Photo illustration/Getty Images/NY Times

I remember distinctly being stuck editing in a public affairs detachment’s CHU-based office space on Camp Victory in early 2009, a terrible trailer jammed with body funk, bad posters, and a decrepit dartboard, when one of the soldiers — a newly minted E-4, already calculating his future separation pay — started muttering about the war in Iraq, our war, and how to beat the terrorists and insurgents. “Just bomb them all, man,” he said. “Turn it to glass. Then send the armored cav through like lightning. We’re Americans. Let’s do this American-style.”

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