Bored at home? Go fight ISIS

| March 14, 2015
Categories: Op-Eds


This used to be in the realm of fantasy for young men who read too much Soldier of Fortune growing up. It’s easier now than ever before to fight for any side of a conflict. Read up and leave us with your comments Mad Duo

Matson in Kurdistan

Some people miss war. Many of you, for example, would rather be back in Iraq or Afghanistan than doing what you’re doing now. We know this to be true, though there are no doubt a lot of civilians (or for that matter, veterans) who don’t understand the impulse.  Whether it’s because you’re restless, you miss the camaraderie or the clarity of combat, are miserable doing what you’re doing now or have simply forgotten how much it sucks, we’ve heard several acquaintances express their willingness to go back. A few actually have (or say they have) returned.

Sometimes you miss the fight. Sometimes you wonder what it would have been like if they’d given a war and garrison hadn’t shown up, or if they hadn’t had crayon-eaters writing the ROEs.

Sometimes you’re a dumbass who is fooling himself and doesn’t realize how good he has it now.

Regardless, increasing numbers of American volunteers  are making their way to the fight; many are rolling with the Kurds. Some are even joining “NGOs” of a sort who are actively recruiting – like Matthew Van Dyke’s non-profit “Sons of Liberty International” (q.v.) or other organizations with less notoriety.

A couple of days ago the New York Times ran an article about Patrick Maxwell, a man described as a former infantry Marine NCO from Texas, who recently spent some time with the Pesh Merga. Maxwell, who left the Marine Corps in 2011, was one of anywhere from 1 to several hundred Americans and other Coalition-nation veterans like Brits, Australians, Canadians (the number depends on the reporting source) fighting alongside Kurdish militias (particularly “People’s Protection Units”) as civilian volunteers. At least a couple have reportedly been killed.

According to the article,

The pair ended up in a ragtag infantry battalion on the front lines near Kirkuk, eating meals of rice and flatbread, traveling in beat-up, sometimes bullet-pocked trucks and sleeping on the floors of shipping containers.

“This is just like back in Al Anbar Province,” Mr. Maxwell said with a laugh in a video he made while speeding to the front lines in the back of a Ford pickup, holding a belt-fed machine gun. “Except we have no safety gear, no medical support and no air support.”

Maxell in Kurdistan

Patrick Maxwell in Kurdistan, with a Kurdish officer. The other “Westerner” is apparently a Canadian.

Apparently Maxwell remained in the place for just a couple of months before US SOF personnel, in theater “officially”, leaned on the Pesh Merga leadership and advised “American civilians should not be in combat.”

Breitbart ran a story last month about Jordan Matson, a “former U.S. soldier” helping to defend Kurds, Yazidis and other ethnic minorities from ISIS.

“You need to know what you’re getting into,” [Matson was quoted as saying in the article.] “A lot of times you’re going out, you’re in a mud hut. … You have bullets and a blanket, and sometimes you just have bread, but you need to hold the line.”

“How many people were sold into slavery or killed just for being part of a different ethnic group or religion?” Matson said. “That’s something I am willing to die to defend.”

B5 Systems2

So, here’s our first  question for you – should Americans be allowed to fight overseas (whether as volunteers or mercenaries), the way they did in France in WWI, in Spain during the 30s, in China in the 40s, in Africa in the 60s, in Israel as they’ve done for years, in the Ukraine and Nigeria as they’re rumored to be now and so on? Some countries allow or even support it. Some (like Switzerland) take a dimmer view.

Here’s our second question – would you do it?

You can probably guess what our answers would be to both questions, though the reasoning might not be what you think. We want to hear your perspective.

Scurfield in Kurdistan

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  1. pork chop express

    I was in mosul in 05-06 and fought side by side with the kurds . So when mosul fell it was devastating to me, and I wanted to go back really bad and clean house …bad..but I had to come to the realization that it’s not my fight anymore . We imparted our knowledge the best we could to the I. A. And kurds and it’s there fight now no matter how much I want it to be mine.

  2. RazorsEdge

    Given the chance, I’d saddle up with an FN MAG again and rain some belt fed loving on those bastards… BUT North of the border our laws are a bit more strict about that kind of thing. I have friends still in the Canadian Forces that are ITCHING for Parliament to give go-ahead for a full-scale fight against these ignorant child murdering bastards.

  3. Grump

    If you have a wife and/or children, or if your parents are still alive, then they need you a hell of a lot more than the Pesh Merga. Take responsibility for your family first.

  4. Ross Wilson

    It is every one that takes a breath of fresh air on American soil to do his or hers duty to protect it. I served 2, 3 year tours in the Marines. And by God I would do it right now and stop them before they get there foot hold any deeper in any more countries. Why should we not be allowed to go back it’s our lives and by God it’s MY COUNTRY. Why can’t I go fight for her. The bastards in the White House won’t so let me.

  5. DiBs

    This article made my wife accuse me of being old and broken.

  6. teraph

    I tend to be of the belief that a persons’ life is theirs to choose. No matter what. If they want to take their life and work for ISIS, go ahead. It is not my fault that they chose to work with those fucktards. And if it so happens that a warrior, who chose to leave his country and fight against those bassackwards fucktards, strikes them dead at 3100 fps, them then that also is a personal life choice.

    Personally, I know of many people that have openly tried to get a contract to go and fight ISIS. The contract was intended to provide the necessary pay and insurance for its fighters. Needless to say Max’s idea fell through, even though it had some decent backing.

    I am on active duty. I am not a shooter, I am a support guy. And if I were allowed to go as an envoy of the American People, I would go and do my damnedest to be all that I can be. On the other hand, we have issues in our country that could (potentially) cause armed conflict here.

    I do not believe the question is would you go, but should you go? What would you be able to lend to the fight? Would you do more good here, trying to change our own government in order to give them more support, or can you give more support by your lonesome (or your group)? Everyone should have a choice in how their life goes, good or bad. But everyone should also remember, play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

  7. chefjon

    I didn’t get to serve because of scoliosis as a child. 9/11 hit and I wanted to run to the recruiter’s office. Ffwd to the pilot burned alive. I wanted to go home, grab my rifle and ammo and get to work. I say we should be able to fight against anyone our government is fighting. Those motherfuckers are evil. They need financial aid. I’ll donate all the copper and lead I have to them. At 2700 fps.

  8. Chip Smith

    What kind of Financial Backing and support do you have?

  9. Eli Fultz

    As a veteran I think it is an honor and duty to help those in such a struggle. My brother and I both served in combat arms. And have discussed that if we had a way of supporting our families while we were gone. We would also join this fight.

    • Ariac

      I am of the same line of thinking. I feel a strong duty, and as such pull to root out this scourge. Unfortunately, I am not able to just think of myself, but also of my family. If I could afford it I would be in the planning stages to go join the fight. Semper Fi

  10. Peter Perez

    It really shouldn’t matter if you can decide before why you go to fight. There will always be those *small* percentages of people, vets or not, who go because they like the violence. For the rest of us, it is a duty to protect the innocent, defend what is right, and maintain the honor of a soldier. Yes, there is clarity in battle, but that isn’t the only reason. For me, knowing Christians are being slaughtered for faith is enough. This is genocide and what will stop it if brave men and women do nothing? Is it better to stop it at it source or wait until it knocks down my door here? I say let them fight. It was my choice to join the Army. My time served, my wounds healed, let me do what I know. Let me use those skills not commonly known to save a people who need it most. Let me be a man of honor, of country, of patriotism and an ambassador of America I would be proud of. If we refused volunteers throughout our own history, what chance would we have had against the British in search of our own national independence?



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