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The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Truth About The Iraq Conflict

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Two years after the beginning of the invasion of Iraq things are looking up for the country. Elections have been held, Iraqi Citizens have fought back against terrorists and the Iraqi troops are being trained to a point where coalition forces can be reduced. But what really went right and wrong and what could we do better for our troops in the future? Well Operation Truth, a group that includes a lot of troops from all branches, has put together a 2 year After Action Report (PDF) which includes a lot of messages from our troops on what they have witnessed and what they see is needed.

While I think we can all agree that the invasion of Iraq was a stunning military victory -- some would argue that "the occupation" or the aftermath of the invasion was fault ridden -- we have to admit that there are always things that need improvement. So here is a snippet of those comments from the document.

From the good:

“SSGJIM” a Soldier from PA, submitted 2-18-05:
“After serving 2 tours in Iraq I can honestly say that I was extremely impressed and immensely proud of some of the junior enlisted soldiers… Thank God some outstanding and motivated Junior NCO's and enlisted grabbed the ring and made things happen.”

“heatherb” a Soldier from OK, submitted 9-6-04:
“You cannot tell me that we are not doing the right thing when you watch little kids run, literally run from their one room mud hut a mile away from the road come running as your convoy is passing just to wave, not to beg for food or water, just to wave. Or to be a woman and invited to sit amoung the Iraqi men and share their Chai with them and listen as they share their stories of the days when their country was oppressed. To have shared such time with the people of tha t country and to have learned about their culture and that they are such a powerful proud people. And to know that I was apart of liberating that, makes me proud to have gone over there to give those kids that run up to us all those times the chance to never have tell the stories that the men sharing tea told, but listen to them as I did. We are doing the right thing regardless of the disillusion of our politicians. Be proud of what you've done. I am.”

The bad:

“zellbe t” a Soldier from FL, submitted 9-2-04:
“One of the most bad things about comming home is the lack of support or follow up on soliders comming back from war. I have yet had a single person call me and ask me questions about my feelings now, or if I need help. As everyone knows some soliders are not so quite open about there expersinces, so they never ask for help.”

and the ugly.

“speakerhed” a Sailor from WA, submitted 10-22-04:
“I don't know if you can ever relly prepare yourself for war. Before the war began I had written a letter to my wife saying that no matter what I would not let the war change me, I wouldn't let the military make me into somebody I'm not, but I had no idea what I was talking about. After 7 months I returned home and my life has been miserable since. For me trying to cope with America and our way of life, arrogance and hipocracy, overindulgence and fear, it's hard for me to want to live my life when I feal deep dispair 24/7. I've lost my confidence and everyday I wish I was back. Except nearly every night I am back, I see faces of the dead and they haunt me… My life has changed, after hospitalization for suicidal ideations, guilt of watching my old unit go back to Iraq (Ramadi) and hear reports of casualties of "brothers" I pray everyday for there safe return.”

Tipped by: reader David Eccles.

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Posted by Digger on March 25, 2005 10:38 AM (Permalink)

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"looking up for the country"

I'd hate to see things get worse for the people over there, civilians and soldiers -- and considering how things were in the near past, it's hard to see how they could've.

"a stunning military victory"

Was there ever any doubt about this? Wasn't Iraq basically militarily impotent? After more than a decade of sanctions pretty much designed to make sure they couldn't rebuild their military, not to mention fairly regular bombings during enforcement of the "no fly" zone, it would have been very surprising if Iraq was able to put up much of a fight.

"little kids"

So we're supposed to judge the wrong or right of the invasion and wholesale destruction of another country by whether or not children wave at passing trucks? This is pretty silly, isn't? How about the tens of thousands of Iraqis killed? (And what was the reason again they had to die?) Were any of these waving children orphaned by the war, and are they old enough to really understand the circumstances?

"what could we do better for our troops"

How about not sending them halfway across the world to attack and occupy a country that was not, as has been shown, posing a threat to the US?

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