US General in Iraq to Soldiers: Shut Up!
(7/18/03: 6:00 EDT)
The General's warning (see below) was not empty:
"It was the end of the world," said one officer Thursday. "It went all the way up to President Bush and back down again on top of us. At least six of us here will lose our careers."
First lesson for the troops, it seemed: Don't ever talk to the media "on the record" -- that is, with your name attached -- unless you're giving the sort of chin-forward, everything's-great message the Pentagon loves to hear.
The coalition forces commander General Abizaid declared that American troops must silence their criticism concerning the President and Defense Secretary. The New York Times quoted the general:
all the fuss? After
months of previous delays, soldiers from the beleaguered Third
Infantry Division some who have been in the Middle East
September 2002 were told that their stay in Iraq will
extend into late fall. The Pentagon has persistently promised
the soldiers and their worried families a quick return. Coupled
with these prevarications, the "guerilla
warfare" that has killed
33 American troops since the "end of hostilities"
has clearly strained their patience and resolve. Given an opportunity
to tell reporters how they feel, some
soldiers could not contain their anger about the broken promises
and lies of a "quick return home":
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