Tomorrow I depart for Kuwait with an element of the 24th MEU, a group of roughly 2200 Marines. The MEU will spend a number of days training in Kuwait before deploying to the Baghdad area where it will be conducting “security and stability” operations, according to Captain Dave Nevers, a Public Affairs Officer who will deploy to Iraq as well. These Marines will patrol, operate vehicle checkpoints, meet local leaders, and undertake civil affairs projects. Fundamentally, though, they have been sent to fight.

I am going to Iraq, as an American and as a journalist, to witness the war. In this cynical, postmodern era I stress the word witness, a choice that may strike some as old-fashioned, even naïve. I understand I will be seeing the war from one vantage point, that of a single Marine unit, possibly a single rifle team. I cannot tell the complete story of the war. I will most likely not be able to see much from the Iraqi side nor hear what Iraqis have to say about the US occupation. But I will try to report everything I see and hear clearly and honestly.

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