Iraq: Military Perspective

A few excerpts from this article titled
Military Families Question Iraq War as Support for Bush Slips

Kent Fletcher, an Iraq war veteran, says he enthusiastically voted for President George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004. Now, he is a registered Democrat who questions the need for the war, the way it has been managed and the treatment of returning veterans.

"Saddam Hussein wasn't a threat and the culmination of my career was that war and it wasn't necessary," says Fletcher, 32, a financial analyst in Bluffton, South Carolina, who served almost 10 years as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps.

A Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll shows that Fletcher's skepticism about the war reflects a growing disenchantment within the broader military community, long a bastion of support for the Bush administration and Republicans. Among active-duty military, veterans and their families, only 36 percent say it was worth going to war in Iraq. This compares with an Annenberg survey taken in 2004, one year after the invasion, which showed that 64 percent of service members and their families supported the war.

In 2005, Fletcher, the Marine who switched party affiliations, published an editorial in the Huntington, West Virginia Herald-Dispatch newspaper scolding critics of Bush, who he said were also insulting the U.S. fighting forces.

"You don't have to spit on an Iraqi war veteran physically to spit on one metaphorically," he wrote. "We are part and the same with the president's administration."

Fletcher is now a member of, a group that promotes political candidates, particularly veterans who are critical of the Bush administration's Iraq war policies.

That shift in Fletcher's view may reflect a broader trend in the military about dissent. The Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll finds that 58 percent of military families -- the same margin as the overall population -- believe it is appropriate for retired military personnel to criticize Bush even in a time of war.

1 comment:

  1. I find this interesting because I think the military are in a unique inside position to know what has really gone on. I think the military is especially disillusioned by the privatization of this war. How much their paycheck brings home compared to how much the private contractors are bringing home and a myriad of other discouragements. Halliburton's role is especially disconcerting. It's just open corruption as far as I'm concerned. It amazes me that more Republican voters aren't up in arms over the level of corruption and cronyism in the party right now. It's definitely seen better days... I don't know that signing up with the Democrats is the solution... but I understand the disillusionment. You really have to turn several blind eyes to be happy with the current administration.


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