On Memorial Day: U.S. Soldiers Wonder Why They Are in Iraq

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By: E&P Staff

On Memorial Day, The New York Times today offers a front-page article with elite U.S. troops — using their actual names — expressing grave doubts about or opposition to their continuing involvement in the sectarian cauldron of Iraq. Many resent the lack of effort by Iraqi troops, some of whom actually aid the enemy.

But a brief essay at Nieman Watchdog provides an even more powerful personal statement, because it comes from one person, an Army private (you can even see his picture and send him an e-mail).

The author is Donald Hudson Jr., an Army private for three years, deployed to Baghdad for the past four and a half months.

Part of the essay follows. Other material, including comments, can be found here

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I came here as part of the first wave of this so called “troop surge”, but so far it has effectively done nothing to quell insurgent violence. I have seen the rise in violence between the Sunni and Shiite. This country is in the middle of a civil war that has been on going since the seventh century.

Why are we here when this country still to date does not want us here? Why does our president?s personal agenda consume him so much, that he can not pay attention to what is really going on here?

[After describing the death of a friend]: Now I am still here in this country wondering why, and having to pick up the pieces of what is left of my friend in our room. I would just like to know what is the true reason we are here? This country poses no threat to our own. So why must we waste the lives of good men on a country that does not give a damn about itself? Most of my friends here share my views, but do not have the courage to say anything.

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