first forty eight hours, and I thought man I'm Gonna I'm GonNa get after you know I was I was fired up and you know I just had a guy on Who was there for for the push up? He's in the Marine Corps. And like. Hundred percent hundred percent. Fought we thought or the US meals. I wasn't there, but the guys that were on the ground there hundred percent thought we're going to get you know there's GonNa be chemical biological attacks. That's what's going to happen. MOP level know they're in and out of their mop level suits all day long. Put The gas on putting them away. I mean we one hundred percent, and so as soon as you start throwing chemical and biological weapons into the scenario. You're going to lose. You're going to lose a lot of guys. I can't even. It's the straight year. Did you ever have to put on mop gear? D Did Not like strike you as the saddest excuse for like something that's GonNa Save Your Life for instance. On the first of all, it's in two pieces right so you've got like these pants on. They're not even they're not even like a BIB. That would come up hydro. They're just pants and put them on over your regular pants. There's a drawstring. Do not a belt. There's drawstring, so you just pulled this thing tight. And then you put a jacket on over your upper body, so there's. A. There's a big gap. Yeah like this is going to save you. Is that what we're saying? You got maneuver in the desert. and. That's all fine. That's all like. Take take all the maneuvering out of it. I'm just saying if you put me in that suit and you said Okay I'm GonNa put you exposure to chemical weapons now. I'd be like cool. Appreciate it I got a twenty percent chance of living, and it's only if I can run away. Quick enough. I had no faith in those suits, and we had good suits. Do we had the good ones? I had this lower contraption that? When you put on your gas mask. It would it would give you it would. It would send positive airflow into your into your into your masks or was like really nice. yeah, so it's very strange. There were estimates. that had the first marines. You know the first marines just rampaged through the Iraqi army for sure when they went up, but there were estimates going in San they might lose ten fifteen thousand on the first on the first push, there were estimates that said we might lose one out of five aircraft on the first attack, and so we you know the guys who are planned to military guys Colin Powell. General Schwartzkopf these were these were Jay in Vietnam and so we were looking at doing this. We were hesitant at first. I sure started off with like George Bush was like we need to make. Make statement here, but a lot of military guys like I've seen this movie like I want clear political objectives and more than that. I want overwhelming force, and gladly that's push came. We brought six carrier strike groups in their up. We brought the seventh corps down from Europe. We brought the first. Marines and Marine Expeditionary Force. We had Arab allies. We had a bunch of we came rolling deep, three, hundred, thousand, four hundred thousand troops. What was the number? Do you know the number off top of your head? It was over four hundred thousand when you count the Arab allies. And six carrier strike groups I mean. We hit it hard, and I think that even our own side didn't quite realize how far we had come technologically now Saddam thought. This is some. Lessons learned on both sides that ended up coming back to bite US both. In the first Iraq War Saddam thought this is a technological power. These Americans are technicians. They're not soldiers. And you know all their fancy gears, not it can't win a war, and so we hit him. Watch this. We hit him hard, and we drive them out of Kuwait, but when we didn't pursue him, he thought we were afraid to you know he thought we were afraid to go pursue and fight. and. I got to. Guess it must've been like ninety three ninety four. I used to. Kid Ninety, four and ninety four when I was in. Kuwait, and you know we would. We were going out to the desert train, but we went up the highway death, and like still there was littered. Yeah, there's vehicles. Destroyed and. Man You ever heard about the Again our talking about, it's not just Saddam but. There's there were there were maybe the story there were. Kuwaiti there were there were. Places where they had Kuwaiti women. Nine months later where they had these orphan kids could so many Kuwaiti women had been raped by the by Saddam's. Soldiers that they had these orphans pretty much. Have you heard that? Yeah, yeah, there's there was no limits. There are all sorts of atrocities committed in Kuwait while they knew the whole world was watching. That's the crazy part about it, you know. He had a level of arrogance and I. Mean the which led to a lot of bad decision making on Saddam Hussein's part you know. He thought he thought his military was ready. He thought we were going to. You know, get a bloody nose like you know. We tried to go after him and he he blamed the loss on his general. He had a bunch of his generals executed words. He blamed it on his military leadership, and on the cowardice of like you know some of the some of the officers who had just let order breakdown. He did not accept that he lost that war. He thought we were afraid to go after him. And it is Kinda strange when you think about it. How quickly they broke down. because. Here's what you'd think in like wait. You just got out of an eight year. War with Iran are hardened combat soldiers. That's very strange I wouldn't predict that. Somebody sometimes I talk about the fact that I don't bet on the UFC. Italy the ultimate fighting championship I. Don't bet on UFC and the reason why. Because there have been all say about ten times. In my I've been following the UFC since. There's been about ten times where I knew I had inside information like you know, because I'm friends and training partners and training with people and training with people that were about to fight I had inside information. where I would have easily said Oh, I'll bet the House I'll bet my you know. I'll bet next year's paychecks that this guy is going GonNa win. And sure enough I lose I would have lost and I realized you know there's been a couple times where I had good inside information played out just the way I thought it would, but. As Joe Rogan says it's a fight and anything can happen to fight so if you were to tell me and I'm an employee, I'm trying not to be not trying to use the benefit of hindsight, because it's real easy to look back. Of course we've got the technological power, and even when you just I I threw out that little arrogant quote when you're like. They didn't think they could beat US technically I. said. Watch this. You know I'm sitting here saying that. If you would've asked me knowing what I know now. Hey. WHO's GONNA win or why? What kind of scrap is this going to be? You've got eight years worth of hardened combat veterans on the Iraqi side verses, and by the way they're fighting in their home like turf versus these Americans the last thing we did. On a large scale was Vietnam which waiting like you know, we didn't like that, and now we're going toe to toe with these guys. That's a much tougher. To think about and yeah I mean. We think about the generals at this time all those generals. Vast majority these generals were Vietnam guys. That, we're looking at this thing going okay I'll go, but we better be hit them with overwhelming force. Yeah, I've never really thought that deeply about it. The fact that this was not a this is not a given, and it ended up the fact that it was so easy. which is exactly what it was, and I'm curious. I mean the the Iraqi soldiers just fell apart fell apart and ran. It was like. It's Kinda crazy to think about. Why would you? Why didn't you fall apart and run from the Iranian our biggest problem early on those first few days of the assault became processing. The POW's who were surrendering. We're like we don't have the manpower to deal with all these people I think part of it was that just in that massive choreographed airstrike? The beginning we took out all of their air defense, all of their communications, and just their whole everything that linked their military structure together just went dark. And so every little unit that spread around is now just out there on the road basically would send runners if they wanNA talk to somebody. And then the first marines just rampages straight Adam, and and and to your point you know this is. You know, this is the this is centralized. Command right, this is this is not a bunch of hey. I got caught off my unit, but I know what the objective is, and I'm going to carry it out regardless, that's not the Iraqi army. The Iraqi army is I'm not doing a damn thing most Arab sort of like. Yeah, yeah, I'M NOT DOING A. A damn thing until I get told exactly what to do because I'm not going to get. Even still. It is crazy when you think about the fact that those juniors and colonel generals and colonels and stuff. They knew that if they're unit just decided to surrender that it's going to be bad news for them and yet. That's what happened in a mass masks. It's it's. It's hard to understand the psychology behind. That actually taught us some you know. We learned some negative lessons from that as well. Yeah, we absolutely learn some negative lessons from that. Although. I. I, don't know right I mean. Let's face it the the opening the opening salvos of of the invasion in two thousand three. We're pretty much the same thing. Pretty much the same thing that there was some there was there was more resistance obviously as we pushed up I mean and again I had a guy on bustle. Who is on the push up? You Know Nasariyah. There was a little hesitation. There was some some fighting, but He it was vastly massive surrender. I mean the American military is. something. That's never been seen before I. Mean and even if you take the technology out of it when you put just the communications and coordination the multi force coordination. you know it's crazy to me how I used to play a paintball out with my friends, and we would go play paintball, and we were all fast athletes. Really you know whatever and we go out and play, and we would sometimes run into these fat old guys who had been playing together for a long time, just new ad move. They knew how to work together. Cover and move, and all that kind of stuff, and they would just butcher us, and it's insane. How how much of a difference just knowing what you're doing really makes and I. How how many times you read about like you know Ranger unit in Afghanistan ambushed by the Taliban one ranger wounded thirty, two Taliban killed fifty, two captured, and it's like. I get that we have stealth bombers and satellites, and all that, but like this is still just dudes with guns, right? It's like well. Yeah, yeah, I know I mean America. Military's a buzzsaw that you just feed human beings into when it gets worked up. And but I think what I meant. Was it kind of gave us this lesson at like man? Not only is war easy? Kits. It's kind of it's politically uniting. Back in the early nineties, there was that music video voices that care. It was like every huge celebrity, the biggest people I mean. It was Bano and will Smith and I remember, said Oh it was. It would be the equivalent of today of Katy Perry and Taylor Swift. What was it a like a music video, pro troops or something? It was just sing to. To the troops voices that care we're thinking about you while you're over there something you could not imagine seeing today. It's just a different. Advise probably boot, camp or something because I. Do not remember that at all. You got to watch it just for the different times. Because today it would be hard to imagine anything like that and especially from that class of people. and. It was so as politically unifying. You know it was kind of. We didn't lose much of anybody you know. We behaved ourselves very very honorably. yes, your Y- than I than I accept your assessment that some bad lessons were learned not so much about. The about about we learned the lesson that this was gonna be easy and then Kosovo reinforce that yeah. Kosovo reinforced that in all those people that said you need boots on the ground in order to really. Affect change well. We went to Kosovo and nobody boots on the Ground Zach and you look up and you go well. There were also intelligence like lessons that we you know the all the militant they're. All the military guys were hesitant. At first you had a lot of the civilian leadership who was looking at them like they were just kind of too cautious. little too scared a little, too shocked by Vietnam those experiences. So that when we got up to two thousand three, you had a lot of the military side saying look we got. This is not enough people to secure this country. We need three hundred, thousand four hundred thousand people. We need this we need that. And a lot of these same guys in the Bush administration were the same guys in lower level mid level positions in the first. Bush administration, they're like wait. I've heard this before. In fact, Colin Powell, who secretary of state now? WHO's the one who's telling us to be very very careful here? We're going into Iraq. I've heard this from you before. You were cautious in the first Gulf War as well. And so there was a little bit of a little bit of distrust between the soil in military leadership came in. That's really. Really. Disturbing, but it's such A. It's like a- as you talk about it. It's just like Oh. Yeah, I mean I. See this all the time. Right? See this all the time from businesses from leaders that they don't have a good enough relationship. They don't communicate to each other properly. They don't explain things in a way that could be clear. Instead of explaining, they just get mad and they say you know what I'm telling you to trust me and like that all all of that is it's it's. It's awful. It's off. Yeah, yeah, and. You know I think that. The intelligence side as well. You know there's no intelligence did not see the invasion of Kuwait caught us off guard, and so you you know. Some of the civilian leadership lost trust with the intelligence community there when nine eleven surprised us again. A lot of those same people come to distrust you know some of the intelligence establishment even more. And I it was a little bit of a toxic relationship. By the time you got two thousand three between you know the the brass at the dod, some of these other places and the actual military leadership and the intelligence community leadership that I think you know there were we'll get into that, and then maybe the next episode, or so that you know. There were some breakdowns in communication at the leadership level that that ended up filtering down. To you guys on the ground, and that's what I'm kind of interested in hearing about. Is there anything else to to wrap up kind of pre-? Pre like escalation of tensions leading into into The invasion of three. I think we can probably. Talk a little bit about it in the next up so we'll talk about how we kind of started. That ball rolling after nine eleven and I want to talk a little bit about what Iraq was up to. In the nineties as well and how we dealing with them, and how it had become this kind of festering sore that we did not have a good solution for you know that it was just sitting there. Because Oil for Food Program, and because of the way, the sanctions were being cheated by a lot of countries in the most corrupt and ugliest way you know just. Saddam's regime is letting a lot of these countries. You know just full corruption. From like the oil for food sales, and then they're feeding billions of dollars back to Saddam's regime, ugly stuff, by people who are supposed to be our allies and So you know it creates a situation where you You have this regime. WHO's there? WHO's ruling through brutality and terror? Who's not going anywhere? The sanctions are not going to work, and children are dying of starvation in the streets because of the sanctions. So a lot of people are starting to say we can't keep this up. We can't just start. Keep starving this population well, okay, what are you? What are you going to say Oh Saddam? You got us all those UN resolutions. All none of that means that you want. You outlasted us. You outlasted the global community right the global order with all of these institutions behind it. You just beat US outlasted us because you were willing to inflict such suffering on your own people to watch them starve while you and your regime took all the money that you were getting and used it to control them, and we just can't take watching this anymore, so you know we're just gonNA. Lift all this in it. You admit you one in create that precedent for other people like you going forward. or You know in a post nine eleven world we can go in there and do something about it. And that was really the second Iraq war. You WanNa put it that way as a lot of people and I think history will bear this out. It wasn't a second war. There were there were you know to ground fights to you know moments of acute combat. In one long war with Saddam Hussein's regime. we were launching airstrikes at him all through the nineteen ninety s in nineteen ninety-three, he tried to assassinate George H W Bush is after he's pret-. He's not even president anymore. And he was visiting Kuwait, and Saddam's sent a hit team over there to try to assassinate him. You know a former American president. And so this guy is not cowed. You know he's still causing problems for us. and. Meanwhile, Iran is growing and becoming more dangerous, and you know we. We need a functional Iraq. If you look at a map of the middle, East is just right there in the middle of everything. And we need it to be somewhat functional. But we can't help it. Be Functional as long as this guy's in control. because. We can't build him up. And so, what do you do? and. People are going to be debating. How long after we get done with this the you know what the right thing to do there was, but I think people oversimplify what our options were. Yeah, and again it's. Well two things one thing. I want to correct as I said that a guy that had the podcast was in the first Gulf War and actually I was in my mind. I was thinking, but no, he was on the push up, but he had guys that had been in the first. For that kind of the they help them along. And it did. I'm thinking about this again. I just the frame this up. Some people say that I'm like a driven person, right and and. You know and I i. Am you know there's I wanNA. Do Things I wanNA. When somebody says you know what you call to take over the world, right? Haha Fun like gather some. There's a hint of truth in there because I want to go out and make things happen, but you know we're looking to take over the world in a literal sense. Anything about Saddam and you and you like some thinking about it from my perspective is you're talking through all the stuff I'm thinking you know I like to. You know as I was reflecting back and I told you earlier. Hey, aren't you good? Like. You've got a country you've taken over. You got billions of dollars worth of assets. You fought a long war. Wake. Even me. I think I'd look around and be like. You know what I'll I'll go ahead and we'll just call this success. I've got my own nation. I've got. Billions of dollars. I'll call it good. But. Not Good enough. Is actually there is one thing that we did leave out. We talked about a little bit earlier, but is that after the war is over. On his way out of spite, he lights up all the Kuwaiti oil wells just to blackened sky. Creates the biggest oil spill in human history by opening up the valves in Kuwait and sending it out into the into the Persian Gulf. And then, and this is really where you got a lot of people who were after nine eleven really really really. Looking for Saddam's throat in the United States Is. We had told the people of Iraq meaning sort of the Shia. Population in the south the Kurds in the north. Rise up against, Saddam. Hussein We thought that he would be overthrown in kind of a natural way. We're also talking to his generals. And whoever else, but we may. You know that wasn't going to happen. The Sunni population was gonNA. Turn on him. To hand over control to the Shiites, that's not gonNA happen, so we're talking to the Shia. Population in the South Dakota and the North Rise up against Saddam and they do. and. We just watched from across the border as he annihilates them kills. We don't actually know maybe one hundred eight thousand people all told, but for sure one hundred thousand, and we are right across the border in Kuwait. Easily with the ability to stop it from happening to the Shiites he drives. I mean scores of thousands of Kurds is reading earlier up into the mountains. This is in a January and February. They're gonNA freeze to death. They're gonNA. Starve to death. He's massacring these people using human women and children as human shields as he goes into their village is threatening using them as hostages, saying to kill these women and children. If the men don't stay, put, they stay put massacres all the men. And so all these Kurds flee up into the mountains. And we have junior You Know State Department defense. Department. Officials at the time guys like Paul, Wolfowitz who would be Donald Rumsfeld's deputy by the time we get two thousand three. who were like? If I get another crack at this guy? I'm taking him out. And because they felt like we betrayed those people and we did you know. And of course, we went in to help Kurds afterwards you know as they were getting pushed out Operation Provide Comfort. We start dropping supplies to him, and it starts out as that, but then we're like. What are we going to do with these people in Turkey's like you're not keeping Kurds here heightened so well. We people were worried that if we set them up in like. In a refugee camp somewhere that it would turn into another Palestinian situation so finally we were like. Let's just push the Iraqi army back far enough so these people can go back to their homes, and so we did that, and the Kurds moved in back to their homes. You're like well now. We kind of inherited the responsibility to protect these people and we did that. And it was awesome was at southern. Watch those operations southern. Watch and I can't remember I. Don't remember. I don't I thought it was a part of Provide Comfort like a it might have been provide comfort and Provide Comfort to, and it was amazing. It worked perfectly like the Kurds created. One of the best places in the Middle East besides Israel I, mean just a great place up there and reveal considering the neighborhood, and that was another lesson that we took that like okay, if we can just go in there and get rid of the bad people. Then the good people can come in and just build up a nice little society. It's that idea of if I can just if we can just tip the scales right if we can just tip the Scales and. I don't know where I originally heard this from, but it was somebody that had direct relations with. Cuba like someone that was Cuban or parents were Cuban, and had been passed down this lore, which was when all the Cubans in America were saying. Hey, look, we need to start this thing off and. Everyone the Cubans will rebel against Fidel Castro and will free Cuba. and. The story was was like all the Cubans that were saying that. In all the Cubans and it was a lot of that. We're saying that all of them. That were saying that we're in America. And, so they're saying yeah, don't worry and as soon as they got down there, the Cubans our in Cuba were like what are you doing? No, this is Cuba we don't want you here, and it's not quite the same situation, but the idea that you can tip the scales, the idea that just going to take a little bit to tip the scales as is the feeling that you get when you're on the outside looking in, and it looks like Hey, if we just apply enough pressure here, there's they can rise up against him. And yet, that is all true and yet I think that and we'll get into this. We'll talk about some of those bad decisions. We started talking about in the last episode up that when we went in two thousand three. That was a winnable fight, and it was winnable early I think I really do. I think it was something that would have taken a long time. You know have taken some some dedication as far as I'm Lynn Win some presence. But I think that that what that war turned into a lot to do with decisions that that we made once for your there. There's no doubt about it and I. Guess we can get on those get into those decisions in that war. Next time so. If, you want to support this podcast. Check out our other podcasts. I have Jaakko podcasts. The Warrior Kid podcast and the grounded podcast and Darryl's got PAT podcast called. Margaret made if you want to support all these podcasts. Then, one thing you can do to help out as go and get some gear, Jaakko store, dot, com or get some gear. From origin main dot com got all kinds of stuff on there. Thanks for listening. As things unravel. Jaakko Daryl. Out.

Saddam Iraq Iran Saddam Hussein US Kuwait Kuwait America Saddam Iraqi army officer president Hitler Saddam sky Soviet Union George H W Bush Boston nerve agent
The Battle of Mosul with James Verini

