US TROOPS IN IRAQ WANT OUT
For US troops from 9th Cavalry Regiment bumping around the dangerous streets of Baghdad in Humvees after dark on Monday, news that their deployment in Iraq could be extended fell like a hammer blow.
Their commanders had cautioned that their second one-year tour due to end in October could be prolonged while US President George W. Bush later warned troops it was too soon to "pack up and go home."
The expletives during the four-hour night patrol turned the air in the Humvee, already thick with cigarette smoke, a dark shade of blue.
"We just want to get out of here as soon as possible," said one vehicle commander in one of his few printable comments.
"It's because the Iraqi army is so scared that we have to come here to die," he added, asking not to be named.
"Ninety-five percent of Iraqis are good but five percent are bad. But the 95 percent are too weak to stand up to the five percent."
"Bush should send all the Death Row prisoners here and they can be killed fighting the terrorists. We've had enough," said another soldier, as the Humvee accelerated past a roadside car in case it exploded.
Added yet another, "Bush can come fight here. He can take my 1,000 dollars a month and I'll go home."
Commander of the night operation, Lieutenant Brian Long, said the anger was understandable.