One year before the Iraq “war”, I went with a Peace Inspectors team of to Iraq to meet with Iraqis and find peace wherever it existed. When the United States invaded the country in 2003, I was full of anger about the American military presence there. I knew from high school what kind of guys most of those soldiers were. They skipped history class and often quit school before graduating. And there they were deciding on the fate of a people they knew nothing about and whom the army taught them to despise. The more the war went on, the more I heard the sad and horrible stories my Iraqi friends would tell, but I heard and read just as many about the American soldiers. I saw how much they, too, were broken and how their sense of morals was suffering. I went to meet them too and I asked them to tell me their stories and how they perceived the Iraqis and Iraq. I found young men who believed all those things they were told about the “enemy” and who believed they were doing the right thing in the prime of their 18 year old lives, full of post-9/11 desires for vengeance and justice. So they went to Iraq and came face to face with ordinary people like themselves.

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