What goes around – Comes around

Unfortunately, most Americans do not consider Iraqis as people. We see them as terrorists or victims, not as everyday people with the same values as our friends, neighbors and relatives. Yet, most Iraqis are decent human beings with the same concerns, dreams, and compassion as most Americans. They want peace and are concerned about their fellow man.

Is it no wonder that we feel differently about the people of Iraq, when the American media only reports sensational news? If it doesn’t bleed or explode, you just aren’t going to see it on the evening news. I received a press release from Baghdad today, which I know the mainstream media will not pass on to you all. Here is an example of Iraqi charity and gratitude which touched my soul. Imagine how incredibly generous these soldiers are. They have little to support their own families. It’s not enough that they are fighting daily to bring peace to their country. They are actually reaching out to help unfortunate Americans.

Richard S. Lowry is author of Marines in the Garden of Eden and The Gulf War Chronicles.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RELEASE No. 20071026-01

October 26, 2007

Iraqi Army at Besmaya Installation Support San Diego Fire Victims

By U.S. Army Sgt 1st Class Charlene Sipperly

Multi-National Security Transition Command – Iraq Public Affairs

BAGHDAD, Iraq — Members of the Iraqi Army in Besmaya collected a donation for the San Diego, Calif., fire victims Thursday night at the Besmaya Range Complex in a moving ceremony to support Besmaya’s San Diego residents.

Iraqi Army Col. Abbass, the commander of the complex, presented a gift of $1,000 to U.S. Army Col. Darel Maxfield, Besmaya Range Complex officer in charge, Multi-National Security Transition Command Iraq, to send to the fire victims in California.

The money was collected from Iraqi officers and enlisted soldiers in Besmaya. In a speech given during the presentation, Col. Abbass stated that he and the Iraqi soldiers were connected with the American people in many ways, and they will not forget the help that the American government has given the Iraqi people. Abbass was honored to participate by sending a simple fund of $1,000 to the American people in San Diego, to lower the suffering felt by the tragedy.

SD_donation.jpg

http://www.marinesinthegardenofeden.com

Comments

  1. Excellent story, Mr. Lowry. I actually found this posted in the comments section over at LGF from a commentor who found it linked at Ace of Spades. So it is great to see this story getting around.

  2. Roberta says:

    Best story of my morning. Thanks!

    Best wishes to all of them, and high hopes for brighter and better tomorrows.

  3. David says:

    How do we go about sending them thanks for their generous gift.

    God bless those people. It is humbling.

  4. With regards to David's question at October 27, 2007 09:32 AM, are there organizations who work to send letters from Americans to Iraqis- whether they are Iraqi civiilians or Iraqi Army/Police? I think it would be great to be able to send letters of support, especially to the Army/Police to show them them America supports their efforts to improve their country.

  5. DJ Elliott says:

    The majority of the IA at Besmaya are the new formed 3-11 IA Brigade, due to go to FOB Hope in Sadr City early Dec.

    To the men of Besmaya Training Range and the 3-11 IA, many thanks…

  6. vic says:

    When contrasted with the DC blowhards' rhetoric about how we have alienated the world with this foreign policy, it's nice to see proof of a suspicion I've long had that this war will make us new friends to grow with in the century(ies) to come.

    Very heartening stuff.

    v

  7. Larry says:

    I got this story from a friend on MySpace, I've reposted as "News Not Seen on CNN" and included the photo shown above.

    I spent 2003-06 in the San Diego area, and lived through the effects of the Fires that burned the east side of Miramar USMCAS. In that same time I met many Iraqi ex-patriots who now call San Diego and the surrounding area their home. The transitive population was so large that there was a Iraqi National Polling Station set up for the presidential vote.

    I wish, there was a national news bureau that would do a documentary on the positive things the military does do overseas.

    I wish, if there was such a documentary, people in the states wouldn't complain on how a foreign policy works to help others, while the governments domestic policy fails them.

    I wish, the world would declare world peace and I would loose my job as a soldier for lack of need.

  8. colagirl says:

    Wow. I'm with David–the generosity of spirit displayed by the Besmaya IA here is indeed humbling.

  9. Hawk says:

    OUTstanding, and a perfect example of how that the Iraqi people ARE people, with hearts, minds, souls, and individual will. Says a lot for their strength of character.

  10. Doug Santo says:

    Great story!

