Iraq War Vets Reflect as the Nation Unravels

Friday, June 20, 2014

Iraqi tribesmen hold up their weapons and national flags as they gather to show their readiness to join Iraqi security forces in the fight against Jihadist militants. June 16, 2014 (AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty)

Diplomats, policy experts, and advisors have all weighed in on the unraveling of Iraq. They have provided sober assessments of an increasingly bleak situation.

But if there's anyone who has most acutely felt the anguish of the collapse of democracy in Iraq this week, it's the men and women who were on the front lines of the Iraq War.

Mudhafar al-Husseini is a former fixer, translator, and stringer for the U.S. Army in Baghdad and our partner the New York Times. Hugh Martin served as an infantrymen with the Ohio National Guard in Iraq. He is currently a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and the author of a poetry book called "The Stick Soldiers."

Today, al-Husseini and Martin discuss the road ahead for the U.S. and Iraq, and their feelings about sending more troops overseas. 


Hugh Martin and Mudhafar al-Husseini

Produced by:

Megan Quellhorst and Mythili Rao


T.J. Raphael

Comments [2]

tom LI

Only clueless neo-Cons thought we could do what no other Western nation has done in the ME and its surrounding environs - and thats run the show, either on the ground or from a distance.

While a lot of people were eager to invade - any place post 9-11 - I recall a hugh number of people, pundits and regular folks saying, the whole thing is gonna come back and bite us in the tuckus! Voila! Heres the bite, which will turn into a meal.

Jun. 20 2014 03:30 PM
Michelangelo from Miami FL

I've heard some saying Iraq needs another dictator. Americans calling for tyranny as if that will make Iraq disappear from the news cycle. No one ever called for a dictator to rule over the warring Catholics and Protestants of Northern Ireland. That would be ridiculous.

These are different nations, not tribes, who's territories were redefined by foreign conquerors. They (not us) have two options now: a) learn to live in a pluralistic society, or 2) split up into new nations of their making. The first will have them fighting over socioeconomic representation and the second will have them fighting over which resources they managed to keep in the split.

The US should handle this region the way we handle South America and Africa by ignoring them altogether until they pose an immigration issue here.

Jun. 20 2014 09:33 AM

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