Deploying. Again.

Iraqi FreedomWe’ve been at war in Iraq and Afghanistan for longer than we fought in WWII, without a draft or any national call to serve. While the political fight over withdrawal continues in Washington, the reality for now is that President Bush’s 21,000-troop surge is underway — and it’s clear that the military is too small to sustain its current troop levels easily in a protracted ground war.

The result is that many servicemen and women are now in their third or fourth (or even sixth) tours of duty. And for some those tours are getting longer: last month, the Army extended them from 12 to 15 months.

The military is also boosting its numbers through the “backdoor draft.” This became an issue barely a year after the start of the Iraq war when the Army announced sweeping use of stop-loss policies. (Stop-loss forces troops to finish tours with their units even if their individual service commitments would otherwise end mid-way through.) Another part of the “backdoor draft” involves recalls from the Individual Ready Reserve — soldiers and Marines who are no longer on active duty. The Army has been using its IRR for several years; and the Marine Corps recently announced its biggest call back to active duty since the early days of the Iraq war.

With the weight of the war falling on soldiers and Marines (and their families) who have to cope with multiple and extended deployments, we want to ask some of them who are about to start their third or fourth tours: How different is it this time around? Does your sense of mission change as the war in Iraq grinds on? Or if you’ve seen many casualties in previous tours? Or if you just feel you’ve done enough for your country already? What stops you from creating family or medical excuses to avoid a recall? How do you leave family behind again and what kinds of conversations do you have to have?

Update, 5/30 8:00 pm

Sometimes the production process takes you in directions you don’t anticipate. We thought we’d focus primarily on different attitudes towards repeated deployments. But the pre-interviews led us to recast the show a little bit. We found three Marine Corps officers just finishing or slated to start Harvard Business School. It turns out that the military’s well represented in the ranks of HBS and other b-schools, and we’re curious to know more about that connection. We’ll definitely still talk about what it takes to serve repeatedly in Iraq or Afghanistan. But we also want to ask how the draw of leadership — being led and leading others — affects your willingness to return. And how that experience carries over to civilian life and the business world later on.

Seth Moulton

Captain, USMC Reserve

Deploying on 4th tour in Iraq to work for Gen Petraeus

In previous tours: infantry platoon commander; worked for Gen Petraeus training Iraqi Security Forces

Accepted to Harvard Business School and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government

Donovan Campbell

Captain, USMC

Deploying on 3rd tour in Iraq

In previous tours: intelligence analysis officer; and infantry platoon commander

Class of 2007, Harvard Business School

Sarah Stokes

[Sarah unfortunately won’t be able to join us because of a delayed flight.]

Captain, USMC

Deploying to Afghanistan on 3rd tour

In previous tours in Iraq: logistics officer

Class of 2007, Harvard Business School

Extra Credit Reading
Why Military Officers Make Successful MBAs, Military MBA: “Through active practice and experience, military officers live a life of leadership. Officers are known for their values, ethics, and strong leadership skills such as problem solving, decisiveness and succinct communication. They have experience developing teams and working with large groups of diverse people to accomplish organizational goals. These character traits are important factors for success in both graduate school and corporate America.”

Debra M. Schwartz, Military officers courted by Olin School, The Washington University Record, September 10, 2004: “Veterans have always been welcome at the Olin School, said Joe Stephens, assistant director of M.B.A. admissions, who has responsibility for military recruitment. But “there wasn’t a steady stream,” and the school wanted more because they add value to the educational experience.”

Janet I. Farley, Using the Right Lingo, Operation Hero for Hire: Resource Corner:

“In the Military: First Sergeant

In the Civilian World: Personnel Manager

In the Military: Squad Leader

In the Civilian World: Team Leader/Team Chief

In the Military: Supply Sergeant

In the Civilian World: Supply Manager/Logistics Manager”

Lee Iacocca with Catherine Whitney, Where have all the leaders gone?, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 26, 2007: “I’ve never been commander in chief, but I’ve been a CEO. I understand a few things about leadership at the top… We should look at how the current administration stacks up.”

sig, Learning to lead, SigSpace: Form Without Function, May 20, 2007: “I was hoping that a few days at home would give me perspective on the NCO development course I just finished, the so-called Warrior Leadership Course (previously known as Platoon Leader Development Course, before the Army’s penchant for calling everything Warrior-this and Warrior-that). What has actually happened is that I am quickly forgetting things. This may be for the best.”

