Hearts & Minds

Mortar Attack on the Fallujah Police; the PTT Medics

Doc J helps an Iraqi policeman out of the JCC. Click image to view.

FALLUJAH, IRAQ: Fallujah continues to remain a dangerous place for the U.S. military, Iraqi Army and the Iraqi police. Insurgents lobbed three 120 millimeter mortars inside the Fallujah Government Center this afternoon. One of the rounds landed on a HESCO barrier – the cloth and mess containers filled with dirt. The other struck pay dirt and hit the wall of a Fallujah Police sleeping quarters.

Three police officers were wounded. One suffered a leg wound from shrapnel and a concussion, another bruised ribs, and the third broken ribs. The policemen were immediately taken to the Joint Command Center, where the Police Transition Team coordinates with the Iraqi Army, Fallujah Police and the Highway Patrol. The Marine of Charlie Company, 1/24 Marines sent over a squad to support the JCC.

Fallujah Police after mortar attack. Click image to view.

I was with the Military Transition Team of 3rd Recon during the attack at the other side of the base. Major David McCombs, the commanding officer of the MTT, immediately dispatched a medic along with two artillery sergeants, to assist with the wounded and attempt to determine the firing point of the mortars. When we arrived at the scene of the attack, the police were already triaged by Navy Corpsman Jerad Jurgensmier (HN), and prepped to head to a hospital.

Navy Corpsman are attached to Marine units to provide medical care for the Marines. Here with the Police Transition Team, the corpsmen are perhaps the most important member of the team. The corpsmen not only treat the Marines, but are the primary medical caregivers of the Iraqi police. “When it comes to hearts and minds, the corpsman are it,” said Major Brian Lippo, the commanding officer of the Fallujah PTT. “This is where we shine. They show the police and Iraqi people (that) we are here to help.”

Mortar impact on wall of policemen’s room. Click image to view.

There are two corpsmen attached to the Fallujah PTT: ‘Doc J’ Jurgensmier and HM3 Doc Joshua Watson, or ‘Scuba Steve.’ “Every policeman knows Doc J and Doc Watson,” said Caption Tad Scott, the executive officer of the Fallujah PTT.

The Fallujah Police not only know them, but they listen. This morning, Doc J addressed the police at morning formation and implored the police to wear their helmets and body armor. He held up a police vest that had been hit with a bullet and explained how it save the officer’s life. When he made these request individually in the past, the officers starting wearing their vests.

The corpsmen are also performing tasks far beyond their job descriptions as the first line of care for the PTT. Since there are no doctors out here in Fallajuh – the nearest Coalition doctor is at Camp Fallujah Surgical – the corpsmen often perform the tasks of doctors. I witnessed Doc J pack and unpack the facial wound of a policeman who took a bullet to the face. The bullet entered one side of his face, through his sinuses and out the other side. Just this week, he removed sutures and stitches from a severe stomach wound of another Iraqi policeman.

Medical treatment often does more than just win hearts and minds. “When you help them with injuries, they often feel obligated to return the favor,” said Doc J. The policemen often return with information on insurgents that they’ve held back out of fear for their safety.

Inside the policemen’s room. Click image to view.

Whenever Major Lippo travels, he takes a medic with him. This evening, we visited the Highway Patrol station on the outskirts of Fallujah. Although the Highway Patrol is administered by the Ramadi police district, there is much animosity and distrust between the departments and communication is poor to non-existent. Both complain the other departments are “muj’d up” or filled with insurgents – the mujahideen. The resulting jockeying is just one of many challenges and concerns that one needs to keep in mind out here.

After Major Lippo diplomatically castigated the Highway Police for failing to send a representative to the meetings at the Joint Command Center, he offered up Doc J to treat any police that had problems. The police invariably have some real or imagined illness. A line formed, and Doc J dispensed medicine for various aliments and won over new friends in the process.

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Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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51 Comments

  • Tom says:

    Bill
    Great reporting and God Bless you. It is great reading and very exciting and I look forward to reading your “dispatches” every day.
    I cannot understand why the Pentagon has not actively engaged bloggers like yourself who are out in the field, in the fight, seeing the great things are troops are doing while experiencing the life of real warfighters.
    I have talked to several Pentagon and MNF-I STRATCOMs types who say it is against the law to engage bloggers because it is IO and you guys are not real reporters.
    Instead the Pentagon continues to engage an adversarial MSM, that fill up their newscasts with Britney Spears’ underwear stories, but nothing about the brave, tough warfighters who are in the squads fighting hard and successfully.
    Bill, frankly I am glad their are guys like you out there reporting the real story of the fighting in Iraq. Please keep up the good work.

  • Paul says:

    Bill,
    Give our warmest regards to those valiant men! I have e-mailed you and hope to hear from you soon.
    Stay safe and keep up the great work.
    Paul

  • Justin B says:

    Navy Corpsmen, especially those that serve in Marine Units, are the bravest of the brave. Often unarmed or simply carrying pistols and massive medical packs, the Navy Corpsmen are a Marine’s best friend. As a former Corpsman who had the privilege of serving with Marine units, my Marines always had my back. These folks save lives every day and every single marine unit has a corpsman right there to save their lives if needed.
    Thanks for telling about the other side of the goodwill that they bring. I never had to serve in armed conflict, so I simply offered my skills and occasional medical treatment on the down low in return for other favors from the supply folks or the mess cooks. =) You help some guy’s wife or one of your men’s kids when they are sick and come over to their place and check on them during your off time, and you have a friend for life. I can imagine that when you do it for an Iraqi police officer it works the same way.

