From a Veteran to the Freedom Fighter Who Shot Me

Dear Freedom Fighter Who Shot Me,
Today is April 14, 2010. Six years ago today I was occupying your land and your communities near Karabillah, Iraq. That particular day I was in a four vehicle convoy travelling from Al Qa’im to Husaybah. I was the gunner standing in the turret of the final vehicle facing the rear, and we ran into the guerilla ambush.

The US Government and the US corporate media would say that you are a terrorist, but you are not a terrorist. I was a terrorist. For that I must offer my deepest apologies and ask your forgiveness. I must also thank you. The bullet that you used to protect yourself from me changed my life. That day, you shot holes through everything I had grown up believing about America fighting for freedom and liberty. Your bullet, like a seed, penetrated far beyond skin and muscle, and sank deep into something in the core of my being where, over time it grew to be something much greater. It grew into a world view that included people outside of the United States of America as human beings and equals. It grew into an understanding of my place in the world and my part in the suffering of other people and the part that the United States Empire plays in the world as one of the greatest enemies of freedom and justice that exists.

We were told that we would be going to Iraq to liberate people. I now see this as an absolute lie. It is you, who was there that day fighting for the liberation of the Iraqi people. The United States Empire is a weapon of oppression, not a force for justice. Occupation will never be liberation.

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2 Responses to From a Veteran to the Freedom Fighter Who Shot Me

  1. Jim in San Marcos says:

    I don’t get it. You kill people in war not argue over their beliefs.

    It is either you or me, and if I have a say, it will be you.

    Religion and philosophies start wars. Death and destruction end them. If you win you are right, if you lose, you are wrong. It is pretty simple “Talk walks!”

  2. Paco Bell says:

    Hi Jim-

    I agree the macro cause and effect of war are absolute. In micro, it was intriguing to read the p-o-v of a soldier having an attack of conscience.

    Since this war recently surpassed Vietnam in duration, I thought this post was simultaneously point and counterpoint. Vietnam, from this distance in time, was about chasing ghosts too.

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