Episode 24 - "Troops"

Adel, Saif and Ausama deal with the presence of American troops in their daily lives.

Viewer Comments

Perhaps there could be a phased transition to international troops, including Arab League troops, and then another phased transition to full Iraqi sovereignty? (over the course of approximately 10 years total) Just a thought.
Posted on: May 07, 2007

Adel, I liked how you got the chance to talk to some of the American troops. Not all of them are bad, and I know some of them do think they are making a positive impact on the world. It's hard not to be subjective during a time war. The Tribeca Film Festival just ended here in New York and they featured a documentary on American troops in Iraq. I wish I could have seen it, but it added another side to the whole story of what goes on in the country that you all love.
Posted on: May 07, 2007

Very powerful. Especially the black humor from folks in the car. Y'all might find this encouraging: Anti-war groups use new clout to influence Democrats on Iraq
Posted on: May 07, 2007

You guys stop making me laugh! This is serious! ;) Actually, I understand to a certain extent. I worked as a police dispatcher a few years ago and we had to make these kinds of jokes sometimes. The other option would be stress and depression and one can't function like that. You have to survive and find laughter where you can. I think you all realize, but it's worth saying, most of our American soldiers are good people. I'm not saying there aren't some bad apples, but really the majority are brave and good hearted. The majority hate and are disgusted by what happened at Abu Ghraib and the majority wish they could help create a peaceful Iraq and come home.
Posted on: May 07, 2007

One of the best videos in my opinion. I was glad to here Adel had a positive experiance with the US troops. We are seriously clue less you guys are our eye and ears. I found this quote very interesting, 60 minutes asked Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, deputy director of coalition operations in Iraq, what went wrong. “Frankly, I think all of us are disappointed by the actions of the few". “Every day, we love our soldiers, but frankly, some days we're not always proud of our soldiers." This was a comment he made about Abu Ghraib. Lets get Iraq back on its feet and get the hell out. Peace to all,
Posted on: May 07, 2007

Peace..........A wonderful hope.....another hope is that American citizens see all the films being made (at great personal risk). If Americans see this film series, my hope is that we will stop thinking of Iraqi citizens as "boogeymen" and "terrorist threats". Humans are humans. My country is responsible for the invasion and attempted distruction of the soverign country of Iraq...........saying 'I'm sorry' dosen't seem to cover this mess. What will our children think of us for allowing this. Please keep filming.......the world needs to hear these voices!! Be safe.
Posted on: May 07, 2007

Listening to two law-abiding, educated, and secular Iraqis talk about the US presence in Iraq as a bad thing made me sad. I think probably 3 out of 5 Iraqis feel the same way as them. That's a majority, and maybe it would be best if we just admit that the war is lost and get out as soon as possible. An army cannot defeat an enemy if the native people are against them. That is a fact. I can understand why the Sunnis who were the elitists in Saddam's time would resent the US invasion. But now the Shittes want us out too. So let's just leave and let the cards fall where they may. We don't have to fix it, because I don't think we broke it. We got rid of a murderous tyrant for the Iraqi people, and they would have thrived under democracy if not for the self-destructive and violent, unthinking actions of certain groups of Iraqis and interference from other Arab nations. It's time to bid Iraq goodbye and let the people fight for power among themselves. We tried our best, folks, and spent a fortune and lost too many lives already. I honestly think it wasn't worth it.
Posted on: May 07, 2007

Wow, what can i say? The American army is a joke! I can't see where they are taking Iraq to? what's next? Sending more troops is just sending more people to get killed and bombed... "They are the men with the guns" ha? It is so obvious after hearing that word that they are using their power in the opposite way, not protecting, but destroying. Right SAIF??
Posted on: May 08, 2007

Hello Guys, first of all.........great site! Secondly- Today English newspaper "The Times" published a report about this site and about your life. They described Ausama as a look a like for Tom Cruise in one of his old films!(can't remember the name now). Looool. They also said that you have left Iraq now, except for Adel. Where have you immigrated to? All the best in your lifes.
Posted on: May 08, 2007

Here is the article Oba is referring to: LOL! Ausama, we want Iraqi Mission Impossible ;) Hee hee hee... Much love, guys. Peace.
Posted on: May 08, 2007

