Sunday, October 31, 2010

SJSU Students give firsthand account of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

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SJSU Students give firsthand account of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

By Aimee McLendon
Spartan Daily
October 20, 2010

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When Army Spc. Jason Lopez first arrived in Afghanistan in 2004, these small tents are where the soldiers slept for weeks. Photo courtesy of Jason Lopez

A history professor who specializes in military history at SJSU said that veterans are just normal people but at the same time, combat veterans are a sort of subculture.

“These young people have experienced things that most people will not,” said Jonathan Roth. “The crucible of war, as they call it, changes them. And I don’t think we should focus on them as somehow sick or ill, but I think they’ve earned our respect.”

Roth said that while some veterans need extra help working through post-traumatic stress disorder, others are working through the process of rebuilding and moving on by themselves.

One Response to “SJSU Students give firsthand account of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan”

Ted Rudow III,MA says:
October 31, 2010
Civilians have borne the brunt of modern warfare, with 10 civilians dying for every soldier in wars fought since the mid-20th century, compared with 9 soldiers killed for every civilian in World War I, according to a 2001 study by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

But it does seem to suggest numbers that are roughly in line with those compiled by several sources, including Iraq Body Count, an organisation that tracked civilian deaths using press reports, a method the Bush administration repeatedly derided as unreliable and producing inflated numbers.

In all, the five-year archive lists more than 100,000 dead from 2004 to 2009, though some deaths are reported more than once, and some reports have inconsistent casualty figures. Iraq Body Count, which did a preliminary analysis of the archive, estimated that it listed 15,000 deaths that had not been previously disclosed anywhere.

You just can’t imagine people in this supposedly civilised age actually going to war. Their whole culture is to blame. A culture that says war is all right, that it’s legitimate to tear bodies apart and destroy the lives of men, women and children. You just can’t imagine civilised people talking calmly about it.

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