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AUDIO FILE: US Veterans Speak Out Against Iraq Occupation

On Friday, January 5, 2007, I was honored to attend an event featuring former US servicemen who have the Courage To Resist the Occupation of Iraq. Dennis Kyne, a veteran of the first Gulf War, spoke for about 6 minutes, first a little about his own experiences and then setting the stage for Darrell Anderson, the feature speaker of the evening and a member of the organization Iraqi Veterans Against the War

Darrell Anderson
Darrell Anderson
Dennis Kyne
Dennis Kyne

Coming from 4 generations of combatants, Dennis spent 15 years in the army. "My obligations since I have returned from the battlefield, even as a soldier, even though I stayed in after I got back, was to reach down one generation and talk to the young people."

" I was in Desert Storm in 1991; Darrel was in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, there's your 12 year generation gap. I'm 12 years older than him and our battles are 12 years apart. However, it's the same war..............the book, the Federal Administration Handbook of Federal Benefits, which I get because I'm a 20% disabled veterans, states specifically that the Gulf War started on 2 August 1990 and will end on a date to be determined by Congress. It ain't over yet; Darrel and I were in the same war."

Though Dennis was in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm and the overall conflict in which Darrell served was called Operation Desert Fox, Operation Desert Watch etc., " what you can see here is that in the old days you'd have one war and a bunch of battles,...... battle of the bulge, battles, battles battles. They don't do that to us anymore, one war, a bunch of operations. Wordsmithing, Depleted Uranium used to be called Depleted Uranium Low Level Radioactive Material. After 1991 it was referred to as DU. The Department of Defense is professional at word smithing, that's how they dupe guys like Darrel and I into thinking that we're defending something when we're actually aggressors."

Dennis states that the armed services uses people up. He quotes from a book, "On Killing," that we are using Pavlovian and R.E Skinner techniques to train soldiers. Whereas during World War ll, only "the statistics were that 15% of the troops would engage downrange and kill somebody," today "96% of the soldiers will go downrange and kill. It's not brainwashing, it's just reprogramming."

After a few more comments Dennis then introduces Darrell Anderson.

Dennis Kyne, RealPlayer

Dennis Kyne, MP3

Darrell speaks for 30 minutes about how he came to join the service, his experiences in Iraq and what led him to refuse redeployment and oppose the Occupation. "In January '03 I decided to join the military because, I was broke. I was tired of dealing drugs on the streets and I was tired of living with my grandparents and I was tired of not going to school and I was tired of being an American without healthcare." In his own words, he figured he could get "join the military. They'll give me 50 G's for college; they'll straighten me out."

Though his mom freaked out, telling him that he'll go to war, Darrel responded, "I want to go to war, I've been waiting my whole life to go to combat, to do something crazy like that. I don't have much to live for, what's me being dead going to matter? I'll be remembered as a great person, instead of that dude who worked at the grocery store. So I signed up, shipped off, took a year of training."

Eventually ending up in Iraq, Darrell found out that what was expected of him was much less than honorable, at least not honorable according to his own personal ethics. In the ranks around him he discovered a deep racism against the Iraqis. When I first got there I realized the racism that the soldiers had. It was obvious to me when they called them towel heads and every other name they could think of, and it really took me back. And I thought, wow, my whole life I've been taught that this is wrong, we can't be treating people like this."

" But it was obvious that it came from higher up than that....they were brainwashed into believing that the Iraqis were less than them., and they're all terrorists, and if you kill an Iraq it's okay, because another dead Iraq is a good Iraqi.. I didn't agree with this."

Soon after his arrival Darrel began witnessing the many war crimes by American soldiers inflicted upon innocent Iraqi civilians. And too, the pressure to join in these everyday, commonplace occurrences. With every US soldier lost in combat the temptation to kill anyone, anywhere in retaliation became stronger, especially since it was not only commonplace, but that it was expected of him by other soldiers and by his commanding officers.

"The more guys we lost the more drastic our procedures became. And we had some procedures that went like this: if we're in this crowd and one of you, just one of you, you could all be peaceful protestors in downtown Baghdad, and if one of you shoots at me, my superiors told me, if you get shot at, shoot everybody that is there. Now this wasn't our procedure in January, February and March, but once we were scraping our buddies off the concrete, we started to act out, just like they did in Viet Nam."

Darrell then took the audience through two days of combat in Baghdad, days when he had to choose whether or not to shoot an unarmed young teenager, days when he did take part in a mortar attack which left 100 Iraqis dead, most of them innocent civilians. He says that the army trains these young men to kill and sends them to where that is what they must do to survive. Who is to blame, the soldier, society. Weighty questions to struggle with here in the safety of the U.S., but much weightier questions, questions of immediate life and death to those in active combat.

