In 1948, the Armenian-American journalist Arthur A. Derounian, who infiltrated Nazi groups in America and wrote about his adventures in the bestseller Under Cover (published under the pseudonym John Roy Carlson), traveled to the Middle East, where he used the Nazi connections he had made to get in with Arab groups preparing to destroy the nascent State of Israel. He met the pro-Nazi Mufti of Jerusalem (the one who met with Hitler and raised an SS squadron of Bosnian Muslims), Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan Al-Banna, and many other pivotal and fascinating figures — all chronicled in his absorbing book Cairo to Damascus.
And along the way he meets with German Nazi soldiers who have come to the Middle East to pursue their maniacal Jew-hatred. They expressed to him on several occasions their exasperation with the Muslim soldiers they were trying to aid: “These Arabs make big talk,” one told Derounian, “but do not fight like an army. They are not trained. They do not know discipline.” Derounian encountered Arab warriors who would fire their guns into the distance indiscriminately until their ammunition was all gone, and then retire from their positions; others who stormed a kibbutz and settled down to gorge themselves on the chickens there, only to be overwhelmed by a surprise counterattack. Read the book and you’ll find many other such examples. And it looks as if, for some Iraqi soldiers, little has changed in the intervening decades.
By John Milburn for AP:
TOPEKA, Kan. “” Iraqi soldiers being trained by American military advisers go on rampages, flee from dangerous situations, and waste ammunition in undisciplined bursts of fire at any provocation, according to an account in a U.S. Army journal.
In contrast to the iron discipline imposed during Saddam Hussein’s regime,”the new army serves the cause of freedom, and officers and soldiers alike are a bit confused about what this means,” Lieutenant Colonel Carl Grunow wrote in the July-August issue of Military Review.
Iraqi soldiers frequently use excessive force, going on retaliatory rampages after colleagues are killed by insurgents, Colonel Grunow wrote in the journal, a publication of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.