Color of War

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Desolate Battles

Western Nineveh Province, Iraq

Desert Battles are unfolding in hidden and faraway places. Bullets snapp through air, then splap through flesh and men fall. Bodies crumple onto the desert, a fly lands on the lip of an open mouth, fingers twitch as the flesh dies and the winds kick up and dust settles on unblinking eyes. The dry earth drinks their sticky blood and they are forgotten. Their families do not know they are dead. They came to kill Americans and innocent Iraqis. Instead, they were killed themselves. In a desert landscape, sometimes the color of a war can bleed out into black and white.



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Interestingly, the people who accuse Yezidis of being devil-worshippers are responsible for the deaths of perhaps a million people in the last few decades. They are the ones who put Yezidis on “reservations,” poured chemical gases on Kurds, set oil wells ablaze, poisoned the water with oil, and encouraged suicide attacks. What do Yezidis want from us? Not much. They want to thank Americans for beating back Saddam. They want Americans to know they appreciate the sacrifice. They don’t ask for much, but since the Iraqi government remains mostly inert, if you’re offering, they’d like to have a school in their community—a real school, not a place of religious indoctrination. They want their kids, including their girls, to get university degrees.



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It’s strange, the life of a helicopter pilot. They take off from comfortable bases after crew rest, yet soon are in the remotest, most inhospitable parts of the war, where truly, if they have any problems, they will be on their own for a decisive length of time. Yesterday Papua New Guinea, today Iraq, tomorrow Afghanistan or Africa. And so when they move toward contact with the enemy—as they now were doing—all transactions are final.

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When I was embedded with the British Army I had contact with some Bedoin who had cell phones. Click here to read the article Death or Glory IV.

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http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/michaelyon-...55899/index.php
 


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