Confessions of a Marine


Richard Moore


Confessions of a Marine 
By Jean-Paul Mari 
Le Nouvel Observateur 

Thursday 27 October 2005 edition 
Iraq: The story no American publisher wanted. 

In a just-published book, Master-Sergeant Jimmy Massey
tells about his mission to recruit for, then fight in, the
war in Iraq. He tells why he killed. And cracked.

Jimmy Massey is 34 years old. He's originally a Texas boy,
raised as a good Southern Baptist who loves squirrel
hunting with his air rifle. After 12 years in the Marines,
Jim is a broken man, a veteran afflicted with
Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, a depressive hooked on his
medications, haunted by the nightmare images in which he
massacres innocent civilians, scenes experienced in Iraq
when he was nothing but a killing machine. Jim has
cracked, has withdrawn from the service for medical
reasons, and has written a raw and brutal book. Telling
the life of a Marine of today, revealing "how he talks,
how he thinks, how he fucks, and how he kills." The army
denies the facts and his former comrades have insulted,
rejected, and threatened him. His testimony ulcerates
Neo-Conservative America and shocks the politically
correct. In the United States, no publishing house has
dared to publish his manuscript. Extracts follow.

The Recruiter

When you're a recruiter, you have to learn fast. And I
rapidly learned that if I wanted to keep my job, I
couldn't allow myself to have any scruples.

I went to public schools every day where I was able to
contact young people easily. I had already been given a
list of all the students, with their phone numbers. So I
really didn't need the 2002 law - the No Child Left Behind
Act 1 - which stipulates that any high school receiving
federal funds must furnish military recruitment officers
with the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of its
students. [...] As usual, I said to myself, "I'm going to
get them, those fuckheads," since, you must understand, a
recruiter has only one thing in his head if he wants to
pay his rent: landing contracts. [...]

One day in 2000, I was with my warrant officer in the
cafeteria of a little local university. Chief Warrant
Officer Dalhouse rushed over to me, saying "Hey!
Chief-Sergeant, I'd like to introduce you to Timmy." I
lifted my head towards Timmy to discover ... a retard! Two
hundred and ten pounds of muscles, the features and the
speech of a retard. Upset, I looked at my new boss and
asked him: "Are you shitting me?" He firmly replied: "No,
Chief-Sergeant, you are going to interview this guy. He is
seriously thinking about joining the Marines."

[...] Timmy was short and massive; he wore blue jeans,
work boots, and a T-shirt in the Andrews High School
football team colors. He reminded me of the Lenny
character from Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men." He seriously
wanted to sign up with the Marines; it was obvious. [...]
"Now, let's talk about your handicap. I know it's been
harder for you than the average person and you've already
shown a lot of self-confidence by overcoming your
disability." Timmy lowered his eyes; I saw he was a little
embarrassed. Then he raised his head, his eyes glistening
with tears, and in a trembling voice, answered: "You're
right, Sergeant, it's been really hard for me. Once, when
I was new, the other guys locked me in a closet. They
shoved me around and insulted me. I was so angry I knocked
down the closet door." "- Timmy, no one will ever bother
you again. The Corps will help you acquire all the
self-confidence you'll need to overcome the obstacles you
could encounter in the course of your life." He sent me a
look full of gratitude. [...]

When a kid told me he had taken Ecstasy, here's the sort
of conversation we'd have: "Listen, guy, are you sure it
was really Ecstasy? Maybe it was Doliprane." When I said
that, I'd nod my head up and down. "Yeah, I'm not sure, in
fact." "So you think it was Doliprane?" still nodding my
head. "Yeah, it was Doliprane." [...]

The War in Iraq

"You call that pacification? I've got a problem with it,"
I said in a nauseated voice. "My friend, you've gotta get
a grip. If you keep making waves, they'll judge you as a
war criminal."

We had reached the military site Al-Rashid on an overcast,
dark and sinister day. [...] When we stopped, I saw ten
Iraqis, about 150 yards away. They were under forty years
old, clean and dressed in the traditional white garment.
They stayed on the side of the road waving signs and
screaming anti-American slogans. [...] That's when I heard
a shot pass just over our heads, from right to left. I ran
into the middle of the street to see what was happening. I
had barely rejoined Schutz when my guys unloaded their
weapons on the demonstrators. It only took me three
seconds to take aim. I aimed my sights on the center of a
demonstrator's body. I breathed in deeply and, as I
exhaled, I gently opened my right eye and fired. I watched
the bullets hit the demonstrator right in the middle of
his chest. My Marines barked: "Come on, little girls! You
wanna fight?"

