Skip to comments.PATRICK DOLLARD IN IRAQ (The Dispatches 1-5)
Posted on 06/07/2006 12:29:57 AM PDT by anglian
A HOLLYWOOD, INTERRUPTED EXCLUSIVE
Last year, Pat Dollard took leave from his family and ditched a lucrative career as a Hollywood agent representing the likes of Syriana producer Steven Soderbergh. Then he hit the front lines in Iraq, armed only with a camcorder and the vision to direct and produce his documentary series "Young Americans" from an unpopular pro-military/pro-war viewpoint.
On February 18, Dollard was wounded while on combat patrol with U.S. Marines in the city of Ramadi. He suffered a concussion, neck injuries, shrapnel wounds, possibly a broken leg, and severe muscle and ligament damage in the IED strike on his Humvee. Two of the young Marines with him on combat patrol were not so lucky. They were both killed in the attack.
Dollard tells Hollywood, Interrupted that one of the Marines killed in the IED strike was Lt. Almar Fitzgerald, 22, of Lexington, North Carolina. "He and I were seated next to each other in the back,�? reports Dollard. In the front right passenger seat was Corporal Matthew Conley, 21 6 days shy of his 22nd birthday." He explains: The IED was buried beneath the asphalt, just an inch or two behind our back bumper. We were parked and Conley had dismounted to check on the last of the four vehicles in our patrol, as it had just been blown up by an IED. The insurgents will often lay out multiple IEDs in an attempt to blow up people who get out after an initial vehicle is hit, or to hit another vehicle. When Conley took the five steps required to reach the back of the vehicle, an insurgent hidden on a roof triggered it on him, blowing us all up. He was married, and he and his wife were expecting their first child in about 3 weeks." See related: Variety, US News & World Report
Although Ive been corresponding directly with Dollard, I have no opinion about him (yet) except to say that this man-on-a-mission has titanium testicles. But Hollywood types are quick to weigh in with their opinions, calling him "crazy," and "self-aggrandizing." These are the same people who laud loud-mouthed cheap-shot fabricators like Michael Moore. These are the same people who were quick to label Dave Chappelle "crazy," or more slanderous yet, a "crack addict" when he walked away from a $50 million deal to go find himself as a Muslim in Africa. The closest any of these people have been to the hell-hole that is Sunni Triangle is the distance between them and the viewpoint brought to them via their plasma screens courtesy of CNN.
Without further ado, I bring you the first in a series of Patrick Dollard blogs in his own words and pictures:Pat Dollard Blogs from Iraq: Entry One - April 3, 2006
Attack survivors Private Zachary Kother (left), Pat Dollard (center), Lance Corporal Eric Cybulski (right) Dollard notes: "The concussion blew Kother up and almost out of the turret, but an array of loaded ammo cans slammed into his legs, injuring him pretty badly, but keeping him from flying out of the vehicle, which certainly would have been worse.
As I was flying through the sky, instead of being in a blackout as I should be, my mind was a perfectly focused computer: I realized that Conley had stepped directly onto a bomb, I realized he was dead, and I hoped as I landed that my wounds would not be so bad, and that I indeed might even survive. And somehow, I was able to wonder why I was completely free of the shock that 95% of the others told me they experienced. I wondered why I was so locked into the reality of what was happening.
I lived in a four story mansion with a beautiful wrought iron elevator that shot through the middle. I thought it was an extravagance at first, but after just one two story climb up the winding staircase I appreciated it as a necessity. This is what it's like being rich - an elevator in your house can be a practical necessity, free of all pretenses. It had been a long a ride from the welfare and food stamps of my early grammar school years. Dad was a dead drunk by the second grade, Mom had fled with us from the immigrant concrete caves of New York to the endless sun and sea promise of Los Angeles.
By age 40 I was a Hollywood pimp with a seven figure income and Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh as my flagship client. I had made and spent millions. My mansion was in the hills just a click west of the Hollywood sign. As I took a shit every morning I watched planes land at LAX. They say the best view in L.A. is at a Japanese restaurant called Yamashiro's. It sat a good distance below me. From Burbank to Long Beach to Santa Monica, my view was much better.
Before I landed I remember being horrified at the realization that a young boy like Conley was dead, and that the motherfuckers had planned for one of us to get out, and had buried the bomb to kill whoever did and that Conley had made a bad decision. I was waiting to die. Time plays by such weird rules when you're blown up. It's impossible that so much went through my head, but it did, as I waited to lose pieces of myself, to be opened, to die. I really wanted none of this to happen, to fight through it all if any of it did or if they kept trying to kill me, which is why I was so focused. It must be the only reason. Or maybe because by now, I was a human camera, an anthropomorphized document. Maybe I was just doing my job.
