The following letter was sent from Iraq by Captain Robert Secher, USMC, to his family on April 5, 2006. Captain Secher had volunteered in January 2006 for service in Iraq and was assigned to train Iraqi soldiers to take over the fight against the insurgency. He was killed on October 8, 2006, in the town of Hit in Anbar Province.
Just spent four days in the city with the Iraqis out on the FIRM [forward operating] bases. What it confirms is that any will to fight the Iraqis have is based on the fact that the US is here with all the firepower and logistics. One lieutenant said that when the US leaves he will leave the Iraqi army. They have no real incentive to fight. Everything is supervised by the US, the Iraqis are a rag tag bunch that the more time we spend with them we realize how corrupt they are (selfish survival instincts). We watched the Saddam trial for most of one day (like the OJ trial). They can’t understand why he is getting a trial and would have preferred to have him killed publicly and immediately. Some of them actually believe that he will be found innocent and released. The impression I get is that the Iraqis would have been more impressed if we had killed Saddam, they don’t believe he deserves a trial (and neither do I). The soldiers carry on each day like children, grown men who can’t take care of themselves and find the simplest tasks of great concern to them. God’s will takes care of most of their day to day needs, which is why nothing really ever gets done. In a fight they are good for about the first 10 minutes then seem to grow bored with being tactical and revert to their natural lethargic behavior. They sleep all day and complain how hard their lives are but make no efforts to change. They lie constantly to elevate their status or get what they want. The ones who are actually good to go are incapable of getting the rest to do anything, without the US this army will fail and get eaten alive by the insurgents, nothing seems to be improving, but everyone has brilliant ideas…but other than all that I think we’re winning. At least that’s what we’re being told….
March 15, 2007