Why Is This Happening? with Chris Hayes

58:57 min | 1 year ago

The Battle of Mosul with James Verini

"Whenever a mortar shell would come in and I would get to the ground which you're supposed to do soldiers even generals would laugh at me because the what is your if you're here if you're in a war you should be prepared to die? That's what war is four. And if you're not prepared to die you shouldn't be here. And the soldiers soldiers in the counterterrorism service the Iraqi Special Forces. I think felt particularly this way. It was strangely proximate to the attitude of the Jihad. What is which is? They saw their role essentially as to die eventually. If not sooner than later hello and welcome to wise is happening with me your your host Chris Hayes. Well today. We've got a really good episode for you on a thing. This is like these. Are these with positive doing because I am a person who news obsessively obsessively and professionally. Both like those are both acts like I followed because I have to do it for my job but also I'm just obsessive news follower and they're all these things that are constantly happening. I'm like WHOA. WHOA that's intense and interesting and there's things that I would like to know about that that I don't know about but we can't find time to cover on the show particularly in the midst of all this impeachment insanity so I've been watching what's going on Iraq where there are these incredible protests across the country against the government and what makes these protests really interesting? Is that Iraq has been so riven by sectarian animus and bloodshed since the two thousand three invasion by the US that often when there are protests there when there are uprisings things when there is a state violence against those uprisings. They fall along sectarian lines. But what's happened in these protests at Suny N.. Shia different parts of the country with different backgrounds are uniting in opposition to fundamentally the you know there's corruption there's poor services but fundamentally comes down to like the Iranian domination of their nation and which is one of the most enraging ironies of this entire era of US war on the Middle East. which is that like the big winner from the horrible horrible war? We unleash Iraq was Iran. Who now all the hawks want to go to war with as well like Oh look? How empowered Arana's so you've got these protests happening? You've got this real uprising of a kind of cross sectarian nationalism and Iraq against Iranian interference. There's an incredible set of leaks just pulsating intercept about how Iran has sort of infiltrated traded Iraq and is controlling Iraq and all this is a context for the struggles that Iraq has had post two thousand and three to create a unified country across these very intense sectarian lines. There was there's a brutal civil war and then of course. There was the rise of Isis right. So the rise of Isis is like the ultimate example of how Iraqi state failed to produce A coherent collective Iraqi identity that spanned sectarian lines soon Shia and in the vacuum of that amidst genuine oppression by the Shia government towards Sunni citizens of Iraq. You get this insane Jihadi. Death cult caliphate called Isis and isis able to exist because of its ability w to play on the genuine resentments and frustrations that largely Sunni populations have in Iraq so to understand both. What's happening in Iraq? In sort of long sense to understand understand what happened the Middle East with the fight against isis and understand more. Broadly the Middle East right now. We're this sort of Sunni Shia fight against Iranian domination particularly in Iraq is all happening. He sort of go back and look at that moment when the Iraqi army nation did something really remarkable which is defeated Isis. And it's worth remembering that because we've just had this news recycle about the Kurdish fighters in the SDF in northeastern Syria who were incredibly courageous and brave and in fighting Isis and then essentially betrayed by American reckon withdrawal to be slaughtered by Turkish militias but there was a little bit of this sense of like. Oh it was the Kurds. They beat Isis. And it's true. They've played an incredibly important role but tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers died defeating Isis Iraqi soldiers on the front lines. It was the Iraqi state mobilizing to take back the territory from this truly evil entity that gets fair to say and so today's guest wrote an incredible book about that fights incredible title. It's called they will have to die now muzzle and the fall of the Caliphate and the reports Guy Eh. James Marini. Who you'll hear our interview was working on it but not in Iraq or Afghanistan? He goes to Iraq in two thousand sixteen. Thinks it's Short magazine assignment. He said ends up staying for months and months and months. And he's just when I see on the front lines I mean embedded on the front lines like shoulder to shoulder with soldiers the street by street urban combat over six months of taking one of the largest cities in Iraq Muslim back from Isis. And it is as he says in the interview. Probably the most intense deadly extended urban combat anywhere in the world since world four to the battle for muscle but it's also a beautiful representation of Iraq and the people of Iraq and the voices of Iraq families that have both Isis Jihadis and Iraqi soldiers in them the underlying reasons that people would join isis the underlying reasons that the state mobilized to fight Isis. What has become of the country that we invaded did sixteen years ago and the legacy of that vision permeates everything about Iraqi life every single day to this day and it is very easy for us as Americans particularly the American who did not serve there? Of course there are many Americans who did Americans lost their lives. They're they're Americans who came back wounded their loved ones and family members and their circle of friends. For whom the reminders. That were every day present but for those who are detached from that it is very easy to just think about this place Iraq as a place on a map and there was a moment in history when the war happened and maybe that was a mistake. And now we're doing other stuff but that's not the way it works in Iraq and what's truly beautiful in gripping about James's account in this book is the depth with which she writes about what Iraq is today and I think it's incredible story explains a lot to me. It unfurled a lot in my mind about understanding where Iraq Iraq is at this moment. But there's also like a moral obligation and he's upfront about this. We have to this country that we smashed that we invaded that. We unleashed some of the most. I horrify ultra violence of the twenty first century upon. We owe them a lot. And as just general citizens of democracy we owe them our attention an and our understanding and James Rene's account is a great place to start a so james you before you went to Iraq you had already been a reporter who had reported in war zones. What was that for the pre Iraq experience? It's like for you. How did you get into doing that? Line of work. Yeah so I had reported on conflict Mainly in Africa some in Latin America and And then Gaza although there wasn't officially a war going on when I was in Gaza I think like Many other young young American American men I was inordinately fascinated by war had been since I was a child in my professional career. The first big story. Sorry I have recovered when I was a cub reporter at the New York observer which as you recall used to be a good newspaper the first big story I'd covered there was nine eleven war before that at least American war had been an abstraction and a sort of fiction to me. I'd only read about I did but Nine eleven you know Assad start as it were in the US and then of course continue to be a reporter as as we. We invaded Afghanistan of all places Iraq. I think at the time and certainly looking back. I wish I had gone to Afghanistan and Iraq but I was frankly too much of a coward and not aware enough of myself or my desires to actually go and do it but after being a reporter her for about eight years I just find myself gravitating more and more towards stories of conflict and violence drug words in Latin America and and what was happening in Palestine and then I moved to Africa in two thousand twelve in order to cover war And when I moved there when I moved to Kenya In Two thousand twelve there at least four wars. We're going on that. We're a like an hour's flight from Nairobi. So I covered the civil wars wars in in Congo Central African Republicans Somalia and Sudan and South Sudan and Nigeria and then with the rise of Isis the reisen and war against Isis. I finally decided that I had to get to Iraq that as a an American journalist journalists who covered conflict I had some form of moral obligation to go cover the war because of course the war against Isis was a direct extension attention of the American war and the American patients Iraq. I talked to a number work correspondence throughout the years. And even on this podcast and what did he do to you. What has it done you even even before you go to Iraq to your personality your soul to the way that you think about people in human life to be embedded in in violence wants so you're starting with the softball question? Well Gosh that's we could have an entire podcast just on that. We'd only scratch the surface. Let's begin with growing up in American culture. I think as a child growing up in American culture certainly when I grow up in the nineteen eighties nineties though we were some years away from the most recent American were in Vietnam. I still feel as though I grew up in a very militarized society the in the United States especially as a young boy You know I was into the a team and obsessed with war movies and by the way. Let me say that the politics I've I've gone back at some point to like look the a team like the politics that are so shockingly reaction it's really like so is all about basically these like commanders. who were stabbed in the back by their own like liberal quisling government and have to will well? It was one of the many strange demented ways in which people in the eighties were dealing with. Vietnam unlike the Iraq war too many Americans died in Vietnam mm-hmm and Vietnam had been too shameful and traumatic experience for America to deal with it sort of out in the open in the way that we have been dealing I think very admirably with Iraq and speaking about about it in very transparent terms. You know it's hard to find anyone now to defend the Iraq war even Republicans and you have lots of people running for office and in-office who are willing to talk very transparently about the Iraq war and their their opposition to it or their objection soon. That wasn't the case in one thousand nine hundred us with with Vietnam. You couldn't talk that way about Vietnam. Then at least in my recollection I think are about the same age you had to talk about Vietnam in these sublimated ways and in the eighties. During the Reagan era the supplementation was revanchist as you say and really reactionary. It was the team Chuck Norris and Missing in Action Ram by Aram Rambo but yeah as a child of the idioms I was raised on this preposterous Cold War. Slash Vietnam regret EH propaganda popular culture. I don't think you could Escape as a child in the eighties so I probably like many other young American. Commend I was I was inordinately. UNHEALTHILY obsessed with fascinated by warfare from a very young age then nine eleven and changed America in so many fundamental ways including that finally Americans of certain age it hasn't happened since nineteen Forty one Americans saw what war actually looks like rather than seeing images on television of Americans fighting abroad you know in Iraq and Kuwait. Wait or Granada here. It was in the same way that you had to decide how you really felt about America. After nine eleven you also had to decide how how you really felt about war and whether you could still use it till afford mentally to be fascinated with it or not and I for a while I- I retreated and decided I was not fascinated by war and went to go right for the L. A. Times and other publications about popular kosher but I guess then the fascination Russian perhaps it was a nate. 'cause I couldn't I couldn't put it aside and I felt myself gravitating back towards when you got to Iraq. You talked about being use the word coward which I think is unduly harsh Towards yourself but you had then you had been very rough and violent places you had been covering conflict. What was your sort of mental preparation for what you were about to witness or cover when you got to Iraq? Expose them lucky In that I covered conflict in a kind of incremental way so that by the time I arrived in Iraq I was. I don't think you can necessarily be prepared. Good for a battle the size of the battle of my will but I I had slowly steeled myself covering mainly small wars and insurgencies and civil wars in Africa. By the time I arrive in Iraq in the summer of two thousand sixteen I had been doing this long enough and was old enough. I was no longer as impressionable as had once been. I had sort of decided how I felt about war and the role of violence and conflict in in human society namely that it's intrinsic to humanity entity that that war is always has been an I. I had come to this acknowledgement or realization. Over the course of many years it had been long long enough since two thousand and three that I had you know really decided what I felt about the American war in Iraq. You'll remember that in two thousand three we. We're all undergoing a kind of collective psychosis almost people. People among us who should have known much better supported the invasion of Iraq. Out of fear. You're and out of confusion out of embarrassment and out of pride or wounded pride by twenty sixteen. It's thirteen years but it often takes that that long and longer to process trauma by twenty sixty nine had decided very firmly my thoughts about the American vision of Iraq as most other Americans had as well It was also very clear. It was obvious that Isis came directly out of the American era in Iraq. By the time I arrived in Iraq I think ahead rather stabile ideas about how I felt about war and to get back to your earlier question. I haven't found since leaving Iraq that had damaged in my psyche in any grave way. I certainly think nine eleven which I saw close had had much graver affects or much more profound effects On my brain I mean chemically. I think it must have done and also of course in every other way but I went to Iraq out of a certain sense of moral obligation but even even a certain sense of guilt and shame I felt I had to start writing about Iraqis. I had to start telling the stories as of people who lived in the country that my country had invaded and in many ways ruined and certainly ultra be changed one deficit that I had scene Ainhoa in American English language coverage generally of the war against Isis and generally the last the previous thirteen years in Iraq was I didn't see see the perspectives of Iraqi soldiers. Much and I knew I wanted to write about that. I hope it comes across in the book. Yes it's reading the book. I felt kind of shame on this discount. which is you know here? We are covering the situation in northern Syria and The SDF and the Kurdish fighters there in the white PG and talking about how they lost eleven thousand lives and the the sort of struggle against Isis. And there's a kind of worthy admiration towards the Kurdish fighters that has kind of sprung up in the aftermath of the Turkish forces invading that area. But no one says that about the Iraqi army like no one. You're about the Iraqi army me but you know. Tens of thousands of people had to die to roll back Isis and to roll back isis that was created largely by our our invasion of the country and had to go fight them and I just. It was so striking to me how little I had ever considered the moral stakes of that. The Yeah No. That's that's absolutely right. The the Kurds Not to take anything away from them and they they tend to attract a preponderance of American attention both in the media and in Washington. There are reasons for that one is. The Kurds are extremely amenable. It's very easy to go. Cover them they. They're very welcoming to to reporters and American reporters and really did truly love Americans at least until a couple of weeks ago. The Peshmerga the Kurdish military. or it's really sort of a paramilitary force is much more amenable to journalists than the Iraqi military has which is another way of saying it's less professional right. Iraqi military terry is is not entirely amenable to reporters in part because it's a more professionalized military but you're absolutely right ten. I think by the time of the beginning ending of the battle of Mosul. If I'm remembering correctly already twenty thousand Iraqi soldiers died in this war against Isis. You're absolutely right in saying that. It wasn't nearly early enough covered and and I would say not nearly enough known. There are other reasons for why so many died and and sadly some of the those reasons have to do with a lack of professionalization by our standards in the Iraqi military. They don't do force protection very well. Even in Mosul in this massive battle by far the biggest of the war in the biggest urban battle since World War Two according to the Pentagon even there they weren't setting up checkpoints or perimeters around their positions nations. The soldiers still weren't wearing protective gear. They weren't wearing flak jackets or helmets. A lot of the death and maiming of the Iraqi soldiers. I'm sorry to say it was really really needless. And it's hard to understand even convey in the book just how needless it was just how crazy a proposition. It is to go. Go into this battle against these guys without a flak jacket or even a helmet on. I can't emphasize enough just held death inviting that as well you I mean it. It definitely comes across one of the things that's fuses. The book to me is just what it means to grow up and live in a society that is to use a journalistic cliche wartorn. I mean this is a place in this society that fought I think one of the bloodiest wars of the twentieth century in the Iran Iraq war which was just. Yeah it was called the first great it were of the Third World essentially. Yeah just roughly half a million. The charnel house absolute just horrible scope of death and violence and maiming. That dragged on for years and again like yes like the great war these kind of positions that don't move much and people being used essentially as cannon fodder cannon fodder then I mean even a lot of the Iranians were even unarmed. They they would just send these kids running into the engine of minefields unarmed armed only with keys dangling around their neck tuck that were supposedly going to get them into heaven. Then you have the the first Gulf War you then have a period of of aerial bombardment in the no-fly zones you have obviously Saddam Hussein's chains brutality and putting down quasi insurgencies and then of course you have the the second Iraq war in two thousand and three and then after that you have horribly bloody civil war her in which is just obsessed with carnage to the point that he gets Mrs from Al Qaeda. Being like you'll cut it out you're a madman. Yeah Dr then at the end of that then you get isis. And so it's like one of the things that comes across a book is people are just used to war. There used to violence or used to mayhem. There is a kind of like acclamation to it. Just fuses the entire enterprise. That is very hard to reckon with if you live in the very safe and comfortable environs that that I do here in the US I mean the first thing is we have as journalists. You and I both talk a great deal about the Middle East. We have to make an effort to push against this cliche of the Middle East being always mirrored and war. It's such an easy way to dismiss. Even the Middle East is sort of a silly the geographical couch all right. It's so easy to dismiss that entire region as a place that is just somehow pressure naturally given to conflict. We'll never be able to we. You shouldn't even engage because because these people are just so used to and delight so much in killing one another of course that's nonsense. The the entire world has always always been mirrored in war. Europe was more for centuries until you know slightly more than a than a half a century ago. We think this in part because because we just know more about the conflicts that have taken place in the Middle East. And I'm I'm not talking about the twentieth century and twenty-first-century I'm talking about going back to the ancient world going back to instant message. TEHMINA TEHMINA Syria and Babylon. This is where we get our first inklings of of written records and our first grade archaeological finds in the region so we know a great deal. Aw more about the wars that took place in this part of the world because we just know a great deal about this part of the world as a journalist you have to always be sort of trying to point this out to the reader or or the viewer. I think we ought to and I tried to in the book. I'm not sure I do a good enough job of it but at the same time. You're absolutely right if we're just looking at very recent history. Sorry in Iraq beginning roughly seventy nine eighty when Saddam decides to invade Iran after decades of peace and prosperity in Iraq. It should be pointed pointed out before that Saddam ironically had turned Iraq into one of the most literate and in its way progressive societies in the region but beginning ginning when he invaded Iran. We have more or less constant war for at this point two generations. And you're right in saying that Iraqis just had to acclimatise acclimatize themselves. Some of them did this by leaving millions and millions of Iraqis left over the years but many more state of course because they didn't have the choice to leave. And how do do they get used to this to this more or less constant state of war. Well they kind of do and they don't as you'll recall. There's a one. One of the main subjects in the book of fellow called. fahahd is talking about this with me one day and he talks about how in in him. It hasn't made him a particularly violent man. He isn't a violent man unlike his brother and unlike some of the other unlike his son who had turned out joined us is. It's just made him so tired and so miserable and he talks about about spending all of his energy on fatigue and misery and then his sixteen year old son Hammoudi who would turn out also peddled liaison with Isis which points to grey hairs and homilies. Sixteen years old you. That's an incredible moment. Yeah and so in certain ways as humans. We don't get used to it right. It just makes us uh-huh palpably more miserable. When I say US I mean I don't mean American and what I meant I mean Iraqis a really good job of portraying here is that there's sort that these two polls here I mean one is what you're saying there is this kind of really racist colonialists kind of white man's burden idea that like life is cheap in these places and they just all kill each other and they're not human beings who grieve and mourn and feel stress and anxiety the way we do? That's just their way of life which is bullshit and is very clearly not the case in your portrayal and also it does something to a society new group of people to be in a state of war for forty years that their expectations are so oh palpably for shortened. Yes about what the future might bring about. How much safety and security they can expect? That was so striking to me. I think that's absolutely right. foreshortened in very calculable ways they just have lower life expectancies and the Iraqi men smoke like chimneys in part. Because it's a way of just sort of passing the time and it you know it's a bit of an upper tobacco and at a lift. Your spirits bit one of the awful things about living through war war for multiple generations and multiple wars. You know each new war though it might be expected as also a total surprise assists. In retrospect expect we should have predicted the rise of Isis. But then of course it was a total surprise to Iraqis and Americans both but one of the things that you have to Reconcile yourself yourself too. I if you're living through generations of war and particularly like the subjects in my book if you're having to fight those wars or nurse the soldiers back to health or or more often watch them die. Is You have no sense of a future. You don't know what the future will bring in your experience. The future will probably only bring more intensified defied misery. You can't count on anything. You can't build anything you don't know what's going to become of your country you don't know if your country's GonNa continue to exist which is a emotive existence that as you say you and I can't possibly imagine even though I was there for a long time and I write about these people and I spend in a great deal of time with them. I wouldn't flatter myself that I can empathize with them. Let's talk about what you did experience. And what you reported on wall covering combat in the region. I I WANNA do that right after this break. The meet the press. Chuck Todd Cast. It's an insider's take on politics. The twenty twenty election and more candid conversations with some some of my favorite reporters about things. We usually discuss off camera. Listen for free wherever you get your podcast. HEY MSNBC LISTENER Steve Cranky here. I WanNa tell you about a new podcast hosting called article two inside impeachment. It's exclusively dedicated to bring you the latest developments on the impeachment inquiry in the President President. Donald Trump every Monday Wednesday and Friday. I'm going to be talking to. NBC News reporters who are closest to the story to break down. What's new what matters? And what it means for the twenty twenty election and our country search now for article two inside impeachment. Wherever you're listening to this podcast and subscribe for free? Thanks you're listening you show up near Mozell It's the summer of two thousand sixteen. The war against Isis has been happening for two years at that point. Talk a little bit about just drawing wrong the line between the US invasion the deficiencies of the Shia led Iraqi government and the rise of Isis recess. Right so I arrived in July of two thousand sixteen on assignment for National Geographic to write about life in the Islamic state because By that point finally the war against the Islamic state the tide had turned they were finally losing and they were in retreat back towards northwestern Iraq and towards the the border under with Syria and back into Syria and for the first time journalists could go to Iraq to what had only weeks or months before been the caliphate and talk to WHO Iraqis about what had been like to live under isis this thing this phenomenon that we knew of in America and the rest of the world only as a sadistic death cult essentially an extremist religious death arriving in Iraq one learned a few things immediately. The first was that Isis had been as much if not more a political movement as it had been a religious movement arriving in Iraq. In the summer of two thousand sixteen any journalist would would find speaking to Iraqis in Ramadi or to create or Volusia or wherever. It might have been Diyala that they would very very soon in the conversation. They would admit to you that they had supported that had initially supported the entrance of Isis into Iraq if they hadn't expressly cooperated with the organization vision they had abided it and they had welcomed it. Many Iraqis made no bones about the state. Didn't make much of an effort to hide it or no effort at all. And the reason they felt this way the reason that they had welcomed ascend so many Iraqis particularly Sunni Iraqis. We have to say as you say because they had become so fed up with the government of Iraq the government of Norio Malachy the prime minister had been essentially a inserted by the United States in two thousand five two thousand six election. They were fed up because they saw Norio Malachy. And the government of Iraq. As essentially a Shia nationalist government that was doing the bidding of Tehran doing the bidding of Veron as well as the United States and Israel the sort of trifecta of foreign perfidy that they saw as running Iraq. And of course. They weren't wrong. You know Excise Israel from that include Iran in the US and of course they're mainly right. The government in Baghdad was in many anyways controlled by officials in Iran or officials going back and forth and of course on the other side of the power struggle in Iraq. You had the United States which was was still present and so many Sunni Iraqis in Mosul. and not just in Mosul but all over the country saw the Islamic state as an a an alternative and finally the only alternative to this perfidious traitorous