Life After G.I. War Resistance: Military Resisters 30 Years Later

Check out Vietnam Veteran Michael Wong’s post from In the Mind Field

Since the start of the Bush era, soldiers and veterans have been a core part of resisting America’s wars for empire.

In 2004, Iraq Veterans Against the War began with seven members. IVAW now has hundreds of veterans and active duty members, chapters in all 50 states and overseas, and continues gaining members all the time. Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are marching in peace demonstrations, speaking out at public events, giving media interviews, organizing active duty soldiers on military bases, and actively helping GI resisters. Anti-war Iraq veterans were featured in a documentary movie, The Ground Truth, and in several other movies about the war. During the Iraq war, over 2,000 active duty troops signed the “Appeal for Redress” calling on Congress to end the war. At the height of the war, the GI Rights Hotline received up to 3,000 calls a month from GIs wanting out of the wars and the military, and an estimated 200-plus soldiers went AWOL in Canada. Courage to Resist helped many service members publicly refuse military orders, including 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, who never served a single day in jail. Now a young PFC, Bradley Manning, stands accused of telling the truth by leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents. All of this combined with the civilian peace movement turned the tide of American public opinion against the Iraq war, and eventually led to bringing the bulk of regular troops home. Thousands of mercenaries remain. Read the rest of this post →

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