A Letter to an American Solider!
I have been asked several times to give an advice to an American solider heading from somewhere in the USA to somewhere in Iraq! I think this is a good time to write about this issue.
I am sure the Pentagon specialist Departments had certain advices and clarifications to their soldiers about how to deal with the Iraqi people but not without pitfalls. This article is different as you may see.
Above all the American solider should ask himself or herself the following question: What is his feeling when his own country occupied by foreign forces irrespective of whether they liberated him from a tyrant or not? Just ask yourself this question and keep the answer with you soon when your feet touch the Iraqi soil! This will make you to understand the feeling of the people or some of the people whom you are going to meet there!
Next thing you have to know that you are in a different society than yours. Let me give you an example. If a foreign particle enters your body your immunity will isolate then attack it by special antibodies. Therefore this particle should behave genuinely as part of the body! You should not make yourself superior to the people there and should show that you do care for that part of the world and its people as if you are one of them.
If you try to change the faith or the belief of the people they will not accept it. You should show genuine respect to the women and they should not be searched by male soldiers but women soldiers and vice versa. The holly places should be respected fully.
I am sure the majority of Coalition soldiers dislike and share us the feeling against the recent abuses of the prisoners. The majority of them got families; wives, children, parents, brothers, sisters and other relatives and friends that they like to go back to once and forever. This is a genuine humanbeing feeling irrespective of the political or boundary issues. You should make sure that you are there for a temporary time only and better to get few Iraqi friends rather than enemies because you may need to go back without your uniform at some time with your loved one for a visit hopefully to see a different Iraq with better roads, airports, services, etc and unemployment reversed from more than 85% to less than 15%.
Lastly let me tell you this story about a fool man who was spoiled by his rich dad. He was so dependent on his dad richness so was just a lazy little man! His dad gave him an advice before him departing this life. He asked his son to promise him to fulfil 3 things after his death. First is to build a palace in each city; second to eat the tastiest food and last to sleep on the best furniture. He then spend his money trying to do all the above while losing one by one by gambling and taxes and so on until he found himself in the street begging the people. One day a friend of his father saw him in such miserable state and asked him why? He said it is due to the fool advice of his father! The man moved his head from side to side and said it is your fool interpretation and not your dad advice. Your dad meant by palace is to keep a friend in each city because he or she will be there for you when you need him (the friend should not be dictator or tyrant). He also advised you to eat from your earnings and when starved so the food then whatever it is will taste nice. Lastly if you work and get tired then even if you sleep on the floor it will feel better than the mattresses of the Queen of England and the furniture of the Oval office of your President GWB!
I hope you will interpretate my letter carefully and rightly!