Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Dispatches from the troops in Iraq

Today's Washington Post has a report (on the inside pages) about deadly secterian strife spreading outside Baghdad. "We see the challenges of Baghdad being exported," said Maj. John Digiambattista, operations officer for a U.S. Army battalion in Diyala.

U.S. and Iraqi officials acknowledge that Iraqi police in Khan Bani Sad are heavily infiltrated by Mahdi Army militiamen and that some soldiers also are sympathetic to the group....

Unsure of the loyalties of Iraqi forces, U.S. officers sometimes lie to Iraqi army commanders about where they are going on joint missions and require Iraqi soldiers to give up their cellphones before leaving camp. Police are distrusted even more.

I'm not sure U.S. troops signed up for that....

Earlier this summer the New Yorker published a selection of missives by troops who served in the current war in Iraq. The writings are part of a project sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts called Operation Homecoming.

Click here for an audio slide show--five of the servicemen read from their work, accompanied by their photographs--produced by Matt Dellinger.

--Marshal Zeringue