Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Lost Soul-diers

As we mark the five-year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq this week, we continue to bring you the voices of U.S. veterans and active duty soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan testifying about the horrors of war. For four days, soldiers convened at the National Labor College in Silver Spring, Maryland for Winter Soldier—an eyewitness indictment of atrocities committed by US troops during the ongoing occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Organized by Iraq Veterans Against the War, the event was modeled after the historic 1971 Winter Soldier hearings held during the Vietnam War.

Tomorrow night the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq will enter its sixth year. On Monday at least seventy-two Iraqis were killed in violence around Iraq, including 42 Shiite worshippers in a suicide bombing in Kerbala. Two U.S. troops were also killed, bringing the U.S. death toll to 3,990—ten deaths away from the four-thousand mark.

If the Bush administration’s drive to invade Iraq was aided by corporate media cheerleading, the five-year mark today is being met with near-silence by the corporate media. According to the Project for Excellence in Journalism, the U.S. occupation of Iraq has accounted for just three percent of news stories in television, print, and online media so far this year. On cable news networks, it”s accounted for just one percent.

That silence was on display this past weekend when the corporate media largely ignored a monumental gathering just outside the nation"s capitol. For four days, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans convened at the National Labor College in Silver Spring, Maryland for Winter Soldier—an eyewitness indictment of atrocities committed by US troops during the ongoing occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Organized by Iraq Veterans Against the War, the event was modeled after the historic 1971 Winter Soldier hearings held during the Vietnam War.

Yesterday we brought you some of the testimony from this weekend’s Winter Soldier hearings. We continue with more of their voices today as we mark the fifth-anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. This is Winter Soldier.

Hart Viges, he fought with the 82nd airborne division. After he returned from Iraq he was granted conscientious objector status.

Jason Washburn, served three tours in Iraq from 2003 to 2006 as a Corporal. He took part in the invasion and was deployed in the cities of Najaf and Haditha.

Jason Lemieux, Former Marine Sergeant who served three tours in Iraq from 2003 to 2006. He currently heads the Los Angeles chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War.

Geoff Millard, Spent nine years in the National Guard and served thirteen months in Iraq at the rank of Sergeant. He heads the Washington, DC chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War.

Domingo Rosas, Former Sergeant who served in Iraq with the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment from April 2003 to April 2004.

@ Democracy Now


Plenty of formats to choose from here for vets to tell their stories, hope you will all watch and send the link to your relatives and friends needing a good dose of reality or simply to understand the complete human wreckage that the war in Iraq has wrought.


Carey said...

Whoa. Hajji? WoW!

Uh-huh, Obama did it. Uh-huh. What a man. He transcends.

No, it was not a swooping speech, full of pretty and big words. He explained what it's like to be half-black. White folk, please transcend, this is for real. You can face your sins. Softly.

When Obama spoke of hearing something racially distressful coming out of his white grandmother's mouth, I knew he'd reached the ultimate point. He explained to whities what it is like to be black. He explained who he is. It's that simple.

That is all that is needed, really. Obama says avoid falling for distractions middle class, stay united.

This speech?

It transcended America.

DEN said...

Obamas speech up @ U-Toob

CNN=Crappy News Network video tho.

Hajji said...


I've been under the house most of the day, doing some long-overdue duct work. If the dogs and goats tear it up this time, we're moving!

I haven't watched it yet, but I printed out and read the pre-speech transcript, but there are some differences, I'm told.

With dial-up, I'll hafta d/l it and watch it in its entirety.

It won't make any difference to those who're still looking for an excuse to slam him, but it may very well keep folks from staying away from the voting booths.

I wonder if the campaign would hand out dvd's of this and other speeches, along with the stickers and buttons and voter's rights cards? Why not?

Anywhoo...off to muck the pens!

Woo Hoo!


Hajji said...


Just got my marching orders for
"Doylestown, PA"?

Hey Tom!!!

Glad to see you're back into the groove. Did you watch the speech this morning? Amazing.

We would love to have you in PA. I am in Doylestown (beautiful little place just outside of Philly). I would love to have you here and could certainly arrange a place for you to stay. You can find all other office locations at pa.barackobama.com, although I recommend you come to Doylestown!



Wow! Maybe NOT inner city for a change?! Be like a vacation!


Former NYer said...

BTW, says the brand new New York governor...I've had affairs, too, and I never "that I know of" used taxpayer money for the trysts. (Not trust.)

...continuing, he says..."Michelle and I have a different kind of marriage...." she's had affairs, too.


DEN said...

Hajji, Git yer butt to PA and give hill-bill-y the boot! get BIG O the delegates he needs to wrap this crap up, I gotta work but I'll be watching.

*Fingers crossed*

selling stocks said...

I didn't watch Obama's oratory...but I did read the transcript. For the most part, all I can say is, nice words, but no cigar. So, I guess it must have been the delivery that made the speech.

I don't see how he squared the circle on what played out last week on TV screens -- a deep chasm between "black liberation theology" and the mainstream understanding of Christianity. Obama claims to be a unifying figure, but now it appears he is living proof of a deep clash. (Too bad the friggin' politicians wear their religion on their sleeves.)

