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Thursday, August 12, 2004

Young Marines Frustrated by Lack of Progress

From the Boston Globe, via Common Dreams:
"I haven't seen any improvement since I've been here," said Corporal Jaime Duenas, 23, of Nogales, Ariz. He contrasted Ramadi with southern Iraq, where he was stationed last year after the invasion and worked with residents happy to see Hussein toppled.

"Last year . . . kids ran up to us and waved," he said. "Here, kids throw rocks."

Lance Corporal Anthony Robert, 21, of Charlottesville, Va., said: "People are tired of us being here. It's the same as if someone came to the US and started taking over. You'd do what you'd have to do."
"It doesn't matter how much America looks like it's trying to help," said the squad's leader, Corporal Glen Handy, 26, of Las Vegas. "If we stay 10 years or if we stay one year, we're going to leave and there's going to be chaos."

The Marines are surprised at some of their own ugly emotions. The Army troops whom the Marines replaced told them, "You're going to learn to hate these people," Goward recalled. "I thought, 'With that attitude, no wonder you're having a hard time.' But you know what? They're absolutely right."