December 1, 2007
Copying the anti-war tactics of failed 2004 Democrat Presidential candidate, John F. Kerry (D. Ma), who slandered the valor of every person who served in South Viet Nam by his 1971 “testimony” before the Fulbright Commission, Iraq Veterans Against The War are now actively seeking testimony and evidence from Veterans who say they served in either theater to “provide first hand accounts of their experiences and reveal the reality of occupation.”
Taking the name of the self styled “investigation” performed by Kerry and his cohorts in Viet Nam Veterans Against the War, Winter Soldier, IVAW hopes to accomplish much the same that the anti-war resisters did in the last half of the Viet Nam conflict.
Speaking to Aaron Glantz, of the anti-war OneWorldUS, Liam Madden, a member of IVAW said,
"The war in Iraq is not covered to its potential because of how dangerous it is for reporters to cover it. That's left a lot of misconceptions in the minds of the American public about what the true nature of military occupation looks like."
Just what misconceptions Madden doesn’t explain, as CBS news is reporting today that “55% Say War Was A Mistake; 59% Want U.S. Troops Home ASAP.”
Copying Kerry’s claim of day to day atrocities committed by the Troops, Madden also says,
“Well-publicized incidents of American brutality like the Abu Ghraib prison scandal and the massacre of an entire family of Iraqis in the town of Haditha are not the isolated incidents perpetrated by "a few bad apples," as many politicians and military leaders have claimed. They are part of a pattern of an increasingly bloody occupation.”
Gerald Nicosia, also a member of IVAW, chimed in, with regards to those who gave testimony in the 1971 Winter Soldier “investigation,”
“They brought together their bonafides and wore their medals and showed it was more than one or two or three malcontents. It was medal-winning, honored soldiers -- veterans in a group verifying what each other said to try to convince people that these charges cannot be denied. That people are doing these things as a matter of policy.”
Subsequent investigations mandated by Congress after Kerry’s “testimony” revealed several of the “veterans” used by Kerry were in fact phonies, either never having served in the Military or grossly exaggerating claims made before the VVAW “investigation.” Much of this was revealed in the 1998 book, “Stolen Valor” by B.G. Burkett, himself a Viet Nam Veteran who admits he was no hero.
Troops who committed atrocities and crimes at Abu Ghraib prison were tried, convicted and sentenced. One by one, Marines accused of crimes in Haditha are being exonerated.
Violence in Iraq has been greatly reduced thanks to President Bush and General Petraeus’s Troop Reinforcement, more commonly known as “the Surge.” Iraqi’s that were opposed to American Troops have switched sides in record numbers to fight Al Qaeda insurgents. The American and Iraqi governments have scheduled talks aimed at ending the battle of Iraq and bringing most of our Troops home by the end of Bush's presidency.
Committing War Crimes is a violation, not only of our laws, but also of international laws and the Geneva Conventions. Americans committing war crimes are investigated and prosecuted, if it is merited.
Nicosia sums up the IVAW motive with,
“Americans are bred deep into their psyches to think of America as a good country and, I think, much harder than just the hurdle of getting troops out of Iraq, is to get Americans to realize the terrible things we do in the name of the United States.”
War crimes are not committed “in the name of the United States.” None of those confessing to war crimes in 1971 were ever prosecuted. If any committed war crimes in Iraq or Afghanistan, they should confess now, not in March 2008, and face the prosecution they deserve.
No one is conscripted in today’s all volunteer Military. Over all, we have some of the bravest and brightest America has to offer willfully placing themselves between our enemies and our citizens. They deserve much better than to be slandered as those who served in Viet Nam were in 1971.
UPDATE: A more in depth look at the faux 1971 Winter Soldier Investigations conducted by Kerry and is cronies is well documented in a newly released book, To Set The Record Straight, How Swift Boat Veterans, POWs and the New Media Defeated John Kerry by Scott Swett and Tim Ziegler. Much declassified documentation and files can be found at wintersoldier.com