‘The Soldier Who Married a Suicide Bomber’
The following is an excerpt from my just concluded work of fiction titled ‘Saving Love.’
She screamed as he came into her, with both hands she held onto the barrel of a rifle hanging on the walls of the Humvee, Khadija yelled for more as Jason thrusts with love and tender. He held her chest in his arms while they both escalated to the highest heights of ecstasy and euphoria. For the first time in her life, there was a sense of absolute satisfaction as she felt the drops of his liquid inside of her. The thought of making love in a military humvee was never in Jason’s dreams and sleeping with a 25-year-old Iraqi virgin seemed unrealistic in a war zone. The night looked beautiful and special, with multiple stars shining lights on the cursed Baghdad streets plagued daily with suicide attacks and the smells of blood. Going to patrol so late in the night was the only way Jason could see Khadija; she sneaked out of the backyard of her home to see him while her parents were asleep. The night felt special to her, for the first time they made love and the experience was something she wanted to remain in her memories.
She was told it is painful when you do it the first time; initially she felt a burning pain as Jason came inside and then she got lost in the mood, as the experience got better and pain free. May be something Jason did helped tranquilize the pain of their first sexual encounter; however, she would want the experience repeated. Though, she enjoyed their first night, Khadija got worried not knowing what the outcome would be. She just lost her virginity to a U.S. Marine and from the stories she heard, American soldiers are fund of leaving their relationships behind when the war is over. She thought about the shame she would have, should Jason decide not to marry her; or leave her behind in Iraq when the war is done. Jason kissed her on the lips and caressed her breasts as she covered her head with the veils. No one must see her face, it is Islamic tradition for women to wear veils; she decided to leave before anyone in her home realized she was out.
Jason bade her bye as she disappeared into the dark nights of Baghdad; he recovered his revolver from the dashboard of the humvee, dropped it back in its holster and waved to Todd and Brian his patrol partners. Both agreed to be the lookout and secure the perimeters to allow Jason time with Khadija. They must continue their patrol before the Lieutenant radio to know their whereabouts. Three years earlier, Jason Dugard returned from a trip to Seville, Spain; it was a gift from his parents for finishing high school. George and his wife Kathy wanted their son to go to college but 9/11 changed everything for him.
Before going to Seville, Jason applied to three institutions for college admission; his plan to study computer and then work in the city as a computer or software engineer. He loved the fast pace of New York City, working there and making his own money was his dream. On arrival from Seville, he realized his dream of college must be put on hold; none of his applications was successful and then the U.S. was attacked by Al Qaeda on 9/11. Jason watched as two planes crashed into the twin towers from the TV screen in his parent’s living room, he saw as bodies were thrown from the buildings as victims tried to escape. The defining moment came when President Joe Morrison announced the U.S. was under attack and called for the nation to pull together as a show of patriotism.
Jason decided that moment to join the Marine, he loved the idea of serving in the military as a reserve but his parents always put off the talk; they wanted him to have college education and he did not want to disappoint them. Now it seemed to him that the opportunity had come to serve. Kathy was a little reluctant she became worried something might happen if Jason went to war. George on the other hand thought Jason was old enough to decide on his career part; none in his family except his own grandfather was in the Navy and to see Jason join the Marine would be a thing of pride after all.
September 11, was a defining moment in American history and what better way to be patriotic than to serve your nation. He completed his military training at Fort Bragg Texas and in 2003; he received his call to Iraq. The U.S. just invaded Afghanistan and tension was building at the United Nations over the link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. After much pressure from the U.S. working through the United Nations, Iraq finally allowed UN inspectors to enter the country. Their entry was again met by restrictions from Saddam, in violation of the conditions stated in Resolution 1441 of the UN Security Council. American U2 surveillance plane was not allowed to carry out inspection over Iraq and as tension builds, it was clear the U.S. would invade.
At the CIA office in Langley Virginia, Andrew Williams, Director of the CIA got the new tip about the whereabouts of Saddam around 11 PM Baghdad time. The information was sent to the Secretary of Defense Michael Meyers. The Pentagon agreed the latest development was an opportunity to end the war earlier and prevent civilian casualties. The director of CIA and Joint Chief of Staff Chairman General Scott Anderson went to the White House to discuss the issue with the President. It was decided there could be a chance of killing Saddam that night; according to intelligence, he was hiding in a bunker built by Russian engineers. Jason’s infantry had been ordered to attack the location as soon as they received the sign the last American bomb had been dropped on the building where Saddam was believed to be. They were to verify the identity of any body recovered from the location. The Pentagon concluded Cruise Missiles with their thousand-pound war heads would not be enough to complete the job, war planes with 2,000 pound bunker busters would finish the job by penetrating deeper into the bunker. The head of the Iraqi operation General Brian Thomson told President Morrison, the operation should take about 8 hours to complete.