Humvee that that Dollard and four Marines were blown up in on February 18, 2006, at 11 pm, in an intersection in downtown Ramadi.
I had about 15 employees, a wife, a daughter, and no one believed I was going to lock horns with Al Qaeda, especially because my only motivations were to keep more American civilians from dying, and to honor those who were already risking their lives for that very reason. Who does such a thing? But go I did, and like Kurtz, when I got back from the first three months, I sold the house, sold the kids, sold the car. Well, not the car. I love my H2. But I got out of the Hollywood agenting game, at a cost of about $10,000,000.00 in future income. And I had no savings. But I had to go back, to finish the work, to finish the story. There was nothing in the civilian world that provided the same sense of purpose. There was never a time when I felt like my life had much of a purpose, other than making money and indulging myself. Except for parenting. But some of us find jobs to be done that demand we not be home. I did.
When I crashed I realized I had all my limbs, although my leg felt clearly broken, and as I crawled forward in the midnight blackness, my throbbing left palm was soaking wet, and I figured it for split open and bleeding. I had to get back into what might be left of the Humvee. We were being ambushed. The air has no armor. A Humvee does. There were likely many more IEDs around me, I heard of all the others shredded, made legless, wiped out, by the IEDs set like little traps to blow on those escaping a struck vehicle. Never get out of the vehicle. I had been blown out - I had to get back in Pat Dollard Blogs from Iraq: Entry Two - April 6, 2006
In this, Pat Dollards 2nd dispatch for Hollywood, Interrupted from Iraq, Dollard rails against the mainstream medias disconnect from the truth when it comes to war coverage in Iraq.
They [the MSM] will claim that conditions prevent them from covering the war properly, or they can't get access, Dollard tells Hollywood, Interrupted. Bullshit. They don't have the balls to do the nasty dangerous work necessary to do the job right. But they want the glory, so they'll fake being in the know.
Dollard explains: There are three levels of being in Iraq. If you're going to get to the front lines and to the Iraqi people, you have to step down through three Dante-esque layers: First, there is the Baghdad Green Zone, second are the plush camps in the rear. Then you get to the sh**-hole frontline Patrol Bases and Observation Posts - the only places the real war, the real interaction with the Iraqi people is. The vast majority of U.S. forces can be found here.
Dollard dispatch #2:
Ramadi is the de facto capital of the Sunni Triangle, and the de facto capital of the Iraq/Al Qaeda insurgency. The best Jihad talent in the world swarms to Ramadi to kill Americans, particularly Marines. Syria pumps them in, or simply functions as a way station. It's no happenstance that Abu Al Zarqawi came to a hospital (which I raided) for his medical treatment when he was wounded last year.
There were fewer than a handful of journalists covering Ramadi while I was there, and all for no more than a few days each. I was there for four months, and constantly out on the streets, constantly hunting and confronting the enemy, constantly in the homes of average Iraqis.
No one comes here, no one really covers what CNN and others call "the most dangerous city in the world" because they are too afraid. But a lot of Americans in suits and ties who have never been to Iraq, or who, if they have been here, have stayed in hotels and large camps in the rear, will appear on TV to tell America EXACTLY what is going on in Iraq. (The only interaction I've ever had with an Iraqi hotel was when we blew one up.)
The American Media are primarily Democrats, liberals, leftists -- choose the term yourself. But we all know what we're talking about. Don't get cute and waste my time arguing the point. The American Media, by and large, are trying to sway the next two elections to their team. The best way to do this is to damage the administration and the Republican Congress. The best way to do this is to convince the American people that Iraq is a failure. The best way to do that is to declare defeat and force a retreat. Normally, any winning political strategy is fair enough. But to employ a winning domestic political strategy without regard for the consequences to the American people, whose children will be slaughtered at the hands of ascendant Jihadists (among a series of other consequences) is not only wrong, but just plain evil.
The media have, by and large, allied with the Jihadists in the hope that the Jihadists' victory in Iraq will win their party the White House and Congress. The media simply cannot resist the temptation to test their power in the service of a domestic political agenda. The whole country is inflamed one way or another over this war. Only a drooling moron would argue that the members of the media are somehow exclusively immune to those passions.
