HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » ATONEMENT A troubled Ira...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 02:11 AM

ATONEMENT A troubled Iraq veteran seeks out the family he harmed.

In the early hours one morning last September, Lu Lobello rose from his bed, switched on a light, and stared into the video camera on his computer. It was two-thirty. The light cast a yellow pall on Lobello’s unshaven face. Almost every night was like this. Lobello couldn’t sleep, couldn’t stop thinking about his time in Iraq. Around San Diego, he’d see a baby—in a grocery store, in a parking lot—and the image would come back to him: the blood-soaked Iraqi infant, his mother holding him aloft by one foot. “Why did you shoot us?’’ the woman demanded over and over. Other times, Lobello would see a Mercedes—a blue or white one, especially—and he’d recall the bullet-riddled sedan in the Baghdad intersection, the dead man alongside it in the street, the elderly woman crying in broken English, “We are the peace people! We are the peace people!” He’d remember that the barrel of his machine gun was hot to the touch.

Once a wild teen-ager in Las Vegas—“I was a crazy bastard!”—Lobello had become, at thirty-one, a tormented veteran. When he came home from Iraq, he bought an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, the weapon most like the one he had in combat, and two pistols, and kept them close at night. “You lay them on the bed, like it’s your girlfriend, and go to sleep,” he said. That had helped a little, but then he moved to California, where the gun laws were stricter, and he’d left them behind.

The marines had shot a terrible number of Iraqis that day—maybe two dozen in all. At times, as Lobello lay awake, he wondered, Whom had he killed? Who had survived? He combed the Internet for names, dates, and addresses; he pestered the members of his Marine company for details and consulted a cousin who had travelled in the region. He piled up documents. At last, the clues led him to the Facebook page of a young woman named Nora: maybe, he thought, it was the young woman he’d seen in the back seat of the Mercedes, with the bloody shoulder. And so, at two-thirty that morning, eight years after he had sprayed bullets into cars filled with Iraqi civilians, Lobello turned on his video recorder.

“It’s very hard for me to say this, Nora, but we met on April 8, 2003,’’ Lobello said. “I was with Fox Company, Second Battalion, Twenty-third Marine Regiment, and our fate crossed that night. I’m not sure if you remember, because it was so long ago now. Almost a decade.”
<snip>
Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/10/29/121029fa_fact_filkins#ixzz2GKOfg300

Such sorrow all around.
W has this on his head.

23 replies, 1467 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 23 replies Author Time Post
Reply ATONEMENT A troubled Iraq veteran seeks out the family he harmed. (Original post)
Are_grits_groceries Dec 2012 OP
Fridays Child Dec 2012 #1
UnrepentantLiberal Dec 2012 #2
Unknown Beatle Dec 2012 #3
xchrom Dec 2012 #4
colorado_ufo Dec 2012 #5
Viva_La_Revolution Dec 2012 #21
quakerboy Dec 2012 #6
RandiFan1290 Dec 2012 #7
Are_grits_groceries Dec 2012 #8
RandiFan1290 Dec 2012 #9
Are_grits_groceries Dec 2012 #10
UnrepentantLiberal Dec 2012 #11
Are_grits_groceries Dec 2012 #12
UnrepentantLiberal Dec 2012 #15
coalition_unwilling Dec 2012 #22
RandiFan1290 Dec 2012 #13
Are_grits_groceries Dec 2012 #17
RandiFan1290 Dec 2012 #19
Are_grits_groceries Dec 2012 #20
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #16
RandiFan1290 Dec 2012 #18
coalition_unwilling Dec 2012 #23
Demo_Chris Dec 2012 #14


Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 05:10 AM

2. Great article.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 05:11 AM

3. Fuck!

Innocent people lost their lives for bush and cheney's love of money. I'm speechless at the moment. I'm so pissed off, I have to compose myself, otherwise I'll give myself a heart attack or a stroke.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 05:12 AM

4. du rec. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 05:22 AM

5. Take the time to read this. All of it.

It is good for the soul.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to colorado_ufo (Reply #5)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 12:03 PM

21. yes

I'm going to give it to my eldest to read. Luckily, he was in Iraq at the end when things weren't so crazy, but he saw enough that he came back different.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 05:36 AM

6. Not Just W.

Many many others had hands in this, raised votes and voices in support of this war. Many still do. Some out of sheer bloodymindedness and hate. Some out of political calculation. Some out of their own pain and brokenness, and fear, after 9/11.

