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American troops in Afghanistan losing heart, say army chaplains

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progressiveGI Donating Member (41 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-07-09 09:35 PM
Original message
American troops in Afghanistan losing heart, say army chaplains
Source: Times Online

American soldiers serving in Afghanistan are depressed and deeply disillusioned, according to the chaplains of two US battalions that have spent nine months on the front line in the war against the Taleban.

Many feel that they are risking their lives and that colleagues have died for a futile mission and an Afghan population that does nothing to help them, the chaplains told The Times in their makeshift chapel on this fortress-like base in a dusty, brown valley southwest of Kabul.

The many soldiers who come to see us have a sense of futility and anger about being here. They are really in a state of depression and despair and just want to get back to their families, said Captain Jeff Masengale, of the 10th Mountain Divisions 2-87 Infantry Battalion.

They feel they are risking their lives for progress thats hard to discern, said Captain Sam Rico, of the Divisions 4-25 Field Artillery Battalion. They are tired, strained, confused and just want to get through. The chaplains said that they were speaking out because the men could not.

The base is not, it has to be said, obviously downcast, and many troops do not share the chaplains assessment. The soldiers are, by nature and training, upbeat, driven by a strong sense of duty, and they do their jobs as best they can. Re-enlistment rates are surprisingly good for the 2-87, though poor for the 4-25. Several men approached by The Times, however, readily admitted that their morale had slumped.

Were lost thats how I feel. Im not exactly sure why were here, said Specialist Raquime Mercer, 20, whose closest friend was shot dead by a renegade Afghan policeman last Friday. I need a clear-cut purpose if Im going to get hurt out here or if Im going to die.


Read more: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/Afghanistan...
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yourout Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-07-09 09:38 PM
Response to Original message
1. I need a clear-cut purpose if Im going to get hurt out here or if Im going to die......absolutly
And that message has to come from President Obama.
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saigon68 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-08-09 04:52 AM
Response to Reply #1
21. And he is about to expand the War
amerika needs to "GET THE FUCK OUT" out of that mess

Who will be next to die for the Mayor of Kabul and UNOCAL ?

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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-07-09 09:38 PM
Response to Original message
2. endless war will do that
Something we never seem to learn.
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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-07-09 09:40 PM
Response to Original message
3. these "chaplains" should tell soldiers war is a violation of the 10 commandments n go home nt
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slay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-07-09 09:46 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. I'm not a religious person but I agree
I may not be religious, but I know good advice when I see it.
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Mind_your_head Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-07-09 09:45 PM
Response to Original message
4. Russia wasn't very successful in afghanistan either......
this is one article, please google and do your 'due diligence':

http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/februa...
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rwheeler31 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-07-09 09:50 PM
Response to Original message
6. It is so wrong to go to war against a country instead of a group of
extremists.
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-07-09 09:54 PM
Response to Original message
7. Eight years of war is long enough. Let's bring our boys and gals home to their families.
Let's send the war hawks to fight the war they so badly want.
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Mind_your_head Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-07-09 10:04 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Those war hawks don't often send their sons & daughters into war......
that's for 'other PATRIOTS' (haha....read: 'suckers'/'fools')

There is a time and place for bravery, often daily.....but this false sense of 'patriotism' and fighting illegal wars against soverign (sp?) nations is just insanity/wrong (imo).
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saigon68 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-08-09 04:55 AM
Response to Reply #9
22. Its apparently time for "BUSH LITE"
To step up the economic recovery and start the factories rolling for more tanks guns etc.
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mzmolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-07-09 10:01 PM
Response to Original message
8. BRING.THEM.HOME.
:(
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tomm2thumbs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-07-09 10:13 PM
Response to Original message
10. asking McChrystal if you need more troops is like asking a barber if you need a haircut...

