The Iraqi Collector: Truth In Lies (Paperback)
It was going to be the beginning of a long year, and it was only the first night rolling out on a deployment in Iraq. I sat in the back of the lead High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV). There were three vehicles out on patrol that night. We were pulled off the side of the road for less than 10 minutes when a black sedan passed our convoy and pulled directly off the road in front of our lead vehicle with about a distance of 20 feet. The reaction to the black sedan speeding by our vehicles, swerving in, and slamming the brakes made the guy's up top in the turrets with the M249 machine guns wake the hell up ready to fire into the black sedan. Most civilized humans would ask, why kill innocent people in a car just for backing up? Let me explain a highly probable and truly tragic situation that occurred frequently in Iraq, which led to the murder of innocent civilian women, children, men, US and Iraqi Soldiers. If the black sedan moved backwards toward our lead vehicle, and there was an explosive shell in the vehicle it could be detonated by the two suicide bombers killing myself and my men. We had seconds, a demand for immediate action, a question of whether or not to pull the trigger, unleashing a barrage of hot steel into the car in front of us. For most in the western civilized world a different response would be considered first, "Well, let's wait to see why the guys in the black sedan are backing up, maybe they're lost " Unfortunately, in Iraq, in that moment, your vehicle could be consumed by a ball of flame. That's where the light switch effect comes into play. Deciding to do nothing is what gets you a one-on-one with the maker up in the sky.