government that had taken over their country and Abu Bakar Baghdadi the the recently deceased leader of Isis and his higher ups and his propaganda. Were masterful at playing on this ED appealing to these sentiments they expressly said Your government the Iraqi government has been taken over by Persians as they often called them or Safa bids as they would often call runyan's referring to the person ever it's being controlled by them and by the Americans and by the Jews and we isis are here to restore your power restore your economic prominence restore you to the rightful your rightful place of prominence in the Muslim world. It was as much a political appeal as it was a religious appeal in for many many Iraqis who sided with Isis or abided. We're not even particularly devout Sudanese. What they were was just desperate they were we're at their ropes? And and they they believed rightly that the government cared nothing about them or even worse wanted them dead or gone two thousand and three brought this huge shift left in the Muslim world whereby Iran and explicitly Shia entrusts. The Alawites in Syria has below in Lebanon begin coming to the fore for particularly Iran and that rise of Iran and of she has sectarian interest now defines the political and military dynamic in and the entire region and it began with Iraq. It was the invasion of Iraq that allowed Iran to begin rising so quickly in the region. Of course it's not just in Iraq but in Lebanon and Syria as well and so when Isis came in a when it started Building up in Syria and then barreled barreled into Iraq in the beginning of twenty fourteen and seemed invincible too many Iraqi Sunnis and soon as another parts of the Muslim world they. I saw this as a restoration of their power and they saw this as almost like a a Suny nineteen seventy-nine their answer to the rise of Iran on in the region and the rise of sectarian power in the region so it was a combination of politics and religion which of course is fitting because Islam is or claims to be not just a religious system but a total system for all of life including politics. So there's this sort of you know I think with any violent movement that is able to take kind of take territory the way that Isis did. There's a bunch of different things going on there's the hard core at the center of it. What's motivating them? And then there's much broader question of like. How is it possible that they can win over broader political support? And when you talk about this sort of frustrations of Sunnis that that sort of answers that second question Russian more but the the hard core I mean the there's a kind of fascination from the first moment that we started seeing them popping wheelies on armored personnel carriers river. The crease is they're doing with this like yeah. Death cult this just grim extremely like aesthetically unified in a weird way projection objection of just like out of a Hollywood movie of evil. You know just roach. They clearly are self-consciously. Like that's their thing. They know what they're doing the designer's designer's going like this is all very much staged but it is very effective. And I I just wonder there are people in the book volunteer. These different categories. He's kind of the shopkeeper who's like screw the government these people can keep that booed off my neck and then there are young men who are like down for the cause. Talk a little bit about that. Well I'm GonNa talk a lot about that because you mentioned a lot in there that needs to be discussed there. I think there are three main things in there. I is is Isis as the sort sort of perfect Hollywood. If you'd hired screenwriters to come up with this group they wouldn't have done a good job. Then there's the fact of the different gradations of belief and sort of Huntington Agency of belief. Finally have as you say the unified aesthetic. It's a very good way of putting it. As in any insurgency or any organization there were many probably infinite levels of belief within the Islamic state. I think you had the more pragmatically minded leaders who believed that they could turn the Islamic state into something like Hamas or Hezbollah which is to say an organization that began as an insurgency and then against all odds and evidence became became a permanent part of the regional political landscape. I'm sure there were pragmatically minded people in Isis or allied with Isis. Who thought that they could do that? You know wasn't just made up of hardcore jihadi was it was made up of ex Baathists and ex Iraqi military and guys who had participated in the Sunni awakening and then been screwed screwed by the Malecki government that refuse to incorporate them into the military and give them salaries and pensions as as they had been promised. You had many many different levels of allegiance. Allegiance you also had people who were who signed up simply for the salary. Isis offered very competitive salaries. It was it was extremely lucrative organization and its money was not coming coming contrary to popular belief. It's it's funny was not coming from you know from dark Saudi princes it was mostly internally generated from a very sophisticated economic bureaucracy consisting of illicit taxation and extortion and smuggling and oil bunkering. And other things. So you have the more pragmatically medically minded one. Then you have the jihadis whom we know a great deal about who are coming from the rest of the world. We know grow about them because they've written a lot and publish a lot on the Internet Internet and it was on these guys that so much of the Islamic state's sort of a notional existence or virtual existence its reputation rested right and eh a lot of these jihadis coming from Manchester or Minnesota or wherever they were useless says fighters most of them ended up as cannon fodder if they ever made it to the Islamic state but they were invaluable as online propagandists and storytellers. And I want to say here because the book is very good about this about like it really Hammers Emmers home like vanguard is nature of that or and also like what a small numerical part of the movement what is the out ninety percent of the coverage or ninety percent of what we're getting here. Yes yes. This tiny little sliver ray they were they were like the primary voters a movement right extremely small in number and population but outsized influence and reputation and media coverage but they developed and this was entirely intentional. On Baghdad's Party leaders part they develop the sort of fearsome reputation tation and and they in turn then gave way to another vanguard which was all of these people who moved to the Islamic state who did not want to fight and didn't want to do violence violence but actually thought that they were going to be able to live in this devout Islam estate which was not an idea original to Baghdadi you. You know this had been happening. It's Lomb for a millennium and a half ever since Muhammed. There have been many organizations that that had decided that the Islamic world was corrupt. And that they were going to create their own entirely devout entirely righteous state And purify their religion in the middle of all that or in the sort of hot ugly center of all that you had the hard core the millenarian the apocalyptic minded people. We still don't know whether Baghdadi was really one of these people. We don't know enough about him to say say definitively but we do know that that in the hardcore there were people some of them claim to be theologian. Some of them. Probably actually were theologians others were at least steeped in the apocalyptic literature of Islam. Who believed that? The Times were nine and that it was the job of the Islamic state to prepare for the end times that they were setting up the Caliph it precisely in order that it and the rest of the world would be burned to the world could be purified and Mohammed and Jesus could return turning the rest of it and there's no question that there were higher ups in Isis and and lower downs. Who believe this who believed that? They were preparing the Caliphate and the world for the apocalypse and no doubt they had outside influence in the movement especially once it became clear that there was no way the caliphate could survived by the time we get to the battle of Mosul. It's clear that that position however many people might or might not adhere to it had become the position. They they they were now going to as Gurbuz once put it slammed the door on history and then there's the aesthetic and then there's the aesthetic to get to the aesthetic part. Let's let's acknowledge I that. The American role in the creation of Isis was not just a matter of politics the changing of the politics and society of Iraq and the invasion of Iraq. It's not just that in a very demonstrable calculable way in a very obvious. Historical progression gave way to the rise of this organization There was something more profound and frightening and fascinating going on which was that the. US In are sort of in our fear and shame invaded Iraq in the claim that it was a locus of jihadism. Which of course it was? Not It only became a locus of jihadism after two thousand and three but in so doing doing in sort of buying this lie in launching this stridently irrelevant war. In pursuit of this lie we then created this organization that was perfect fever dream. Dream of our worst mania is fear right. We could not have invented a more effective or more frightening more loathsome Jihadi organisation. If we'd set writers to work on it I'm convinced that Baghdadi and the others in the organization knew that perfectly. Well you know they were arranging the aesthetic. They were choreographing their propaganda. They were filming these snuff films and Designing Dubuque magazine and all the rest of it knowing precisely that they were praying coming on our worst fears of stereotypical jihadis. You know the black flags and the head wraps and the obsession with beheading thing and all the rest of it. They knew perfectly well that these represented our worst fears about that part of the world about the religion of his mom and they were happy to plan those fears. So much of the Islamic state was propagandistic virtual notional in a way that could have happened in the age of the Internet. Of course we're now sort of setup. Talk about this battle and Mosul and all of those different layers to this organization are now holding this city. That has a million people and there is a grinding grinding and brutal urban warfare that you are there as of sort of eyewitness to the Iraqi warm army street-by-street neighborhood by neighborhood attempts to take this ground and to striking things to me about. This are one they're good fighters and also like the ultraviolent stuff isn't just propaganda. No I mean it's almost like you know you walk three hundred sixty degrees around the clock where it's like you start at like okay. Well we have this image of them. They're like Super Ultra violent psychopath evil evil and then it's like all these other layers and then at the end of the end of reading your as you go through your book. It's like they are real ultraviolet. They're just as bad as advertising exactly. That's that's not wrong in and you see that and then the other thing is just like the combination of both genuine courage and resignation an and persistence of the Iraqi army as they go about this horrible joyless task of liberating Mosul and great cost so resignation is a good word to touch on. We talked about the refusal of Iraqi troops at least for the through the first half of the battled aware flak jackets or helmets part of that had to do with their beliefs with Islam. You know with this notion that you have no hand in your fate. Only God controls your fate part of it had to do with their desire the desire of the Iraqi troops to show the jihadis that they were perfectly comfortable with the death just as comfortable with death as the jihadis. Were you know as a way of saying you know the famous Jihadi saying we love death more than you love life. I always I always got the sense of the Iraqi rocky. Soldiers were attempting to say We we're fine with death is well. You don't you don't have a monopoly on that fatalism but there was also a resignation. I think that came out of what you were saying. which was having lived their entire lives in war whenever a mortar shell would come in and I would get to the ground which you're supposed to do soldiers? Even generals would laugh at me because the ideas. You're if you're here if you're in a war war you should be prepared to die. That's what war is for and if you're not prepared to die you shouldn't be here. And the soldiers in the counterterrorism service the Iraqi Special Forces I think felt particularly this way. It was strangely proximate to the attitude of the Jihad is which is they saw their role essentially as is to die eventually. If not sooner than later they do in striking numbers and I think there's four at one point forty percent of the special operations there. It was a I think. Footnote forty percent casualty rate in Mosul. And and and maybe even higher across the course of the war which is just remarkable a lot of it again a needless but a lot of it. There's not much they could have done to prevent it and the ways in which they were dying were particularly early jarring to observe as well. I mean it's it's just as jarring seeing someone get shot at as seeing someone get blown up but the way they were getting blown up in Mosul the jihadis main weapon in Mosul was something called the v. bid the vehicle born improvised explosive device. This claimed named I believe more Iraqi lies more more lives of Iraqi soldiers than any other type of weapon was these are mobile car bombs. You know Sedans or trucks or station wagons that our gut it out and filled with explosive. And then up armored and welded shut so that the drivers you know necessarily a suicide the John had hundreds of these things stashed up. Mosul in Garages and carports just waiting to attack Iraqi columns rocky convoys and command positions and they the jihadis also had a fleet of drones with which they targeted these view bids With the cameras they would observe where the Iraqi convoys were where their command posts were and then they would deploy one of these via bids. See No that was usually only a matter of blocks even meters away to go and blow up everybody And this happened many many times per day. The view bids were particularly psychologically jarring because they were so loud. They were has loud as airstrikes and they sent up these very high rising columns of smoke and debris that had mushrooms on top of them. They looked oddly. Like early muddle nuclear bomb mushroom clouds. The crazy thing about this too is that there's a million people live in Mosul and there's you know there's apartment buildings that have people living them. They're living their life the extent they are able to do that as isis snipers are popping into windows to fire down and the human toll of all this is enormous service. I mean this is happening inside inhabited a not evacuated but inhabited city with this kind of crazy block by block both low fat high tech hybrid warfare with drones and GPS on everyone's phone apps so they can like mark every square territory. They take and then just like the lowest tax hacked. Just mortar fire and sniper fire. Yeah I think the estimate is that twelve hundred Iraqi soldiers and fighters died in Mosul during the course of the battle. I don't necessarily trust those numbers. The Iraqi military doesn't like it's casualties being reported on our photographed and they they are notoriously stint in About casualty numbers. In fact they don't even admit to them traditionally but the much larger toll was on civilians. Certainly tens of thousands of civilians civilians died in the during the course of the battle which took over nine months. We'll never know how many sadly many of them died in coalition airstrikes and Iraqi shrinks. Not at at the hands of the jihadis but as you say this battle took so much of a toll because Mozell was still largely populated. When was taking place in the big battles that had preceded us in the war against Isis? The battle for Ramadi for Data those cities had largely emptied out billions. Billions we're able to make it out before the fighting occurred and they were able to Make it into refugee camps or if they were on the side of Isis across crossed the border into Syria or flee farther north that didn't happen in muscle and muscle so many most lowery's state. It was the second or third largest city you by population before the beginning of the battle between a million and two million inhabitants. It's estimated many of them did flee especially on the west side in the second half of the battle title but many many more did not in part because there was nowhere for them to go. The refugee camps were all full and more were being built. But they weren't really ready until later in the battle all but also because the Iraqi government the Iraqi military had encouraged them to stay. They had dropped leaflets before the beginning of the battle while this sort of preparation in air strikes were still going on in the weeks and months ahead of the battle. The Iraqi military drop leaflets asking most lobbies to stay. They did this in part because there was there's nowhere to take them There were just too many of them in the and the refugee camps were were just too full but also they were the Iraqi military generals and the politicians the coalition were plotting a wager. The wager was that most lobbies. We're by this point. So fed up with Isis with the jihadis that they would be a help help in recapturing the city and this turned out to be absolutely right Mosel were even those who had welcomed in says even those who had who had worked with an and even and perhaps fought with Isis. Were completely sick of them by this point and they did help the Iraqi soldiers immeasurably For the purposes of a journalist it was just. I'm you know I don't. I don't want to sound insensitive. It was just a gold mine of of wonderful material because I didn't have to say really anything I've got to just stand there every day. With the soldiers in the civilians watching them interact watching as the soldiers made their way house by House block by block through the city fighting the jihadis and the most Lao is mainly helping them you know allowing the soldiers to stay in their houses bringing them food showing them where weapons caches were. Were booby traps. Were there was this. You know from from a rider's perspective this endlessly fascinating process of interaction between the most Lao always and the soldiers as the battle went on and as as the city was slowly taken back. The battle took so long in large part At least on the east side of the city in the first half of the battle because the Iraqi soldiers really were making a great effort to protect those loves to protect the civilians. They knew perfectly well L.. That isis had taken Mosul so easily a couple years before in the course of a couple of days because Lewis hated the Iraqi military so much because they felt so abused and targeted by which indeed they had been for years. The Iraqi soldiers knew this and they knew that they had to entirely change their comportment wortmann when they returned to Mosul in the fall of two thousand sixteen and indeed they did. They went to great efforts to protect most likely civilians at least on the east side when and things move to the west side and everyone got more desperate and more angry and more impatient for to be over that started to change now. What was in part so remarkable marketable about this interaction was the ongoing process of forgiveness that it required so many most louaize had sided with Isis or abided at welcomed it in or at least had an objected when it had come in the soldiers were perfectly aware of this? They were perfectly aware that the most lowery's would just would a couple a couple of years before just as soon seeing them out of the city where had helped run them. Out of the city and the Moslems for their part were perfectly aware that these soldiers come from the same army me. Some of them were even the same soldiers who a couple years before had been in the habit of abusing them and harassing the jailing them and and and summarily executing them and beating them without without cars and calling them bath send jihadis turning the many many of them into jihadis in the process I run ugly and they knew they had this mutual rule bottomless distrust of one. Another yet hour by hour day by day week by week month by month they were able to get past that distrust together mutually to to put it behind them or at least put it aside for the moment and take the city back it was always fascinating in so touching to watch and it it was a manifestation addition of what I've come to believe as sort of special innate capacity for forgiveness in Iraq one foreign analyst of Iraq who's lived live in Iraq a long time and and is essentially rocky the way he put it to me. As if if you were going to kill everyone in Iraq who had done something wrong to you there would be no Iraqis left left. They can't live that way at least not any longer. They have to be able to forgive one another very quickly and in Iraq you can. It's amazing to think you can go join Lina Jihadist Organization. And then just stop being a member and your neighbors will eventually forgive you for it because you just. Everyone's just got to get on with their lives. Well that kind uh sets up the the sort of final biggest question right which is the. There's a battle that happens here military battle that the Iraqi wins and isis is chase out of Mosul. That's that's probably the beginning of the end for them. They are ultimately. The Caliphate is as a fact on the ground is raced Alba. Dadi was just killed recently in the last few weeks and then trump says well I mean I the thing that I'm kind of. I'm kind of joking. Well Yeah I mean one of the things that comes through in the book is that people I think rightly have all sorts of crazy paranoia and theories about what's going. Oh yeah no I I guarantee you that almost no one Iraq believes Baghdad. He's actually dead. But you know one of the things that you've heard from you know the I I mean I've heard this line so much. From the aftermath the era of the American invasion to counter insurgency doctrine of portraying is too. You know there's gotTa political solution not just a military solution political solution. Not just. It's a military solution and now it's like okay. Well God he's dead and Isis has lost the territorial claims it has and the question is like. Is this done one is is. There are the political and social structures in place to create a kind of stability that will be immune to something like this coming again. You know the answer to that in a word no no absolutely not as we know from the most recent protests there is absolutely not the institutional tissue capacity or the will to good governance That needs to exist to prevent a resurgence of this group. Or something thing like it. There is endless fertile territory in Iraq and in the entire region for the resurgence of Isis or its equivalent or its successor. You Know Isis. This was itself a successor organization of a number of previous organizations beginning with al Qaeda in Mesopotamia it morphed over the course of many eight years and the reason it was able to morph in expand was because governance in Iraq got worse and got more corrupt or at least it never improved moved. I'm not an expert on Iraqi governance and politics nor on on regional governance. But I spent a lot enough time there to know that. No things have not improved enough to prevent the resurgence of a of a comparable organization or even the same organization under under a new name. And I can guarantee you that. The entrance of Syrian paramilitary and the Russians into the territory is not going to help matters at all not least because perhaps the only good result of the two thousand three invasion invasion was the creation of Iraqi Kurdistan the semi autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan with this new attack on the entire notion of Kurdish independence. Indi- and the Kurdish right to territory. This is a threat. Not only to Syrian Kurds into Turkish. Kurds it's a threat to occurred. Generally and the Kurds for all their good points are especially Iraqi. Kurds are for other good points and all their capacity to improve and and to create a stable and peaceful region which they've done they're also perfectly willing to get into another fight. They're not necessarily spoiling for it but they're happy to go to war. They'll tell you this in no uncertain terms all of which is to say that that what we're seeing now is merely prelude to another regional war. I would put money on it. And what we saw alongside that towards the end of the battle of Mosul and the the end of the war on Isis was the prelude prelude to another sectarian war in Iraq. Sadly you know I described how what efforts the Iraqi soldiers in muzzle went into to protect civilians. It was all the more surprising or the more touching in and fascinating because those soldiers were mainly Shia and the residents accordance of of Mosul were mainly Sunni Iraqis. And they were able to for the time. Put securing differences aside that ended towards towards the end of the battle in the end of the war. At the end of the battle. You saw soldiers special forces soldiers who should really be more professional flying flags of the Kayla folly and the Imam Hussein from their Humvees. These are very very strident secondhand symbols and for a year at least before at the end of the war and continuing after the war there was an ongoing campaign of sometimes tacit sometimes over retribution against Sunni Iraqis by Shia militia and the initial were eventually incorporated into the formal Iraqi military apparatus by the Shia dominated Iraqi parliament. which is you know? Astonishing astonishing and the soldiers were themselves in the habit of committing summary executions against suspected jihadis. Mozell on the subur- rock. I saw it all the time. So what all of that was creating was an even more intense atmosphere of sectarian resentment and fear And and when I left in two thousand seventeen there were suny. Protection militias forming again to protect themselves against the the Hasha shabby the the the Shia militia and and against the military and the police. So while we have the makings of a larger regional war in what's going on right now in Syria and Turkey. I think we also have the makings of the security in war in Iraq. It's not yet begun. Thank God but I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see it begin tomorrow. James Rainey as a contributing writer at the New York Times magazine. The National Geographic The book which is really incredibly well done beautifully written. They will have to die now. Mosul in the fall of the caliphate. James Thank you so much Chris it was a pleasure. Thank you and once again my great. Thanks James Reading. The book is called. They will have to die now. Muzzle and the fall the caliphate. He's a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine and National Geographic magazine. We have our fall with coming on December eighth. And there's GonNa be a special nugget about that coming soon to your podcast APP. INBOX WCHS with some interesting things about how to get tickets. Were still accepting applications for free tickets and there's other stuff brewing in the tickets scheme so you WanNa stay tuned for that for anyone. Run The New York City area. I promise you is going to be amazing more info on that to come you can go. TICKETMASTER DOT com running Chris Hayes and find tickets we would love to see you there. We also love to hear your feedback as always always got some great feedback particularly on the very intense Martin Haglund episode just assume when tweeting today about accidentally putting it on a half speed and a sounding like so stone like like the most like classic stoned Dorm Room Conversation about life and death which crack me up but we love to hear your feedback about all our episodes and also when you suggest guests because a lot the times we will listen to that will read them. You can tweet us. Hashtag with pod email with pod at gmail.com why is this happening is presented by MSNBC AND NBC News produced by the all in team and features features music. By Eddie Cooper you can see more of our work including links to things we mentioned here by going to NBC News Dot Com Slash. Wise is happening. Hey It's Chris as if you're a fan of my podcast. Why is this happening opening? Subscribe to get the latest episode. Every Tuesday spread the word. 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Iraq Isis Isis Iraq United States Syria Mosul Iraqi army The Times Iraqi government Iran Iraqi Special Forces Middle East reporter SDF Saddam Hussein Baghdad Baghdadi Suny N
No Friend But The Mountains

