The Hurt Locker and Iraq Today

(noon. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

As many know, there is a new movie out called, “The Hurt Locker”, which is about a military Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team in Iraq.

A former EOD technician myself that was in Iraq in 1991, and, who was in Iraq in 2006 as a contractor, I was only able to watch half the movie before I had to turn it off.  Some of the things in the movie were 100% true, and others, IF they were based on true events, totally astounded me.  So, imagine my surprise that anyone would admit that the movie was based on THEIR actions.

That is what has occurred.  U.S. Army Master Sgt. Jeffrey Sarver is suing under the claim that he was the person that the movie was based upon.

There are two things I am going to discuss; the movie and Sarver’s actions, and Iraq’s claim that they may ask some of our troops to stay beyond the “leave” date.

If you watched the movie, what you saw was a man who was, truly, out of control.  His actions put not only his life at risk unnecessarily, but, that of his team, other military forces, Iraqi forces, and civilians.

I finally turned the movie off when it got to the part where his team members discussed “fragging” him, ie, killing him because they thought his actions were to the point where they believed he was too dangerous for them to survive his leadership.

Any rational EOD tech, either still on active duty or former, that saw the movie will tell you that his actions were reckless, outside of normal procedures, and flat out dangerous IF the movie is true.

But, the movie brought out something else; how our military is treating Iraqi’s while in Iraq.  THAT part of the movie is 100% true, and, I saw it firsthand.

We, and I mean our military and contractors, are treating Iraqi civilians like shit.

I personally watched security contractors fire on a vehicle with a man, his wife, and two children simply because they thought the vehicle was “too close”.  I personally watched contractors I worked with abuse and threaten Iraqi workers.

So, why would their government ask us to stay?

The answer shouldn’t surprise you.  Our nation did the same thing to another country when we invaded Panama.

Even though Manuel Noriega was our own, CIA-installed, dictator, there came a point where we simply went in to take him out.  But, we didn’t “just” take him out, we decimated the Panamanian Security Forces.  What we didn’t decimate, our newly-installed puppets simply disbanded.

How then, was the “new” government to protect itself from the Panamanian citizen’s?  By asking the U.S. government and U.S. military to protect them.

How is the new Iraqi government looking to protect themselves?  By using the U.S. military forces.

The game is simple.  Destroy the countries military, install a new government, and that government is now dependent on our military for their continued protection.  We build bases, and, never leave.

To our government it is a game.  It doesn’t matter how many die.  How many they kill.

What is worse, is what it turns our military members into in order to carry out this game.

If you watch the movie, “The Hurt Locker”, you will see a fraction of how we are treating the Iraqi people.  A FRACTION of it.  

Abu Ghraib wasn’t rogue soldiers, it was soldiers doing what they were told to do.  Guantanamo prison isn’t a single prison where we tortured prisoners, we are doing it at Bagram AB and every other place where we have prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan.

What does this do to our soldiers?  They come to believe that torture is the way to get compliance.  Even on their own 4 year old daughter.

SEATTLE – A Fort Lewis soldier has been charged with assault after he allegedly held his 4-year-old daughter mostly under water because she couldn’t recite the alphabet. Charging papers equated the technique to torture.

The incident came to light Jan. 31, when Joshua Tabor’s girlfriend called police and said he was walking around their Yelm, Wash., neighborhood wearing a Kevlar vest and threatening to break windows, according to Thurston County Superior Court charging documents.

When officers arrived, Tabor’s girlfriend told them that she and Tabor, 27, had just had an argument and that he beats his daughter, Yelm Police Chief Todd Stancil said. Officers found the girl hiding in a locked bathroom and covered with bruises all over her body, including her ears.

“Once she spoke to officers, she was articulate and told us right away, ‘Daddy did this,'” Stancil said.

The girl told officers that her father hits her, and she also said he would fill a sink, lay her on her back and put her head into the water until the water was up to her eyes, Stancil said.

THIS is what we have taught our soldiers… torture is good.


    • Edger on March 6, 2010 at 2:29 am

    What does it do to the whole country?

    In September 2007 another contractor working as an Interrogator in Iraq posted this at OOIBC…

    Islam Isn’t the Problem

    Regarding the motivations of the insurgents I interrogated in Iraq, a week ago I wrote:

    The vast majority of them weren’t radical Muslims, bin Laden acolytes or Saddam hardliners; they were motivated by nationalism. They opposed the U.S. occupation of what they saw as their sovereign land (silly them!) so they lashed out in the most meaningful way they could: at the “collaborators” in their midst aiding and abetting the occupying, colonial power. It’s basic insurgency doctrine, folks. In my experience, “religious fanaticism” is the veneer that some in Iraq, and even more in the West, use to cover what is essentially the struggle to get out from under the thumb of a strongman.


    …if we are going to claim to be serious about fighting terrorism, we need to focus our efforts on the factors that actually motivate people to become terrorists, not the factors we continue to insist motivate them. Killing or incarcerating a terrorist or insurgent may take one of them out of circulation, but if you create two new ones for every one you destroy, you are going backward, not forward.

    I saw this dynamic when I was an interrogator in Iraq. Coalition forces would arrest an insurgent, humiliate him in front of his family, keep him in prison for months, and then release him without charges. In the meantime he learned to hate us (even if he hadn’t before) and, more importantly, his family learned to hate us. While he was learning to hate us, he was in a population that was uniquely qualified to fan the flames of his hatred and teach him how he might better act on it. Meanwhile his family and close friends were now easy targets for recruitment. In getting rid of one “terrorist,” we created several. Is it any wonder that the estimated number of insurgents in Iraq jumped from 5,000 (total) in 2003 to 70,000 (Sunni) in 2007, while the prison population skyrocketed from 10,000 to 60,000? (See pp. 25-26 of this Brookings Institute report for details.)

    When will we realize that our presence in the Middle East and our support of tyrants such as Mubarek and the Saudi Royal Family are not only not helping ease the troubles in the region, they are the primary cause for those troubles?

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