Monday, April 15, 2013
The truth on the ground
Tonight was another hot and muggy night so me and my travel buddy David went over to the neighbor's house.
There we met with one of the ladies he is befriending.
An older lady was there with her husband. He worked overseas a lot in the middle east. He is what the country calls an OCW. Overseas Contract Worker.
His stories are something else.
He works in restaurants.
And once he began telling us how his life was in the middle east, it became really fascinating to listen to him.
First off, he says, Arabs are really the worst employers. This seems to tally with my brother in law's stories about Arabs as well looking down on everyone else. It did not matter what other race you were.
But his stories when he was in Kuwait left me enthralled.
While my buddy talked to his lady friend, I sat mesmerized by this guy's tales of his employment when he was caught during the invasion.
Man, it is a ground level look into the 1991 war.
And once again proves that what CNN and most "lamestream" media shows Americans is clearly BS.
First surprise was he says the Iraqi Army are actually good guys. He keeps stressing this. It's when you slice that army up into its components that you see who is the bastards. First off, the Republican Guard. No suprise there. Then the secret police and the "volunteer" army. What is the Iraqi volunteer army?
It's an army made up of --guess what-- "contractors". Mercenaries in short. They come from Palestine, Syria, Egypt... all the small violent countries all around that area and they're there purely for profit.
These 3 groups are the most vicious according to him.
The Iraqi main army... the actual army composed of real Iraqis are mostly nice chaps. They try to uphold justice at all times during the occupation. But they all get hated equally because of the spy police and mercenary abuses. Sound familiar?
He remembers helping a raped woman find justice. There were signs on all the streets posted by the new Iraqi government in Kuwait telling people to report any abuses, rapes and theft to the authorities. So they reported the rape to an army colonel. Luckily, the woman remembered her attacker.
the Colonel lined up his men. She pointed at her attacker. the Colonel shot the guy right there in the head.
He told me tales of looting. Gold, watches and stuff was just there for the taking. When he was tempted to break into a jewelry store, for some reason, maybe his conscience (something telling him "do not do this"), he stopped and did not steal anything. The next guy to come in was shot by security. He was saved by his instinct to do the right thing.
Their Kuwaiti employers during the occupation would offer rewards of $1,000 for every Iraqi they killed. Some Filipinos took them on the offer. Others got caught and executed on the spot.
He told of the flying missiles that would weave around buildings and hit the next one. And told of the power of such weapons. He was nearly always deaf during that time with all the loud booms.
One of the things he said was when 10 Iraqis came to the restaurant they all worked in and tried to separate the women from the men. The employees maybe 50 of them, banded together and said we'll fight you to the death if need be. Scared of their numbers, the 10 soldiers backed off.
He said the Philippine embassy was swollen with refugees. Every room was taken even the toilets.
Since he worked at a restaurant, he remembers taking the supplies of the restaurant and feeding people. Uncooked hams and salamis... they took the coke dispenser and used it there... There was no water so they lived on soft drinks from the dispenser and the soda tanks.
Then, of course, the end came.
He saw Iraqis burying tanks in the sand.
He also remembers hiding a Mexican American soldier whom they found in a canal.
They took him and hid him among themselves. The other Filipinos who fled left their passports behind. One of them was stripped and the Mexican's photo was put in the place of the original photo. That's how they got the guy across the border to Saudi.
He remembers that the warring factions largely ignored the Filipino and worker populations there in Kuwait. You kept quiet and caused no trouble, you lived in peace.
The liberating forces came.
He witnessed the kind treatment of Iraqis by American forces. The other Arab countries in the coalition --Saudis and Kuwaitis, wanted to brutally torture the captured Iraqis but the Americans said no.
The captured Iraqi soldiers were treated humanely with medical care and fed lots of food. The Iraqis actually did not want to leave and go back to Iraq. They were afraid of Saddam.
After the war, he also told tales of people hiding discarded AK-47's. His friend hid 3 of them, later shipping them out to the Philippines and selling them.
It's the first time I have heard of an inside story like this from someone who was actually there. The guy isn't rich and he hasn't really benefitted financially from his work out there. It was just a job. After that, he went home and resumed a normal life raising kids.
It was a fascinating day today.