Throughline

43:53 min | 1 year ago

No Friend But The Mountains

"Hello hello hello okay okay. Excellent thanks for taking the time to talk to US or before we go further. Can you just tell us how to pronounce your name. We just WANNA make sure we're pronouncing it correctly swan duty and is that. What is that? Is that Arabic or Kurdish. Or if I see. It means shepherd and Kurdish Kurdish. Okay okay all right where you are where are you based. What do you do if I can ask? I live in San Francisco and I'm an architect co cool. ooh You mentioned that your name is Curtis. And the pitch that you sent in is relating to the Kurds We got a lot of listeners. Including you who were really interested in knowing more about Kurdish history. What is your pitch? And why did you send it in. I send it in because you know the story of the Kurds itself is re really remarkable. My family came here escaping from Saddam. rain and When you find out all the genocide that they went through all the prejudice and how that Translate to could today especially the couldn't Syria and can I feel like this story in the history of how they got there. Today is worth sharing You the world when you have to fight for your survival you ally with anyone that's reached out to you if we are given our own country and if we had an independent state things would be a lot different courage with not easily ally in this country without you abandon a people to the mercy the of wolves then they will work with whoever can give them some assistance and protect them even even briefly. History has often been unkind to the Kurt's a cycle of repeated betrayals the American troops who were alongside them have moved out and their enemy Turkey. The set to attorney thousand Kurdish men of women gave their lives to destroy the talent in the Syrian town of Curbishley. They reminded the world of that. Kurds were key allies of the US into feeding Islamic state. Eight of say say that the betrayed you're listening to through line from. NPR will go back in time to understand Dan the president. Hey I'm writing at Louis. I'm random that data and on this episode. The Kurds Over the past month we've seen a lot of stories in the headlines about the Kurds following president trump's abrupt withdrawal of US forces from from northern Syria. And we went there and we said we WANNA pause and the Kurds have been terrific. They're going to move back a little bit to keep isis all nice and lack them and his decision and raise the usual concerns about politics in the region about the role of Turkey and Russia and Isis. Sometimes you have to let them fight. mm-hmm like do kids a lot. You GotTa let them fight in your Mama Martin by withdrawing troops. The Kurds were left on their own to fight against the much. Bigger Turkish military attorney and many Kurds viewed the withdrawal as a betrayal of the decades old relationship they developed with the US which brought up a few questions for us. Who are the Kurtz? How did they develop this relationship with the US? And what if anything does the United States. Oh them Kurds have been in the Middle East for Millennia Linnea stretching back to ancient times but defining what it means to be occurred is complicated. Kurds are hard to really categorize. It's easier to say what they are not. They are not Iranian. Not Persians. There are not Arabs and they are not Turks Mrs Quil Lawrence and I am A. NPR correspondent cover veterans issues in the Va.. I covered Iraq for ten years and he wrote a book about the history. History of the Kurds called invisible nation. Kurdistan what Kurds would call Kurdistan. Even though no country on earth recognizes that as estate it takes up a chunk of Syria and Turkey and Iran and Iraq. Just going clockwise around that region so encouraged on and you will come across all kinds of ethnic religious and other kinds of groups basically that live here different sects of Islam the you will. You have different sects of Christianity. We have curves that are not Muslims. Keke's everything so basically. Everyone is tolerated among the Kurds. This this is a you know and the author of a book being British style world. You've is a Kurdish journalist. He was born and raised in a town called Halabja in northern Iraq. What I have noticed among my own people is that the most important thing to the Kurds is the land? There are estimated. made it to be more than twenty million Kurds in the Middle East and I says what unifies them is their identity. As residents of a nation a nation that has been living in on a specific land for thousands of years that is in the heart of the Middle East. I mean they've been in that same area for our Millennia and because they've been left out of statehood they just don't have that sort of fame that you get by having your name on a map somewhere. That's why how you define their borders like I just did by the countries that they've been forced to live in through the centuries so so even though there was never country called Kurdistan in the past we all think it has been a country divided before before they were no borders so it was okay not to have a country. 'cause courage Iraq would walk across the border and meet their families in Iran. It was okay but once countries trees were formed after the first World War. I didn't get one. Then we feel they're just unrest divided coming up how the war. And all wars one and lost the Kurds homeland Kendra Tyler calling from Chico California and through support for this podcast and the following message come from Exxon Mobil. The company that believes that carbon capture technologies are critical for lowering global. Co Two emissions and more and more scientists agree as a leader and capturing emissions in its own operations rations. Exxon Mobil is working on ways to make this technology more efficient and affordable for other industries as. Well that's the unexpected energy of Exxon Mobil find out more at energy factor dot com. Wake up to a fresh take on the day's news with up. I every weekday morning and now Saturdays at eight. Am Eastern into ten minutes is all. You'll need to start your day informed and now you can listen six days a week. I'm Scott Simon and I'm Lou Garcia Navarro up first to start your weekend from NPR NPR News mm-hmm as World War One dragged on to allied powers. France England started to plan what the new Middle East might look like after the war in particular. Who would control the region if the Ottoman Empire collapsed? They outlined it. All in a treaty called Sykes Pico. Sex Pico was a British men and a Frenchman men sitting down with a map and a ruler. Cutting up the region and it just you see all of these things set in motion by someone from outside deciding where these line line should be drawn. Even though sex because I didn't recognize Kurdistan. Did let them know that people were thinking about how to redraw lines in the Middle East. The the impending fall of the Ottoman Empire inspired Kurdish nationalism and hope for a state and with the Treaty of several their hopes of an independent country. Soon to be materializing. The Kurds had thought that they'd come out of world. War One in a great spot because the Treaty of several in nineteen twenty. I was signed by that. Feed it Ottoman government and include a provision for Kurdish independence mm-hmm and it gave the Kurds living in the north of Iraq. An option to join this future Kurdish state so the Kurds thought that they had finally only gotten their piece the idea of autonomy and freedom come from the US. President Woodrow Wilson who came to Paris and said these people were occupied by the ultimate for hundreds of years. Now they should not be ruled by anyone anyone else but themselves the Kurdish rebel leader. At the time there's no mood was Mubarak CINCI. He's he's just amazing character all the pictures of him. He's got this enormous walrus mustache and usually a ceremonial dagger. And he's got this. This piercing is in the photos you know. He was a rebel his whole life fighting against anyone who would deny the Kurds homeland And Woodrow Wilson's fourteen points of self-determination in his League of nations was something that really caught the Kurdish imagination. And the legend is that she what Mood Barzanji used to carry those fourteen points on his arm along with verses from the Koran like Talisman it was sort of like this is my ticket to the international community. This is this. Is this brave new world. This new enlighten world order where nation like us. The Kurds are not going to be denied. Our chance at our own homeland and Woodrow. Wilson's ideas are what's going to protect us so they thought they had it made but they didn't count on what the remnants of the Ottoman Empire we're going to do and that is the root of all the trouble And in Nineteen twenty-three come out Ataturk. The Great Turkish nationalist won international recognition for the Turkish Republic with the the Treaty of loosen the treaty of loose and superseded the earlier treaty and after a few years of lobbying by new powers like Turkey. The the Kurds found that they'd been outmaneuvered. A Kurdish state was missing from the agreement. The West betrayed the Kurds by not dramatic or our own country after the first world war the modern state of Turkey saw that it couldn't really exist if it was going to give half fits territory to a Kurdish homeland. They listened to representatives and leaders of the countries that they were creating the Kurds. Were and fortunately historically isolated lived in the mountains where not on the same level as the Arabs of the Gulf for example or Turkish leaders went and spoke for themselves so we were betrayed by the Western powers and these representatives who went and made all kinds of promises that they will create a modern in state everyone will have their own rights religious cultural linguistic whatever rights then they came home created the country and they became repressive regimes. The meeting decades have been many promises MRS to the Kurds. Oh we'll give you autonomy if you help us out with this the first they never do And fast forward to the nineteen seventies. The Kurds were still dreaming of independence. And for the first time since World War One the Kurds and the US had shared interests the Kurdish leader. Mullah Mustafa Barzani who's one of the famous guerrilla warriors is aligned with Iran. WHO's a staunch? US ally the Shah of Iran needs the Kurds to make trouble in Iraq. 'cause he's in dispute with Baghdad mm-hmm the dispute with Baghdad was actually with the new leader in Iraq Saddam Hussein at the time it appeared as though he was gonNA become allied allied with the Soviet Union which led the US to reinforce its support for Iran and no one is sure quite what to make of him yet. He could go towards the Soviets or he could lean towards the Americans. Those are the two suitors in this. You know worldwide Cold War so the. US is willing to help. The Shaw help the Iraqi Kurds. That's why the United States aged I think took any interest in the courage in the first place. They were fighting the enemy of their enemy. The US found a way to get weapons and financial support. Art to the Kurds in Iraq and all the while the Kurds they know the game. They're they keep on trying to get assurance from the Americans. You guys aren't GonNa all the rug out right. There's no no we're we'll support you what we can save. The second betrayal was in nineteen seventy five in nineteen seventy seventy five Iran and Iraq. Sign the Algiers Accord which ends their hostilities. And Chevron basically doesn't need the Kurds to you mess around in Iraq anymore so the Kurdish uprising has its legs. Cut Out overnight the. US abandoned the the Kurds and now the reason that that sticks out is because Henry Kissinger had been sending reassurance to the Kurds and so he kept on telling me you're doing great. You're doing great and it made it that much harder for them to escape. And then the Kurds were given a choice. Either lay down your arms and go and hand yourself over to the Iraqi authorities or we'll go and become refugees. In Iran the leadership managed to get over the mountains and into Iran. But of course you know many Kurdish fighters they were caught out. They were fighting. They thought that support that they didn't they were just slaughtered When the Kurds say that the Kurds were betrayed? The main point is that America betrays itself. That's what many Kurds safe. The United States betrays its own values and ideals in the first place before they even betrays. The Kurds urge. When I was writing my book I interviewed Brent Scowcroft? Who had been Kissinger's deputy national security adviser when this happened and he was very frank he said and had a key ally in the region the Shah of Iran and when he made peace with Iraq? Well they weren't useful to US anymore and they're not a major player air for us striking in two thousand and three. I was in northern rock waiting for the US invasion and I went around the school yard asking them. What do you think about America? They were pro-american which is one thing. That doesn't seem to change my experience. But they also you know these were kids so they have no memory of nine thousand nine hundred. Eighty much less nineteen seventy-five they weren't alive but more than one. Tell me well and I love America but I will never forget that Henry Kissinger betrayed us in nineteen seventy five. I don't know any middle schooler. Here in the United States is GonNa Know Henry Kissinger mm-hmm in Iraq. I probably to this day. There are middle schoolers. Who can tell you about what Henry Kissinger did to them? Thirty years before they were born and during the nineteen eighty s Iran and Iraq fought a truly horrific war that lasted eight years from American American perspective. It was sort of a pox on both your houses. We don't love either of you. But eventually the Americans start helping Iraq and Saddam Hussein and just as distasteful dictator. Then as he ever was and again. The Kurds had no choice but to ally with Iran throughout the one thousand nine hundred eighty S. The Kurds seized it as a chance to get whatever support they could from Iran in order to fight Saddam Hussein's jeans regime as is natural if Iran is fighting with Iraq Iran. His probably trying to enlist the help of Iraqi Kurds to sort of mess with and and with Iraq despite Saddam Hussein's fixation on defeating Iran. He hadn't forgotten the Kurds. In the north of Iraq. The outcome of the nineteen seventy five betrayal was fifteen years of oppression. Persecution mass killings uh Saddam Hussein's starts taking greater and greater revenge against the Kurds when we come back said dom wages war on the Kurds Hi this is corey calling from Canada version plays. I'll Nova Scotia. You're listening through line and our support for this podcast and the following message come from Google from Connecticut to California from Mississippi to Minnesota millions of American businesses are using Google tools to grow online the grow with Google Initiative supports small businesses by providing providing free digital skills workshops and one on one coaching and all fifty states helping businesses get online connect with new customers and work more productively. Learn more at Google dot com slash growl after the recent mass shooting in El Paso Texas. Some forty people around the country were arrested for planning violence on the next embedded. We'll look at one arrest. He sat next to me at lunch so like I don't know if some of this stuff got posted while he was sitting next to me or like in my house and stuff you know what it tells us about extremism in schools us that story on embedded from NPR throughout the nineteen eighties as Iran and Iraq continued fighting. The Kurds were targeted by Saddam Hussein. At one point he gets eight thousand men from MM Barzani's region from Barzan and executes them by eighty six. They've got Iranian support and they are thinking that this is our chance around might win this war and we might get some sort of independence out of it. Who knows and it's at that point? That's dom began what he called the campaign on falls from a verse in the Koran. Talking about the spoils of war. But it's totally perverted in this case. And it's just systematic killings of Kurds in the north of Iraq using chemical weapons and the person put in charge of this was Elliott sonoma's Gede who's a cousin of Saddam Hussein's but he he gets the nickname. Ali Chemical. Start using all of this poison gas against civilians and combatants which he indiscriminately deadly attacks in the town of John March sixteenth in nineteen eighty eight my hometown where I was born and I was nine years old when this happened. I was not in Haladja myself that day. But one of my brothers one sister and my dad Ad Wherein Halava on that day. What happened was the Iranian army managed to overtake Halabja Asia and the surrounding areas basically from the Iraqi army and push them out a few days later Saddam Hussein's this regime and the air force retaliated against this Iranian takeover of my town with chemical weapons? That killed five thousand people people and maimed many others forever and one of the weapons given to him or sold to him. Where napalm bombs as I said? I wasn't in Alabama but those who survived and those who saw the chemical attack. They said that before. The airplanes dropped chemical bombs. They dropped napalm bombs to force people into their homes and bunkers and basements and then later in the chemical weapons chemical bombs where dropped. That's why many people perished they. It had sought shelter from the Nippon's and then didn't know that the gas would find them in their hiding places so their retaliation it was against the Iranian army but the main victim was the people of my town into the town of Hella Bash where the dead still line the streets Iraq denies using chemical weapons. It says Iran carried out the attack. Whoever's to blame the victims clear civilians who were caught up in one of the welds most unforgiving? Moore's some scenes in this report a gruesome and disturbing. That's just one example of what the Kurds have had to go through for a hundred years since the first world war the chemical attack On My town in one thousand nine hundred eighty eight is just one example when you abandon the people or leave them at the mercy of an oppressive regime and tell them to work it out by themselves. What's your family okay? My that was was slightly injured. My sister she walked with her husband as far as she could and then she collapsed by river and she was saved by Ayar Indian army helicopters. And my brother was sixteen. We also thought he was dead and we had given up on him he showed up. I think a week or two later he had also collapsed and being saved by some soldiers so they wear in the end. Okay but many the people that my family knew Harish on that day by the end of Saddam's and foul campaign the numbers range from fifty thousand. Two hundred thousand people being killed and this isn't a Kurdish population At this point that's probably under four million in Iraq. Tens of thousands of Kurdish villagers farmers civilians were taken from their villages and farms and killed or buried alive in the deserts of Iraq. There was radio your silence from the West in general and including the United States because Saddam Hussein. was there man. He was their ally so they did did not say anything Coming up the dream of Kurdish nation comes into view Again Hello my name of bomber. Forget we live in Austin Texas. You're listening to through line from San Support for. NPR comes from Newman's own foundation working to nourish the common good by donating all profits from Newman's own food products to charitable organizations that seek to make the world a better place. More information is available at Newman's own foundation DOT ORG two. AM local time. All the second Iraqi troops crossed the border into the weight in one thousand nine hundred. Ninety Iraq invades co-8 its neighbor to the south and declared it. Iraq's nineteenth province and in January of one thousand nine hundred eighty one U s led coalition collision forces including Britain and France launched a military assault on Iraqi forces to drive them from Kuwait just two hours ago. Allied air forces began an attack on military targets in Iraq and Kuwait and then president George H W Bush as I speak gets the whole world to team up up to kick Saddam out of Kuwait and they very noticeably. Do not go to Baghdad. They do not want to topple Saddam because they thought through through what might happen. If Saddam fell could be K.. Austin regional players especially Iran might gain out of it and they'd rather have the stability now they wouldn't mind if someone just put a bullet in his head. We will not fail when asked about which it happened with Iraq President George H H.W. Bush makes an often comment. Well if these people WANNA take matters into their own hands. There's another way for the bloodshed. Stop and that is for the Iraqi. He military and the Iraqi people to take matters into their own hands to force Saddam Hussein the dictator. Step aside I was twelve years old I remember very clearly the series of events that happened he encouraged the people of Iraq to rise and rid themselves of tyranny. I don't that's not the exact quote I'm sure you know that. But that's a C. He said something along those lines that you know it's over it's time they rose and rid themselves of this regime. And that's exactly what Kurds and millions. Millions of Shias in the south of Iraq. Did we seize the chance. People basically lost fear of Saddam Hussein's regime when they so on TV how it was an island by the allied forces and we basically rose against the Iraqi government Iraqi authorities and liberated the Kurdish populated provinces but then tillerson cracked down the most brutal way ever against the people for for doing that. The Kurds in the north here this and they think great. This is our chance the. US is at our backs but the US is not at their backs. And the Kurds get all the way south to the city of Kirkuk their Jerusalem. They'll say and they get all the way there and suddenly bang. It becomes clear that they do not have American support and Baghdad slaughtered tens of thousands again the. US did not come here to do this for the courage and there was an immediate abandonment. Millions of people ended up in the mountains. Symptons men women and children with nothing but the clothes on their backs absolutely nothing. It was cold still still even though it was spring but the Kurdish fountains are really cold and they lived in caves and cut down trees and I heard so many stories that there were people who would give away their brand new car for a piece of bread. This actually happened. Those in the West will remember what I'm talking about this day. They will remember the scene of love starving or dying of cold or hunger or illness on the mountains and they were not allowed in. That was what made it so shocking. was that especially on the Turkish border. They were all stranded. So if you you have the Iraqi army advancing and your border is closed and people are stranded. This had some impact to draw attention to the Kurdish plight from ABC News World News Saturday. It was a a different moment in history. Finally there are reports tonight of thousands of civilians fleeing major northern cities of enormous numbers of casualties from heavy fighting when the world souls millions of Kurds in Iraq heading for the borders again fearing another chemical attack like had happened three years earlier in one thousand nine hundred eighty eight. This time the United States did actually step in the Security Council passed another resolution calling on Iraq to cease repression of the Kurds words but he acknowledged there are no enforcement provisions and we're not pretending that the current resolution has any teeth in it that can force an end to the repression. We Know Voice Voice of community has been speaking to this shock. Shock the conscience of the outside world but Kurds only thank France because I think it was the French first lady. Danielle me John. That pleaded with Western leaders to come to the rescue of the Kurds and it was all TV. What was different was is this time the? US could not turn a blind eye on this mass suffering At first it was still footage you had to smuggle out. I crossed crossed the Tigris River small boat under Iraqi mortar fire. US Congressional staffer Talamante goal breath managed to smuggle Out Videotape that was aired on one of the American networks. Peter Jennings called me up and said we'd like to be on camera of Kurds fleeing As they were being slaughtered as Saddam's revenge was rolling up north but a million and a half began to flee across the mountains mountains and their pictures of jacket. Louis Kurdish villagers trying desperately to get out before they're slaughtered. I was I witnessed to what I thought was the destruction of the Kurdish people. It shamed the United States and Britain and France into action This time the United States did actually step in came to Iraq and imposed a no-fly zone over northern Iraq and basically it was a signal for Saddam Hussein's regime to leave. The Kurds of this operation was assisted by the International Committee of the Red Cross. The League of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and various national societies and this is the first U N approved humanitarian intervention against the will of the sovereign state in history. This is the moment where the international community says. We're going to cross sovereign lines to stop stop atrocities from happening and A. US led coalition sets up this safe haven inside northwestern Iraq. It's it's protected by a no fly zone secretary of state beggar heads to the Mideast where he'll get a firsthand look. At the plight of thousands of Kurdish refugees massed along the Turkish border order so the Kurdistan region suddenly becomes these three provinces of Iraq and slowly. The Kurds realized that they've got some sort of an autonomous region which becomes the Petri dish for the Kurdish Kurdish autonomous government. That we have today thanks to twenty six. Were Twenty seven twenty eight years now of self rule. When people run on their own affairs they become prosperous and stable and can live happily by two thousand and three the administration of George W Bush had been making the case for war against Iraq for months administration? Officials argued that Saddam Hussein had used chemical weapons in the past and still had the capability to use them again and even more destructive quote weapons of mass destruction. -struction and in October. Two thousand to Congress authorized the US to use military force in Iraq and the question became one of how and when the US makes it very clear that they're going to invade even months before it's you know it's very clear. But more importantly they're figuring that the best way to invade Iraq is through the north through Turkey which at that point is a solid. US ally and the wild thing about this is that that was going to. It'd be a horrible outcome for the Iraqi Kurds. Because the Turks were negotiating terms to let the Americans marched through into Iraq. I was mostly about money. mm-hmm but in that agreement okay you know you're gonNA miss this many billion dollars to march through into Iraq. Oh and by the way just to make sure that things stay calm Tom. We're going to send thousands and thousands of Turkish troops with you and from the Kurds of Iraq. Their perspectives. Those Turkish troops are doing nothing but destroying destroying our experiment with an autonomous region because it Turks have a huge Kurdish population of their own and they see any autonomous Kurdistan as an incitement to their Kurds towards independence or autonomy. What happened instead? Is that the Turkish parliament shocking. Everyone even the Turkish government. The Turkish parliament rejects the bill and says no to America. America's GonNa have to do its main invasion up from in the south. But they have to do something to secure the north and suddenly the only allies that they have up. There are these Iraqi Kurds who are just dying to help out and ingratiate themselves with the Americans and suddenly the Kurds are fighting alongside Americans. And they're feeling pretty thrilled about the prospect of post-saddam Iraq. The Kurds helped the US invasion of Iraq in two thousand and three with boots on the ground Kurdish Fighters Peshmerga is what we call them here. The the two words are sort of like forward and death and so sometimes people translate Tamer guy as people who's faced death and that term has been what Kurds call their guerrilla fighters for a long time I saw peshmerga uh alongside. US Special Forces on every front line. That I visited in two thousand and three soldiers side by side at some one point there you know. The Americans install viceroy. Paul Bremmer who abolishes the army the Iraqi army. He did that and suddenly. At that point the Peshmerga become the second largest force on the ground there second only to the American military and all other nations on the ground the British or the Iraqi army itself Iraqi security forces are a distant third. It just seemed like a huge win for the Kurds. They just thought they died in to heaven. For many years as things deteriorate in the South the Kurdistan region of the North this oasis where everything let America said it was going to do in Iraq is actually happening Using that Americans oh the Kurds. Anything yes I do I think the the. US owes the Kurds a lot. Especially in the last ten or fifteen years. If in the past in the seventies or eighties the Kurds were not considered an important ally or any importance at all lit. Say That would make some sense dance but since two thousand three when the. US came to remove Saddam's regime and build a new Iraq Democratic Iraq. The Kurds were true. Allies as I said on the ground and in helping the Iraqi government get back on its feet and then in two thousand fourteen when Isis prices overrun Mosul and much of Iraq. There was no force on the ground to face them. Fight them back except the Kurdish peshmerga. The the Kurdish forces in Syria the same way so at least in the last fifteen years occurs can point to a number of actual things on the ground that they it did honestly. It's hard to cry too. Many tears about the realities of the Middle East because the Kurds himselves offs practice it. They know when they're being used as a tool and they and they'll trying exact as much diplomatic and moral pressure as they can to try and make sure they aren't earn hung out to dry but they know the game and it's been happening for so long and the math has never changed for them. They're landlocked Stateless nation the largest ethnic group on the planet without a state and more than one curtis quoted back to me the famous blind by Lord Palmist in witches empires. Don't have friends they have interests. The Kurds are not naive to think okay the US is year this time to help us. We all know the. US His hair for its own interests. And we we know that fact that we say we have no choice in two thousand in three if they came to remove Saddam Hussein for whatever reason for his links with the nine eleven attacks or Al Qaeda or if they came for oil so we always think. Okay if it's good for them and now it's good for us too so there's no naievty or complete complete trust in the US among Kirch neither in the past nor now an I think in the future it will be even less we go into lions with the US or anyone else but it still burns in the back of every Kurd what happened in seventy five in ninety-one up to present-day it. Certainly anyone who studied their own history knows that the Middle East too tough neighborhood and it's hard ball all the time I mean. They know the rules of the game in their region of the world and that they are terribly terribly unlucky but but the dream of of America and its ideals and all of these things definitely captured their imagination but the way in which American advisors and military on the ground were giving the reassurances to the Kurds in the Kurdish fighters who just just fought with them in Syria. The lack of warning that they got when apparently president trump let the Turkish president. I didn't know that it was okay to go at an invade. The way it was done you know down to. You've given them a week instead of a day to find find out that they were absolutely flapping in the wind. That double-cross in a way to Kurds in the region. I think it's at least on par with Henry Kissinger in in nineteen seventy five despite all these betrayals and inaction from the United States and indifference from different. US administrations the Kurds which still see the US as a good ally because we cannot say no as a small nation. As a powerless people. We will be in no opposition to say to the US. No you cannot come here. You betrayed us go away the. US is still a superpower. They would do it anyway. That's number one. Number two is the the. US is still better than the regimes. That Kurds in the Middle East have to deal with the. US betrayed us. Okay okay but these regimes are killing you persecuting. You put you in prison and destroying your culture in your language in your family and everything everything else. So is the result of careful comparison that we make. And that's it for this week show I'm Rhonda. I'm Ron Taylor and you've been listening to NPR. Dr This episode was produced by me and me and Jamie York parts will happen. Levinson Lou. All caskey Niger. Eaten in fact checking for this episode was done by Kevin Vocal. Thanks also