Dear all, How did you guys get out of iraq? There are many people we know who are unable to get out? Please give me some tips on how to get my family members out since i can't even contact them by phone only rarely do i get a phone call. My family got out of iraq in the 1970s, before i was even born. Any tips will help. Some live in basra and some in baghdad...i am desperately trying to reach them. My cousin just got killed as he was buying groceries last month and trying to find some medicine for his sister. thank you
Posted on: May 08, 2007

hahaha, Ausama, have you seen Risky Business? You twin Tom Cruise does a little dancing ... it would be fun to get you over to America and take you out on the town! xo!
Posted on: May 08, 2007

Elle, I don't know if you can fix it but the so called "Coalition" did break it. They created a vacuum when they disbanded the army and the police and black listed all the Baathists. Banning political parties, however much we disagree with them drives them underground, they got together with ex army and police and the result is a lot of people with firearm and explosive experience looking for revenge/ return to the status quo/anti-American/anti-Shiite or any of many other choices. The Iraqi's don't trust the Americans because they cannot believe that things cannot be fixed. They still have no electricity, water, sanitation, security, jobs or anything that makes life good. The Shiite are supported by Iran, You have on the one hand the American forces or the British, in the soouth, who are doing nothing to improve their lives, or the Iranians who are providing them with help, money and jobs. If you were in their place, which would you choose? What the answer is.... I don't know.... The body count goes up.... but I don't know.....
Posted on: May 09, 2007

Hi Iraqicanadian, It must be a very stressful time for you...I can only tell you from my own experience with family relatives in Baghdad. They flew out of Baghdad from the airport and took a plane to Syria. Apparently there is a long waiting list but as is the case with most things in Iraq, if you give money to the ticket people, they can get you a flight within a week or two. This was the safest way out because as you know, going by car is too dangerous. Hope that helps, good luck Sally
Posted on: May 09, 2007

elle, How could these secular Iraqis not feel the way they do? There contact with Americans has been with the biased producer of these videos. You don't feel they have an agenda? What would happen to secular Iraqis if American troops withdraw before Iraq is ready? The Islamic Extremists will take over and terrorize secular Iraqis. Submit or die. Here is some interesting info to share with intellectually dishonest Americans who could give a crap about these secular Iraqis future and care more for America's failure to "stick it to Booooosh". Here is some information for you. In 2002 and 2003 it was reported that the NSA satellites had taken satellite photos of Iraqi Convoys leaving suspected chemical facilities and going into 3 sites in Syria. Saddam Hussein’s #2 Iraqi Air Force General, General Sada, testified that Chemical Weapons were transported into Syria disguised as “humanitarian aid" into Syria at the end of 2002 and beginning of 2003, before the invasion:. These 20 planeloads are what General Sada said contained the Chemical Weapons: Saddam Hussein said those 20 planeloads contained “humanitarian” assistance, but he was under U.N. Sanctions?! He said he didn’t have enough humanitarian supplies, which is what he used for the excuse to let his own people starve??!! But he had enough to send 20 planeloads of “humanitarian aid” to Syria??!! —————————————————————————————————————————— And this was further validated by Nizar Nayuf (Nayyouf-Nayyuf). A Syrian journalist who recently defected from Syria to Western Europe and is known for bravely challenging the Syrian regime, said in a letter Monday, January 5, 2004, to Dutch newspaper “De Telegraaf,” that he knows the three sites where Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) are kept. ———————————————————————————— In 2004 10 al-Qaeda terrorists were captured in Jordan with more than 20 tons of Chemical Weapons! The reported targets were the Jordanian Prime Minister’s office and the headquarters of Jordanian Intelligence, and the U.S. Embassy. It has been reported that up to 100,000 could have been killed in the Terrorist Bombing. It was reported that the anthrax chemicals had only been produced by Iraqi Scientists! And the al-Qaeda terrorists said they received them from those 3 sites in Syria. IN a live televised Jordanian interrogation those al-Qaeda terrorists admitted to receiving the 20 tons of WMDs from those three Syrian Sites reported by General Sada and seen by NSA satellite photos.The al-Qaeda terrorists also received training at those Syrian Sites. ———————————————————————————————————- Not only did Saddam Hussein have a 12 year history of not complying to his own Cease Fire Agreement he shot down a U.S. Spy Plane 1 month before 9/11 in August of 2001! That is an act of WAR in itself. Saddam was asking for war and he got it! Tariq Aziz even bragged that they were able to upgrade their anti-aircraft technology with brand new technology illegally purchased during the U.N. Sanctions. An Iraqi Nuclear Scientist, Dr Mahdi Obeidi, was hiding the key Nuclear Research and Nuclear Centrifuges needed to restart Saddam's Nuclear Weapons Program. Saddam reported these Nuclear documents, and key nuclear centrifuge parts as "Destroyed" in 1995! The experts argued that Saddam Hussein had ASPIRATIONS of reconstituting his Nuclear Weapons Program. These Nuclear Documents and key Nuclear Centrifuge parts were declared DESTROYED by Saddam. They were NOT. Sorry about the length, but when some people say Bush "lied" us into Iraq they are either being intellectually dishonest or are uninformed. We are there now and if America abandons Iraq now the secular Iraqis will have no chance.
Posted on: May 09, 2007

