Thursday, August 10, 2006

I Hate Hospitals

I was assigned to cover a story on the Australian troops working with U.S. Soldiers at the hospital on base. I was pretty nervous to go into the hospital. I didn’t know what to expect and having to take pictures of people who were fucked up kind of freaked me out. I interviewed three Australians…they were really committed to their jobs and just being there. Walking through the hospital really changed my perspective on things. I mean, I’m in the middle of the war but I hadn’t seen anyone really physically wounded or missing body parts. After all, I wasn’t “in the real shit.” But when I got there I saw Iraqi civilians who were injured by their fellow men. One guy in particular was screaming for his family…he had been shot by insurgents. It broke my heart. Another Iraqi was totally burnt… I guess an explosion went off by him. I just looked at these people and all I could ask myself is how did it get to this point? Because of religious differences? Is the difference between being Sunni or Shiite Muslim that great that one can honestly justify killing their neighbor? Here is a simple explanation of the difference between Sunnis and Shiites.
“The split between the Muslims was formed over the years when attempting to select caliphs. The third caliph was murdered after twelve years in power. Mohammed’s son-in-law, Ali, became the next caliph, although with much opposition, including that of one of Mohammed’s wives, and he was also murdered five years later. Next, Muawiya came to power in 661, beginning the dynasty known as the Umayyad Caliphate. By now the Shiites had fostered the belief that caliphs should only be from the line of Mohammed, while it simply did not matter to the Sunnis. Around 680 AD, the division officially occurred. Although the two parties agree on the basic tenets, they each eventually developed their own way of thinking and living.
One of the things they agree on is that Allah is one. God is the only god. Both also believe that Mohammed was the last prophet. They agree that one day Allah will resurrect all humans and question (not judge) their beliefs and actions. They believe that all of the “famous” sins such as murder, adultery, stealing, etc. are sins. Finally, they both agree on the five pillars of Islam. Otherwise they wouldn’t be Muslims, would they?”
It fucking blows my mind. They all claim to all believe in Allah…and that’s what is tearing them apart. I didn’t see people united under one religious belief…I saw pain, grief, hate and murder. To this day I still do not understand it…I probably never will. I felt like such an asshole standing there taking pictures. Who the hell was I to exploit them? Or was I just putting their story out there? By this time in my tour I was starting to comprehend why I was there and what I was doing to help and what was really happening in Iraq. The shit on TV isn’t even half of it…its not even 30% of what is really going on.

2 Comments:

Anonymous timmy said...

Damn, the range of these posts is pretty amazing. I mean, shit, I got nothing to say except I'm totally hooked.

I'm curious about the special op / Seals / Rangers guys. Interact with them much?

Anyway, keep it up. This blog is a little gold mine.

8/11/2006 12:48:00 AM  
Blogger Lois Lane said...

Timmy,

We had SFs on our base but we never saw them. They basically had their own base...when we were handing out christmas trees we tried to get inside of their camp. haha yeah right. they told us to throw the tree over a huge fence.

we would see guys dressed in civilian clothes walking around with weapons...they were the Blackwater secuity. those motherfuckers are crazy. from what we heard, they'd be in the middle of shit in a normal truck that had some armor on it. (i know YouTube has a couple videos of them on there).

Im glad you're into it!!!

8/11/2006 09:51:00 AM  

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