[Those who sloganize our activities in Iraq as a ‘war on terror’ miss the critical point that we are putting our military men and women in terrible positions — likely targets of anonymous ‘enemies’ who are for the most part Iraqis who are resisting our occupation.

One cannot begin to imagine the ambivalence that our troops must be feeling when they are told both that they are bringing democracy to the Iraqis and that they are fighting enemies there.  The few incidents that have been reported and punished per the below from today’s Monitor presumably represent only the tip of a grim iceberg of deaths of innocent people over there — both our troops and Iraqis caught in the cross-fire.

Unless we face up to this dilemma and get ourselves out of there such brutalities as those reported here can only escalate.  We are experiencing a dangerous heat wave today in much of the U.S.  Our military are trying to live with a worse one daily in Iraq.  No wonder the lashing out at threatening figures on their horizons!  The temperature in Iraq today is 108 degrees — relatively cool.  It was 118 the other day.  Imagine wearing heavy equipment and being constantly on the alert for a killing bomb or bullet.  No better description of hell comes to mind.

Five of ours have been killed today — so far.  Ed Kent]


Is military justice in Iraq changing for the better?
High-profile cases reveal both new emphasis on laws of war and the shortfalls of military justice. By Brad Knickerbocker

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent  212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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