    I don't think many US news outlets will share this with the American people.

    Doug Santo

    Pasadena, CA

  11. Major John says:

    Good Lord, does that ever instill a sense of proportion and humility reading that!

  12. FbL says:

    I think Major John said it well.

    As a near-victim of the fires myself (evacuated for three days and now living in a neighborhood that looks and smells like an ashtray), I am in awe and touched beyond words. The Iraqis are my brothers.

  13. mindy abraham says:

    How sweet:) Thanks iraqis.

  14. Peg C. says:

    Found this via Glenn. Outstanding! God Bless those Iraqis and God Bless our troops.

  15. Jared McLaughlin says:

    This only supports what I learned of the Iraqi people and their soldiers when in country. Our politicians may have their in-fighting, but the American people have won good friends in the Iraqi people.

  16. texasps says:

    This is a heartwarming story. This touched my soul also, Mr Lowry. Thanks for everything that you do to report the truth.

    God bless the Iraqi people and GOD BLESS THE TROOPS!

  17. DagneyT says:

    What a wonderful story. I found it fascinating how so many readers/commenters found you! I found this post in the comment section at Iraq the Model. It gives me hope that the word is getting out to the American people despite the drive-by media's drivel!

  18. Ron G. says:

    Thanks for posting this. I also picked up this address from Iraq the Model. I'm going to go to littlegreenfootballs and post it there.

  19. MarkL says:

    This is truly touching. You know those Iraqi soldiers don't have much and they have many of their own concerns, the most basic being simple survival. Their gift is heartwarming and something worthy of recognition and appreciation.

  20. rebecca Darrah says:

    Wow. I'm teared up to learn about this.

  21. John T says:

    What goes around comes around? Are you serious? The USA goes to Iraq, kills 650,000+, San Diego has a forest fire? How many Iraq's are there in the photo? 2, 3 max? "Further proof that our troops truly are our finest ambassadors" abu ghraib anyone? "How sweet:)"… "the Iraqi people ARE people, with hearts, minds, souls"… was that ever in qustion???? YOU INVADED THEM…. where is your soul, heart and mind.

  22. Lori says:

    Wow…unlike the anti-war naysayer above who refuses to believe the TRUE story of what is happening in Iraq and would rather the cronies of the MSM to lead him around by the hook in his nose…I think the Iraqi's are finally able to show their compassion and brotherhood with the Americans because the coalition forces have stabilized their region enough for them to be able to do so. Not only does this show the compassion of the Iraqi's, it also shows brotherhood, stability and trust!!

    You know….the things that the fella up above wants you to believe isn't happening! Me thinks he might be hoodwinked by the MSM!

  23. humbleradio says:

    Way to go, Iraq!! Support Iraq. Support the Coalition. Support the U.S. Military. We can succeed in bringing peace if we all try together.

  24. Harry Reid's Mo says:

    But, But, But….they want us out of their country!!

    [/sarc]

    These people are 1000 times blessed for their actions.

  25. Iraqi Army at Besmaya Installation Support San Diego Fire Victims

    OPFOR dug this up from somewhere and posted it. Bet you won't see this reported in the mainstream press:

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE RELEASE No. 20071026-01 October 26, 2007

    Iraqi Army at Besmaya Installation Support San Diego Fire Victims By U.S. Army S…

  26. John says:

    John T. is quoted numbers cited by the Lancet Study, which has been pretty thoroughly refuted. His opinion is pretty meaningless, I think.

  27. Foxfier says:

    God bless these good men. (And the ladies who let them send their money overseas!)

  28. Ironside says:

    A buddy of mine (in the picture) actually helped out with this jaw dropping turn. What ISN'T mentioned in the release is that the IA Colonel's first question was how to bring IA soldiers to Cali to fight the fires! When it became obvious that personally risking their lives helping American citizens was an impossibility, the donation route was settled on.

  29. Ash says:

    I guess they arent all terrorists. >_>

  30. K T Cat says:

    Thanks for posting this. Maybe it will get some wider attention.

