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LAT: Marines Cultivate Iraqi Sources but Reap Little (Falluja) [View All]

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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 05:34 AM
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LAT: Marines Cultivate Iraqi Sources but Reap Little (Falluja)
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"I don't want to help either side, the U.S. or the others; both will shoot me," the man said.

Marines Cultivate Iraqi Sources, but Reap Little
U.S. forces and a local couple hoped each could help the other. But the latter feared retribution.

By Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer

FALLOUJA, Iraq It was a roadside debate involving an Iraqi couple and four Marines.

It won't merit a footnote in the history of U.S. forces' struggle with the insurgents who hold much of this city in their grip. But their interaction clearly demonstrated the difficulties Marines are having in persuading Iraqis to help them.

"He's not working out like I thought he would," said Lt. Michael Scott, 26, of Boston, his voice redolent of disappointment.

The story began early Friday morning, when an Iraqi man, followed dutifully by his wife, approached Scott for help crossing Marine checkpoints that were restricting the flow of traffic into Fallouja.

The 50ish man said he needed to drive his pickup truck into town to help relatives and bring back food to his family in the farming village of Saqlawiya. He smiled and gave the impression he wanted to help the Americans, if they would help him....

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