A recent post entitled Courage recounts two Iraqi women, obviously terrified, who nonetheless, at great risk, provided the Americans with valuable information.
The younger woman began to speak frantically in Arabic, her hands trembling with nervousness. …We removed our Kevlar helmets and eye protection, a gesture of trust, and did our best to figure out what she was trying to tell us. …whatever she had to tell us was substantial, substantial enough to get her killed for telling us. …The information the women gave us was colossal. It was detailed, in-depth first hand intelligence we were able to verify through her specific and calculated accounts of recent events. I wish I could go into it. …
Our soldier-blogger reflects on the courage of the woman who gave them this information
The risk she is subjecting herself to is a brutal and miserable death. Her entire life has consisted of totalitarianism, fear, death and brutality. Without ever having experienced the pleasures of freedom, without a tangible example of common decency… a guage to base right and wrong on, she has somehow managed to overcome her incomprehensible fears and pressures and do what is right. She grew up under Saddam Hussein who brainwashed and manipulated these people. He controlled all aspects of their life. For the past few years she has experienced terrorism and war, hell all around her. For her to have the intestinal fortitude to come forward just amazes me. One thing is for sure; the ability to know what is right and the courage to act on it is instilled somewhere in us all. I know that I will never forget this woman and the example she set for me. For the rest of my life, when I think I have it rough or am put in a situation where doing the right thing seems difficult, I’ll think back to yesterday afternoon and the humble Iraqi woman who showed me what courage was first hand.
He goes on to say:
While writing the last paragraph I was just notified by my team leader that one of the locations the woman gave us was searched by another element of our Company. They found tunnels buried in a field that were full of 155mm artillery rounds (used in road side bombs), rocket propelled grenades, rocket launchers, mortars and numerous other weapons and explosives. That find right there just saved a lot of lives.
As previously noted, “the only real indicator of progress in a war of counterinsurgency [is] the volume of intelligence spontaneously offered by the population … .” This story puts a human face on these cold words. The courage of individual Iraqis is absolutely necessary to defeat the insurgency and bring peace and order to the country.