Ken Lovell, ‘Winning’ in Iraq, Blog, January 11, 2007: “The new measures are a mix of military optimism and Harvard Business School Management By Objectives (MBO), circa 1975. First to the military optimism.”

Robert J. Williams, J. Douglas Barrett, and Mary Brabston, Managers’ business school education and military service: Possible links to corporate criminal activity, Human Relations, 2000: “The study utilized data from 184 Fortune 500 companies. The results suggest that both graduate business education and prior military service among members of a firm’s TMT strengthen the relationship between firm size and corporate criminal activity. Further, the results provide no support for the moderating influence of managers’ graduate business education or prior military experience on the relationships between firm strategy and corporate criminal activity.”

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  • joshua hendrickson

    Madness, madness.

    It is clear to me that Bush intends to keep the war going, escalating, “surging” right up until he leaves office, and that nothing will change his mind on that. This man (I use the term reluctantly; really he seems like an overgrown preteen to me) has never once in his life had to clean up his own messes, and he’s not going to start now. Likely scenario: come January 2009, Bush gives the oval office up to his successor and fades into retirement, entirely unbothered by his own atrocities and free from all accountability or prosecution.

    The only thing that might halt the war now is open rebellion by the troops themselves, but that isn’t going to happen. Too many soldiers are (somehow) convinced of the righteousness of their mission for them to be able to walk out of the disaster en masse.

  • rc21

    Maybe the soldiers are convinced of the righteousness of their mission because they have actually been there and experienced it first hand.

  • 1st/14th

    Too many soldiers are (somehow) convinced of the righteousness of their mission for them to be able to walk out of the disaster en masse.

    After all, someone who sits in an ivory tower 15,000 miles away from where the events take place MUST have a better idea of what’s going on than the individuals actually there!

    Anyhoo…. I think it might be worthwhile to explore the differences in deployment schedules between the services fewer and longer with the Army, shorter and more often with the Marines.

  • rahbuhbuh

    Are the benefits for families or pensions tripling and quadrupling to proportionately compensate for extended service?

  • EnigMachineGun

    My friend just turned me onto this site. I haven’t listened to any broadcasts yet, but this is the entry she showed me. I wanted to say that I’m a military wife, and though we are not headed into our third or fourth deployment (we’re on our second), he’s been in for 9 years and I’ve seen the ravages of this war affect so many who can’t control their own destinies. I wanted to say that I am excited to hear more about this broadcast. I will be listening.

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  • joshua hendrickson

    Do I, in my off-white hovel (not quite ivory, not a tower, but close enough for government work), have a clearer idea of the experience of being in combat in Iraq?


    But do the soldiers have any clearer idea of the purpose for which they are dying than I do, when, so far as I can tell, they are no better informed than I as to what Bush’s real motives were for invading a country that had nothing at all to do with 9/11 and the actual war on terror? Lies from Bush whether heard by my ears or the ears of the troops are still lies.

    Soldiers have their reasons for joining up; many are noble; some are not. Either way, they of all people deserve to know the truth about their situation. But truth never suits a government at war.

    So, 1st/14th, what difference does it make to discuss the shifting of deployment schedules when the reason for deployment at all is illegitimate?

  • rc21

    Making decisions based on incorrect information is quite different than intentionally telling lies. This seems to be something that some people are unable to comprehend.

    I think the soldiers who are in Iraq have a far superior grasp of the situation than those of us who question their cognitive skills, as to the meanining of the mission

  • joshua hendrickson

    You really believe that Bush only made decisions based on incorrect info? The evidence is clear that he had an agenda and that he forced the info to conform to that agenda. That is comprehensible.

    Power brings corruption, and power attracts the corrupt or the corruptible. Governments lie, especially in times of war. “This seems to be something that some people are unable to comprehend.”

    Of course the soldiers in Iraq have a superior grasp of their day-to-day situation. And it is not to question their cognitive skills–which, by the way, can only be judged on an individual basis–to suggest that the “meaning” of their mission is fraudulent. Soldiers do what they’re told–that’s how they’re trained. “Ours not to reason why, ours but to do and die.” That is an accurate and, in my view, wholly tragic depiction of what it means to be a soldier. Does my desire for the troops to abandon blind obedience to a bad cause somehow put me, morally, in the wrong? If so, I’d like to know how.

    Our troops are in danger–period. They are not making life safer for anyone–period. They are not being well utilized–period. They are not being honored by the current administration–period.

    They should come home, not be redeployed in an endless “war on terror.”


