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Truth a Casualty of Iraq War, Opines Prof. Ken Bode in Indianapolis Star

August 24, 2007

ken bode crop.jpgAugust 24, 2007, Greencastle, Ind. - "When the histories of this Iraq war are written, the idea that the generals can do no wrong will be relegated to the trash bin," writes Ken Bode in today's Indianapolis Star. "George W. Bush subcontracted this war to the Pentagon, and the military leadership has made tragic mistakes from day one. Insufficient forces, below-standard equipment, failure to secure piles of Saddam's abandoned weapons, Abu Ghraib, just to name a few."

Amid the setbacks, Bode, Eugene S. Pulliam Distinguished Visiting Professor of Journalism at DePauw University, opines that truth has become a casualty of the Iraq war. He relates several examples, including, "A week ago, Gen. Ray Odierno briefed reporters at the Pentagon, and I watched on C-SPAN. Reporting on the success of the surge, Odierno said this: 'We no longer see the cycle of sectarian revenge that plagued Iraq last year.' army helmet.jpgWhile watching, I was holding the newspaper report about the worst attack of the entire Iraqi civil conflict, the series of truck bombings that left 500 dead and 1,500 wounded. Already this month, two Iraqi provincial governors have been killed by roadside bombs. Government officials in Iraq must ride to work in armored convoys. Does Gen. Odierno think we don't read newspapers?"

In a column headlined "Americans can handle the truth," Dr. Bode adds, "In today's military, you don't get truth from the top, but you sometimes can get it from the bottom. Last Sunday, seven active-duty soldiers wrote an op-ed in the New York Times. Some of the things they said: Our occupying force has long outlived its welcome and the idea that we can win this counterinsurgency is far-fetched. The claim that we increasingly control the battlefields of Iraq is flawed. The leaders of the Iraqi army and police we have trained are of questionable loyalty and the thousands of obstinate men under them are loyal only to their militias.

"The soldiers continued: The primary preoccupation of average Iraqis today is when and how they are likely to be killed. The vast majority of Iraqis feel increasingly insecure and view us as an occupation force that has failed to produce normalcy after four years and is increasingly unlikely to do so as we continue to arm each warring side. Iraqis need to call us what we are -- an army of occupation -- and force our withdrawal."

Read the op-ed in its entirety at College News.org.

Source: Indianapolis Star

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