Nimo's War, Emma's War: Making Feminist Sense of the Iraq War

By Cynthia Enloe | Go to book overview

CHAPTER SIX
Emma and the Recruiters

Emma Bedoy-Pina already had one son in the U.S. military. Now military recruiters were trying to persuade her to encourage her second son to enlist. She wasn’t easily persuaded.1

It was October 2005. The U.S.-launched war in Iraq was in its third year. It had been three years since the sharp upsurge of American patriotism after the attacks on New York and Washington in September 2001, followed just months later by the U.S.-led military toppling of Afghanistan’s Taliban regime and the first flush of militarized euphoria when American troops rolled into Baghdad in April 2003. By late 2005, Americans’ wartime story had turned grim. An Iraqi anti-American insurgency had become deadly. Rising sectarian violence had left many Americans bewildered about divisions among Iraq’s religious sects. “Body armor” and “IEDs”—roadside bombs—had joined “Humvees” in ordinary American conversation. The army was falling short of its enlistment goals in 2005. The job of an American military recruiter had soured.

Still, Emma Bedoy-Pina lived in San Antonio, Texas. Situated on the border with Mexico, San Antonio was supposed to be a good town for recruiters. The military’s presence there dated back to 1845, when Americans fought Mexicans for control of the large Texas territory. Up in Massachusetts, people still admired naturalist Henry David Thoreau for having gone to

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Nimo's War, Emma's War: Making Feminist Sense of the Iraq War
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Preface xi
  • Chapter One - Eight Women, One War 1
  • The Iraqi Women 17
  • Chapter Two - Nimo- Wartime Politics in a Beauty Parlor 19
  • Chapter Three - Maha- A Widow Returns to Baghdad 45
  • Chapter Four - Safah- The Girl from Haditha 72
  • Chapter Five - Shatha- A Legislator in Wartime 93
  • The American Women 127
  • Chapter Six - Emma and the Recruiters 129
  • Chapter Seven - Danielle- From Basketball Court to Baghdad Rooftop 150
  • Chapter Eight - Kim- "I’M in a Way Fighting My Own War" 171
  • Chapter Nine - Charlene- Picking Up the Pieces 192
  • Conclusion - The Long War 211
  • Notes 227
  • Bibliography 271
  • Index 295
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