June 18, 2004

Not-so-quotable Quotes

These from Iraqis, some of them military men, after a car bomb went off in Baghdad:

A former first lieutenant in the Iraqi air defense command, he was driving up to the recruiting center to rejoin when the bomb exploded. Now, he said, has no intention of returning. "I'll never go back to this place or the army, no matter what happens to Iraq," he said. "Nothing is worth giving my life for."

"Never, never, never," said Majeed Hameed Mikhlef, 29, who was hospitalized after being wounded in the blast, when asked if he would go back to the center to renew the enlistment application he had submitted. "It is not worth it anymore."

Dhia Kahtan Muhammed, 36, a former warrant officer in the Iraqi army, said from a neighboring hospital bed that he had applied to enlist in a special forces unit but was no longer interested in the job. "I will not go back to that place," he said, "even if they make me a general."

Bashar Mizhar Hamoud, 25, a former sergeant who was hoping to reenlist, said that before the bomb went off, wounding him and so many others, he had received a piece of paper ordering him to return June 26 for processing. "But after this, I am not going back," he said from his hospital bed. "I have had enough."

Not quite as inspiring as "Give me liberty, or give me death," or as memorable as "I regret that I have but one life to give for my country."

But lest you think that the article was being less than objective, they did include one last quote:

Capt. Mohammed Imad, a 30-year-old civil defense officer, said that despite the attacks, he would persist in his job. "If I quit, who is going to stop these attacks?" he said. "If we quit, only terrorists will have jobs in Iraq."


  1. See, if we'da bombed the shit out of the other side, rather than strategic strikes and a mostly 'humane' war, the other side would be this tired of fighting.

    You have to wonder, too, how the reporters choose their men on the streets. This one probably walked into a group hanging out together (and hanging out together because they share similar beliefs) and just wrote down what they said.

  2. Anonymous10:17 PM

    Have to agree with Kenny on this one.

    Remember Gulf War I when Daddy Bush bombed the holy bejesus out of Iraqi command and control, air defense, infrastructure, and troop positions for about five-and-a-half weeks before sending in a single U.S. ground combatant who wasn't special forces?

    I'll never forget the film that started pouring in after about the third week of the bombing in February '91. Thousands upon thousands of Iraqi soliders (many being Republican Guard) swarming towards U.S. positions while waving white flags and holding their arms up in the air.

    After three weeks of getting their asses pounded by F-117 surgical strikes and massive B-52 carpet bombing, they just decided to say, "Fuck this and fuck Saddamn. We surrender."

    If there's one thing I question about Bush's policy on Iraq II is why he didn't start with the massive air strikes like his father used more than a decade earlier. I know, I know... international opinon. Well, screw that. It's an election year. The world would have been pissed, but now the war would truly be over, we wouldn't have causalties, and the American electorate would be thrilled to death.

    This is probably the sole area where Bush II would have been wise to follow in daddy's presidential footsteps.