July 24, 2004

"What he did was kill me without pistol"

Robert Alt has a story that took my breath away. Iraqi Army Lt. Col. Ahmed Lutfi Raheem tells his tale:

"I was on my way home to Baghdad after my brigadier boss had told me the war was over and to go home," Ahmed said, describing his last moments as a major in the old Iraqi Army air defense unit he had been with for nine years. "He said it was an order," he added...

[Major Raheem starts walking home, and encounters an American soldier]

...The encounter would prove to be a pivotal one for the military veteran because for the next two anxious minutes, Ahmed went through what must be emotions impossible to describe to someone who has never known he was about to die. It was more the result of the 33-year-old’s lifetime of experience with the ways of Saddam Hussein.

Ahmed, though, was actually two minutes away from a rebirth of sorts. "He looked at me for a while and I thought he was going to kill me," Ahmed said. "But he didn’t kill me," he added. "Instead he came to the position of attention and saluted me as an officer," Ahmed said, "And said, ’Sir you can go.’"

"I took a few steps and began to cry," he said, "Because I think, ’Why do I fight these people for ten years?[’”]

"This moment changed me from the inside," Ahmed said. "What he did was kill me without pistol. He killed the old major in the Iraqi Army who fought America from 1993 to 2003.”

Ahmed was advised by a U.S. Army officer to apply at the recruiting center in Baghdad and was ushered into the army a short time later as an "officer candidate." After training, he was commissioned a lieutenant colonel in the new army having made the cut for promotion from his former rank in the old army....

There's more, Ahmed Raheem's adventures were just beginning. Read! (And if you are not touched by this, you are a blockhead with a heart of stone.)

I got two things to say. One: THIS is why (or rather, one of many reasons why) we did not just keep the old Iraqi Army intact. The army Raheem came out of was twisted and sick. We didn't go to Iraq to bring stability, we went to catalyze change.

Two: You don't see stories like this in your newspaper. Because the news media want Democrats back in power, and are trying hard to convince us that Iraq is a hopeless mess. But think about it, any of you Dems out there. Think. You are building the Democrat Party on a foundation of lies! Lies that disparage American achievements. You are building an election campaign on lies. How's that gonna work in the long run? Where are you going? And is it worth it?

(thanks to Betsy N)

Posted by John Weidner at July 24, 2004 5:58 PM
Weblog by John Weidner