Eyewitness Iraq: The ‘end of combat’

U.S. soldier wounded in Iraq, still a regular occurance

The following was written by an anonymous member of March Forward!, who is currently deployed to Iraq with the U.S. Army

A long time ago, I believed that a person who held that illustrious and mythic title of “soldier” was worth something to the politicians in this country. I also believed that soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines are the protectors of the people of this country.

Now, as an active-duty soldier currently deployed to Iraq, I realize that my previous beliefs are false. They have been reduced to nothing on account of our government's true, nefarious intentions. 

For our entire lives, the United States military has been described as an institution that is the spearhead of "democracy" and "freedom."  This notion is something that our government has repeated over and over, while countless lives have been lost over hidden motives for which men and women in uniform unknowingly fight. 

The U.S. military is nothing more than an extension of security for economic interests belonging to banks and corporate giants. These conglomerates of big name contracting companies have invested in war zones to turn a profit, and the U.S. government has willingly paved the way. 

What the 'end of combat' looks like

Despite the supposed “end of combat” in Iraq, two fellow U.S. soldiers were killed in the USD-C region of Iraq on Jan. 2. For them and their families, the war was not over.

On Jan. 3, the base I am currently serving at, Forward Operating Base Kalsu, 20 miles south of Baghdad, was rocked by fire from modified munitions. It was the heaviest we have been hit in my entire nine months in-country. This is the “end of combat.”

These altered munitions were tailored to fit large containers packed with explosives. From recent intel reports, these explosives were fabricated in the immediate area inside an abandoned house. 

These rockets decimated several areas on our base, wounded many and caused lines outside the Combat Support Hospital because of concussions and shrapnel injuries. At the time of the rocket attack, I was in my room while the entire building was rocked by explosions. The noise was deafening and stunned me for several seconds before I stood up and took what little cover I could. I knew the building I was in could have been shredded by the power of these projectiles, but I was just trying to give myself some sense of security. 

Immediately after that, my team and I took cover in a fortified bunker and listened to the continuing explosions, which lasted for several minutes. From my position, I could see black smoke rising from areas that held equipment and storage areas maintained regularly by both U.S. military and civilian personnel. The damage caused by this modified ordnance was catastrophic and destroyed ammo containers loaded with tank rounds as well as living quarters. 

Unfortunately, this attack was not without casualties. Many U.S. troops were injured as a result of shrapnel and concussive blasts. Two of my friends in the immediate area of one blast were nearly killed. One was hit by shrapnel in the leg, and the other narrowly missed being hit in the head. 

This time, these attacks did not result in any deaths, but it only leads me to question: Why are we really still over here? Why must we be subjected to clear and present danger over an occupation rooted in a façade? We have been nothing but a stationary target for the rockets and IEDs, doing nothing but maintaining an illegal occupation. 

With the deaths of two U.S. soldiers already this month, when will there be significant action to bring us home, to stop using us as cannon fodder for corporations? Just because the government says the war in Iraq is over for us does not mean that we will stop being killed, wounded and traumatized. 

When will we be out of the senseless war in Afghanistan? When will we stop occupying Iraq?  This government has shown that they will stay indefinitely. Only we can stop it.


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