'of COURSE you need a haircut...'

duh
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MetaTrope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-07-09 10:16 PM
Response to Original message
11. I'm sure the American news services will be all over this story now
Uh huh.
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Alcibiades Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-07-09 10:18 PM
Response to Original message
12. We're fighting them there so they won't attack us here
This was good enough for all of Bush's term, why is it no longer working?
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-08-09 02:50 AM
Response to Reply #12
18. It worked, didn't it. Not one Afghan goat herder or poppy farmer has attacked us here.
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-07-09 10:24 PM
Response to Original message
13. They won't let 'em win, and they won't let 'em leave, that makes for what they're feeling
Must be like Vietnam all over again...
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Mind_your_head Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-07-09 10:45 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. won't let 'em win, and they won't let 'em leave.......PERPETUAL WAR!
PERFECT! For the multi-BILLION $$$$ war industry! ABSO-FUCKING-LY PERFECT!!!! (*I* on the other hand, happen to 'love' my fellows ~ brothers & sisters ~ as valuable INDIVIDUALS).....so this 'perpetual war thing' I cannot/don't/won't support EVER.

M_Y_H
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annm4peace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-07-09 10:27 PM
Response to Original message
14. Courage to Resist. Support the Troops Who Refuse to Fight
http://www.couragetoresist.org/x/content/view/748/119 /

In the past few years, tens of thousands of service members have resisted illegal war and occupation in a number of different waysby going AWOL, seeking conscientious objector status and/or a discharge, asserting the right to speak out against injustice from within the military, and for a relative few, publicly refusing to fight.

While there are those who would like to dismiss war resisters as "cowards," the reality is that it takes exceptional courage to resist unjust, illegal, and/or immoral orders. For many resisters, it was their first-hand experiences as occupation troops that compelled them to take a stand. For others, "doing the right thing" and acting out of conscience began to outweigh their military training in obedience.

Although the efforts of Courage to Resist are primarily focused on supporting public GI resisters, the organization also strives to provide political, emotional, and material support to all military objectors critical of our government's current policies of empire. As a grassroots project with limited resources, Courage to Resist nevertheless has a record of successfully working with many resisters and their families in raising the needed funds for civilian legal representation as well as public education campaigns.

Courage to Resist believes in "informed resistance." It's important for service members contemplating public resistance to have a basic understanding of both the benefits and consequences of doing so, particularly in the context of the very arbitrary military discipline and justice systems.

Those who decide to resist while in the military have powerful stories to tell about how they came to the decision to take a stand. Courage to Resist makes a special effort to work with resisters to tell their stories, in their own words and from their own unique perspectives. We publish those stories on our website, as well as arrange media interviews and public speaking engagements.




For help getting out of the military, or related military issues, call the new GI Rights Hotline number at 877-447-4487. Free, confidential, and accurate info for troops, vets, recruits, and their families
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Alamuti Lotus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-07-09 10:36 PM
Response to Original message
15. well, nothing brings me down more than a sad occupation force with no popular support whatsoever
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saigon68 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-08-09 05:00 AM
Response to Reply #15
23. ITS A CLUSTER FUCK
AND WHO will be the next Rustic to DIE for Unocal, the Neocons and Halliburton?

The average "goat herder" (see above) apparently sees the 18 year old marine hoo-rah guys as unwanted occupiers and doesn't see them helping his life one bit.

Then Death from above, rains down and kills his grandmother, his children or his goats. Ya that guy longs for "Democracy" </sarcasm>

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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-08-09 12:46 AM
Response to Original message
17. The learned helplessness of a no-win situation.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-08-09 02:57 AM
Response to Original message
19. So far this week, the Administration, the Taliban and the Chaplains have all issued statements
Edited on Thu Oct-08-09 03:02 AM by No Elephants
supporting withdrawal from Afghanistan.


While I approve of hunting criminals, as opposed to bombing nations, seems as though we are being manipulated. SOP, I guess. The Taliban declared that they had no plans to attack America, but would if we continued the occupation. So, there's the terra card. The Chaplains are saying the troops can't take it anymore, which we have known for years. So, there's the support the troops card.

It's fine, as long as we don't miss the orchestration simply bc we, too, want our troops out of Afghanistan. Let's see what happens next before we get too giddy, though.
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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-08-09 03:54 AM
Response to Original message
20. I need a clear-cut purpose if Im going to get hurt out here or if Im going to die.
That's exactly the way I felt my second trip to Vietnam.
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FiveGoodMen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-08-09 05:13 PM
Response to Original message
24. Someone tell our President
He doesn't seem to know ... ... ... or else he doesn't care.
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excess_3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-08-09 08:52 PM
Response to Original message
25. bring the troops home, NOW ,nt
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