USA, horrible experiences of Iraq war veterans


The Ground Truth movie poster

By Clare Hurley:

The Ground Truth: the cruel fate of Iraq war veterans

25 October 2006

The Ground Truth: After the Killing Fields, directed by Patricia Foulkrod, limited theatrical release September 2006 and available on DVD

Primarily made up of interviews with returned Iraqi veterans, Patricia Foulkrod’s documentary, The Ground Truth: After the Killing Fields, unflinchingly exposes one of the human costs of the US occupation of Iraq.

The experiences of these young soldiers, some physically disabled for life, and all suffering some degree of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of killing Iraqi and Afghan civilians, represent one of the most severe indictments of the American ruling elite.

The soldiers describe everything from the false advertising and outright lies used to persuade them to enlist (“If you join the National Guard, you won’t see combat overseas”); to the dehumanizing process of boot camp, where they are taught to chant about killing “ragheads” and “hajis”; to the denial of benefits and necessary medical support upon their return.

Active duty US soldiers against the war: here.

And here.

7 thoughts on “USA, horrible experiences of Iraq war veterans

  1. *”timetables” and “traitors”*
    Posted by: “hapi22” hapi22@earthlink.net robinsegg
    Wed Oct 25, 2006 9:32 am (PST)
    David Gregory at Bush’s press conference today ….

    “In the past, Democrats and other critics of the war who talked about
    benchmarks and timetables were labeled as defeatists, defeatocrats or
    people who wanted to cut and run. So why shouldn’t American people
    conclude that this is nothing from you other than semantic, rhetorical
    games and all politics two weeks before an election?”

    Read this at:
    http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=364×2476067

    Like

  2. *On Iraq, one of these things is not like the other*
    Posted by: “hapi22” hapi22@earthlink.net robinsegg
    Wed Oct 25, 2006 10:45 am (PST)
    I report, you decide: Which Associated Press report is correct, the one
    from yesterday or the one from today.

    Is Bush in charge of making the decisions about how many more American
    soldiers will die in Iraq, or is the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri
    al-Maliki ?

    Or, I can ask it this way:

    Is Bush in charge of making the decisions about the future of Iraq, or
    is the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ?

    Was “turning over sovereignty to Iraq” just a show for the American
    voting public and Bush is still in charge of Iraq?

    “Sovereignty” means having the final say, not being Bush’s puppet
    government.

    Sovereignty is the exclusive right to exercise supreme political (e.g.
    legislative, judicial, and/or executive) authority over a geographic
    region, group of people, or oneself.

    ———————————————————-

    *On Iraq, one of these things is not like the other*

    by Tim Grieve
    Salon.com
    Oct. 25, 2006

    Associated Press report, Oct. 24, 2006: “U.S. officials said Tuesday
    Iraqi leaders have AGREED to develop a timeline by the end of the year
    for progress in stabilizing Iraq, and Iraqi forces should be able to
    take full control of security in the country in the next 12 to 18 months
    with ‘some level’ of American support.”

    Associated Press report, Oct. 25, 2006: A “defiant” Iraqi Prime Minister
    Nouri al-Maliki “slammed the top U.S. military and diplomatic
    representatives in Iraq for saying Iraq NEEDED to SET a TIMETABLE
    to curb violence ravaging the country. ‘I affirm that this government
    represents the will of the people, and NO ONE has the RIGHT to
    IMPOSE a timetable on it,’ al-Maliki said.”

    Read this at:
    http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/2006/10/25/iraq/index.html

    Like

  3. Chicago, Cook County Suburbs, Can Vote on the War Nov.7
    Posted by: “Carl Davidson” carld717@yahoo.com carld717
    Wed Oct 25, 2006 9:46 pm (PST)
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact: Carl Davidson – CAWI (312) 415-2499; card717@aol.com
    Wick Swanton – MK Communications (312) 822-0505; wswanton@mkcpr.com

    YEARNING TO MAKE YOUR OPINON OF THE WAR HEARD?
    IF YOU LIVE IN COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS, YOU CAN!
    ISSUE OF WAR IN IRAQ WILL BE PUT TO NOVEMBER 7th VOTE

    CHICAGO (October 18, 2006) – While there are scores of congressional races around the country considered to be surrogates for a debate on the War in Iraq, residents in Cook County Illinois will actually have the opportunity to explicitly declare their opinions on immediately bringing the troops home on November 7th.

    Countywide Public Policy Referenda #3 is a non-binding referendum on the war which asks voters: “Shall the United States Government immediately begin an orderly and rapid withdrawal of all its military personnel from Iraq, beginning with the National Guard and Reserves?” The ballot measure, which mirrors similar resolutions passed by more than 100 city councils nationwide, including the Chicago City Council, as well as the AFL-CIO, is non-binding, meaning a “yes” vote is simply the decision of the voter to show their support for a stop-the-war stand.

