Last weekend, March 13-16, hundreds of U.S. veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan met in Silver Springs, Maryland to testify about and against the wars being fought. The four day event was organized by Iraq Veterans Against the War and the event was patterned after the 1971 Winter Soldier hearings organized by the Vietnam Veterans Against the War.
Sadly, mainstream media (MSM) did little to publicize the event to the public – the usual and expected fare these days. To the soldiers this was not surprising news, as when the 1971 Winter Solider hearings were held MSM was no where to be found than either.
The veterans spoke openly about the lawless nature of the “wars” (really occupations).
Former U.S. Army Sergeant Logan Laituri stated that the problem in Iraq was that “policymakers in leadership have set a precedent of lawlessness where we don’t abide by the rule of law, we don’t respect international treaties. So when that atmosphere exists it lends itself to criminal activity.”
More speak openly at face-to-face meetings and on the Internet in forums like Veterans for Peace Chapter 78 blogspot.
At the Chapter 78 blogspot one veteran states, “While on tank patrol through the narrow streets of Abu Ghraib, just west of Baghdad, Pfc. Clifton Hicks was given an order. Abu Ghraib had become a “free-fire zone,” Hicks was told, and no “friendlies” or civilians remained in the area. “Game on. All weapons free,” his captain said. Upon that command, Hicks’s unit opened a furious fusillade, firing wildly into cars, at people scurrying for cover, at anything that moved. Sent in to survey the damage, Hicks found the area littered with human and animal corpses, including women and children, but he saw no military gear or weapons of any kind near the bodies. In the aftermath of the massacre, Hicks was told that his unit had killed 700-800 “enemy combatants.” But he knew the dead were not terrorists or insurgents; they were innocent Iraqis. “I will agree to swear to that till the day I die,” he said. “I didn’t see one enemy on that operation.”
The feelings are the same whether spoken directly at the hearing or on the Internet. Multiple tours have wrecked havoc on their sanity making many feel that they are looked at more as just a statistical number than a human being.
Regardless, these veterans came together in a show of solidarity in Maryland and, upon conclusion of the hearings, the vets will continue to carry their message(s) to the people back in their towns, cities and states with the goal of garnering peaceful resistance within the United States against the government and its current militaristic practices.
Peaceful resistance by the American people is needed to bring the troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan and to keep the U.S. government from further invading and occupying other countries such as Iran.
So although there may not have been much information available through MSM, which aggravated and frustrated Sharon Frigiola to no end (I understand and feel her pain), there is some information available through Democracy Now and DC Indymedia. Maybe not a lot of information but it is to be expected these days…
And as good as a summary as any comes from a posting (emphasis mine) at Democracy.com:
Americans have heard from the generals, they’ve heard from the politicians, they’ve heard from the media – but they haven’t heard the truth. Americans must understand the reality of the wars our government is spearheading in order for our democracy to truly function.
Like 9/11, demand the truth. No more lies!