But whatever their reasons, there are many Americans with this blood on their hands, this stain on their soul.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 05:41 AM

7. He should be confessing in the Hague with the rest of them

Volunteer Army and all that. No one forced him and plenty of good men and women refused to murder Iraqis.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to RandiFan1290 (Reply #7)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 06:10 AM

8. Really?

I want to see you in that situation with all hell breaking loose. How do you distinguish differences when there is chaos?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Are_grits_groceries (Reply #8)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 06:12 AM

9. By refusing to go in the first place

I knew it was wrong and illegal.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to RandiFan1290 (Reply #9)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 06:29 AM

10. Many joined for different reasons and

ended up in the middle of that hot mess. Not everyone sees it as you did. Hindsight for many is an awful curse.
In addition, the ramifications of not going are severe and not everyone can take the consequences. That doesn't mean they were reconciled to what they were doing. Nor do I I imagine they could foresee what they would face.

Once they were there, the option is save your life and protect your company or get killed in a nanosecond. Add to that the responsibility of trying to sort out friend and foe when it is a life or death situation and you have enormous decisions to make with no time to think.

There are cases where there was time and the soldiers killed people for the hell of it or whatever reason. They should be at the Hague.

In the meantime, I hate to think what I would do in the same situation. I might be worse or not even give a happy damn. These men have been and will be haunted by what happened.

My Daddy fought in WWII. He never talked about it, but he had nightmares. In addition, he never picked up a gun again. He had the hounds of war after him probably until he died.

You can judge them from your high horse of superiority. I won't because it can be all too easy to find myself in some moral quandary that has no black and white answer. Life is lived in shades of gray.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Are_grits_groceries (Reply #10)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 06:34 AM

11. There are no shades of grey on the far right and far left.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Reply #11)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 06:41 AM

12. Those are the hardcore, insufferable

ones who in their minds have the RIGHT positions. The majority of people do see nuances and choices that are not cut and dried.
On a battlefield with chaos, the chance to make a horrible mistake are infinitely higher. There is no time to ponder policy decisions and then choose.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Are_grits_groceries (Reply #12)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 07:06 AM

15. Especially when you just got out of highschool and have no clue who you are.

 

So you join the military to gain maturity and do something with your life. The next thing you know you're in a foreign country holding a machine that can end people's lives. A machine you've been trained to use without questioning, against an enemy you can't see. Yeah, no grey areas there.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Are_grits_groceries (Reply #12)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 12:07 PM

22. That is why it is imperative that we hold our policy makers fully accountable before

 

the law for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Enough of this "We need to look forward, not backward" bullshit. There's no statute of limitations on murder, for fuck's sake.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Are_grits_groceries (Reply #10)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 06:48 AM

13. There were no shades of gray for Iraq

It was wrong from the beginning. I was attacked for my opinion before the war and I expect to be attacked for it now. I will not throw any personal attacks at you. Enjoy your day.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to RandiFan1290 (Reply #13)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 07:09 AM

17. I was against it from the beginning too.

I will defend that stance until the day I die. We agree on that. It was wrong, but I am not arguing with you about that.
I can see how people were scared to death by the warmongers about WMD and such after 9/11. Scared people do not bother to examine issues a lot of times. They are in survival mode. That was the cloud that was brewed up and that settled over the nation.
This action will be to the US's lasting shame. Many realize that now. People with access to much more info than we were also got stampeded.

My point is that once you are in the middle of battle, it is an unholy mess with no clear lines at times. This is especially true when you are battling insurgents and not an army per se.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Are_grits_groceries (Reply #17)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 07:17 AM

19. They are coming home

I just hope to see more of them speaking out against the start of the war not just the mistakes they made once it started. It is clear to everyone we were lied to. That should piss them off more than anyone. It's going to happen again soon if we don't learn this very recent lesson.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to RandiFan1290 (Reply #19)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 07:27 AM

20. Many are.

There are groups whose spokespeople are on teevee whenever they can get attention. Rachel has them on her show.

I don't expect all of them to. Some are in such bad shape that getting their lives in order is a struggle. That is their first order of business.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to RandiFan1290 (Reply #7)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 07:07 AM

16. the people who should be in the hague are bush, cheney, blair & the rest of the bigshots.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to HiPointDem (Reply #16)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 07:12 AM

18. I agree

And these guys coming home should be leading the charge.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to HiPointDem (Reply #16)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 12:10 PM

23. Wolfowitz, Woo, Feith, RummyDummy, Rice, Bremer and General Ricardo Sanchez, to name but a

 

few more.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 06:48 AM

14. Amazing.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread