This music and video is also in part the theme music for the new series, Northwest Winter Soldier, airing from Metro East Community Media, produced by Kellie La Bonty.|
This program will be playing for the next three months on channels 21 and 11.
Sponsored by a wide range of Peace groups here in the Portland area, Northwest Winter Soldier featured eyewitness accounts of the realities of war from soldiers, their families, Iraqi refugees, and Afghan-Americans. A third panel discussed what we can do here at home to support our veterans, work in solidarity with the Iraqi and Afghan people and end the war.
Northwest Winter Soldier Series Schedules
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 Arendt, for the loss of feeling, shutting down and not knowing how to awaken suppressed feelings and emotions once released from his duties at Guantanamo Bay.
The brutality, cruelty and racism he experience there will darken the remainder of his life.
Among 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 snitched off 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. They also are individuals and different from the other soldiers who testified, many with great emotion and regret, both for their actions and for not being able to speak out against the injustice and barbarism they witnessed.
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.
I've included some photographs from Mike Hastie, which are a part of the video production. These photographs were taken at various peace actions as well as the recent RNC protest in Minneapolis-St. Paul Minnesota.