Hearts and Mines: With the Marines in al AnbarÑA Story of Psychological Warfare in Iraq

Casemate
1

This is a true story of war, the story of one manÕs transformation as he retraces the mine-strewn roads of a land itself transformed by mankindÕs most shockingly inhuman practice. It is the firsthand account of a member of one of the United States ArmyÕs three-man Tactical Psychological Operations Teams, groups of men tasked with winning the hearts and minds of IraqÕs civilian population through leaflets, loudspeakers, conversation, and bribery. Transcribed from and inspired by the authorÕs personal wartime journal, it is a story of introspection. It relates how the feelings of eagerness and uncertainty in a young man unfamiliar with war were replaced with the dread knowledge that, buried within his soul, beneath a facade of goodwill and morality, lurked the capacity to kill his fellow men. There are scenes of battle retold within the pages of Hearts and Mines. There are descriptions of the feelings of seeing once-familiar human bodies destroyed beyond recognition. Some days are described as being full of hope and appreciation for the beauty of the world, others with despair for the omnipresent cruelty and destruction which has a habit of consuming men when they feel unaccountable for their actions. It captures the sensory experience of living in a singular environment full of strange plants and animals, friends true and false, and determined enemies, encapsulating the existential fear of mortar and rocket attacks, and the ever-present threat of IEDs, as well as the ridiculousness of military bureaucracy, such as was demonstrated by a sergeant majorÕs decision to punish graffiti artists by removing the doors of all the campÕs toilets. In late 2001 Russell Snyder joined the United States Army as a psychological operations specialist. As a member of the 9th PSYOP Battalion, the armyÕs only active-duty, tactical psychological operations unit he deployed to Iraq, the experience that inspired him to write Hearts and Mines. Subsequently he was deployed twice more to Iraq. He is a recipient of various military awards including the Bronze Star medal. Now a civilian, he lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.
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About the author

In late 2001 Russell Snyder joined the United States Army as a psychological operations specialist. As a member of the 9th PSYOP Battalion, the army's only active-duty, tactical psychological operations unit he deployed to Iraq, the experience that inspired him to write Hearts and Mines. Subsequently he was deployed twice more to Iraq. He is a recipient of various military awards including the Bronze Star medal. Now a civilian, he lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Casemate
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Published on
Oct 19, 2011
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Pages
232
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ISBN
9781612001326
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Military / Iraq War (2003-2011)
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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