"Iraq Veterans Against The War" Speak Out

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[Activists]
As more and more American soldiers are "stop-lossed" into continuing to serve, and more die, and more foreigners attack the US, veterans of the service are standing up and speaking out about what they think is going on. We've compiled a few interesting videos worth watching.

"If anybody does actually bring a dirty bomb into the United States, it's probably going to be the kid whose toy box we dumped out after we shot up his house."





Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) was founded by Iraq war veterans in July 2004 at the annual convention of Veterans for Peace (VFP) in Boston to give a voice to the large number of active duty service people and veterans who are against this war, but are under various pressures to remain silent.

From its inception, IVAW has called for:

* Immediate withdrawal of all occupying forces in Iraq;
* Reparations for the destruction and corporate pillaging of Iraq so that Iraqi people can control their own lives and future; and
* Full benefits, adequate healthcare (including mental health), and other supports for returning servicemen and women.

Today, IVAW members are in 43 states, Washington, D.C., Canada, and on numerous bases overseas, including Iraq. IVAW currently has 20 chapters around the country and in Canada. IVAW members educate the public about the realities of the Iraq war by speaking in communities and to the media about their experiences. Members also dialogue with youth in classrooms about the realities of military service. IVAW supports all those resisting the war, including Conscientious Objectors and others facing military prosecution for their refusal to fight. IVAW advocates for full funding for the Veterans Administration, and full quality health treatment (including mental health) and benefits for veterans when they return from duty.

Here the group protests the Army's latest recruitment tactic: using the "America's Army" computer game.



IVAW to kick off Truth In Recruiting campaign with Sept. 17 national day of action!

This day of outreach will follow on the heels of General Patraeus’s report on the recent troop “surge” in Iraq and will mark the beginning of a truth-in-recruiting effort led by IVAW members and allies across the country. While top military brass and the war mongers in the White House continue to assure us that we just need to be patient, and that things in Iraq are improving, those of us who have risked our lives while deployed to that country know the true futility and brutality of the occupation. We believe that any man or woman considering joining the military has the right to know the realities of military service and the true extent of the sacrifice it entails.

As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continue to rage on with ever-increasing violence and destruction, the U.S. military is at its breaking point. Our troops are being deployed repeatedly in combat zones for longer and longer periods of time. Most troops in Iraq are there for at least their second tour, some are there for a third or fourth time. Thousands of soldiers have been involuntarily held beyond their "voluntary" service obligation by the stop-loss policy. Many more thousands have been recalled to active duty as part of the Individual Ready Reserve. Our veterans are returning with unprecedented levels of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and life-changing physical injuries. While the burden of this misbegotten, shameful war continues to fall on the same troops and military families, recruiters are finding it more and more difficult to find eager military recruits.

In order to meet their recruiting quotas, many recruiters use deceptive tactics that don’t tell the whole truth. As Adam Kokesh, former Marine Corps sergeant and Iraq vet, says, “For many of those who enter the military today, their enlistments are based on lies. There are those who join hoping to go to Iraq for a variety of personal reasons, not knowing the truth about the occupation. But there are many more that are promised by recruiters that they will never go to Iraq, that they will get plenty of money for college, that they will receive adequate health care, and that the military will honor the time limit of their contracts without using the stop-loss or involuntarily extending them.”

Every man and woman who decides to join the military deserves to know the truth about military service. If someone is willing to make the life-changing decision to serve in the military and potentially sacrifice their life, health, family, and sanity, they are owed the truth about what that sacrifice entails. Unfortunately, many new recruits are lied to and misled by recruiters who are under immense pressure to meet recruitment quotas. We owe it to our troops and our young people to let them know the truth so they can make an informed decision with all the information possible.

Q: Why are veterans, active duty, and National Guard men and women opposed to the war in Iraq?

A: Here are 10 reasons we oppose this war:

1. The Iraq war is based on lies and deception.

The Bush Administration planned for an attack against Iraq before September 11th, 2001. They used the false pretense of an imminent nuclear, chemical and biological weapons threat to deceive Congress into rationalizing this unnecessary conflict. They hide our casualties of war by banning the filming of our fallen's caskets when they arrive home, and when they refuse to allow the media into Walter Reed Hospital and other Veterans Administration facilities which are overflowing with maimed and traumatized veterans.

2. The Iraq war violates international law.

The United States assaulted and occupied Iraq without the consent of the UN Security Council. In doing so they violated the same body of laws they accused Iraq of breaching.