  31. Rich says:

    Some of those on this post may remember when COL Abbas did the same thing for the Hurrican Katrina victims. He is a remarkable and amazing person. As for the ceremony itself, it was beyond words…

  32. Huntress says:

    John T – Time for a reality check you pompous jerk:

    From John F.Burns NY Times Jan 2003 (Mr Burns lived in Iraq well into 6 years – recently moving back to the UK)

    "Mr. Hussein's has been a tale of terror that scholars have compared to that of Stalin, whom the Iraqi leader is said to revere, even if his own brutalities have played out on a small scale. Stalin killed 20 million of his own people, historians have concluded. Even on a proportional basis, his crimes far surpass Mr. Hussein's, but figures of a million dead Iraqis, in war and through terror, may not be far from the mark, in a country of 22 million people.

    Where the comparison seems closest is in the regime's mercilessly sadistic character. Iraq has its gulag of prisons, dungeons and torture chambers – some of them acknowledged, like Abu Ghraib, and as many more disguised as hotels, sports centers and other innocent-sounding places. It has its overlapping secret-police agencies, and its culture of betrayal, with family members denouncing each other, and offices and factories becoming hives of perfidy.

    "Enemies of the state" are eliminated, and their spouses, adult children and even cousins are often tortured and killed along with them.

    The largest number of deaths attributable to Mr. Hussein's regime resulted from the war between Iraq and Iran between 1980 and 1988, which was launched by Mr. Hussein. Iraq says its own toll was 500,000, and Iran's reckoning ranges upward of 300,000. Then there are the casualties in the wake of Iraq's 1990 occupation of Kuwait.

    Casualties from Iraq's gulag are harder to estimate. Accounts collected by Western human rights groups from Iraqi émigrés and defectors have suggested that the number of those who have "disappeared" into the hands of the secret police, never to be heard from again, could be 200,000."

    Now here's what the most trusted source

    (IBC – Iraqi Body Count) on Iraqi deaths since the invasion have to say about the Lancet Study figures John T throws out:

    —"In the light of such extreme and improbable implications, a rational alternative conclusion to be considered is that the authors have drawn conclusions from unrepresentative data. " —-

    According to IBC, Iraqi Civilians deaths: 27K in 2006, 14K in 2005, 10500 in 2004, 12K in 2003

    IBC reports, to date, that it would appear the total documented civilian Iraqis deaths

    (including 2007) is between 75,971 – 82,776 . Puts John T's hyperbole to bed and proves his agenda is to quote meaningless data out of blind ignorance.

    While each death is sad and should never be minimized, considering the 1 million Iraqis killed at the hands of Saddam, it is obvious why our Iraqi brothers in arms have reached out to lend support to those who suffered losses at the hands of sick demented arsonists, and why Iraqi Col Abbass says "they will not forget the help that the American government has given the Iraqi people" It is interesting how Iraqis themselves acknowledge & appreciate our help whereas, some Americans,like John T, are just stuck on stupid! The American Left has become infected with ignorance and hatred – two qualities they have spent years insisting defined American conservatives.

  33. David M says:

    FYI: Mr. Lowry will be on Blagtalkradio tonight (Tuesday, October 30, 2007) with myself and Andrea Shea-King in the 9:30 PM EDT segment to discuss this.

    http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ASKShow

  34. GS Mullins says:

    My home is a couple of miles from the Santiago fire, and we were prepared to evacuate last Sunday & Monday when the winds were blowing it down-hill. I regard the gesture of the Iraqis as nothing less than world-class: the amount matters nothing, the sentiment everything.

    Mully

  35. John T says:

    Huntress,

    are you making the argument that Iraq is in a better condition today then before the invasion and occupation?

    sorry, you have lost this debate many times over:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14939983/

    http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/stor

    etc…

    J.F.Burns is on the payroll, he has no credentials in the field of investigative journalism. (see the Borislav Herak case). The USA & UK invaded Iraq in 1991, supported the shia majority, then left when the reprisals occured. Iraq was then subjected to 10 years of sanctions, leading to the death of half a million children (Madeleine Albright: we think the price is worth it…) The USA politically supports the shia government while arming the Sunni militias. Result: civil war. This is not an attack on you personally and your opinions are based on some naive mentality brought about by too much exposure to Fox news (read rupert murdoch, exposed as trying to influence public opinion over the Iraq war, and Iran too… Will you be happy to rceive their $1000 after you 'Nuc' their country…)

  36. Richard S. Lowry says:

    John T,

    I do not normally respond to off-topic comments, but your posts have been totally inappropriate for this discussion and wrong in so many ways. This post was about some very brave and compassionate Iraqi soldiers who donated some of their hard-earned pay to help distressed Americans. I did not post this press release to give you a platform to spew your misguided propaganda.