  • Jeff says:

    Bill,
    Thanks for the great reporting, and I’m grateful that you’re out there telling it as you see it. I recently returned from a year as a police advisor with the Iraqi Border Police. Our corpsman was central to our efforts out there. We found ourselves in a situation where the Iraqi government had not been able to develop their medical support system to a point where they could support their border police along the Syrian border, and our corpsmen not only provided basic medical support to the policemen, but they provided the training necessary for the IP to learn their own basic first aid. It was a huge confidence builder, and when injuies did occur, and their own “corpsman” provided the aid, it was a huge step. We created a corpsmand course, designated Iraqi corspsman, certified them, and provided them supplies. The Iraqis were willing to learn and were very proud of their corpsman status. I can’t think of anything that we did that brought them closer to independent action than giving them the training and supplies necessary for thme to have the confidence that they would be cared for in the event of injury. It was easy for us, and a huge step forward for them. So, I can’t agree more with your assessment of the importance of the corpsmen in the Transition Teams. It is amazing what someone will do when they know that they have medical support behind them…
    J

  • Neo-andertal says:

    Bill,
    Thanks for your account of what is currently going on in Fallujah. Away from Baghdad things seem to be in a similar state as a year ago. What you seem to be describing is a persistent low level engagement by AQ in order to keep Anbar province ungovernable and also tie down both American and Iraqi troops while the main show goes on in and around Baghdad. Your account does contrast with the breathless hyperbole common in AP headliners. The violence is pervasive though, it adds up and isn’t going away any time soon. The US has thus far been unable to cut off the constant retaining and resupply of the insurgency from the outside. AQ has the ability to sustain its current level activity indefinitely so long as powers outside continue this resupply the insurgency and the Sunni’s inside refuse any real political settlement. I do see modest gains in the proficiency of the Iraqi Army and Police. This is on a large scale throughout Iraq and is significant but the insurgency and Shiite militias remain a potent problem. At the root of the problem there has been no real matching political consolidation alongside the creation of the Iraqi Army. Thus the Iraqi Army becomes a force without an effective internal political mandate.
    I had some hope that the Shiites would at least find some political center amongst themselves even if it were conservative religious rather than secular in nature. Sadr has effectively prevented this from happening. Even a unified and politically effective Shiite south seems to be a long way off.
    Up through last falls election there seemed to be some inertia behind the establishment of a central government. Much of that progress has clearly been lost. There isn’t even a clear political mandate amongst the Shiites in the south. The only thing that has coninued momentum right now is the establishment of the Iraqi Army. Right now the Iraqi Army isn’t going to be thrown from its position by either the Sunni insurgents or Sadr’s Mahdi army. The Iraqi army lives and dies on US support for now and the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, our enemy’s are counting on us to withdraw support, leaving them to mold Iraq as fits their purposes. If the Iraqi’s walk away from establishing an effective security force or we walk away than games up.
    If the US chooses to leave the field than it is a question of how much momentum the Islamist movement gains. Will the movement be a tide that sweeps across Central Asia and the Middle East of will the populations of the Islamic countries have become war weary and reluctant to support Islamist movements. There is also a possibility that the militants have created so much bad blood that they get caught up in an impossible Shiite vs. Sunni war that ties up the Islamist movement.

  • Shaun says:

    Hi Bill:
    I know that while you are a most brave and excellent reporter, irony is not among the tools in your kitbag.
    That said, don’t you find it ironic that three years and eight months into the war Falluja remains a seething cauldron? What does this say to you about the state of the war?
    Just asking?
    Be safe, Shaun

  • Bill Roggio says:

    Thanks, everyone for the kind words of support.
    Shawn,
    You have no idea what’s in my toolkit. And since you’re mind is already made up on the answer, why should I bother answering? Perhaps it would be best for you to return to your cat & impeachment blogging. Because heaven knows we don’t see enough of that….

  • Bryan Vandergriff says:

    Bill:
    I found your description of the security in Fallujah very interesting. The lockdown of the city and ID passes you referenced in a previous post seem like textbook counterinsurgent operations. Perhaps I am mistaken, but I haven’t heard about this in Fallujah before and it seems like a newer tactic. Was this adopted from the Tal Afar operations?
    Thanks for shedding some light. Sometime I get lost in the morass of reporting back here in the states. It must hard for some reporters to actually see what is going on when all you can do is watch CNN, hear explosions and read about body counts.
    I am curious as to the number of forces in Fallujah (MNF & IA) relative to the expected number of insurgents. If you have time to shed light on this, I would appreciate it.
    Thank you and keep up the great work.

  • Justin B says:

    What is the irony that you speak about–that despite the US Military’s extensive presence in Iraq, the area remains war-torn? But you expect that despite the Military’s extensive presence in Al Anbar, it remains the single largest cause of problems outside of Baghdad?
    So the irony is that you have access to the news about Iraq and yet expect that the single largest source of trouble, Al Anbar, and the city that required a complete lockdown and house by house searches for terrorists as well as is right on the rat line for terrorists that are coming in from Syria is still problematic? Fallujah and Ramadi as well as Al Anbar are traditional smuggling routes into Baghdad and are key cities for the insurgency. Obviously as terrorists enter the country from Syria, the terror leaders would use a significant portion of their force to maintain their positions in Al Anbar. This is why a lot of the unrest is centered on Al Anbar and why both Northern and Southern Iraq are peaceful in relation to Al Anbar.
    Bill may not see the irony in your statement because he is so focused on the stupidity of it.

  • Michael says:

