Friday, January 28, 2005

Required reading: War Stories

In all the heat light and noise generated in the arguments over the Bush adminstration's diastrous war Policies and justifications for going to war ( or lack thereof) its easy to forget that the war involves not just political symbols but real people, fighting, living and dying on both sides of the conflict

Here's a collection of excellent reporting done from the front lines of the war that goes way beyond the daily body count stories and gives you a worms-eye view of what's really going one. Taken together they tell a tragic story of the war's true cost:

First from the soliders mouth directly: This an extradorinary piece of writing from a solider who was paralyzed during a routine operation in Afghanistan. HisEvocative writing style will make you feel you were right next to him. Spare a parayer for his recovery as well.


Today's Washington Post gives you a worms eye view of what its like to be US infrantryman on the ground in Iraq.
The story is of a young officer, beloved by his troops, who is sincerely trying to do right by the Iraqi people, who isfelled by a sniper's bullet after a long day slogging through the rain, trying to convince Iraqi's to come out and vote. The story is sad in itself , but its downright tragic when you consider this is one death of 1300, probably each one as brave and dedicated and good hearted.

Next, Dexter Filkin's of NY Times may rank as this war's Ernest Hemmingway. .
His With the Marines series taken together are an incredible portrait of a harrowing fight for with a dedicated and resourceful enemy, and its psychic costs on our soldiers:

Urban Warfare Deals Harsh Challenge to Troops

In Taking Falluja Mosque, Victory by the Inch

Black Flags Are Deadly Signals as Cornered Rebels Fight Back

Marines' enemy both craftier, deadlier

In Falluja, Young Marines Saw the Savagery of an Urban War

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