Nov 2, 2017 at 12:13pm PDTAN IRAQ War veteran has revealed he was shown footage of targets having their heads blown off by sniper rifles in order to become desensitized to violence before being sent to Baghdad in 2003.
The former elite Marine, Rudy Reyes, added that killing was not an issue because he was “systematically programmed to kill” in the first episode of a BBC documentary series about the conflict.
Rodolfo “Rudy” Reyes, 49, was born on Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base in Kansas City, Missouri.
He was deployed to Iraq ahead of the main invasion to destroy strategic targets in 2003.
“Our mission was to destroy any capacity they had for artillery or mortars. And also, of course, the NBC: nuclear, biological and chemical weapons,” Reyes said.
Reyes took a shot of Tequila at the start of the interview with the BBC, then asked for the bottle.
“In our boot camp, do you know how we say the word ‘yes’? It’s the word “kill”. It’s the only way you can say ‘yes’,” the 49-year-old veteran described the American military process of molding himself and other soldiers into killing machines through training.
Reyes told the BBC how recruits were ordered to say the word ‘kill’ instead of ‘yes’ and went on to say that ‘there was no issue for me killing’Credit: BBC
He continued: “Then we go into ballistics. Then we’re watching real world: head shots, footage of sniper kills. And then they’re slowing it down in slow motion, head expanding three times the size, then vacuum collapse, then brains and skull.”
In the beginning, Reyes questioned if he was capable of committing such horror “because there was still some human in me.”
But as he became desensitized to violence through his deployment, Reyes recalled being part of a group of Marines who killed civilians, including children, who ignored a sign about a US roadblock because they couldn’t read it.
He dubbed himself and his fellow soldiers as “very capable, violent professionals.”
Reyes said: “‘We went three weeks straight with no sleep, straight fighting. No armor, no doors, no roofs…Sixty men spearheading the blitzkrieg to get to Baghdad. That’s immense.”
“Imagine seeing the freaking Cobras criss-crossing above you and the bass of the boom, boom, boom, boom… It was god-like.”
When asked if the 2003 Iraq war was worth it, the retired soldier in a bandana replied, “I mean it has to be worth it.”
He paused and continued: “What’s the alternative?”
Reyes left the military in 2005 and is now a TV personality and martial arts instructor.