    Bill,
    Excellent work again. Thanks for all your efforts.
    As for legacy media trolls, they fail to realize they do not fully control the gates of information flow as they once did. Their insults mark them clearly for what they are.
    They managed to pull off a Tokyo Rose like effort in 2006 to demoralize our nation domestically thru 24/7 lose, lose, lose propaganda techniques. And have been trying to demoralize our troops since the beginning.
    So much for whole truth, lets all listen instead to the great pubahs of truthiness who make their own news instead of reporting accurately and factually all the information.
    Sure, I trust people like Shaun to give me the whole truth. Every day they judge and condemn our own nation, our leader, without any effort to boldly challenge the filthy corrupt societies and governments of Russia, China and the United “all against Israel and America Muslim league” of Nations, joined by bastions of Truth leaders such as Fidel and Chavez.
    Use Flipant, cutesy names, like “Decider” and fail to offer any alternatives except for going back to the status quo of Tyrants, Murderers and Thugs in the Middle East. Despite the fact that the Mullah’s and President of Iran have stated openly for all to see they’ll not negotiate anything. Despite the fact, they are spurring on terrorist around the world.
    Sure, lets kiss them like Carter and denounce our soldiers like Clinton while in Saudi Arabia, shall we? A cool 450K talking bribe to denounce my country any day of the week works for me! Lets forget that Clinton saddled up to the Kings himself, plus did nothing to stop over 3 million dead in Sudan!
    These great stalwarts of truth and compasion will use Viagra out the yinyang for staying power in Bosnia, but call for CutNruN when it really counts now at the most important juncture in our history.
    They don’t blame Hezbollah, Syria, Iran, Muslim Brotherhood, Arab League, Al Qaeda, etc., for the problems in Lebanon, Iraq, or the region. No, in their myopic worldviews of hating all things unlike themselves, they blame our President. They mock and scoff like atheist comedian Bill Maher, because afterall, this is what distinguishes their work from yours Bill.
    There ability to see “irony” in a war. Not that we lost over 400,000 Americans in WWII. Or, 50,000 in Korea, and now because we stuck it out, fought, beat the enemy, held them back, there are now thriving economies contributing to the world.
    Yes, I should follow more news “makers” like Shaun. With all these reality shows today, I can’t get enough of fantasy from TV as it is.
    Thank you Shaun for a walk down memory lane of why I left – the left.
    Your pomposity for twitter and promoting yourself on your blog matches your arrogance in your writing style. Oh god that you are, may I kneel at your altar?
    Yes, history will judge our nations actions Shaun. And it will judge the media just as harshly for its all out attack of biased reporting run amok during a time of war when our nation should pull together. It will note how the media joined together with the Democrats to do every single thing it could to interfere, trip up, denunciate, lie by omission, undermine our military and oppose every single action by this administration and the Republican majority.
    But hey, no sweat off your back right Shawn? You’re a hero according to your blog. We all bow down. I can only imagine how you, CutNruN, NYT and all the other biased journalist in media today, plus Follywood would’ve have done the same exact thing against us in WWII.

  • jordan says:

    Bill, what are the troops saying about the heated, inside-the-beltway hyperbole about the study group conclusions? This morning the Newsweek bureau chief stated on CSPAN that morale was low among soldiers and they always say they want to come home. True?
    Other reporters purport to speak for the troops and say their morale is low, but soldiers on the net say otherwise. Unfortunately, it’s hard to get a feel for how our soldiers are doing. I think most people will follow their lead, if they only know what those doing the fighting think the next step should be.
    What’s the story? How do you gauge the “fighting spirit” of our forces, and might they be disheartened by media distortions as opposed to the difficult fight itself? Can they simply disregard this stuff and keep doing what they’re doing, and how do we back here help? Thanks for what you’re doing.

  • Neo-andertal says:

    I have an actual question this time.
    What are the demographics of the men who make up Iraqi army units used in Anbar province? Are they still still using a lot of Shiite and Kurds in the army units or have they been able to integrate parts of the Sunni population? I understand that the police are locals but I was wondering what the thinking was on how to man units. Have there been changes?

  • Steve D says:

    Bill: many thanks for doing what you’re doing — my impression is that there is such a massive amount of mis-information being reported that getting real insights is a challenge for anyone trying to understand what’s going on.
    I’d appreciate your thoughts on the gap between your perceptions and those around you and what’s being presented as ‘fact’ here in the mainstream media. The media says “we” have lost; from what I read from bloggers and others either on the ground or recently returned is very different — “we”, meaning US and Iraqis who want what’s best for their society and families believe they are making slow progress in a very significant and difficult undertaking.
    I’m willing to believe that any significant undertaking requires significant effort, and that the current state of things in Iraq is no different — if it took 10 years for Kurdistan to reconcile its differences and become the model it is today, it may take at least that long for the rest of Iraq.
    Again, thanks —

  • DemocracyRules says:

    AM I MISSING SOMETHING? WHAT, EXACTLY, WOULD “WINNING”

  • GK says:

    DemocracyRules,
    Good post, along with other good ones you have posted on other blogs.
    You should have your own blog if you don’t already, and if you do, please post the link for our benefit.

  • Neo-andertal says:

    DemocracyRules,
    I share the sentiment. Political developments are indeed messy and the development of democracy has never been peaceful. Even the American Revolution was fought in the shadow of the failed English Civil War of a century earlier. That war pitted the parliament and newly powerful interests against the older aristocratic order. Parliament won the war but failed to set up a sustainable government and reverted to weak constitutional monarchy after Cromwell’s dictatorship.
    However, there is no guarantee that democracy will win out in a given country. There are powerful forces internal and external pulling Iraq apart right now. A big problem is the wave of Islamist extremism that has increased over the last three decades. I am very wary that Iraq not become a springboard for a further wave of Islamic extremism after an American withdrawal.

  • Mike says:

    Bryan:
    Fallujah has been locked down like that since I was there last in March 05. Not sure if the ID’s were in place though.

  • Jerad "Doc J" Jurgensmier says:

    to bill and anybody reading this blog, first to answer jordans question we really dont care about what these “study groups” have to say, one we could care less, and two no matter what they say were gonna stay and do our job, even though we are embeded out in town our moral is high. my second point is to all you complaining, propaganda pushin PU**YS who have never been over here and have never even had contact with these people, who believe every thing you here on the internet or from the big news stations, things here are actually going good. The people trust our team, we are getting information everyday about insurgent cells that are in the city, they want us here, and they want the muj’h gone. so before you get on here and bash what we do or what bill reports on, know the facts because you piss people like me off who are fighting for these’s people democracy and so the insurgents dont make it to our country and kill any more of our own people. Bill you are a great assett to us and our telling our story, I support you in all you do. Please dont waist your time with these scum who dare question what is going on. and if any of you read this and would like to respond to me yourself or have any questions my email address is [email protected]

  • Fred Beloit says:

    Thanks for another informative report, Bill. And Doc J, good to hear from you. Some of us over here worry about how you guys are taking all the MSM BS. It is good to hear you seem to have the bayonet spirit still intact. It is just a bit disconcerting to hear that the I cops have to be told to wear their Helmets, etc. First day of basic training stuff. The old wheezers of the Commision (I can say that, I’m old myself) are calling for the military there to turn into trainers intead of warriors. If we are starting with Day One, “This is my rifle, this is my gun”, we have a long way to go. The problem on the home front is public patience and reporting from Green Zone zombies.