Iraq US Saddam Hussein Iran Saddam Middle East Turkish Republic Syria NPR Iraqi army America Kurdistan Henry Kissinger president Baghdad NPR News San Francisco Kurt
The Unravelling 7: The Sword of Destruction

Jocko Podcast

1:22:52 hr | 10 months ago

The Unravelling 7: The Sword of Destruction

"This is the Jaakko unraveling podcast episode seven. With. Daryl Cooper, and me Jaakko willink. Let's. Go ahead and fall thread. Where we at we left everybody hanging last time. We cut it off. Right is you're about to kick it off in Ramadi And I mean I think this is there's so much stuff I want to talk about in this one We. You know we start off talking about The the stakes at play in Ramadi how there was so many people on the domestic side that were saying this war's lost people even in the military who were saying this this thing is and bar at least is done. There were people all along from portray northern Masui at the beginning with the one hundred I other people in Talafar McMaster and so forth who were saying, this thing can be one but you gotTa Change Your mentality and when you get to Ramadi you mentioned that you picked up counterinsurgency manual and I don't know where you got it because it wasn't. It wasn't published until December of six yet but I I got the latest copy on the Internet was a draft copy and that's what I mean on the on notice. I said Internet not on the supernet it wasn't on the classified side. It was a draft copy that I got and I just went and Google searched it and they had just put it out there and it's kind of like The the the Marine Corps just released a document. Called learning and it's the first one that's been released in twenty something years to since two thousand and one, and you know the the draft of that document. You know you could find it way earlier than was actually released. So yeah that that and this is an April. So when did you say? Formally released December. Yeah. Yeah. I I had you been one of the early adopters for sure I was definitely early adopter I. I know that I was the first person that I knew that it read. It was me like I didn't meet anybody else said, oh. Yeah. Here's the new manual. And it was weird for me to to like dive into a manual and just say, okay, I, gotTa have an open mind here looking at this but seeing. Again seeing the the pay here we're all going after all these bad guys, but it doesn't really seem to have a long-term sustaining impact because it's been three years of US doing this. Made. Me Say we've gotta look some other way. There's gotta be some of the way this is unfolding for sure. What did you get out of it when I mean you just sat down and read the thing basically straight through room yeah. I sat down and read the thing straight through and I'll tell you what I got. I'll tell you. I'll tell you the May one of the main things that I stole from it. Was Security for the populace. And that's the first thing that kind of made sense to me. I said Okay right how do we provide security for the populace which is different. Then I'm going to remove people right I'M GONNA take bad guys is providing security for the populace and the idea that the decisive. The decisive element in this war was not an airfield it was not a mountaintop, it was not a beachhead. The Decisive The decisive terrain in this war was the people and I'm going to say it was the hearts and minds of the local populous. That was the main takeaway for me, and then you know you just read through it and you realize that. In order to do the kind of. The. Kind of when you think counterinsurgency. Well, at least at the time I, think a lot of people when they thought of counter-insurgency what they thought of was hearts and minds, which is, hey, we're going go. We're going to build schools we're gonNA give away food. We're GONNA WE'RE GONNA, GIVE MED, caps. And and help people medically and it sounds so hunky Dory and you think well. That sounds great. But then you look at Ramadi and you go how can this possibly happen here and in the counterinsurgency manual explains that in order for those things to take place, you have to have control over the battlefield and we didn't have control yet. So the first step in counterinsurgency, you gotta get some kind of control in that situation. So that's another thing I realized and the fact that. And this is I think portrays said this later he paraphrased it later and it made sense and I don't know. I got the idea understood it from the counterinsurgency manual even though I don't think these words are actually in there but he said this can't be a drive by counter-insurgency meaning. Hey, you can't just drive into a neighborhood say hi, in leave you gotta go in there and you gotta stay so that made a lot of sense to me. So there was some some things that I just had to open my mind and seeing a different light and. Seeing, that target board and knowing that. For lack of a better way of saying this. We were losing. And a lot of this comes back again to the book about face by David Hackworth. because. He's the guy that said we're losing in. Vietnam. He's the first kind of legitimate guy that said we're losing and it wasn't that I don't know if the fought we're losing would've entered my mind. Had I not read that book but Ya I'd read that book and I read that book a lot but be as you just said. There was a the populist in America was turning against the warm. This is two thousand six. This is nasty and there's no end in sight and there's Americans coming home. You know in caskets all the time and the so so we've got. Much of the American populace. In Hey we've had enough of this we've got government officials saying we'RE NOT GONNA win. It's an election it's election year. It's just nasty. So the fact that I had a little bit of you know, I, I have a natural rebellious streak in me. And that's a very beneficial sometimes from a leadership position because you're questioning what's happening as opposed to just accepting what's happening. So for me to say I'm for me to question what we were doing and how we were doing. It was very good. And Very lucky and also. From a leadership perspective I'm coming in there I'm detached right. I hadn't been Iraq in two years. So I'm I'm I'm detached from it. Guys that are in the fight there in the fight they're worried about the. The tonight tomorrow night. That's what they're worried about. They got a bad guy. Good. They're they're planning for another up even looking at where it goes. I'm coming from a defacto detached position where I'm looking at it from thirty thousand feet going. So I come from the states where everyone's saying well, not everyone. But where a lot of people are saying we're losing we can't win I, show up there I see this target board it looks like we're not any progress I think we've got to do something different and that cracks me into the the counterinsurgency manual three. Was it three, tech twenty four? That's the new one. The insurgents, it took us a while to understand counterinsurgency. The insurgents understood their part of it real well talked about how we need to go. We need to build a school we need to open pump station or whatever they knew that they needed to go blow up the ribbon cutting. US troops would be out there given candy Iraq kids, and they would drive a suicide bomb into the crowd of kids. After a while we realized none of this stuff that we're doing matters if we can't provide security for the security for the purpose this, there's something that you said on the last podcast and I re listened to it and it's funny because. You said something along the lines of the insurgents realized that they had they. They realized I. Think you said a weapon or But you ended up saying they had they. They knew what they needed. They knew what they had on their side and I thought what they needed to get on their side or something like that and I thought you were going to you said, you said people right and what I thought you were going to say it was time because that really is the ultimate weapon of insurgency is look you hey, hey, American. Hey gringo you stay here and you know lose you know ten. Guys a week or twenty, a week co we'll be here we can. We can outlast you and we don't WanNa go home we are home you know you Americans you WanNa go home I don't care what American you are you. WanNa go home we don't WanNa go home we are home, and so we can outlast you and that's that really is time is the ultimate weapon in an insurgency. That's another thing in our. Here's a good conversation I had. So this was pressing into. The combat actually starting in in in. Ramadi this is something I completely took from the counterinsurgency manual. So we started doing these overwatch operations where we were going out and providing security for the populace via killing bad guys. and. So we started conducting operations as this here's a couple countersue. Number one when you start a counterinsurgency, enemy activity is not going to go down it's going to go up friendly casualties are not going to go down they are going to go up. So right there. Right there it already feels wrong when you start a counterinsurgency, it feels wrong and it looked looks wrong. So the people that are tracking sig acts, which is a term for significant activity, which which which was a word that had its own meaning in its own life. You Know How many Sig acs were there today meeting? How many enemy activities enemy attacks were there and. The that would get tracked who's a metric and so when we started this counterinsurgency, guess what happens to the enemy attacks the enemy contacts they go up what happens to the US casualties they go up. Probably three weeks into this. We had conducted baby Tan. Overwatch operations probably killed x amount of guys. I don't know X. Amount of enemy ten twenty. and get a a an email from. Like. One of the guys up the chain of command it wasn't. It wasn't my commanding officers someone up the chain of command for me and it was something along the lines of Hey. Here, you are conducting these operations. To take. Out. In places and insurgence, and we're actually seeing an increase in enemy activity wh. What metrics are you going off of that makes you think that this is even remotely effective. And I said it a little bit more hostile wasn't as hostile as that but from the counterinsurgency manual that I had read. I replied, Hey, appreciate the feedback, the average counterinsurgency last seven years it's been three weeks. Can I get some more time to measure the metrics and they were like, okay, you know fair enough. But that was me having read this book and and pulled things out of it that were actually completely accurate to what we were living. So, the watching those Sig axe go up was was rough. And I remember the brigade commander Colonel Sean macfarland. You know he was answering the mail on this kind of thing, and we'd be sitting in the brigade meeting and he'd say how the division is is looking at US saying, hey, how how are we supposed to think you're doing a good job here when enemy activity is increasing and you know he probably gave a similar answer to what I did we're taking. The fight, the enemy and there's GonNa be there's GonNa be casualties there's going to be blood, but that's the that's the pathway to victory when the people become the ground that you're trying to win as opposed to an airfield or something like that and a counterinsurgency I means that everything you do has got to be measured for for lack of a better term political effect as well as tactical effect right and. This is why this battle. You just as fascinated me for a long time because taking what I just said about everything you do has got to be measured for political effect. and. You guys are going into a city that probably much of it hasn't seen in American who was sort of holding their ground in a year maybe in some of these places. and. You're going into a Sunni city with. Iraqi security forces that are mostly if not all. Shia. You've got to convince those Shia soldiers to treat the Sunni civilians they're going to be encountering with respect Yup you've gotTa, you've gotta convince the Sunni populace there that, hey, we're coming in here with this is. Where everybody else out if you don't remember what two thousand six was like the very very beginning of the year, I'll cut in Iraq. Massive car bomb at the Samara mosque, which is like one of the holiest sites, entire Chia world and the Shia went insane. They're burning down Sunni mosques their. Sectarian cleansing Baghdad neighborhoods running Sunnis out and it's at a point where the Shia militias have totally infiltrated. A lot of the Iraqi police people are getting arrested by the Iraqi police two days. Later, their families get a phone call from the Shia militia that now has that person and they're demanding ransom, and so you're bringing Shia soldiers into this Sunni city that hadn't seen an American has no reason to trust us at all. In a long time and you've got to convince both of those sides to play. Nice that nobody's doing anything here we're in control. And when you guys start talking to the tribes, which is really what I'm super interested in hearing about how you guys approach this you know two thousand five, just another aspect of like the political side of this and by that I just mean Intergroup group Interaction the tribes had tried to unite and fighting and sell cut back in two thousand. Five and they got annihilated and all their leaders to Jordan and everywhere else they leaders ran to Jordan. The ones that survived 'cause I want to say, there was a twenty four hour period of forty eight hour period where eight of tribal leaders were killed eight of them. Yeah. So do I mean that's that's like saying you know if you picture the. New York crime families in the in the sixties right saying that Oh. Yeah. All the heads of the families got killed. That's that's what any of the ones that were left. Yeah. They they rat and they were junior to let me a lot more younger right the because a lot of people got killed people got. Up Some people bumped up, some people fled, some people just faded. Yeah. All those things happened you the glass factory I think in February of six January of January. January of Oh six, there's a there's up police recruiting. Drive let's call it a recruiting drive for the young Iraqi men to come and join the Iraqi police where they can now get control of their city. There's a massive suicide bomb there. There was a guy by the name of. Lieutenant Colonel Mc off McLaughlin. who had was apparently in this happened before I. Got there. So I don't know what he was with the to eight out of Pennsylvania. So He's a reservist they called the they called him the shake of shakes because he was you know just a great guy that had this great attitude that was trying to make things happen and got along with all the different shakes and understood what we were trying to make happen. So He's actually and this is what proves what kind of a leader he was. You know this is a risky operation to have this big recruiting drive but they said security up now they have several hundred young Iraqi men that are thinking. Okay. Well, it looks like we're going to take back our city from these insurgents the and and my shake, and some of the other shakes have said to come down here and join up with this Iraqi police. And the Glass Factory. A is an old glass factory and it's right outside of camp. Ramadi. So it's a good place to do it in the Camp Ramadi being an all American. Base, with thousands of troops on there and a lot of firepower the glass factories just outside. So they run this recruiting meeting And suicide bomber there's. Fifty five or sixty of the recruits or killed McLaughlin. McLaughlin is killed a marine that was on security. Adam can sergeant Adam can he was on security? He was also killed. There's another. Fifty, five or sixty. Iraqis, from the Iraqis that were there to get recruited that were wounded. So I mean you picture what the just just imagine that. You're a young kid you show up. We're GONNA take back Ramadi. You show up the Americans are providing security Americans. Are GonNa make everything nice. Again, the Americans are aligned with my shake my shake sent me down here. And then the insurgents kill everyone that you know wound everyone else and if you made it out of there unscathed you whenever going to think about doing anything like that. Again as far as you could, you could tell this is a couple of months before you guys got started this this is in January. This is in January of six. Is. Just all of those challenges stacked on top of each other convincing the Sunni a we're gonNA protect you from Hong. Kong let me interject hold on. So. One thing when you were talking about the Shias, the sheep soldiers. And some of them I mean who? What's the? What's the profile of someone that joins the she the Iraqi army in two thousand and sexists that profile look like well, yes guess what it's a it's a lower class person we're talking about the frontline because there's there's the whole officer thing and it's it's just like any. Well, it's not. It's. It's the officer thing where these guys pay to get into position they come from a family or whatever but the the the soldiers. WHO joins the Iraqi army in two thousand and six? Who's WHO's this? She'll yet their for their Shia. They need money they're not educated they are looking for a job. And here you go. That's the same exact profile of who is joining the the Mario Army to go and fight for the Shias. You kind of that's the exact the exact same profile so In the barracks room. of So Leith Leith. Bab. Who is one of the commanders? He was running a troupe of of Iraqi soldiers in their barracks on the American base. They had a giant poster on the wall of Muqtada. On their wall in the clear like, Hey, we're we're here to fight and yeah, that's a picture of McDonnell solder. You know the sort of most vocal and rebellious leader of the Shia sect at this point. So that's That's what you're looking at. It's crazy and the picture I've tried to find it. You've seen a picture of the picture of McDonnell saw with his of finger raised up and. He's a very he's a very, he's a character right? He's he fits the exact a image of what you would expect this fiery Guy Charismatic Guy. You know he's got a little crazy is to him. He fits that exact image and so they got this giant poster it has like lightning around it. So. Much. For Subtlety in the Middle East. That's what we're dealing with. What am my one of my favorite things is one of the insurgent groups it's been operating out in Iraq they were until a year or two ago. Call themselves, Euphrates, volcano, I'm like that's awesome. Yeah we're. We're not sure if I'm giving you guys slack for a couple beheadings for that good name. We're not sure if we're like a roller derby team or an insurgent group we're feeling. Avenue that poster up their points to another one right so you've got to get the Sunni and Shia to play. Nice together you've gotta convince the Sunni in the city that we can protect you from al-Qaeda after we haven't done that at all for years now and I'll cut has been the law of the land as long as you've been here and when we recently failed to protect. You, the glass factory attack but another one is that you've got to convince imagine it wasn't hard with your guys maybe but do you have any issues where when you started to talk to the tribes with Americans really these guys were shooting at us last year and you want us to put give amnesty work with them or these guys got a poster of Qatada. Barracks and we're supposed to trust these guys like how is that? Are you talking about me with the seals in task unit bruiser I would I would imagine that wasn't a problem the the. The hardest challenge with the seals in tasking bruiser was, hey, guys we're GONNA be working with Iraqi soldiers pretty much all the time to watch our back. Are They GonNa Watch back? Can we trust him and the answer is no and no. So what do you do you mitigate risk? You figure out how you can train them up enough you figure out what how you operate with them where you're? You've got four of those guys that are supposed to be doing something. You need to seals there to make sure that they're doing what they're supposed to be doing. So this was really before. There hasn't been a lot of of. You know Would end up calling it green on green on blue meaning a bad guy like a like an Iraqi soldier turns and starts shooting that happened more Afghantistan happened some in Iraq. But at this point, it wasn't a huge threat we fought about it of course. Like you just don't feel comfortable when you've got a guy that's got a poster of McDonald's solder in his bedroom and now he's standing next AK47. you know there's there's definitely some trust issues and then there was different types of guys. You know there there's there's Kurdish some Kurdish soldiers that would be in some of these units and they would be very trustworthy and very squared away like almost a different different level actually they they were straight up at different levels. If you had a couple of Kurdish guys, you beat pretty stoked on that. but that was it. So so as far as telling my guys, we're GONNA use. When we're working with Iraqis. That was a little bit of a struggle but then when they understood why we're doing it. Then they realized. Okay and even if even if they didn't agree with why we were doing it because the the what I told them was hey. We either get them up to speed. They can handle security neural country or we're GONNA be here forever and we're GONNA lose or we can get these guys trained up, get him out there. So they can handle security and then we're good if that didn't convince my guys here's the other half of it and this is the this is the slam dunk for a seal by the way. We have two choices we either take Iraqis with us where we don't work. Who wants to work? They'll you know seals want to work and they wanted to get after it, and if that means, we gotta take Iraqi soldiers co we'll take Iraqi soldiers. So I probably got there. I probably got you know their hearts. Sixty. percent, they're just talking about the big strategic picture, but you gotta tie it back to why it's good for them than what's good for a seal as I get to go out and kill bad guys and so hey, this is what this is what's going to allow us to do that. Kept cool or onboard. Let's make an APP where you guys operate and pretty much in a moment you got their. Missions for you and ready to go. When you say they had missions for us. We had we develop missions. So the tasking that we turned over with no, they were tracking targets we picked up some of those targets and. Within. We were doing operations very quickly. When did the? You know. When did the actual? Operation to take the city back really star we start setting up the cops around the city really pushing. So there was a there was like June or so maybe, but there was a there was a I guess I would might call it a false start which was. When we got there the first briefs that I gave my guys were, hey, we're gonNA. We're GONNA DO A flu. We're going to do what they didn't flew A. WE'RE GONNA do here because that's kind of where the planning was at the two two eight had done a great job surrounding the city, and now you've got both. The two, two, eight, and the one. On station for turnover and that means we've got double the combat power that means we're going to go through the city and crush it. Maliki to his credit who had just been elected prime minister as a Shia. Said Hey. If he knew what would happen if we if he directed that to happen, it would be all the Sunnis saying looking with the she is doing to us they're killing us and it would have caused a problem. He said you need to figure out another way to do it a less kinetic way of doing it. That's the word we got. We actually got the word. So we had we were planning massive. Massive multi multibillion operations. So the word comes down. Actually, we were in the process of planning a battalion sized operation. We were going to support the first of the five Oh six. And the. Your real quick is fascinating because it's been written up in articles in I think even Tom ricks book that that this was done intentionally ahead faked that we loaded up a whole bunch of men and material like we're GONNA come in Volusia in order to get some of the insurgency had been nested in the city to back out before we started moving into neighborhoods we're actually planning on. Doing. That sounds like if that was the head fake, then they faked me out to okay and they faked out everybody that I talked to and worked with including up to and including planning a battalion sized operation that we were going to execute. So if it was a head fake, it had faked the brigade commander and the battalion commanders as well because we were all ready to execute that. We get the word planning a battalion sized operation. We get the word. No battalion sized operations to take place in the city. That that's what word comes out. Okay. So we change our battle plan a little bit the the first the five six makes a change, their battle plan, and they do like to company plus sized operation, which which is. Pretty, close to a battalion sized operation and that but that was our first push into. In into start establishing we didn't establish a compliment that was the first. Hey, we're GONNA come we're going to stay. That one was only going to be staying for a few days but that was a plan of staying and then as far as have to check the date, I don't remember the dates of when we did the very first. Operation to go in seize ground where people were going to stay. But there was in the time in a couple weeks there was these. There was some turnover operations that happened. Where we tried to wear we being American coalition forces tried to turn over certain certain. Control points outside the city and the enemy would attack them and just. 'cause complete mayhem and they overran several positions. which, again, when people ask about what the enemy was like I was GonNa say was your sense of them as far as like how were they light infantry they used radio communications. Day had maneuver elements they would extractor casualties, they would bring in reinforcements. They did what a what a military unit is expected me you figure. Other than Americans at that point, they probably had more combat experience than just about any force in the world at the time for sure. Even Americans right the two eight when we showed up, there had been on the ground for fourteen months but guess what the people that lived in Ramadi had been in there for twenty two years twenty, eight years they'd been in Ramadi since the war started in two thousand three. So they had years and years of experience and a lot of them were former former regime military personnel so that that helped as well. I was reading a book talking about the very, very early days of the war and somebody was up in. I think is, is it was is we were basically going around in those early days looking for a fight looking for somebody from the Iraqi armed forces to actually stand and fight us but they're always is melting away melting away. So we said we're GONNA go after decree. That's where Saddam's from. It's like the last place we haven't gone into if they're going to stand a fight anywhere for sure they're gonNA stand. there. and. His journalist I think it was dexter. Filkins book he followed the US forces into decree. They just melted away nobody fought us and we go in there and he's talking to people Iraqis on the ground with his translator. Any finds a guy who's revolutionary guard and he's like really you're revolutionary guys like. Yeah. So see he's a really he said, yeah look around it's like that's my buddy such and such they're everywhere right but we don't know who these people are at this point is like you fall of two thousand and three maybe late summer and it almost it makes me wonder if. In a situation like that where even if you don't necessarily know you're GONNA. Have a big insurgency, right? you know we have like the. General Colin Powell mentality if you go in with overwhelming force if you have it available rate, but in a situation where the enemy is not gonNA stand invite you like we're just the presence of your air power alone is enough for them to be like how this right is it almost, it's so hard to justify this politically, but if we were going to go into Iraq. To try to sell it to the American people that here's what we actually need to do. We need to go in there with. Eighty thousand ground troops, very limited air power and challenge. These people do a fight and say come out and fight us. Drawn out and say make them think like you know maybe we can actually go out here and fight these guys in order to draw him out and fight him. because you know in a situation where everybody just melted into the civilian population, the minute you show up with. You know just a whole corps and air power and everything like that. It's really hard to nail anybody down. Then you end up with them insurgency and I I don't know if it's ever possible to sell to the American public that we need to go in here lighter than we actually could. But. I mean, I guess we did it in Ramadi. We did do it in Ramadi and that's that's part of it. I wouldn't say we went in lighter but here's the deal when you move into someone's neighborhood. They're either gonNA fight you or they're gonNA leave or they're going to comply. And so it has the same effect. What doesn't have the effect is, hey, we're here. Where're you they go? We'll stay to you leave as I said earlier that we have all the time in the world you WANNA hang out here for six months call you're American you're going back to America I live here. So so if you go hey, I'm here and I'm going to stay. That's why putting time line on a war doesn't work. Doesn't work. They'll just hold up for a while and the other thing that's key to recruiting allies to they got to know that you're gonNA stay because the other people are. Definitely have the enemy is definitely gonNA stay. So if you have a timeline on the end of your. You know, my my fight card expires in eighteen months. Cool. Eighteen months to an insurgent is a joke. House his house. It's like being on lockdown Oh. Cool. You'RE GONNA be afraid to Moscow I can do that. I can hold my breath go working my auto mechanic store down the street all make money I'll save up throw some ideas your way occasionally just to Piss you off and make sure that you wanNA leave and other than that. Wait eighteen months. No factor. The. You know the insurgents to it really adapted to. Trying to bring down the institutions and functioning of civil society right I mean they got to the point where they were killing garbage man they were killing teachers anybody who was necessary to make things work. And that's that's a that's a great point to to bring up and you know there's been a couple people that have commented I saw on social media and otherwise about this podcast and of course, people were. Painting me as sort of Pro American patriotic and other completely one hundred percent accurate things so. I get it One thing though that I see a lot of is people will say there was x amount of civilians that were killed in the Iraq war and it's a it's a horrible number. It's a horrible number. It's I don't know if it's in the millions but. It's it's it's I've heard the millions get thrown around all the time. Hey, this civilians there was a millions of whatever that number is killed during the Iraq war and Hey, if that number ten, it's awful if it's millions, it's it's. It's exponentially more awful but it's The fact of the matter is those millions. Of. Civilians Were not killed to buy American troops were some of them yes. They absolutely some civilians died at the hands of Americans whether it was in crossfire whether it was in Aaron both droppings whether it was in mistaken identity like. I say this all the time. If you think I'm going to war and you're going to spare civilians and they're. GonNa. Get Out of death free car doesn't happen. Civilians are GONNA die. The percentage of. Iraqi civilians that were killed by Americans. Is Miniscule compared to the amount of Iraqi civilians that were killed by. al-Qaeda. Insert al Qaeda insurgents, Sunni insurgents, and and she insurgents like that's where the killing was. Now, if you WANNA TAKE A. If, you WANNA take a very anti-american stance. You can say, yeah. But those conditions that allow that to happen were because of America and to that I'd say, well, it's it's tough to argue about that and we could have done some things better to. To prevent that from happening. Absolutely. Looking back hindsight's twenty twenty. Here's some things that we would have done different. We already covered some of them. You know, let the let the military stay intact. There's a bunch of the Iraqi military. Responsibility I mean not fully, we didn't kill those people, but you know a lot of the the fact is there was a state structure intact and we destroyed the state structure without having a plan in place. We bear some responsibility for without after that the same way as. You. Know you hear. What you have an overcrowded. Prison, or something in place runs out of food and they're starving you're not killing those people not putting them in gas ovens or something like that. But you're responsible for you know what's going on there to you know to a degree? Yeah and what you really take your metaphor make it even more accurate is. Let's say there's a prison military president it's overcrowded. There's not much food and look but then what happens is now there's a riot and they kill each other right because that's what happened. That's basically what happened in Iraq that's a more accurate picture. Hey, there's not much food. There's not much water we're not just dying of starvation. What they do is they started killing each other so. That being said When Sure America can take ownership of that. The people that are out there. Cutting off each other's heads. They have to bear some responsibility to I would say ninety ten. Sure. but as an American I don't take it like. I don't mind burying some of that responsibility on our side and I think. You know a lot of the decisions that we talked about in the first few episodes that were that were ended up being very bad decisions things that are going to be lessons learned for the next. Hundred. Years in the American military hopefully. We're kind of made because we were imposing a certain view of how society works kind of a naive view of how human groups work as we went in and Ramadi kind of represents the point where we started say we got to work with this country as it is. You know it I I just released a heavy. Sigh which also people commented about they said whenever I disagree with you I saw heavily in and actually it's not that I disagree with you sometimes it's I I'm actually in agreement with you. And I. Just, have additional information about whatever it is that you just said. So some of those things that that when we watch them unfold and we think while we could have done this different, we could have done that different. There certainly was things you know that that. If we could go back we them different. No. Doubt. In Like. So let me put it this way actually like When we think of how government works how civil society works here in America we think of something like What tribal patronage systems like they have on Iraq us that's corruption that's nepotism that should be illegal. A whole social system this built on this kind of stuff out there and you guys finally went into Ramadi and said, you know we we need to. We need to deal with the society as it is if we're ever actually GONNA have a chance of winning this war. This is you're you're making a statement that's accurate. Completely accurate and I have some examples for you number one. When we got Ramadi some of the elements, some of the Iraqi army units that we were working with they. The guys that turned over with us they're like, Hey, listen there's a real problem with these this Iraqi army unit. Okay. What's the problem? The officers are skimming pay from the enlisted guys they're taking some of their money every month. So. We Will Class A travesty and we need to fix this. We started pulling that thread and are you know some of our interpreters who were either of Iraqi descent or or other other countries over there but it spent time they're like, yeah Hey Jaakko. That's the way the world works here. You're the boss man, your guys get paid money you take your cut the there's no one look they're gonNA complain about sure. But this is a cultural thing that we're not going to change. So that was a big one the whole way that we went about gathering intelligence and and actioning intelligence. When we started letting those guys Kinda take lead figure out how they wanted to do it in their own way all of a sudden we started getting much much better results from them, and then you can carry that all the way up the chain of command. I think that's actually what my original cy was about when you tal- would you said Hey, they're they're a different culture. And when we try and impose our culture on them, it's not gonNA match up it's just not going to match up and you can get some of it. You can force it. You can four something to match up here and there But you're not going to get it to align one hundred percent. Then you've gotta ask where you're going to focus your efforts because if I'm trying to get this Iraqi unit to be able to handle security in their own country and I waste a bunch of time and piss off the officers because I'm. Inciting a mutiny from their troops because that guys take a pay cut, which is what happened to him when he was a young guy in the army and that's just the way things are. Then you're going to waste your time, do a lot of things that you shouldn't be wasting your time. They weren't going to be on time for some stuff they were going to say, yes to things that they couldn't support. You know that was kind of a cultural thing that I had to learn you. You might say to an Iraqi platoon commander. Hey, can you have thirty guys for this operation and he's going to say Yup? We Are you know he's what he's really gonNA say in shallow. God willing but he's nodding his head. Yes. But that doesn't that doesn't mean yes, it means. If God willing we will. Plan on God's will you need to plan with the numbers that you are actually going to have? So yes, we spent a lot of time. As a country and I think. You know my vision, my attitude my mentality was to not I. Think it's sort of a Jujitsu mentality, right? Hey, these guys don't WanNa. Do this but they want to do that and it looks like it's pretty close I'm good. Let's roll with it. That is a having an open mind is very important thinking that you're going to train a on Iraqi soldier to think. Operate, and believe the same as an American soldier is not is not accurate and the thinking that they're platoon is going to function the same way that a seal platoon is gonNA function or that assault force thinking that you're going to be able to teach them in have them buy into decentralized command out of the gate it's GonNa take a long. You can't just expect them to do