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As the war in Iraq goes on, it's interesting to note that our combat troops are finding a chemical element used by enemy combatants that is commonly used by crooks, thieves and other social degenerates in the United States: forms of the illegal stimulant methamphetamine.
In recent weeks, I've talked to several U.S. military and civilian personnel who recently returned from Iraq, including Fallujah, where U.S. Marines proved their mettle against zealots waging holy war against U.S. troops, Iraqi security forces and innocent people wanting nothing more than peace in their troubled land.
One military man told me: "It was surprising to us as to how much crystal meth, or some other form of methamphetamine, that the bad guys had in Fallujah. ... Sometimes it was hard understanding what to us was insane conduct ---- even in combat situations ---- until we realized many of them were hyped on meth. They acted as though they were impervious to our gunfire sometimes, which meant it might take a few extra rounds to kill 'em."
Police officers in the United States have been dealing with criminals high on methamphetamine for decades. Because of the potency of the illegal stimulant, and its deteriorative impact on the mind and the central nervous system, cops and deputies realize methamphetamine users are among the most dangerous they encounter in America.
Additionally, methamphetamine abusers in the United States are capable of heinous crimes against friends, relatives and neighbors, all in the quest to get money to feed their nasty drug habit. Ask any cop on the street. They can tell you that they can pick out most methamphetamine abusers in a matter of seconds, compared with people who abuse heroin, cocaine or ecstasy.
In Iraq, the military is running into an enemy who is driven not only by religious fanaticism, but whose motivation to harm U.S. troops is fueled by methamphetamine.
This isn't the first time U.S. military forces have run into combatants using some version of methamphetamine to get their high before going into combat. During the Vietnam War, Marines fighting outside of Da Nang and later in Khe Sahn reported combating communist troops who were high on some sort of stimulant.
Also, World War II veterans often fought German soldiers who regularly used methamphetamine.