It's all very simple. Christiane Amanpour, Cindy Sheehan, CNN, The New York Times, Michael Moore, Newsweek, CBS et. al. are now, in huge measure, directly responsible for the ongoing death toll of Americans in Iraq. Everyone here in Iraq, the Islamic world at large, and most especially the Jihadist Movement's leadership, follow the American media closely, in order to monitor the American people's headspace, primarily with regard to whether or not we will continue the fight on to the establishment of a successful democratic, capitalistic, and modernized society here, or whether we will run in self-imposed defeat. The morale of the International Jihad Movement is almost entirely dependent on the posture of the American media. Their strategies, indeed, are primarily determined by it as well.
Christiane and company give Al Qaeda and the Sunni insurgents hope, they stoke the financial and recruitment fires of the international Jihad Machine.
The American Media are Democratic Party operatives who make W.R. Hearst look like E.R. Murrow. They are killing our young, they are killing my friends, wounding my friends. They have ripped my flesh, spilled my blood, physically impaired me for life, and are doing the same to the Iraqi people. And they are going to cause more terrorist attacks at home. That is the ultimate problem.
This is an IED blowing up a vehicle ahead of me in our typical 8 vehicle patrol convoy, on Michigan.
The journalists I've met here have, to a man, all been Democrats, and all have railed against the Bush administration and have, with much hope in their eyes, predicted failure for America in Iraq.
These have included Michael Phillips of the Wall Street Journal (the Journal's op-ed is conservative, its news division is not, but the news divisions everywhere have taken it upon themselves to be shadow op-ed governments anyway), some chain-smoking fat-ass with an alcoholic's nose named Pat who told me he was "basically the Baghdad Bureau Chief for the L.A. Times", a dude named Casteneda who was covering Ramadi for the AP, et al. They all come here intending to shill for their party, and then they all shill for their party.
They've been showing Fahrenheit 9/11 on Al Jazeera since my arrival.
Another of the 8 Humvees in our platoon after it was blown up by an IED.
And another one.Pat Dollard Blogs from Iraq: Dispatch 3 - April 20, 2006
Our six Humvees were lined up just inside the camp's gate. They belonged to CAAT Red Platoon, of Weapons Company, sort of the battallion's SWAT team. It was mid morning and we were smoking and joking oustide the vics, waiting to head out for a combat patrol through the souk. Corporal Franklin, our lunatic driver, was telling me and Williams, our lunatic turret gunner, about his racecar driver father, when we heard two booms, close, but not in the camp. Williams and Franklin totally reacted, stepping off the sidewalk as if they had been blown off. I found this really weird - it was just another explosion in the city - why the big reaction? In about a minute, the Lt. came running up to us from the COC and said the patrol was cancelled, we had to speed out to the scene of a mass casualty at the glass factory, which is a huge gothic smokestacked complex right next door ( across a canal ) to us. We jumped into the victor and my mind seized with the nauseating concern friends of mine might be these "mass casualties" - the glass factory is now a coalition facility used to process the new police recruits, a polling site, etc. We raced out. I now knew the site of those two explosions.
Once across the bridge we hit instant chaos. There was a swarm of vehicles and humanity around the factory gates. I jumped out, as did my battle buddy, Corporal Leonardo, the scion of a New York, uh, "family".
Trying to figure out where, whatever the **** had happened had happened, my guts pulled me toward the gates - clearly the explosions had happened inside. Leo suddenly yelled at me from a good distance to my left, "Pat, you have to stay with me!" ( this is the battle buddy rule - you are a twosome, responsible for one another ). I yelled to explain that I wanted a shot of the explosion scene "I want to get inside the gate!" He reacted with a completely perplexed look which completely perplexed me. For some reason I began to drift toward him. With the melee swirling I "got it". He's confused as to why I want to go through the gate because the sh** is right..." and as the realization hit and I continued to drift toward him my eyeline was rounding the rear corner of a 7-Ton truck which was blocking my view of a tiny field to the left of the gate which was now inch by inch opening up to my eyes like a tableau behind a peeling curtain and they began to reveal themselves the body parts the dead and screaming dying as the first chunks of flesh and bleached white bones then in seconds as my rounding approach continued the piles, piles of bodies the howling wounded soldiers, civilians, Marines, the living and healthy.
Horrified helping trying to save to rise above their own shock and sickness a mad rush I was now calves deep in bodies, gore every imaginable body part everywhere.
