The View from the Front Lines

The fighting men of Blue Platoon have taken a horrific beating, but no one talks about pulling out

Do you see 'em?" screams a gunner as he spots al-Qaeda fighters dart in front of him. "Just kill people to the north," a sergeant bellows. "Light him up," cries another soldier as a gunman approaches. On Nov. 17, even as Representative John Murtha was stirring debate on Capitol Hill by calling for an immediate redeployment of U.S. troops, the young soldiers of Blue Platoon were amid a citywide battle that revealed just how hard it will be to pull U.S. troops out soon.

Throughout the day, members of Blue Platoon had been hunkered down in their battle-scarred observation post (dubbed...

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