Archive | Afghanistan

Soldiers Who Just Say No

by Jon Letman | IPS

KAUAI, Hawaii – Six months into Barack Obama’s presidency, the U.S. public’s display of antiwar sentiment has faded to barely a whisper.

Despite Obama’s vow to withdraw all combat forces from Iraq before September 2011, he plans to leave up to 50,000 troops in “training and advisory” roles. Meanwhile, nearly 130,000 troops remain in that country and more than 50,000 U.S. soldiers occupy Afghanistan, with up to an additional 18,000 approved for deployment this year.

So where is the resistance?

In independent journalist Dahr Jamail’s “The Will to Resist: Soldiers who refuse to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan” (Haymarket Books), Jamail profiles what may ultimately prove to be the United States’ most effective anti-war movement: the soldiers themselves. Continue Reading →

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Book Excerpt, The Will to Resist

The following is reprinted from Foreign Policy in Focus.

Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from Dahr Jamail’s The Will To Resist: Soldiers who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan (Haymarket Books). The testimonies below were collected at a national conference, “Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan,” held by Iraq Veterans Against the War.

The name “Winter Soldiers” refers to people who stand up for the soul of their country, even in its darkest hours. Thomas Paine, the revolutionary who rallied George Washington’s troops at Valley Forge, trying to keep them from deserting in the face of a bitter winter and mounting defeats at the hands of the British, said: “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 by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”

The phrase “Winter Soldiers” was adopted by Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) when they organized the first Winter Soldier event in response to the human rights violations that were occurring in Vietnam. The event, called “Winter Soldier Investigation,” was held in Detroit from January 31, 1971, to February 2, 1971, and was intended to publicize war crimes and atrocities perpetrated by the U.S. Armed Forces in the Vietnam War. VVAW challenged the morality and conduct of the war by exposing the direct relationship between military policies and war crimes in Vietnam. The three-day gathering of 109 veterans and 16 civilians included discharged servicemen from each branch of military service, civilian contractors, medical personnel, and academics, all of whom presented testimony about war crimes they had committed or witnessed during 1963–1970.

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Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan By Dahr Jamail

An award-winning, unembedded journalist tells the hidden story of American soldiers turning against military occupation.

“Dahr Jamail’s human portrait of the men and women who turned away from the project of empire should serve as a beacon…The truth they tell demands that we find the courage to make our nation accountable for the crimes committed in our name.” – From the Foreword by Chris Hedges

Read below to find out more about the book, hosting an author event or arranging an interview, and discounts and ordering information.

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