The piles were felled dominoes as if they had been arranged neatly but there had been no time for the living to make such piles of the dead how did they get like that and why were the living wounded buried amongst the dead why were living and dying men in the same piles with the dead why were these piles lines instead of the regular piles I can't shoot the military dead and wounded the eyes of all the dead are looking at me locking with mine "Allah Akbar! Allah Akbar!" he is shrieking no one is screaming it is all shrieking and wailing pleading up from the earth the faces for me to help them there's not a thing I can do.
There are nearly a hundred bodies here in this 15X30 foot space I can't help you the primal pleading what these mangled must be thinking as we walk so vigorously amongst them what is pain like theirs what are they thinking I am relieved I have no friends here that the casualties are mostly Iraqis not American military and my friends this is just the way it is there is only one wounded Marine but several wounded and dead soldiers blood does not look real for God's sake its purple how did that happen what happened here period there is no metal it must not have been a car bomb I can't deal with this I can't stand let alone film amongst all this that's it pretend they're not real they don't look real pretend they're not real then you can do it and a switch goes off and like a gremlin from the underneath I'm making a mad focused swoop in beautiful hi-definiton determination up and down the lines of happened and happening horror the stew of death I steep in I must be Satan I hate Michael Moore and Newsweek and CNN and all these people who encourage the enemy to keep it up with the clarions of failure and retreat it swells up from my guts I don't think these thoughts they madly swell up I know it's right to film this I think its right I wonder if it's right to film these people as they are Ogrish.com all these shredded dead and dying what are the soldiers watching me thinking do I look like Satan yes I can do it they are not real I can do it I am slipping falling down from my left foot, I look down and see my boot slipping on a severed leg on the meat sticking out of the top of the fat hairy leg the meat jutting from the torn thigh I jump off. that army medic chick is totally out of it traumatized palms out and flat helpless wandering clueless can't deal Leo I don't think it was a car bomb a suicide bomber he says a vest a witness kept stammering to him it was the dude with the vest the dude with the vest as if Leo had been there and of course would remember the dude with the vest stretchers all the shouting and running get that **** camera out of here I will not I feel so wrong but I know it is the right thing to film this I'm not shooting Americans I yell defiantly at the army officer I see meters and meters away bodies they must have been the walking wounded who finally collapsed he's reaching his hand out to me from the pile "just wait just wait it's going to be okay" knowing he speaks no english but I'm hoping the expression on my face and my gestures will make the point soothe him with some hope and comfort. Jesus the blood is purple "Do you speak Arabic?" the Marine asks me I see the fat Iraqi soldier standing covered in blood he doesn't get that his buddy at his boots is dead he is clearly beseeching medical help jabbing jabbing pointing his purple finger at his comrade laying on his back his eyes very open and staring straight out from a body that lacks any and all of the vibrations of the living what do I say I see the chunks of flesh on his uniform as he points and pleads what the **** do I say to this shocked man an allied soldier a comrade unwilling to accept his friends fate I just give it to him straight "Fineesh" I say making the same gesture an NFL referee makes to signal the end of play "Fineesh" it's clear this guy gets what I'm saying but still doesn't get if you know what I mean he's snapped as he continues to point and press me for aid I touch his arm to comfort him and look in his eyes and as I do I feel these sharp sticky plasticized chunks of flesh on his arm press into my palm I say again "No...no more...fineesh" and when I pull my hand away I still feel the chunks pressing like the phenemenon of feeling an itch on an amputated limb I continue to feel it stabbing into the soft inside of my hand I keep looking at my palm for the rest of the day as if I'm going to see the chunks stuck to it and pressing in I swear they are there the death is thinning out but the infinite spray of blood and matter is infinite no more Americans Lieutenant Awtry across the piles is looking dazed I drift have you ever seen anything like this I ask a beat later he looks into my eyes shaken no he says hey pat yells Leo for some reason making making me aware of all the yelling still going on occupied stretchers bounce past follow me I run with him out into the street this is not cool we are under threat of further attack ramadi has the best international jihad snipers in the world an angry crowd across the street watching we are now exposed in the middle of the street I follow him up behind the ascending sirens a hummer for cover the sirens are now my focus the ambulances he says we have to search the descending Iraqi ambulances I know they are used often to transport weapons bombs killers they are all the sound now leo jumps out all four of us follow running out stopping the ambulance ejecting them from the cab flinging open the doors quickly quickly thoroughly but quickly we all feel the crosshairs on our backs clear wave them through rushing back to cover behind the humvee to repeat it in minutes over and over for half a dozen ambulances I realize why Franklin and Williams were knocked off the sidewalk by two small typical booms it was the evil the evil of the suicide bomber slaughter that knocked them back.
