Iraq, Close Up

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Donovan Campbell decided that attending Marine Corps Officer Candidate School after he graduated from Princeton would look good on his résumé. Three years later he was in Iraq commanding a platoon assigned to one of the country’s worst hot spots, the city of Ramadi. In Joker One, Campbell offers a close-up view of the Iraq War.

Event: Donovan Campbell will be speaking and signing books
Tuesday, March 24, at 7:30 pm
Barnes & Noble
2525 US Route 1, Princeton, NJ
For more information, call 609-897-9250.


Donovan Campbell

Comments [9]

Nathan from Cary, NC

Emily, you are an ungrateful piece of crap. How dare you insult this fine patriot for fighting a war he believed didn't start. Move to another country if you hate it so much here. I thank God for people like Campbell who are whiling to make the ultimate sacrifice to protect the freedom slobs like you enjoy.

Dec. 01 2009 12:08 AM
Jordan from Virginia

Ms. Winestein,

Frankly, you disgust me. To suggest that a war hero like Campbell is in any way similar to terrorists who indiscriminately blow up crowds of school children is absurd and horrifically irresponsible on your part. I'm sure that it is easy for you to play armchair humanist, but until you have ever done anything for anything or anyone greater than yourself, then you may talk. When you have actually put your life on the line to save wounded children's lives, then you may talk. But to compare a U.S. Marine to a Islamic terrorist is absurd.
Yes, he discusses his faith, but note that he discusses how it allows him to fight, and not COMMANDS him (BIG difference). His fighting is not a war of faith, but only a war for America, one that his individual faith permits him to do, not requires him to do.
So tell you what, you keep your tax dollars, and we'll remove the marines and all the soldiers that KEEP YOU SAFE, and when your children get exlpoded by a radical terrorist, then you can tell me who's on the right side. OK?

Apr. 01 2009 12:34 AM
John from Norwalk

Lighten up Emily and DMV. I can only imagine the things you rationalize/justify in your lives.

Mar. 25 2009 09:07 AM
George from Bay Ridge

That picture is of a soldier, not a marine.

Mar. 24 2009 05:12 PM
Emily Weinstein from Brooklyn, NY

Does Mr. Campbell realize that finding justification for violent acts in religious texts is exactly the logic that undergirds fundamentalist terrorists? How is Mr. Campbell, who is fighting "because of his Christian faith" different from any Iraqi insurgent who might be fighting because of his Muslim faith? What does he say to Americans--Christian or otherwise--who do not interpret the Bible the way he does? In a democratic society such as the United States, are wars of faith justifiable? If Mr. Campbell is motivated by his personal interpretation of the Bible, how is his war not a Crusade? Terrorists invaded New York City and killed civilians based on their belief that the Koran told them to do so. Not Mr. Campbell has been to Iraq and committed violence against the civilians there because he believes the Bible said he should. How are you, Mr. Campbell, different from any other terrorist? And why should I, a secular humanist who thinks your interpretation of Jesus is dead wrong, support with my tax dollars or any other means your misguided and as I see them, fundamentalist decisions?

Mar. 24 2009 04:49 PM
DMV from Bronx, NY

I have a hard time passively hearing the religious basis for military action. Mr. Campbell has served his nation wholly, and I do not disparage that. I will voice a critique of his use of religion as a reason for military action, as per his cogent discussion of his rationale. Biblical narrative certainly invokes divine violence and vengeance, and in some cases human violence is justified as divinely inspired. However, to use the violence of the divine on sinners at the end of days as in Revelations as rationale behind modern human violence assumes that soldiers, in this case Mr. Campbell, are in fact acting for Jesus through violence. His military service, including the violence, is likened to a divine act. Just because the narrative of Jesus includes violence does not justify Christian violent behavior. Further, that implies not only that America and its military are acting righteously for Jesus, but that the war in Iraq is summarily due religious justice. The Iraq war is not Armageddon, America is not Jesus, and Iraqis are not sinners deserving punishment by Jesus. The war in Iraq is a flawed human action, much like every human war is flawed, and it is dangerous to claim that it occurred in service of the divine and to liken this historical event to a religious war at the end of time.

Mar. 24 2009 12:48 PM
Stanley from Manhattan

Would you agree that, to some considerable extent, the large numbers of civilian casualties in modern conflicts (whether in Israel/Palestine, Afganistan, Iraq) stems from the military's over-concern about avoiding "home troop" casualties ? It would seem this tendency increases fighting from a distance and with increased distance comes decreased discrimination and decreased targeting accuracy.

Mar. 24 2009 12:36 PM
Matthew from Manhattan

I'm not sure if it was relevant to where he was posted, but what was his reaction to the claims that Iran was backing the insurgency? Just curious as to what the perspective from the field was -

Mar. 24 2009 12:18 PM
Betty Anne from Ridgewood

Can you ask him what it was like serving along sign allied militaries that allow homosexuals?

Can you ask him what it was like working with mercenaries?

Mar. 24 2009 12:18 PM

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