Sunday, August 19, 2007

Maybe He Should Have Titled It, "America Wins, Soldiers Lose"

One of the contributors to the newborn, tag-teamed hyperlocal effort, "Music City Bloggers," trotted out the raggedy refrain (a variation of the slander that war opponents are traitors worse than enemies) that Democrats are invested in America losing the Iraq War and that they are erroneous given trial balloons sent up that troops may return home sooner than expected.

On the contrary, some actual troops wrote an op-ed piece in this morning's NY Times, and they question whether news is truly as good as some who link might wishfully think:
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. What soldiers call the “battle space” remains the same, with changes only at the margins. It is crowded with actors who do not fit neatly into boxes: Sunni extremists, Al Qaeda terrorists, Shiite militiamen, criminals and armed tribes. This situation is made more complex by the questionable loyalties and Janus-faced role of the Iraqi police and Iraqi Army, which have been trained and armed at United States taxpayers’ expense.
Perhaps the MCB contributor should update and maintain that soldiers are also on the losing side.

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