  • CharlesC says:

    Jared:
    I wish I was naive enough to believe I was fight for “these people’s democracy”. If the fight was about Iraqi democracy, American troops would leave right now because every single poll shows that a majority of Iraqis want that. The war is clearly about American oil and strategic interests in the Middle East.

  • Jamie Jurgensmier says:

    I just want to say that I’m so very proud of my brother, Jerad aka “Doc J”. He’s got a loving heart and I really appreciate all he’s doing over there as well as all the other troops! It touches close to heart when it’s someone you know and love so much to see what they’re going through over there to keep us safe here at home!! God bless all the troops! And Jerad, please remember We love you VERY MUCH!! Come home soon and be safe!! Keep up the GREAT work. I love and miss you!!! XOXOX
    Your sister,
    Jamie

  • cjr says:

    CharlesC:
    If US was only interested in stealing oil from the ME, then explain to me what happened in 1991. US should have jumped a the chance to steal Kuwait’s oil after the first Gulf War. It was the perfect opportunity. Small country, lots of oil and the US with 500,00 troops on hand. Yet it didnt. Instead of staying, occupying the country and turn it into the 51st state, US left within 3 months. Quite an odd thing to do, dont you think?

  • CharlesC says:

    I didn’t say “steal oil”. I said it was for “oil interests and strategic interests” meaning having friendly regimes in an oil rich region because it is good for both the steady flow of oil on international markets, the sale of oil predominantly in US currency and opportunities for contracts for American companies. Restoring the friendly Kuwaiti dictatorship was definitely for the same reason even though I favored that war because Saddam had no business in Kuwait. If the United States wanted to promote “freedom” around the world, it would have cared about the democratic choice of Chileans, Nicaraguans, Irananians in 1953 (elected leader didn’t want British Petroleum to run his oil) and would have supported the end of apartheid. The United States was the only country to block the UN resolution against apartheid in South Africa.
    Saddam is a “war criminal” now but he wasn’t considered one by the United States in the 1980s when they were providing him with most of the material to both gas the kurds and start an offensive war against Iran.

  • cjr says:

    Charles:
    US provided no material or financial support to Iraq in the 1980’s what so ever. ALL the military equipment came from USSR, China, France, Germany and Brazil. ALL the money came from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

  • CJR says:

    Charles:
    So the entire extent of US support was $1.5m worth of agricultureal products which has been spun by a headline-seeking newpaper into “chemical weapons”.
    Thank you for proving my point. Any…reasonable… person would call this extremely trivial to nonexistant.

  • CharlesC says:

    “The US provided less conventional military equipment than British or German companies but it did allow the export of biological agents, including anthrax; vital ingredients for chemical weapons; and cluster bombs sold by a CIA front organisation in Chile, the report says.”
    That’s not trivial

  • Donbury says:

    CharlesC: re US support of Saddam.
    The Guardian publishes some interesting reports and I gather some good information from them. However, they are also a source of some ditzy articles. NEVER take a Guardian piece seriously without checking it out via more reliable sources — the Guardian’s editors are VERY sloppy journalists, often letting painfully amateurish stuff escape their red pencil.
    The Julian Borger’s 2002 Dec 31 article referred to is a prime example of cherry picking the facts. During the cold war of the 1980s, Iraq was firmly on the Soviet side of the fence — note that in the Gulf War US troops faced no American weapons, only Soviet tanks and aircraft. UK interests in Iran had deteriorated by the time Saddam came into power and Iran, under the Shah, was strategically an ally of the US dating from the time that Truman demanded that Iranian based Soviet troops leave the country. At the beginning of the War in 1980 Iran was equipped with American tanks and aircraft.
    The Islamic revolution destroyed this US alliance in 1979 and immediately Saddam, backed by his Soviet advisors moved, in 1980, into the power vacuum. The US was helpless (and in no mood) to support the Iranians who had held their citizens hostage for 444 days and was shouting “Death to America” from the mosques. Nor were they in a mood to support a ruthless dictatorship locked into the Soviet sphere of influence — so they chose neutrality. They certainly were not upset when the Israeli Air Force took out Saddam’s atomic weapon program in 1981.
    They kept an eye on the situation. Huge amounts of oil flowed thru the Persian Gulf in the middle of the Battle zone. The US certainly didn’t want Iran to win and invade Iraq, but they certainly didn’t want a client state of the Soviet Union to take over Iran. The best possible outcome for the US was that both sides would exhaust themselves with no winners. Which is exactly what happened. It is absurd to think that the US supported Iraq. No documents indicate that significant quantities of American weapons reached Iraq.
    Certainly in a world economy as fluid as ours, full of greedy arms dealers, Frenchmen, and smugglers, some American arms reached Iraq — but that was never American policy. Certainly Rumsfeld went to Iraq on a diplomatic mission — probably at the instigation of James “Iraq Study Group” Baker who was very active politically at the time and has always advocated negotiation in situations where negotiation is among the least sensible options.
    Charles, doesn’t it bother you that you can be so easily brainwashed by incompetent journalists?
    Bill Roggio, I am delighted with your site. It is not always easy to find competent journalists in this crazy world of hype. You rate right up their with Ernie Pyle.

