Feature

Iraq

How common are atrocities?

In Tikrit, a frightened teenage soldier fires 200 rounds into a speeding car, wiping out a family of four. In Baghdad and Baquba, soldiers venturing out of their compounds fire recklessly at any Iraqi they see, sometimes riddling children with bullets. In Ramadi, laughing soldiers desecrate the corpse of an Iraqi man in full view of his horrified brothers and cousins. These are just a few of the incidents that 50 combat veterans described to us in on-the-record interviews, said Chris Hedges and Laila Al-Arian in The Nation. The war they describe 'œis a dark and even depraved enterprise,' in which U.S. soldiers fighting in densely populated urban areas have come to see all Iraqis as threats, and no Iraqi as truly human. 'œThe general attitude was, a dead Iraqi is just another dead Iraqi,' explained Spc. Jeff Englehart.

Well, at least the left isn't even pretending to support the troops anymore, said William Kristol in The Weekly Standard. The Nation's anecdotal stories'”unsupported by any hard evidence'”show only that war is 'œunpleasant,' which should come as no surprise. But the anti-war left 'œloves nothing more than accounts of American war crimes,' and so it gleefully paints all 160,000 brave American soldiers as brutal killers. Last week, another progressive magazine, The New Republic, published a story about depraved American troops desecrating corpses and running over puppy dogs. But bloggers vigorously challenged details in that story, and it's beginning to look like a fraud. So now it's clear where liberals and conservatives each stand on the warriors of the 9/11 generation: 'œThe left slanders them. We support them. More than that, we admire them.'

Glenn Greenwald

Salon.com

Ezra Klein

Americanprospect.org

The Nation

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