But we may well come to see them as heroes when the truth of the Iraqi Occupation finally comes out:
We was going along the Euphrates river,” says Joshua Key, detailing a recurring nightmare that features a scene he stumbled into shortly after the US invasion of Iraq in March 2003. “It’s a road right in the city of Ramadi. We turned a sharp right and all I seen was decapitated bodies. The heads laying over here and the bodies over there and US troops in between them. I’m thinking, ‘Oh my God, what in the hell happened here? What’s caused this? Why in the hell did this happen?’ We get out and somebody was screaming, ‘We f***ing lost it here!’ I’m thinking, ‘Oh yes, somebody definitely lost it here.’” Key says he was ordered to look for evidence of a firefight, for something to explain what had happened to the beheaded Iraqis. “I look around just for a few seconds and I don’t see anything.”
Then he witnessed the sight that still triggers the nightmares. “I see two soldiers kicking the heads around like soccer balls. I just shut my mouth, walked back, got inside the tank, shut the door, and thought, ‘I can’t be no part of this. This is crazy. I came here to fight and be prepared for war, but this is outrageous.’”
He’s convinced that there was no firefight.
“A lot of my friends stayed on the ground, looking to see if there was any shells. There was never no shells.”
I don’t know if these stories are true. I haven’t talked to them men myself. But I do know that the neocon chickenhawk commentariat had better think twice before publicly labeling these deserters as traitors and cowards, especially the individuals who fought in Iraq. They are no more cowards than the IDF troops who are currently in hot water for refusing stupid orders that would have gotten them all killed in Lebanon last month.
Modern military tactics and weapons systems put a premium on soldiers with the ability to think. But this also puts serious responsibility on those who command them to avoid giving them obviously nonsensical missions and orders.