The attack was launched around 4:30 AM Baghdad time, three F-118 stealth fighters, with 3,000 pound bunker busters were ordered into the air from bases in Kuwait. Ten American warships programmed the coordinates of Saddam’s location into about 50 cruise missiles. Based on intelligence on the location, the U.S. Command got information Saddam was in the building. After the last bomb had hit the location, Jason with Brian and Todd charged with fellow Marines to see if Saddam had been killed. They were met by opposition from remnants of the Iraqi republican guards and in the brief battle that ensued, Jason fired a stray bullet killing Ahmed a 35-year-old innocent Iraqi; Ahmed was coming from early Morning Prayers and had nothing to do with the fighting.
As Khadija and her parents prepare for the routine breakfast, they received news her cousin Ahmed had been killed during a U.S. operation in Baghdad. Happiness turned to sorrow as the entire family grief their sudden loss. Ahmed had been a great cousin, they both grew up together and he was always there for her to give both moral support and financial help. Ahmed was an only child so; it was unclear how his parents would react to the sad news. Khadija’s father Abdul and his wife Monsurat must visit Ahmed’s parents to break the news and express their condolences; it is common practice to pay respect to the family of the dead before the Islamic burial, which usually takes place the same day or a day after a loved one dies. As they prepare to leave, a knock was heard on the door, the Sanusi brothers came to pay their respect; they were present when Ahmed got shot by the U.S. Marine. Mohammed Sanusi and his two younger brothers Ismael and Khalid were fighting alongside the Republican Guards when suddenly they saw Ahmed appearing from a distance close to the location of the City Mosque, where he had gone to pray. They saw as he got hit by a bullet but it was too late to save him.
“May Allah bless his soul” they uttered as the three brothers embraced Khadija’s father to express their sadness. They saw the Marine who killed Ahmed and their mission, to revenge on behalf of Khadija’s family. Even though, the brothers did not like the regime of Saddam, they chose to fight alongside the Republican Guards; they hated America for invading Iraq and they do not want the presence of foreign troops in the country. Americans are infidels and according to their beliefs, they are enemies of Islam and must not be allowed to occupy Iraq. The Sanusi brothers are hardened Jihadists and devoted Muslims, with strong beliefs in the doctrine of Allah. Their father Idris Sanusi was a follower of the great Imam Salameh Al-Hakim, a teacher of the Quran and Islamic warfare. Idris Sanusi was killed in Afghanistan while fighting alongside Bin Laden in the battle of Kabul. The Soviets had invaded Afghanistan and there was a call for fighters to help drive out the Soviet armies. Al-Hakim introduced Idris to Bin Laden as a devoted fighter and after receiving Bin Laden’s blessings; he joined Al Qaeda and helped drive out the Soviets from Afghanistan, before he was killed in Kabul in October 2001, when U.S. soldiers invaded Afghanistan.
The Sanusi brothers won’t forgive the Americans for the death of their father. With the help of Al Qaeda they received training in Pakistan and before the invasion of Iraq, returned to Baghdad to prepare for urban warfare. Mohammed was a master bomb maker and together with his brothers was successful in preparing bombs for suicide attacks in Pakistan. The opportunity has come to use their skills to fulfill the calls of Allah. Penetrating U.S. security won’t be easy, they received words Saddam was captured and came the time to begin the suicide attacks as planned.
The Americans were beginning to relax after the capture of Saddam and the death of Ahmed was a great opportunity to execute the first suicide attack in Baghdad. The best suited for the job is Khadija so, they came purposely to recruit her for the operation. She just lost her cousin and mad at the Americans for his death, she would do everything for a pay back. Months after the death of Ahmed, Khadija was wired and suited with a suicide vest for an attack; the moment came for her to turn herself into a human bomb in Jason’s face but the events that followed changed their destinies.
‘Saving Love’ is a first-person narrative and a fictional account of how a U.S. Marine married his would be suicide bomber in Iraq. It is a story of love, war, and romance; the characters Jason and Khadija came from two different worlds, troubled by conflicts and clash of civilizations but through their accidental encounter, the reader is led to discover how love can overcome adversaries. The setting is Baghdad between 2003 and 2011 during American invasion and war in Iraq.
Dr. Adeyemi Oshunrinade [E. JD] is an expert in general law, foreign relations and the United Nations; he is the author of three non-fiction books. ‘Saving Love’ is his first work of fiction.
Categories: Fictional Romance