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Archive for March, 2014

Iraqi

By: FA ME

Offering a unique perspective on the Iraq War, the new memoir “Code Name: Johnny Walker” tells the story of one Iraqi who risked everything to fight with U.S. troops, in particular the Navy SEALs, becoming perhaps the only “terp” (interpreter) to be welcomed into their tight-knit fold.

Co-written by Walker (a pseudonym and nickname given to him based on his love of the Scotch whisky) and author Jim DeFelice, “Code Name” is the story of a family man who the SEALs came to rely on to interpret the local language on dangerous missions as the insurgency intensified following the American invasion.

But for Walker, this isn’t so much about telling his story as it is honoring the Americans he ended up spending eight dangerous years working alongside.

“The SEALs are human beings first, and they came to help and make a change in Iraq and help innocent people. I feel that I owe it to them to show everybody – the Middle East and America and the world – what awesome guys they are. I have to share that with other people,” Walker told FOX411. “They taught me about sacrifice and nobody being left behind. I just worked from my heart; I wanted to help them make every mission successful. For them to call me a brother, that’s a huge honor.”

One breakthrough moment in the book, when Walker became more than just a “terp,” happened during a firefight in which one SEAL was shot. Walker fearlessly ran through the line of fire, picked up the wounded serviceman, and took him to safety. The remarkable story of the Mosul local first came to DeFelice’s attention in 2011 when he was co-writing “American Sniper’ with the highly-decorated, now fallen SEAL, Chris Kyle. The author spotted a slightly taller, smiling man wearing different combat cammies.

“Chris said that was Johnny Walker, the only Iraqi he ever trusted with a gun,” DeFelice recalled. “He told me Johnny saved more SEAL and Iraqi lives than even he had.”

DeFelice hopes that through Walker’s memoir, readers come to understand the true nature of the Iraqi people.

“A lot of Americans don’t understand that terrorists are actually a very, very small portion of the populations and that they steal a lot of goodwill in the country and the people who want democracy,” he noted. “But they’re the ones who aren’t blowing themselves up so we don’t hear about them on the news.”

“Johnny Walker” (due to potential dangers facing his relatives in Iraq if his real name were exposed, the pseudonym remains), his wife and children relocated to California in 2009, where he proudly works as cultural advisor to SEAL teams. They are on track to become citizens in July.

“I think sometimes we, or at least I, take concepts like freedom or having my kids go to school for granted. Johnny’s story was a reminder or how important our American values are,” DeFelice said. “All of my grandparents came to America and worked into citizenship and that is really Johnny’s story. It is the story of America and the American Dream.”

the video: http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2014/02/18/code-name-johnny-walker-how-iraqi-interpreter-saved-lives-us-special-forces/

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iraq

Written By: FA ME

remembering the years before the 2003 war anniversary which coincides with the month of March, and looking into the hard times lived by Iraqis from different paths, and how fear has entered into each individual’s home and residence, I do feel that what happened was merely a dream that passed by very quickly, I do still remember the inability to talk anything in the streets or schools not even over the land phones (before the revolution of cell phones), it appeared very strange, we were depraved of our easiest right, freedom of talk! and everyone anticipated an end to all these nightmares.

when American Forces came to Iraq, things have little by little changed, it took us years to adjust to the new fact that there is no one listening to your conversations or to your voice when you whisper. I remember a friend, who was in the Iraqi Special Security Forces, he was telling us his story (when we were gathered sometimes out with neighbors . that at the place where he worked, they caught a person who has a satellite dish (which was prohibited by Saddam’s regime), “we brought him to our headquarters, we locked him in, and our boss” he said “asked us to bring the satellite dish and the receiver to our station, and indeed” he said, “we went to his house and brought the equipment’s. and we asked the guy to install it, because it seems that he was an expert. once the installation is completed we started to see that Baghdad and other areas have all fallen under U.S. control and Saddam’s statues are being uprooted. then we realized that this person was sent to us by God, we felt petty on the guy, because he was a reason that we could see some facts that would never knew about, even we were part of a very sensitive Force in the Iraqi government. we destroyed all our equipments upon our commander’s instructions” he said “and we fled the area, but didn’t forget to free all prisoners in the station”.

I do still remember these talks from almost the end of May 2003. and I think to myself, how could such regime controlled a whole nation? and how couldn’t we just upraise and start a revolution to stop the aggressiveness of his ruling. if I had the technology at that time, even though I was only 18 years old, I could have been the new Che Guevara, or even Maximilian Robespierre of France.

it does take us a moment to think about how could we change our world, and our life. I also remember during that time, when the U.S. Forces were in Iraq, the Arab Gulf countries have warned the U.S. about Syria, or to threaten the government there or even interfere, or cross Syrian soil, and we all know Syrian regime’s role and actions in hiding top Iraqi Ba’ath Party members, something which Syria denied for long time. but now the history repeat itself, and actually Ukraine has stolen the attention of international opinion from what is happening in Syria and became the focus of the American-Russian conflict, this is according to BBC News on April 2003! and Arab Gulf Countries now are striving to get rid of Syrian regime, they could barely speak about it in the media, because of the big white bear, Russia.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2951713.stm

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Chldean Patriarch

Chldean Patriarch

Iraq Archbishop Louis Sako. Credit: Aid to the Church in Need UK.
Rome, Italy, Feb 27, 2014 / 04:53 pm (CNA).- Archbishop Louis Raphael I Sako, the Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Babylon, has issued an urgent appeal to mark the beginning of Lent, calling for “prayer and fasting that Christians not leave Iraq.”
“Our Christian identity has had profound roots in the history and geography of Iraq for 2000 years,” Patriarch Sako said, according to the Fides news agency. “Our roots and our clear sources are found in our country, and if we leave, we would be separated from our roots.”
Christians in Iraq need to “persevere and wait,” and avoid listening “to those who instill fear” and to those who “in different ways invite or encourage Iraqi Christians to abandon their country,” he said.
“We are here because of God’s will and we are here with the help of his grace to build bridges and work with our Muslim brothers and sisters for the development of our country.”
In his message, Patriarch Sako also called for prayers for Syria, Lebanon and the entire region for an end to the unrest.
It is urgent that “the page be turned” in Iraq with the upcoming elections, he added, “so that the country can return to peace and security for the good of all citizens.”

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