WINTER SOLDIER 2: Hearings for 5th Annivesary of War

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) will have hearings, reports and testimonials from the women and men who have fought in this war.  All three days of hearings will be broadcast on several outlets including, Pacifica FM Radio, warcomeshome.org, and speak peace tv.

Pacifica’s schedule is:

  Friday, 3/14 ….. 9AM to 7PM EDT.    Saturday, 3/15 ….. 9AM to 7PM EDT

                           Sunday, 3/16 …… 10AM to 4PM EDT  

More information and on-line streaming at kpfa or on war comes home, linked at kpfa.

The first Winter Soldier hearings were in early 1971 during the Vietnam war.  It was a forum where combat troops could voice their disillusionment at having found themselves in a crazy and illegal war.  Like today, Winter Soldier gave troops a safe environment to express their guilts, fears and anguish at participating in a war where atrocities were committed, where it felt like some wrongs had to be committed just to survive.

The name “Winter Soldier” comes from Thomas Paine in 1776:

These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.

When I first listened to the Vietnam Winter Soldiers, years ago, it felt as if my soul was ripped apart, but ripped apart in a necessary, righteous, imperative way.  I knew I must understand what these wars do to our soldiers, to the “enemy” and to all of us.  The hearings were a step toward healing.  They were also a major factor in raising awareness about the conflict.  Two other actions flowed from the Winter Soldier hearings: Dewey Canyon III, A Brief Incursion into the Country of Congress, and troops tesitfying at congressional hearings.  

Dewey Canyon III was named after an illegal invasion into Laos called Operation Dewey Canyon (I & II) where American troops met the NVA (North Vietnam Army regulars) and suffered heavy casualties.  Dewey Canyon III was a very powerful and effective action where troops camped for days on the capitol mall, and threw their medals back on the capitol steps.  As one vet said, while throwing his medals back —

I’m not proud of these medals.  I’m not proud of what I did to receive them.  A whole year, we never took one prisoner alive.  Just wasted them.

As for Winter Soldier I:

It is impossible to describe to you exactly what did happen in Detroit – the emotions in the room, and the feelings of the men who were reliving their experiences in Vietnam. They relived the absolute horror of what this country, in a sense, made them do.”

In one of the most famous antiwar speeches of the era, Kerry concluded: “Someone has to die so that President Nixon won’t be – and these are his words – ‘the first president to lose a war’. We are asking Americans to think about that, because how do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam? How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?

Since it is imperative that we:

         End the madness of War     and     Create the Sanity of Peace

It is also imperative to have as much information as possible and to do everything we can to reverse this course.  Bush has called for a war without end.  We must counter with a peace movement without end.  In a preview of this Winter Soldier II, one vet expressed this perfectly, saying that when a war ends, the peace movement just picks up and goes home; we must not do that again.  The peace movement must remain, ever vigilant, saying “No” again and again to any and every threat of permanent war.

Winter Soldier Begins Today, Live Coverage Begins Tommorrow

Posted on: March 13, 2008 – 5:27am by Aaron Glantz

Winter Soldier Iraq and Afghanistan kicks off in Washington, DC today, with hundreds of veterans of the two wars descending on the National Labor College in Silver Spring, Maryland to talk about what they saw, and did, in the name of America. Pacifica radio will be carrying the proceedings live beginning at 9am Eastern tomorrow morning. Audio will be streamed live from Warcomeshome.org and kpfa.org until 4pm EST on Sunday.

   

48 comments

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  1. How do you ask someone to be the last person “…to die for a mistake?”

    Unfortunately, John Kerry’s brief incursion into the country of Congress, turned into a long stay.  He became a POW and has found out how to ask someone to be the last person to die for a mistake.  At least his votes say this.

    End War.  Noone should die for this mistake.

    • edgery on March 14, 2008 at 12:21 am

    I remember the first Winter Soldiers investigation, and how the media of the times basically shut the subject out of the news.  But a few courageous souls like KPFA and the Detroit papers reported on the event and the testimonies taken.  And back then, we did have some Congress critters with spines — like Senator Hatfield who put the entire transcript into the Congressional Record!  Who will stand up this time, I wonder?

  2. Just kidding. It’s not.

    But it is getting a lot of attention in the mainstream media!

    Just kidding. It’s not.

    Anyway, I have gone to the IVAW site, and I can’t figure out where to click to get the streaming video to start. Anyone know better?



  3. It`s too bad the men carved in rock won`t be there to speak up about what they did to the real founding fathers.

  4. These are some brave veterans, having seen what kind of vitriol was showered on John Kerry — fueled, in large part, for the courage he showed in 1971 at the original Winter Soldier hearings.  As a Viet vet, I admired Kerry for the very thing they seemed to despise about him — telling the truth about war.

  5. A little something to get you in the right frame of mind: A 10-minute video made at a recent Iraq Vets Against the War fundraiser in Milwaukee, including some footage of the IVAW member who was inspired to start Winter Soldier II.

    • Viet71 on March 14, 2008 at 2:11 am

    untruth written here about Viet Nam, including statements about John Kerry.

    Want truth?

    Write me.  Viet vets invited.  All others, ask for facts.

    • kj on March 14, 2008 at 2:47 am

    yes, a subject line with a hug for the brave soldiers willing to speak looks silly.  but i have no words.  i’ve met some of the returnees.  some injured in mind, some body, some soul and i just don’t have any words…  just tears and anger and a tightly-held belief in the power of veterans telling their stories to heal- maybe- all of us.

    pro-peace and not just during wartime… excellent thought.

    • Mu on March 14, 2008 at 3:26 am

    Of course, this would be one of the top stories on the broadcast and cable news channels, and on the front page of the WaPo, NYT, LA Times, etc.

    . . . if our country wasn’t insane.

    That’s a big “if”.  

     

    • Alma on March 14, 2008 at 4:21 am

    I went over and checked OPOLs diary, and see where an event closer to me has been added.  I was hoping to go to the one being held in Detroit, on the spot where the first one was, but that just won’t work out for me.  🙁

    While I was checking out the event calendar, I noticed the Detroit one wasn’t listed, so I hope you don’t mind, but I’m adding a link with the info for the Detroit one here

    Detroit Winter Soldier Commemoration Event

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