  • Katherine

    Hi everyone. We decided to refocus the show a bit. Update in the post above.

  • I’ve had about 4 friends re-deploy to Iraq. One who’s currently there was hell bent on going despite this person’s own political beliefs about the war, that of their friends and family, and significant other. There are other issues about this person that I “won’t tell” that also make their love of the armed services seem ironic. For this person, their entry into the service was a life changing experience, and they feel they are repaying their debt.

    In general, the US armed forces have a lot to be proud of, and despite the political disgrace that surrounds this war, the ones who willingly deploy or redeploy seem to focus on that.

    As far as those continuing to Harvard Business School, a good Army brainwashing can be just the thing to get your ready for a good Harvard Business School brainwashing. Let’s not forget where our President got his business edchewcation.

  • tbrucia

    Point: Bush was elected by those who chose to vote in the last election. It’s nobody’s fault but the electorate’s that he is the U.S. President. Point: The people that are getting deployed/redeployed made individual decisions to enlist (they were not drafted). Why should the rest of us care if they made a bad decision? They DO get paid! If they win the lottery they get educational benefits and money; if they lose they end up dead or wounded. Point: The war is basically being funded by borrowed Chinese money, not by any increase in the taxes Americans pay. So it is not costing any of us taxpayers a dime. Point: Regardless of what Bush decides to do (which apparently is not going to be affected by any amount of rhetoric here or anywhere else), he is on the way out. The future of the war will be decided — in about a year and a half when the next election cycle rolls around. If the American public elects another person like Bush, things will continue just as they have, i.e. unravel. If voters elect someone unlike Bush, things will be different. (Not necessary good news, since if an even bigger loser takes power, matters could get worse. If someone better takes power, they may get better.) In any event, most of us are relatively powerless passengers on The Steamship America. If we become convinced we are sailing on a modern version of the Titanic, it is not too late to transfer to another ship. These are all simple facts. They are (apparently) forgotten or ignored by large numbers of people who think that words alone have some power to change our collective destiny/fate/futures. Some creative ‘what if’ thinking would seem very appropriate if the situation is indeed as dire as some profess to believe. If America is on the skids, it’s only one of many nations in which one can take up residence. (I write these words from Tokyo, thinking back on happy times spent living in Spain and England, so take this thought with that in mind…)

  • Potter

    Tbrucia- It always comes back to electing Bush. I blame the Republicans for getting behind this unworthy candidate in the first place. But in both ’00 and ’04 it should not have been so close I agree. I believe the election was stolen in ’00 with the help of the Supreme Court. I am not convinced Bush won in ’04 in Ohio considering the voter suppression.

    It takes too long for people to understand what is happening and what is at stake. At that goes for those who enlist, perhaps too young and idealistic. There is a trust that was broken: that we will not go to war unless absolutely necessary.

    From abroad it’s easy to say “jump ship” but you don’t do that unless things are truly hopeless and dire.

  • I would like to discuss whether, as a society, we find it attractive transfer military leadership styles into civil leadership positions.

  • In nother’s thank you post on the domenican thread, he referenced a speech by Greta to her graduating class. In this speed she had a quote about a good game being one where – I paraphrase – “at some point you no longer care about winning, the joy is in sustaining the rallies”

    When I play tennis competitively, matches were never my favorite part. I loved having someone on the other side of the court with whom I could sustain rallies. I would rally for hours each day. In this framework, you are driven to improve your skills and produce the best possible work in order to raise the standard of play for all involved. It is to everyone’s benefit. No one has to lose. How grand it would be if we could all play life this way. We would have to have a huge cultural shift to embrace this. And it would not fit with a military model of engagement. I’m so tired of everything being couched in a war-like framework.

  • Ben

    The regimes in power and their armed forces were dispatched quickly and efficiently by US forces some time ago. The ongoing post-war is ultimately more violent and costly than the initial invasions and toppling of both the Taliban and Baathists. How does what the guests have experienced in the chaotic and ongoing efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq have an influence on their views of what is important to understand and prepare before committing to high risk and complex endeavors? Has it influenced their views of distinctions between government and private authorities and their respective effectiveness in any way?

  • Potter

    By that standard Allison, and I probably misread you, the appropriateness of the war and winning ( whatever that means) is not important. What is important is that the military works within itself well. That they have been given an incredibly difficult to impossible mission, past the point of diminishing returns, people dying, wounded, fleeing the scene, is of no import. I probably misunderstand.