    The placement of the referendum on the War in Iraq on the Cook County ballot is the work of Chicagoans Against War and Injustice (CAWI), its citywide network of neighborhood affiliates and allied peace groups. CAWI has been mobilizing against Bush’s Iraqi misadventure since its first demonstration in October 2002, Also joining their effort were dozens of suburban anti-war groups that are part of the Illinois Coalition for Peace and Justice (ILCPJ) . Similar resolutions can be found on ballots in Dekalb, Aurora, Champaign-Urbana and Springfield, Illinois.

    CAWI and ILCPJ member groups are calling on all Chicago and suburban Cook County registered voters to vote on the resolution November 7th, regardless of their choices of parties or candidates. “Millions have demonstrated against the war, hundreds of towns and cities have passed resolutions against the war; now we are giving every voter a chance to vote their opinion directly in this critical national election,” said Carl Davidson, Co-Chair of CAWI. “This is one action among many, but they all add up.” “It’s our belief that, when given the chance, voters will send a strong message to their public officials–both Democrat and Republican–that every day we stay in Iraq threatens not only our soldiers, but our fundamental security by wasting both dollars and lives.” added Marilyn Katz, who with Davidson and other activists initiated CAWI in the fall of 2002.

    Since its founding, CAWI has organized dozens of peace rallies, forums and voter drives enabling thousands of ordinary, everyday Chicagoans to speak out against the Iraq War and other social injustices, as well as working with the Chicago City Council and other councils throughout the nation to oppose the war.

    The Illinois Coalition for Peace and Justice, founded in April 2006, is the coming together of more than 90 justice, community, faith-based, student and labor groups in Illinois. Acting in a broad non-partisan alliance, ILCPJ hopes to end US military actions and shift resources to social justice around the world.

    For more information on the Illinois Coalition for Peace and Justice or the November 7th resolution, please visit http://www.ilcpj.org
    Attached are pdf files for making posters, flyers and pass cards for outside the polls on election day in Cook County

    Carl Davidson
    Keep On Keepin’ On!
    http://solidarityeconomy.net
    http://carldavidson.blogspot.com

    Like

  4. Soldiers Say Support the Troops by Bringing Them Home
    Posted by: “Jack” miscStonecutter@earthlink.net bongo_fury2004
    Sat Oct 28, 2006 1:15 am (PST)

    Soldiers Say Support the Troops by Bringing Them Home

    Active-Duty Troops Send Messages to Congress Opposing War in Iraq

    by Mike Gudgell
    ABC News
    Friday, October 27, 2006

    They are not pacifists.

    They don’t represent a political party, and you won’t see them at an
    anti-war rally.

    Most say they are proud Americans. They are proud to serve and wear the
    uniform of the U.S. military.

    But they are against the war in Iraq, and they are speaking out about it.

    Organizers say it’s the first anti-war movement of its kind in the
    active military since the Vietnam conflict.

    “An Appeal for Redress From the War in Iraq”
    [http://www.appealforredress.org/] is an Internet initiative to get
    active-duty military to send this message to political leaders:

    As a patriotic American proud to serve the nation in uniform, I
    respectfully urge my political leaders in Congress to support the prompt
    withdrawal of all American military forces and bases from Iraq. Staying
    in Iraq will not work and is not worth the price. It is time for U.S.
    troops to come home.

    It is a legal way for soldiers, Marines and sailors to protest the war.

    Active-duty military cannot publicly express its personal views.

    “We are not urging any form of civil disobedience or any thing that
    would be illegal,” said Navy Seaman Jonathan Hutto, speaking on the
    phone, off duty and out of uniform. “We are saying to our active-duty
    family that you have a right to send an appeal to a Congress member
    without reprisal.”

    The “Redress” initiative does not require a membership, and comments are
    not made public.

    “Anyone who has been in the military knows there are informal means for
    punitive actions,” said one soldier, who was reluctant to give a name.
    “We do have a voice and we pay attention and we want people to listen to
    what we say.”

    One activist said that despite the restrictions, “anytime intelligence
    is mixed with bravery you’ll have someone who is going to speak out.”

    The response to the movement has been “amazing,” one organizer said. The
    group had 65 messages to political leaders a few days days ago. Now the
    group has more than 10 times that number.

    “If people want to support the troops, then they should support us
    coming home,” said Marine Sgt. Liam Madden, one of the organizers of the
    movement.

    He cites the absence of weapons of mass destruction and the lack of a
    link between Iraq and al Qaeda for his opposition to the war.

