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What Soldiers Are Saying

Axis of Logic has an interview between Amy Goodman of Democracy Now and Sgt. Marshall Thompson worthy of your review: Army reservist Sergeant Marshal

Axis of Logic has an interview between Amy Goodman of Democracy Now and Sgt. Marshall Thompson worthy of your review:

Army reservist Sergeant Marshall Thompson spent a year in Iraq working as a military journalist. He reported from across Iraq, interviewing thousands of US soldiers. Now back home in his native Utah, he is planning a 500-mile walk across the state to protest the war and call for a withdrawal of US troops.

AMY GOODMAN: Marshall, why did you join the military?

SGT. MARSHALL THOMPSON: I love my country. And I really wanted to serve it.

AMY GOODMAN: When did you join?

SGT. MARSHALL THOMPSON: I joined in 1999.

AMY GOODMAN: Before the 2001 attacks.

SGT. MARSHALL THOMPSON: Yes. I was deployed to Kosovo during the 2001 attacks.

And I've been very proud of my service. And it's just been a hard time in Iraq, because this war is unjust. And no amount of patriotism that I have can change that.

AMY GOODMAN: How did you come to the conclusion that it's unjust?

SGT. MARSHALL THOMPSON: Well, it happened before the war started. I was on the fence. And when Colin Powell addressed the UN, I believed him, like most people did, I think.

But then there was something in me that kept bothering me, and it was that the decision to go to war with Iraq was based on fear, fear of something that hadn't happened yet. And those are never good decisions. We can't make fear-based decisions.

So I decided that even if they had weapons of mass destruction, that I was going to be opposed to the war.

Then, years later when I went to Iraq, spent a year there, saw what happened, it was only reinforced.

And I knew that I was going to have to come home and do something to make it right for my participation in it and just because I feel more responsible for what goes on over there, having been there for one year.

AMY GOODMAN: You interviewed hundreds of soldiers?


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SGT. MARSHALL THOMPSON: Thousands.

AMY GOODMAN: Thousands of soldiers in Iraq. What is their attitude to the war?

SGT. MARSHALL THOMPSON: Most soldiers want to withdraw. That is proven. There was a Zogby poll. 72% of recently turned Iraqi vets want to be out of Iraq by 2006.

AMY GOODMAN: 2006?

SGT. MARSHALL THOMPSON: By 2006.

That means this year.

And my experience backs that up absolutely.

There is a lot of pressure for soldiers not to speak out. There's fear of court-martials. There's fear of their commanders getting mad at them. There's a lot of reasons why soldiers don't speak out.

But nobody should be fooled.

Soldiers know what's going on over there, and they are not happy about it.

AMY GOODMAN: What was the response when the soldier asked Rumsfeld about why they weren't being protected?

SGT. MARSHALL THOMPSON: That was -- we loved it. We thought that, you know, score one for the little guys.

AMY GOODMAN: Did you see any kind of challenging of the supervisory officers by the lower level soldiers?

SGT. MARSHALL THOMPSON: Absolutely.

Constant challenging, especially on the issue of censorship.

Also, like I said, a lot of people, I think, underestimate soldiers.

We know what's going on. We're smart. We read the newspapers.

And there's a lot of orders that may be unlawful that are challenged.

You don't hear about those, because those are the good examples.

And then sometimes there are unlawful orders and they're followed. And that's the biggest problem.

Read the entire interview here .

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