I was part of the occupation force that moved into [Iraq] shortly after the country's surrenderwrites Richard W. Bruner from Budapest (if I got his letter — second from top — to the International Herald Tribune right).
Even as a naïve 19-year-old GI, I kept wondering to myself — while traveling … to [Baghdad] — when would our superiors take the … opportunity to instruct us in how we should behave toward the conquered [Iraqis]?
Although the [Air Force] gave hours of lectures to us enlisted men about the dangers of venereal disease in a foreign culture, it never gave us a single hint about what to expect from ordinary [Iraqis].
Many of my fellow American soldiers were contemptuous to the point of cruelty toward the [Iraqis]. In fact, their behavior appalled me. The lack of instruction had occasional dire results.