Sunday, May 25, 2008

Karbala, and what could have been...

When a person applies for a new job what happens? Usually, (and I am probably the least knowledgeable person on the face of the earth regarding actual “Jobs”), you fill out a resume, schedule an appointment, and then interview for the job. Am I close here? 

So, what if for example, you were to apply for a job in which you had years of experience in that particular field? Let’s say also that your resume was filled with some very impressive information, perhaps you had worked with some of the best in the industry (my hypothetical industry that I am making up here), you had more experience than most others in that industry, and your work to date had never been questioned. Also, you had never been disciplined at any time during your previous job. But, you had done something kind of bad. Let’s say that at your old job your supervisor whom you worked very well with took another position at one of your companies other locations. Then, your new supervisor turns out to be a major asshole who is not only incompetent at his job, but he also doesn’t like you because of your religion and he wants to push his religion on you. So then Mr. Born Again starts implying that you aren’t doing your job right, and that maybe even you aren’t performing well enough. Yet up until that point your work had never been criticized or questioned and your former supervisor had always given you high marks. So finally you tell your new supervisor, “you know what, if you think that you have something against me then bring it now, if not then fuck you.” At the same time you tell his boss and the general manager of that whole company, “if you aren’t going to stand up for me here then fuck you to.” And then you walk out.

Now, was that the best career move ever made? Obviously not. But, does that make you any less capable at your job or make you unreliable in your field? Fuck no! So then what if you go down and apply for a new job with a different company and now suddenly they don’t want to hire you. Again, you’ve never been accused of stealing from your old company, being lazy or inept, and most importantly other than telling your bosses to fuck off you never did anything to harm their company, and you can even say that you had made a lot of personal sacrifices for your job.

So enough hypothetical bullshit, you get the point, right? Now move forward, or actually back, to the year 2003. The United States was getting ready to invade Iraq, to anybody with any common sense this was an absurd idea. Other than being a second rate dictator that did some fucked up things to his own people, what threat did Saddam actually pose to the world? I am writing this to tell my own personal story about what would have been my role in the war, so I’m not going to get into all of the lies that have now been discovered in regards to the days and months leading up to the invasion of Iraq, but I urge you to do your own research on this subject. Hello, what ever happened to the weapons of mass destruction? The Al Qaeda links? Anybody? Just yesterday somebody forwarded me an article that I have posted the link for. It appears, and it doesn’t surprise me in the least, that Judith Miller and the New York Times actually bears a considerable share of the weight for creating the lies that led to the invasion of Iraq. At any rate, you read this article and decide for your self:

 “Not fit to print: How Ahmed Chalabi and the Iraq war lobby used New York Times reporter Judith Miller to make the case for invasion.”

But I had my own run-in with this journalist Judith Miller back in 2002. I was doing a Fox and Friends Live show in New York when my publisher called me and told me to wait around after the Fox and Friends interview. I had something to do that day and I told my publisher no. Aside from whatever it was that I had to do, I had heard about this unscrupulous woman Judith Miller and I didn’t want anything to do with her. This created a major fight with my publishers, they threatened me and I threatened them. They told me that if I didn’t do the interview with her then I was in breach of contract. I told them that if they forced me to do the interview then I would come out and say that the whole book was a lie. Eventually my editor got involved and tried to be the voice of reason and he convinced me that the interview would be good for the book. I still didn’t believe it but ended up giving in. Why I gave in I don’t know. I was very much against giving out free information so that somebody else could write a book or newspaper article based off my information that had cost me my own blood and sweat to gather.

And that’s exactly what it turned out to be. I asked Judith Miller straight out what she planned to do with our “interview” and she told me that she was writing an article but that she promised to plug my book. I later saw the article and the information that I had given her and there wasn’t hide nor hair of a mention about Aukai Collins or the book My Jihad. It would be a disservice to my self if I didn’t take this chance to say: “Judith Miller, you are a bitch of the first class.”


Anyway, on with the story. Seeing at the time that the looming war was based mainly on bullshit created by the above mentioned writer as well as others in the government I felt that it was my duty to get involved. I mean after all, this was my line of work, and most importantly it involved my country this time. It greatly bothered me to think that soon some young American kids were going to be going to fight a war that they knew nothing about, against an enemy that although they lacked the technological superiority that we had, would not hesitate to chew up and mutilate our troops if given the chance. So it was with this in mind that I put forth the following proposal.

