Saturday, January 13, 2007

Viral Video: Msg From Soldier in Iraq

This video is just under eight minutes.
No shocking revelations. No extreme views. Just one ordinary soldier speaking from the heart, and a good heart it seems to be.
It is linked at Iraq Slogger.

Here is a snip from a December post at his blog...

...We have so much stuff right now that we are running out of space. But the excess stuff will not be wasted. We are packing it up and bringing it around to the civilian workers who are here from countries such as India, Guyana, and the Philippines. I met one of these workers from the Philippines at the PX the other day and we met for coffee one evening and talked about his situation. He is about 27 and has a wife and 3 children at home. He has been away from his family for over a year and is not likely to see them for at least another year. He told me that he works for a sub-contractor that provides workers to AAFES (that's the organization that runs the px). According to him, the contractor gets about $3000 per month for each worker it provides AAFES. Out of that $3000...the average worker is given a measly $600 per month! With no benefits. They live in large open-bay tents with heaters and air conditioners that work only half the time. To add insult to this, the workers have to pay the placement agency thousands of dollars just for the privilege of working. The average worker has to pay $500 dollars a month for the first 6 months. Which means he or she is working for about $100 monthly until they are able to pay off what they owe the agent. Pretty outrageous huh? It disturbs me that there is so much disparity between what government pays the contractors and what is actually passed on to the workers. I think that this type of exploitation is horrible and is one of the most offensive things I have seen since I have been here. Don't ask me why I am so offended by this but I guess it's just the bleeding heart liberal in me.

He follows that with a commitment that he and some of his buddies will make it a point to visit some of these civilian workers at Christmas and see to it that they know how much they are appreciated.

My question is this: How come these jobs are not being performed by Iraqis instead of imported laborers from halfway around the world?

Of course I know the answer. But that is simply an indication that we truly have no idea who they are or how they think. I'm sure there are some Iraqis on the payroll, but they consort with Americans at their peril. The answer to the question is more disturbing than the question itself.

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