  • Michael says:

    Jared, thanks for posting and Godspeed!
    Charles, exactly what do you call Russia and China in Iran? What do you call China in Sudan?
    Russia in Syria?
    Get real. It is a war being played out at the highest levels. Why do you think we stayed in South Korea?
    Russia, China have tried to spread communism. We have tried to stop them in the past and spread freedom.
    Exactly what do you not understand in this scenario? Have we dealt at times with unsavory characters? Yes. And it haunts us to this day.
    No one is saying we have a perfect past. But its a hell of a lot better than Russia and China. Who together killed upwards to 100 million of their own people under Stalin and Mao. What do you think is going on in North Korea today?
    Think that is our fault? Don’t blame China for the death of millions, starving, rotting under a madman? He’s theire little puppet.
    But ohhhh no, not Charles. Its all America’s fault.
    Trying to stand up a country with a free society based upon rule of law, free press and justice for all is a serious step forward for that entire region in the Middle East. It is a long, hard battle. So is the war in Afghanistan.
    What do you think is going on in Venezuela and the Communist in South America?
    Do you want to go kiss them all like Jimmmah Cater and annoint them with oil? Like he did the murdering thug Arafat?
    Offer solutions. You have none. Your solution is to allow the Middle East to continue the way it was.
    What do you want in Afghanistan? Should we stay or leave there and why? And what do you think happens if we leave Iraq to early?
    You have no solutions, only complaints. Offer up some solutions unlike the Democrats and I’ll be glad to read and discuss.
    Russia and China —> Syria and Iran —> Hezbollah, Hamas, PLO, and every other terrorist organization in the world.
    We played this game much like the Russians and Chinese did precisely because we did not want to go to war ourselves. It has been tit for tat ever since WWII. Actually, prior to that because initially Russia was on Hitler’s side until he doubl-crossed them.
    None of this is easy. And you are extremely naive if you do not realize that Russia and China are funding our enemies.
    Why do you think the Sudanese government has killed 3 million people? OIL! They want it all and who is funding them? China!
    Wake up!

  • CharlesC says:

    Michael:
    You got a good point. Russia and China do have influence in Iran. Russia has influence in Syria. Russia and China look out for their own interests on the world scene just like the United States does. All 3 of those countries don’t care about “freedom” but only cares if a government loyal to them is in power. The United States is in Iraq for American intrests, not to “free the Iraqi people”. The American people are not looked upon with disdain throughout the world because they are bringing “freedom” to people. It is because they are throwing their weight around in the world to advance their own strategic interests. The Iraqi people do not want the Americans there and if they were free, the Americans would leave right away.
    The Iraq War was a clear violation of the principles of international law. The United States had the same right to invade Iraq as Germany had to invade Poland in 1939 and Iraq had to invade Kuwait. There is no difference. One country started the war and one country’s citizens are fighting back to liberate their land like the French resistance fought the Nazis.

  • jordan says:

    Doc J, this is exactly what people need to hear, especially family members. We’re not getting the straight scoop from media, and Bill’s work is one of the few windows we have into what’s going. I ask about the study group because it seems to have angered, rightly, those doing the fighting and taking the risks. My nephew is just north of Baghdad, doesn’t think much of it, and assesses the current situation similarly.
    I’m glad you (and he) are disregarding these inside-the-beltway atmospherics, though irritation toward today’s electorate is justified.
    CharlesC, this is a strange way for a resistance to liberate their land, by killing their own children. Blowing up people lined up to find work? It seems counterintuitive to wipe out the people you profess to be “liberating”.

  • Michael says:

    Charles,
    Your response is what I thought. You have no plan. You have no solution. Only complaints. Whining and sick, twisted comparisons the like of Durban did to our brave soldiers.
    All you do is compare us to Nazi’s. Great. We need more people like you leading our country. Our country that has freed millions in both Iraq and Afghanistan. You equate with Nazi Germany.
    Have you not noticed that the UN has voted and approved extension of US forces in Iraq?
    There are multiple motives Charles. It is not just about oil. If it were, we would’ve just sit back and let the oil flow and let the Tyrant kill his people.
    Just how blind are you? We are one of the few nations that stopped doing business completely with Iraq. Every other nation, including France, Germany(who built his bunkers – same company who built Hitlers – go figure, ey Charles?), Russia, China, all traded bribes for Saddam’s oil, while millions suffered under him.
    Same with Iran. We wouldn’t care about Israel, we’d just let the whole region kill the Israelis. We’d also allow the terrorist to take over Lebanon. We could care less if it was all about the oil.
    We could easily do business like the corrupt governments of Russia and China which is eactly what you non-plan leaves us to do.
    Great, go drink the Durban koolaid. Compare our brave sons and daughters to Nazi’s. You know, the ones building hospitals, clothing, feeding, building schools, providing electricity, water to people who had none for decades!
    We’re not there to conquer a nation. We’re they freeing a people.
    You avoided my serious questions about any plan for the region, precisely because you and people like you have none.
    You have no clue what to do about Sudan, Somalia, and the spread of terrorist groups in Africa which are all trying to take over strategic regions of oil supplies.
    You’re like the majority on the left. All you can do is focus on the myopic, nailbiting worry of a corrupt world of China, Russia and Islamic countries. Countries who aid and abet murderous thugs.
    You solution is to do nothing. Hold it. I got it now. You want to pay bribes to Murderous Thugs just like the Chinese and Russians.
    Is that your great plan Charles?
    How dare you compare our country, our soldiers to Nazi Germany. You are the lowest of the low.
    You turn good to evil and evil to good all because of your ideological based hatred.
    Saddam Hussein broke multiple agreements of the treaty extablished after the first Gulf war. Britain and America could have attacked at anytime.
    So you are wrong on all accounts. We had every right to attack him for the last 12 years every single time he fired at our planes.
    Which by the way were protecting civilians. They were protecting Kurds and Shia.
    Clinton said Saddam needed to be removed and legislation was passed to do so.
    But you forget all those facts. The truth is like Clinton the only fortitude you have is to smear our country while all the other countries of the world are more corrupt, supporting murderous thugs. You’re no different than Clinton. You’d go to Saudi Arabia, take the 450,000 dollars and then crap on our soldiers – just like he did!
    Anyone that compares our nation to Nazi Germany has a complete screw loose.

  • CharlesC says:

    Michael:
    I didn’t compare the United States to nazi Germany. I compared the US invasion of Iraq to the German invasion of Poland and Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. There is absolutely no difference between those invasions and the US invasion of Iraq. The invasion of Iraq was an unprovoked attack on another nation and is not justified under any conditions. Keep believing your American exceptionalist BS. But it’s not true. International law was meant for every nation to follow, not just everybody except the United States. Until the United States follow international law, it will continue to be an international pariah.

