U.S. military personnel in Iraq are caught in a dangerous and nightmarish vise created by neo-con politicians in Washington. U.S. troops are being forced to take drugs like Prozac and Seroquel for anxiety and depression. Troops cannot refuse to take the drugs without consequences from their superiors. Resistance by U.S. troops to their orders is also running high. Some U.S. military patrols decline to carry out their "search and kill" missions and, instead, return to their bases claiming they carried out their orders.
The anti-Iraq war group, Military Families Speak Out (www.mfso.org), is conducting a vigil outside the Cannon House Office Building. Anne Roesler of California, whose son will be soon serving his third Iraq tour with the 82nd Airborne Division, and Elizabeth Frederick of New York, whose boyfriend is serving in Iraq with the New York National Guard, are receiving some surprising comments and rather lukewarm support from Senate and House members, Republican and Democratic. Although the group, which has placed boots and shoes representing dead U.S. military members and Iraqi civilians near the House office buildings, has received support from a few Democrats, the reaction to their vigil by some, including California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, has been hostile. One House member passed their display of boots and shoes and turned around and shouted, "Just get over it!" Another staffer said, "don't you people remember what happened on 911?" There were no connections between 911 and Iraq.
Incidents of suicide among U.S. troops in Iraq is also reaching troubling levels. There are also reports of defections by U.S. troops to neighboring Turkey, Iran, and Syria, where they can get passage to Europe and Russia.
Incidents of fighting between regular U.S. military personnel and private military contractors, who wear uniforms similar to those worn by regular U.S. soldiers and Marines, is also increasing. U.S. troops are frustrated that they come under attack for atrocities carried out by private contractors who receive triple and quadruple the salaries U.S. military personnel receive. This situation has created a tinderbox between U.S. troops and private contractors.