Unfair Portrayal of the Troops

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

We in the Army's 12th Combat Aviation Brigade were shocked and disappointed to read the May 23 news story "In Iraq, a Surge in U.S. Airstrikes."

The situation during the recent fighting in Sadr City was enormously complex. A small number of enemy fighters moved at will among millions of noncombatants. The Longbow Apache helicopter, equipped with precision-guided munitions and operated by highly trained professionals, is uniquely capable of dealing with such complexity.

We do our utmost, every day, to apply the rules of engagement and the laws of war under incredibly ambiguous conditions. Our aircrews and their leaders take extraordinary, and in our view unprecedented, measures to prevent unnecessary loss of life. Our enemy operates under no such constraint.

We also take exception to the criticisms of Capt. Ben Katzenberger. By portraying one of America's best and brightest young men as an uncaring, bloodthirsty killer who is isolated from and ignorant of the brutality and horror of war, the writers criticized every single one of us.

The authors stated at the time of their visit that they wished to "put a human face" on the American soldier's war in the skies over Sadr City. Instead, they produced a hatchet job that did a great injustice to every American in uniform.

LT. COL. CHARLES R.

BOWERY JR.

LT. COL. SCOTT T. WILLIAMS

12th Combat Aviation Brigade

MAJ. GEOFFREY A.

CRAWFORD

MAJ. TIMOTHY P. LEROUX

4th Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment

Camp Taji, Iraq


© 2008 The Washington Post Company

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