The Hearts and Minds of Iraqi Civilians

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Pulitzer Prize-winner Chris Hedges spent a year interviewing over fifty veterans of the Iraq War to uncover how Iraqi civilians have suffered at the hands of American troops. Collateral Damage: America’s War Against Iraqi Civilians details how civilians are routinely shot to death at checkpoints, run over by military convoys, and terrorized by late-night detentions.


Chris Hedges

Comments [13]

Joe from Clifton NJ

I didn't think Hedges came off as anti-American at all. It sounds like he is trying to bring some sort of "war of occupation and counterinsurgency literacy" to anyone willing to listen or read the book. Americans should know what our armed off forces are doing and being asked to do, the good and the bad. Modern warfare kills far more civilians soldiers. More than twice as many civilians perished in WWII than soldiers and there are few monuments dedicated to them. For reasons of security, most news organizations have more or less "declared victory and gone home". Those listeners who can't appreciate that perhaps more than 50 soldiers had to witnesss or execute horrific deeds for their country will never be able to appreciate the mental challenges that our service men and women may have to face when they return home.

Jul. 03 2008 09:44 PM
Tara from New York, NY

I did not need to wait to hear the interview. I read the book.

Jul. 03 2008 03:14 PM
Jeffrey Slott from East Elmhurst

You keep on insisting that some "ideology" is at work here even though, as illustrated in your first post, you accused Mr. Hedges of being "another anti-American idiot" before the interview even began.
It's true that my understanding of the situation in Iraq comes from people like Mr. Hedges and his ilk, which by the way, includes people who not originally supported this debacle but who actually took part in its prosecution.

Jul. 03 2008 02:07 PM
Tara from New York, NY

Well Jeff what can I say. I am obviously not going to enable you to see that this book paints a generalized picture. And I am sure that Mr. Hedges had an agenda when he interviewed the people he did. As a matter of fact I know several veterans and that is the reason why I posted the comments I did. Where does your knowledge come from? Some people actually do speak out from knowledge and not just some baseless ideology. If you can't or won't get my point then whatever, I am not surprised...

Jul. 03 2008 01:17 PM
Jeffrey Slott from East Elmhurst

You didn't answer my question which was how do you personally know that Mr. Hedges is portraying an inaccurate picture of what is going on in Iraq? How many soldiers have you talked to?
Mr. Hedges never claimed that every soldier is guilty of perpetuating atrocities. He is describing statements made by soldiers that he interviewed. Are these fifty soldiers isolated cases? Most unlikely.

Jul. 03 2008 01:07 PM
Tara from New York, NY

Do you really think that the majority of American troops are committing the acts described in his book! Do you personally know any veterans over there? Anyone who actually believes that US veterans are doing nothing more than committing atrocities over in Iraq are either completely ignorant, or completely prejudice against US soldiers in general. If you knew and spoke directly to any soldiers over there you would get a much different picture of what is going on. Are there individual acts of atrocity? I am sure there are as there are in all wars. Do I appologise for them? NO! But to write a book characterizing all soldiers as psychologically damaged mad dog murderers is BS!!! Period!

Jul. 03 2008 12:54 PM
Betty Anne from UES

Can you ask him if the soldiers thought this war was over oil?

Please ask about oil.

Jul. 03 2008 12:48 PM
Jeffrey Slott from East Elmhurst

How do you know Chris Hedges is being "inaccurate"?

Jul. 03 2008 12:45 PM
Tara from New York, NY

For your information Steve I am American Indian (there are several of us in NYC) and I have many relatives who have been war veterans both for and against America. Don't assume you know everything about me by my post. My beef with this guy is the picture he paints of the soldiers. It is largely inaccurate. But of course anyone who is against our being in Iraq (I was one initially) does not want to hear that.

Jul. 03 2008 12:38 PM
Steve (the other one) from Manhattan

Yeah ... why does this guy hate America? Doesn't he understand that it's our JOB to kill brown people? Just ask the American Indians - if you can find one.

Jul. 03 2008 12:28 PM
AWM from UWS

You're right, Tara!

Throughout history war has been horrific and brought out the worst in all kinds of people, but not in Iraq, not American soldiers.

The Iraq cause is noble and just and pure and anyone who doesn't think so is anti-your idea of America.


Jul. 03 2008 12:26 PM
Tara from New York, NY

Stunning!! There are over 150,000 American troops in Iraq. This guy interviews 50 and writes a book.
This is just a softened version of calling American soldiers "baby killers",which was so popular accusation during and immediately after Vietnam. It's just a new twist as to make the (incorrect) allegation against US troops sympathetic by removing direct responsibility from them and placing it on the American government. The message remains the same however, that US soldiers are crazed mad dogs who are oppressing the Iraq population with sadistic, racist, and abusive treatment.This makes me sick!

Jul. 03 2008 12:17 PM
Tara from New York, NY surprising another anti American idiot. However, I must say that this book is exceptionally disgusting.

Jul. 03 2008 10:09 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.