As many of you know, Atterans have and are currently serving on the front lines in Iraq defending the people there against the “henchmen” of Saddam Hussein and other opportunists who would kill for personal gain. One Atteran who was deployed to Iraq is Ras Dabe Harmagedon. The Ras took the time to talk to the Chronicle about his deployment to Iraq.
Chronicle: First off, I’d like to say welcome home and Bravo Zulu on a job well done in Iraq. What were your initial thoughts when you received word that you were being deployed to Iraq?
Harmagedon: I remember feeling nervous and worried mostly about my wife and kids.
Chronicle: Many nations of the world protested going to war against Saddam, most notably France and Germany. What did you think of all the anti-Americanism that circled around the Iraq issue and what would you say to those people who decided to support Hussein?
Harmagedon: Well I think that most countries didn’t want to be involved because they didn’t want to be known as oil hungry people. But America didn’t care because we knew we had a job, no an obligation, to the Iraqi people to set them free from the tyrants that had the hostage in their own country for so long.
Chronicle: We’ve all heard the stories about the plight of the Iraqi people. Could you give us an idea of how bad the living conditions for the Iraqi population actually are?
Harmagedon: Well it depends on where they live. [It] seems down south that there were terrible living conditions and the further we moved towards Baghdad the better the living conditions were.
Chronicle: Would I be correct in assuming that the children were the ones who suffered the most from the terrible living conditions in the south?
Harmagedon: No, it was all ages.
Chronicle: For those of us who aren’t soldiers, could you give us an idea of what a typical daily routine is when you’re in a war zone?
Harmagedon: First off, it is nothing like you see on TV. Well, we tried to keep ourselves busy and on top of everything during the day. We drove around a lot jumping from place to place, which was the most nerve racking part because of all the ambushing that was going on. At night was hard because you could see all the rounds going off like you couldn`t during the day and the Iraqi`s were more brave at night because it was harder for us too see even with our [night vision goggles] because in some parts the burning oil fields were blinding through them. But over all we tried to keep each other feeling good by trying to make each other laugh and things like that, because we knew it could all end at any time.
Chronicle: From watching TV, you get the impression that the Iraqis were less than ready to fight for Saddam and that the invasion was a “cake-walk” for the United States. From your experience, would you say that resistance put up by the Iraqis was fierce, or would you tend to agree with the “they’re running away” opinion?