Dissension in the Ranks

This week, we published a “60 Minutes” segment on active-duty soldiers who’ve served in Iraq, and are speaking out against the war.

The segment has generated heated debate among our readers, who’ve left impassioned comments on the “60 Minutes” site.

The main debate has been whether it’s proper for active-duty soldiers to speak out against a war their country is currently in the middle of fighting. The interviewed soldiers all insisted that they are not abandoning their posts and will continue to follow orders and do their jobs, but they said they felt it was important for them to speak out to let their elected representatives know how they feel about the war.

The soldiers expressed the same hopelessness and resignation that I heard during my interview with Spencer Batchelder – a soldier who was at the time serving in Ramadi, Iraq. They say they don’t have a mission or objective, and are basically in survival and response mode. And whether we agree or not with the soldiers’ decision to speak out, it is an important barometer of progress when soldiers are in that kind of a mindset. It seems good news from Iraq is increasingly hard to come by.

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