[From the diaries by susanhu. Exceptional diary.]
The soldiers that I know most closely served early in Iraq II in that western region that included Fallujah and Ramadi and also the town of Husayba. Husayba is where operation Steel Curtain is going down right now. Steel Curtain is being sold in the press as an attempt to breach the gushing flow of foreign fighters who enter into the Iraq fracas by crossing the Syrian/Iraq border. They are calling the fighters Al Qaeda fighters too…….what does that mean? Did Osama send them or is every pissed off muslim coming to fight the Americans in Iraq automatically in Al Qaeda now?
The Euphrates crosses the Syrian/Iraq border and runs through the border town of Husayba. If you have seen Al Qaim written in the press at times it is essentially the same area, Al Qaim = Husayba. Leaving Husayba, the Euphrates meanders through towns that include Ramadi and Fallujah on its way to Bahgdad. It isn’t a huge river but it is sufficient and feeds almost all of the large lakes that Iraq claims it’s own.
North of Husayba on the Syrian/Iraq border is what appears to be severely washed out land that resembles the badlands to me (I’ve seen photos). The deep trenches washed into the land though easily hide bands of whoever on foot.
South of Husayba on the Syrian/Iraq border is open desert. I think that often we like to think of people in this region of the world as being on foot or aboard a camel but the truth is that these folks really do have cars and trucks and such things, and they know how to drive them too. The southern Syrian/Iraq border can easily be crossed in a vehicle and makes having immediate access to water not much of an issue for incoming fighters.
The town of Husayba has an enormous mansion near it. The mansion has a three story marble water fountain. I don’t know how the home came to be or who inhabits it or why, and the fountain wasn’t operating when the soldiers that I know were there. It seems to stand over Husayba with some sort of authority. In the press they say that Husayba was once a thriving town of 30,000 but is now mostly deserted. Husayba is about 1/10th the size of Fallujah and if it is now mostly deserted where did its inhabitants go?
I’m sure that there are a few “bad guys” hanging out in Husayba but I’m sure that there are a few women and a few children too that have nothing to do with all this war and death that have found their way into their little town, and they probably don’t have any place else to go either.
Will the innocent also be murdered in Husayba as they were in Fallujah? Will anybody remember them or count them if they are? Will anybody be there to bury them properly before sundown, or will another “clean up crew” be called in to cleanse the place of all the bloated bodies?
Many think that water is the key to stopping the flow of fighters entering from Syria and I wish it were so and that easy. The parched fighter though crossing that border has only to dig 10 feet or so down in most areas of that particular desert to have water, and people familiar with the area have survived this way longer than Americans have been Americans. The water may be a bit sandy but I doubt that the fighter will care because he was super angry when he decided to fight in Iraq. He will kill as many American soldiers as he can before he enters Paradise avenging the murders of the innocent that fuel his righteous rage.
The story of what happens in Husayba will spread easily and freely into Syria and sow fresh seeds. Ten feet under the sand is all that is needed to sustain the seedlings. We will reap what we sow as usual and I have to ask myself honestly if it isn’t what somebody really wants….completely pissed off Syrians crossing that border to put an end to the evildoers because it is hard to honestly say that Husayba is populated by Iraqis or by Syrians! Where the borders meet the people meet! But according to the map it is officially in Iraq!