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In the Name of God بسم الله


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  1. Having slept on it and thought about the matter for a while, I think that for the time being I may best serve Iraq by bringing awareness to the problem. Being former military I think I would have a special place in telling the military what they are doing wrong, and if enough of us start to realize it, that would be good. I think you said it best, if all the soldiers realized what they were really a part of, and stopped enlisting, then there wouldn't be an army to send in the first place. I think this is where America needs to focus, to stop the glorification of the military and war. Thank you all for your responses, they are encouraging, and if you want to ask me any questions please feel free. Peacefulwarrior
  2. Hello everyone, I am posting this with a throwaway account from behind a proxy, and I hope I am in the right section. I don't know how to start, so I am just going to jump right in, please try not to judge me until you have read my whole post. I am a former United States Marine, at first in counter-terrorism and then in infantry. You know that bigoted, hateful, kind of person? That was me when I joined the corps. It was not until my deployment to Iraq that I saw the what we were really doing in Iraq... destroying it at the behest of rich old men in Washington, for only the benefit of said people. My military time was spent in various places in Anbar province. My unit was a very combat oriented unit, and I personally was a witness to things I wish to forget, but cannot. I bought the lie I was told by my own military for so long, but I realized that my country had been using me and my brothers for evil against the Iraqi people. While I thankfully never was forced to take a life, I am still guilty by association, regardless of my ignorance. I am here today because I am reaching out to anyone who will hear me. I am sorry, so very sorry, for everything my country and I have done to you and your people. I am sorry for the massive deaths, invasion, for the humiliation, for the fear, for the mismanagement of infrastructure, for the raping of resources, for everything. I know "I'm sorry" is inadequate in every way for what has been done, but I know no other words that are sufficient. I would ask for forgiveness if I felt I deserved it, but I do not. I hold no more desire for war or violence, and there is no more hate in me, even for those who fought and killed my own brothers in arms. Do you know why? Because one day I realized that if I had been born in Iraq, I would have probably fought the occupation too. How could a person see their family "accidentally" bombed or shot and not turn their sadness and rage into revenge? I tear up just thinking about it. Since I got out of the military, (I felt I could not attempt to repair my morality if still in) I have spent a great deal of time studying the middle east in general in an attempt to figure out what went wrong, and how to prevent this from happening to a future generation (we Americans seem to start a war every 20 years or so). I also studied philosophy to try and educate myself to other ideas. I have learned a great deal, but I have no good answers, and I have always felt like I owe an unpayable debt to Iraq for what I was a part of. I make posts on reddit.com to attempt to tell people who don't know, I started a blog to try to tell the world, but still I feel like I am not doing anything to actually help the world or Iraq. So just tonight, it hit me. I want to move to Iraq and help restore the country in any way I can. I don't know if this is realistic, and maybe I need to wait until things are more settled down, but the more I think about it the more I feel it is the right thing to do. I know that if I go back to Iraq as a civilian, I will probably die, but at least I can die for a cause that is worthy. Am I crazy? Have you ever heard of such a crazy thing, an former american military guy who has forsaken violence and wants to move to Iraq permanently? I don't even know where I would go. There are more obstacles. My Arabic has almost faded completely away. I was raised a southern baptist christian, but have since concluded that religion was one of the main tools used to fool us to fight, so I have abandoned my faith and am now an Atheist. I almost want to forsake my given christian name. I am tall and big and white as can be... I would be a target that stood out. Who would even accept me? With what I have told you, would you accept me? Maybe these are just the ramblings of a crazy person, but all I know is that my heart is broken for Iraq and it's people, and one day I hope that I can do at least a little good, because I am so tired of the evil in the world.... I hope I have not offended anyone too much by posting this, but thank you for listening to me all the same. As-Salāmu `alaykumu, peacefulwarrior
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