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Thursday, September 13, 2007


AAPP: I guess one has to watch what you say about the American government, even if your a soldier in Iraq.

Source: AmericanProgressAction.org

Two of the seven active duty soldiers in the 82nd Airborne who wrote an Aug. 19 op-ed in the New York Times died in an accident in Iraq on Monday. Sgt. Omar Mora and Sgt. Yance Gray were killed when their vehicle overturned in western Baghdad. News of their deaths reached Washington as Gen. David Petraeus wrapped up his testimony to Congress about the Bush administration's strategy in Iraq.

The soldiers' op-ed challenged overly simplistic press accounts of "progress" in Iraq, and reminded readers that the war had "robbed [Iraqis] of their self-respect" as the Americans had become "an army of occupation." The soldiers' courage to speak out about their experiences in Iraq helped change the debate in Washington. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) read from soldiers' op-ed during Tuesday's hearing, and Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) referred to the column to challenge Petraeus's rosy assessments of the progress in Iraq: "They laid out a pretty different scenario, General, Ambassador, from what you're laying out today." Mora's stepfather said that his son believed the "situation in Iraq was desperate" and was sad that children in Iraq were "having to live" with the war going on. Mora and Gray each leave behind a wife and young daughter.

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