3. Corporate profiteering is driving the war in Iraq.

From privately contracted soldiers and linguists to no-bid reconstruction contracts and multinational oil negotiations, those who benefit the most in this conflict are those who suffer the least. The United States has chosen a path that directly contradicts President Eisenhower's farewell warning regarding the military industrial complex. As long as those in power are not held accountable, they will continue...

4. Overwhelming civilian casualties are a daily occurrence in Iraq.

Despite attempts in training and technological sophistication, large-scale civilian death is both a direct and indirect result of United States aggression in Iraq. Even the most conservative estimates of Iraqi civilian deaths number over 100,000. Currently over 100 civilians die every day in Baghdad alone.

5. Soldiers have the right to refuse illegal war.

All in service to this country swear an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, both foreign and domestic. However, they are prosecuted if they object to serve in a war they see as illegal under our Constitution. As such, our brothers and sisters are paying the price for political incompetence, forced to fight in a war instead of having been sufficiently trained to carry out the task of nation-building.

6. Service members are facing serious health consequences due to our Government's negligence.

Many of our troops have already been deployed to Iraq for two, three, and even four tours of duty averaging eleven months each. Combat stress, exhaustion, and bearing witness to the horrors of war contribute to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a serious set of symptoms that can lead to depression, illness, violent behavior, and even suicide. Additionally, depleted uranium, Lariam, insufficient body armor and infectious diseases are just a few of the health risks which accompany an immorally planned and incompetently executed war. Finally, upon a soldier's release, the Veterans Administration is far too under-funded to fully deal with the magnitude of veterans in need.

7. The war in Iraq is tearing our families apart.

The use of stop-loss on active duty troops and the unnecessarily lengthy and repeat active tours by Guard and Reserve troops place enough strain on our military families, even without being forced to sacrifice their loved ones for this ongoing political experiment in the Middle East.

8. The Iraq war is robbing us of funding sorely needed here at home.

$5.8 billion per month is spent on a war which could have aided the victims of Hurricane Katrina, gone to impoverished schools, the construction of hospitals and health care systems, tax cut initiatives, and a host of domestic programs that have all been gutted in the wake of the war in Iraq.

9. The war dehumanizes Iraqis and denies them their right to self-determination.

Iraqis are subjected to humiliating and violent checkpoints, searches and home raids on a daily basis. The current Iraqi government is in place solely because of the U.S. military occupation. The Iraqi government doesn’t have the popular support of the Iraqi people, nor does it have power or authority. For many Iraqis the current government is seen as a puppet regime for the U.S. occupation. It is undemocratic and in violation of Iraq’s own right to self-governance.

10. Our military is being exhausted by repeated deployments, involuntary extensions, and activations of the Reserve and National Guard.

The majority of troops in Iraq right now are there for at least their second tour. Deployments to Iraq are becoming longer and many of our service members are facing involuntary extensions and recalls to active duty. Longstanding policies to limit the duration and frequency of deployments for our part-time National Guard troops are now being overturned to allow for repeated, back-to-back tours in Iraq. These repeated, extended combat tours are taking a huge toll on our troops, their families, and their communities.

Iraq Veterans Against The War

 

Excellent!
Posted by Bill in New Zealand on 2007-09-01 15:35:25
What a good soldier and a true patriot! Solutions and truth from the grass roots. Why are there not more like him? It's well past time to speak up.
Citizen
Posted by John Q Public on 2007-10-04 22:21:59
This December, my family will be enduring it's fith Iraq deployment and of course it is a "stop-loss." Middle boy is due to get out in Feb. 2008, but will be on his third tour till 2009. Three sons in the Army, five deployments 2003-2009. More deployments TBA. We are fed up with the current administration. We are fed up with our military being utilized as a police force for corporations reaping huge profits out of this contrived opportunity to monger profit. Our forces are not protecting America, they are protecting businesses in a foreign land. The damnest thing about George Bush is, he could have kept the troops home and paid Saddam the amount this war has cost John Q Public so far and any business in the world could safely be doing business in Iraq with iraqi security protecting them. Where the hell is that third party that represents John Q Public everyone's always yaking about?
SSG
Posted by papapegasus on 2009-03-18 11:40:50
You guys are full of it. The people that comprise your orginization are soft minded and couldn't handle it "over there." You were Sh!t bags in the service and have a grudge. The war on terror will land at you door if we don't continue to bring the fight to them. I hope to god that you guys don't cause our country to collapse.
 

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