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Hundreds of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Gather in Washington DC for Winter Soldier
Iraq Veterans Against the War
To mark five years of the U.S. occupation of Iraq, Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) will gather beginning today through Sunday at the National Labor College near Washington, D.C. to disclose the realities of U.S. war policy in a public investigation called “Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan”.
Veterans and civilian survivors of both conflicts will give public testimony and share the eyewitness stories that have been censored from the American public about the true human cost of these occupations. This testimony also will reveal how the Iraq occupation is tactically un-winnable, morally wrong, and has brought our military to its breaking point.
Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan aims to:
The term, Winter Soldier, is a play on the words of Thomas Paine who wrote in “The Crisis” (1776) that summer soldiers, “shrink from the service of their country” in times of crisis. In contrast, Winter Soldiers are those who stand up for the soul of their nation in its darkest hours.
America’s democracy is in crisis today, motivated by an economic addiction to oil and empire, engaged in ongoing illegal occupation that has cost the lives of hundreds of thousands, and stymied by a political process that values moneyed interests more than the majority of the American people.
Over 35 years after the first Winter Soldier investigation conducted by Vietnam Veterans Against the War, America needs Winter Soldiers again. Continuing in this tradition, IVAW’s Winter Soldiers are performing a difficult but essential service to our country.
For the past five years, Americans have heard from generals, pundits, and politicians about the occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan, but they haven't heard enough from those who have first-hand experience.
From incidents like Fallujah and Abu Ghraib to the awarding of no-bid contracts, Winter Soldier will show that wrongdoings and failures in Iraq and Afghanistan are part and parcel of war policy set at the highest levels of power. Troops are being ordered to do things that violate their conscience and the rules of war.
As hundreds gather to hear the Winter Soldier testimony in Silver Spring, Maryland, thousands will gather simultaneously in their homes, houses of worship, on college campuses, and on military bases around the globe to bear witness to these stories via live broadcast. The Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan proceedings will be carried via satellite on the Deep Dish network, Free Speech and Link T.V., public access television stations, the Pacifica Radio network, and via web streaming on www.ivaw.org.
The horrible, honest reality of the American occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan like you haven’t heard it before.
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