Ma Deuce Gunner

Ma Deuce Gunner

PROTECTING FREEDOM.....HALF AN INCH AT A TIME.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The Straight Word....Straight from an Iraqi Citizen (PART 1)

Yesterday, I took some time to sit down with one of our interpreters and ask his some questions about the US impact on Iraq in the last 2 years. While the following account of my interview is not direct quotes, be sure that there has been no "journalistic license" nor any additions to thoughts conveyed to me by the interpreter.

First off, let's call him "Steve". Steve possesses a very high level of education.

My first question to Steve was this: "Can you tell me three things that have gotten better since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime??"

He then told me that people are making more money since the fall of Saddam. The average salary, he says, was $1 a month, and that's not a typo. There was very widespread poverty, because there was simply not a lot of money circulating in the economy.

He also said that there were no workers rights. No overtime pay, no re-employment rights, nothing of the sort. He mentioned the salaries again, saying that if you made $3 a month, you were doing well.

The third thing he mentioned was that the economy has stabilized in the last two years. He said "You could go to the market one week and pay 15 dinar for an item. The next week, they might have none at all. The next week, the item might be 170 dinar. You never knew if they were gonna have what you wanted, or if they did, you never knew if you were gonna be able to afford it. That made it very hard to feed your family." He also said there was so many more things than three improvements... that it would be impossible to talk about them all.

My next question was about the elections. I asked about his voting experience.

"When Saddam held elections, when we went to the ballot box, a security man from Saddam was at the ballot box. He would say, "Give it to me," and he would make a mark for you on the paper and put it in the box. So we know that this was a lie, but we could not speak about it, because we were scared that he (Saddam) would kill us."

"My mother said "We must go to the polls!" My whole family went to vote. My brother was an interpreter with the Marines in Fallujah, and he could not vote on that day because he was working, but they made sure that he was given a time and place to cast his vote."

"We cried when we saw the voting. My mother cried tears of joy when we saw the voting. We were so happy that the American forces were here to let us vote. We saw the soldiers and the helicopters keeping us safe. We were so grateful for the Coalition Forces."

I piped in and mentioned to him that we only secured the cities and routes; the IA and IP secured the polling sites, in order to maintain the integrity of the process. To this he replied: "We are sure of the purity of the elections. We have no doubts."

I then asked "How important is it that there be a balanced, fair, and multi-lateral government?"

He replied, "Very important. The Shia and Kurd did not have rights since 1920, when Iraq gained its independence from the British. The minority Sunni ruled this country for 83 years, using fear as its main weapon. That is the only way a minority can rule, by using fear and cruelty. You must have equal rights." He also mentioned that "this is a good start."

My next question was this: "How is the current leadership accepted by the general population. Is the country happy witht the balance of power?"

He said that the Sunnis believe that the US put the Kurds in too powerful of a position. They erroneously believe that we put them there. "That is why the mujaheddin still fight their Jihad." But the rest of the population, he says, is making a concerted effort to accept a mulit-lateral balance of power.



This is the first part of two or possibly three posts about the same interview... stay tuned, folks.

SCOUTS OUT

MDG..........OUT.

7 Comments:

At 4:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok there he had a typo "a dollar a month" bullshit they make more than that i have seen the cash in their pockets hey dumbass get a fucking life you jerkoff non leading fuck don't forget to do your pci's and flog the log with CLP

 
At 5:28 AM, Anonymous hammer said...

here we go again with the gye that can't even tell the whole truth aboutwhat is really going on over here hey mdg get the clue that you are only telling these people one side of the story to make yourself look like some kind of hero that has no idea what the word honesty means

 
At 5:28 AM, Anonymous hammer said...

here we go again with the gye that can't even tell the whole truth aboutwhat is really going on over here hey mdg get the clue that you are only telling these people one side of the story to make yourself look like some kind of hero that has no idea what the word honesty means

 
At 10:04 AM, Blogger Michael said...

OK, that is enough. If you want to hide behind the "anonymous" tag and try and berate me, that is fine. Go ahead. But if you have a problem with me, come and talk to me about it. I live down the hall. Oh, I know where these comments come from. I have the ability to look up your ISP.

I do not do this to make myself look like a super soldier. I make no claims about any exploits on the battlefield. I am no hero. I am just here doing my job, and providing information to the world that is not promulgated through the normal channels.

One more question, for you anonymous. If you are so eminently qualified to be a leader, and you know so well how to lead troops and make decisions, why are you not leading. Why is it that all you have is to hide and post comments and not show your face. You are the coward.

Oh, and the dollar a month, go ask the terps yourself. That was before we got here. Didnt you read what i wrote?? There are larger salaries now, people are making more money. Pay attention, and make sure you understand what you are reading before you criticize.

 
At 6:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks MDG for giving a new perspective on things. We always hear what the right and left in America think, but it is nice to hear what an Iraqi thinks. Keep up the good work :)

 
At 10:30 PM, Blogger Leigh Blackall said...

g'day mdg. Your interview mentions, "He then told me that people are making more money since the fall of Saddam. The average salary, he says, was $1 a month, and that's not a typo. There was very widespread poverty, because there was simply not a lot of money circulating in the economy."
Did you happen to ask him if UN/US sanctions had much to do with this poor economy?

And regarding the democracy - perhaps Suddam's admin just did not have the resources or the will power to impliment and guard a democracy in Iraq - I mean it is costing you guys heaps!

I'm not there, I'm in Australia so I don't mean to suggest that I know any better. These are just some thoughts that spring to mind while reading your blog.

Sorry that you have to deal with some harsh, go nowhere comments - perhaps you should block anonymous posts in your settings...

Regards
Leigh

 
At 12:28 PM, Anonymous Chong Mcclane said...

Are there other forums/blogs that are more specific for this topic? I have not found one.

 

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