Friday, March 18, 2005

Let Them Speak, Too.

In his latest editorial, Mark Hyman lets Lieutenant Colonel Philip Logan speak about the war in Iraq “in his own words.” Here are three other soldiers (all a bit lower in the chain of command than Colonel Logan) talking about the same war in their own words. They are excerpted from first-person testimonies collected at Operation Truth.

Former Marine Rob Sarra

“We were told in the outset that Iraq was an imminent threat to the United
States. Some marines felt that this war was payback for September 11th. Some
marines felt that we were defending our way of life. This wasn't true. How is it
that if Iraq was such a threat, their own troops couldn't stop us from reaching
their capital in three weeks? We never found any WMD's or signs of battlefield
chemical weapons. We did however, find hundreds of caches of discarded weapons
and an army throwing away their uniforms for civilian clothes so they could
escape certain death and return to their homes and families. We found that once
we got to Baghdad, we had no exit strategy. Some of us wondered how we were
going to get back out of Iraq when we had bypassed towns teeming with guerrilla
fighters. Did they expect us to fight our way out?”

Sergeant Kendall D. Connell

“Unfortunately, America was fooled into believing through construed reports that
Iraq wanted to attack us. In all honesty, there are at least 30 other countries
with the capabilities and more intention than Iraq ever had on being able to
harm us. Even after this failure has been made public, soldiers continue to
fight when called on by the President. But how much longer can we be expected to
fight against our own created enemy? It's time for America to make a change by
not continuing to be stubborn and ignoring the real facts. I am not attempting
to sway the opinion of anyone through this letter. It would appear through
discussions that Bush supporters are firmly sticking to their vote regardless of
evidence. Maybe like me, the only way to accept reality is if you have actually
been a part of it. If you've been forced into spending 14 months in desert
sandstorms, living in tents with temperatures reaching 140 degrees daily, few
showers, little food, constant fighting, and seeing best friends die on a weekly
basis for no reason, then maybe you might be willing to ask yourself who should
be in charge of deciding your fate. Ask yourselves just once, as I had to
everyday, "Why are we fighting the Iraqis when they never hurt us"? However, I
would hope you might consider having a more open mind when deciding the lives of
the thousands of soldiers whose only request is to be sent to fight only when
it's absolutely necessary for the security of America.”

Captain David Chasteen [exerpt from an email to his wife]

“When this thing first started, I felt so disgusted with my country that I came
dangerously close to falling out of love with America for good. I never thought
I would be asked to fight an unjust war. I mean Jesus, we've talked about this.
Vietnam was more justified than this war, and I don't think there are many
people out there who thought that we would ever have another Vietnam, but here
we are. This country is not John Ashcroft. It's not W. These guys are flashes in
the pan. Our country will be remembered for the Washingtons, the Jeffersons, the
Adamses, the Lincolns, the Trumans; men who took the hard right over the easy
wrong, not every single time, but the times that it mattered most. Men who
didn't necessarily do what was popular, but did what needed to be done and stuck
to their guns when they knew they were right. This country isn't this war. It's
the constitution that inspires other countries around the world to think that
maybe it's possible to have a government that is subject to the rule of law and
to the people.”

And those are The Counterpoints.


At 12:25 AM, Blogger Kendall said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 11:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would also like the information containing my name removed from your blog. This is a personal matter as well, and the information posted is no longer valid. Thanks,

Rob S.


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