The U.S. War in Iraq: My View (The Terrorists)

By | January 3, 2017

[January 3, 2017]  This post is my third in a short series on my personal view of the War in Iraq after a one-year combat tour of duty.  While I served three years total, that first year shaped much of my understanding of Iraqis, terrorists, combat troops, contractors, home town folks, reporters, and politicians.   As leaders it is important, I believe, to always attempt to “see” what others think about significant events in the past.

Below is my “unadulterated” view of the terrorists we fought and killed so many innocent Iraqi citizens.  My first two posts can be retrieved easily (links here and here).  The first was my view of the Iraqis themselves and the second post was on U.S. troops.  There will be bias in anyone’s view but when we read many perspectives, it helps us gain a better understanding of what the leadership was thinking at the time.  Today, my post is about the terrorists.

THE TERRORISTS:  Let me start by making it absolutely clear that people who kill innocents are not “insurgents,” “freedom fighters,” or “brave individuals.”  Call them what they are: terrorists. 

The average terrorist is a coward – pure and simple.  Take note, you’ll hear this again.  I’ve seen them dead, alive and wounded.  When they are around American soldiers, they piss in their pants. 

All the terrorists we came in contact with are thugs of the worst kind and normally they were very stupid. 

The world media that portray them as something other than human scum are doing a disservice to the world.  Disservice because it would be inaccurate, but also because it gives legitimacy to the murder of innocents (more about the media later). 

The strategy of the terrorists shifted while I was there.  In the beginning they targeted the U.S. military.  When this occurred, we killed them by the thousands.  Didn’t hear that on CNN did you; actually tens of thousands. 

Later, they shifted their focus to innocent Iraqis.  Innocents rarely fight back so the targeting was easy and it makes a statement to the media.  Early in this shift, the target was large groups of children.  Didn’t hear about that on the news either, did you?  Because of so much grief we gave them from the military, they stopped targeting large groups of children and just hit wherever was easy. 

Car bombs, VBIEDs, were the method of choice because they are difficult to stop.  We were able to identify them later and started hitting their car bombs before they went off.  The walkup suicide bomber was another method but not so common. 

Today, these methods are used less.  Seems that the training program for suicide bombers doesn’t build a large body of experience since the attacker nearly always dies.  Good for us, bad for them. 

One of the dangers in Iraq was inbound mortars & rockets.  People were killed, but the media played up the danger.  While there were deaths and injuries, the good news was that the terrorists were very bad shots.  One soldier said we should go out and kill them.  We did, but they might replace him with a guy who can shoot.  Firefights were the same, the terrorists can’t shoot straight.  That’s why we always killed so many of them in a standup fight. 

The media would say the terrorists are conducting more organized resistance.  In truth, more of them ran away or were killed.  Remember, terrorists are cowards.

More on my thoughts later.  Next up will be my view of the home town folks.

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Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.