22 January 2008

Winter Soldier '08: For Better or For Worse

Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) is putting on a "Winter Soldier" symposium on March 13-16 where Iraq vets are going to discuss atrocities committed during the time on the ground in Iraq and why the US needs to get out. I'm a little skeptical on this one because it seems like it's going to play into the propaganda imagery employed by the extreme liberal and even moderately liberal blogosphere. You go to any one of these sites and I guarantee you'll see more Abu Ghraib and Gitmo imagery than any of Al-Qaeda's daily worldwide atrocities. I've wrote about vets being exploited for political purposes before, and I fear that's what may happen this time around (it's deja vu all over again). I've been in-country for 7 months, and while I'm not on the ground, the only thing which could be construed as a "war-crime" in my time here was that whole Blackwater fiasco.

To not repeat another Jesse Macbeth debacle, IVAW has invited any milblogger to attend the event in case the bullshit flag needs to be raised. Army SGT over at Active Duty Patriot will fill you in on all the details. I've spoken with him and he is good people (yes, it's okay to befriend people who have different political views in my book). Here's a link to a post regarding attendance of the event (bring a DD 214). I wanted to go, but I'm a little busy at the moment. I admit that I did go to the Democratic National Convention protest in LA in the summer of 2000. I didn't agree with most of the protesters, and I just wanted to go to go. A fun time was had by all, except when I got teargassed. I'm sure this event will be no less interesting, even if I don't agree with its principles.

The new winter soldiers better not have a smarmy fancy-lad accent


Army Sergeant said...

I've always wondered: does teargas even affect military anymore? You get so used to it after a while.

That said, I'm pretty sure we don't have any fancypants testifying, mostly because fancypants don't tend to go to the Army these days anymore.

But again, appreciate the writeup.

LT Nixon said...

Haha, this was before I was in the Navy, so it hurt like a mofo. Yeah, probably no Skull N' Bones dudes with huge chins at this Winter Soldier, eh. It should be...interesting.

Anonymous said...

You go to any one of these sites and I guarantee you'll see more Abu Ghraib and Gitmo imagery than any of Al-Qaeda's daily worldwide atrocities.

One explanation for this is that we have much higher expectations of our military than we do of Al-Qaeda. A suicide bomber in a Baghdad market is, unfortunately, a dog-bites-man story by now. We already know these guys are evil, and we're already trying to do something about it (e.g. sending your ass to Iraq). When a member of our armed forces does something wrong, it's not that the act is necessarily more outrageous, but rather that it's shocking that "one of us" would do something bad.

The whackos who just hate our military are out there causing trouble, and that what they're saying is hurtful and wrong. Nevertheless, the media's focus on alleged crimes by our guys is not necessarily evidence of anti-military bias; it just might be that we have high expectations.

- A-ro

LT Nixon said...

Hey A-Ro,

That's a good point! You were always older and smarter than I was growing up. So I'll just my yap. I just get upset when stuff like Abu Ghraib fuels the insurgency. Yeah, it was wrong, but the American media ain't helping matters by still running the story 4 years later.

Anonymous said...

I definately think a lot of anti-war folks are not able to separate "was Abu Ghraib bad?" from "should we continue in Iraq?" You see it on both the left and the right: anger is the enemy of nuance.

Anyway, please do not shut your yap Lt Nixon!

- A-ro

Army Sergeant said...

I think a lot of it is realizing that things like Abu Ghraib happen because of the way the Army is handling itself in the war. Lowering the standards, pressing for results rather than keeping a real sense of honor.

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 01/23/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.