  • Potter

    The rationale, no excuses, for abdicating personal responsibility, lending, giving your body, your mind up to going into a bad war amazes me on this show. Foolishness and total selfishness.

  • Potter, I think you are wrong to attribute it only to the election of Bush. As Norman Solomon book, “War Made Easy: How Presidents & Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death” shows, this is nothing new. I’m afraid if it wasn’t Bush it would have been the other guy.

    I think there are larger forces at work here, one of which is the way capitalism solves the crisis of accumulation by devaluing capital surpluses (sometimes by directly destroying supplies and overhead) and by geographical expansion. In a military economy, all those stockpiles of weapons have to be used up so that “productive” activities can take place again.

  • taliesin

    This conversation is incomplete without a passing mention of the Chris Hedges book, “War Is A Force Which Gives Us Meaning”. I am profoundly against war as tool of civil society, but in listening to the two guests, I want to go to Iraq. I want to be that moral force in a sea of uncivil chaos. And this is a revelation to me.

  • Potter

    Sidewalker- That too.

  • Sir Otto

    You better remember these guys names. One of them is going to be President one day.

  • Potter

    Chris is totally anchored in this discussion.The questions are masterful. As long as we have people like those interviewed, enablers, we will have war.

  • scotthagerman

    Hats off to these gentlemen. these two marines have convinvced me to seriously consider the merits of service regardless of one”s agreement or disagreement with the policy objectives one would be charged with. As an opponent of the war from the outset, I nonetheless realize that to not leave Iraq a better place than we found it would leave a considerable blemish on our collective national morality. Even if we don’t support the President, it’s important to make sure the commiment we made to the people of Iraq when we toppled their functioning, albeit oppressive, government is not unfulfilled.

  • hubhealing

    Chris asked the wrong question.

    He raised the question of the justice of war in general, per se, following the line of reasoning in the writing of Oliver Wendel Holmes.

    The appropriate question is the justice of PRE-EMPTIVE war.

    The Iraq war is a pre-emptive strike. The Iraquis were not hurting us. The World Trade Center bombings were not carried out by Iraquis. Al Quaeda was not in Iraq. This is an immoral war. It is wrong. The moral reasoning of the two marines was reminiscent of that of Nazi doctors doing their duty for the honor of the homeland. These marines refuse to question the moral basis of this particular pre-emptive invasion, occupation of a sovereign nation.

    Chris did not ask the right question.

    Not war in general per se, but this particular pre-emptive war.

    The criteria for the justice of pre-emptive war are higher than for the criteria for defensive war.

  • I just listened to Chris pose Allison’s question to the guests:

    >whether, as a society, we find it attractive transfer military leadership styles into civil leadership positions.

    Occasionally in my jobs there has been a former military leader in the magenement chain, and it doesn’t work so well…and now I am myself a manager of a team of very smart, talented, artistic and cynical people, and military leadership would be an absolute disaster. And those ex-Marines and such in management positions in the larger company aren’t usually all that respected as “leaders” for our organization…

    Then again, we’re not always kind to Harvard-business-school types, either 😉

    (And I’m not at all anti-education, having a PhD and Ivy League undergrad)

  • Barbara Jean Cate

    I’m a dedicated NPR fan and listen a lot. Tonight’s show has motivated me to respond with a comment but more importantly, I’ve been deeply moved. Thank you for the caliber and depth of character exemplified in these two officers.

    My Dad was a Navy Captain, served 31 years, and I know he would’ve been proud of your show tonight. I know I am.

  • Oh, Potter, I’m sorry I couldn’t get back to this sooner. My post above was not meant to say that a military should exist for it’s own sake. I was saying that I don’t like the military paradigm of win/lose. In my humble opinion, if we adopted a win/win approach to competition we wouldn’t need wars. What I find is that we, as a society, take so much pride in our warring triumphs that we transfer the military approach to problem solving onto every kind of problem. We glorify it. And, actually, we have such a reverence for the “strength” and “honor” of the military that we put up with inappropriate actions such as invading Iraq and we are willing to let the situation fester, so that we can continue to talk about our brave men and women and their nobility.

    Perhaps one source of misunderstanding, is that I wasn’t thinkging that the US military is the only player in the Iraq War. It isn’t about the military working within itself. They must rally with their opponents. And you can’t sustain that if you are iinjuring and killing one another. So, the best resolution is one where the players transform their understanding of a good game and work to better one another, not destroy one another. (I wasn’t actually thinking about this when I wrote my post. I was more generally thinking that I don’t like the war paradigm brought into civilian leadership.)