decentralized command when they have been living under a centralized regime from the top down where you can be beheaded for making a mistake they're not super opened decentralized command. So you have to work with the leadership a little bit more to start to. Eat a move in that direction but more important be how do we take what your culture is? And how do we make it work and that's a very important lesson to learn about any insurgency and working with people from other cultures you you're not gonna well, you can change people's cultures, but it takes generations. It's not going to happen in three months not going to happen in six months not going to happen in ear it's to take a long time and it's going to take deep. It's GonNa take deep effort in this going to be costly but. We were able to change the culture of imperial Japan. They changed their culture, the culture and not all of it, but you know, yes, we did change some of it. We we sure as hell didn't change all of it I mean Japan still has a culture that is rooted the same. You could. You could trace threads of the Japanese culture that exists today all the way back through World War, two or to all the way back to the Samarai days you can do that no problem. So thinking that you're going to change a culture during a six month deployment in seal, task? Unit. Not, a good, not a good place to put your effort. What you can do is look at the culture, see how it operates and see how you can get to the end state you want. And just like decentralized command hey, look here's what we want to get done. I'm not run not too concerned about how we get there. I just want to get there in Japan at least we had a long running national identity and culture. We could work with where you know the over the elites in Japan bureaucracy that more or less stayed intact over the course of our conquest of the islands like you know, you could make changes at the top and it kind of trickled down. The state had been in place for a long time and Japanese identity and culture had place for long time you're dealing with place over here with that is not really in existence especially out in the you know out in Anbar and eastern Syria and the desert there you know, I, sent you a quote is we're leading up to this episode from a book where a guy a journalist was over in the Middle East, a Jordanian driver and interpreter, and this Jordanian is from Amman he's he loves the king over there. He loves them specifically because he's such a modernizer liberal and this guy is very proud that Jordan is the most western of all the Arab countries. And then journalists got surprised because he said I'm talking to this guy the most cosmopolitan guy you can imagine like from from Jordan and he said they're talking about tribal dynamics in Arab countries and how it makes it harder to kind of form up state structures and overall national identities and he said, yeah, it's terrible and he said I'm not proud to say this but. You, know if came down to it and my tribe went against the king, I love the king but I'm going with my tribe. That's just he said it's not even a matter of choice of just would do that. This is a guy who loved the king loved the you know the country of so you're dealing with people were much more disconnected from this fledgling little. Thing we're calling Iraq, you know post circa, two, thousand, six. How When you guys started going to the tribal leaders that summer I guess probably start talking to him yes. What was your initial reaction I mean had been skepticism if I? Absolutely. And there's Well, I say this, there's a when when I was off the coast of Somalia in like ninety. Four and we were standing by to go help. But so we were it was the closest I ever been doing something for real. We had our gear loaded. We had operational plans we had briefed our plans we had our magazines loaded, we are on standby. And we saw it obviously, we had done a lot of Intel briefing and one of the things that I always remember they had this saying that they told us to try and explain to us what we are dealing with that. There's a Somali saying at least I think it's smalley it might it might just be that region, but it was me against my brother. Me and my rubber against my family, my family against my tribe, my tribe against. Somalia smalley against the world. So so you have that kind of thing and I've always said that that's very much like a seal. Seal team, which is me and my me against my swim buddy. Me and my swim buddy against my fire team. My fire team against my squad, my squad against my my platoon against the world. But my my platoon against by unit, my task unit against my team, my team against the world. So they they absolutely have that and it is A. It is a deep. Cultural identity that you are part of this tribe I mean whole empires have come and gone millennia and their tribal identities of stayed intact. That's gotten them through. You know I mean, and it's probably one of the reasons that that jihadists are so effective in these areas is. Actually have. At least it's an ethos they have an overarching. Kind of cause that unites them altogether they don't have all these little I'm well, no, that's not true. They have plenty of internecine conflicts and everything, but they do have an overarching allergies bring together like a larger group of people. and. When they're going against tribes, that can you know the thing about tribes like you said me against my brother and so on. That's a lot a little lines of approach you can go into drive little wedges and break things apart. and. I mean. So yeah, you you ask you if they were skeptical when I showed up I, mean especially of the idea that we were gonNA stick around I mean they had to have been like. They had to have been skeptical. So after what they suffered recently, so I had. So for a couple of things here. First of all, there is violent battles happening every day and every night in Ramadi. Violent there's thirty to fifty enemy attacks a day. Many of these tax are. Dynamic complex attacks from with multiple units, enemy units, attacking strongpoints, the government center in downtown Ramadi, which would the marines that were down. There were just roic out there for months on end and that place would get attacked all time. I could see we could see from the rooftop of my building which was on the other side of the Frady River you could see these firefights. Taking place in all over down Monte all time. So this is completely violent. So all the residents can hear it probably is going on, it's not a huge city, right? So it's only like few hundred, three three or four miles across from it. So yes, you can mind in their houses listened to gun battles, chaser fires everywhere. It's it. It's it's like that, right? So this idea. For me. So I've got various lines of operation that I'm supposed to be conducting I'm supposed to be doing the hearts and minds thing is supposed to be doing civil affairs so I'll building. Supposed to be doing direct action missions to get rid of bad guys. In the one that I kinda added was like, Hey, we're going to support and do these overwatch positions and one of the lines of operation was tribal engagement not tribal engagement go out and meet the tribes. So I'm looking at this and I'm a I'm trying to be a good seal trying to be trying to carry my Load. and. I'm supposed to assign a small element of seals to be in charge of tribal engagement. I don't have the manpower to do it. I can't I who am I gonNA take a one of my one of my combat leaders that's out running operations that's out leading troops. I'm going to take one of my senior enlisted guys that is making tactical calls on the battlefield. So I'm not gonNA sacrifice and by the way from prioritizing execute standpoint, we aren't even close to making these people feel like we're they're safe and secure. So this is no time to say, all right I'm GonNa take away my firepower, which is in support of these massive operations that are now happening and I'm gonNA instead assign seals to do tribal engagement. But I still needed to do tribal engagement. I happened to have a guy who was a and I and I believe you might know this he's a fleet navy guy he's a prior enlisted guy at his his officer. Specialty his MOS was like information operations or something like that. It wasn't Psi ops but I forget what it actually was, but he's not a seal. He's a and Some. Damn. Sure. How on the PODCAST 'cause I'm sure it'd be great to hear this from his perspective because you've got a picture. This guy's a regular fleet navy guy he shows up he's part of my so the task unit is made up of. Depending on when and where there is between thirty five and forty five seals the other people the other. Sixty or seventy people that bring this task ended up to a hundred people as support people. So radio men and weapons, guys and a bunch of CB's. and. Then I got this random kind of. Information operations, officer I don't remember what his actual job was. And he is. He's a really nice guy. He's tall did and I just remember he's tall because when you see people getting into a Humvee, they're tall it's kind of it's kind of awkward. He has very limited combat training. He probably done some some training before we deployed you know, hey, site in your weapon, learn some basic medical stuff, but but but under trained and so I'm looking at it and he's also interestingly enough he's married to. I WANNA say he's married to a Japanese woman. and. He's. because I think he was maybe stationed in Japan Mary's a Japanese woman and he's a Buddhist. So he's a Buddhist he's a he's a like a white guy from from Ohio or something. Really. Nice. Guy. So I said, Hey, here's what's going on man. I said. And I you I call him by his first name but I'll just call him J G for now because that's the lieutenant J G. so go hey, JJ. What's going on man? We got these tribes out here and we want to get them on our side and we want to talk to them I want you to start going out with the army when they go out and start trying to talk to some of these tribal leaders needs like yes sir. So, he starts going out I'm not thinking too much of it at the time not thinking very much of it. And he's so he starts going out and again you see this guy, he's got like. The stereotypical brand new web gear you know his weapon, he looks uncomfortable holding it and by the way. He's going out on D. Laden streets like he is taking a massive risk of being blown up and killed. One of the group's going out with though I think it was the one three six. In their first thirty, six hours on the ground they took mass casualties lost five soldiers to a couple ideas I mean these guys are hanging out there and so he's going with these guys. So when I'm when I'm a jesting a little bit about the way he looked, don't don't mistake that for me question his courage in any way shape or form because he was loading up and going out into these unknown neighborhoods. Trying to interact with these with the tribes. So that is. That is where this tribal engagement began for me. I'm not anyone up I if you know how to shoot a machine gun, well, you're going to shoot machine guns. Who Do I got that I can send talk to tribes. Hey how about? How about a prior enlisted? Lieutenant. J G Information Operations Buddhists that away when they say crusader Americans would be like your say, there's nothing to do with me man. So. He starts going out in he comes back from one of these operations and he says, Hey, I think. I think I got something for you. I said, well, what he got he says, I, met this guy today. And he says he wants to be part of desert protector. And I said Okay and desert. So desert protector was a program. And I really hope that I'm remembering this right in for anyone that I messed up. Please just let me know and I'm sorry. When the Marine Corps pushed through. al-Qaida. They as they moved from building to building. Some of the locals started hey, marine over there in that building down the street bad guys in there you go kill them and we're just we're just locals and we live here. But there's bad guys over there and they'd go check out guess what there's bad guys. And so whatever marine element was in charge and I apologize for not being able to give them credit by name but they said, wait a second there's a bunch of local people that don't want al Qaeda here. Maybe we should join forces with them maybe we should help them maybe they can help us. So they started this program called desert protector, which was, Hey, will help you get arms. We'll. We'll work together. And we'll start cleaning up the desert getting rid of all these guys well. When Maliki? So these are all Suny tribes now. Sunni. Tribal leaders. Okay. Cool. You're going to give us guns and AMMO and and we'll help Pew and we'll get rid of these people that are trying to terrorize. US Awesome. So. We they start this desert protector program. So this and you know I just had read about this from after action report that's how I knew about it. So J G comes back to me. It makes me want to get jj Jaakko podcast to hear his side of the story because can you imagine what he was thinking? He comes back and takes a certain kind of personality to be able to do something like that and the good thing is is he was older you know here's a huge prior enlisted guy. So he was like we were probably about the same age so we. You know we had a good, very good relationship. So. He comes back to K Jaakko I. I think I got somebody for you. You need met. This guy it was shakes it ended up being a guy named shakes Dr Zia which the name net meant nothing to me when I heard it, he said I met this shake. He wants to be a part of desert protector and I said. Okay. Desert protector when Maliki the Shia had been elected. He looked out west and said, wait a second. We got these desert protectors bunch of Suni militias running around the country out of out of my control, maybe not out of control. But definitely, not in my control, we any disband the program stopped them. so now desert protectors gone now. Rewind we just had the glass factory blow January. which meant we had no Iraqi police but. The Iraqi police were was what was going to be a government organization that would be supported by the Iraqi government that was blessed by the Iraqi government to help fight the insurgents. So I said to J G I said, well, desert protectors done it's been canceled. I said, I'll tell you what go back and tell him that the new desert protector program is called the Iraqi police and if he wants to get his troops in his tribesmen to join the Iraqi police. Will give them training. We'll give them ammunition we'll give them weapons. And we'll give them uniforms. I said because also tell him that if he's got his guys running around in neighborhoods. With. Machine guns and tracksuits on we'RE WE WILL KILL THEM He needs to know that. So J G goes out comes back and? It May I wish? I could remember this accurately within two oak, and so he goes back in and I get the report back he's in. That's the report he's in. He's in I said okay at that point and we had been doing this. You know holding hands doing this with the with a Kubota conventional who that's Jj had been going out with and I believe this was also the one three six. Great crew and a guy by the name of Colonel Dean. He was with them and so it turned into okay. He said okay to this and I'm like Oh. Okay. So we ran a and this is when we said, okay, we've done what we can do because you know I got thirty seals like we can't run a big recruiting thing and. We did volunteer to train them though we said, okay if we can get these guys here, we'll train them. Get start getting them wear a similar uniform and it was. So this all happened and within. A very short period of time. She J G went to these one of these meetings and came back and said Hey sir, you know you can get this translated, but this is a document. There's a bunch of tribal leaders that are GONNA work together with us, and that was that was what became known as the bar where everybody out there doesn't know this the skies tar tribal leaders a younger guy. He's one of the guys that came up after you know the Godfather's all got wiped out the year before I mean this is the central guy who got all the tribes together and kicked off the embar- waking. He was he was very. Pro American we were after him like the year before and the year before we had gone like actually the not even a year the task unit before us had we had a target package on this guy meaning this guy's a bad guy and we need to go get him. So. We had a target package on them. Why we why was he a bad guy? Why did they consider him a bad guy 'cause he was running because he was a gangster and how do you become a how do you maintain your position as shake? How do you get money as a? You need money you need power how do you do that? Well, it looks like smuggling is going to work right? How cool we're smuggling that's what he's doing smuggling guns and making things happen. and. We immediately obviously pulled them from the target look. Okay. This guy's on board and this goes back to the quote that I talked about one of the earlier podcasts of. The WE'RE GONNA vote we're GONNA we're going to bet on the winning horse. So that's what he kind of did. He said Okay here's the winning horse and and general. McFarland. who was a colonel at the time went through the same thing with his chain of command they said, what are you talking about this guy? Is GonNa lead a coalition we have a target package on this guy and he he he was telling the story Colonel Macfarland your he's he was telling the story you know at the at the table at the table for. For at one of these brigade meanings, he's telling the story this you know to have lived through this. I'm so lucky to have been sitting at these tables and sitting at these meetings and no seeing this stuff unfold, but he's sitting at this meeting. He said you know the the generals wondering why we're going to work with a guy that's That that we were targeting. and his run guns and his a smuggler you don't WanNa and and the colonel said, you know I told him hey boss. The. Guy's a mobster. He's a gangster that's what gangsters do it. Now, he wants to work with us and we need we need to move forward and you know he convinced him because that's what we. Even. If you think about what we mean by mobster when we think of the mob, we think of the Italian mob, the Irish mob that Jewish ethnic mafias rate, these groups that come over here. That have some external reason to be tight knit. You know they're all from Sicily or they got the family whatever it is. And again, we're we've got society over here that we've got bureaucratized and kind of all the rules are in place in anybody that's doing anything off the grid. That's a criminal activity that's corruption whatever. That's something that we've worked only over time though, and there's a lot of little more local informal ways of social. You know means social regulation that are still at play and travel societies like that. You think about something like in the US where. If. You have a but say a the truck drivers union or the the Longshoremen's union right and back in the day like a couple of cases of stakes in a couple cases, a whiskey would go missing off the docks whatever, and we've got all these things in place now to make sure that doesn't happen. Everything has stamped and tracked with RFID, chips and Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah, and I suppose that's fine. It's more efficient. There's you know. It's not that you should be able to steal things. But if you think about the little, the the the the more local level things that that used to facilitate guys not taking those things home in eating them all himself right? Those things. It'd be barbecues going to be given at the Union Hall for all the Union guys and he's going to go to one of the local restaurants. It's not some big chain and give them a discount on some of the south that he took off of there and it's kind of it's providing these little seniors in that local community in. Making things work and giving that guy what they call Iraq whilst arrayed he's got. He's got the juice now, which means the what it does is now if he's lost a wild criminal, that's not a good thing but it does mean that you got somebody to go to if you need to who has some authority who has some juice and a community And again, in America, we just don't think things like that everything's corporatized and bureaucratized and we don't. We look at those things as almost an unnatural when that's the natural state of things. We've got this like very complex machine to go together over here. Everything's handled much more local informally over there and you know you guys had to start learning how to think like that and learning how to work with that. Yeah. Here's an example that. So glad you brought this up. So we got a guy, that's a gangster. He was in guns in doing whatever he was doing. Maybe he was even conducting or directing attacks against coalition forces. I don't know that I don't really think. So this guy had this guy had. Has House kind of looked like the White House. Purposefully, I WANNA SEE I want to say he had a life sized picture of John Wayne? In his in his house setting read day. Yeah I. Think. So so he's a real like he's a courageous guy to they murdered. Other ran on his brother ran off. But you know his grandfather was like one of the people that led his grandfather led rebellions against the British. This guy. He's he's he's a guy that he's not playing around. You know he's a he's a gangster. He's a tough guy, but he's he's very pro coalition at this point. And so one of the things that I did. Is. We had a you know. I. Mentioned that we're supposed to do civil affairs. So we start giving this guy civil affairs projects. And what does that mean that that means we're giving him money but and undistributed s benefits. So so I, remember we did some project with them and it was it was a really big I was I wanna say it was one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Hundred and fifty thousand dollars. It was a road pavement or whatever something like that. And again I I remember. I don't know WanNa to say I got pushed back but I got some questions about like, Hey, who? Is it really worth one hundred and fifty thousand dollars to pave this road and couldn't the engineers do it and along that line of questioning Helms I know this is money to prop this to give this to prop this guy. But more importantly to give this guy up to give this guy, he's GonNa feed that hundred and fifty thousand dollars you know he's going to buy. Three hundred bucks a month. At the time he's going to buy two thousand dollars worth of worth of stuff to repair the road. And then the rest of that money is GonNa pay his people and he's going to he's going to gain Wasa. That's the kind of thing where that. where it really helped made him more powerful and. which is what we wanted. 'cause other people see you hook up with the Americans. In this guy, the cool thing wasn't a point. I want to make clear here. This guy wasn't like some puppet. This guy wasn't some. You know this guy we didn't insert with America didn't disguise an army and and candidate that we put in here. Hey, here's a here's a guy. No this guy is from Ramadi he grew up there his family is rooted there. This is what this is his world. And he's not a plant. He's not some person that America's using a puppet. No, he's a guy that is going to be powerful in this part of Iraq and he's not following American orders. What he's doing is he's trying to build his country back. So I just WanNa make sure that that is clear because I could see people thinking Oh, they just got some she'll to throw in there now this guy tribal leader. is almost a sovereign entity absolutely absolutely, and you can't. You can't just insert a tribal leader doesn't work because everything's built on the Gypsy when it comes to the tribes and I also have to say this. When you want people to bet on the winning horse You have to be the winning horse and one of the things that that took place. That allowed these tribal leaders to come on board was they started to see that we were going to win. They started to see that we were going to win. And then I had many. Conversations when we got home from Ramadi about this. and. One of the things that I would say is that these these the hearts and minds and the civil affairs operations, those things can only take place after the sword. Has Been. Unleashed and the enemy realizes. That we will defeat them but more importantly. The local populace realizes that we will defeat the enemy. That's what allows code. It's why would you look? You're you're in a lifeboat that sinking and there's two boats you can get on? One of them is has a leak in it. The other one looks like it's going strong, which one are you going to get in? So what you have to do, you have to go to the boat you have to put us you have to hack at it until it's going to go down and then the people are going to get inside your boat and that's this is a classic example of what happened and you know it's interesting. I was talking to lay the other day. When we got done with this. Leith went and took over the junior officer training course. And for seals. So the young seals are coming through this course, and one of the things that they had to do was the different people come and talk about different conflicts and they wanted someone to talk about counterinsurgency. was up his chain of command said, Hey, you know I can talk about counterinsurgency if you want, we can talk about the battle of audion they're kind of. You know laughs a young lieutenant and and. You know just from Ramadi and it's almost like Oh. Yeah I get it you WanNa, tell your story but you know we need to get a counter-insurgency. You need to get someone that's got a little bit more experience and the I guess it was a again I'm sorry from telling. US wrong. But it's something close. The officer in charge? The overall guy was you know what we're GonNa get a green Beret 'cause that's sort of the green berets bread and butter. Right? The bread and butter of the Green Berets is counterinsurgency. You know that's what they base their trading on, and so he wanted to get a green beret to come to the junior officer training course and teach teach counterinsurgency. So they finally find a green beret and the Green Beret coms and I think he actually ended up working there. In so life comes into his counterinsurgency costs and the Guy Teaches. The Battle of Ramadi and said, this is the best example that we have of a counterinsurgency is what happened in the battle Ramadi and. As this progressed. You know this this as this was all taking place. This, this sort of tribal engagement again in all the different lines of operation. So as this is taking place, this is sort of. It's sort of an. A A slow cooker that's happening because in the front front line. Front and center of this whole thing there was sustained urban combat operations that were happening all over the city of holidays Oh. Yeah. You had to put them on their back foot I mean, did you start to notice like? was there something that lets you know you were making progress like a decrease in the complexity of enemy attacks or this is what made it so hard was at first. For months. You're not. You're not feeling the progress you can hear about a little bit. So the the closest thing I would say, we would get the Intel from the shakes and their tribesmen that that progress was being made that bad guys were leaving that you know. They the the. Tribesmen would conduct operations. We'd hear about that. They'd be like, Oh, we killed these guys and it would get reported up the chain of command as a as a red on red they call it meaning Oh there's infighting between tribes and we'd be going on to stop. That's not right on read. That's good guys. That's good guys. That's our people out there killing bad guys. So we got. So that would those who you get those like that word from who was calling red on red like what level I you know? I I. would have to dig in. But at some point you know you'd get a report back that there was a red on red killing between this tribe in that tribe and you'd be like I wasn't between two tribes that was between this tribe that we know that's on board and a bunch of bad guys. That's what just happened and you know we try and clarify it and they'd understand but. But. So we'd start to hear that but there was no discernible reduction in the level of violence. For the first. I mean it was like five out of six months I mean actually I don't even know if at the end it look it just didn't. It didn't get better. It really didn't get better there was there was one the last operation the last big combat outposts that we put in. We, put in in right in the middle of Ramadi and when we put that. When we put that last combat outpost in our win I remember I actually have a picture. There's thank you by being one of these books, the picture of myself and general or Colonel Macfarland at the time standing in this combat outpost. And it was. SMACK DAB in the middle of Ramadi. and. I had actually I, think I actually cleared this with a couple army guys and as as a platoon guys tune was out setting up some overwatch positions the overwatch normally in these situations, there would be just. Lay in his guys would probably kill you know between five and twenty bad guys and on this particular last one that we did there was no, there was no bad guys killed now. that. This is by no stretch meaning that it's over because there was hard fighting that was going GonNa Happen. But if you had to ask me if there's anything we're old, there's less violence that was that was the first indication that we got that maybe things might get better here but. You know that was the we were. We were fighting and and you know Mike Mike On. Sore. you know that he he was killed on September twenty ninth and so that's you know we're we're weeks from going home at that point and believe me that whole that that that day was a fight and. So there was no real discernible and that's one of the things. There's no real discernible reduction in the level of violence. But when we got home. That's when we that's when it's changing. It changed. So dramatically, it was hard to believe I remember there was the Sofia incident i. think it was Sufia Right? In December when there was one of the holdout tribes that had been slow to come over to our side and he came under attack by al-Qaeda big massive attack, McFarland general, McFarland made the decision. He's not technically on our side yet. Let's go back him up. and. That was in December right after that it was like the tide broke. It's that's a classic example of. You know just great leadership from General McFarland Hey this guy's been causing us problems. But now we can help him and let's see what that gets us for loyalty in the long run and what we have to glues. Well, if he just he hates us he or he's he doesn't like us now if we help him and he still doesn't like us ok we're still where we're at but if we help them, any likes us well then maybe we've made some maybe we've made some progress I mean by I think. Got Articles from people who were who were there visiting journalists? who were there visiting early Oh six bring a vo six right around the time you were getting their who came back a year later in the summer of Oh seven and they said, American soldiers are walking around. With no body armor in the middle of town there's markets open and I it just. Crazy to meet. The, courage of the Iraqis who actually went out there and open their businesses again and got their lives going blows me away and it just shows you how quickly things can change you know once people and how quickly people can adapt to a situation. Once they feel safe and once they feel like there's something to look forward to tomorrow and that's why that tenant. Of counter-insurgency is security of the populace security for the populace is so important because until they have that they're going to hold up, they're gonNA give passive support to whoever they think is going to not kill them which it doesn't take long to feel that it doesn't take long to figure out that the Americans are not going to kill you but the insurgents will. Help you're GONNA help the people that will kill you if you don't help them and that's It's it's it's horrible and that's why the sword of destruction has to be wielded with a heavy hand. When you show up there against those insurgents and at the same time, it has to be wielded with an accurate hand because if you when you kill civilians. Even, unintentionally it still it can cause backlash. Now, I'll be perfectly frank with you and say that these people have been at war for so long that they actually stood you know they they actually would understand when something bad happened they. They would understand and they wanted us to be there. You know there was I guess I would say. There were you know the the the guys would always come back. Oh Yeah. There was people cheering when we When we killed these bad guys and that was I think Dallas powerful yeah. Was Powerful We got to wrap this up as one thing I want to leave us with There's this quote from an Army First Lieutenant. WanNa Rick's books. He's talking about this period was right about this period that he made this quote and he said. All the Shiites have to do is tell everyone to lay low weight for the Americans to leave, and then when they leave, you have a target list within a day, they'll kill every Sunni leader in the country. There's an argument or is. Maybe we'll cover this more as we go to the next episode. Some to leave you with is, were we. There's some people that say by arming the Sunni tribes calm the Iraqi police. If we want to tell them, they're only gonNA operate in their own little areas however, we handle it. That we were trading. we were getting we were gaining short-term security in, but planting the seeds for long term instability because there's no way that the she'll we're ever, GONNA. Be Okay with that. No. Well. Let me say this. When you take the people of Ramadi. From a vicious war torn situation. And you put them in a scenario. Where there's Peace And there's prosperity. People get. I'll use the word addicted. Right win life is good. People start saying. Wow. We don't have to live the way we used to live. And when when I came home. And saw. that. There had been success because like I said, we didn't get to see you with our own eyes. But when I came home. And saw that the markets were open. And there was kids playing in the streets and there was kids playing soccer and there was girls school girls being taught. And that there was peace and prosperity. When I saw that. Two things. Number One. The sacrifices that were made by the first off the American. Troops because it's not it's not our country they're going over there and doing it. It's it's one hundred percent sacrifice. So the guys yeah the guys from task bruiser. Knowing that their sacrifice that they made that they sacrificed their lives. That there was an absolute victory there knowing the army soldiers, marines that laid down their lives to try and protect that civilian populace. And just knowing this I mean every every you know when you're when you're walking around with with these soldiers with these marines with your own guys and and they get killed, you know that every one of those individuals that get killed his fucking travesty, it's a travesty. And there's you know from from our time period there there was. No. One was like one hundred, hundred soldiers killed for the two to eight. It was about the same. So every one of these guys travesty. And the the only thing that can make you feel better when you look and you say, you know what? What those sacrifices that were made Look at these kids playing soccer. Look at this young girl going to school and being educated look at this family being able to live in peace. So. That's part one. Part two is. When you see it. When we got sent pictures home from what Ramadi was like and you'd see it on CNN or you see it on the news, you'd see what was happening. The other thing I would think to myself is. This might work. This this I I actually thought this will work this. That's why I started thinking. This is going to work because these people that live there. Look we've now shown that they had kind grit to stand up and fight. And not so much. The Iraqi army. Yes. A little bit but the local populace that they if they got together, they would stand up and they weren't going to put up with these insurgents. And that meant. This could work and I thought you know what? Who's going to allow. Look like I said Shake Sitar Bazire. He's a gangster he's a bad, ass. And he's there he's not going to let this happen again. Why would they? Now? We've got all these tribal guys working together. Why would they ever let their there now prosperous and peaceful city? Why would they ever let it slide back I think We're going to win and by. Iraqi people are going to win and be I. Think it's GonNa work. And so those two things. Knowing the sacrifices and then seeing the results was what was the you know it was. It was enough to convince a critical mass of people in the American government that it could work I mean because we were on our way out the door with our tail between our legs when you guys went into Ramadi and by the end of it, the people who were saying, this is a winnable fight. You know had enough juice in the government, the Bush administration to push that argument and they got their chance after the Oh six election to you know we got the surge seven, I mean. It's not an exaggeration to say that I mean all of that was riding on the outcome Ramadi. Yes had we lost Ramadi in that do we there's no way anything else would have happened just until the surge would have happened absolutely in the surge really was enough to to was a good tipping point to start really moving the rest of the country in the right direction with the same type of strategy that was used in Ramadi or not going to drive by. Surgeons you're going to get in there and take control. We're GONNA show the we're going to protect the local populace. And then here well. I'm sure we'll get into it next time but. You know when a plant when a tree I starts to grow. Its roots aren't very deep and it doesn't take much of a windstorm or much rain to up that thing and send it down the river. And although this this tree was. Looking Green and was starting to grow roots. It wasn't there yet. Probably. A good time to wrap it up for this one If you're listening to this podcast. Then well, we appreciate you're listening to it. You can also check out our other podcasts. I got a podcast called Jaakko podcast. Got A podcast called the warrior kid podcast and I got a podcast called grounded. Daryl has got a podcast called Margaret. You can support all these podcasts by getting some gear from Jaakko store or Origin main. So Jaakko store, DOT COM or origin main dot com also have a consulting company. It's called Echelon Front Dot. com. We help people learn meter ship and align leadership inside companies. And with that. Thanks for listening. As. Things. Unravel. This JAAKKO and Darryl. Out

