Laila Al-Arian discusses her and Chris Hedges's new book Collateral Damage: America's War Against Iraqi Civilians in a blog post on the Huffington Post:
We were astounded by the honesty and depth with which these troops approached their testimony. With no one around to hear their stories, it was as if they used the interviews as therapy sessions. Many of the veterans are young college students. They feel alienated from their peers, who they say only care about pop culture and their immediate surroundings. The war, it seems to them, affects few Americans outside of the military community.
"A lot of guys supported that whole concept that, you know, if they don't speak English and they have darker skin, they're not as human as us, so we can do what we want," Specialist Josh Middleton said. At home, young soldiers are yelled at and ordered around, but in Iraq, he said, "forty-year old Iraqi men look at us with fear and... we have this power that you can't have. That's really liberating."