I had been friends with a young Iraqi guy named Qasim for quite some time at that point. Qasim was an ex-Republican guard soldier that had fled Iraq during the first Gulf War. Qasim was also from a very large influential family in the city of Karbala, some seventy odd miles south west of Baghdad. His family were Shia that carried the family name Al-Sayed which in Arabic means descended from the prophet. When I came to the realization that the war was going to go through despite all of the obvious lies and disinformation it just felt stupid to sit around and do nothing. If the war couldn’t be avoided then maybe at the very least something could be done to lessen the casualties on both sides.

First I contacted one of my former employers. Despite having told the bosses to fuck off, I naively thought at that point that it wouldn’t cause me any problems in the future in terms of me doing my part so to speak, if my services were needed then what was the difference right? So I put the plan forward. My proposal was very simply and to the point. Qasim and I had made arraignments to travel to Syria through some contacts that we both had, arm up there, and then cross the border into Iraq. From there we planned to enter Karbala discreetly, after having of course sent word to his family, and prepare some of the guys, mostly his cousins, in Karbala to provide whatever service that they could for the U.S. forces that would be advancing through that area on the way to Baghdad. All that I asked for was the actual money to get us there. I didn’t even try to profit off the damn thing. All I asked for was enough to get to Syria and then a little bit of money for gear and other stuff on the ground. We’re talking about less than twenty thousand dollars here, a fraction of the cost than what it supposedly takes to feed a hundred troops for a couple of weeks. (Haliburton charges the military something like ninety bucks per meal to feed U.S. troops, you do the math.)

As was my response to my offer in helping to find Daniel Pearl before he was killed, I was simply ignored regarding the Iraq proposal as if I were some crank off the street. So next I went to private sources. I had this retarded idea that Soldier of Fortune magazine might actually like to get a real inside story for once, seeing as they had become some third rate magazine that couldn’t even afford to answer their phones anymore. But to no avail on that angle either. I was told by a former editor that worked for SOF at the time that Robert K. Brown had just taken some girl on vacation so all of SOF’s funds were tied up at the time.

So I went back to my former employers and pushed the subject. That’s when I got really pissed off. These fuckers has the audacity to tell me that I of all people should understand why having me on the ground over in Iraq would make some of the brass very nervous. Are you kidding me! Look, let’s all look at this in perspective. I fought the Russian army in Chechnya. Not only was that the right thing to do, it had nothing to do with the United States. After that I served my country in the intelligence field. I risked my head, literally, on many an occasion at the order of the FBI and at times the CIA. I now have a price on my head in some places of the world for the work that I did to protect the United States. So how in the world could my presence in Iraq drumming up support for the U.S. invasion of Iraq amongst the Shiites of Karbala possible “worry” anybody. I ask you, the reader, to comment on this, lets have an open forum so to speak.

Keep things in perspective. I would be in Iraq ahead of U.S. forces with absolutely no knowledge whatsoever of American strategy, plans, intelligence, etc. I wasn’t asking the U.S. military to tell me what route they were going to be using to get to the capitol, Baghdad. I wasn’t asking for the coordinates of any U.S. or coalition force whereabouts. I simply wanted to have an armed group of Shiites in the area of Karbala waiting to welcome U.S. forces and then in turn do what ever was asked of them. Like the so-called philosophy nowadays, let the Iraqi’s handle their own problems. This group of Qasims friends and family could have been used in any number of roles, from forward reconnaissance, as translators, to actually sending them ahead and letting them fight first thereby saving American kids from dying in a war that wasn’t theirs to begin with. I challenge you to find something wrong with this plan. Not the fine details of it, but just as a general plan. I truly believe that a force like I am talking about, combined with other similar forces could have reduced the blood shed considerably, on both sides.

So why was I turned down, and if you say liability I will scream. Bullshit! My M.O. has never been against my own country. And just like the parable that I drew at the beginning of this blog, simply telling a couple of assholes to fuck off does not warrant being black listed, when the services that you can provide are of an extremely important and valuable nature.

