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  Saturday  November 11  2006    01: 02 AM

book recommendation

Chasing Ghosts:
A Soldier's Fight for America from Baghdad to Washington

by Paul Rieckhoff

I had just started reading this when Zoe grabbed it and read it. It was at the time our son-in-law, William, was leaving for his second tour in Iraq. It's an eyewitness acount of the early stages of the occupation and what it is like on the ground in a war zone. It's also one man's disillusionment with the war and his efforts to bring the truth to America. He was a founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. From Amazon:

Lieutenant Rieckhoff and his 38-man infantry platoon spent 10 months in one of the most volatile areas of Baghdad, trying to maintain order, protect civilians, track down insurgents, and protect themselves from snipers and bombers. It quickly became clear that the American mission in Iraq had vague strategy, flawed tactics, and overchallenged, underequipped soldiers. Rieckhoff made it back alive, determined to tell the truth about what was happening and demand accountability from elected officials. Although Rieckhoff does not emphasize it, it comes through clearly that Iraq War veterans are held in declining respect, evidenced by the problems they have getting help with war-related injuries, especially psychological ones. Iraq has been a rich man's war and a poor man's fight, with the Iraqi people barely visible in the American media. Moreover, Rieckhoff's experiences showed him that censorship and bias abound even in these days of "on-the-spot" reporting, distorting what anyone following the war through the general media can learn. A most commendable eyewitness report on Iraq.


Chasing Ghosts

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

Founded in June 2004, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America is the nation's first and largest group dedicated to the Troops and Veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the civilian supporters of those Troops and Veterans.