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Monday, August 20, 2007

an oped from the nyt yesterday

update: september 12, 2007: sgt omar mora and sgt yance gray have been killed

(i didn't read the papers yesterday. as a matter of fact, i didn't do much of anything yesterday)

one of these brave men with honest voices was shot in the head. he is expected to survive. what will happen to them for writing the truth? will the america people FINALLY hear it?

Seven Active U.S. Soldiers Write Iraq Op-Ed for 'NYT'

By Greg Mitchell

NEW YORK An op-ed raising troubling questions about the U.S. effort in Iraq -- and off-kilter press coverage -- is nothing new. But this one, in The New York Times today, was different, and will possibly be more influential than nearly all that came before. For one thing, consider the authors' blurbs at the end of the article: "Buddhika Jayamaha is an Army specialist. Wesley D. Smith is a sergeant. Jeremy Roebuck is a sergeant. Omar Mora is a sergeant. Edward Sandmeier is a sergeant. Yance T. Gray is a staff sergeant. Jeremy A. Murphy is a staff sergeant."Then there was the parenthetical note about halfway into it: "In short, we operate in a bewildering context of determined enemies and questionable allies, one where the balance of forces on the ground remains entirely unclear. (In the course of writing this article, this fact became all too clear: one of us, Staff Sergeant Murphy, an Army Ranger and reconnaissance team leader, was shot in the head during a “time-sensitive target acquisition mission” on Aug. 12; he is expected to survive and is being flown to a military hospital in the United States.)"The soldiers, with the 82nd Airborne Division, conclude: "In the end, we need to recognize that our presence may have released Iraqis from the grip of a tyrant, but that it has also robbed them of their self-respect. They will soon realize that the best way to regain dignity is to call us what we are — an army of occupation — and force our withdrawal." .......

and the oped piece itself:

The War as We Saw It

VIEWED from Iraq at the tail end of a 15-month deployment, the political debate in Washington is indeed surreal. Counterinsurgency is, by definition, a competition between insurgents and counterinsurgents for the control and support of a population. To believe that Americans, with an occupying force that long ago outlived its reluctant welcome, can win over a recalcitrant local population and win this counterinsurgency is far-fetched. As responsible infantrymen and noncommissioned officers with the 82nd Airborne Division soon heading back home, we are skeptical of recent press coverage portraying the conflict as increasingly manageable and feel it has neglected the mounting civil, political and social unrest we see every day. (Obviously, these are our personal views and should not be seen as official within our chain of command.)
The claim that we are increasingly in control of the battlefields in Iraq is an assessment arrived at through a flawed, American-centered framework. Yes, we are militarily superior, but our successes are offset by failures elsewhere. ...............


Anonymous said...

One of the most powerful op-eds written about this war. Thanks.

Unknown said...

yes it IS. it's amazing. unfortunately it's true. but i'm sitting on my couch and THEY ARE NOT