After more and more dangerous forays out into the street to check incoming ambulances for bombs, we were finished, and took up position in our Humvee, protecting the road and the cleanup from the growing crowd across the street - a crowd likely to contain insurgents with RPGs, likely to be insurgent snipers waiting for an opportunity. We fired smoke to disperse the crowd. We posted near a tank.
Somehow, Britney f*n Spears began to blare out of Franklin's CD player. She sang of dancing and of love concerns from an alternate universe. We had him change it to some grinding Swedish metal band with a song about combat and killing. It's not because we are hateful that we listen to such music, but like anyone else, we like music that speaks to the truth of our conditions, our lives, our concerns. We are not thrillkillers. We kill to survive, to end the lives of enemies who may tomorrow kill our friends. Most soft bubble-dwelling post 70's Americans have become detached from an essential truth of life, an essential part of their masculine responsibilites, a healthy, reverant, duty of life on earth: good, morally imperative killing. The post 60's quest for ideals has led too often instead to a denial of the truths of life. We must learn again to have a mature reverant respect for killing when it needs to be done. It is a key thing to teach our maturing children. The entire structure of the universe is entirely dependent on responsible killing. Killing, the right kind of killing, is good, a sacred responsibility - we need to become men again, to meet these responsibilities of manhood again, as a culture, and teach our children well about fighting and killing. We will have no life, no America, without them. People used to criticize Reagan for being out of touch with the times and pining for a bygone era whose mores no longer fit the times. Well that torch has been passed - it has been passed to liberals who pine for the bygone era of the 70's and it's admirable, but childlike views of the world. We cannot live in a world that we arrogantly demand to be: we must live in the world that nature has actually given us. And a man unwilling to fight and kill is not a man. As I said, we must teach our children well. The era of the morally imbiguous anti-hero is over. The era of the hero is in, and not for trendy reasons, but reasons of survival, and protection of our children, our systems, our freedoms.
The Governor of Al Anbar province, Governor Ma'moun showed up and surveyed the scene. When he left, it was our job to dismount and descend once more into hell. We put on rubber gloves and bagged body part after body part into plastic bags.
The suicide bombing was the result of a sea change in the Ramadi insurgency. They say that "As Ramadi goes, so goes Iraq" because as the last great holdout against the new government and progress, (as the die-hard capital of the Saddam Baath Party/Sunni insurgency, it is the most dangerous city in the country, an unending daily battle on the streets) if Ramadi moves willingly into Iraq's democratic/capitalistic/modernized future, than the last hurdle of progress has been achieved. If Ramadi embraces the new Iraqi Democratically Elected government, and works with the coalition security forces, (which are not occupation forces, but are there at the request of the Iraqi government to assist with security ) than yes, the last great holdout against that process has ended. Well the corner was finally turned while I was there. The insurgent Sheiks of Ramadi ( some of whom I interviewed) finally threw in the towel, and had blessed cooperation with us and the new Government - beginning with allowing their people, many of whom were full-fledged insurgents, to join the new Ramadi Police Force, which had been disbanded for some time.
That day, at the glass factory, was the first day for new recruits to apply. Al Qaeda, the other half of the Iraq insurgency, would have no part of it, and sent a drugged out suicide-vest boy to blow apart the crowd of new recruits at the glass factory. With a double, front-back, ball-bearing and c4 filled vest, blow he did, killing about 80 people and maiming scores of others. The carnage was ungodly, and somewhere in Ramadi were idiots who thought Allah was up in heaven kicking his heels and doing a jig at the sight of slaughtered Muslims looking to serve their community. In fact, whenever an insurgent commits one of the most evil acts known to man he yells "God is Great!" Well this was a key turnaround in the insurgency: the alliance between Al Qaeda and the disgruntled former Saddam employee Baathist insurgents was now shattered, and they began to fight each other. As we speak, several Sheiks are being sytematically whacked by Al Qaeda. The slaugher brought about one good thing: the insurgency was now a key step closer to ending. The people of Ramadi, who had before began helping Zarqawis Al Qaeda, now turned on them. And closer to us.
