11
Nov
2004

Marines turn to God

Men with buzzcuts and clad in their camouflage waved their hands in the air, M-16 assault rifles beside them, and chanted heavy metal-flavoured lyrics...

With US forces massing outside Fallujah, 35 marines swayed to Christian rock music and asked Jesus Christ to protect them in what could be the biggest battle since American troops invaded Iraq last year. Men with buzzcuts and clad in their camouflage waved their hands in the air, M-16 assault rifles beside them, and chanted heavy metal-flavoured lyrics in praise of Christ late on Friday in a yellow-brick chapel. They counted among thousands of troops surrounding the city of Fallujah, seeking solace as they awaited Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's decision on whether or not to invade Fallujah. "You are the sovereign. You're name is holy. You are the pure spotless lamb," a female voice cried out on the loudspeakers as the marines clapped their hands and closed their eyes, reflecting on what lay ahead for them. The US military, with many soldiers coming from the conservative American south and midwest, has deep Christian roots. In times that fighting looms, many soldiers draw on their evangelical or born-again heritage to help them face the battle. One spoke of their Old Testament hero, a shepherd who would become Israel's king, battling the Philistines 3 000 years ago. "Thus David prevailed over the Philistines," the marine said, reading from scripture, and the marines shouted back "Hoorah, King David," using their signature grunt of approval. The marines drew parallels from the verse with their present situation, where they perceive themselves as warriors fighting barbaric men opposed to all that is good in the world. "Victory belongs to the Lord," another young marine read. Their chaplain, named Horne, told the worshippers they were stationed outside Fallujah to bring the Iraqis "freedom from oppression, rape, torture and murder ...

We ask you God to bless us in that effort."

//www.news24.com/News24/World/Iraq/0,,2-10-1460_1617069,00.html


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