Leaving Iraq Darrell struggles with his conscience and the question of redeployment to Iraq. He decides to go to Canada and remains there for a year and a half, returning to stand beside those who have spoken out against the war, like Lt Ehren Watada, the first commissioned officer to refuse deployment to Iraq. He mentions Watada by name, as well as many others who have stood up, risking ridicule, court martial and prison for their acts of conscience.

Concluding his talk, Darrell speaks a little about what the soldiers are doing to resist this Occupation and emphasizes how crucial it is to that the anti war movement work to support these actions. Both he and Dennis stress how important it is to go to Fort Lewis on February 5 to support the actions of Lt. Watada during his court martial, where he is facing up to six years in prison for his courageous stand.

During his talk he mentions another IVAW website, Iraq Veterans Against the War Deployed,

Darrel Anderson, RealPlayer

Darrel Anderson, MP3

After Darrell spoke he fielded questions from the audience. I've included about 20 minutes of the interchange between the speakers and the audience. Many of the questions are more statements than questions, but the audience has a good grasp of the issues involved, and the interchange betweem them is enlightening and educational.

Here are a few websites about soldiers in resistance to the Iraqi Occupation.

Military Families Speak Out

Gold Star Families for Peace

Bring Then Home Now

US Labor Against the War

Iraq Pledge of Resistance, founded in September of 2002, is a nationwide network of activists and organizations committed to ending the war in Iraq through nonviolent, Gandhian and Kingian resistance.

This event was taped by Jim Wrathal, Public Access producer, who produces and hosts an every other Saturday program from Portland Community Media. This program, the "TVSet," has been airing since 1991, and features guests, video of local events, and a good selection of relevant material from the internet, including a segment of foreign cartoons.

For those with cable, this is worth checking out!

TVSet Schedules

homepage: homepage: http://www.PhilosopherSeed.org


Dennis audio - video link 18.Jan.2007 01:15

Joe Anybody

Lots to look at and follow up on and view......THANKS!

I have a link to Some of Dennis Kayn's stuff (thanks to your post here) now on my blog:

 http://zebra3report.tripod.com/zebra3report/index.blog?entry_id=1623289

Thanks for the links and information and your efforts to put this out in the media
I appreciate what you are doing to help get attention on this matter



I have a link
to Your Website
On My Homepage


~joe


Feb. 5th - BE THERE! 18.Jan.2007 06:24

supporter of the Resistance

Please come to Ft. Lewis on the 5th of February in support of Lt. Ehren Watada, the first commissioned officer to refuse deployment. He is being court martialed that day and the Veterans at Camp Resistance are asking for support. www.ThankYouLt.org

I think I met Darrel. 18.Jan.2007 17:53

marco

I might've met Anderson at the SOA last november.
If it was him he's very young and VERY eloquent.

Some of the things he said in this mp3 rocked!!!

And I'll have to listen a second time, but I think
there were quite a few quotables, bigtime!


Even if he's not the guy I met, this guy rocks for sure.

Thanks for publishing this.

Close the SOA rally 18.Jan.2007 18:57

Darrell's Mom

It was Darrell that you met. Thank you for the kinds words about my son. He is my Hero
RESIST WAR / ACT FOR PEACE

anti-war 18.Jan.2007 19:49

karl roenfanz ( rosey ) k_rosey48@hotmail.com

also veterans for peace ( vfp ) and vfpevansville.

Thank you Jim Lockhart 18.Jan.2007 20:24

randy davis randaldavis@hotmail.com

Thank you Jim Lockhart for posting this. The work you do is appreciated. I heard Daryl Anderson on Thom Hartman and was moved to tears. I would like to know what organization or group is helping him with expenses and medical care. All of us need to donate and financially assist him and the others.

YOU GO DARRELL 18.Jan.2007 21:26

ALEX S. GABOR

Keep going and when world peace comes look me up...meanwhile check out these links:

 http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_alex_s_g_070109_president_bush_decla.htm

And visit  http://www.topangapeacealliance.org/

see you all soon!

the paradoxical iconography of vets against war 19.Jan.2007 06:32

:-\

> I'll be remembered as a great person, instead of that dude who worked at the grocery store."

Well, it's true, isn't it? The guy who stayed at the grocery store doesn't go on speaking tours where everybody takes him seriously as a public policy critic. What kind of message are we sending young people here really? "Join up, and when you're older people will respect your opinions, even when you say joining up is foolish"?

And just as an example, think about how your response to this comment will be different depending on whether you think I'm a Gulf War vet or not.