Uh Huh


Kudos to the AP for actually talking to soldiers in Iraq to get a rough gauge of their opinions on escalating the war. We were recently treated to multiple news reports about Gates meeting with troops who supported escalation without any exploration of whether that opinion was in any way representative or if instead they had been hand-picked for their views for propaganda purposes. It seems more likely it was the latter, so great job all who reported unskeptically!
And here it is:

Many of the American soldiers trying to quell sectarian killings in Baghdad don't appear to be looking for reinforcements. They say a surge in troop levels some people are calling for is a bad idea.

…In dozens of interviews with soldiers of the Army's 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment as they patrolled the streets of eastern Baghdad, many said the Iraqi capital is embroiled in civil warfare between majority Shiite Muslims and Sunni Arabs that no number of American troops can stop.

Others insisted current troop levels are sufficient and said any increase in U.S. presence should focus on training Iraqi forces, not combat.

But their more troubling worry was that dispatching a new wave of soldiers would result in more U.S. casualties, and some questioned whether an increasingly muddled American mission in Baghdad is worth putting more lives on the line.

Spc. Don Roberts, who was stationed in Baghdad in 2004, said the situation had gotten worse because of increasing violence between Shiites and Sunnis.

"I don't know what could help at this point," said Roberts, 22, of Paonia, Colo. "What would more guys do? We can't pick sides. It's almost like we have to watch them kill each other, then ask questions."
There's much more at the link.

Call me crazy, but I've always been under the impression that, much like any other large group of people, "the military" is not monolithic, and there's probably a wide spectrum of views. Thusly, I'm suspicious of anyone who purports to speak "for the troops" with a single opinion, but I guess that's a radical notion for the "real journalists" who breathlessly reported the administration's propaganda, as per usual.

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