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Rated: E · Letter/Memo · Experience · #946663
Qusay and Uday, sons to a merciless dictator, has their deaths changed anything?
Today the communications system failed to work again, well fail would not be exactly the right term, our coms guys cut access off to all non-military related sites. They did this once before, around the time Saddam had four 2,000 lb bombs dropped on him. We learned about the reason only after the fact as moral plummeted, we thought this was now going to be the norm, another luxury pulled, another rule added to the long list of rules we already followed diligently. The reason was national security and the possibility of leaked information, by limiting access to electronic mail the military limits just one more source of information that could be accessed by the enemy.

One day later 24 July 2003, the news is splattered with the death of the Hussein sons, Qusay and Uday. The pictures gruesomely graphic, blood and bruising all over their bodies and faces, not to improve much the following day as they flashed pictures of the two men over the news all over again, this time cleaned up. Faces painted like fasching masks, shaved and trimmed, bodies stitched up where bullets, surgery and trauma had destroyed it. Looking so much like an old Frankenstein movie, all trying to prove to the Iraqi people that the sons were truly dead. Another debate of many added to the one already existing, why did we show dead Iraqis but we would not show dead Americans on television, finally swept under the rug like so much dirt with the answer that the families would not be informed that way.

The news media on day one questioned the amount of force required to remove four men with small arms fire from a simple building, debated forcefully over every internal news channel involved. Why didn’t you wait them out? Why did you use so many troops? Why did you use that size ammo and so much of it? The questions flung like dung, haphazardly trying to hit anything standing in its way, which just happen to be LTG Sanchez the new V Corps Commander and manager of this particular operation. LTG Sanchez handled the press amiably but the wolves would not be sated with the information supplied and the questions continued elsewhere thrown at professional retired military personnel and former operatives brought in to supply the answers they wanted the average American to hear. This debate didn’t surprise those of us sitting here on the ground watching a different war happen in the states, that of the presidential debate. Every decision made by the military under Bush, questioned and commented on by those who have nothing better to do than bash the current president and then fail to build their own presidential cases supporting those people they should be supporting, the old, the young, the medically unstable, the abused, and the economy.

The Iraqi men chosen by the media to comment were chosen for their adversity, not their mutual belief with the general populace. A friend of mine SPC Bayes from VCA informed me that during his time escorting young Iraqi men around camp, performing duties of cleaning out port-a-potties or fixing air conditioners, one particular young man struck him personably. This young man loved Americans; he was well educated even according to our standards and wished to continue onto his doctorate in the states. His family knew that he worked for a company that supported American operations but if his neighbors ever found out they would kill him. The man spoke superb English and only wished for the best life possible not to be obtained while living in his own society. He begged my friend to sponsor him, give him grants, do anything that might allow him to escape what even he considered a god-forsaken land. My friend could only shake his head sadly and tell him that there was nothing he could do, but instead of allowing this young Iraqi man to walk away empty-handed he gave him a book. The young man stood there fingering the edge of the book, flipping through the pages quickly in amazement that he had just been given something unconditionally, all he could say was thank you, thank you so much. My friend felt bad that there was nothing more that he could do to help but also felt proud that he had done something, anything to make even a small impression on this young man. From this example we know that not all Iraqis believe that Americans are the infidels, unfortunately we don’t know if he is the exception to the rule or the status quo.

Three days later 26 July 2003 the media debates the same question but with a twist, now that we have two corpses in our possession what are we to do with them in order to satisfy the Iraqi way of thinking on religious customs and procedures? Why did the coroners paint their faces, uncustomary in this society of quick deaths and quicker burials? Concern over the average American soldier dwindled over more extravagant happenings in the courts and on the political battlefield. The media again failing to communicate to the American population that the average Iraqi family lacked almost all forms of electronic communications, except for word of mouth. How can the media make an informed polled opinion of 24 million people over 72 hrs when statistically only 1.75 million people maintain televisions and 4.85 million radios? (CIA Fact Book 2002) I figure in about 10 yrs the information will be fully disseminated, one fourth the population will still believe the sons are alive, one fourth will believe they are dead, one fourth will believe it was the act of god, and one fourth will have made up their own ending to the story. Despite what the media hypes the situation up to be the reality will always be somewhat different for those of us sitting in Iraq being shot at daily, it will always appear as if nothing has changed.

26 July 2003
CPT Jeanette A. Husman
HHC, 22nd Signal Brigade
Baghdad, Iraq
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