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SGT_Ludwig1223 karma

Thanks for serving man!

I wasn't there for the start of the siege back in 2004, but I can imagine what must've gone down. That's another event that needs to get more coverage...

Do you know anybody who would be interested in putting together a book?

SGT_Ludwig658 karma


I usually don't answer questions like this because it has been my experience that people don't really understand what they are asking. That is to say that on an emotional level they are expecting a different meaning behind the answer, and they have asked it for a different reason.

Yes, I have killed a lot of people who I was aiming for. In the majority of the cases, no I don't regret a thing.

We got some great advice from our chaplain in the beginning of the tour. He told us that what will keep us up late at nights is if we doubted a single thing about pulling the trigger. His suggestion was that we "make absolutely sure that man needs to die - then kill him."

I followed that as closely as I could, and on the whole I think he was right. There has only been one time that I regret pulling the trigger:

We got a confirmed intel hit that a silver opal with tinted windows was loaded up with "special group" snipers and heading our way. This was during a 36-hour counter attack at an OP behind enemy lines. We got a detailed description, and a confirmation that they were moving in to target our machine gunners.

The "special groups" in Sadr City were a big deal. They were trained by Iranian SF, supplied with state-of-the art weapons and tactics, etc. Their snipers were the best in the country. As soon as I saw a silver opal that matched the description (down to the hubcaps) moving in on my position with a creep, I lit the fucker up.

Turns out the intel was wrong.

SGT_Ludwig608 karma

The media/political portrayal of the battle was more of a shrug for me. Of course, I believe this is important, mostly for it's cause and effect within the framework of the bigger picture of the war.

Ultimately I believe that wars are all fought for the same reasons, in varying proportions. Typically there is some ideal at play, that later becomes crystallized as unquestionable or totally bogus. As a political point, it will always become a tool and a catchphrase. Speaking to the corruption of a conflict, somebody will always get rich with a new and different, custom-tailored hack. In the end, it's ugly as hell and a deal with the devil, in which the best you could possibly do is a score a 49% "worthwhile shit" rate. Realistically speaking, I don't see any war scoring better than a "20%" (forgive the arbitrary numbering).

Essentially I'd say the ultimate question is if the little good you are going to achieve is really worth the pile of shit you're going to unleash.

On that note, I totally believed in interventionist military action and fighting for good in the world. I have since become a lot more negative to the idea of sending troops overseas for anything. As far as Iraq goes, I know what we were doing in my own little corner, I believed in the mission we were carrying out, and I couldn't care less about the endless list of factors going into what started the war.

I have to nod to the credibility of the "imperialism" tag, since that's exactly what we are doing in my mind. That being said, it's sort of a catch-22. Our entire way of life (in the whole west) is predicated on the American "gun for hire." It's a perfect scapegoat: our allies keep barely enough of a military to fight defensively and "participate" in a major conflict, and American politicians go around white-knighting the world at the expense of the people and the American soldier. At the end of the day, our flag takes the PR hit and the people are left footing the bill.

SGT_Ludwig579 karma

1) Hopefully none.

I don't disclose any top secret shit; I don't violate any OPSEC considerations regarding standard operating procedures, the knowledge of which could endanger lives; and now that I'm a civilian I have 1st Amendment protections on my speech so long as what I'm disclosing is open to the public.

2) I hope to accomplish awareness.

The entire spring of 2008 was effectively Iraq's equivalent to the Tet Offensive in Vietnam. We lost control of nearly half the country. It played a major role in defining Iraq war policy and strategy for the remainder of the conflict.

But American foreign policy is becoming increasingly subjected to popular opinion - which is easily manipulated by half-truths, undisclosed facts, and the general squalor of corporate media.

Ultimately, if the average citizen is going to have such a major role in defining the methods, nature, place, time and reasons for modern war-fighting policy, it's critical that they are knowledgeable of the facts and aware of major events. In other words, anybody who wants to participate in the dialogue surrounding foreign policy and voice an opinion on the matter has a responsibility to know what is going on.

I don't claim myself or expect people to know and understand everything, but knowing the "what" and "why" of major events like Sadr City are critical. Each one is part of a long, specific and complicated narrative that is unique to the conflict at hand, but with bigger-picture lessons that apply to future conflict management, strategy and policy.

Essentially, what I'm trying to say is that none of the past strikes in that country were the same. That perception is largely a symptom of short-hand and sensationalist journalism. Each one is important in its own right. Sadr City is important, as it marks a sort of final lesson in the greater discussion of Counterinsurgency, the role of our military in war, and the successes/failures of nation building abroad.

SGT_Ludwig443 karma

Thanks for your support man! It really means a lot to me when another vet from the battle supports the cause!

I was with 1/2 SCR. Our primary AO before the battle was to the north and west of Sadr City. 10th MTN was to the south and east. When the battle kicked off that sort of over-lapped a bit towards the southern corner of the city, but if I have the right information we didn't really interface that much.

1/2 SCR was "hosting" D 4-64 AR, C 1-68 CAB, and B 1-14 IN at the time. I forgot who was up north, but it's in my notes.