We Americans say we dislike double standards -- but, a white radio jockey makes a "racist" remark about a women's basketball team and is dragged 'round the coliseum to the delighted howls of the self-righteous. However, a man of the cloth uses his pulpit authority to damn the nation and curse white people and is praised as a "biblical scholar" by a candidate for the presidency. (Full disclosure, I didn't like Imus's remarks, but they pale in comparison to Wright's rhetoric.)

Obama was forced into delivering this speech by his own doing. Obama first claimed he was unaware of Wright's most inflammatory rhetoric because he "didn't hear such incendiary language personally." Yet, the record tells us that David Axelrod told Obama, well over a year ago, that he'd probably have to distance himself from Wright because of his pastor's past "sermons." Obama also made excuses for Wright's rants, until his spiritual mentor's words became a political liability. So, that alone makes Obama an obvious liar and typical political, IMO. Very obvious.

If you buy that Obama's speech transcends the negative, restrictive aspects of this problem, I've got some Bear Stearns stock to sell you.

Hajji said...

Corn on "Newshour" tonight.

FDR reflector said...

A day or so ago Dr. B suggested we reflect on FDR's life -- I'm not certain what he had in mind, but I did a bit of reflection and remembered that FDR's life and presidency epitomized the times in which he lived and served.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was, an imperfect, but remarkable leader thrown into the midst of one of history's most difficult periods. He made some bad decisions, but it can never be said that he didn't hold the country together through trying times.

Nowadays, so-called leaders can't even hold the country together during a political campaign.

DEN said...

Nattering nabob of negativity:

Democracy evolves as it should, what was then is not now.

You seem to set higher standards for certain politicians than they can deliver and then rant on when they do not meet those standards.

It's only four years, not a lifelong commitment, if he screws up he's gone.

Go with the flow,
go BIG O,
because Bush has to go,
doncha know.

Not looking forward to 4 years of O said...

No. I expect a politician who's made his "walking on water image" based on hope, unity, change and honesty to be held to a higher standard.

He wants to present an image of being A MOVEMENT, but he can't tear himself away from wanting (needing) to be admired by the DC Insiders. He's a POLITICIAN -- he ain't god.

Four years is a long, long time....call me negative if it makes you feel better about your choice, but he's not mine. And never will be.


"I understand MSNBC has suspended Mr. Imus," Obama told ABC News, "but I would also say that there's nobody on my staff who would still be working for me if they made a comment like that about anybody of any ethnic group. And I would hope that NBC ends up having that same attitude."

Obama said he appeared once on Imus' show two years ago, and "I have no intention of returning."

"He didn't just cross the line," Obama said. "He fed into some of the worst stereotypes that my two young daughters are having to deal with today in America.

Carey said...

I cannot disagree more strongly. I think that Obama today was a brave godsend who answered loud demands of him with a gift, an offer, a call to arms. A very courageous step, one he had to take.

My sister sent me this.

From the Huffington Post

Alan said...

"...but he's not mine. And never will be."

Yes, you've said that before on here, so it's clear where you stand. Everybody knows this by now, so you don't have to keep bringing it up. What else that should be clear is... we've made up our mind as well, so your negative posts about Obama aren't going to change anyone's mind.
Take a chill pill please.

The Rockets game is almost over. Their winning streak will be history any minute now. The #1 team in the East came to town and kicked our ass, big time. The Celtics have the best record in the NBA and they showed us why.

Alan said...


Bedbugs at Fox News

While grappling with MSNBC and CNN for viewers, Fox News has also been battling a smaller, more insidious enemy closer to home: bed bugs in its Midtown Manhattan newsroom. In an interview on Monday, Warren Vandeveer, senior vice president for operations and engineering at Fox News, said the cable channel had realized it had a problem a few weeks ago, when an employee “caught a bug and showed it to us.” An exterminator determined that the incursion was limited to a “very small area in the newsroom.”

Hajji said...


The re-emergence of the "bedbug" menace is testament to the resillience of the lil beasties.

The can go without feeding for months, will climb up walls and across ceilings and then drop in a leap of faith when they sense they're over a CO2 source.

The transience of today's population has us bringing bedbugs home with us from Hotel/Motel rooms and trasferring them, in furniture from one house or apartment building to another.

Good news is...

They only feed in the couple hours before sunrise, so if you keep a Farmer's sleep patterns... well, maybe they'll starve!

In a place like CNN, I imagine roving reporters, photogs and producers bring their luggage to the office and file stories long before they get home, furniture is moved from place to place, etc.

Bedbugs are not any indication of the cleanliness of a place...they huddle in cracks and crevices during the day and migrate from House to house and apartment to apartment via the many pathways we open to them with all our wire access, cable drops, plumbing holes, etc.

We're bug-free (bedbug, at least, but the scorpions are getting pretty prolific during these droughty times) here for now, but the kids who lived in Ft.Worth had a devil of a time ridding themselves of them until they moved to Pensacola.

Then nothing went into the new house until it was properly treated.

Interesting and freaky, those 'lil bastards!