Friday, April 07, 2023

My Memory of the War in Iraq 20 years later: April 2023

 “From: Michael Whitehead

    Sent: Monday, April 7, 2003 4:57 pm

    Subject: Haircut day

    The sky has clouded up and the wind has increased so things have cooled down considerably. Earlier, we felt like we were in a sauna. SGT Manning gave me a crew cut and I have a picture of me to record the event. How your hair looks doesn't seem very important out here. I have tried several times to attach a photo to my e-mails w/o success. I will keep trying.

    I am in a tent full of people and we are all working on computers. We have to tape Saran Wrap over the keyboard and monitor to keep out the Major League caliber dust that is EVERYWHERE.I just heard someone ask, "What is going on in the war?" We hear things in bits and pieces as they happen.

    I am getting a lot more information. Now I can read the classified Situation Reports that are coming from the major Marine and British units “information about "kill boxes", boundary changes and a lot of other very technical jargon that comes with controlling the violence and making sure the bad guys are getting shot by all this technological violence and not the good guys. The complexity and level of sophistication in the management of combat is incredible.

    Iraq is still a very dangerous place, so they are keeping us here at Camp Commando until "Indian country" is a little subdued.We are coordinating relief convoys of humanitarian aid into Iraq. Some of our people are going "north of the berm" as they call it to do assessments of the civilian populace. We are getting reports of these assessments from tactical civil affairs teams attached to the combat units. The information is flowing to us and we are analyzing this information, submitting reports and preparing briefing slides for the Marine General down the hill.

    We live in North Camp and the flagpole is down this sloping hill at South Camp. The mess hall is at the top of the hill so that in the evening after supper when we come out of the mess hall we can see the Persian Gulf and Kuwait City in the distance.

    I get up every morning and look forward to my job. When we go forward across the berm we will be a part of an historic enterprise. I am expecting a lot of confusion, chaos and long hours. We all look forward to getting the job done and going home.


Excerpt From

Messages from Babylon

Michael Whitehead

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