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Hey, I just posted an incredible piece by Nir Rosen. He's an American reporter who has lived for the last three years in Iraq and who can pass as Middle Eastern, and he describes what it's like to live under the boot of a culturally callous -- and sometimes criminal -- occupying force in Iraq.  

"The occupation has been one vast extended crime against the Iraqi people, and most of it has occurred unnoticed by the American people and the media."

BONUS: "Ugly Americans in Iraq"

In a major companion piece to the above article, Rosen also put together an oral history of a U.S Army Special Forces soldier who describes how he and his unit created more insurgents than they killed in Iraq.

"We probably created two times more insurgents than we caught..."

Originally posted to Blair Golson on Wed Jun 28, 2006 at 02:33 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The Concept Of Winning Hearts And Minds, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    va dare

    like the Geneva Convention, is considered to be quaint by this administration. We went from Shock And Awe To Thuggery and Awe. What kind of world is this where people do not have respect for brutal intimidation?

    Good Government. Traffic Lights Aren't All That Weird. Vote Democratic!

    by HL Mungo on Wed Jun 28, 2006 at 02:36:25 AM PDT

  •  First step to win hearts and minds: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HL Mungo, Crashing Vor, va dare

    Stop filling both with bullets

  •  He Writes for the NYT Magazine (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    simaramis, ybruti

    But I haven't seen anything from him recently.  This article is much more condemning of the military than what the Times has allowed him to punish - maybe he feels he can no longer write "balanced" articles for the MSM.

    From what he describes, the U.S. military is helplessly incompetent at conducting counter-insurgency campaigns.  Is there anyone at all in the Pentagon who understands this?  I remember one instructor at the War College has penned an analysis of the military as a prejudiced institution that dehumanizes the enemy, be they gooks, hajis, or homos - but it is not clear the Pentagon paid any attention to the paper.  As Nir Rosen points out, even girl scouts would have trouble occupying Iraq, so what chance does the U.S. military have with its built-in good guy/bad guy world view.

    The operating assumption about the Iraq invasion is that all the troubles we now see are the result of Rumsfeld not putting enough troops into the campaign.  I wonder.  Given the U.S. insensitivity to any other culture, and the military's complete lack of cultural and language ability in Iraq, wouldn't the occupation have engendered an insurgency anyway?  And wouldn't this be the case whether or not Bremer had disbanded the Iraq military?

  •  On the *Bright Side*... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    va dare

    according to the diary, Hello from the sandbox, our soldiers, "the people's diplomats" have a keen sensitivity to Iraqi attitudes towards Americans.

    If we bust in someone's door and it turns out they had nothing to hide, then we pay to have the door replaced.

    There, All better. Now go back to sleep and try not to have any more nightmares..

  •  Excellent diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    va dare

    In the companion piece, Rosen says this quote sums up the motivation of many:  "I enlisted to kill towelheads."  A soldier explained to Rosen: “The reason most of them signed up for service (me included) was to get some action, destroy Al Qaeda and come home with a body count to brag about at a local bar."  

    Here's Rosen's searing conclusion to the article linked by the diary:

    Imagine. The American occupation of Iraq has lasted over three years. The above stories are based on my two weeks with one unit in a small part of the country. Imagine how many Iraqi homes have been destroyed. How many families have been traumatized. How many men have disappeared into American military vehicles in the night. How many crimes have been committed against the Iraqi people every single day in the course of the normal operations of the occupation, when soldiers were merely doing their duty, when they were not angry or vengeful as in Haditha. Imagine what we have done to the Iraqi people, tortured by Saddam for years, then released from three decades of his bloody rule only to find their hope stolen from them and a new terror unleashed.

    Excellent diary.  Thanks for publicizing Rosen's work.

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