And as for the suicide bombers and those who wish to romanticize them as noble and visionary young men willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for the cause of "freedom fighting", the truth of it all is a slap in the face to the bombers and their idiot, safe, distant American living room-dwelling cheerleaders (cowardly pseudo-intellectuals whose only real world experience is in their imaginations, usually provided by the mush given to them by cowardly college professors who also know nothing of the real world; or the towering intellectual bastion known as Moveon.org. Urban Bumpkins I call them, people who tread the same tiny intellectual circles, repeating the same blather to the other likeminded lemmings of NY/LA, who think that trips to Europe or Safaris in Africa make them broadly worldly.) Because, you see, we captured several would-be suicide bombers. All were young kids duped by the gangsters posing as religious zealots and liberating freedom fighters, duped and recruited and brought into Iraq via the Murky International Leaders and financiers of the International Jihad Machine. (We are not fighting the politically correct term "terrorism" by the way, we are fighting World War Three, we are fighting Islamist Fascist Imperialsim, the underlying philosophy of the International Jihad Madhine. The International Jihad Machine's goal is simple: Planet Islam.) These young suicide bombers are drugged up and made to work as gay sex slaves for the Jihad Machine/Al Qaeda's leadership.
There is nothing religious about Al Qaeda, it is a debauched, porn and drug infested gang. More on that later. It is cynical old men who may have once believed in things, but now just want to run a gangsters paradise, with it's lifestyle of endless boy toys, broads, drugs and the rush of gunplay and power. And now they want to run Iraq, or pieces of Iraq, to use it and it's resources as a base of attacks against American civilians. They will make Afghanistan look like Disneyland when it comes to Iraq as a terroris resouce center. To a man, we get them story from the young suicide bombers to be. If you are a young man thinking about joining the International Jihad Machine, then just know, you are considred by your recruiters and leaders a fool, a disposable toy for the powerful ambitions of debauched, power-hungry old man. You are a sad joke waiting to happen.
But Al Qaeda failed in more ways than just one that horrific afternoon. Since that day a few months ago, over 1000 new police recruits have been trained and processed and are beginning to hit the streets to protect their fellow citizens, to protect a peaceful future.
The people of Iraq are fighting for a future like yours instead of a rule by gangsters. And if we don't help them, if we also don't bring democracy, capitalism and modern education to Syria and Iran as well (you know the plan for getting at the root causes of terrorism that liberals always yak about the need for but actually never come up ( maybe a charity concert by Bono would fix the whole problem with the root causes of terrorism), because such a plan involves removing the socialist dictators of those countries, we're getting attacked again at home again.
Americans are rich people surrounded by desperate hordes. And if we don't kill many of them and help the others get what we have, they are going to continue for our throats. Liberals must begin to understand that the removal of their oppresors, often necessarily by violence, is the only hope for the protection of the world's future. And cutting and running because the work is tough, without regard for the consequences, is just another example of the left's slide into facile intellectual inferiority and rot.
The pride themselves on self-imagined sophistication. It's time to actually start showing some. It's time to move out of easy criticism and into the realm of providing the solutions for moving the Islamic world out of the era of murderous, egotistical self-indulgence and imperialsim, and into the age of modernity, prosperity, and tolerance. It's time for the governments of Syria and Iran to stop blaming the US for their nation's economic problems, (problems their governments created with modern versions of the old Nassarist Socialist Policy) just as Hitler blamed the jews.PAT DOLLARD DISPATCH #4 - April 27, 2006
Pat Dollard Ive been told that the former Hollywood agent Patrick Dollard is a madman, a drunk, a drug addict and a bullshit artist. A media professional actually told me that he didnt believe Dollard was in Iraq, let alone making a film. Stories abound about this man, but the only one Im buying right now is that he has risked his life putting together a film that supports our troops and the war effort they are committed to.
HOLLYWOOD, INTERRUPTED PRESENTS A PREVIEW OF VIDEO STILLS FROM FORMER HOLLYWOOD PRODUCER-AGENT PAT DOLLARD'S CONTROVERSIAL PRO-WAR/PRO MILITARY DOCUMENTARY, "YOUNG AMERICANS":
Recent Iraqi law enforcement graduates men not dissuaded by Al Qaeda's attempts to stop Ramadians from joining their police force.
Young recruits arriving at their training station in BaghdadDOLLARD DISPATCH #5: WHERES THE CIVIL WAR? (MEET ALI BABA) - May 22, 2006
The cold metal in my hand may as well have been the palm of Jesus Christ welcoming me into heaven. As I gripped the Humvee door latch, pulled it, and dragged myself inside, it meant I had made it out of the unprotected kill-zone and back into armored protection - although still inside of the kill-zone. My camera was no longer in my hands - it was outside, perhaps obliterated. There was yelling inside. The Lieutenant, who had been sitting next to me in the back right seat, was no longer visible. Conley had to be dead. My leg was throbbing, I thought it might be broken. I frantically checked my soaking and sore left handI couldn't find an open wound. I couldn't see, I had to go by what I could feel. I smelled the liquid - it was diesel, not blood. I realized I was covered in diesel. I was more alert and animated than I had ever been in my life. "We have no ass end!" Kother yelled, almost moaning. Then more horrible news: "The Lieutenant is down! The Lieutenant is down!" Conley. Fitz. We'd been speaking for an hour; I'd been filming them for an hour. In a millisecond, we were finished.