    One soldier, who feared reprisal and would not disclose a name, believed
    in the war at the beginning: “We were taking out an oppressive regime.”

    But it is different now.

    “I don’t think that the American public realizes just how many soldiers
    and service members in general really do have reservations about what is
    the actions going on over there. … It’s very hard. These soldiers seeing
    all this tribal fighting, ethnic fighting going on around them. … There
    is not really anything you can do to stop this,” the soldier said. “You
    are talking about thousands and thousands of years of history here, and
    it’s very frustrating for them to go. … Risking their lives on a daily
    basis and not seeing any tangible results for their actions.”

    A few hundred notes of protest represent a small percentage of the 1
    million men and women in uniform.

    Organizers say it’s just the beginning.

    “It’s the snowball effect and eventually that ball’s going to get
    rolling,” said one soldier who ran security on convoys in Iraq.

    “Once they start seeing momentum going forward and more and more service
    members coming out, they will be much more inclined to come out as well.”

    “Redress” founder Hutto says that during the Vietnam conflict more than
    250,000 soldiers, sailors and airmen wrote political leaders to oppose
    the war.

    But the troops in Vietnam had mostly been drafted, and it’s unclear
    whether there is the same sort of broad-based opposition to the Iraq war
    among today’s all-volunteer Army.

    Hutto says it remains to be seen whether there is opposition to the war
    among active soldiers at a level comparable to that of the Vietnam era,
    because the movement has just gotten started.

    “We aren’t supposed to organize groups,” Hutto said. “It’s a culture
    that you don’t get engaged in the process. … You are given orders. What
    we are doing is untraditional, unorthodox and unprecedented.”

    There are formal organizations of Iraq veterans that oppose the war.

    Iraq Veterans Against the War has chapters in nine cities, an elected
    board of directors, and an outreach program. There are 300 members
    nationwide.

    According to organizer Michael Blake, it is difficult for active
    military to come out against the war.

    “There’s a need to justify the loss of friends or the people they’ve
    killed,” he said.

    Blake also believes the culture of the military prevents soldiers from
    questioning what they are called up to do.

    “If you don’t support everything they tell you, then you’re considered a
    traitor or terrorist and you’re against your brothers that are still
    there — but this is just not true,” he said.

    Several former generals have come out against the war, and a dozen or so
    servicemen and women have refused to serve in Iraq, but “Redress” is the
    first national movement organized by active military that oppose the war.

    The protest notes will be taken to Congress on Martin Luther King Day
    early next year.

    One soldier sees no conflict in her opposition to the Iraq war.

    “We are very proud to be serving our country,” the soldier said. “I
    wouldn’t take back my service for anything. I’m very proud to wear this
    uniform and to do my part to help this country that I’m a citizen of. …
    And that’s something I take pride in and don’t want to tarnish or diminish.”

    “It’s everybody’s duty to support democracy,” Madden said. “We do it
    much more effectively when we exercise these rights than we do in Iraq.”

    © Copyright 2006 ABC News Internet Ventures

    http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/1027-03.htm

    Like

  5. *Top U.S. Military Officer Recommends ‘We Remove All Troops From
    Baghdad’*

    Think Progress
    Oct. 28, 2006

    President Bush has consistently said that his strategy in Iraq is
    dictated by military officials on the ground. Last night on the NewsHour
    with Jim Lehrer, columnist Mark Shields revealed that one of the
    “highest ranking men” in the military has recommended removing all U.S.
    troops from Baghdad. Here’s the key excerpt:

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    MARK SHIELDS: The highest ranking or certainly one of the
    highest ranking men in the United States military today has
    recommended that we remove all troops from Baghdad, all
    American troops from Baghdad…All of the troops out of Baghdad,
    secure the road to the airport, secure the oil fields and the
    borders, and say that the pacification and the maintaining of
    order in Baghdad is the responsibility of the Iraqis. That is
    the recommendation of probably one of the most — probably the
    most respected man in uniform today.

    JIM LEHRER: You mean IN uniform, SERVING on ACTIVE duty
    today?

    MARK SHIELDS: That’s right.

    JIM LEHRER: So who did he make this recommendation to?

    MARK SHIELDS: He made it to the civilian leadership of the
    United States.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    If Shields’ report is true it represents an acknowledgment by the
    military that the conspicuous presence of U.S. troops in Iraq is
    actually making the situation WORSE. This is one of the core rationales
    of the American Progress plan, Strategic Redeployment.

    Read this at:
    http://thinkprogress.org/2006/10/28/withdraw-all-troops-baghdad/

    Like

  6. Pingback: USA: Bush Lied. They Died T-shirt | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  7. Pingback: US Republicans against disabled people | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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