Saturday, March 15, 2008

Winter Soldier - Final Update

by expatbrian

Day two of this four day event is over. I've listened to the testimony of several speakers and I could not be more impressed with this group of soldiers. It's very obvious that a tremendous amount of work and money has gone into this event. It's also obvious that they are sincere and telling the truth. Each one of them has the courage to expose themselves to ridicule or worse by testifying here. They are doing so because the American public, despite the enormous amount of evidence of lies, crimes and huge numbers of innocent civilian deaths, still won't get off their dead asses and force an end to this nightmare.

The conference is separated into several panels, each covering one of many subjects. This is not just a haphazard line of soldiers griping about the US murdering innocent civilians in Irag - although that is certainly covered. No, there are many panels covering many critical areas including prisoner care, veterans health care, gender and sexuality, dehumanization and even rape in the military. The full list of panels and links is here.

The online coverage is just excellent from the podcasts to the blogs and the followup interviews. As shown before, the best site for all the action is War Comes Home. From the podcast link there or here you can access the testimony audios in order. The blog is being done live from the event and the radio broadcast is also live. A short history of the relevance of the name, Winter Soldier is here.

One of the panels concerns rape in the military. A speaker recited the story of a female member of the Coast Guard who was raped by her colleagues and then punished for it. Listen to the testimony below. This young lady has put together an excellent but startliing website called Stop Military Rape. It's worth a look.

In my opinion, this event is THE top news story and should be studied by each one of us. These speakers, many taking an enormous risk, have come out to tell YOU the truth about a very dangerous and sensitive subject. They are naming names and getting specific.

These are the same soldiers that everyone screams about "supporting". You damn well should be supporting them here. They have organized this event and put their credibility and perhaps even their lives on the line - again - so that the American public will hear the truth about the war and the military. Every single one of us ought to be listening.

Originally I was going to do a series of posts covering the event daily. But I'm not going to do that (for you). All of the necessary links to all of the information is above. I'm not going to spend my time summarizing everything into tidy little posts for you. If you give a damn, do a little research yourself. It'll be good for you. This insane slaughter of innocent people has got to end. These soldiers know it and have started the process. They are depending on the American people to listen and follow through.

Personally, I have absolutely no faith that you will. No, you are going to wait and depend on the next president to take care of this for you. (of course he or she won't) You will sit back and hope that someone else takes your responsibility again so you don't really have to participate. You won't pick up a pen or send an email to your congressman. You won't call the toll free line to the White House. And you certainly won't form or even take part in grassroots groups who are actively against the war. No, you will do what you always do. Nothing.

Tanya Austin: Testimonial - Listen to the audio clip (or download)

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Blogger QueersOnTheRise said...

Let's be fair. I have a full time job and alimony and child support to pay. Other than posting these blogs, what SPECIFICALLY are YOU doing. My being for Obama is intended to help things through the ballot box instead of a bloody revolution.

9:40:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

I believe he suggested many non-violent courses of action.

11:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A fair question, for obama. I'll answer it from the beginning.

My anti war activity began in about 1968 (roughly the time you were born?) where as a soldier stationed at Ft Gordon, Georgia, I wrote for the base's underground newspaper, The Last Harass. (Having more than one copy of that paper in ones possession was a violation of military law) When my participation was discovered, I was sent on special levy to Vietnam.

There were some loosely organized anti war groups even there and I loosely participated. I was a little special in that I provided actual LP's of Dylan, Baez and other protest singers of the day. I also had the portable turntable.

When Military Intelligence discovered this, they interviewed me about my activities which resulted in a 125 page document that recorded my sentiments. It also resulted in me being placed under MI surveillance for the next two years. I didn't find this out until I filed an FOI request in 1984 and received a 250 page document containing surveillance reports. Much of it was lies and fabrications by the way.

Once I was out of Vietnam (decorated 4 times)I was sent to Ft. Hood Texas where I joined an anti war group made up of both civilians and soldiers. I participated in rallies in Austin and Dallas.

When I got out of the army in 1971 (honorably)and thru a teacher contact, I was able to speak to high school classes about the war and the military.

I'm much older and less able now but my sentiments have not changed. In 2003, shortly after the invasion of Iraq, I left the United States and have not been back since. I may come back after Bush is gone but certainly not before.

Because I am no longer a resident of any state, my mail to my former representatives is probably not taken very seriously. I do write and I have rec'd form letter responses.

But mostly I blog. "Posting these blogs" as you call it is no small effort. It is time consuming, often requires research, and contributes to the massive anti war and anti Bush efforts which are now getting attention from our leaders and the MSM.

I have about 100 posts on Iraq and more than that on Bush. It's about as much as I can do now. Stopping wars and atrocities is a younger mans game.

BTW, I assume you are not suggesting that, because you live a normal American life, you don't have time for a few emails or phone calls. If everyone who has kids or a job or pays alimony said that, if they used these excuses to justify why they won't get involved, then criminals would be able to occupy the White House and force our kids to be slaughtered all over the world.

Oh, that is happening.

PS: I did vote (absentee) for Obama. His ultimate worth remains to be seen.

5:42:00 PM  

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