This book's main event is the senseless murder and rape of an Iraqi family by American soldiers,but it goes much deeper then that.
It pains me to see elected officials boast about how much they support our young people in the Military,when the reality on the ground says otherwise.
Jim Frederick has done a masterful job catching the stress,pain, and endless uncertainty this platoon was exposed to, with no apparent relief from command.
I in no way condone what these young men did,but a part of me understands the frustration that led to the event which could have been most likely been avoided,if only one soldier's cries for help had been heard.
This one is broken into 12 parts,I hope the reader enjoys...
[....IN LATE SEPTEMBER 2008, CBS’s 60 Minutes aired a profile of U.S. Army general Ray Odierno, who, along with General David Petraeus, is credited with spearheading a new strategy that helped bring a dramatic decrease in violence to Iraq in 2007 and 2008. During that segment, he and correspondent Lesley Stahl walked around the marketplace of a town south of Baghdad called Mahmudiyah, one of the three corners of an area known as the Triangle of Death. As they walked and talked—neither, conspicuously, was wearing a helmet—Odierno told Stahl that the area was once occupied by just 1,000 U.S. soldiers, who coped with more than a hundred attacks against them and Iraqi civilians each week. Today, including Iraqi security forces, Odierno said, the region is patrolled by 30,000 men and experiences only two attacks per week. (That comparatively low level of violence held well into late 2009.)
This book is about the soldiers deployed to that area back when the Triangle of Death lived up to its name, when it was arguably the country’s most dangerous region, at arguably its most dangerous time.
I first became interested in 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division just after June 16, 2006. Working as Time magazine’s Tokyo bureau chief, I read a news report about three soldiers who had been overrun by insurgents at a remote checkpoint just southwest of Mahmudiyah. One trooper was dead on the scene and two were missing, presumed taken hostage. It was a gut-wrenching story, inviting horrible thoughts about what torture and desecration terrorists could inflict on captive soldiers. News of the search played out over the next few days, and on the 19th, the bodies were found, indeed mutilated, beheaded, burned, and booby-trapped with explosives.
About two weeks after that, another story from Iraq caught my eye. Four U.S. soldiers had been implicated in the March 2006 rape of a fourteen-year-old Iraqi girl, killing her, her parents, and her six-year-old sister. The crime was horrific and cold-blooded. The fourteen-year-old had been triply defiled: raped, murdered, and burned to a blackened char. The soldiers’ unit: 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. Because I followed both stories somewhat distractedly at first, it took a while for me to piece together that the accused were not just from the same company as the soldiers who’d been ambushed several weeks prior but from the very same platoon: 1st Platoon, Bravo Company....]