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  1. #1
    NewHopeR is offline Senior Member
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    Default Confused by the expression "helping the people that three or four hours before..."

    I've been confused by the depiction "helping the people that three or four hours before were trying to kill us"

    What? Helping people who tried to kill you?

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    "I've never been more proud to be a part of this unit than that day," the article quotes Sgt. Bales as saying, "for the simple fact that we discriminated between the bad guys and the noncombatants and then afterward we ended up helping the people that three or four hours before were trying to kill us. I think that's the real difference between being an American as opposed to being a bad guy, someone who puts his family in harm's way like that."

  2. #2
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Confused by the expression "helping the people that three or four hours before...

    I don't know where this soldier was quoted, but he is saying that they did not view all of the "locals" as enemies. They were able to tell the "bad guys" from the uninvolved civilians. They were able to get rid of the bad guys and then offer help to the people.

    Soldiers in many wars in history would have declared the entire area as "enemy" and would not have helped anyone. They would have viewed the entire local "people" as "trying to kill us." I think that is the point being made.

  3. #3
    deymond is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Confused by the expression "helping the people that three or four hours before...

    Quote Originally Posted by NewHopeR View Post
    "...for the simple fact that we discriminated between the bad guys and the noncombatants and then afterward we ended up helping the people that three or four hours before were trying to kill us."
    Bales was referring to providing medical aid to both combatant and non-combatant Iraqis after the battle, literally helping people that tried to kill them. This is a standard practice and is required by adherents to the Geneva Convention. The quote you read is found in this article which gives more information and several quotes from Bales: webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:vpS9p-wH0QsJ:army.mil/article/16623/Lessons_learned_in_Iraq__the_Battle_of_Zarqa/

    You can also search Google for army.mil/article/16623/Lessons_learned_in_Iraq__the_Battle_of_Zarqa/ and open the cached version of the page.
    Last edited by deymond; 17-Mar-2012 at 22:48.

  4. #4
    NewHopeR is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Confused by the expression "helping the people that three or four hours before...

    Thank you both

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