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Interview with Interpreter Based with Marines in Iraq (VIDEO)Tim King Salem-News.com
A Jordanian interpreter who works with the Marines in Iraq's Anbar Province gives a candid interview about his experience.
(ANBAR PROVINCE, Iraq) - I met a gentleman named Jakope Al Salim in Iraq last summer when I spent time with the Marines at the Al Asad Air Base in the Anbar Province. Jakope works as a translator or interpreter, for the U.S. government.
The Marines he is attached to, normally work on airplanes, but in Iraq where there is a shortage of personnel, they have been pulling infantry and military police duty, and operating and monitoring the base entrances and exits.
These are normally roles filled by Marines who have been trained in these specific areas. This is the U.S. military service of versatility however, and as one Marine in Anbar said, "Our other motto is Semper Gumby, 'Always flexible'".
Marines are directed individuals and working with them requires certain character traits. Jakope fits that bill and the Marines at Al Asad seemed to like him.
This Jordanian native who speaks three languages, has been an asset for both the Marines and the Iraqi people over the last several months. He is one of many interpreters or "terps" as they are commonly known here, who work with Americans and other western forces, assisting with the vital need of communication.
Jakope has worked with Marines in a number of places including Al Asad and Fallujah. At this time he is working with Marines near the Iraq/Saudi Arabia border. He says Iraqi people are increasingly working with and placing trust in the Marines. Last summer when I was there, combat encounters were minimal and cooperation was increasing.
But things are changing, according to this employee of the Marine Corps. He says the election of Barack Obama has caused many Iraqi people to feel unsure about their future, and it is a realistic thought. The U.S. government has encouraged Iraqi people to stand with them and abandoned them down before, and that history leaves people in this country wondering what the future holds. Jakope says many remain optimistic and it becomes a waiting game now for all of those who have worked with Coalition forces.
So what is the Iraq War about through the eyes of a Jordanian interpreter?
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Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor.
Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 in Afghanistan with Oregon troops. Tim recently returned from Iraq where he covered the war there while embedded with an Oregon Guard aviation unit. Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website, affiliated with Google News and several other major search engines and news aggregators.
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