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The Good Soldier on Trial: A Sociological Study of Misconduct by the US Military Pertaining to Operation Iron Triangle, Iraq

4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0875867427
ISBN-10: 0875867421
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Major Sullivan's investigative report included a loose end that was not noticed in the initial cover-up. He reported officially and formally that the blind folds were still on the bodies of the dead Iraqis at the make-shift morgue, and somebody had cut them at the morgue. The obvious, commonsense question raised by this fact is: 'Why would American soldiers kill blindfolded enemy combatants?' Now the brigade had a problem. The original story by LT Wehrheim's soldiers that the Iraqi prisoners had cut themselves free would not stand. At this point, somebody had to be 'thrown under the bus.' It seems to be a universal principle that in such situations, the scapegoats are always the weakest and most vulnerable members of the reference group. Suddenly, the group turns on them, and transforms them into the enemy within. --Major Sullivan, Investigative Report

'The message in this book is so alarming. It documents the betrayal of codes of honor and conduct and exposes campaigns of distortion and outright lying that are common in today s military. The ordinary 'grunt' is hung out to dry and sadistic commanding officers are celebrated and permitted to carry out further campaigns of murder and destruction. It also tells the tale of a few courageous lawyers, academics, and ordinary citizens, modern-day Quijotes perhaps, who are willing to resist our military s freefall into hell.' --Michael Flynn, Associate Director, Center on Terrorism, John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY

'Stepan G. Mestrovic has made a career as the destroyer of myths.

'In this book he destroys one of the biggest American myths of all: the myth that America treats its servicemen and women with justice, understanding and tolerance.' --Chris Rojek, Professor of Sociology & Culture, Brunel University, West London

About the Author

Prof. Mestrovic has testified as an expert witness at The Hague and at Fort Hood. He is the author of 17 books (two with Algora) and numerous articles. His particular areas of interest include Abu Ghraib, culture, and race and ethnic studies in the Balkans. He holds three degrees from Harvard University and has been teaching at Texas A&M since 1991.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 294 pages
  • Publisher: Algora Publishing (August 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875867421
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875867427
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,247,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michael S. Waddington on September 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book on Operation Iron Triangle, one of the the most high profile and serious war crimes cases from the Iraq War, is well researched and documented. The author went to tremendous lengths to get to the heart of the issue. In the end, the reader must decide who, if anyone is to blame for this incident. Excellent read and plenty of primary documents and sources included in the book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Edward P. Horvath on March 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Meticulously documented and superbly written, Dr. Mestrovic's account of the shootings during Operation Iron Triangle render incomplete and/or inaccurate all prior reports of this incident. A sociologist by degree and profession, Dr. Mestrovic demonstrates unique insights, not only into the legal and military elements of this case, but also into its moral and psychological aspects. He describes how a "poisoned" command climate, especially an aggressive predisposition to kill--as opposed to capture--insurgents, can result in young, inexperienced soldiers misunderstanding rules of engagement. Prosecuting and incarcerating these same soldiers for "murder" has created considerable resentment in the general public--especially among veterans--and growing unease in Congress. Treating these cases solely as violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), without addressing underlying causes as described by Dr. Mestrovic, does little to reduce the risk of recurrence for such incidents in future conflicts. This book should be required reading for all military officers, members of Congress, and anyone interested in military justice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Fox on March 24, 2015
Format: Perfect Paperback Verified Purchase
It's a very enlightening book. I was very interested in reading it, because I know Corey Clagett and his Mom. It's an abomination what has been done to the Leavenworth 10. These men should have been treated like heroes, instead of condemned as criminals. The criminals are the judge and prosecutor who already decided behind closed doors that these soldiers were guilty, even before the court martial trial. These soldiers received no justice. Their cases should be re-opened, and they should all be declared not guilty with all military honors restored. The military justice system needs to be reformed, closer to the civilian justice system that our troops fight under and fight for. Everyone should read this book, and demand that the government do the right thing for these soldiers who have served our country voluntarily and honorably at a time of war. Many have served multiple tours in war, beyond human endurance.
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Format: Perfect Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is indeed enlightening as a previous reviewer stated. The average American has no idea what our military members face in the war on terror day to day and unfortunately most are happy with their heads in the sand not knowing. For those of us who do take the time to read numerous books/articles on the war and actually talk with our military members/vets about their experiences, most have no clue that such heinous injustices and cover-ups occur and occur all too often in the military bureaucracy. This book is extremely well researched and well documented, leaving no doubt as to the disturbing level of dishonorable activities of the government and U.S. military senior leadership. I only wish all Americans would read this book and know that we are sending our sons and daughters who join the military to an enemy at home which is worse in some ways than our actual enemies. It is worse because we expect the government and military leadership to protect, respect, and honor the men and women who serve and are willing to sacrifice their very lives if required. They are willing to give all they have and the least we can do is take care of them and treat them with dignity. Maybe if we could over-haul the military justice system along with the way our troops are utilized/supported in combat, we would not have 22 veteran suicides per day.
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