Last night I watched a '60 Minutes' special report called 'Fathers, Sons, and Brothers' which followed an Iowa National Guard unit through their entire Iraq experience, including extended deployment and the death of several members who served.
Today I read this story (excerpted below) from the New York Times.
I keep trying to understand and rationalize the reasons for staying in Iraq, and wanting to listen to the arguments objectively. But since the credibility of our national leaders is so shot for me on this topic I can't see my way clear to trusting them. And it's getting harder every day to discern any effective path out except complete disengagement.
Pray that we elect an effective 44th US President in 18 months. That person is going to have one hell of a mess to clean up.
from Michael Kamber, New York Times 5/28/07
BAGHDAD — Staff Sgt. David Safstrom does not regret his previous tours in Iraq, not even a difficult second stint when two comrades were killed while trying to capture insurgents.
“In Mosul, in 2003, it felt like we were making the city a better place,” he said. “There was no sectarian violence, Saddam was gone, we were tracking down the bad guys. It felt awesome.”
But now on his third deployment in Iraq, he is no longer a believer in the mission. The pivotal moment came, he says, this February when soldiers killed a man setting a roadside bomb. When they searched the bomber’s body, they found identification showing him to be a sergeant in the Iraqi Army.
“I thought: ‘What are we doing here? Why are we still here?’ ” said Sergeant Safstrom, a member of Delta Company of the First Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry, 82nd Airborne Division. “We’re helping guys that are trying to kill us. We help them in the day. They turn around at night and try to kill us.”