Libertarian Jackass

"Life is short, but truth works far and lives long; let us speak truth." -- Schopenhauer

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Questions From A Soldier In Iraq

I found this article (via detailing a letter sent by Garth Talbott, a corporal and paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Infantry Division stationed in Iraq. Talbott makes several interesting points worth repeating below:

1) "Never mind that President Bush, the commander in chief, the zenith of my chain of command, the 'lord high commander' at the very pinnacle of the military rank structure, promised that no combat troops would be deployed more than six months. I guess he wasn't including the 3rd Infantry or the 82nd Airborne."
2) If Iraq was funding terrorists, he wonders, "Why didn't we do Saudi Arabia and Syria, too? And if that was valid enough reason, then why did the focus so suddenly shift to weapons of mass destruction?"
3) Why, if WMD were the focus, he asks, did the United States secure the oil fields but not the nuclear-research facilities?
4) Why did the focus then shift a third time to freeing the people of Iraq? "Doesn't it seem strange to anyone that we haven't had one constant reason for starting a war?"
5) Talbott goes on to say that he did help destroy "caches of mortar rounds, Iraqi mortar rounds. Funny thing, though, was that there were plenty of American-made ones in there. They were just like the ones my friends were shooting at Iraqis back in April. 'U.S.' stenciled on the cardboard packing tube."
6) "There is a guy in my company who lost his leg up to the knee, his eyesight, and some of his face doing his commander in chief's bidding. Now the very man who sent this kid--he couldn't even legally drink--to be mutilated and disabled for the rest of his life wants to scale back his entitlements to compensation."
7) What really bothers him, he says, was a photo he saw in The Stars and Stripes of a sign at a gas station in the States showing gasoline selling for $2.07 a gallon. "Didn't we secure the oil fields? Aren't we a capitalist country anymore? Can't we sidestep OPEC now? Can't we at least, somewhere in the midst of deception, half-truths and outright lies, catch an honest break? "If we're going to fight for a cause that isn't known, get fired on by our own weapons, and get screwed out of our benefits, then at least for God's sake give us something concrete to say we fought for--even if it's as trivial as being able to fill our gas tanks for 98 cents a gallon."
8) And in conclusion: "If it's not evident, a lot of the folks over here are starting to get pretty damn bitter, and with good reason."

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