As we cruise the streets of Baghdad, we take in the sights and sounds. Who’s a target, who isn’t? Where’s the next IED? Who’s wearing the next suicide vest? Almost every day we do this, the same thoughts running through our heads. We all have our fears but we never express them.
The worst IEDs are the ones made of copper. They are aimed, powerful, and can rip through the thickest armor plating on our Humvees. In an instant, the IED explodes, the copper head melts, and the newly formed plasma cuts through the steel and the bodies inside. So low tech, yet so effective.
The enemy is a coward. They don’t fight face to face. They hide, come out at night, and scurry away when the lights come on. They target and kill their own; Iraqi civilians including women and children that are lulled into the feeling of safety, going to school, the market, or to work. They attack the soft targets; the ones that will make international headlines. They live for the attention and die for their cause. They are afraid of the hard targets like vehicles with a .50 caliber machine gun mounted on the top with AH-64s close by to support them.
What is their cause? I’m not sure really. Saddam Huessen isn’t coming back, that’s for sure, but there are several groups out there, mostly splinter cells that are pissed off at the government of Iraq, the United States or anyone else that isn’t like them or share their beliefs. Dreams of a revolution that will never happen. They are too poor, too stupid, and can’t organize a meal for one, let alone a revolution but, they are still killers.
The cowards use religion as their excuse to do what they do. Allah Akbar (God is Great) is what they say prior to blowing themselves up and trying to take a few people with them.
The fledgling Iraqi Army works hard at tracking these guys down. They do it the low tech way, talking to people, gathering information and investigating, much like an American detective would do, but with an Arabic twist. They have become very good at it. But for every bad guy they capture, they release two more from their over crowed prison system. It will be a never ending cycle.
It’s frustrating to know that they are so quick to release some of these scumbags so easily. They are released with the right amount of money paid to the judge that gives the order. They are released based on their community status, they are even released if the Coalition has captured them. It’s disgusting.
So for now, almost every day, I get in my Iron Camel and patrol the streets of Baghdad with hopes of going home safe, keeping Iraqis safe, and keeping the bad guys off the streets.