Ignorance

Ignorance

I met a woman tonight, a conservative, an educated woman, who thought she knew what the fuck the war in Iraq was all about. She insisted she knew because she knew some people who had lived there. Her friends.

“They left Iraq in 2004,” she said with conviction.

“Then they were rich,” I replied. “Because any Hajji leaving Iraq has money.” She stared blankly back at me.

“It’s close-minded to call them Hajjis.” She’s struggling now. Grasping.

“Okay,” I said, “I used it in a derogatory way. But do you know where the term Hajji originates?” She did not. I explained it to her. “So when I say the country is overrun by Hajjis, I’m speaking in generalities.” She feigned agreement. “The thugs took over Iraq after Saddam fell. The criminals. They were the ones picking up every fucking 155 shell they found and wiring it to kill us.”

“We’ve destroyed so many artifacts, so much of their culture,” she replied.

I answered, “The only thing an Iraqi cares about is his family. Not his neighbors. Not his city. And definitely not his fucking country.” As an American, it’s difficult to imagine.

“You’re saying he doesn’t care about his culture?” She’s fishing now.

“No, I’m not saying that. His culture is woven within his family.”

“But I’ve got friends who have said and I’ve read case studies -”

“I lived with them for almost a year. Not as a Marine unit operating with Iraqis, but as a guy living with them, eating with them, training them. Hearing about their families, their lives, how they’ve existed over the past few decades.”

“They were better off without Saddam,” she said.

“I agree.”

“But we destroyed so much of their culture.”

“I was there after we bombed Fallujah, when the city was dead and the streets were still littered with fliers telling people to get out if they’re not the bad guys. They don’t care about culture. They wanted blood.”

“But you’re just an American in their country who doesn’t understand -”

“I sure as hell understand more than you and the fucking case studies you’ve read.” I was livid. “All you know is what the media feeds you.”

It fell on deaf ears.

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16 Responses to “Ignorance”

  1. Ed says:

    Amen Brother. I deal with liberal educators every day, they think because they spent 4 years in college they have the answer. I have experienced it. I am sorry, if I think my opinion based on personal experience is more valid than yours formed from printed media or the talking heads. Sometimes it takes every once of self control to not ________, I think you get the idea.

    I just went for a bike ride with Connor, he was nice and waited for me, makes me feel old. Did you get the Christmas card.

    Ed

  2. Klimas says:

    Haha! DO NOT go to college! I can’t tell you how many people have an “educated” view of something and are completely incapable of looking at the world without American glasses. Liberal, conservative, it really doesn’t matter. Aggressively opinionated ignorance is so rampant and pervasive within our society. The news outlets have done little more than stimulate hatred and partisanship and neither side can give in or give up. It has been an AGGRAVATING 4 years here at UCONN, but at least it’s over next week!

  3. Aaron Steinbach says:

    Hell yeah man, let her know what it’s really about. It’s rough being a guy who can be pushed into defending the things that have happened over there. Anyways bro, how’s life? When you coming back to Cali again?

  4. Delta Muj says:

    You should have showed her the picture of the still pink skull found in the middle of Jolan Park – NOW THAT IS CULTURE; or better yet the tango that took a direct hit and only his feet were there at the bottom of the crater. I’ll even bet that if you asked her about the civil war that she would state it was about some noble cause and NOT about economic theft. You encountered the walking dead. They are everywhere and PROPAGATING!

  5. Elaina says:

    I stumbled upon your website through Twitter. Great post. I think this is what disturbs me most about our country right now. People most definitely are spoon fed what the media wants them to hear and they don’t have the presence of mind to think through what they hear and see. It’s disturbing!

    Nice website!

  6. Gabe says:

    Some people just need killin….

  7. Jayme says:

    Never got the Christmas card. Was there a check in it for $5?

  8. Jayme says:

    What was most frustrating was the fact she couldn’t comprehend my experience or point of view. I was being the close minded one? Ignorant!

  9. Jayme says:

    Should be in Cali for a buddy’s wedding on 26 June in Manhattan Beach. The plan is to fly into San Diego the evening of Wed, 24 Jun. Then fly back out Sun sometime. We’ll be a week into a cycle, so I can’t be gone that long.

  10. Klimas says:

    Yeah bro. It’s one of those humble-pies I have been eating for 4 years now. Everyone “respects” our service, but no one really understands it so, in essence, they don’t respect anything. Academia will not give you any credit for anything that you have learned outside the classroom setting. Everyone thinks the crap they study is the most important thing in the world and any challenge to their “knowledge” is met with contempt and insolence. It honestly sounds like she was debating another person’s opinion. Also she was probably a Poly-Sci major. Avoid those idiots at all costs. Especially the ones who really believe it’s a science.

  11. Aaron Steinbach says:

    Sweet man. Give me a call when you get in and we’ll chill if you’ve got the time. How are things going for ya out there?

  12. Ed says:

    Nah, there was $500 in it. I will check to see if she actually mailed it. Christmas in July.

  13. Jayme says:

    I thought you died! Good to hear you’ve still got an opinion. But I’m safely on MCRD Parris Island where the civilians can’t get to me. I’m sure you’re dealing with them every day now.

  14. Jayme says:

    I can’t blame people for only knowing what they’re fed by the media, but why can’t they accept other points of view? Did she think I was part of some military cover up? It’s frustrating.

  15. Elaina says:

    I’m not sure what it is really. I do think that there’s a lot of of people out there who are convinced that there has been a lot of covering up of why we went, the reasons we stayed and what happened over there. I also think that a lot of folks don’t give the military due respect and assume (as much as I hate to say this) that ya’ll don’t know what you’re signing up for. And along with that, they do not realize or chose to see that you’re professionals.

    I also think that people like that cannot fathom there’s another possibility — another point of view. I’ve had discussions with people who are not only against the war in Iraq but consider themselves to be pacifists. I respect their right to that viewpoint! But I wish that they would realize that while it all sounds nice, I’d rather not find out what rights we would no longer have if pacifism was our way of dealing with tyranny.

  16. Jayme says:

    Totally. So why are we the bad guys?

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The author.Born in the year of the Dragon, the author grudgingly accepts the fact he has too many interests and not enough time. A cyclist as long as he can remember, an avid yet inconsistent writer since age eleven, and a U.S. Marine since age twenty-one, the author also adds peak bagging, diving, snowboarding, and computers to his list of interests. Incidentally, he is aware of his inability to make a living from any but the Corps. The author accepts this as fact and remains optimistic. Feel free to drop him a line.

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