Curiously, I couldn't find a single thread devoted to Lucian Truscott's New York Times op-ed at either Free Republic or Lucianne.com. Hardly any right-wing blog reaction, either. They can usually muster quite a bit of backtalk when someone criticizes President Bush or their precious Iraq War, but I guess they don't have much to say when the critic is a West Pointer, also the son and grandson of West Pointers, who believes we're losing officers by telling them lies.
In the fall of 2003 I was embedded with the 101st Airborne Division in northern Iraq, and its West Point lieutenants were among the most gung-ho soldiers I have ever encountered, yet most were already talking about getting out of the Army. I talked late into one night with a muscular first lieutenant with a shaved head and a no-nonsense manner who had stacks of Foreign Affairs, The New Yorker and The Atlantic under his bunk. He had served in Bosnia and Afghanistan, and he was disgusted with what he had seen in Iraq by December 2003.
"I feel like politicians have created a difficult situation for us," he told me. "I know I'm going to be coming back here about a year from now. I want to get married. I want to have a life. But I feel like if I get out when my commitment is up, who's going to be coming here in my place? I feel this obligation to see it through, but everybody over here knows we're just targets. Sooner or later, your luck's going to run out."...
If you keep faith with soldiers and tell them the truth even when it threatens their beliefs, you run the risk of losing them. But if you peddle cleverly manipulated talking points to people who trust you not to lie, you won't merely lose them, you'll break their hearts.
Cleverly manipulated talking points? You mean like the ones we heard tonight coming out of Fort Bragg?
The progress in the past year has been significant, and we have a clear path forward.
A bright, shining lie.