Ramadi. The Government Center, the seat of government for all of Al Anbar Province, which includes Fallujah and Ramadi. We are heading out of the Government Center (smack in the middle of infamous Michigan Avenue, Ramadi's main and bisecting street) onto a dangerous joint foot patrol between the Marines of 3/7 Kilo Company and the Iraqi Army. One such foot patrol was ambushed and resulted in a 2 hour firefight. In my earlier trip here, one such firefight lasted 7 hours. The Government Center was attacked all the time, the scene of an uncountable and unbelievable amount of firefights. There was a really big one, in which we called in air, in just the couple of days before I left Ramadi.
Before we rolled out Conley yelled in frustration at a problem with the radio "Why is everything so screwed up tonight!? This is a bad sign, this is a bad sign." As we stood by the camp gate, getting ready for the late night patrol, I turned the little night vision camera on myself, Blair Witch style, and spoke to the audience: "The song Sympathy for the Devil keeps going through my head, I don't take this as a good sign." An hour later, the notion of prophecy had another bit of supporting evidence for anyone who cared to consider such things.
Ramadi is the de facto Capital of the Sunni Triangle. It is the actual capital of Al Anbar province. It is the de facto capital of the Sunni and Al Qaeda insurgencies. We get all the best Jihad talent in the world here, flocking from Chechnya to Pakistan, well-paid by the murky wealthy Islamists from the good ol USA to Dubai, who fund the fascist Army of the International Jihad Machine. All transportation is facilitated by the governments of Syria and Iran. The International Jihad Machine has a simple goal: Planet Islam. And it won't stop if we pull out of Iraq tomorrow. The front will simply shift back to where it was before: America. And it will have the resources of Iraq at its disposal just as it had the resources of Afghanistan. We are not fighting the politically correct term "Terrorism". We are fighting Islamist Fascist Imperialism. Welcome to World War Three. It seems more controllable, our future more secure, if this was a war George Bush started. Because then we can end it if we end him as our leader. It didn't begin with him; it didn't begin with Palestine, it didn't begin with U.S. bases overseas. And it won't end with any of those. Wake up and smell the coffee. Fight the fight, or suffer more civilian casualties at home. I'm beyond caring what you believe. The consequences are yours. I know the enemy.
The Iraqi People, and I mean all the Iraqi people, not just in certain areas, have a term for the insurgents it is the same term they use to describe a common thief. It is Ali Baba. In every house, street, and scene of violence I was at, like the suicide bombing, the common Iraqi referred to the insurgents as "Ali Baba". There is no other term they use. The insurgency in Iraq is not a popular insurgency. It's Baathists and terrorists. People looking to steal the future of Iraq from the common man and a common democracy: Ali Baba.
The Iraqi people (and I have this repeatedly on videotape) also have a term for CNN and Al Jazeera. The term is Ali Baba. In one particular passionate interview, a group of Iraqis tell me of an incident where insurgents murdered a group of Iraqis in broad daylight. Al Jazeera showed up, found out what was happening, went live on the air, and reported that the Iraqis had just been killed by American soldiers. According to the taped interview I have, the crowd went berserk and attacked the Al Jazeera reporters for blatantly lying in aid of the insurgency. I have interviews where it is repeated over and over that Al Jazeera is in total league with the insurgency. Ali Baba.
It's almost sad how well-received I was by the Marines. None of them would believe where I stood on both the war and the military when they first heard it. They had never heard anything like this before. It was too good to be true. It took weeks of really getting to know me to really believe that a filmmaker or journalist was not of a liberal persuasion. It is very sad that our military has to respond to a journalist who supports us winning the war like a man dying of dehydration in the desert. It doesn't seem to me that it should be this way.
I also have some very shocking accusations of some very big names in the U.S. media for fabricating stories and quotes. The accusations are made by Marines in the documentary. The stories are appalling and enraging. The names will be named in "Young Americans".
