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イスラムオンライン:ABCニューズ米兵不満と志気低下、帰国願望。イラクでの襲撃連日強まる。
http://www.asyura.com/0306/war37/msg/157.html
投稿者 木村愛二 日時 2003 年 7 月 18 日 10:05:23:

イスラムオンライン:ABCニューズ米兵不満と志気低下、帰国願望。イラクでの襲撃連日強まる。

http://www.islam-online.net/English/index.shtml
Feeling Letdown, U.S. Forces Suffer Low Morale In Iraq

Feeling the heat, a U.S. soldier wipes his brow as he mans his gun
BAGHDAD, July 17 (IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) -- Facing almost daily attacks with no hard promises of their return, U.S. troops in Iraq voiced their complains on Wednesday, July 17, of low morale and little faith in their commanders on the air.
"If Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was here, I'd ask him for his resignation," one soldier of the Third Infantry Division based in Fallujah north of Baghdad in a report broadcast by the ABC news.
"I don't have any clue as to why we are still in Iraq," said another, in reference to the U.S. military decision to extend the division's mission in the country in reversal of earlier promises to send thousands of its soldiers home by September 2003.
Burdened by their equipment and armor in the searing summer heat and anti-American fury prevalent among local inhabitants, the soldiers felt dismayed over the decision.
"What was told to us is the fastest way home is through Baghdad," said Sergeant Felipe Vega, who hasn't seen his family in 10 months.
"So that's what we did. And now we're still here."
"Well, it makes me lose faith in the army," said Sergeant Terry Gilmore, shortly after telling his wife she wouldn't be seeing him as early as expected.
"I mean, I don't believe anything they told me," he added. "If they told me we were leaving next week, I wouldn't believe it."
Further to their plight, the soldiers, often vulnerable and exposed on the streets, have become sitting ducks for jeering Iraqis furious over a slow pace of improvement and military provocations including house-to-house searches and mass detentions.
Correspondents in Baghdad also touched on the soldiers' plight, with the BBC correspondent in Baghdad describing the scene in the words: “it is very difficult to find a U.S. soldier who likes being in Iraq.”
The two sergeants' wives, interviewed back home by ABC, expressed similar disgust.
"They have told us by the first of October," said Stacey Gilmore. "But really, we can't even believe in that because they've told us so many different dates so many different times."
"Just send my husband home," said Rhonda Vega. "Send all the soldiers home. I feel they've done the job they were sent to do."
‘Disparaging'
Several U.S. soldiers try to save a seriously wounded soldier at a bombing site in Baghdad Wednesday, July 16
The two sergeants may soon be regretting their comments.
Shortly after they were aired by ABC, General John Abizaid, chief of the U.S. Central Command, warned that public criticism of the U.S. military command would not be tolerated and could be punished.
"None of us that wear this uniform are free to say anything disparaging about the Secretary of Defense or the President of the United States," he told a Pentagon briefing.
"We're not free to do that. It's our professional code. Whatever action may be taken, whether it's a verbal reprimand or something more stringent is up to the commanders on the scene and it's not for me to comment."
The White House also downplayed all report of slumping morale among U.S. troops in Iraq.
"The troops recognize that what they are doing is very important: Helping secure and stabilize Iraq so that it can move towards freedom and democracy," said Scott McClellan, chief spokesman for US President George W. Bush.
"Our troops are making a great sacrifice, and the president is grateful for their sacrifice," he said. "We will continue to make sure they have all the resources and support they need as they do their job."
Attacks on U.S. forces occupying Iraq have become an almost daily occurrence.
On Wednesday, a U.S. military plane narrowly missed being hit by a surface-to-air missile, and a series of rocket-propelled grenade attacks on U.S. troops in Baghdad killed three soldiers and wounded one soldier and wounded four others.
The toll brings the number of American battle deaths in the Iraqi invasion to 148 surpassing the 147 killed in the 1991 Gulf War.

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