February 5, 2007

Winning Hearts & Minds

The following is a video and post over at Crooks & Liars that I thought was very interesting:

Keith Olbermann featured this video on his Friday broadcast and it has haunted me since.

There is so much about this that bothers me. First, the very reality that the reason the Humvee driver is driving this way is because they are afraid of an attack if they slow down. Listen at the end of the video to the disdain one troop member expresses towards a pedestrian: "...as if he hasn't got a care in the world." Because these guys are aware that every day–every assignment–could be their last. Can you imagine what the constant state of stress like that has done to our troops, especially after two, three, four tours? And now with Bush's escalation, the likelihood that their tours will be extended again. PTSD doesn't begin to cover it. And yet, the Bush Administration has made it harder to get a diagnosis of PTSD and reduced vet benefits on top of that.

And then my thoughts go to the Iraqis. Can you imagine having your country occupied by another nation and be subjected to this kind of bullying behavior every day? Watch as the Humvee runs into car after car to force them to pull to the side and narrowly misses pedestrians. Is this the liberation we promised them? Are our actions in Iraq winning their hearts and minds to the benefits of a democracy?

As Adam said in the email with the link to this clip, "Is there a clearer indication that our presence in Iraq is hurting us?"

No comments: