Video: Excerpts from Northwest WInter Soldier
Two of the Iraq Veterans who spoke at the Northwest Winter Soldier event in Portland on October 18, 2008. These two spoke at Panel One, "Voices of Veterans form Iraq and Afghanistan."
Video is about 22 minutes in length.|
Winter Soldier Excerpts
Both are members of Iraq Veterans Against the War.The first, Christopher Arent, was a member of c 1-119 field artillery from 2001 - 2007. He deployed with charlie battery from 2004 - 2005 to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he was a block guard and the escort control for 11 months. While deployed he co-founded the short lived radical G.I. Resistance group Motorcycle Awesome.
He is a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) Chicago.
The second speaker is Josh Simpson, who spent six years in the US Army as a counterintelligence agent, including a one year tour in Mosul, Iraq.
He is now involved with the GI Voice Project, Port Militarization Resistance and making Olympia a sanctuary city for war resisters and undocumented workers.
Josh is a member of IVAW Olympia.
These personal accounts are tremendously illuminating, first, for their informational content, but more, for the emotional content, for the depths of feeling, and, in the case of Christopher, for the loss of feeling, shutting down and not knowing how to awaken suppressed feelings and emotions once released from Guantanamo Bay.
The brutality, cruelty and racism he experience there will darken the remainder of his life.
Then, amidst other testimony, Josh bears witness to the treatment of Iraq citizens, soldiers bursting into homes, arresting and terrifying the occupants, most of whom invariably turn out to be innocent, perhaps betrayed for a few bucks from the occupying forces.
Always there are children present, always there are children present, who take in these malicious and brutal violations of their homes and perhaps will thus never be a friend to the United States, and quite possibly who will become our enemy.
Each of these two soldiers has a separate story to tell, each is different from the other and has returned different from when they left. All who spoke are individuals and different from other soldiers who testified, many with great emotion and regret, both for their actions and for their inaction-not being able to speak out against the injustice and barbarism they witnessed.
Many joined believing the propaganda they grew up hearing and believing, the age old lies, deceit and dissimulations which issue forth so easily and convincingly from those who have so much and want so much more.
Lessons learned and passed on from heart to heart, words, seeds, broadcast and nurtured with tears and regret and faith that the truth will, if not set us free, than at least provide an arena where we can, as a nation, atone for our ruthlessness and injustices.
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