So much for Bush’s (and the GOP’s) fantasy that the troops are behind the administration. DKos points to this amazing csmonitor.com article on the strong anti-Bush sentiment at the front. And a lot of them are on the record.
“[For] 9 out of 10 of the people I talk to, it wouldn’t matter who ran against Bush – they’d vote for them,” said a US soldier in the southern city of Najaf, seeking out a reporter to make his views known. “People are so fed up with Iraq, and fed up with Bush.”
Whether representing pockets of opposition to Bush or something bigger, soldiers and marines on Iraq’s front lines can be impassioned in their criticism. One Marine officer in Ramadi who had lost several men said he was thinking about throwing his medals over the White House wall.
“Nobody I know wants Bush,” says an enlisted soldier in Najaf, adding, “This whole war was based on lies.” Like several others interviewed, his animosity centered on a belief that the war lacked a clear purpose even as it took a tremendous toll on US troops, many of whom are in Iraq involuntarily under “stop loss” orders that keep them in the service for months beyond their scheduled exit in order to keep units together during deployments.
“There’s no clear definition of why we came here,” says Army Spc. Nathan Swink, of Quincy, Ill. “First they said they have WMD and nuclear weapons, then it was to get Saddam Hussein out of office, and then to rebuild Iraq. I want to fight for my nation and for my family, to protect the United States against enemies foreign and domestic, not to protect Iraqi civilians or deal with Sadr’s militia,” he said.
Specialist Swink, who comes from a family of both Democrats and Republicans, plans to vote for Kerry. “Kerry protested the war in Vietnam. He is the one to end this stuff, to lead to our exit of Iraq,” he said.