Ramadi Iraq US officer America Iraqi army commander Japan al-Qaeda army Jordan Middle East McLaughlin. Vietnam Google Daryl Cooper Dory David Hackworth. Masui
S5 Ep. 1: The Exile

Slow Burn

52:14 min | 2 months ago

S5 Ep. 1: The Exile

"On march nineteenth two thousand three. The united states invaded iraq. This season of slow-burn is about the events an argument the lead up to that day. So now you know where we're going to end up. But where do we start. George w bush made the call to launch the invasion. But it wasn't when he'd come into office to do bush like any president was influenced by people in his administration. Some of them had been spooked by nine. Eleven others had been pushing to get rid of saddam for a lot longer. You'll hear about all of that leader in this series but in this episode. I'm going to tell you about someone else. His name was ahmed chalabi and posing saddam hussein was his life's work so dumb is an insult to my being. He's an insult to. My country is an insult to our history. Dr culture chalabi was an aristocrat and iraqi exile. Who was brilliant and charismatic. He was also a bullshit virtuoso with a core of absolute conviction. You might have heard of him. He played a very public role in the push for war after nine eleven. Who what you might not know is that he tried to start another war with iraq a few years earlier and he got weirdly close to pulling it off. So let's start there. In nineteen ninety five. The us had defeated saddam in the gulf war. Four years earlier but he remained in power he had a big army and he was still a brutal dictator. So dumb is in the mussolini hitler kosh agree. He's a gambler. He's a killer and he's somebody who wants to make himself the dominant power. The us didn't saddam to stay in charge but he wasn't high in their priority list foreign policy problems like this one hard problems with no obvious. Solutions tend to get kicked over to the cia. And that's what happened to iraq in the ninety s. I was in the director of operations. That's bob air. And that means essentially you're sent overseas to recruit sources with access to clandestine information or. Do you know secrets of of a foreign government and you get them to steal secrets here. Basically hired as a thief. There's a kind of spy you see in the movies action. Oriented kind of a maverick. In fact george. Clooney played a character based on him in syria. Ana when the gulf war was over bear went on a mission to kurdistan. It's a semi autonomous region north of baghdad. The cia didn't give him tons of resources. The office he worked out of was kind of a backwater but he did have one important. Tool in those days we had to lethal finding against saddam hussein. That means we could use lethal force when it was occasioned to overthrow him from a hollywood standpoint. I call it a license to kill. The clinton administration had inherited that lethal finding but they weren't in a huge rush to act on it. Bears bosses in the cia. Believe that if the us kept the pressure on saddam. He'd eventually self-destruct fair. Didn't totally agree. The way he saw it. Saddam was a bad guy and he. Bob baer had the legal authority to do something about it. So from an isolated office in kurdistan. He ended up trying to overthrow one of the most notorious dictators in modern history. Kurdistan was the perfect place to find allies for a revolution. The kurds land is divided up among iraq. Iran syria and turkey. No one wants to give up their piece of kurdistan because it's got oil. So the kurds are ethnic minorities and four different nations and in saddam's iraq they were targeted brutally hoisted into the air. The end of a rope rafi cut his legs beaten with rubber truncheons. My broken out was broken by the early. Nineteen ninety s. Kurds had been tortured and executed by saddam's regime in massive numbers and kurdish nationalist. Were long past ready to rise up. When bob baer showed up in kurdistan og met. Chalabi was already recruiting curtis nationalist for his own campaign to overthrow saddam. He was probably one of the more charming people. I've met in the world. And one of the most intelligent people i've met chalabi was a sophisticated businessman with the face of a character actor. His family had fled iraq when he was a teenager in the nineteen fifties but now he was back in kurdistan to help iraqis imagine a better future. He had four million dollars from cia money. He used to launch an opposition. Group called the iraqi national congress. He imagined it as a kind of government in waiting akhmed. Chalabi was not a humble man. His iraqi national congress was modeled on the indian national congress and the african national congress groups associated with mahatma gandhi and nelson mandela. He also likes to compare himself to. Charles de gaulle. Chalabi was an unlikely candidate to lead a popular uprising. Who's backing rock for the first time in decades and kurdistan where he was based one where he was from chalabi had grown up in baghdad. On the nation's most cosmopolitan city now he was holed up in the country's most impoverished region but chalabi wasn't the kind of person to live a hardscrabble life. The electricity in kurdistan wasn't great. So we got a private generator which he used to watch. Jeremy irons in brides revisited. He also had a private chef. Who made him peking duck. We made it shows locally designed bit by the people died and michael toss that's chalabi. Talking to his biographer rich bonin in two thousand eight bonin spoke to be for more than sixty hours over several years and use those interviews to write his book arrows of the night. The tapes have never been aired before them not mean you have to eat bad food on shabby surroundings and have the battles from the cia chalabi four million dollars. They didn't think they were financing a revolution. They mostly wanted him to produce anti-saddam propaganda to build opposition to the regime. Chalabi didn't take that job seriously. The iraqi national congress was supposed to be publishing a local newspaper office empty. The paper didn't exist. Chalabi himself was hard to keep tabs on the cia give him an encrypted phone but he hacked it so they couldn't listen in on him. Still no one at the agency press. Stop to any of us. The americans just wanted some kind of opposition to saddam and chalabi gave them so despite his many shortcomings the cia thought of chalabi as an asset. What they didn't realize is that he was using them. We know what the own provider of intelligence because the house outside will do you just doing it for yourself. Yes that was annoying them. All that time he was being paid by the cia chalabi was putting together his own scheme he was going out saddam using the cia as money resources and manpower his plan. Involved a group of generals and saddam's army who chalabi said. We're ready to seize power. He introduced one to bob. Baer chalabi brings to me and says here talk to this guy he he can change the regime so we sit down and he walks me through this secret committee in baghdad of suny generals who are ready to move. He gives me the names. I trace them. They're real people. There's a possibility they could be dissidents. The rest of the pitch from chalabi went like this. The disaffected iraqi generals join forces with the kurdish nationalists. Who'd been brutalized by saddam. And were desperate to get rid of him. The generals and the kurds would get help from iran. Which had its own long standing beef with saddam chalabi said this supergroup could take on the iraqi dictator if the us would give them a hand. What would come. after that. For shalabi removing. Saddam was only half the goal. That's rich bonin. Shelby's biographer talking to me last year. The other half of the goal was to become the leader of iraq himself. He believed in his heart of hearts that he was the most qualified iraqi iraq into the modern world headquarters to tell them about the disaffected generals. Who might rise up. His boss wrote back. This is not a plan so not an encouraging answer but bear heard what he wanted to hear. No one had literally said. Don't try to start a coup. There did wonder if chalabi was playing him. Put that out of his mind. This was a chance to do something big they were. Bob knock med two men with the same absurdly ambitious goal the same taste for rolling the dice. In march of nineteen ninety-five chalabi told bear that everything was ago he had an iraqi general. Who ready to defect. Which would set off that military revolution from within the kurds and iranians chalabi claimed they were into bob baer so what he has to do is it's almost like three card. Monty is con- us all into doing something so that were drawn into this conflict so we have to continue it into get rid of saddam hussein. And that's the only way he gets back to baghdad generals. The kurds iran. None of them were about to take action less chalabi could convince them the. Us was on board. That's where bob baer came in. He was very encouraging and helpful in organizing. This who. I was doing it because he felt that it could succeed. Succeed in a way that he would get nice it when chalabi. Not with uranian. He got bear to walk by with an ak47 so they'd see chalabi. Had american friends bear had agreed to this part but he hasn't been briefed on chalabi next move. According to bear chalabi had also forged a letter from the national security council sang. A team of americans was on its way to assassinate saddam. Chubby left that letter out on his desk while he went to take a phone call. Chalabi denied forging that letter iranians reported seeing it and somehow the trick worked. The iranian government. Believed the us was backing chalabi coup. The actual position back at a headquarters was extremely different. Challa becomes amazes. What's what's washington's verdict on. Do they want to pursue this or not. And i said look. I'm going to be frank with you. No one really cares much about iraq or you or anybody else. They don't take this seriously. They're not answering my cables and i've sent in six of them. Maybe the cia assumed the bear wouldn't launch a coup d'etat with lissette permission. But that's not. How bob baer operates. An absence of a no as chalabi kept pushing forward to. He figured he could force everyone's hand by just putting something on the calendar march fourth nine hundred five. So that's when he gets on the phone and calls tehran and said now it serious. A national security assassination team is going to murder saddam hussein. He's telling the iranian national security advisor. This you guys can get on board now or the trains leaving without you and they start moving tank units and airplanes to the border for their own invasion of iraq. Nobody in the white house had been given any advance notice about this coup a few days before the action was set to start. The chairman of the joint chiefs called the president's national security adviser. He said there was unexplained troop movement on the borders of iraq. There were armies on full alert. All hell is breaking that we can see this. There's going to be world war three eventually. The national security advisor made the connection to bob baer. After months of silence. He finally got a reply to all those cables. The action you have planned for this weekend has been totally compromised. We believe there's a high risk of failure and he decision to proceed will be on your own. Bear still had time to back out in fact. One of the kurdish leaders did not ron but barron chalabi. They didn't less than thirty six hours later. They were watching. The kurdish revolutionaries take on the iraqi army. All hell broke loose across northern rack. Emmett is it was like fireworks on fourth of july helicopters. And sears. I must look like forrest gump. My rei jacket an ak over my shoulder. Aaron chalabi had thousands of kurdish soldiers on the front lines but they were up against a much bigger force. The fighting lasted for four or five days but absolutely nothing when chalabi said it would know. Us forces came to their aid. The iraqi generals never defected saddam. Had gotten off about the attempted coup. The revolution never had a chance chalabi. Blame the americans covert action by. This is just that compete with that. Prepare to your house to like this to get when i talked about their about this whole episode. He's ended with f-full he wonders what might have been. If washington hadn't left him hanging out to dry. Do we gone to baghdad. Which just the kurds. The iraqi army was in that bad a shape. It was out of money. They were starving but how to convey that to washington. What would happen if we gone farther south toward baghdad. I simply don't know maybe it could have worked. Regime change had come from the inside led by the iraqi army if the us had joined him with the full. Might of the american military or even just with more than one guy in bob. But that's not what happened. Saddam's didn't power and bear was whisked back to america. His cia career was basically over. I've met chalabi. Tried to keep going. But the year after the coup attempt iraqi forces attacked his headquarters in kurdistan chalabi himself was in london at the time. Two hundred of his men were executed by firing squad and saddam. Soldiers took computers containing the inc's files the cia. Had never really trusted chalabi but now it was clear he was a liability rich. Bonin this cia completely cut ties with a off mid and issued. What's called a burn notebooks. And that meant that. No one in the cia could have any dealings with chalabi and no intelligence french holiday was to be deemed credible was dead to the cia chalabi. Didn't just skulk away wouldn't give up. As long as saddam was still in charge. He kept lobbying the americans and soon enough. He's people who took him seriously. Shane and his weapons or a direct threat to this country. We have first hand. Descriptions of biological weapons factories on wheels and on rails simply stated there is no doubt that saddam hussein now has weapons of mass destruction season five the road to iraq. I'm your host noreen malone. In retrospect the two thousand three invasion of iraq seems like an obvious mistake when the occupation officially ended nearly nine years after the tanks rolled into baghdad. Hundreds of thousands of iraqis had died as a result of the war in. Iraq was still not functioning. Democracy isis moved into the power vacuum. The middle east is less stable now than it was before the us invaded and here in the states. Thousands of young enlisted people are dead. Tens of thousands more were wounded in the. Us spent almost two trillion dollars knowing what we know. Now it's easy to be smug about what the backers of the war got wrong. I was in high school. At the time i oppose the war on instinct. But lots of people who were following the news much more closely at the time supported it and not just republicans. All kinds of people thought that going into iraq with the right thing to do in march two thousand and three three quarters of americans were pro invasion. Why was that. What did they think they understood about. Iraq and the people who made the decisions when they talked about a bright future for the iraqi people after saddam. They dreamers are huckster. How did they ignore every sign that they were marching into a catastrophe and how did chalabi and up getting what he wanted. It's such a huge cost. This is episode one. The exile slow-burn is brought to you by gobble. Most of us have the best of intentions sleep better cutback on takeout make home cooked meals and then real life happens especially in today's unpredictable times when even a trip to the grocery store can be stressful. Gobble is the meal delivery service designed for real life. And i've got such a great deal to get you started. Gobble has an army of sous chefs that do the time consuming work for us. They pick out the highest quality ingredients and they preportion and prepped. Fresh ingredients chopping veggies and creating the perfect sauces. Just pick meals from gobbles extensive dinner menu each week including a variety of flavors classic dishes global recipes and delicious vegetarian options plus a line of lean and clean recipes featuring low calorie. Low carb options. You'll find more than just dinner with weekly menu options like breakfasts soups salads desserts. You name it the services flexible. 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You need to understand the origins of their country. First sunnis and shiites for almost as long as islam has existed. The religion has been divided into two main factions over an argument about who is the true successor to the prophet muhammad. Much of the middle east is suny brisk slim majority of iraqis are shiite number to the country. We now know as a rock dates back about one hundred years to when the ottoman empire was defeated in the first world war when the western powers divvied up the empires lands. They didn't pay much attention to ask nick and religious borders. The british and french drew a line down the middle of sunni arab territory and declared one half syria. The other half was part of iraq. The british installed suny king to rule the mostly shiite people who lived there chalabi family. They were part of that shiite-majority rich bonin observed but they culturally and psychologically identified a shia. You know and as such you know they were keenly aware of how the shia majority in iraq were basically the stepchildren of that country and all of arabia and it was something that was a source of pain and and frankly resentment the challenges themselves were far from marginalized augment was born in nineteen forty four. By the time he was a teenager. His father a businessman with the country's richest person the rockefeller of iraq and family photos. The challenges are stylish westernized dress like they're going to a garden party at the family's country house augmon had his own personal swimming pool chalabi. Father was good friends with the crown prince of iraq. He paid off the prince's gambling debts and when the prince became the king chelsea's dad became president of the senate and of the iraqi stock exchange. He owned much of the country's grain dates cement and cotton off mid was raised in this environment of powerbrokering. And he would say to himself. He told me you know. What would i do. We're in my dad shoe. How would i handle this and you know this included plots to overthrow neighboring regimes. It was plots to bright people. It was schemes to confer power on some people and crush others in nineteen fifty eight when optimus thirteen. The iraqi monarchy was overthrown by the military. Everything changed for the taliban family. All the people that often grew up with the king of iraq. The prime minister of iraq. They were taken out beaten stabbed murdered hung by the neck from tree tops You know in in the public areas of baghdad. I mean it was bloody it was angry. The family fled to england and something like a billion dollars of their fortune disappeared. Chalabi father cried every day meeting in london. Swallow this pictures of pictures of children cooking rice for the very strange experience for him. He's on my father. Pooping the chalabi still had some money which they used to send to a fancy english boarding school as a student. he used the skills. He learned his father's knee. Bribing the prefects with money and cigarettes to get them off his back. He taught himself calculus and moved to the us to attend mit. He also got obsessed with history especially stories of regime. Change like how lennon took down the russian government from exile as a graduate student at the university of chicago chalabi. Bought a nineteen sixty six ford thunderbird. He took a road trip to the southern united states. On the path of general sherman's march to the sea but he was always thinking about iraq. He made a pledge to himself to read the shame of exile by preparing himself. Personally to help orrock overturn the revolution and it gives himself back her iraq in the nineteen sixties iraqi politics extremely messy. The fall of the monarchy kicked off a series of coups in the end the bath party. Seize control majority-shiite iraq. The baathists were mostly sunnis in nine hundred sixty eight a thirty one year old. Saddam hussein became the new president's deputy saddam took a lot of power he nationalized the country's oil and invested the proceeds in healthcare infrastructure. He beefed up the military with chemical weapons program and eventually a nuclear weapons program met chalabi was still in the us at this point. The more he heard about what was happening back home more horrified. He became the practice open. They wanted ideology of racist identity. They started the war because wasn't national chalabi wasn't going to just stand on the sidelines. After graduate school in the late sixties he moved to kurdistan for brief time there. He joined a group of freedom fighters. Saddam hussein spent the seventies consolidating his power the summer of nineteen seventy-nine he ousted his boss and became the president of iraq. Saddam killed hundreds of his political enemies and became known as the butcher of baghdad in the middle east today. The new president of iraq continues to purge his opponents. saddam. Hussein was present as twenty-one senior officials including the deputy prime minister were executed by firing squads hussein first big foreign policy move was to invade iran. Not since the seventy three mideast war has been such a threat through stability in that volatile region as now iran iraq today dangerously escalated months of sniping along one seven hundred twenty mile border unleashing massive air sea and artillery attacks twice a lot of ways. This fight resembled world war one. Trench warfare machine guns mustard. Gas iraqis chemical weapons against the iranians including civilians. Over eight years. More than a million people died and no one one starting in the early eighties. The us supported saddam with money. Weapons and intelligence. The reagan administration believes saddam was the lesser of two evils that it would rather do business with a murderous tyrant than with the islamic revolutionaries in iran. Who told sixty six americans captive in the middle of the iran iraq war. Iraq's kurds their own fight for independence. Saddam responded with bombs gas and torture tens of thousands of kurdish. Iraqi civilians were buried in mass graves. All the while the united states kept sending aid to saddam. hussein's iraq rumsfeld's unexpected trip to iraq is the first visit there by a high ranking. Us official in several years. But it is by no means the first time. The reagan administration has tried to improve relations with the baghdad regime of president saddam hussein diplomatic approach chalabi spent the nineteen seventies working as a math professor in beirut but by the nineteen eighty s. He was done with the academic life and living in a very nineteen eighties way. He ran a bank in jordan which made him rich again. Chalabi funneled some of that money to shiite opposition groups in iraq. He also built a huge mansion hired bodyguards and hung out with jordanian power elite. He liked to ascot's and narrow jackets chalabi career in finance ended in scandal. The jordanian government accused him of embezzling more than two hundred and fifty million from the bank. Chalabi new orders were watching his house so he threw a party is a diversion and snuck out the back with one of his favorite rugs. A member of the jordanian royal family escorted him to the syrian border. Back and jordan chubby was convicted absentia. He never did any prison time. But now he was an exile twice over a very terrible crisis when everybody in exile. I hold the time my father. My mother and they died because i just hated. It's for somebody for my family to die away from where we couldn't come and bring them back to be buried in one thousand. Nine hundred chalabi was living in london and desperate to find a path back home the best way to do that in his view. Get the united states to take out saddam hussein. That was a tall order. The us had been sending aid to iraq and no one was paying much attention to saddam until suddenly all of that changed afternoon. Everyone well at this hour. Iraq remains in firm control of the tiny oil-rich country of kuwait. And there is no indication that those iraqi troops some one hundred thousand of them will be leaving soon they invaded saddam invaded kuwait. For a simple reason oil money. He had big debts from the war with iran. Saddam's invasion broke the bond between the us foreign policy interests and saddam. Now there was an opening to change us foreign policy and the us realized more importantly it had to tilt away from saddam that he was an uncontrollable threat. Operation desert storm launched in january. Nineteen anyone just two hours ago. Allied air forces began an attack on military targets in iraq and kuwait. These attacks continue as i speak ground. Just one hundred hours of to the american ground campaign began the us and its allies got saddam out of kuwait but he was still in control of rock. Bush considered pressing on into baghdad and deposing saddam but he decided against it chalabi saw this as a huge missed opportunity but he didn't give up the alliance between saddam and the us government had been broken. The american public knew who saddam was and they knew he was a bad guy so chalabi went work. April means a lot of not so fun. Things getting fooled getting rained on and get your taxes done so if you need a positive experience to balance it out consider protecting your loved ones by getting life insurance with policy genius policy genius can help you compare top insurers in one place and say fifty percent or more on life insurance once you find the best option for you. 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A federal building burned to the ground on her hunt for answers. Nina came across a cold war spy ring. A conspiracy to assassinate a civil rights icon black bag jobs against activists whose lives were changed forever the government attempts to cover it all up new episodes of my fugitive available every week. Wherever you get your podcasts. But why wait binge all episodes now exclusively on the new odyssey app. Odyssey is your audio home. For all the podcasts music news. And sports matter to you. That's a u. d. Ac i after the gulf war augment chalabi went to washington and new york and started introducing himself around. His goal was to convince influential americans that the us should oppose saddam. It turned out that a lot of powerful people with diverse but overlapping agendas were buying what chalabi was selling his first. Big breakthrough came in the spring of nineteen ninety one. He got invited to speak at the council on foreign relations. A big time think tank. He presented himself as a freedom. Fighter and humanitarian among the people in attendance was bernard lewis a history professor princeton lewis thought the west and the muslim world. We're in a clash of civilizations. He believed one way to resolve. That clash was for enlightened educated arab muslims to modernize their nations rich bone and again when professor lewis listened to off met. He said This is our man. this is the answer. This is the person we can work with to bring the middle east into the modern age. Lewis was part of a group of foreign policy thinkers known as the neo conservatives they believe democracy combined with american military power was a kind of global cure all lose began introducing chalabi to this crew which included people like paul wolfowitz and richard perle chalabi was getting a reputation in washington is a guy who was plugged into iraq. That reputation is why the cia called him to see if they could work together. You've already heard how that worked out. The alliance with bob baer the spectacular failure of the bear shelby coup and the burn. Notice the official declaration from the cia that chalabi was not to be trusted but that burn notice didn't stop chalabi. He still had relationships. With bernard lewis and other important figures in the foreign policy world. And he's still the iraqi national congress the group he'd founded with money from the cia at this point. The just four staffers left chalabi moved the operation to a townhouse in georgetown. They started working the phones in another life. You can see. Chalabi is a silicon valley founder. Failing pivoting story about how he was still going to change the world. He parleyed his the bockel uncle in iraq into a narrative as an iraqi freedom fighter who is betrayed by the cia. I had no constituency no medica- no constituency. That's all right. So i we had to publicize the calls is the calls. The goals is these people are trying to fight tyranny of the out there. Fighting and the united states had led them down chalabi found a receptive audience in the american media. He been cultivating the press for decades. Cozying up to foreign correspondents in lebanon and jordan. He was close with jim. Hoagland of the washington post and judith miller of the new york times christopher hitchens would later dedicate a book to him in nineteen ninety-seven abc news. Didn't hour-long special. On iraq hosted by peter jennings akhmed chalabi was the hero of that story. The cia was the villain in northern iraq. Today there is still a campaign going on to get rid of saddam hussein. It has been going on since the end of the gulf war. The people who persist in this struggle do so in the name of democracy but they are fighting a alone today and this is the story of how they were abandoned. It's easy to forget this now with everything that's happened. Since the us government's top of saddam wasn't noble and ahmed chalabi pushed to publicize conditions in iraq was not purely cynical yes chalabi. An obvious personal agenda. He wanted to get back to the country where his family had once. Been rich and powerful. He also wanted to run that country. Don't forget but that. Abc news report and the story chalabi was telling in washington. They were basically accurate to kurds. Really were abandoned and people in iraq worse offering chalabi must've genuinely believed he could save his homeland. He could've spent the rest of his life in london or los angeles playing tennis and eating inexpensive restaurants and to be fair. He managed plenty of that kind of stuff. But most of the time he was hustling to get rid of saddam. And you get back. What he believed to have been stolen from his family chalabi wrote op eds in the wall street journal and the new york times he compared the iraqis rising up against saddam to the jewish resistance fighters of world war two. He also talked about democracy and really awesome had wanted. Was she a room. Offline knew that she is at the majority in iraq and if democracy is defined by majority rule. He was all for democracy. As long as it meant the sunnis would be thrown out of power and the she were taken over. But you know to american. Here's it all sounded very jeffersonian. His conservative friends were thinking even bigger. They wanted iraq to be the seedbed of democracy in the middle east chalabi. Top that talk. Here's oslo. i didn't tosh a turkish journalist. Who got to know chalabi. In the early nineties it had never been tried before it was the first person that i heard who strongly defended the notion of an arab democracy that arabs should and can govern in a democratic and pluralist system chalabi argued that westerners who didn't believe iraq could be a democracy were effectively racist octa time. They alternative to this narrative on democracy was continued dictatorships and here. You had someone who accused western. His western interlocutors challenging them on their preconceived notions about what arabs can do and cannot do the neo. Cons weren't the only group chalabi was courting he was also working on hawkish. Senators like john mccain and joe lieberman. These guys wanted a new american ally in the middle east. A free iraq would be a new seat of shiite power in the region. One friendlier to america and to israel than iran was rendell rahim worked with taliban the iraqi national congress. She'd later become the iraqi ambassador to the. Us idealism works in america if it happens to fit in with you a special interests and i clearly remember constantly warning everyone in the inc in the opposition. That what we have to keep in mind is us national interest and we had to frame our approach based on your special interest. I don't think he ever said we'll give you our oil but he said we've got it up. That's very important emmy. Look if iraq didn't have oil at all. I think anybody would have been interested then or now. This is a country that has possibly the second-highest oil reserves in a region that is the primary producer for the world so that was what chalabi was selling to foreign policy. Hawks deposing saddam would be a way to promote both american values and american interests but chalabi was also building support among liberals. Who are more focused on saddam's atrocities. Here he is again talking with rich. Bonin very liberal. Who flocked your cause those days. They didn't flip to my call then flock to that. Course which is doesn't treat people like that. Roy microsoft's deadpool's the people chalabi one over were republicans and democrats realist and idealist. But they all had something in common. They love to talk about big ideas. They were opinion. Journalists fellows thinks. Or sometimes congressman. They talked about stuff. Like what's the united states is rolling the world. How can we bring peace to the middle east. If a dictator is abusing or killing his people. Do we have the obligation to intervene. Those are heady questions and chalabi had a suitably bold answer that fixing iraq would fix the whole middle east at least from an american point of view. A lot of the big ideas crowd like that. Answer the people who knew the ins and outs of the region desk officers at the state department foreign service officers. They were much more skeptical. Many of them found shelby's arguments ridiculous but chalabi didn't care he wasn't talking to them by the late ninety s saddam hussein was getting aggressive again one worrying signal. He stopped letting united nations weapons inspectors into iraq in march nineteen ninety eight republicans in the senate convened a hearing on the idea of overthrowing saddam. I've met child. He was asked to testify and he really went for. It is so much oil that most of the country is still unexplored. They almost wealth this enormous wealth. This enormous potential is the birthright of the healthy people. it has been stolen from them by violent. They've so. Dan must become confronted with the strong arm of justice. Not olympic handshake of appeasement chalabi push for legislation known as the iraq liberation act called for freeing the country from the dictatorship of saddam hussein and at funded groups committed to a democratic transition groups. Augmon shelby's iraqi national congress. The act passed with unanimous support in the senate just two years earlier. The cia had issued. Its burn notice certifying. That chalabi was not to be trusted now with the iraq. Liberation act the us government was back in the chalabi business. Congress allocated ninety seven million and defense department resources to iraqi opposition groups including the inc. Rendell ricky again. The iraq liberation act said. This congress believes that the iraqi regime must be removed and that the is see is a good vehicle to help in its removal. That's very potent and it also represented Confidence in med as a leader of the inc. Right of course. Of course yes absolutely correct. Chalabi was now for some americans the face of his native country the iraqi a clear alternative to saddam. After congress passed iraq liberation act chalabi was invited to speak and schmooze at an american enterprise institute forum him in beaver creek colorado. It's the kind of conference where no press invited. A place where the world's most powerful conservatives get together to talk frankly to be honest it's a bit of a conspiracy theorist fantasy scenario chalabi chatted with donald rumsfeld who told him a story about meeting saddam hussein in baghdad. He also conversation with dick. Cheney the former secretary of defense under george. H w bush a now ceo of oil and gas company haliburton the but what saddam possibility to change mistranslation will could do very brief on causation. Fifteen minutes and the pleasant meeting to discuss plans. Greg was meeting to see if i was right. And you pass the test. Sure george w bush was sworn into office in january two thousand and one dick. Cheney was his vice president the day after the inauguration a group of influential foreign policy veterans gathered at the home of richard perle. Many of them had worked under presidents. Reagan and george h w bush. Paul wolfowitz was there. so we're doug feith john hannah and zalmay khalilzad. The group was mostly neoconservatives. Almost all of them got jobs in the new bush administration. The exception ach mentality. The group had their eyes on a different job for him. The same chalabi wanted for himself. Do you think he believed. He would be prime minister in a democratic iraq. Oh yes tell me more about that. Well i mean. He had ambitious for iraq. He had plans he had strategies. We're going to do this and we're going to that it. It don't talk like that. How you see yourself in a position of authority He had a sense of title. And you know. Many of us felt that we had been robbed and we had a sense of entitlement in the sense that we we were entitled to have a country back but his was much more. If you're if you see what his personal In the spring of two thousand and three chalabi went to iraq for the invasion rich bone. Remember talking to him about what he saw there. The brutal effects of the saddam years. He went to this mass grave where people were digging through the dirt using their hand bare hands and shovels looking for their loved ones being bones. They were digging a body parts in a chest Foot black and gold slippers and chalabi sitting there watching observing it in har him. He said it looked like a scene out of hell. And this was to me. Always represented the complexity of saddam hussein in iraq. I mean saddam was truly evil Chalabi moved back onto land. His family had owned before. Nineteen fifty-eight as you'll hear in a later episode who play crucial partner sampling support for the war and in the post invasion decision making but he never became the prime minister of iraq later. He fell out with the us government when he was accused of spying for the iranians which he denied in two thousand fifteen chalabi died of a heart attack. He was seventy one years old he had spent decades planning to get home. Thanks to the americans war. He got his wish when he died. Chalabi was living in baghdad. His body is buried in the family. Vault my legacy those who call this. I played a role in getting rid of most veal. Fascist racist dictate will be set out of a chalabi did play a role and getting rid of saddam but he also shares responsibility for the death and destruction that followed as he said to me the neo conservatives in washington may be discredited but here i am in my home baghdad. Saddam has gone home Next time on slow-burn in september two thousand one terrorism and the middle east were suddenly on everyone's priority list and then a dangerous white powder showed up in the mail. The fear ramped up to an amazing level. I said to one of my colleagues. I just felt white powder all over myself. We really had no plans for responding to a biological attack on our homeland. Slogan is a production of slate plus sites membership program. Slate plus members bonus episodes of slow-burn every week where we'll go behind the scenes into making the show clips and interviews that we couldn't fit in here on this week's bonus episode you'll be hearing more about chalabi. Is personal background. His relationship to the press and how he influence those around him head over to slate dot com slash slow-burn to sign up. And now it's only a dollar for your first month. We couldn't make slow-burn without the support of sleep. Plus so please sign up. If you can head over to slate dot com slash slow-burn soberness produced by me chasing dylan and sophie summer grad with editorial direction by josh levin gabriel broth production assistance from mark. Kelly are mix. Engineer is merit. Jacob brendan and elise composed our theme song. The artwork for slow-burn is by jim cook. Special thanks to jared holt june thomas derek john joshua keating seth brown meghan kallstrom rachel strum chow to oskaloosa katie raeford rich bonin and obvious settlement. Thanks for listening.