  • kristopher

    I feel the speakers view leadership opportunities as a way to pad their already plush resumes, and that their self serving attitudes keep them from facing the reality that they are participating in empire building and pushing American hegemony. As smart as these two guys are, how can they justify their view that what they are doing is noble? Leading men into war is exciting to me as a male, and I can certainly understand the attraction to the glory and the attraction to being revered by the men that serve under me, but in the end, these two ivy league kids are participating in an immoral, unjust, racist endeavor that continues to breed hate and make america more vulnerable to those who will certainly wish to avenge the attrocities our soldiers commit.

  • More Ivy League Marines? And Harvard Business School at that. Well, I guess it is the cream of the military industrial complex that drives this insanity. But It’s so upper crusty. I’m sure, when it comes to radio you do want people who are articulate as these gentlemen are but I’d like to hear from some regular folk. I would like to hear this very same show again but with guests who joined the reserves because they could not afford to go to college and are now facing their fourth deployment.

    Howard Zinn says: “All war is class war”

    We know what side the Harvard Business School Marines are on.

  • Potter

    Thanks Allison. I agree. A win/win approach would start to at the top, would never have begun this war. Our present leaders have to win. That implies the enemy, and they have to lose. GWB learned well from his Pop who never stopped talking about Saddam.

    kristopher above says it. I found the show very disturbing and frightening. Frightening, for example, because the reasoning and rationale were enough to inspire others here. That’s a quality of leadership true, but it’s leading with blinders on and over the cliff. For the guests, the obligation is to their soldiers. If it is the wrong war or a failing war the rationale would have them supposedly with more effect over there than protesting here. Somehow their presence there is not supposed to contribute to the worsening of the situation only to make it better. That’s the same overblown idea on a personal level that this country’s leaders have about the US.

    I left last night with scotthagerman’s post, upset. I wonder what it would take “to leave the place better than we found it”? Can we agree on what that means? or what winning means? Do we absolutely have to win? Is this for Iraqi’s ( and what do they want? who decides what is best for them? are they a cohesive country any more that can agree?) Is this really for our security either? Or, now for pride, the pride of this President’s administration and it’s followers?

  • RobertPeel

    Wonderful,very moving show. These young officers were examples of service to our country and our nation. I regret deeply we do not have a deep commitment to peace in our nation.

  • Potter and peggysue, you are both spot on as usual.

    It is rare that I have to walk away from an ROS show several times to cool down. Could these elite boys have been more full of self-engrandizement? They as much said they love the feel of holding the lives of others in their hands. What if those ethnic others never wished to entrust these raw enlightenment heroes with their lives? These big, expensive brains have spun it like cotton candy so it is all sweet and pretty in pink. So much for all the cavities left behind.

    What I wanted to know was how they feel when they bust into an Iraqi house and terrorize a family with fear, and how they think the children of Iraq are living with their constant presence and the noise of war.

    How can the one guy say the worst thing was the loss of one of his men? Are they not there to “protect” the Iraqi civilians? Isn’t that what we’ve been told? So why does it not pain him as much to see their injuries and loss of life? Are their lives of less value?

    All that nice moralizing talk to try and normalize this abusive use of power was over the top, and I gained no insight into their thinking as they were so cautious and protective despite Chris’ efforts. I just can’t understand why ROS has to give these boys a platform when so many people struggling to help humanity can’t get their voices heard. This radio show can do better!

  • Potter

    Sidewalker-Good questions. I tossed and turned last night. I thought Chris was good because he held firm behind the questions but allowed the guests to reveal themselves. He did not use the guest to give his own views which were plenty evident through the questions. I would rather know than not know about this mindset.. it answers my questions about how anyone would sign up or go.

    Iraq is so tragically apart now, spilling more and more into the surrounding countries, that it will take decades and many lost lives, lost innocent lives, ours and many more of theirs for things to calm down if they can be calmed down. Last night one of the generals was on the Newshour, a show that is increasingly a vehicle for the administration it seems. He was already warning, asking for more time to see if this surge is working, more time than September the targeted month of reckoning which was supposed to be early this summer.

    The very people Iraq will need to rebuild are leaving or have left for elsewhere. Hidden amongst them some are up to no good with cause. Iraqi’s who are running are not allowed asylum here, probably for those very reasons and maybe racism, but for very small numbers. They crowd festering sores added to festering sores in the camps of Syria and Jordan. The longer we stay the more strength and training and motive we give to “the enemy” that we create as Iraq gets cleaned out of it’s saner more normal productive people, people who are not up for the madness and long haul.

