We print portions of a letter published in the Stars & Stripes in their edition of February 15, 2008. We will not comment since this soldier is entitled to express his opinion.
“I am appalled at the cover story on February 11 showing an Iraqi woman crying out in protest after U.S. troops clut the face of radical cleric Muqtadu al-Sadr out of the poster on her wall. Is this the behavior that is going to teach Iraqis about democracy and freedom of speech?
I am an infantryman on a second deployment….We used opportunities like this to engage the people who suppoterd him… find out what he offered them, then do our best to replace their dependence on him by providing benefits such as medical aid, food and jobs…. How are we going to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people if we continue to treat them like this and deny them the right to an opinion?”
Sgt. James P. Hallberg
Logistics Support Area, Anaconda, Iraq