Archive for the 'Interviews' Category

Wars are Based on Pillars

April 21st, 2007

This is from an Inter Press Services story on the January 27, 2007 march against the war in Iraq, which drew 500,000 demonstrators to Washington, DC, and thousands more to smaller demonstrations around the country.

In Seattle, more than 1,000 people turned out to protest. Among the speakers at that rally was first Lt. Ehren Watada, the first commissioned officer to face prosecution for refusing to serve in Iraq.

Long-time social activist Tom Hayden told IPS President Bush’s ability to wage war is increasingly tenuous.

Wars are based on pillars, Hayden said. You need available soldiers, you need bipartisan support. You need recruitment of more soldiers, you need money, you need your moral reputation to be preserved and you need allies. By any of those measures the pillars are being undermined.

Hayden noted that more than 1,000 active duty U.S. soldiers have signed a petition calling for an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. Unhappiness with the war is also growing among veterans, with the group Iraq Veterans Against the War estimating their organisation has quadrupled in size over the last year.

Supporting the troops that have signed these petitions and supporting efforts to stop military recruitment at our high schools and at community colleges are absolutely vital, Hayden added. But people every day can do something. You want to convince your undecided neighbor to go against, you want to convince your kid not to go, you want to take a picket sign to the military recruiting office. You want to link up with the poor people’s and labour organisations and say this war costs 287 million dollars an hour.

If you put your energies toward a pillar they will eventually tip, he said, and they cannot fight a war without these resources.

Aaron Glantz, Inter Press Service (2007-01-28): Anti-War Marches Draw Hundreds of Thousands

Nation Building in Iraq

December 22nd, 2006

Here is video of a tank rolling up beside a group of Iraqi men sitting on the ground.

There was still some looting going on when we arrived.

And when we came across soldiers, they didn’t seem sure of their role.

The American soldiers are milling about and eventually move over to talk to the Iraqi men. One of them points to a young boy sitting with the men, and says, in English:

That child don’t need to be here. You know where the school is? O.K., that what he need to be doing, not following you.

Here are the faces of several soldiers, waiting for something to happen.

We filmed these G.I.s after they caught a group of Iraqis stealing wood.

One young soldier says,

We trying to stop them from looting, and they don’t understand, so we’ll take that car and we’ll crush it, the United States Army tankers.

Two soldiers draw their handguns and open fire on the empty car, shooting out the windows and the tires. When they finish, the tank rolls up to the front of the car and then over it, smashing the car under its treads. After it finishes, a soldier waves for it to come back, and the tank completely destroys the car as it crushes it in reverse. The horn honks briefly and a broken shell is left behind. The soldiers wave at each other and laugh. The same soldier who explained that they were going to smash the car says,

That’s what you get when you loot.

The narrator returns to say,

Later, the car’s owner told us, I’m a taxi driver. The car was my livelihood.

This video, recently uploaded to YouTube and featured on several weblogs (Geekery Today 2006-12-08, The Disillusioned Kid 2006-12-01, Lenin’s Tomb 2006-12-01), is an excerpt from the PBS Frontline documentary Truth, War, and Consequences, which originally aired in October 2003. The full 90 minute program can be watched online. Immediately before this segment, the interim American governor of Iraq, Lieutenant General Jay Garner, told the Frontline correspondant that more soldiers should have occupied Baghdad in order to keep lawlessness in check.

Good thing that’s been cleared up.

October 20th, 2006

You know, I hear people say, Well, civil war this, civil war that. The Iraqi people decided against civil war when they went to the ballot box. And a unity government is working to respond to the will of the people.

George W. Bush, August 7, 2006