The new security strategy has seen early succes in Iraq. ABC News crew walks around areas of Baghdad that have seen an increase in security. Iraq is still very violent, but only 40% of the American Troops have been assembled for the new security "surge" strategy, but it has seen some early success. Iraq is very very violent and has a long way to go though:
Posted on: May 09, 2007

With the early succes of a security increase in areas of Baghdad their 40 year old Amusement Park has been able to re-open for Iraqi children to have some fun away from the violence: Keep in mind only 40% of the American Troops for the new security "surge" strategy have been put in place, but the early signs are encouraging!
Posted on: May 09, 2007

Iraqi Boy Scouts are able to have their Jamboree with an increase in security: In this video Iraqi Boy Scouts clean up their campground for the upcoming Boy Scout "Jamoboree".
Posted on: May 09, 2007

I don't want anyone to think that I believe Iraq is "fixed" or isn't violent. Iraq is very very violent, but does anyone really believe the security will improve more if American Forces withdraw this year?????
Posted on: May 09, 2007

Oba , Tracy , Amelia ... yes I've read it ... It was very nice of them to describe me the way they did ... I'm flattered :-P . infact my head is getting bigger and bigger :D hehehe. Amelia , although I have alot of fans ... but don't worry I'll take you to dance hehehe. yes true , some of the soldiers act nice sometimes , but those don't have any clue of what they're doing , those are arresting innocent people , killing innocents may be ! and that why we're telling them Change your Policies towards our People , they just can't continue doing what they're doing like this .... may be getting them out of the country would be good or may be not , that's something I'm not sure of yet , but if they're going to stay they should change their attitude , they should have some good Idea of what and why and who . Last night I knew that my friend (and he's my neighbor too) was killed by some terrorist , he was killed in Place close to an american base , and they did nothing to stop that. they were telling the medias that this new plan is different and it will bring peace to Iraqis ... so how can I beleive them now? I'm still in Iraq , I'm not in Baghdad .. but I'm still in Iraq.
Posted on: May 10, 2007

Ausama. Only 40% of the American Forces needed in the new security strategy have been put in place. But areas of Baghdad have seen increases in security. Here are some videos showing areas of Baghdad with increases in security: Do you have a specific examples of U.S. Soldiers mistreating you? If so in what way? Do you have the names of the innocent Iraqis that were arrested or have specific examples? Or is something you heard from other Iraqis? More than 3,300 American Heroes have given their lives trying to bring security to the Iraqi people. Was this American Base near where a terrorist killed an Iraqi located in Baghdad? You believe if American Forces pull out the terrorists will stop killing innocent Iraqis? If you don't trust American Soldiers I will personally contact my U.S. Senators and tell the to get the fuck out of your country and let the Islamic Extremists have it. If secular Iraqis don't understand U.S. Soldiers are on their side then fuck it I want all American Heroes the fuck out of Iraq. I will pray for you and all secular Iraqis when this day comes. Assalamu Allaikum....
Posted on: May 11, 2007

