IRAQ: For Abducted Guards, Iraq Wasn’t Just About Money

Do the American people want to have men who don’t consider themselves normal fight in an illegal war. Do Americans want men who can’t live without war to kill more Iraqis in a war the Americans don’t want in the first place, and what are these men going to do with their time once they do come home?


IRAQ: For Abducted Guards, Iraq Wasn’t Just About Money.

Diverse Motives Drew Men To Chaotic, Perilous Work.

By Steve Fainaru
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, July 30, 2007; A01

ON MAIN SUPPLY ROUTE TAMPA, Iraq — Surrounded by darkness, an AK-47 at his side, Jonathon Cote considered his future from the driver’s seat of a black Chevy Avalanche hurtling through southern Iraq early last November.

Months earlier, Cote had been a reluctant accounting major at the University of Florida, a popular 23-year-old freshman who’d enrolled after four years in the Army. Cote pledged Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and collected $5 covers at a bar called the Whiskey Room. He drove a red Yamaha R1 motorcycle around campus until one evening he did a wheelie and was arrested for drunk driving.

Broke and despondent, Cote spoke to an Army buddy, who told him he could make $7,000 a month protecting supply convoys in Iraq. On his days off, his friend told him, he’d get to go jet-skiing on the Persian Gulf. Cote was concerned that he might lose his Florida driver’s license, but in Iraq he would pilot a company “gun truck” with a belt-fed machine gun mounted in back.

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