17 August 2009

David Zeiger: These Wars Aren't Over Yet

Why We Fight from Displaced Films on Vimeo.

An Open Letter to Iraq Veterans Against the War Members and Supporters
From David Zeiger, Director of This is Where We Take Our Stand and Sir! No Sir!

Dear Friends,

As I write this, we are getting ready to post the fourth episode of This is Where We Take Our Stand, our six-part web series about last year’s Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan event. You can find the series at www.thisiswherewetakeourstand.com, and of course on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube.

It’s been a huge struggle, but this series is finally here–and I hope we created something that will bring the truth you revealed at Winter Soldier to thousands, even millions. We strove to make each episode a revelation and a punch in the gut, featuring some of the most important and powerful testimony from Winter Soldier along with the battles so many of you fought to make it happen. Boots Riley of The Coup wrote a killer theme song, Sound Off, that can also be downloaded from the site.

Winter Soldier happened in the last year of the Bush administration, and it was the most powerful condemnation of the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan that I have seen. Your testimony laid bare the insane, relentless brutality of those wars and the hypocrisy of Bush’s claims that you were there to bring “freedom and democracy” to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. You made it clear that it was the policy of the government and military that was criminal. And you brought into the open the courageous, profound opposition to the wars that exists within the military and veterans’ community.

But what about now? Millions of people expected the Obama administration to change those policies and end the occupations. Well, where is that change? In Iraq, where we have been promised there might be a withdrawal by 2011 leaving 50,000 troops there to insure an “America friendly” government? Or how about Afghanistan, where a
thoroughly corrupt, Bush-installed government is now being propped up with the
additional 20,000 troops that were withdrawn from Iraq? What has changed?

What’s most horrifying for me is seeing the slaughter continue today with hardly a peep from those who would have loudly objected when Bush was in charge. So, perhaps
ironically, Winter Soldier is today more relevant and urgent than ever. This is not about the past, as Obama has often said, but about what is happening right now.

It is your voices that must be heard in this darkness. And it’s in that spirit that we have made this series. It belongs to you, and we hope you will not only watch and show it to others, but use it to spread the impact of Winter Soldier and build your movement. We welcome your thoughts and comments, and urge you to add your own testimonials to the web site. Along with posting the final three episodes through September, we will make the whole series available on a DVD for you to use.

With love and solidarity,
David Zeiger

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