  • Papa Ray says:

    No nation is going to follow any law that puts that nation in peril.
    Saddam had the intent, the money and was working on the means to extend his killing outside of his country.
    He had already used WMD against Iran and his own people. He was friendly with terrorists, paid cash to families that had suicide bombed innocents and could and would export his terror to America. He said as much.
    America under any president is not under any rule or mandate to allow our Nation to be threatened or in danger.
    We are allowed by the oldest laws on the books to protect ourselves.
    We are not going to go back to the old ways of letting them bomb and kill us without efforts to stop them.
    Them, meaning anyone who announces that they intend to do us harm.
    If you believe otherwise, I hope that you are never in any government position.
    Not even as a janitor.
    Papa Ray
    West Texas
    USA

  • Neo-andertal says:

    CharlesC
    “I compared the US invasion of Iraq to the German invasion of Poland and Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. There is absolutely no difference between those invasions and the US invasion of Iraq.”

  • STEVE JURGENSMIER says:

    Jerad I am SO proud of U!! Just keep u r head up, keep training, come home soon! And KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK U R Doin, take care of ur Buddies cause They Will take care of U, keep trainin try to work on submissions, and escapes, keep a base and maybe someday U can take the OLD Man!!!??
    LUV YA`Son
    U R Dad
    Steve Jurg

  • John Lyon says:

    Bill:
    Thank you for doing this work.
    What concerns me about democracy succeeding in Iraq is that I hear there is a lot of corruption in government and people (including the Iraqi army) may be told to “stand down” if they come down too hard on the wrong religious group.
    While some complain that the US took a long time for democracy to take hold because women didn’t vote, slavery, etc., since the beginning we have believed in the rule of law and anyone that was corrupt and found out was brought to justice. As a culture, we believe in this system and have since day one.
    Iraq is coming from a different place and I worry that the realities of the culture they live in will not allow people to do the right thing even if they long for it. Education and exposure to the free ideas of the West may “bring around” the next generation, but is the US willing to stay there that long?

  • Norman Sanchez says:

    Dear Jerad,
    Betsy & I are so proud of the work you are doing. We are praying for you and hope things work out for the best in that region. God bless you and all the troops.
    Love,
    Norman & Betsy Sanchez

  • Mike & Nancy Schwalen says:

    Dear Jerad,
    You are ALWAYS on our heart and in our PRAYERS.
    We are so PROUD OF YOU and the work you are doing. May GOD continue to protect you while you serve our country and protect our freedoms!!! We want to give you a HIGH SALUTE and to let you know we are BEHIND YOU 100% fighting for TRUTH and JUSTICE!!!
    WE LOVE YOU!!!
    Uncle Mike & Aunt Nancy

  • Cookie McKee says:

    To Charles C, One of your original posts states: I wish I was naive enough to believe I was fight for “these people’s democracy”. Here in lies a problem with you. YOU are not fighting for anybodies anything or contributing to anyone in a positive way.
    Didn’t your mother ever teach you that you are either part of the problem or part of the solution? Doc J. was certainly taught those principles along with the responsibility to leave the world a better place than you found it and share the blessings God has bestowed on you.
    We live in a great country that many have given the ultimate sacrifice for and anywhere that we can fight terrorism and make this world a better place to live only makes us all stronger as a whole. When Doc J was called to service he did not ask why or where. He went to work making things better where he was told to be.
    If we can make a difference in this country and help these people I am all for it. I hear straight from the source that we are making a difference and my source doesn’t put any spin on the updates. Have you considered that we have not been hit again since 9/11 on our soil? Do you think that is a coincidence or because of our resolve to take the fight to them and anyone else who attacks us? There was and is much evil lurking in that country and if you think it does not have an effect on us replay the news footage from that terrible day. I was proud of the way our country stood together after 9/11 but can not say the same right now. Something is working not everything but we are doing well in many areas and it will take time.
    I challenge each of you to go out and do something positive today and make a difference in someone’s life without any personal gain. Hopefully you won’t have to go to another country to do it and can contribute in your own neighborhood without bomb blasts going off all around you. Maybe you could even send a card or note to a soldier giving up his or her comforts at home so that you can have yours.
    I thank all of our military at home and abroad keeping us safe at home. I am behind you 100% and wish you all a safe and happy homecoming. I would also like to thank reporters like this one who gives us the facts as they actually are. I only wish there were more of you.
    Best Wishes to all, Cookie McKee – The Proud mother of Doc J. (I love you son and am proud you!- See you soon!)

  • Cookie McKee says:

    To Charles C, One of your original posts states: I wish I was naive enough to believe I was fight for “these people’s democracy”. Here in lies a problem with you. YOU are not fighting for anybodies anything or contributing to anyone in a positive way.
    Didn’t your mother ever teach you that you are either part of the problem or part of the solution? Doc J. was certainly taught those principles along with the responsibility to leave the world a better place than you found it and share the blessings God has bestowed on you.
    We live in a great country that many have given the ultimate sacrifice for and anywhere that we can fight terrorism and make this world a better place to live only makes us all stronger as a whole. When Doc J was called to service he did not ask why or where. He went to work making things better where he was told to be.
    If we can make a difference in this country and help these people I am all for it. I hear straight from the source that we are making a difference and my source doesn’t put any spin on the updates. Have you considered that we have not been hit again since 9/11 on our soil? Do you think that is a coincidence or because of our resolve to take the fight to them and anyone else who attacks us? There was and is much evil lurking in that country and if you think it does not have an effect on us replay the news footage from that terrible day. I was proud of the way our country stood together after 9/11 but can not say the same right now. Something is working not everything but we are doing well in many areas and it will take time.
    I challenge each of you to go out and do something positive today and make a difference in someone’s life without any personal gain. Hopefully you won’t have to go to another country to do it and can contribute in your own neighborhood without bomb blasts going off all around you. Maybe you could even send a card or note to a soldier giving up his or her comforts at home so that you can have yours.
    I thank all of our military at home and abroad keeping us safe at home. I am behind you 100% and wish you all a safe and happy homecoming. I would also like to thank reporters like this one who gives us the facts as they actually are. I only wish there were more of you.
    Best Wishes to all, Cookie McKee – The Proud mother of Doc J. (I love you son and am proud you!- See you soon!)

