Friday, May 14, 2010

Part I 'Bright Light'

Further up the line and off in the distance I could see what appeared to be in tact Iraqi Units marching in formation toward their surrender to the Americans. Some of them clutched small white clothes while others waved those little surrender pamphlets that had been dropped on them earlier in the campaign. The inert bomb dropped papers that rained down on Kuwait prior to us getting there were about the size of a dollar bill and the text explained in Arabic aided by a cartoon strip how easy it was to give yourself peacefully over to the Coalition. Haliburton produced and sold over 12 million of these paper tickets to the USA in just one of the many war contracts. As someone very smart pointed out to me last night, the United States' biggest export is war. I plan on devoting some time talking about the implications of that obvious truth later on in the document. The consequences for all of us under this banner of nationalism are very real and cannot be denied, contradicted, rationalized, bought, sold, simplified or actively chosen to not be thought about.

Our movement through this part of the operation seemed to slow down to a grinding halt. The sky was crystal clear and by mid day the sun's brightness shined down white hot on the desert plain. An occasional Cobra Attack Helicopter chopped loud and fast over our heads We were stopped and outside of the vehicle helping another Company from the BN deal with being surrounded by surrendering Iraqis. It was very confusing to be eye level with such desperation. These soldiers from the world's third largest Army were adamant about not wanting a fight. They were waiving the white clothes and shouting desperate to live surrender in a language that I did not understand. Their malnourished human frames made their dirty uniforms seem two sizes too big. The smell of these soldiers was even worse than we smelled to each other.

The word came down from Spartan to disarm the prisoners, bury the bolts of their weapons in the sand and point them south toward the forward moving column of support behind us. In that column were more ground support Units including Military Police and other FSSG(Field Service Support Group) folks better trained and equipped to handle such a mass surrender. We were Infantry and our job was to keep moving at the head of the line until our objective in Kuwait City was secure. Only a couple more days to go and that's just the beginning.

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