2 Iraqi Bloggers, Omar and Mohammed, receive an unexpected visit from American Soldiers this is their personal experience with American Soldiers: Omar and Mohammed are Doctors living in Baghdad. They come from a Sunni Family, but are both Secular Iraqis. It's a good blog to check out once in a while to see another opinion on the Political process and struggles in Iraq.
Posted on: May 11, 2007

Gunner Sgt. , for the first question , Yes.. and I guess you can also go back to " security " and watch that back , and incase you don't think that was something " wrong " then Yes I have some examples happened to my and other familly members of mine. for the second question , Yes I do have names of innocent Iraqis in those detention camps.. some are friends of mine , some are relatives. and sure we hear everday of more and more whom are arrested and who I'm very sure are innocent. I didn't understand what did you mean in your third question , however my friend was killed near one of the palaces in Baghdad and ofcourse you know that those palaces are US. army bases now. If you do really want the new security strategy to work ( Like I do ) , please try to contact adel and ask him what does he feel about it or try to know some facts from him about the terrorists. I guess I mentioned this several times , but here let me say it again : All what I want is peace , how can I feel secured by the american forces if they have already didn't treat me or my familly well and we're secular Iraqis ! ? ! I already agreed with adel that some of the soldiers act nicely , but some don't. besides how can I say they're being nice , if they treat me once good and then next day they destroy the house ? it's really confusing . Again , the answer is probably not by pulling out , we're telling you change your policies , strategies make it better and you will definitly find better results ... I'm also sure that you will find many Iraqi people who are educated and have sights and opinions about the political situation and have also answers and solutions for what's going on. I must say I respect how you feel , you seem very concerned about Iraq and about the american soliders , and you seem that you want to help us , so please we did those vedios so that you understand what are we passing through , how did our lives turned to be in these past years . Now it's extremley dangrous for us , because we did this project ... so can you or anyone else help us to restore our security ,our self-confident ? Thank you again
Posted on: May 12, 2007

Ausama, I am very sorry that U.S. Soldiers were told that your Grandmother's home was being used by terrorists, but they have to be aggressive when told that an Iraqi's Home is being used by terrorists. U.S. soldiers have saved many kdnapped Iraqis from terrorists by doing this aggressive entry technique. You stated that U.S. Soldiers were personally kind to YOU, but I understand your anger with your Grandmother's home being searched. Keep in mind that U.S. Soldiers want to come home to their families and if they are told they are going into a terrorist safe house then they can't knock knock and give the terrorists a warning they are coming in the door. That gets them killed. Was your Grandmother at her home when they came in? U.S. Soldiers are not allowed to fire weapons inside homes without being threatened or fired upon. Are you sure those were bullet holes? If yes then are your sure they are from American Soldiers?? I don't understand if your Grandmother's home wasn't a threat why they would fire their weapons. The U.S. Military is required to give proper compensation for broken doors, windows, glass, etc if the home is determined to be an innocent Iraqis. Was compensation offerred to your Grandmother for the damage? Normally U.S. Soldiers treats Iraqis and their homes with great respect and offer the traditional Muslim greeting of "Assalamu Allaikum". This is called a soft knock and if a home isn't considered a threat of terrorist home this is how 99% of U.S. Soldier's searches work: Here is another home American Soldiers enter and save an Iraqi kidnap victim. When the American Soldiers tell his family of his rescue they begin to cry with joy. It made me cry: Ausama keep in mind that only half of the troops for the new security strategy have been put in place in Iraq. More help is on the way. Have you read anything about the new plan for security? Baghdad is being split into 16 areas of security perimeters. U.S. and Iraqi Forces are leaving their large bases and establishing "security stations" in these Baghdad neighborhoods and living among the Iraqis. This is very dangerous for the Iraq and U.S. Soldiers, but it has to be done if security is to improve. They are also beginning to patrol their specific Baghdad area to stay among the Iraqi people and speak with the Iraqi people daily to get information about terrorists and to provide more security and arrest terrorists. Here is the how Baghdad is being split up into 16 different security areas and which Iraqi and U.S. Units will be in charge of security for each Baghdad area. Do you live in Baghdad? Do you believe this might work to improve security? Salaam.....
Posted on: May 12, 2007