  • Cookie McKee says:

    To Charles C, One of your original posts states: I wish I was naive enough to believe I was fight for “these people’s democracy”. Here in lies a problem with you. YOU are not fighting for anybodies anything or contributing to anyone in a positive way.
    Didn’t your mother ever teach you that you are either part of the problem or part of the solution? Doc J. was certainly taught those principles along with the responsibility to leave the world a better place than you found it and share the blessings God has bestowed on you.
    We live in a great country that many have given the ultimate sacrifice for and anywhere that we can fight terrorism and make this world a better place to live only makes us all stronger as a whole. When Doc J was called to service he did not ask why or where. He went to work making things better where he was told to be.
    If we can make a difference in this country and help these people I am all for it. I hear straight from the source that we are making a difference and my source doesn’t put any spin on the updates. Have you considered that we have not been hit again since 9/11 on our soil? Do you think that is a coincidence or because of our resolve to take the fight to them and anyone else who attacks us? There was and is much evil lurking in that country and if you think it does not have an effect on us replay the news footage from that terrible day. I was proud of the way our country stood together after 9/11 but can not say the same right now. Something is working not everything but we are doing well in many areas and it will take time.
    I challenge each of you to go out and do something positive today and make a difference in someone’s life without any personal gain. Hopefully you won’t have to go to another country to do it and can contribute in your own neighborhood without bomb blasts going off all around you. Maybe you could even send a card or note to a soldier giving up his or her comforts at home so that you can have yours.
    I thank all of our military at home and abroad keeping us safe at home. I am behind you 100% and wish you all a safe and happy homecoming. I would also like to thank reporters like this one who gives us the facts as they actually are. I only wish there were more of you.
    Best Wishes to all, Cookie McKee – The Proud mother of Doc J. (I love you son and am proud you!- See you soon!)

  • Cookie McKee says:

    To Charles C, One of your original posts states: I wish I was naive enough to believe I was fight for “these people’s democracy”. Here in lies a problem with you. YOU are not fighting for anybodies anything or contributing to anyone in a positive way.
    Didn’t your mother ever teach you that you are either part of the problem or part of the solution? Doc J. was certainly taught those principles along with the responsibility to leave the world a better place than you found it and share the blessings God has bestowed on you.
    We live in a great country that many have given the ultimate sacrifice for and anywhere that we can fight terrorism and make this world a better place to live only makes us all stronger as a whole. When Doc J was called to service he did not ask why or where. He went to work making things better where he was told to be.
    If we can make a difference in this country and help these people I am all for it. I hear straight from the source that we are making a difference and my source doesn’t put any spin on the updates. Have you considered that we have not been hit again since 9/11 on our soil? Do you think that is a coincidence or because of our resolve to take the fight to them and anyone else who attacks us? There was and is much evil lurking in that country and if you think it does not have an effect on us replay the news footage from that terrible day. I was proud of the way our country stood together after 9/11 but can not say the same right now. Something is working not everything but we are doing well in many areas and it will take time.
    I challenge each of you to go out and do something positive today and make a difference in someone’s life without any personal gain. Hopefully you won’t have to go to another country to do it and can contribute in your own neighborhood without bomb blasts going off all around you. Maybe you could even send a card or note to a soldier giving up his or her comforts at home so that you can have yours.
    I thank all of our military at home and abroad keeping us safe at home. I am behind you 100% and wish you all a safe and happy homecoming. I would also like to thank reporters like this one who gives us the facts as they actually are. I only wish there were more of you.
    Best Wishes to all, Cookie McKee – The Proud mother of Doc J. (I love you son and am proud you!- See you soon!)

  • Cookie McKee says:

    To Charles C, One of your original posts states: I wish I was naive enough to believe I was fight for “these people’s democracy”. Here in lies a problem with you. YOU are not fighting for anybodies anything or contributing to anyone in a positive way.
    Didn’t your mother ever teach you that you are either part of the problem or part of the solution? Doc J. was certainly taught those principles along with the responsibility to leave the world a better place than you found it and share the blessings God has bestowed on you.
    We live in a great country that many have given the ultimate sacrifice for and anywhere that we can fight terrorism and make this world a better place to live only makes us all stronger as a whole. When Doc J was called to service he did not ask why or where. He went to work making things better where he was told to be.
    If we can make a difference in this country and help these people I am all for it. I hear straight from the source that we are making a difference and my source doesn’t put any spin on the updates. Have you considered that we have not been hit again since 9/11 on our soil? Do you think that is a coincidence or because of our resolve to take the fight to them and anyone else who attacks us? There was and is much evil lurking in that country and if you think it does not have an effect on us replay the news footage from that terrible day. I was proud of the way our country stood together after 9/11 but can not say the same right now. Something is working not everything but we are doing well in many areas and it will take time.
    I challenge each of you to go out and do something positive today and make a difference in someone’s life without any personal gain. Hopefully you won’t have to go to another country to do it and can contribute in your own neighborhood without bomb blasts going off all around you. Maybe you could even send a card or note to a soldier giving up his or her comforts at home so that you can have yours.
    I thank all of our military at home and abroad keeping us safe at home. I am behind you 100% and wish you all a safe and happy homecoming. I would also like to thank reporters like this one who gives us the facts as they actually are. I only wish there were more of you.
    Best Wishes to all, Cookie McKee – The Proud mother of Doc J. (I love you son and am proud you!- See you soon!)

