Friday, July 13, 2007

War is hell

The stories collected in 'The Other War: Iraq Vets Bear Witness' at The Nation are certainly harrowing. They make for very hard reading.

But anyone who is surprised by them is being naive. This, after all, is what war is like:

"I'll tell you the point where I really turned," said Spc. Michael Harmon, 24, a medic from Brooklyn. He served a thirteen-month tour beginning in April 2003 with the 167th Armor Regiment, Fourth Infantry Division, in Al-Rashidiya, a small town near Baghdad. "I go out to the scene and [there was] this little, you know, pudgy little 2-year-old child with the cute little pudgy legs, and I look and she has a bullet through her leg.... An IED [improvised explosive device] went off, the gun-happy soldiers just started shooting anywhere and the baby got hit. And this baby looked at me, wasn't crying, wasn't anything, it just looked at me like--I know she couldn't speak. It might sound crazy, but she was like asking me why. You know, Why do I have a bullet in my leg?... I was just like, This is--this is it. This is ridiculous."
Yes it is.

And four years in, it's still not exactly clear what this was all about.

Were there a clear and unequivocal answer to that question, the horror might be easier to bear.

But, it seems, such an answer is not all that easy to find.

So it goes...

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