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Magpie is a former journalist, attempted historian [No, you can't ask how her thesis is going], and full-time corvid of the lesbian persuasion. She keeps herself in birdseed by writing those bad computer manuals that you toss out without bothering to read them. She also blogs too much when she's not on deadline, both here and at Pacific Views.

Magpie roosts in Portland, Oregon, where she annoys her housemates (as well as her cats Medea, Whiskers, and Jane Doe) by attempting to play Irish music on the fiddle and concertina.

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Thursday, October 28, 2004

Depressed and disillusioned.

On a flight back from Europe, Steve Clemons of the Washington Note sat next to a US soldier, a member of the 82nd Airborne Division. This soldier came from a military family, and served in Afghanistan, and Iraq — and he'll soon be going back to Iraq. The soldier had a lot of very interesting things to say:

According to him, 75% of all soldiers want Bush defeated in the election and don't care who defeats him; anger and resentment are high. He says that 90% of the officers remain far out of harm's way. From lietenants all the way up, there is general understanding that the officers are hiding in holes, or holding back in well-defended buildings and quite cavalier about sending troops out for assignments and errands that are frequently stupid, poorly planned, and dangerous....

He said that in contrast to Vietnam where U.S. soldiers were killing other U.S. soldiers and officers whom they didn't like -- that is not happening in Afghanistan or Iraq. But he said people are getting depressed and disillusioned. They don't know what their objectives are -- and they see lots of dead children, dead innocent men and women, grieving families, whose early appreciation for Americans has given away to profound hate and resentment.

He said that if he were one of the Iraqi citizens experiencing what an occupying force was doing, he'd be fighting too. He said that the only way to win is to get out of there -- let the Iraqis resolve the issues they need to resolve internally. Give them money, give them resources, give them advice if asked -- but get the U.S. troops out.


The soldier had a lot more to say, which you'll find here. Make sure to read the comments.

Like Clemons says, there is no way to tell whether what this soldier told him is representative of US troops on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan — or, as at least one commenter thinks, whether his story is credible at all — but his account certainly makes one wonder how much that 'conventional wisdom' saying that the troops support Dubya has to do with reality.

Via Political Animal.

| | Posted by Magpie at 1:21 PM | Get permalink




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