  • Kristin O'Connell says:

    Jerad,
    I am so proud of you!:) As a fellow corpsman reading articles such as this one make serving my country even more rewarding. Your doing a great job as i suspected you would when you told us all that you were deploying. We are missing you here in Twentynine Palms so keep up the good work and come back safe. Your in my prayers.
    HM3 O’Connell

  • Jef says:

    Dear Cookie,
    I have been reading your and other comments with a lot of interest.
    I see you writing about the “responsibility to leave the world a better place than you found it” and I wonder if may-be you are mixing up the world with the US.
    How can somebody really believe that invading a country under false arguments, killing over 200.000 civilians, completely destroying a country followed by inviting US companies (under no bid contracts) to rebuild the country while cashing in the oil income for years to come is leaving the world a better place??? Where does this arrogance come from? Go over there and try to explain that to a father who lost his family.
    You know, I’m a Dutch guy (Holland is member of the allience of the willing)and I’ve always been very pro Amarica. During my life I have lived in about every part of the world and currently I live in China. It is very worriesome for me to see how the attitude of the people from around the world who I meat have changed their opinion of the US. I remember how not long ago the US probably was percieved indeed by many as a great country but believe me these days are over. There are few left in the world who do not realize now that the US government has intentionally tried and succeeded to fool the world and its own citizens (like you) to start this war. Every day that passess in which we read the news how more and more people are killed (not only GLS) and how the US goverment keeps trying to continue to twist reality, peolpe loose their believe in the righteousness of the US as a country and the peolpe who support its goverment. It is sad to see but I feel the hostility in common people versus all that is US growing day by day. I really hope this will be soon over as I have many US friends and hate to see how they end up in debates time and time again trying to defend the corrupt attitude of the current US administration

  • Merkin says:

    OMG… where have I been? Bill your report on the US PTT and the impportant Corpsman w/ them is the FIRST article I jhave read that is 100% on the money. I’m not there but, I have contact w/ one who is…my brother.
    How can it be so hard for the “media” (haha) have such a hard time reporting what’s realy going on there on every level..good and bad. Maybe they need to get out of the Green Zone pubs and get the US people a honest/ explanation of the happenings deep in the wire/heart of the war.
    You men in Fallujah keep your heads up and eyes open and damn well better know you are HEROES amongs heroes and the bravest of the brave in my book.
    Any of you that are so against the effort in Iraq that you are not showing, one way or another, 110% suport for these troop troops…. I have a suggestion for you… “If you are not standing up for our troops in Iraq…GO STAND IN FRONT OF THEM!”

  • Cookie McKee says:

    Dear Jef,
    I also find your comments interesting. I don’t agree with you but that is the beauty of the country we live in. I have also lived all over the world and am proud to be an American. We are not evil people imposing our views on others as some of the hype would like you to believe.
    I am here in the US and will tell you that I am happily surrounded by many people that support this mission, our troops and the United States of America. We would all like to see more results and would love to see the integrity in reporting that is displayed by reporters such as Bill Roggio in every report. I’ll take the word of the folks that are there.
    God Bless you Jef and I wish you, all of the troops and all reading this much happiness and success in 2007.

  • Jef Snijders says:

    Hi Merkin,
    I appreciate your comments. Don’t worry, I’m not a reader of Bill’s reports.
    I only sometimes wonder if you guys over there really understand what is happening in Iraq and if the news that reaches you give you the full understanding of the impact of what your government has started? I would like to know if people in the US really do believe that it makes sense to go to Iraq and kill around 200.000 civilians for a threat that did not exist. I read daily about the US soldiers being killed but who in the US mournes about the numerous Iraqi innocent people being killed?
    Of course US citizens are not evil people, nobody, not even Iraqis would want to say that but how good or evil is your government?
    I wonder how come American citizens still do not realize that they were and still are cheated upon by their government? Why everybody else in the world knows that there was no threat (nuclear or chemical)to react upon? Why only everybody else in the world realizes that the US destroyed a country for no good reasons?
    I too like integrity in reporting so people understand what is happening but are you sure you get the right information? Why so many people in the world who before supported the US are turning their backs? Is that because the integrity of reporting outside the US is wrong and only in the US people receive unbiased information?
    You should be proud to be an American and for the same reason you should respect other people as much as yourself. Stop supporting this government who has lost credibility all over the planet for it obvious abuse of good US citizens and soldiers and let us become proud again like we once used to be.
    Wishing all of you the very best for 2007

  • Cokie McKee says:

    Jef, maybe you should be a reader of Bill’s reports and you would feel differently. He is there, with the Iraqi people and the troops (not just the US) and is reporting what is really going on and not what someone thinks might be happening. It is not all good or bad but it is what he is seeing.
    Our Government in America is an extension of our people and we are not being cheated. We are not perfect and when we don’t like the way things are done by one person we put another in place. It takes many people to keep this great country moving forward and much support by the citizens. We don’t always agree but somehow it works out.
    We do believe there is was/is a threat that was/is addressed in Iraq. We did not need to see weapons of mass destruction to know they were there. The people that they were used on will tell you they exist. There are many things in life that you can’t see or touch but they are just as real.
    We do mourn the loss of all life (Iraqi and others) and put value on the quality of life that we are restoring to a country that we hope will soon be able to handle this on their own. I don’t know where your numbers come from but even one life lost is too many and I think you should ask the insurgents why they kill everything in sight even their own people not us.
    We could debate this continually as I see we have a great difference of opinion but know that the American people still stand together proud and strong. Don’t believe everything you hear in the press from this country. Most of us are still trying to figure out how to provide our media with a one way ticket to the fighting zone and other key locations to get the details straight.
    Best wishes, Cookie

  • Cookie McKee says:

    Jef, maybe you should be a reader of Bill’s reports and you would feel differently. He is there, with the Iraqi people and the troops (not just the US) and is reporting what is really going on and not what someone thinks might be happening. It is not all good or bad but it is what he is seeing.
    Our Government in America is an extension of our people and we are not being cheated. We are not perfect and when we don’t like the way things are done by one person we put another in place. It takes many people to keep this great country moving forward and much support by the citizens. We don’t always agree but somehow it works out.
    We do believe there is was/is a threat that was/is addressed in Iraq. We did not need to see weapons of mass destruction to know they were there. The people that they were used on will tell you they exist. There are many things in life that you can’t see or touch but they are just as real.
    We do mourn the loss of all life (Iraqi and others) and put value on the quality of life that we are restoring to a country that we hope will soon be able to handle this on their own. I don’t know where your numbers come from but even one life lost is too many and I think you should ask the insurgents why they kill everything in sight even their own people not us.
    We could debate this continually as I see we have a great difference of opinion but know that the American people still stand together proud and strong. Don’t believe everything you hear in the press from this country. Most of us are still trying to figure out how to provide our media with a one way ticket to the fighting zone and other key locations to get the details straight.
    Best wishes, Cookie

Iraq

Islamic state

Syria

Aqap

Al shabaab

Boko Haram

Isis