'Why the Hell Did All My Buddies Die There?'
US vets bitter about rise of al-Qaeda in Fallujah: Washington Post
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2014 12:46 PM CST
In this April 30, 2004, photo, Iraqi soldiers from the newly-formed Fallujah Brigade enter Fallujah as U.S. Marines, left, pull out from the town.   (AP Photo/John Moore, File)

(Newser) – A decade ago, the city of Fallujah became a not-so-pleasant reference point for Americans following the Iraq war as US forces dug in against insurgents. Today the American troops are gone, an al-Qaeda group has claimed the city as an Islamic state, and fighting between militants and Iraqi forces have claimed at least 60 lives in the last two weeks alone, reports AP. But you don't have to tell any of that to the US vets who fought there, if a Washington Post story is any reflection. They're following today's developments with anger and bitterness. Sample quotes:

  • “Could someone smart convince me that the black flag of al-Qaeda flying over Fallujah isn’t analogous to the fall of Saigon?” a former Army captain wrote on Twitter. “Because. Well.”
  • “It brings back a lot of anger,” says another vet. "I feel like it’s been a big waste of time. It’s kind of like, why the hell did all my buddies die there for? There’s no purpose to it.”
  • But the views aren't entirely negative: “You bounce back and forth between: Was it a complete failure, or did we do the best we could and handed it over to them when things were relatively calm?” says former three-star Gen. Mark Hertling. “Every person who served in Iraq or Afghanistan never loses that part of them when they come home. It becomes part of their soul.”

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Showing 3 of 245 comments
Reader55549798
Jan 13, 2014 1:19 PM CST
I'm sorry for you and your buddies, but if you didn't go over there expecting you were there to secure Iraq's oil business and supply for the US and the West, then you weren't paying attention as to why we went to war in Iraq instead of Afghanistan where we expected Osama was holed up after 9/11.
Roy Gwynn
Jan 13, 2014 9:36 AM CST
A made up war by Bush and corporate America. Makes one wonder of the many tanker loads of crude that somehow went missing throughout the war. And the missing ancient artifact of the huge museum where most items seem to have somehow landed in the front rooms of wealthy Republicans across America??? This war was not fought as we are told. It was an invasion for the corporate world. Do you think Bush and company really care a tinkers damn who or how many have died in the name of freedom. Ever wonder why the Bush and company built the worlds largest embassy in Iraq...for what??? Ever wonder who and what corporations seem to have taken over the petroleum industry with parts manufactured in America and traded to Iraq for ..guess what....more petroleum. Anyone who has this delusion that they did some real good need think again. America is only in the middle east to represent the major petroleum corporation and to fight to keep it. You did not fight to help anyone except the wealthy Republican owners. Think hard on this one before you get further deceived
Frank Sullivan
Jan 12, 2014 11:58 PM CST
No matter,... its still a huge improvement over the Hussein era!