    The job that the military has been given to me seems like trying to run up a down escalator. For these MBA’s what matters it seems is that the leg muscles are in shape. That their families are living in anxiety over their choices and fates takes second to ambition recast as service.

    Can we as a country mature about what war or at least that shameful concept “optional war” accomplishes after the failures in Iraq are added to Viet Nam? Can we understand or even ask where real security comes from?

    I can sooner understand a doctor’s decision to be on the battlefront.

    I understand better those “regular folk” peggysue; they have no better path open to them, though I wish they too would stop enlisting for this “madness” ( Joshua Hendrickson)

  • Not to mention the goal of tripling the sales of potatoe chips in a nation where heart disease is a killer and obesity epidemic. Yeah, that’s real leadership all right.

  • We have no one else to blame but ourselves for electing “this” party to office… again! when we know what to expect from them. Republicans are suppose to start lucrative wars, cut taxes for big business, etc., thats what they do. It’s a black-n-white, good-guy vs. bad-guy, with us or against us …mob mentality. That’s how they manipulate the “masses”. The job of us quasi-educated working class slobs is to get off the couch and go vote so that we don’t have to see our kid’s go die in yet another hell hole backwater like Iraq.

  • ElihuVedder

    I enjoyed the show last evening. These were some thoughtful, well-spoken guys. There was kind of a stunning moment, though, when the one guest said that his purpose as a soldier was to protect and defend the Constitution and Chris Lydon asked in what way they were protecting the Constitution by occupying/democracy building/what have you Iraq. And the guest had nothing to say, then managed to change the subject. If these guys don’t have an answer for this, it is rather shocking. This should be a standard question for everyone involved, from the president on down. In WWII, we did face an existential threat; in Korea and Vietnam, maybe some believed we faced an existential threat to our Constitution and form of government. But does anyone believe that anyone in Iraq poses an existential threat to our Constitution?

  • Yay for moral Christian officers killing people in iraq. I’m glad they are killing people over there rather than having to kill people here at home.

    War is gay.

  • I just wrote a responce to RR’s comment, but I deleted it. I’ve now convinced myself it’s somone’s idea of a joke.

    Can someone actually be that ignorant? In that few words? It’s as if teams of linguists and scientists sat down and tried to find a phrase that could be the most: socially, politically, geo-politically, and gramatically incorect in the fewest words.

    It’s like some kind of idiot’s haiku.

    So, RR whoever you are, either I need to congratulate you, or you need your medication adjusted.

  • Oh yeah? I can do even better than that. Ignorance in fewer words:




    USA All The Way.

  • Marc & RR

    Sarcasm does not translate very well into email. Although, this show did reduce me to sarcasm too in my last post. (Yes, I was being sarcastic when I suggested tripling sales of potatoe chips was a fine example of national leadership). I mostly try to avoid it. It often does not come across and can leave the reader puzzled.

  • DavidO

    I was kind of amazed to hear the hostility some people (like peggysue) have expressed about this show. (tbrucia struck me as incredibly unfeeling.) I was one of the 15,000 or so people on the Boston Common in October of 2002 protesting this rush to this disastrous war—but to dismiss these two men who have seen the horrors of war and, I felt, have tremendous compassion for both their fellow-Marines as well as the Iraqi people strikes me as incredibly arrogant and unfeeling. (I wonder indeed if peggysue and those who agree with her (would feel differently if we got the news that one or both of these guys were killed since this show.) Try reading the poetry of Wilfred Owen, who was an active member of the British army in WWI fighting the Germans, and was killed in France at the age of 24—these two guys on Open Source struck me as having the same kind of sober maturity about the price of war. True, I felt they ducked some of Chris’s more probing questions about the justification for this war, but as active military personnel, I’m sure there are things they can’t answer. And so they’re Ivy Leaguers—so what? I remember Open Source doing a show where they interviewed some regular guys from very humble backgrounds, and that was fascinating, too. The thing that impresses me with these guys is that they do have a great future set out before them with all the advantages, and they choose to go back to Iraq. I think this is another valid viewpoint on the war, by people who’ve actually been there and seen it, and it should be heard.

    And a question for the Open Source staff: has there been any word about Mr. Moutlon and Mr. Campbell? I do hope they are still alive and well.

  • Seems to me that from the military peeps I have run into, they all seem to be gungho about doing their job over there…..

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