Gunner Sgt, did you swallow a propaganda book?Sure, theres individual acts of good happening in iraq. But overall, foreign troops invading that country was a bad idea. And so is building Berlin walls everywhere. Although it does make for some good artwork. :p I hope you start thinking for yourself one day. Peace. Ausama, respect and love to your grandmother, you, your family, and Iraq in general.
Posted on: May 13, 2007

lelly, What do you suggest to increase security for Iraq? The Berlin Wall was to trap people in and not let them escape. Walls in certain areas of Baghdad are strategically placed to prevent sectarian violence. . Many neighborhoods in America have walls. What's your point? This is a wall around a neighborhood in Phoenix, Arizona. After completion they painted it a very pretty beige color. These walls are all over Arizona and surrounding their neighborhoods. They are for security and privacy. You Berlin Wall comparison is disengenuous. The walls in Baghdad are not meant to "trap" anyone inside to prevent escape like the Berlin Wall was for. They are meant as a "buffer" zone to help increase security. Which is what everyone wants for Iraqis right? I thought the goal was to increase security in Iraq? After the security increases and Iraq's violence drops in a few years walls can be taken down. The Berlin Wall eventually came down also right? . Isn't the goal to increase security for Iraqis? Isn't that #1 on your agenda? Success for Iraq? What do you think of the new security strategy? Or is your "suggestion" to "help" Iraqis by pulling all American troops out of Iraq and let it fail and plunge into worse chaos and death? Pull out and let the Iraqis go to all out Civil War and full scale Genocide? Is that your suggestion lelly?
Posted on: May 13, 2007

By the way to insult my intelligence. I "think" for myself. I also served my country and have made friends with Iraqis. I want Iraq to succeed and have offered specific constructive dialogue in this blog. I have asked constructive questions and want Iraq to succeed.
Posted on: May 13, 2007

Gunner Sgt I'm verry happy that you "think" for yourself. @ Saif, Adel en Ausama and all the people you represent : I found an artikel in a local newspaper about hometownbaghdad and started this morning reading and watching (and still not finnished !). My head is full of words and sentences, like in a storm. There is so much I like to say but I can't find the right, the proper words to encourage you all. Your video's, your storry's .. it all reminds me off 13-14 years ago when I was on humanitarian convoys into Bosnia. No power, the shootings, the lightnings in the dark, the term "in Hell", the two, or more, ethnic groups (not realy religians) fighting ... I could always leave ... but not everyone could ... (Sorry, getting sentimentel now) Keep up the good work. Let the world know how young civilians experiance live in a warzone like Baghdad. (or as displaced person) Take care and good luck ! Monique
Posted on: May 13, 2007

Monique, That comment was in response to lelly.
Posted on: May 13, 2007

Gunner Sgt Says: May 11th, 2007 at 9:26 am was i imagining things.. was that an American roaming the streets of Baghdad with a camera crew in the first clip?? he certainly didn't appear to be afraid, nor the people he spoke to.. thanks, bg
Posted on: May 14, 2007

Well yes bg that was an American News Crew walking around Baghdad. :)
Posted on: May 14, 2007

Gunner Sgt The Wall I know of in Baghdad is surrounding a community, supposedly for their own protection. This may or may not be the motive, but the fact that their movements are tightly control ( cannot go in or our except through armed guarded gates) is, to me, extremely sinister. The soldiers may have their protection in mind, but anything so controlling can easily be used and abused. The Berlin Wall came down when people were tired of governments and soldiers (cough) seperating them for "their own security" (cough cough) and telling them lies and setting them again each other. Sound vaguely familiar? I am not interested in what everyone wants for Iraqis. I am interested in what iraqis want for themselves. Once we know and listen to that, we will at least have a few solid goals, instead of vague mumblings of "security" and "control". Oh yes, im dying for iraq to descend into anarchy, genocide and chaos. Woops, too late. The point is,obviously different iraqis want different things. The Kurds in the north, perhaps , want their own state. Alot of people want Americans to get out as soon as possible. These are both achievable. There are plenty of other less agressive troops already in iraq, like the Germans and the Japanese. People forget this. However, I dont profess to have a full withdrawal and rebuild plan mapped out. I dont know what Iraqis want. No-one seems to be asking them. rather, they fight over what is best for them to do with another persons country. My no.1 agenda is not success. It is for the killing to stop.And for people making it happen to be stopped. (everywhere, not just in iraq)
Posted on: May 16, 2007

