One Veteran's Voice

12 January 2006

If I had been born in Yemen...

Before I get jingoistic trolls accusing me of being a "Jane Fonda" in the comments section, allow me to quote Sun Tzu,
"Know thy enemy and know thyself, find naught in fear for 100 battles. Know thyself but not thy enemy, find level of loss and victory. Know thy enemy but not thyself, wallow in defeat every time."
This article, found at is outstanding, and one of the few times I have seen jihadists interviewed in depth in an English language publication. Truly fascinating journalism. A choice quote from the article,
At thirty-two, Khalid was beginning to have serious reservations about the course of the insurgency in Iraq. They are overkilling there. Fighting foreign soldiers was one thing -- he had been doing it all of his adult life. But did his faith really sanction killing civilians in their own country? The blood of people is too cheap. Fifteen years in the jihad, fighting in five foreign wars, imprisoned in England and Yemen, enduring the death of a close friend on a mission in Iraq -- enough. The cost was just too high. Although he was proud of all the fighting he had done in the past, Khalid wanted to settle down to an ordinary life as a father, husband and son. He was a soldier fighting a war. But what if the war had no end?
Khalid and I have a lot in common. It's time for the sane people to speak up and lay down their arms. Khalid, I don't think you'll ever read this, but if you do, I forgive you for trying to kill me. I hope you'll forgive me for trying to kill you. It wasn't anything personal, just jihad. To all the insurgents in Iraq--take a cue from Khalid. Lay down your arms, and start rebuilding. My government will be forced to leave your country if you stop fighting.
War is over! (If you want it)
John Lennon

3 Other Voices:

13 FOX said...

amazing! what a good read.that was something that fascinated me when i was in Iraqis could tell each other apart, especially foriegn arabs. by the time i left, i thought maybe i could tell a Kurd apart from the Sunni and Shia.i don't know.i find myself missing Iraq sometimes. not the combat, rather the brotherhood forged from combat between us and between us and certain can't find that kind of friendship anywhere else. at times,life was never so rich...or cheap.

1/12/2006 02:52:11 PM  
dannyinwisconsin said...

It goes like that, innit?
I knew a guy, just like Khalid. Abu Khadir, his nom de guerre. He fought the Israelis, but what's the difference, he's still dead anyway. I keep in touch with his cousin. He sent baklava. Bottom line - it's just people, doesn't matter what side in the end, hurts everyone - bad, eh?
You gettin rich, soldier?
Nah, just dieing, eh?
We'll wise up someday I guess.
Good post anyway. Keep firin'.

1/12/2006 02:57:19 PM  
Sarah said...

Hey, I can tell just by how someone talks, whether they are from Texas, Georgia, New York, Boston, or Duluth.

1/13/2006 08:26:50 AM  

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