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this should be printed in every newspaper in america - every one

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donsu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 12:59 PM
Original message
this should be printed in every newspaper in america - every one

http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0920-02.htm

Stretched Thin, Lied to & Mistreated
On the ground with US troops in Iraq
by Christian Parenti

-snip-

It is noon and the mercury is hanging steady at 115 Fahrenheit. The filmmaker Garrett Scott and I are "embedded" with Alpha Company of the Third Battalion of the 124th Infantry, a Florida National Guard unit about half of whom did time in the regular Army, often with elite groups like the Rangers. Like most frontline troops in Iraq, the majority are white but there is a sizable minority of African-American and Latino soldiers among them. Unlike most combat units, about 65 percent are college students--they've traded six years with the Guard for tuition at Florida State. Typically, that means occasional weekends in the Everglades or directing traffic during hurricanes. Instead, these guys got sent to Iraq, and as yet they have no sure departure date.

-snip-

Behind "the club" is a three-story dormitory, a warren of small one-bedroom apartments, each holding a nine-man squad of soldiers and all their gear. Around 200 guys are packed in here. Their sweaty fatigues drape the banisters of the exterior stairway, while inside the cramped, dark rooms the floors are covered with cots, heaps of flak vests, guns and, where possible, big tin, water-based air-conditioners called swamp coolers. Surrounding the base is a chaotic working-class neighborhood of two- and three-story cement homes and apartment buildings. Not far away is the muddy Tigris River.

-snip-

"These guys shot at some of our guys, so we lit 'em up. Put two .50-cal rounds in their vehicle. One went through this dude's hip and into the other guy's head," explains Brunelle. The third man in the car lived. "His buddy was crying like a baby. Just sitting there bawling with his friend's brains and skull fragments all over his face. One of our guys came up to him and is like: 'Hey! No crying in baseball!'"

"I know that probably sounds sick," says Sellers, "but humor is the only way you can deal with this shit."

And just below the humor is volcanic rage. These guys are proud to be soldiers and don't want to come across as whiners, but they are furious about what they've been through. They hate having their lives disrupted and put at risk. They hate the military for its stupidity, its feckless lieutenants and blowhard brass living comfortably in Saddam's palaces. They hate Iraqis--or, as they say, "hajis"--for trying to kill them. They hate the country for its dust, heat and sewage-clogged streets. They hate having killed people. Some even hate the politics of the war. And because most of them are, ultimately, just regular well-intentioned guys, one senses the distinct fear that someday a few may hate themselves for what they have been forced to do here.

-snip-
---------------------------------

"one senses the distinct fear that someday a few may hate themselves for what they have been forced to do here."

and the article goes on to tell how they were not trained to do what they are doing and that they had to train themselve over there as they were surviving. for real.


Bring The Troops HOME Now
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lindashaw Donating Member (921 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:01 PM
Response to Original message
1. It makes you weep.
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Cappurr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. Don't tell me it ain't like Vietnam....
It most certainly is.
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searchingforlight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:13 PM
Response to Original message
2. I'm sorry but I don't read anywhere "they hate Bush".
Let's put the blame in the right place. The Iraqis are a besieged, invaded people who are living under the worst conditions. The Iraqis have no "return home date" either. They are looking at years of occupation and danger from the warring factions. Many innocent Iraqis have had their lives disrupted and put at risk.

I don't want our soldiers over there. I am and have always been against this war. BUT the blame is not being given to the right source here. Washington is the enemy not Iraq.
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WillyT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:13 PM
Response to Original message
3. Those Who Refuse To Learn The Lessons Of History...
This is why we were in the streets trying to prevent this massive clusterfuck!!!

:grr: :nuke: :mad:
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Padraig18 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:20 PM
Response to Original message
4. *sigh*
"Jesus wept." :(
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lostnfound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:22 PM
Response to Original message
5. Makes me weep and makes me ANGRY*@*%@*#*!!!!.
Edited on Mon Sep-22-03 01:24 PM by lostnfound
The task of raising a small child is so exhausting, so demanding, such a work of love and sacrifice -- isn't it an effort equivalent to painting the Sistine Chapel? It feels that way to a mother. Then to have all of that INVESTMENT of love and attention blown to bits or emotionally destroyed on the other side of the world because of some b*****'s greed, arrogance, madness -- it's unspeakable.

The lunacy of it. A 3 year old learns to talk and to dress, a 6 year old learns to write, a 15 year old to drive -- then at 18 or 21 they are shooting at SOME OTHER MOTHER'S SONS on the other side of the world, and cluster bombing somebody's children.
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donsu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. agree

and add to that, that pregnancy/delivery is a death defying event for a woman.

how can it not pierce a mother's heart to know their child had been ordered to kill someone after they had taught the child not to.


and the vietnam vets sit in the gutter their peace of mind left in a foreign land.
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Hubert Flottz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. Get ready for the draft if Bush wins in 2004!
Edited on Mon Sep-22-03 01:43 PM by Hubert Flottz
Can't take over the world without troops and lots more troops than Bush has to toy with now! The boys from Florida should thank Jeb too! This could have never happened without Jeb and Miz Harris! I wonder if they have pin ups of Miz Harris in those bunkers over there?
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Unknown Known Donating Member (829 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:36 PM
Response to Original message
8. And this cover says it all


The Oct 6, 2003 issue
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candy331 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. What a mess
in their lives this will carry with them. Too bad this was not in the Tallahassee Democrat yesterday. Would have made good reading for the Tallahasseans.
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pa28 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 02:04 PM
Response to Original message
10. You are right
It should be printed in every paper. But it most certainly won't appear in the Seattle Times.
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