Sunday, June 18, 2006
Iraq is not better the second time around
The Boston Globe has a long piece about the return of the 101st Airborne to Iraq. It provides a look at how the troops survive another round of Our Dear Embattled Leader's Glorious Little War.
Captain John McLaughlin's company of combat veterans has returned to Iraq. They have brought far fewer illusions this time around, exchanging unalloyed enthusiasm for Operation Iraqi Freedom in the spring of 2003 for a mix of professionalism, resignation, and cynicism.This is worth the read to give you a look at what they have to deal with as best they can doing what they never should have been asked to do.
The enlisted men from the 101st Airborne Division now know much more about the country, confidently factoring in competing ethnic agendas as they navigate the claims of Kurds, Arab Sunnis and Shi'ites, and Turkomen.
Most dismiss the American debate over the merits of the war as irrelevant, many of them saying they fight out of loyalty to the Army even if they think its mission in Iraq is unrealistic. Most profess no love for Iraq and its people.
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