Sunday, October 12, 2008

'We Were Told We Were Fighting Terrorists; the Real Terrorist Was Me'

Aaron Glantz, Haymarket Books. Posted October 10, 2008.

A powerful excerpt from 'Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan' lays bare the racism at the core of the Iraq occupation.

In March of this year, a courageous group of veterans brought the
war home, at a historic event held in Silver Spring, Md., inspired by
Vietnam veterans a generation before. "Winter Soldier: Iraq and
convened more than 200 soldiers who have served in the
so-called "War on Terror;" like their fellow soldiers before them, who
shared stories that laid bare the nightmare of Vietnam, these veterans
bore witness to the crimes that have been committed in Americans' names
during the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. The hearings lasted four
days; in their testimony, soldiers described how the discarding of the
military's rules of engagement and its systematic dehumanization of
Iraqi and Afghan civilians has led to horrible acts of violence against
innocent men, women and children. "These are not isolated incidents,"
was a common refrain, even as the episodes they described seemed
exceptionally brutal. For many of the veterans, it was the first time
they had told their stories.

Now, the searing testimony has been compiled in an important new book:

Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan: Eyewitness Accounts of the Occupation, edited by Aaron Glantz and published by Haymarket Books. I strongly encourage you to buy the book, preferably though the Web site of Iraq Veterans Against the War,
which organized the Winter Soldier hearings and continues to hold
similar events in cities across the country. All proceeds of books
purchased through IVAW will go to support its crucial work.

The following excerpt comes from Michael Prysner, a corporal in the Army Reserve who came home in February 2004.

-- Liliana Segura, Editor, War on Iraq Special Coverage

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