Episode Five: This is Not Human Nature

For the first time in history, women have combat and other front-line roles in the U.S. military, yet the military today is rife with sexual harassment, as Wendy Barranco reveals. Is this progress? Is it inevitable?  Human nature? Or perhaps it’s the sign of a deeper malignancy. For Wendy, her treatment was “the last thing I would have imagined from my own peers and comrades.”

This is Where We Take Our Stand – The Series

Where’s the debate?

Are we watching passively while Barack Obama carries out the same policies as George W. Bush?

When an American bombing raid this May killed over two hundred civilians in a village in Afghanistan, it was met with a deafening silence. When Obama’s promised “withdrawal” from Iraq leaves 130,000 troops there for at least two more years and 50,000 permanently, it’s hailed as an end to the occupation. And who is demanding to know just what the mission really is when 30,000 more troops are sent to Afghanistan?

Where’s the debate?

In March of 2008, two hundred and fifty veterans and active duty soldiers marked the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq by gathering in Washington, DC, to testify from their own experience about the nature of the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. It was chilling, horrifying, and challenging for all who witnessed it. Against tremendous odds, they brought the voices of the veterans themselves into the debate. That was then.

This is now.  Today, we present to you This is Where We Take Our Stand, the inside story of those three days and the courageous men and women who testified. And we present this story today, told in six episodes, because we believe it is as relevant now as it was one year ago. Maybe more.

Here is our challenge to you: Watch the series; spread it far and wide; and ask yourself is this about the past, or the present and future. Then add your voice.

If you are a veteran or active duty, present your own testimony. If you are not, but you are still a living, breathing member of the human race, then do whatever you can to join and fan the flames of debate.

David Zeiger, Director of Sir! No Sir!

Bestor Cram, Director of Unfinished Symphony

4 thoughts on “Episode Five: This is Not Human Nature

  1. It’s really important that people hear these stories. How can we truly expect our military to act justly to potential enemies (as most people in Iraq and A-stan are considered) if they cannot even treat their fellow service members justly?

    The military problems with sexual harassment and assault spoken of here are just the tip of a far uglier camo’d iceberg.

  2. Where is the coverage. Is CNN and MSNBC and the So-called real news organizations paying ANY attention? We need to wake congress the F up! Military industrial complex had their time. War profiteering needs to be ENDED.

  3. While I sympathize with the frustrations expressed by these brave & courageous women, it is so completely absurd to say that women who fought in Angola or other military units throughout the world did not face the same situations of sexual harassment, rape or violence. It is unfounded if not wildly speculative, her words do not fit the facts. Many women, as with child soldiers, are forcefully pulled into military ranks and sometimes witness the execution of their families.

    Look at what happened to Jamie Leigh Jones, a contractor raped by her co workers, (read about it!) and when Sen. Al Franken proposed an amendment to the 2010 Defense Appropriations bill that would withhold defense contracts from companies like KBR, 30 Republicans voted against it.

    The brutality of war perpetuates these terrible situations, whether it be woman, families or men, everyone suffers. People should be held accountable, sure, but the very act of engaging in war is to abandon our morality. We have laws against murder in the States, yet we condone and support the murder of thousands of innocent people when it has a patriotic fervor of red, white & blue. Does it really surprise anyone that this happens…. though I guess the US population has had their heads stuck in the ground with billboard dreams and plastic patriotism for so long, it just may come as a surprise, though they easily and quickly change the channel.

    And the war continues.

  4. When I was 20 the leaders sent us off to war. I knew many of us were assuming that when we were the elders we would never do this to young men and women… how wrong I was.

    The power-hungry greedy that ran this country back then have been replaced by new power-hungry greedy. The world was behind America destroying those that caused 9/11, but our power-hungry greedy elders decided that Iraqi oil was more important and that American lives and Iraqi lives were expendable for the cause, more wealth.

    After the invasion in 2003 I walked into a small grocery to get some gum and noticed a TV was on and had footage of the Iraq war. I was hypnotized by what I saw, American media NEVER showed anything like what was on this TV, a moment later I noticed the channel banner said it was a European station. Our media continues to let us down. The American media is complicit with the power-hungry plutocrats that illegally started the Iraq war.

    It is ironic that those that raise the bible when preaching war are doing just the opposite of the teachings of Jesus. Michael Moore’s movie on Capitalism was another nail in the govt coffin for me. It is time that we take a stand, a full-scale nationwide strike, every job, every city… stay home, until the troops are home.

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