Shock and awe Iranian style
Braveness is taking one's rifle and wanting to go
back to the battlefield to defend one inch of your land
By Pesare Gol
April 15, 2003
As I watch the military campaign unfold in Iraq, I can't help remember
my own days in the frontlines. The shock and awe campaign impresses
me. In three weeks, the US has unleashed about 15,000 smart bombs
with devastating power and deadly accuracy. In three weeks the US
army has invaded a country. A country, that once had the fourth
largest army on the planet.
The days of the Iran-Iraq war are still vivid for me. Back then,
Iraq was a military superpower. The French sold them the Mirage
and the powerful Exocet missile that ripped through a ship like
box cutter rips a piece of cloth. The Russians sold them state-of
the-art tanks. The US gave them satellite intelligence of our whereabouts
and all three sold them chemical weapons to gas Iranians.
I was among many Western educated Iranians who went back for the
sole reason of defending our country. Although we didn't have the
equipment the Iraqis had, we did have something that they sure did
not and that was heart.
Back then we unleashed our own shock and awe campaign on the Iraqis.
Our weapon was simple, the love of our country and determination
of expelling the enemy. This sheer determination is what made the
Iraqi army use chemical weapons in delaying our advances -- despite
the superior conventional weapons technology. The men I fought with
were indeed the most valiant individuals I will ever meet.
It amazes me how American soldiers are given the label "brave"
and "heros". But I bet if you take the night goggles,
the GPS gadget around his waste, the Apache that is hovering over
his head for his cover, the F-18 that is monitoring the Apache and
the B-1 bomber that blows up anything and everything with pin-point
accuracy, then the American soldier may not be as brave as what
we all think. Most of this war was won by smart bombs and missiles
and all the soldiers had to do is to clean up the area.
Braveness, the way I saw it, is taking one's rifle and wanting
to go back to the battlefield to defend one inch of your land. Braveness,
is wanting to rescue fellow soldiers right after a chemical weapon
attack, barely able to breathe and not knowing one's lungs are liquefied
by mustard gas.
We all hope that his is the last war we all see for a long time.
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