Winter Soldier: War Comes Home

KPFA-FM and the Pacifica Radio Network are running a weekend-long show, "Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan":
From March 14th to 16th, Pacifica Radio will suspend regular programming to broadcast the historic Winter Soldier gathering in Washington, DC. Hosted by KPFA's Aimee Allison and Aaron Glantz.
Named for a similar event organized by veterans in the Vietnam War era 1971, the event includes testimonials from many veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. I listened to parts of it today on the car radio while driving to work and then to a meeting. It's disturbing and powerful stuff.

Speakers include Camilo Mejia, a conscientious objector during the current phase of the Iraq war, and now chair of IVAW. There are podcasts/audio files and transcripts available at:


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So, I added the graphic about US casualties. What about Iraq's? Here's what Joseph Stiglitz, winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize for economics, wrote recently in the Toronto Star; I found it on Common Dreams:
Out of Iraq’s total population of around 28 million, 4 million are displaced and 2 million have fled the country.
    The thousands of violent deaths have inured most Westerners to what is going on: A bomb blast that kills 25 hardly seems newsworthy anymore.
    But statistical studies of death rates before and after the invasion tell some of the grim reality. They suggest additional deaths from a low of around 450,000 in the first 40 months of the war (150,000 of them violent deaths) to 600,000.
The article was titled "The $3 Trillion War in Iraq: Only two winners have emerged from the conflict: oil companies and defence contractors." That sounds right.

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Here's the lead from Greg Palast's newest article, Eliot's mess:
While New York Governor Eliot Spitzer was... in a hotel room in Washington, just down the road, George Bush’s new Federal Reserve Board Chairman, Ben Bernanke, was secretly handing over $200 billion in a tryst with mortgage bank industry speculators.

Both acts were wanton, wicked and lewd. But there’s a BIG difference. The Governor was using his own checkbook. Bush’s man Bernanke was using ours.
It's worth reading the whole article, including especially the practice of "steering" and the impact of predatory lending on the African American community.

1 comment:

Michael said...

Thanks for the post on this Chris. It's always good to have a reminder of the cost of the war, especially as it progresses on and somehow becomes normalized in the American pysche.

I like that you used the Stiglitz article. He has a new books out with roughly the same title "The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict." It was featured on NPR last week.