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Monday, 26 February 2007
Iraq Mission Questioned

60 Minutes ran a program last night on active duty soldiers who are questioning their role in Iraq:

.."What are we trying to accomplish over there? I mean, what is what are we trying to do in Iraq?" another soldier, Sgt. Ronn Cantu asks.

What does he think?

"I don't even know anymore," he tells Logan.

"Well, what would you say to the people that say, 'Alright, it's clear that the war in Iraq is incredibly difficult and life is really tough both for Americans and for Iraqis, but pulling out's not the answer. It's only gonna get worse. There's gonna be all-out civil war,'" Logan asks.

"How does that become the default? Either someday, we have to leave. We can't stay in Iraq for the next thousand years," one soldier remarks. ..

..The idea for this protest by active duty and reserve service members came from two enlisted men who served in the war: Marine Sgt. Liam Madden, who got to Iraq during the battle of Falluja, and his military commitment is up this winter, and Naval Petty Officer Jonathan Hutto, who serves on the USS Theodore Roosevelt, which was deployed in the Gulf during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

"I'm not anti-war. I'm not a pacifist. I'm not opposed to protecting our country and defending our principles. But at the same time, as citizens it's our obligation to have a questioning attitude, you know, about policy," Hutto says,

"Just because we volunteered for the military, doesn't mean we volunteered to put our lives in unnecessary harm, and to carry out missions that are illogical and immoral," Madden adds.

Their petition "Appeal for Redress" is here

Posted on 02/26/2007 9:34 AM by Rebecca Bynum
26 Feb 2007
Hugh Fitzgerald
Already, I see, the usual blind loyalists are attempting to present these soldiers as part of some left-wing plot, and therefore we are asked to ignore their dignified, sober, intelligent and unanswerable presentation of the objections they, and many other soldiers have, soldiers and Marines who have served in Iraq but have questioned at long last the "we're-here-to-help-the-Iraqis" mission, and the real views of those "Iraqis" they came to help (one soldier talked of his fellow soldiers who were blown up as they were bringing crayons and notebooks and other school supplies,and he wondered why they were there doing this, for people some of whom were actively trying to kill them, others of whom supported the killing, others of whom did nothing to warn them, and none, apparently, expressing ever any sadness at any American casualties, but rather, either pleasure or at best, indifference). They realized that the "Iraqi people" are a Washington figment, that various sects and groups were trying to kill each other as well as Americans, and that this would happen no matter when the Americans left. What those soldiers did not say, and perhaps did not realize, is that the entire conflict has been based on a failure to understand Islam and to identify Islam, or at least the Jihad (metonymically, Islam) waged by Muslims all over the world against non-Muslims all over the world, sometimes by terrorism, sometimes by combat (qitaal), but most often in other ways, through the use of the money weapon, through propaganda, through Da'wa, through demographic conquest. And they did not speak of how the very fissures within Iraq could be useful in weakening the Camp of Islam if only the Americans would leave, would get out of the way. No, that those soldiers did not say. But they said quite enough.

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