lelly, German Soldiers are NOT in Iraq. You speak in generalizations without informed facts. I have asked Ausama, Saif, and Adel their opinions on the wall and security plan. If you were so "concerned" about this why haven't you asked them about this? Saif answered me and said to "give the wall a chance and if it improves security that's good for Iraqis". Many American neighborhoods are surrounded by walls to provide security and privacy and you can only enter and leave through Gates. Is that "very sinister" also? The Iraqi Army guards their Gates to protect Iraqis that is not "sinister". You said, "My no.1 agenda is not success". REALLY???????!!! Your #1 agenda is not success for Iraq? Success for Iraq is security improving, the Iraqi Army and Police being able to provide security, and the U.S. Military being able to leave. Here's the rebuild plan lelly it's already happening. The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers began rebuilding Iraq in 2003 and have been working very hard.
Posted on: May 18, 2007

My number one agenda is peace. (killing stops)If thats success, fine. But in my experience success t most people usually involves money and power. I didnt ask because its not up to me, but of course I am interested to know the answer. Of course, I wonder why this amazing rebuild plan didnt happen when we first "won" in iraq. Yes it is sinister but in a different way. its a sign of an unsafe society. I dont want to argue too much. I will say Im no expert and obviously don't know all the facts and opinions. Peace and love
Posted on: May 19, 2007

Gosh.. I'm slow minded.. lol! Just figured out now what "If I happened to have the wrong name, I could pretty much kiss myself good-bye" meant.. Mistaken identity.. which is stupid really.. I bet they never considered that there are more than one person who would (unfortunately) have the same name as a militant.. Like did you guys read the article (or hear) about the Muslim Child ( a 3 year old) who was denied entry into the US (his father was a U.S. citizen and whose mother is a permanent resident) because his name was the same of a Palestinian leader who had been assassinated by Israel? It's ridiculous!! Fortunatly, he was eventually allowed to join them. Anyways, don't take this the wrong way.. but the dark humour kind of helps lighten up the situation a bit.. =/
Posted on: June 21, 2007

I love your videos. I've told so many people about them. Its a shame how little the world actually knows about Iraq and whats really going on. The soldiers don't even really know why they are there, & neither does their own president. Perhaps president bush needs to take a good look at this project! You guys are the real heroes, showing real bravery and making the most of life everyday, when others would have just given up.
Posted on: September 01, 2007

[...] What’s the story being told in this documentary? “Troops” [...]
Posted on: September 10, 2007

Dear people , I really proud to see such new idea in Iraq about publishing videos... Good work people and Usama take care man , it was nice to see you again Regards
Posted on: January 24, 2008

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Posted on: February 12, 2011

  1. Brains on Campus

  2. The Dentist

  3. Forbidden Salad

  4. Powerless

  5. Songs of Pain

  6. Abdullah Leaves

  7. Symphony of Bullets

  8. Last Resort

  9. Iraqis Shooting Each Other

  10. Mentally F'ed Up

  11. Saif Heart Noor

  12. Exams

  13. Hidden Camera

  14. Barbwire

  15. Kiss and Tell

  16. Across The River

  17. Hubbly Bubbly

  18. Anger Pain Death Madness

  19. Security

  20. Liberation

  21. My Best Friend Zaid

  22. Sick of This

  23. Iraqi Man

  24. Troops

  25. The Palace Maid

  26. Beggar At the Gate

  27. Market Boom

  28. Tickets & Popcorn

  29. Nothing But Guitar

  30. Over Here and Over There

  31. City on the Sea

  32. Goodnight, Baghdad

  33. Out of War

  34. Back to Baghdad

  35. Trouble finds Its way

  36. Zaghareet

  37. One of Thousands

  38. Jimi Hendrix