Some of the boys from CATT ( Combined Anti-Terrorist Team pka CAAT Combined Anti-Armor Team ) Blue Platoon of Weapons Company that I patrolled Ramadi with regularly. These guys had a close friend killed by a Jihadi sniper.
I remember standing around in the main building of the Government Center (the seat of all Government for Al Anbar Province) in Ramadi, smoking and joking as usual with the boys, preparing to head out on a major night mission. Based on intel, we were going hunting for IED factories. As I was standing there, CNN was reporting that the Government Center had just been overrun and captured by insurgents. It was a quiet day. Nothing had happened at all. I was in the very place that the enemy had supposedly just overrun. How could they get it so wrong? Because the hard parts of Iraq are not really covered by the mainstream media; they rely on "stringers", locals they supply with sattelite phones and other gear to feed stories and pictures to them. Many of these stringers (people being paid by CNN and other outlets, (read: paid by American dollars like yours and mine that flow into CNN and the NY Times, et. al.) are, in fact, insurgents themselves. They feed lies to our media, they feed our media's money to the insurgency, they gather intel for the insurgents. The media ends up reporting that entire neighborhoods of Ramadi are under insurgent control, that Ramadi is an "insurgent stronghold. Neither are true at all. Ramadi is the worst battleground in Iraq, but it is not controlled by the insurgents a la Fallujah, or any other place that fits the definition of a "stronghold". In fact, they need to keep finding new ones to pump in from around the globe as we keep killing them. Over a hundred in the last few weeks alone.
I'll never forget one afternoon, January 24, when a "journalist" working for a Sunni-financed Baghdad TV station was "tragically" killed by about 30 Marine small arms and machine gun rounds while he was filming a firefight that lasted a few minutes at the Government Center. His name was Mahmoud Zaal. I was happy to hear he was dead. He was not embedded with the military. He was out on the street. There is no foot traffic on Michigan Ave, where the Government Center is located, except to cross over it at a very few points. It is illegal to walk or drive up and down this part of Michigan. The odds of a journalist just happening to be at a street corner where insurgents launch a 5 minute small arms and rpg attack on the Government Center, are astronomical to the point of impossibility - there is nowhere to safely "just hang out there", to "just happen to be there" for such a brief, lightning attack. The only way to be there, filming, (and much footage of attacks against the Government Center from these two Michigan cross-streets, Central and Cinema, both of which are right next to each other, has been supplied to the American Media by "stringers" in league with insurgents) at such a precise time, is to know the attack is coming: To be in leaque with Ali Baba. The Coalition has a tip line. If Mr. Zaal knew the attack was coming, that fellow Iraqi soldiers and American military as well as potentially Ramadi civilians might be killed, why did he not call our tip line, instead of just heading out with the insurgents to make propaganda videos of them? Good riddance Mr. Zaal. You got probably less than you deserved.
And by the way, whatever happened to that Civil War the liberal media was assuring us Iraq was in the middle of or about to slide into? Iraq was in the middle of one, remember? Well then, why did it never happen? Because it was never happening. The press is too out of touch with the realities of the country to know it was just not even possible at the time, or so biased that all they knew was they now had the opportunity to cry "Civil War!" and "More Bush Failure!". Today Civil War is not mechanically possible in Iraq. Iraqis are nowhere near mentally and emotionally capable of embracing the concept of a civil war. The average Iraqi is worried about feeding his children on a daily basis. No one is in the mood or position to turn to their wife and say "Honey, I'm just going to stop caring for everyone and pick up a rifle and go with a militia that doesn't exist to a place I can't get even get to, because I'm ticked off at those pesky Shiites today!" We control the highways - the countryside is untraversable for large bodies of people - the supposed enemies couldn't even get to each other to fight if they wanted to. There are no large bodies of armed men, no huge caches of weapons and munitions easily distributable to armies and militias that might even magically appear one morning to fight each other.
Thank heavens I just woke up instead of getting ready for bed..Started reading and decided I need fresh coffee to continue.
Who said there are no more heros in Hollywood. I know of at least one, and his name is Patrick Dollard.
Bump for later
And he's right - it IS WWIII.
As far as the media, it's definitely time to take some names and kick some a**!
I DESPISE the media with every ounce of my being!
This is probably the most important thing I've seen on FR (or, anywhere) related to Iraq and the GWOT. Thank you for posting this- it should be required reading. I am stunned by the lack of comments.
I managed to miss this the first time it was posted back in April
Thank you for the ping!
I found this through a link you provided on another thread and only because I did a search for Iraq.
THIS IS A MUST READ !!
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