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1: The Unravelling. Defining The Enemy

Jocko Podcast

59:49 min | 1 year ago

1: The Unravelling. Defining The Enemy

"This is the podcast formerly known as the thread with Daryl Cooper and me Jaakko willing and We are rereleasing. These are original series or the original episodes in this podcast. It's more than a series because we're going to keep doing it, but we had to rename. It turned out that. There was already a podcast called the thread. Which I didn't check her. Google or look didn't know it was a thing. and. The people well, there's another podcast, and so they came at us with cease and desist letters and legal action, and all that stuff, which is fine because they own the name. So, we need a name. We bounced around a bunch of ideas. And landed on. The JAAKKO UNRAVELING PODCAST, why did we pick that name? One one is. Why did you Jaakko? Well? It's real easy. I own that name. No one can trump us or you know. Sue for using my own name, so we are protected there and unraveling. Because the intent. Is still the same as the original idea behind the thread podcast. What we're GONNA. Do is unravel what is happening in the world today and get to some of the root causes. And maybe even if we don't get to root causes, we at least get a better understanding. Of the world. By unraveling what we see and it's also not only. Because? We're unraveling things and looking at them in a more granular level. There's also obviously another meaning to the word unraveling. Means things coming apart. and. While the world and specifically humanity in many ways like human life life. They're similar. Humanity and human life are similar in that. They can both be incredibly durable and adaptive and resilient. But they can both also be unbelievably. Fragile. You can have one man be shot twenty times. And Survive and walk away. and. Someone else can catch a random piece of ricocheted bullet. A tiny piece. Of ricocheted bullet and died. and. Society and humanity. Can Be kind like that. Sometimes it can survive all kinds of turmoil and chaos, and then in one instant. One event can change it forever. or can at least dramatically alter its course. It can cause things to. Unravel. So. We started off this podcast and the I. What is it the first number of what seven the first seven the first seven of these that you will listen to if you haven't listen to any of them yet? We dove deep into the Iraq war. and. I guess we kind of fell into that. You kinda gotten a kick. You wanted to go hard right? figured it was a good way to store so so darryl wanted to go hard which which makes sense because he had his own experiences, he had his own knowledge. He had obviously read and studied in. was was deployed in that region, and then on top of that you know. He knew where he wanted to know about my perspective on the ground, and so the first of these seven. We go deep deeper than I think we plan to. May Have veered off the course. The original intent of this podcast, which is sort of to bring things to look at things that are happening today. But at the same time. You, know every. It's okay because everything's related. And the better that you understand. Specific events. In the past, the better you understand. All events. And the better you will understand. The way things unravel. So with that. This is an interesting scenario that's unfolded that you and I are sitting across from each other at a table. I talked about this a little bit when you were just on. My podcast, the jaw podcast about how we got here, but just to. Just. Review how we ended up here. You have a podcast called Margaret Mead. Yes, in my opinion, one of the best podcasts there is. And I have. A problem with. I have a problem with the educational system in America. That problem is kind of the fact that people don't tie or teachers. And when I educate system on talking all the way from the time, you're going to whatever kindergarten through college which I didn't go beyond college, but the whole time. You're getting all this information, but all the information is disconnected in other words. There's no thread that ties it all together when the reality is. As you know, and as I eventually learned myself, everything actually is connected. Everything is connected whether it's science or math or history or literature. Or Politics? It doesn't matter you. Take any of those things, and there is a thread that ties it to everything off. This is human history and we missed that and it makes it for me. It made it harder for me to. To understand things at a deeper level because there's no context around them, right? You're just getting like. Oh, here's a chunk time period you take this history class about this part of American history or this part of European history or this scientific period gets passed, and you're just learning these chunks, not not connected, so you don't. I never felt like I developed as much comprehension. Until I started to fill in these gaps. And then you take that we rolled out one step further and you look at our news media today. And They take these they take the events that are unfolding around us. And they give me two very one-dimensionally with very little depth, occasionally, you can get two. On a subject here there, but they certainly aren't taking the events that are happening today, which all have threads that lead into history that gives you better understanding. Of the things that are unfolding before our very eyes. So. Since listener of your podcast year listener my podcast I was actually on your podcast one time we did. We did a Manashi Twat podcast with you and me and Danielle. And that was that was really cool. I I enjoyed doing that, but. I eventually said hey man. Do you want to do you WanNa? Do something where we talk about what's going on in the world right now and we dig deeper and we pull the thread on how? Events got to where they are. What do you think I think it's necessary? You talked about the news media. When you have no context, it makes everything surprise. Everything that happens, it's just a surprise. Nine eleven happens in. It's just a surprise. Who are these people? Nobody knows it's just completely. Out of nowhere and that leaves us vulnerable to anybody who comes along and says they've got a story that explains it you know, and sometimes people sharing those stories have agendas. Sometimes they don't have all the facts. And like you said everything's connected you can. You can take any event you know say what is World War Two well. It happened between nineteen, thirty, nine, nineteen, forty, five well, did it. Or did it start at the treaty of Versailles, and then if that's the case, does it go back before World War One and what about ending pointed it and in Nineteen forty-five or you sure? How far out does that go? You can take that all the way out to Adam and Eve if you want to. Figuring out how to draw, those lines could be difficult, but. but that's what it's about figuring out how these things connect to the world. We find ourselves in now. When things happen. It's not such a surprise, and you're not so vulnerable to people peddling stories with an agenda behind him. Yeah, and then as we were having these discussions, some things were kind of face a little bit about. Well Sulejmani had just been killed. We're talking about Iran. We're talking when you're in. If you're gonNA, talk about Iran. You absolutely have to talk about. You have to talk about what unfolded there with. Isis, and then where did isis come from? And and then again now now? This is exactly where it all starts like. Oh, you start to pull the threat on this and you said yourself okay. What is really going on at a deeper level when we start to pull the thread, and then you Kinda came back at me. After we talked about a couple different topics, we could go through and you came in. You know you you said hey man. Why are even playing around here? Let's talk about. Let's talk about Iraq and go through it with a level of detail, so people have some real understanding of what of what has happened there, and what our involvement there his look like, and what led to our involvement there and. I started kind of filling in some of the blanks. If you had about things that I had seen in, and then you started saying oh wait. You were there for this. Oh wait you were there for that. And then it kind of just build a story around itself when you said let's let's do some plus do that. And I said yeah cool sounds good. I will say unite have agreed to try and put some constraints around this in terms of time you and I both have ridiculously long podcast you know my longest is five hours and twenty five minutes I think I don't know what your? What's your longest close to seven you've which one is seven the last like six forty I think. That was a good one. Yes, so you and I both said okay. We're. We're not gonNA. Do this and you and I? Clearly both have a propensity to just go, and so we're going to try and keep what we're we're. We'll keep this to about an hour and then we'll just we'll just go to the next topic and in another episode, so that way people can chunk it up and don't have to worry about trying to find where it is on the on their on their podcast. Platform, and trying to figure out where they left off, etc, etc, and plus to give us just a natural sort of. Guardrail of you and me going completely into the. Seventeen hours on. Yeah, let's do it. So when we talk about Iraq. Where where do you WANNA kick this off? You just gave me the starting point I wanted actually which is talking about isis coming out and how to most people? Where did isis come from? The came out of nowhere right came out of the chaos of the Syrian civil war for all anybody knows. I mean that's really the way it was portrayed as this just this group rises up out of the sand and comes into Iraq and they're creating all of this chaos. In most to the public. They came out an ad nothing, right? Like a spontaneous. Spontaneous Group appeared out of nowhere is what it appeared to be lot people I will say that. I believe the term Islamic state begin to get used. Just after I left on my last deployment I'm going to say two thousand and seven. Just when I believe they started to use the term Islamic state. That is correct yet. Yep, it, but who started to use that term is the point right? Yeah, that group didn't come out of nowhere and you know. By the time Isis comes around most of the public in the West is kind of disengaged from Iraq. They've moved on. They don't want anything to do with it. This is President Obama's in there and he ran on getting us out. You know and for you when when you're part of public getting the narrative the way they were getting it. It's understandable why they were just like. Why are we here enough is enough. get us out of there, and that's where we were at by the time Isis came around. The majority of Americans at that point could have cared less. Who was controlling Fallujah or Ramadi or anything like that Isis got our attention though because this group came out of nowhere and. They seem to be engaging in acts of violence that were so over the top and so barbaric that. That people thought that this nothing like this ever happened before. That's what people thought I mean because they didn't you know again coming back to the to the history in the context of it in August of two thousand fourteen. You know they're turning on their TV's or go onto websites, and there's an Australian citizen who's traveled over the Middle East, with his seven year old son, and he's putting up a picture of his seven year old son, holding up the head of a Syrian, soldier people are saying wait a second. This is something different. Right a few days later. Isis releases video featuring Jihadi John. Speaking perfectly plain English threatening the camera with a knife, and then saw the head off of American journalist. James Foley. And this starts to get people's attention. Right The group starts releasing all of these propaganda videos. He's slick propaganda videos that was of course, the famous one with the Jordanian pilot that had gone down that they captured that they burned alive in a cage They're filming themselves. They're not hiding this filming themselves throwing homosexuals from rooftops. How much of this as that's unfolding right? How much of that is? The Modern Day. Twenty four year, old social media. Ego centric Mimi me, Hey, if I'm going to go out and do Jihad I'm GonNa take pictures of it. Yeah Yeah I think that's probably Burana. Something there. I mean because they. They were videos before, but now you can get famous. You know you can get famous and it's. Probably got something to do with the step up school shootings and everything as well. You know it's it's a way for somebody with no identity and living in a world where it seems like they don't have any ability to exert, will on the world you know nobody notices them. You're just nobody where you're going to notice. You'RE GONNA notice. This was the strategy of making these videos. Okay, so we have we have some element of this is just the new world. This is social media I WANNA be famous. It's about me on Jihadi John with. With the where was he from the British accent? And but do we know where he was from in Britain, I'm sure we do I don't. So here's this guy is I'm going to get famous. That's part of it. Part of it had to be. Hey, we're going to recruit people down here which again. What? What did what a just who are you recruiting? That's that's the question. If we're sawing off people's heads on camera, who recruiting I well, we know who recruiting and it worked out tens of thousands of those people. Responded to the call in those people were living in our societies before. Before they went down to rock, they were living in our cities. Here's here's one that I haven't watched too many of their of their videos, but watched some of them just to try to get an idea, and there was one that stood out. where? It takes place in an old. Broken Down Amusement Park and it's got a bunch of kids executing prisoners There's one where a boy who was hardly big enough. The gun that they give him is too big for his hand right and he shoots a Kurdish prisoner in the head. There's another one where they've got a prisoner tied up on. Like a broken down carnival ride in, they give this kid a big old knife. It's way too big for he climbs up on this thing and murders guy. There's one like well choreographed scene where this kid is walking through. You know those like. Those plastic ball pits. They got this kid walking through like this dusty ballpit. And he gets there and somebody hands on this big gun, and he kinda closes his eyes and looks away and blows his brains out. There's other videos where they've got kids executing other kids. If you've got kids killing people in an amusement park. You're doing something very different than just saying. You're sending a very specific kind of message. About what kind of people who are and who you're trying to attract at that point, right? I mean this isn't just you know. The kids are in on the Jihad to. They're doing this amusement park. That has a level of depravity that's. That that that take you know that seems to take things to a new level right seems to. That's kind of where I wanted to go with this is. Maybe the slick production values kind of shocking to people like you to some of my friends who were in Volusia Marines and and others that I know. But the level of violence that these people were exhibiting. Was Not a huge surprise. Because you've seen it before. Most of America's had not seen it before and I think that people don't realize that there's a thread, not not just a tenuous, very direct organizational thread, connecting the individuals in the groups from Al Qaeda and Iraq, people. We're fighting in Ramadi that we were going after Volusia. Four. Right, on up through the Islamic state, these are the same people some swap out. We kill the leaders and people step up, but these are groups that have gone through name changes. And, then you can take it back further. And, it's not just al-Qaeda and Iraq. A lot of these people are former Baathist and Iraqi army soldiers, officers, people who were regime loyalists. And so I knew I knew a lot of people who have this attitude of like well. Look I was against the Iraq war. George Bush is a war criminal, and so as Dick Cheney the whole lot of them, they should be in jail, but isis. This is something different. We really got to do something about this, and they don't realize and it's not their fault. Because this is just not. This was not how errative was presented to them. They don't realize these are the same people doing the same things. That we're fighting in the war in the early days, and the people who were actually running that country before we went in. And I think that's something that that's a connection does does not get made for most people and I wonder if they really understood that these isis people especially after two thousand ten isis after two thousand ten. was almost entirely run by former re Saddam regime loyalists. Okay, so these people were running that country before and if you knew that. If you understood that. How do you feel about going in? And I get it. You know from a strategic standpoint or whatever you can have reservations. You can't clear up every evil in the world, but I wonder I think a lot of people would maybe consider it differently if they understood that. and. Yet it's a tough message to get out to people I. Don't know why didn't get out more clearly in it. During the war. Well, it was good I guess it was good rebranding. Right. It's good rebranding. I had A. at Echelon Front. Had I got an offer to work with a company. They said want me do keynote speech, and the the the name of the company was some real. I didn't recognize it. You'll have said Oh you know what? What's the company Whatever the number goes brand or whatever some just? Didn't didn't strike me in any way. And you know they wanted me to come and do a keynote and. My. Director of Operations Jamie said Oh. We got this company wanted to do Keno and I said okay. Let me let me take a look. Let me see who they are. And it was a giant tobacco company was a company that had changed their name whatever five years ago three years ago and I said Oh no. I'm not doing that and. The thing was like you know it's good branding. I didn't know who it was and. That's that's a so who was doing that. Branding though I I know a marine who was influenza. told me he didn't do himself, but he knew the people who did that they were torture rooms that they found in that city by the smell for sure in that in that, you would walk into houses that look normal a normal neighborhoods and I remember reading this one marine major talking about how you would wander through this normal house, and you would open up a door into a bedroom garage, and it was silence of the lambs in there. Who's doing that branding? That's wrong like who is hiding that from people and I I don't know if it's hiding I don't know. Maybe they thought it was just too gruesome and we don't want to put that on the I don't know well. I'm I'm saying the rebranding done by the. By the perpetrators themselves in other words, you don't quote changing from insurgents to Al. Qaeda and Iraq to isis those are those are changes that got made along the way there's also there are also. Groups where a group of grow and people they take on new members that came from the other group, and so it it's the same group of people with a different name, and maybe a couple of different leaders here and there, but it was. It seemed like one of the reasons that people said and you actually you actually just medical you. Isis came out of nowhere. You, you just got done saying you know Isis has been around for a long time, and then you in your own. You were telling the stories that. People were shocked because Isis came out of nowhere. Even you just I meant that was the perception. Yeah, that's perception but I mean even you just said I just came out of nowhere. You would literally just said. Isis has been the same group of people, and then you're making the point that I came seemed to come out of nowhere, but I'm saying look these these groups changed their names, and when you change name, and they changed their look to right, they went to this. You know they a flak, a new flag and they carry that flag and then they put on the back outfits. Well quite honestly insurgents a Lotta Times sometimes they wear black, but a lot of times wearing you know the the tracksuit was the was the kinda typical uniform or Dishdasha whatever so there was some branding that happened that I think helped. Confuse the rest of the world. In cutting that thread, subconsciously that they didn't could make a connection that this group in the same group of people, but even at the time when the war was going on I i. know that back here at home the reality of Think about when. I'm sure this is personal for you a little bit but When The movie American sniper came out and you had this huge. Obscene push from certain quarters of the media and other places. That were just. Just going hard Chris Kyle because he called you know. He used the word savages and something like that like he's calling Iraqis savages. That that makes sense. If you have no idea what you guys were dealing with over there and most people, don't. They don't realize like that. You know the Iraqi insurgency isn't. It was not the same. It was not just some resistance group that there was a level of of of obscenity in violence and evil that had taken root over there That was that it was really unique and a lot of ways except that you. You know it was what you see from Isis only didn't cut the sleep videos. Yeah, for everybody and to that point I mean Chris Kyle, Colin the enemy in Iraq. Savages was not just Chris Kyle. That was me. That was everyone in task unit bruiser. That was many of the people over there and I've. I've gone back and forth with people on this and one of the things that I've said is when someone say. ISN'T IT DEHUMANIZING To label the enemy in this way, and I said we didn't need to dehumanize this enemy. They dehumanize themselves. That's what they did. The actions that they took were were. Beyond comprehension beyond, and you'll just before just before I showed up in Ramadi, there was. A guy that had been helping the coalition and he was working with I think he was working closely with the task unit that was there before it's, but it might have been one of the one of the adjacent units. But the insurgents found this out, and they they they scan the Guy Alive right in euro in there, and you're thinking to yourself, okay? This is who were dealing with. These aren't these aren't humans? These are not humans. You don't skin someone alive. If you're freaking human being that's not what you do, and so we knew out of the gate. That's I was like are in briefing to Ramadi. Here's who your for. Here's where you're going to be dealing with. And knowing that you know I, think maybe you go into a fight. Go into a war and you know somewhere in your mind that you know your soldier. Soldiers get shot. You catch an AK round. You get blown up by whatever. I remember reading in I think leaf, tell the story in extreme ownership time for him and another guy I think just a marine. They ended up getting separated who? Is Our duty guy. Yeah, and yeah, that's what it was, and you get separated things happen. This is a place where you can kinda handle catching an AK round. Where if you get wounded and they get their hands on you alive. Your suffering is going to be limited by their creativity in that's it. And, that's always the these are the kind of people that you're that you're dealing with, and then the thing you have to remember. Is that their creativity as I'm sure we'll get? It, it's not there on the spot creativity it's it's creativity that's decades of experience on how to torture human beings to death in two thousand eight I was. There's this Jihadi message board got shut down later that year, but it was kind of the most popular one at the time. And after the amber awakening there was a that's all they were talking about right that the people of amfar traitors apostates sewn all so this is a this is a a message board on the Internet S. That you would go on and read what these yeah averages were saying. They would talk to each other Some of them were just supporters from around the world others. Supposedly were over there, but these are people who were on that side, and they were talking about it in that manner and There was this one discussion about what had happened in amber are after Ramadi at fallen? From their perspective fallen. And you know people are complaining about the People Ambaro this in one guy steps in and says don't worry you know. Yes, we've lost this, but we've got a long time horizon and there's nothing to worry about as long as our leader Abu Omar Al. Baghdadi is here with us to lead us. Omar Al Baghdadi died in two thousand ten, and we took out most of the leadership of I assign. He was replaced by Abu how Baghdadi the leader of Isis that everybody knows who went up the steps of that mosque and most school and announce the Islamic state. There's a direct line of succession going back there and you can take him from from. Abu Omar you go directly back. Our cowie you know? These are the same people in two thousand and four you know. This is stuff that I didn't know. Until maybe a handful of years ago, that in two thousand four the stuff that they were finding influenza right where they would go into these torture rooms and find people. To the wall with their legs chopped off, that had happened while they were still alive. you know people mutilated and beaten to death. That's not even worth mentioning. That's just everywhere you know people who are just who were found alive. Just incoherent from torture and start. Who booby-trapped you know to blow up if anybody comes and tries to help them. And none of that kind of stuff all I heard coming out of specially I usua-. Watching? Most of our news media is that we went into hard, and you know Madison. The rest of the Marines bit down on their. You know mouthpieces a little bit too hard and went in there and tore the city up and killed a bunch of civilians. That's the narrative that got us. Yes. That's interesting and. I think that. It was only in like maybe the last handful of years in so who's in charge of AL, Qaeda and Iraq at that time. That's our couch. These are the people right. These are the insurgents and they're doing all the things that you know that that that now today when. Isis we say this is something different. We have no choice but to act, and and you can trace that directly back. who were who were people who ran You know people who ran for Isis. Who ran the Ministry of Finance the Military Ministry the Security Ministry the Interior Ministry. These are all former bath. Saddam guys K. the Saddam regime provided. You know most of the NCO type guys most of the junior officer type guys in their organization. That's who these people were, and like you said. There's decades and decades and decades of experience in torture. You know the the the. The Iraqi insurgency is. Very interesting indifferent, because you go back and read now go back and read General Vo and Jap the Vietnamese. General and They would talk a lot about like. We don't have supply trains logistics streams. We don't have factories like the state does. We don't have any of that support structure. They have the ultimate weapon. We need the people right, and we gotta make sure you read Mao stuff and he says look if you gotta go into somebody's house. Roll up your bed roll when you're finished and closed the door behind you gently when you leave and don't lie to the people. They got to know that we're on their side. Iraqi insurgency was not looking at things like that. You know. These were first of all a lot of them are foreigners. And second of all, they're coming from a place. Where if you don't do what they say, you're an apostate anyway. And they felt justified and a lot of them were former regime. Guys Saddam guys who had been used to for decades ruling that country through pure brutality and terror. and. It's not a matter of getting the people to believe. That you're on their side and fighting their war. It's that. You better be afraid of US and the Americans can't protect you. and. You know that's the mentality that they brought to these people, and whatever some of the Iraqis may have thought of the Americans early on, and maybe they you know there were some who said coming and fighting for or whatever it is these insurgent groups. They learn pretty quickly. They learn pretty quickly with these people were about, but by that point you know. They cowed into submission for the most part. Yeah well, the the Yes, and that's what's that's what's hard because when you're. In a struggle for power. The benevolent way is obviously better, but you have to have. The you have to have benevolent. Benevolence and you have to have power quickey. You have to be able to back it up. And then you have to have the willingness to back it up, and then you have to have the understanding that you back it up in the right way, so it's really the fighting that war with those rules is really really hard. The other side that just is gonNA rule through fear. That's that's an easy. That's the. How long does it take to come up with the the concept of operations for that fifteen minutes? How long does it take to come up with a concept of operations to do this in a benevolent way? How and then you get into the ground? Truth of how does an American? Differentiate between when they go into a house between someone that's from Syria and someone that's from you know. Wherever in Iraq, the the answer is. They can very very difficult. Now once. We were working with Iraqi troops. They could do it. But. When we first got there the first well the first three years. That's that's a it's A. It's a shit show and we just don't have the capability of going into a building or going into a neighborhood and figuring out. Oh, this guy from Syria, but this guy you know and I was talking about. How long does it take? How long does it take for you to tell? Someone is from the the north of the south you know. Someone says. Someone says hey, how y'all doing today. Okay, you're from Texas. Cool got it. If someone you know comes in with a strong new, England accent. You know that if you ask them what they had for breakfast, you know and they say grits cool. You know they're from the south. If they say Bacon and eggs what I mean like you can figure it out. We couldn't do that and so now. You're applying your force. Just, kind of blanket applying your force. But at the same time you're trying not to do that. All the other side's doing is just just applying force. That's what they're doing and they're only. Mission is to make everyone so fearful. They win that war. They win that struggle. Because of those reasons, look good I believe wins in the long run, but when you go into that situation, then you've got you know Americans that are trying to figure out who's who? And they're trying to assemble this thing you know they're trying to. They're trying to build a DOLLHOUSE, right? They're trying to build a dollhouse. Trying to get these little pieces together, and it's delicate, and that's what you're trying to do. Mean meanwhile the only thing the other people have to do smash the dollhouse. That's all they need to do. Smash the. It's just that much easier into. Let every single person know that. If they just pick up a hammer, chisel the help you build it then. Their whole family is dead murdered. This I mean it's it's a it's A. It's a group whose goal. Was Chaos and death. You know it was because like you said they don't have to do anything other than make this place impossible to live in, you know under the under the idea that that will cow the population that will eventually get frustrated and leave. And You know I want to talk about the regime a little bit, too. Because you have a lot of people say okay, okay, so isis and al Qaeda and Iraq does insurgents. We can connect that thread. That's fine. Yeah, there were some. There are a lot of Baathist Iraqi officers in these groups and everything fine, but we created the circumstances for those things to arise, because we went in there and smash the Iraqi state and created this chaotic situation. And look as we'll get into in future episodes I think that. especially at the civilian command level. There were aspects of the planning that were. Criminally stupid in criminally negligent in a lot of ways, it was not handled well in those early days right but as far as the idea of going in there. We you member I. Will did that I want. I want to interject this. It's really hard to predict what is going to happen. And doing something stupid making a bad decision. Is something that can happen in war, war is so dynamic. So if if someone makes a bad decision, so the statement that you just made our criminal negligence in the planning. Okay, here's why I will. Push back against that I figured we'd get into this little bit. We'll here's wall. Push back against it. You make. And then I'll come to your side a little bit. You make a mistake. Okay look what you do when you make a mistake and you see things going bad, you say hey, listen. I picked the wrong strategy. This isn't working. This is where I'm. Do correct it. As far as I'm concerned when you do that, and you take ownership of your decision, and you recognize that it's not working. I you got redemption from me, and you're going to adjust. That's okay. The problem that I ran into his or the problem that I have where the where where the negligence comes in is Oh. I made this decision. It's not going well. I'm going to keep going with the same decision. I'm going to keep pushing in the same direction of a keep trying the same strategies and tactics over and over again even though it's not getting better, and in fact, I'm going to go harder in that direction, so you know I'm sure we'll get into what those decisions were, but my biggest problem with the way things unfolded. Wasn't that we as a nation. Our leaders we as a military, not that we made a bad plan. It's that as the plan. was executed. Things didn't go the way we fought in some cases, and that's going to happen, and we didn't go. Okay. COOL LOOP! Didn't we didn't expect this? Okay, let's just. We didn't say that we didn't say that. It took us too long to figure that out. And there's a bunch of reasons behind that I. Mean I mean what one author all right now is? The way the military, currently you know World War Two when you went to war. Guess when you were coming home from the war, the war was over. For the Marine Corps and like special operations bring cores six month deployments special operations four to six month deployments again. There's variations in that army year you know sometimes they get stretched out the army. The army can do some deployments. No, they'll go. They'll go twelve months fourteen months sixteen months, and then at the end. You're going home. All of the continuity and all that knowledge look you and I can spend you know two weeks doing a turnover, but at the end of a fourteen month deployment. There's no possible way I can give you the information that I have in my head. So you get fresh blood coming in. They get turned over the strategy. They look at the strategy. Say Okay, we'll try. We'll try to. We'll do better and they keep trying so that's where I have a problem with leadership in any in any situation, and there were military people who tried to push back though, and they were getting blocked a lot at the political level, and that's what drives me crazy. Yup, absolutely true, absolutely true there was there was absolutely people that kind of fell on sword as well to to say. Hey, we're doing this wrong. You know this. Is this class attack? Worth Right? This is about face. As the full bird colonel, the youngest colonel, the army at the time. Saying, Hey, or not at the time, but he was the. Youngest colonel, that had been selected to colonel, and now colonel for several years, but For him to say, Hey, if we don't change the way we're doing this, we're going to lose. And he got drummed out of the army. That was it game over. You know. He was out of the army after and use the most. The most decorated why one of the most decorated? Soldiers officers military men in the army and he. And that's something else we can talk about because. When is it the right time to do that? When is it the right time to to to say? You know what I'm not going to do this anymore? I'm going to go to the press and talk about this. Because then you lose all your influence. Because he was going to be a division commander next, and once your division commander all of a sudden. You're controlling. Fifteen, ten fifteen thousand troops, and you're controlling all giant. And you can make some real adjustments to the way. You're fighting the war. Well, guess what? He didn't do that. and He fell on his sword. At the end and lost all of his influence, and by the way that word fell, SORTA didn't help. The war kept going. Kept going in, and now you know, of course we back and we see that we see that people like McNamara and they. They did not see A. They did not see a victory. Out there on the horizon, and they barely even saw a in honorable departure like we knew, and we kept going and so yeah, there's definitely we. I'm sure we'll get into that as we as we discuss this subject. Talk a little bit more What are still in this episode? We will get into all that. I want to talk a little bit more about the regime itself. people have an idea that Iraq. That under Saddam Hussein was a tough place to live I don't think people quite, you know. They think he's a dictator. executed his political opponents acids, a dictator to you know even a bath. This dictator very similar I. Don't think that similar. I think that Assad is a dangerous brutal guy. I think Saddam was one of the unique characters in the twentieth century I think he was a psychotic paranoid on the level of somebody like Stalin, and that if he would have had those kind of resources, he would have done. The same things that Stalin had done and one of the. One of the best windows into that is looking at the way that he led his sons run around that country. cartoonish. cartoonish stereotypes of what like the gangster bosses, son, psycho son is like right can't make it up from a B. Movie. You know that kind of thing and. The. When you hear about somebody like Uday. Hussein making sport out of. Going to going to weddings of regular people. And deciding that he likes the way the wife looks and having his men escort. He can do what he's GonNa do, and the husband shoots himself at the wedding because of the dishonor or Lets it happen because everybody knows that. If you resist, your whole family is dead, and you can't go tell the government. because. He's the he's Saddam's son. Everybody knows what he's doing. Everybody knows. That this is a an accepted kind of known part of that society. where there's nobody to appeal to. It gives you some some bit of a window into what that regime was really like then. Who Day was so bad. That he he basically worked himself out of a job because he was the older son. And he was so. So absolutely reprehensible in his activities, and that's an activity like. You kind of threw out there like You know this this happened. This one time not. What he did. Yes, go to a wedding. Take the bride. Take her away rape per. And then walk away, and that kind of stuff really wasn't what cost him his job either or his position. What cost him? His position was doing that kind of thing to important people you know. He got married to some of Saddam's closest advisors daughters and beat the hell out of them. That's really what you know what what got him in trouble all the other stuff. That stuff was par for the course I mean the State Department just a documented. Methods of brutality under that regime crucifixion, hammering nails into people's fingers and hands amputating. Gruesome stuff, amputating genitals and breasts with. Electric carving knives. This is stuff that's documented. You know R-. You've we've all heard the rape rooms. That's not made up by George Bush you know taking people's daughters, wives children raping them in front of the parents and family members. To get them to talk. To get them to confess so that they would be executed. Yeah. We my first deployment to Iraq. When we rolled in, we were right in Baghdad International Airport. That's we were staying and formerly known as Saddam International Airport, but there was a a couple of his palaces. And you when you'd walk from you, go to you. Go to rooms where the stuff took place you know where they had the hooks hanging from the ceilings. The drainage holes in the bottom you know implements of her. And you. You get that you walk into one of those rooms. And of course I mean we're all whatever we all got dark side, and and so you know somebody's aided you see the over whatever whatever castle was and now I'm. Let's go look at it. Okay cool, so you know you go over there and you walk in there and eat. Your year. You know you're you're for you. Know Obnoxious Gregarious seal buddies in you. You walk into that room and it's just quiet and is were pretty comfortable with violence by guys that are completely comfortable with violence and death, and the whole nine yards, and you walk in there and you're like. All Right? This is one of the ones I like sickening us on. Some of my liberal friends Is what he did at the end of the Gulf War. like a lot of people don't know today by an by about three to five times, the largest oil spill in history. Was Not an accident as he was retreating out of Kuwait, he just opened up all the oil pipelines and let it spill out into the Persian Gulf. You know partly because he wanted to block amphibious landing, but really just to be an asshole Something like that though to do something that catastrophically bad out of spite it it. It shines a little more light on you know you can. You can kind of apply Weapons of mass destruction. Guys aren't suicidal. Right? I'm sorry I if a guy is creating by a factor of three to five, the largest spill in human history, just out of spite because he's getting run out of Kuwait lighting all the oil wells on fire so that it was just an environmental disaster. The skies blackened for how long you don't know what that guy is GonNa, do you? You don't know what that guy is GonNa do. That tends to make dent a little bit sometimes, because that's an unpredictable character, you know I mean not to mention just what he would do when people can think talk about the individual actions, the brutality torture. You know when he was worried about the Kurds when he was fighting the Iranians in the late in the late eighties, you know used chemical weapons to kill thousands and thousands of people on population centers. He's dumping chemical wear. Dumping cocktails to from what I remember, it was like VX. Gas Sarah and get like all combined together. Hey, I'm not really sure what I'm doing, but I know this is going to kill a bunch of people. So yeah, that you know and I'm sure the gist. Ignite the the the. The masses the hordes to talk about the WMD thing. Because rolling into this thing. You know I can't believe that this guy was saying it. This guy, headset it his own jet like we had Intel. Sources reliable sources that were like Oh. Yeah, he's got him his own sources, his own generals, and that's what I'm saying reliable sources that yes, he has them because he wanted his neighbors to think wanted everyone if they had them and guess what he did, a great job of convincing everybody, including US and sure hindsight's twenty twenty. the Bush. Administration made a big mistake by putting all of their money on. That just shouldn't have. Do Concur as there were when you get into what was going on in that regime. There were plenty of reasons to go. Take that dude out and And it was just it a marketing mistake. They shouldn't done it. They shouldn't have just put all of their chips on that one thing you know. And it's unfortunate that they did and I think if they hadn't done that in the ward, self might have unfolded. It would have given them liberty to try to win the war, no four, no five rather than just sitting back and trying to avoid casualties for awhile. Because! They were worried about losing support once it started to become clear that maybe we're not gonna find these things I think they didn't know what to do exactly. So. There is. there. Is this this account that I wanted to read to you actually? By Saddam nuclear, Engineer. Who was married to a woman from Canada the only reason he made it out alive. But. He was taken prisoner. And You might if I wanna read. Because it's pretty telling what what this place was about. His name's Dr Shahrastani. In one, thousand, nine, hundred, seventy, nine, there was a backlash by the regime in Iraq because of activist in the Shia community. By the summer, the regime it started large scale executions and mass arrests. This is right. Saddam took over in nineteen seventy nine, so they don't exactly know what this guy's about yet, right? I voice my concern about human rights at atomic energy meetings I knew I was very crucial to Tomich program. I thought they would not arrest me for voicing my concern, I want Saddam to know what I said. I was wrong. A little earlier the regime had arrested and executed one of my cousins Allah, Shahrastani. On his honeymoon and had only been married for fourteen days, he was not associated with any party. He was arrested in the street and taken away from his wife and sister. And his wife and sister were brought to the torture chamber to see him. They had given him a hideous torture. They had filled them with gas through his rectum, and then beaten him. They threatened his young wife in front of him, and then they banged his head into the wall so hard that the wall was shaking, and then they killed him. By this time Saddam was president and he came to see us, and he told us that he was going to redirect us at the atomic. Energy Organization that we were going to work on what he called strategic projects. Until July nineteen seventy-nine, we had been involved in purely peaceful applications of atomic energy, I and my colleague Dr Jaffar. Were Saddam's to advisers. We were reputable, internationally trained scientists. We were also close friends. I discussed this with him. I said if Saddam wants military applications. There's no way I can continue with this organization. At that time. We didn't take it seriously because we knew Iraq had limitations. I assumed I would just be thrown out of the organization. They came to the Atomic Energy Organization when I was talking to the board of directors on December Fourth Nineteen, seventy-nine. They said, could we have a word, but Dr Hussain Hussain Charleston his name. As I stepped outside. They put handcuffs on me. Shove me into a car and took me with security headquarters in Baghdad. At security headquarters, they took me into the Director of Security Dr Fidel Barack. Who who was later executed by Saddam? He said that some people who had been arrested and brought to the headquarters had given my name I denied any involvement in political parties I said I was a practicing Muslim, but that I had never taken part and subversive activities. then. They brought me to Manu Jawad. Zubeidi a building contractor. He had been so badly tortured. I hardly recognized him. Jawad said I know Dr Hussain. He comes to the mosque and takes part in our religious activities for them. Religious activities meant anti-government activities. They said to me better. Tell us all you'll regret it. Then they took me to the torture chamber in the basement. They blindfolded me and pushed me down the stairs into the chamber. He was a big room. My hands were tied behind my back and I was pulled up into the air by hands. After five minutes, the pain was so severe on the shoulders that it was unbearable. Then they gave me shocks sensitive parts of my body. By the end of the beating your naked. There were shocks on my genitals and other parts of my body. After fifteen minutes, they came to me and said sign. I was in a very cold sweat. They know you'll faint. They brought me down gave me a short rest. I fell asleep for a few minutes, but this went on day and night Dan night. It went on for twenty two days and nights. Four of them did it in. SHIFTS BARACK Who had a PhD in military psychology from Moscow is standing there. At one point, he said look Dr Hussain I'll tell you what your problem is. You think you're smart. Enough and we're stupid. You may be smart and your own field, but we know what we're doing. Just tell us what you know and get this over. I knew Saddam. He knew me. But this could happen to me. I remember once. Saddam said to me you were a scientist. I am a politician. I will tell you what politics is about. I make a decision. I tell someone else the opposite. Then I do something surprises, even myself. The torture techniques in Baghdad were routine in varied in severity. The electric shocks could be everywhere, but sometimes they would burn people on the genitals and go on burning until they were completely burned off. They did the same with toes. They sometimes people with iron on the stomach or chest, but with me. They were very careful not to leave any sign on me. I saw one man, and they had used a hot iron on his stomach. They used drills and made holes in bones, arms and legs. I saw an officer the key Hamid. Dissolved his feet and acid. There was another torture where they were put sulfuric acid in a tub. They would take a man and start by dissolving his hands. Once the founder of the Dow Party forty-one Abdul Saheb. You was totally dissolved. Barak said to me. Have you heard about how you? This is where we dissolved him. In the final stages of torture, they have a table with an electrical saw. They can saw off a hand or a foot. the, majority talk. The people who have refused to talk or exceptional. Non Salman ahead of the Dow refused to talk. He was brought in I saw him in by that time. They had a lot of confessions by other men who had been tortured. A Non Salman was a teacher. Not knew he was prepared, he told them. My name is odd non Salman I. AM in charge of the Dow wa Party and none of these people are responsible for activities. These will be my last words to you. You will never extract a single word for me. They brought three doctors and told him and told them that. If odd non died under torture, they would be executed. He didn't under utter a single word. Sometimes you would hear the doctors so scared because they could not bring him back from unconsciousness. I was in another torture room and could hear everything I was in Abu Ghraib prison when I heard, none had been executed, he had not died under torture. One prisoner told me he was seventeen was the youngest prisoner. And, so they made him sweep the corridors of the internal security headquarters every morning at seven o'clock. He saw a peasant woman from the south but tattoos. He said a woman from the marshes with a girl of ten and a boy of about six. She was carrying a baby in her arms. The prisoner told me that as he was sweeping, an officer came and told the woman. Tell me what your husband is very bad. Things can happen. She said look. My husband takes great pride in the honor of his woman. If you knew I was here, he would have turned himself in. The officer took out his pistol and held the daughter up by the braids of her hair and put a bullet into her head. The woman didn't know what was happening. then. He put a bullet into the boy's head. The woman was going crazy. He took the youngest boy by the legs and smashed the baby's brain on a wall. You can imagine the woman. The officer told the young prisoner to bring the rubbish trolley, and to put the three children in it on top of the garbage and ordered the woman to sit on their bodies. He took the trolley out and left it. The officer had gotten into the habit of getting rid of people who were worthless. Now I know that. I know that there are questions about the Iraq war, but how we went about it about whether it was a good decision. About how things went in the end when we bailed? But. Killing certain people getting rid of certain people, is it good and itself and there were things going on in that country. And people doing them that that the world is a better place for not having them around. And this was a systematic. This was a regime. Of Isis this was if people say what if Isis, one. What if they actually had their state? We know what happened. This is what happened. And I think people really need to ask themselves. People can have honest debates about whether it's the role of American. The world or whether it strategically viable, or or you know good for us to intervene in things like this, but you're talking about a level of evil here. That had taken possession of a population. That is really extraordinary. You know it's not just a dictatorship. It's not just an authoritarian government. This is a level of evil. That had. Taken those people in that country by the hair? And now. However the thing played out, and whatever reasons were given the press for why we went over there. We tried to get those people out of that situation. Well. Yeah. We tried. I think. Probably a good place to wrap it up. We can move on from the all the ugliness into. Some of the actual history here. possibly. Yeah, let's wrap this one if you want to support this podcast. Then, you can check out our other podcasts minor Jaakko podcasts, Warrior Kid podcast and grounded podcast. Gerald podcast called martyr made. You can also support this podcast and all those podcast by getting some gear. From JAAKKO STORE DOT COM. Or from origin main DOT com. And if you were listening to this podcast on the Jaakko podcast feed. Well eventually we will create its own feed then we'll separate these two, but look for that. Thanks for listening. As things unravel. This JAAKKO and Darryl. Out.

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