    I challenge you to provide real statistics to support your claim that America has killed 650,000+ Iraqis. The Lancet assertion was based on a flawed statistical analysis. Next, you asked how many Iraqis were in the photo "2 or 3?" The photo I posted is a cropped version of a much larger photo which has nearly 30 Iraqi soldiers.

    It doesn't make any difference if it was 2, 3 or 300 Iraqis who contributed. The fact that these men are concerned with the welfare of Americans is the whole point.

    In your latest post you slam J.F. Burns and Fox News, then quote The Guardian. I use none of these sources. I get my information directly from Americans in Iraq. Who's information do you rely on to form your opinions?

    You claim that we supported the Shia and then left in 1991. Let's establish some perspective here. America, the UK and 30 other nations (including Syria, Egypt and Mudjahadien fighters from Afghanistan) evicted Saddam from Kuwait. President Bush encouraged ALL Iraqis to overthrow Saddam's evil regime. The Marsh Arabs and Shia in the south revolted with the encouragement of a turncoat Republican Guard General in Basrah.

    The problem is that we DID NOT support the uprising because our Saudi allies asked that we not continue the fighting. The uprising was brutally suppressed by Saddam. Saddam and his cousin, Chemical Ali, murdered thousands in quelling the revolt. Then, he built a canal system to divert water from the lower Euphrates marshes, displacing a half-million marsh Arabs by depriving them of a way to sustain their lives. He literally drained the marshes. Today, the marshes have been restored and a half million people view the current Coalition as liberators.

    Again, please quote the source of your claim that the UN sanctions led to the death of 500,000 Iraqi children. I think if you research this subject, you will find that the Oil for Food program was so thoroughly corrupt that Saddam diverted most of this money to build his palaces and reconstitute his Army. Again, this is another way Saddam inflicted suffering on his own people.

    Next, I challenge you to quote a credible source to support your assertion that America is arming the "Sunni militias." We are supporting Sunni movements to rid their towns of radical insurgents and encouraging their leaders to get involved in the national government. We are NOT arming Sunnis to fuel a civil war – we are not arming anyone (there are enough weapons to go around in Iraq).

    On that note, the weapons stockpiles we have found in Iraq enormous and ubiquitous. Most were produced in the Soviet Block (RPG, a Soviet-made rocket propelled grenade, has become a household word since the 2003 invasion).

    I don't know what planet you have been on for the last few months, but this summer Americans and Iraqis together have been fighting and dieing to end the Sectarian violence. And, they have been succeeding. General Petraeus is working toward reconciliation among the waring factions instead of your claim that he is fomenting civil war.

    Lastly, what gives you the idea that America is going to "Nuc" Iraq? Your closing comment just supports the view that you have been influenced by to much exposure to left-wing sources.

  37. Bingo says:

    Mr. Lowry…an excellent anecdote which I appreciate and commend you for publishing it…but…

    "Unfortunately, most Americans do not consider Iraqis as people."

    Just a bit over-the-top, no?

  38. Boz says:

    The Americans in the photo are all from the San Diego, CA area. They were there are COL Abbas' request. TMr. Lowery, if you would like an uncropped photo, drop me an email

  39. thom J says:

    i notice my last post got censored. Did i provide inaccurate information? The Lancet is well established, is not politically affiliated. Its findings are only in doubt when politically inconvenient. For the sake of irony I will provide refreneces by the great J.F.Burns on Sunni militias being armed by the US:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/11/world/middleeas

    So evidence of the 500,000 dead children, have a look on, say:

    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Madeleine_Albright

    My last response was well mannered and polite. It was censored. Freedom of speech anyone? Is that why we're in Iraq?

  40. thom t says:

    Note: my comment on 'Nucing' "Iraq" was aimed at Iran, if you read my post correctly.. Will you be able to prove me wrong in 6 months time? I doubt it.

    Free speech & open debate, Thom J.

  41. Ab belt says:

    Ab belt

    thanks so much. Good writing

  42. Anonymous says:

    ui

  43. RichardLowry says:

    Take a look at tom T's comment above. It is now eight months since his post. Guess what tom, we haven't nuked Iran yet and I don't think we will.

    Liberals are so much fun to deal with. They make outlandish claims and then don't think we will check or remember. I bet tom t is long gone, writing other gibberish on current subjects.