This posting is dedicated to the 'Iraqi' and 'Arab' interpreters who are working for the Occupiers:
"Nashwan Hassan Ahmed's belief in the American mission in Iraq never wavered.
Hired fresh out of Baghdad University, he served for 18 months as an interpreter for American forces in Mosul. Former colleagues recall him working bravely and tirelessly, side by side with troops on dangerous nighttime hunts for insurgents, and in the offices and conference rooms where the details of reconstruction projects were hammered out.
The days were long, but Mr. Ahmed, now 24, said he did not care, "because I felt that I was trying to help Iraq stand up again, and because I felt I was like a brother to them."
By "them," Mr. Ahmed meant the American soldiers he lived with, and who came to call him Nash. He spent mornings with them at the shooting range and evenings playing video games. He learned to like lasagna and root for the Atlanta Braves.
Then the threats started. Because of his work with American troops, some Iraqis saw Mr. Ahmed as a collaborator. Mr. Ahmed said his family was harassed and abused, and they moved three times in an effort to hide from insurgents. When Mr. Ahmed begged his American bosses for help, he was told they could do nothing. He said he finally realized that for his family's safety, he would have to leave Iraq.
Alone, he crossed the border into Syria in January.
Mr. Ahmed is one of a growing group of Iraqis who used to work as interpreters, drivers or cooks for American forces in Iraq but have fled to Syria because the insurgency branded them as traitors. In recent months, Iraqis who are known to have worked with American troops have been killed and kidnapped in large numbers.
They were once among the most enthusiastic Iraqi supporters of the American-led invasion to overthrow Saddam Hussein. But now, they say, they feel confused and abandoned in a society that, with its ubiquitous banners bearing Syrian Baath Party slogans and huge portraits of Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, and his family, reminds them at least superficially of Mr. Hussein's Iraq.Iraqi Ex-Employees of U.S. Face Death Threats or Exile June June 5, 2005
"Saeed, a 35-year-old Morocco native, recalls a motivational speech for the recruits in which a sergeant pledged, "We're going to go to Iraq and kill those guys who worship Allah."
.... Tarik, a newly minted U.S. Army private first class, recalls his first challenge in Iraq: convincing fellow GIs he wasn't a terrorist.The 24-year-old Morocco native was among the first graduates of a U.S. military program to provide Arabic-speaking "combat linguists" for American ground troops, one of the most precarious roles in the Iraq conflict.
... In Iraq, some interpreters said, soldiers mocked their Arabic surnames and accused them of being "on the wrong side" of the conflict. Suspicious of his accent and dark features, some soldiers disdainfully labeled Tarik a hajji, a term of respect among Muslims that many American soldiers use with scorn."'Combat Linguists' Also Battle Labels
June 4, 2005And, see the earlier posting "American-Iraqi mercenaries"
May 23, 2005For a fistful of Iraqi blood-stained US$, they die or are abandoned