War on Iraq

This Generation's 'Winter Soldiers' to Expose Horrific Reality of U.S. Occupation

In the early months of 1971, a group of Vietnam vets spoke of the atrocities of that generation's senseless war and helped end that conflict. This March, the vets of another unjust war will follow in their footsteps.
Thanks to our nation's leadership, history will come to know this as an era of unabashed torture and war, led by the United States and its amorphous "War on Terror."

Meanwhile, the mass media bombard us with the vacuous creed of post-9/11 America: "we're more concerned with which color ipod to buy than the dismantling of our constitution, our country is always the 'good guy,' and the layout of our lives isn't supposed to deviate greatly from the characters of our favorite television show." From a historical perspective, my generation is ominously quiet at a time when silence is particularly dangerous.

We have the power to write hope into that narrative, as long as we don't submit to having our stories written for us. The members of Iraq Veterans Against the War believe that the silence needs to be broken, and we believe in leading by example. This March, we'll assemble in Washington DC to present our testimony to the world and reveal the true nature of U.S. occupation. In order to build support for this project we're running a New York Times advertisement early next year with a statement about our public investigation. It is particularly important that we build a solid base of support for this project soon, so veterans can come forth with their testimonies knowing that they'll be appreciated rather than reviled for their bold honesty. The statement below tells how our story begins.

We Support the Troops Who Oppose the War

This spring, Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) is revealing the reality of the U.S. occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. In what will be history's largest gathering of U.S. veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as Iraqi and Afghan survivors, eyewitnesses will share their experiences in a public investigation called Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan. We understand that truth, honesty and integrity are essential components to a functioning democracy. That is why American citizens must have informed opinions and take action in keeping with their principles -- millions of lives depend on it.

Winter Soldiers, according to founding father Thomas Paine, are those who stand up for the soul of their country, even in its darkest hours. With this spirit in mind, these Winter Soldiers are standing up to make their experiences available to all who are concerned about the direction of our country. Soldiers and Marines are not to blame for the suffering of the people of Iraq and Afghanistan; these veterans' stories will indicate that responsibility belongs to those in the seat of power. The testimony at Winter Soldier will prove that the problem goes much deeper than the atrocities of Abu Ghraib or the massacre in Haditha.

The lives of thousands of service members and civilians depend on you being a Winter Soldier. Please click here and sign this statement to demonstrate your support for this project.

For more information, contact [email protected].

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Liam Madden serves on the Board of Directors of Iraq Veterans Against the War.