So what else? Am I unqualified for such an undertaking? I dare you to say that even more than the above dare. I was crossing the Iraqi border from Jordan back in 1996 before it was in fad. While I was in Amman waiting for surgery I found some guys that were taking a 4x4 and crossing the border through the desert so as to avoid the bandits that were working the main highways. They would fill up this little Nissan Patrol with shoes, medicine, food, just whatever they could scrounge up and run it into Iraq. This was at a time when I don’t think an American would have been a welcome site to the Iraqi authorities. But I did it.

Also, nowadays I laugh when I read websites like Black Water and International Executives where they have these classes to supposedly teach the big time commandos who graduate from their ultra ninja courses on how to blend in with the locals and not do anything offensive to the Islamic people of the area that they are planning to work in. Point being here is that if anybody was qualified for such an undertaking back in 2003 it was me.

So once again, I ask you why? Following that I still persisted in trying to do my part in both wars, Iraq and Afghanistan, by trying to come up with ways to lessen casualties on both sides. In the early days of the Afghan invasion I saw that there was a big problem right off the bat. Afghan warlords, like the criminal and pedophile Rashid Dustom, were playing American forces like a violin. Calls were coming in all the time about supposed Taliban sightings. American troops would swoop down on some village in the mountains, lose a few troops, kill some Afghan civilians, and then find out that there were no Taliban, only some armed militia of a rival warlord. So, there to I offered to volunteer. What was there to lose by having an experienced individual roaming around the mountains of Afghanistan with a satellite phone that he just happened to find under a rock reporting any real Taliban troop movements, thereby saving lives on both sides yet again? Or at least if lives were going to be lost then let it be over the right thing and not because some warlord was playing you.

 To be continued.

 (Note: Check back with this blog again later to see a video podcast in which Aukai talks about the actions he took to try to prevent Daniel Pearl’s death. Few people know the whole story of his personal experiences with Omar Saeed Sheikh and Aukai’s offer via the FBI to assist in the case. )


Anonymous said...

Dear Aukai

I have read about your article in SOF in OZ. I am quite impress by your expertise in this area. I have a few questions to ask you because I cpuldn't e-mail you

1: Do you Obama / Mcain or when either one of them gets in on Jan 2009 US is going to change ( particulry obama)? will you support him? I am one of his suppoters in fact.

2: There are already some G BAY ex-priosners still stick to their old lifstyles. One of them was shot dead last year in Chechnia by an ambush set up by the FSB. Is this the implication that the G Bay method xxxx up big time?

3: There were news that Bosnians, Croatians and Serbians still fighting a covert wars in Chechnia, Kasmir adn Iraq as mercs for both sides of the fence . Are you suprise?

4 Is Australia Troops going to make a difference in the war on terror. Because OZ have withdraw troops from Iraq as the new PM had promise but vow to stay on in Afgan despite 3 elite soliders in the past year in Afganistan alone ( 1 SAS and 2 elite 4 RAR commandos)

e-mail me at
we got a lot talk about soon

From PO

Anonymous said...

The reason "why?" is because it was not THEIR idea to start with.. It was YOUR idea..THEY like to look good.. If it is a plan that will be pressed ahead with, then... well... you get the idea..

When the proverbial shit hits the propeller, it turns into a "who has the biggest dick in the room" event..

I think there was a huge splash of "But-he-is-muslim-and-we-can't-trust-him" thrown in there also (ya think!?!)..

I personally think they let their paranoia check them as far as using you as an asset.. I bet they were worried about who you knew.. etc. etc. Does it make sense to you and I?.. A big negative on that Aqil..

Or.. maybe they never wanted Iraq or Afghanistan to end too soon..

have you ever hunted coy-dogs Aqil?.. You haul a cows carcass out into the middle of a field... leave it there.. set up a watch on the carcass and then wait till nightfall .. the coy-dogs come into the area and as they go for the carcass.. Vola! bad case of lead poisoning..

But.. as soon as the carcass is removed.. you cease to attract coy-dogs..

See what I mean?

Anonymous said...


Afganistan, Abdul Haq.

Anonymous said...

Dear Stud:

Its time for another book.

J.Stephens said...

Mr. Collins, I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your book and how inspiring I found it to be. To be frank it makes me wanna get off my lazy ass and find a purpose in life! Hope you keep the books coming.