Hands down, the Iraq Veterans Against the War(IVAW) are doing the most kick ass political and cultural work in the US today. For a year or so they have been organizing a series of actions under the title Operation First Casualty, the first casualty of war being truth. Fully geared up Iraq War veterans have been descending on cities across the country and performing military actions on the street. This video gives a hint at how intense this is:
In addition IVAW is gearing up to hold their Winter Soldier tribunal March 13-16 in Washington DC. Here’s what they have to say about it:
Winter Soldiers, according to founding father Thomas Paine, are those who stand up for the soul of their country, even in its darkest hours. With this spirit in mind, IVAW members are standing up to make their experiences available to all who are concerned about the direction of our country.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time America has needed its Winter Soldiers, in 1971, over one hundred members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War gathered in Detroit to share their stories with America. Atrocities like the My Lai massacre had ignited popular opposition to the war, but political and military leaders insisted that such crimes were isolated exceptions. The members of VVAW knew differently.
Over three days in January, these soldiers testified on the systematic brutality they had seen visited upon the people of Vietnam.
Over thirty years later, we find ourselves faced with a new war. But the lies are the same. Once again, American troops are sinking into an increasingly bloody occupation. Once again, war crimes in places like Haditha, Fallujah, and Abu Ghraib have turned the public against the war. Once again, politicians and generals are blaming “a few bad apples” instead of examining the military policies that have destroyed Iraq and Afghanistan.
Once again, our country needs Winter Soldiers.
Check out the IVAW website for more information, and definitely pass it on to anyone you know who is a veteran or is currently serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.