Magazine article Editor & Publisher

'L.A. Times': Troop Morale Fading in Iraq

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

'L.A. Times': Troop Morale Fading in Iraq

Article excerpt

Senators and congressmen, magazine writers and various officials often fly into Baghdad for a few days and return with glowing news about high morale among U.S. troops there. But what does a fulltime newspaper correspondent there see and hear?

Tina Susman of the Los Angeles Times provided one answer today with a lengthy story about allegedly declining spirits among many of the troops.

"As military and political leaders prepare to deliver a progress report on the conflict to Congress next month, many soldiers are increasingly disdainful of the happy talk that they say commanders on the ground and White House officials are using in their discussions about the war," she writes.

"And they're becoming vocal about their frustration over longer deployments and a taxing mission that keeps many living in dangerous and uncomfortably austere conditions. Some say two wars are being fought here: the one the enlisted men see, and the one that senior officers and politicians want the world to see. 'I don't see any progress. Just us getting killed,' said Spc. Yvenson Tertulien, one of those in the dining hall in Yousifiya, 10 miles south of Baghdad, as Bush's speech aired last month. 'I don't want to be here anymore.'"

An excerpt follows. The entire story can be found at www.latimes.com*

The signs of frustration and of flagging morale are unmistakable, including blunt comments, online rants and the findings of surveys on military morale and suicides.

Sometimes the signs are to be found even in latrines. …

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