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Our Iraqi Interpreter Sammy (alexkras.com)
37 points by akras14 on Feb 6, 2017 | hide | past | favorite | 14 comments

I was an interpreter with U.S. army as well, 617th MP Co. I also worked as a contractor for BearingPoint (bought by Deloitte) on an INL funded project to build a centralized database for the Iraqi Justice System (lookup IJIP - Iraqi justice integration project). I too wanted to help rebuild the country but was labeled as a traitor. I literally dodged death twice and received multiple direct and indirect death threats during the time I worked with American forces and companies. I was lucky enough to be granted a refugee status in 2008. I had multiple recommendations from the people I worked with including one from the U.S. embassy in Baghdad that helped push my case forward a lot faster. Other interpreters weren't so lucky, many have died and many are still stuck waiting for their refugee status including, unfortunately, my best friend.

Thank you for your service and sacrifices! Really glad to hear that you are safe now!

Reading you saying this, I might be inclined to think that the guys that labelled him a traitor were literally right, after all.

Apples and Oranges, he worked for US during the rebuilding stage, by then Sadam was long gone.

Of course you must buy into an idea that democracy is better than dictatorship, but assuming it is I can't see how wanting what is best for your country is being a traitor. What was the alternative at that point? Being ruled by ISiS like organization?

> Apples and Oranges, he worked for US during the rebuilding stage, by then Sadam was long gone.

Still, he helped americans while thousands of iraqis were been killed, mostly civillians.

> but assuming it is I can't see how wanting what is best for your country is being a traitor.

He probably wanted the best for him, and succesfully got it, unlike some of his colleagues that sold off the same stuff in exchange of hope.

Source for mostly civilian being killed? We are talking end of 2004 and up.

Everyone wants what is best for him, believe me working with Americans in end of 2004 was not a good proposition from a risk/reward stand point.

> Counts of deaths reported in newspapers collated by projects like the Iraq Body Count project found 174,000 Iraqis reported killed between 2003 and 2013, with between 112,000-123,000 of those killed being civilian noncombatants.


Would you elaborate on your interpretation?

The US waged a war against Iraq, so an iraqi working for americans that later moves to the US is betraying his country and peers. It sure may happen for good reasons, but the Iraq invasion isn`t one.

Depending on how the US War of Independence turned out, Washington would have been a traitor or a patriot. While either might be literally true depending on the outcome, it dodges the issue of how you view his actions. Do you think he was a traitor?

A patriot of a new born nation and a traitor of an old one. Where do you put the iraqi in this example? Is he Washington the traitor of Iraq or Washington the patriot of US?

I agree that the situation is complex: that was the point of my comment. Your initial comment implied he maybe a traitor. I want to know if you'll definitively say whether or not you think he is. Implications can be more insidious than outright statements. They provide cover for the accuser while casting doubt on the accused. I'll take any response off the air.

If he was a Brazilian, I`d think he is a traitor. Iraq is different from my country, and of course, he is not a traitor of his personal needs for surviving. It is not up to me call him a traitor, but I do think that his peers can.

It is shocking that people who put their lives on the line to serve [US|UK|whomever] weren't granted more than, at best, refugee status given that they were more than likely to be killed once they were no longer 'required'.

Interestingly the Soviets tended to take their own home-trained interpreters, partly to prevent them being turned by the local population. One of the most famous from the Afghan war was Vladimir Girigoryev who went on to establish ArtOfWar.ru for veterans of that conflict.

The USA and UK do have an extensive language-training school at Chicksands in England but the graudates of that school tend to serve in the ISAR trades rather than being embedded with combat units.

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