Anti war United States veteran interviewed

This video, from Washington, DC, USA, shows:

IVAW members seize National Archives Building in front of hundreds of surprised museum visitors. Response from visitors including teachers, students, vacationers was highly positive though there were a few horrified faces in the crowd.

By Bill Van Auken in :

Iraq war vet: We’ve heard enough from the generals and the politicians

9 April 2008

Among the several hundred spectators who joined hundreds of members of the media and the Democratic and Republican Senators on the Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees was a fairly small, but particularly skeptical audience—a group of veterans returned from Iraq.

“I would have rather not heard from General Petraeus at all,” said Geoff Millard, who served with the Army’s 42nd Infantry in Tikrit in 2004 and 2005. “I think we are at capacity of hearing from politicians, pundits and generals.”

Millard, who joined the Army in Buffalo, New York and is now with the Iraq Veterans Against the War, said that it was time that the voices of the enlisted men and women who have participated in the Iraq war and occupation were heard.

“I want to start hearing from E-5s and E-4s; I want to start hearing from boots-on-the-ground soldiers about their experiences,” he said. “I think that every experience in Iraq, no matter what the political views of that veteran, the stories themselves inherently expose this war. Take a story of a guy grabbing his buddy out of a burning Humvee, and that’s a story that tells you what this war is really about. These experiences have been completely left out of the debate.”

The former soldier said that if he had been asked to testify he would have spoken about experiences that opened his own eyes to the real character of the war.

“I would talk about hearing generals, up to and including Gen. George Casey, use the [racially insulting] word ‘haji’ to talk about the Iraqis. I would talk about upper-echelon officers and their racist attitudes towards the people of Iraq, to whom we are supposed to be bringing ‘freedom.’”

Millard said that while he believes the war remains today as bad as it was when he was there three and a half years ago, the mood of the soldiers themselves has undergone a change.

“Most soldiers when I was there were against the war, but they couldn’t admit it,” he said. “And now, it’s like, after doing two or three tours, those who still support the war are in the minority.”

Millard said that he and other veterans hope to soon have the opportunity to give their own testimony on Capitol Hill, reprising the “Winter Soldier” hearings that they themselves organized recently in Maryland in which soldiers and Marines returned from Iraq spoke of their experiences and the brutality of the war against the Iraqi people.

See also here.

Review of the movie Stop-Loss about the Iraq war: here.

Racist war propaganda: here.

4 thoughts on “Anti war United States veteran interviewed

  1. SEE VIDEO and Help the antiwar efforts of Tomas Young and others, pas it on to others.

    Promoting this film helps the antiwar movement. I interviewed Phil Donahue in this Representative Press Video, please help amplify his efforts and my efforts, get this video to others. It is important that good crowds show up at the theaters. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9 the movie is showing in NY and Donahue and the co-director will be there. Spread the word.
    See VIDEO: See Body of War, Hear Body of War * Part 2

    I want Phil Donahue’s appearance in my video to have been productive so I am really trying to get this video maximum exposure.


  2. Strains of war showing on US Army’s soldiers, equipment, readiness to fight

    The Associated Press

    Published: April 10, 2008

    WASHINGTON: U.S. soldiers are committing suicide at record levels, young officers are abandoning their military careers, and the heavy use of forces in Iraq has made it harder for the military to fight conflicts that might arise elsewhere.

    Unprecedented strains on America’s all-volunteer military are threatening the health and readiness of the troops.

    While the spotlight Wednesday was on congressional hearings with the U.S. ambassador to Baghdad and the commanding general for Iraq, Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Richard Cody was in another hearing room explaining how troops and their families are being taxed by long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the prospect of future years of conflict against terrorists elsewhere.

    “That marathon has become an enduring relay and our soldiers continue to run — and at the double time,” Cody said. “Does this exhaust the body and mind of those in the race, and those who are ever present on the sidelines, cheering their every step? Yes. Has it broken the will of the soldier? No.”

    And not only the people are facing strains.

    Military depots have been working in high gear to repair or rebuild hundreds of thousands of pieces of equipment — from radios to vehicles to weapons — that are being overused and worn out in harsh battlefield conditions. The Defense Department has asked for $46.5 billion (€29.6 billion) in this year’s war budget to repair and replace equipment damaged or destroyed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Both the Army and Marine Corps have been forced to take equipment from undeployed units and from pre-positioned stocks to meet needs of those in combat. That means the equipment is not available for troops at home to use in training.

    National Guard units have only an average of 61 percent of the equipment needed to be ready for disasters or attacks on the United States, Democratic Rep. Ike Skelton lamented at Wednesday’s hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.

    Cody and his Marine counterpart, Gen. Robert Magnus, told the committee they are unsure that their forces could handle a new conflict if one came along.

    An annual Pentagon report this year found a significant risk that the U.S. military could not quickly and fully respond to another outbreak elsewhere in the world. The classified risk assessment concluded that long battlefield tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with persistent terror activity and other threats, are to blame.

    The review grades the armed services’ ability to meet the demands of the nation’s military strategy, which would include fighting the current wars as well potential outbreaks in places such as North Korea, Iran, Lebanon or China.

    Similarly, a 400-page January report by the independent Commission on the National Guard and Reserves found the force is not ready for a catastrophic chemical, biological or nuclear attack on the United States, and National Guard forces lack the equipment and the training they need for the job.

    Strain on individuals has been repeatedly documented.

    It contributes to the difficulty in getting other Americans to join the volunteer military. The Army struggles to find enough recruits each year and to keep career soldiers.

    Thousands more troops each year struggle with mental health problems because of the combat they have experienced. The lengthening of duty tours to 15 months from 12 a year ago also has been blamed for problems as has the return to combat by soldiers two, three or more times.

    President George W. Bush will announce Thursday that the length of tours will go back to 12 months for Army units heading to war after Aug. 1, defense officials said Wednesday.

    Some 27 percent of soldiers on their third or fourth combat tours suffered anxiety, depression, post-combat stress and other problems, according to an Army survey released last month. That compared with 12 percent among those on their first tour.

    In Afghanistan a range of mental health problems increased, and 11.4 percent of those surveyed reported suffering from depression.

    Medical professionals themselves are burning out and said in the survey they need more help to treat the troops. The report also recommended longer home time between deployments and more focused suicide-prevention training. It said civilian psychologists and other behavioral health professionals should be sent to the war front to augment the uniformed corps.

    Though separate data reported on divorce rates appeared to be holding steady last year, soldiers say they are having more problems with their marriages due to the long and repeated separations.

    As many as 121 troops committed suicide in 2007, an increase of some 20 percent over 2006, according to preliminary figures released in January.

    If all are confirmed, that would be more than double the 52 reported in 2001, before the Sept. 11 terror attacks that year prompted the Bush administration to launch the war in Afghanistan.


  3. Pingback: British art against nuclear weapons | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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