Lawrence, KS - Events Local News Groups Contact
Iraq Vets Will Detail U.S. Atrocities in Winter Soldier Hearings
By Indy Media / filmsforaction.org
By Editorial Staff, AlterNet.org

This week, on March 13-16, a new generation of "Winter Soldiers" -- veterans of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq -- will descend on the nation's capitol to tell America in their own words what they saw during their service in the "war on terror," the Bush administration's signature policy. They'll give a ground's eye perspective on the occupation's toll on the people of those countries and the costs to the military, and they'll tell stories of what it was really like in places like Fallujah and Ramadi -- places that are just names on a map to most of the people back home.

They'll be following large footsteps. In the early months of 1971, a group of Vietnam vets, organized by Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), gave two days of testimony about the Vietnam that they had seen, up close and all-too-personally, in the original "Winter Soldier" investigation. While largely dismissed by the political establishment, their wrenching testimony redoubled the peace movement's efforts to end that war.

In his opening statement 37 years ago, William Crandell, a 26 year-old lieutenant who served in the 199th Light Infantry Brigade, Americal Division -- the division that committed the infamous My Lai Massacre -- told the hushed room, "The Winter Soldier Investigation is not a mock trial. There will be no phony indictments; there will be no verdict against Uncle Sam." He promised "straightforward testimony -- direct testimony -- about acts which are war crimes under international law. Acts which these men have seen and participated in. Acts which are the inexorable result of national policy."

And they did just that. Over two days, more than a 100 vets of the Vietnam conflict bore witness to the horrors that they had seen with their own eyes -- "the inexorable result of national policy." One panel examined the question, "What are we doing to Vietnam?" and another asked "What are we doing to ourselves?"

The media largely ignored the hearings. The East Coast papers, with the exception of a New York Times article a week after the event, refused to even cover them. The VVAW complained of an "official censorship blackout."

That was before the right had built its formidable echo chamber -- before Fox News, the Washington Times, the New York Sun and the emergence of the right-wing blogosphere, with its instinctive attacks on any who question the morality of the "war on terror." It's difficult to imagine the kind of character assassinations the soldiers who gather in Washington this week will face from the war's supporters, but it's likely that they're going to redefine courage and genuine patriotism in the face of withering criticism.

But the progressive community is also better prepared to push back against those attacks this time around. A robust alternative media, of which AlterNet is proud to play a role, will at least allow this new generation of Winter Soldiers to be heard. You can get involved as well by supporting IVAW, by tuning in to the proceedings live via the internet, satellite TV and select Pacifica Radio stations, or you can organize an event to view the testimony with others in your community.

All week, AlterNet will feature special coverage of the hearings. Each day leading up to the event, we'll be posting some of the transcripts from the 1971 event. You can read Lt. Crandell's opening statement and testimony from members of the First Marine Division, and we'll post more as the week progresses. We'll also take a look back at the impact the original hearings had on the anti-war movement and on the larger debates of the day.

Several members of the AlterNet team will be in Washington this weekend, and we'll bring you the sights and sounds and in-depth coverage that the commercial media won't.

View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/79286/




To provide a preview, the organizers of the event have created this short film. The film features three members who will be testifying at Winter Soldier and includes videos and photographs of Iraq from their deployments. This video contains graphic content. Find out more about Winter Soldier here.




All week, you can watch proceedings of the Winter Soldier hearings live at the IVAW site or on satellite television, or listen live on Internet radio --details here.
0.0 ·
0
What's Next
Trending Today
Ten Ways We Misunderstand Children
Jan Hunt · 18,708 views today · 1. We expect children to be able to do things before they are ready. We ask an infant to keep quiet. We ask a 2-year-old to sit still. We ask a 3-year-old to clean his room...
18 Empowering Illustrations to Remind Everyone Who's Really in Charge of Women's Bodies
Julianne Ross · 4,897 views today · When Brazilian graphic designer Carol Rossetti began posting colorful illustrations of women and their stories to Facebook, she had no idea how popular they would...
The Little Engine That Couldn't: How We're Preparing Ourselves and Our Children for Extinction
Daniel Quinn · 2,762 views today · In a recent semi-documentary film called Garbage, a toxic waste disposal engineer was asked how we can stop engulfing the world in our poisons. His answer was, "We'd have to...
Beyond Civilization: Humanity's Next Great Adventure
Daniel Quinn · 1,526 views today · PART ONE A fable to start with Once upon a time life evolved on a certain planet, bringing forth many different social organizations—packs, pods, flocks, troops, herds, and...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 993 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
You Should Get Naked More Often. It's Good for You.
Joni Sweet · 883 views today · When Nelly encouraged overheated people worldwide to get naked in 2002, he was unknowingly advocating much more than just a sexy, sweaty dance party. Sunbathing, sleeping...
When You Kill Ten Million Africans You Aren't Called 'Hitler'
Liam O'Ceallaigh · 872 views today · Take a look at this picture. Do you know who it is? Most people haven’t heard of him. But you should have. When you see his face or hear his name you should get as sick in...
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 800 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
Gabor Maté: Why Our Culture Makes So Many Of Us Unhappy
3 min · 793 views today · Dr. Gabor Maté explains why it is that our culture makes so many of us unhappy, unkind to one another, miserable, alienated from ourselves, etc. Watch the full interview in Part 2.
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 718 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
It Didn't Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are
Mark Wolynn · 649 views today · The past is never dead. It’s not even past. — William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun
Lawns Are for Suckers. Plant a Garden - for the Climate!
Nathanael Johnson · 633 views today · Ripping out your lawn and planting kale and peppers won’t just lead to great stir-fry — a new study finds it could make major contributions to fighting climate change...
Schooling the World (2010)
66 min · 618 views today · If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children. The U.S. Government knew this in the 19th...
Bitter Lake (2015)
136 min · 553 views today · Adam Curtis: Politicians used to have the confidence to tell us stories that made sense of the chaos of world events. But now there are no big stories and politicians react...
A New Story for Humanity (2016)
102 min · 462 views today · Inspired by the New Story Summit at the Findhorn Foundation: a sold-out multicultural, multigenerational inquiry into a new story for humanity, attended by change makers and...
90 Inspiring and Visionary Films That Will Change How You See the World in Profound Ways
Tim Hjersted · 437 views today · The world today is in crisis. Everybody knows that. But what is driving this crisis? It's a story, a story that is destroying the world. It's a story about our relationship to...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 416 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Masculinity Is Killing Men: The Roots of Men and Trauma
Kali Holloway · 396 views today · We begin the damaging process of turning boys into men long before boyhood ends.
Why You Should Take Your Kids Out of School
Ben Hewitt · 359 views today · We don't need no education. At least not of the traditional, compulsory, watch-the-clock-until-the-bell-rings kind. As a growing movement of unschoolers believe, a steady diet...
Why People's Opinions of You Aren't Real
4 min · 329 views today · "You are what you love and not what loves you." - From Charlie Kaufman's film "Adaptation"
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
Iraq Vets Will Detail U.S. Atrocities in Winter Soldier Hearings