I acquired a new target right away, a demonstrator on all
fours who was trying to run away as fast as possible. I
quickly aimed for the head; I breathed in deeply, breathed
out, and I fired again. One head: boom! Another: boom! The
center of a mass in the bull's eye: boom! Another: boom! I
kept on until the moment when I saw no more movement from
the demonstrators. There was no answering fire. I must
have fired at least a dozen times. It all lasted no longer
than two and a half minutes.

I know that they had also been shot in the back; some of
them were crawling and their white clothes turned red. The
M-16's 5.56 is a nasty bullet: it doesn't kill all at
once. For example, it can enter the chest and come out at
the knee, tearing all the internal organs on the way
through. My guys were jumping around in every direction.
Taylor and Gaumont hollered: "Come back, babies!" "They
don't know how to fight, those cocksuckers! Fucking
cowards!" They slapped one another on the back, exchanging
"Good job!," but they were frustrated because some
demonstrators had succeeded in getting away. I wanted to
keep on firing, I kept telling myself: "Good God, there
must be more of them." It was like eating the first
spoonful of your favorite ice cream. You want more. [...]

Those demonstrators were the first people I killed. [...]
That had a hell of an effect on me. What an adrenaline,
rush, fuck! Fear becomes a motor. It pushes you. It had
more of an impact on me than the best grass I ever smoked.
It was as though all those I had ever hated, all the anger
that was accumulated in me was there in that being; you
feel like you're absorbing life like a cannibal. You're
really happy with yourself; you feel really powerful and
everything becomes clear. You reach nirvana, like a white
luminous space. But after a few hours, you come down from
nirvana and find yourself in dark waters; you swim in a
pool of mud and the only way to go back to that other
feeling is to kill again. [...]

After pulling out at dusk, we heard shots, at least a
hundred. Lima Company had opened fire on a vehicle. I
learned later that there were three women and a child
inside. As far as I know, there was never any inquiry.

Forty-five minutes later, a red Kia Spectra came towards
us at around 35 mph. It penetrated the green zone; a few
of my Marines let loose a warning round and the sniper
fired on the engine, but the damage didn't keep the car
from continuing into the red zone. The vehicles installed
in the rear immediately opened fire with their 240 Gulfs;
we joined in with our M-16s, targeting the car and firing
at least 200 rounds at high speed. The KIA stopped in a
grating around 25 yards from my Humvee, and my Marines
pounced on the vehicle and began to extract the four
wounded Iraqis. The occupants, young men tastefully
dressed, were bleeding profusely. [...] Six stretcher
bearers arrived with stretchers and took them away. The
survivor came towards me groaning, a tortured expression
covering his face. He looked in the air, his hands raised:
"Why did you kill my brother? We didn't do anything to
you. We're not terrorists."

I walked away without saying anything to him and sat down
inside my vehicle, devastated. I got out when I heard the
Marines and the stretcher-bearers bringing the Kia's
occupants back to the car. "Fuck, what are you bringing
them back for?" "Chief-Sergeant, the chief Medical Officer
said he couldn't do anything for them." I looked at the
Iraqis, containing my anger with difficulty. They were
twisting and groaning, dying by inches and in pain. [...]
I couldn't speak. I looked inside the car. Obviously,
there were neither weapons nor explosives there. I was
more and more disgusted.

The Last Straw

[...] Captain Schmitt came towards me and asked me, very
calmly: "Are you OK, Chief-Sergeant? [...]" "- No,
Captain. I'm not OK." "- Why not?" I answered without
hesitation: "It's a bad day. We killed a lot of innocent
civilians." "- No. It's a good day," he retorted in an
authoritarian tone. Before I had time to answer, he had
already moved away from me with a confident tread.

Today, Jimmy Massey is no longer a Marine. He lives in a
little village in North Carolina, spends his time making
anti-recruitment visits to schools and militating against
the war in the association he founded with five other
soldiers: Veterans Against the War.


(*)Kill! Kill! Kill! by Jimmy Massey (with Natasha
Saulnier), published by Editions du Panama, 390 p., 22



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