Interview with an Iraqi Translator by Ben Hayden

Posted: Aug 14, 2008 10:26 AM

Iraqis feel for the position of the United States.  In an interview with an interpreter for the U.S. Marine unit, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, one Iraqi says that the US is in a “bad situation, no matter what route they take.”  Nick, the name the interpreter uses because he doesn’t want the terrorist to know his real name, tells a different story about Iraq.  “If the US stays, the Americans will hate their own government.  If the US leaves, they (the terrorist) will kill us.” [# More #]

As he works for the US, he builds vacation time, just like most jobs in America.  But he can’t take his vacations to go back to his home in Bagdad, because he will be killed.  “If I drive to Bagdad, the bad guys, they will stop me at a check point to check my Id.  When they see that I’m not one of them, boom.  I’m dead”.  He says that he loves being an interpreter for the Marines because he is helping his country and the Marines are fun people.
  When asked about why he thinks the terrorist have been attacking the U.S. here, he replied, “When the U.S. came to Iraq to help the people, the bad guys see this as an opportunity to kill Americans.  That’s all they want, to kill Americans”.  “People hate America because they are free there.  They think that if the U.S. spreads democracy to Iraq, you know, it could spread to other countries.  So they try to stop it”.  He said that most of the terrorist are from surrounding countries and that the countries in this area are afraid of the spread of democracy, that’s why they kill people that help the government.

“Iraqis don’t care as much about how is in charge as they do about their actions.  They want a do-er, not a talker”.  He worries that recent programs put out by the Iraqi government are just political fronts.  “Right now, the government is fixing everything, they fix the electricity, the water, the sewers, the lights, the police, everything.  We are just scared that all of this will go away when the U.S. leaves”.

He said that he knows the U.S. is spending a lot of money here and that it’s costing American lives, but that the Iraqi people are worth it.  He feels that, if the U.S. were to leave Iraq, the terrorist would take over within two months.  “They are just waiting for the U.S. to leave.  They see the news, they know its coming.  They are not dumb people”, he replied to a question about whether or not the terrorist would return if the U.S. leaves.

When Nick was first approached about doing this interview, he was happy to answer questions.  As soon as the camera came out, he turned away.  “Look, if they find me, if they see me working with the Marines, they will kill me, kill my family.”  He wanted his story to be heard though, so he agreed to answer any and all questions.

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