March 15, 2008

David Yeagley: Winter Chickenhawk

from the Bad Eagle blog

On Thursday, March 13, the true soldiers got together for a 4-day event: Winter Soldier, an event feature testimony from U.S. veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, giving an accurate account of what is really happening day in and day out, on the ground.

What’s important to know, is that all the “warrior” rhetoric one reads from Yeagley’s blog is nothing but romanticized hyperbole, and completely devoid of reality. Yeagley is a Winter Chickenhawk, waxing romantic about all things war, while never thinking of the realities of war, having never served.

Yeagley’s never been a warrior, not even in the Comanche sense of that word; he dances the gourd dance, a warrior society dance, as a “supporter” of warriors and Native military, but not as a warrior himself. Yeagley’s efforts would be laughable if not so lame and tied into the neocon punditry’s public noise machine.

Instead of Yeagley’s shallow rhetoric, why not consider the more important voice of Buffy Sainte-Marie. As for Yeagley, he simply cannot see the writing on the wall; having a doctorate of music is obviously not a prerequisite for intelligence.

He's five foot-two, and he's six feet-four,
He fights with missiles and with spears.
He's all of thirty-one, and he's only seventeen,
He's been a soldier for a thousand years...

And he's fighting for Canada,
He's fighting for France,
He's fighting for the USA,
And he's fighting for the Russians,
And he's fighting for Japan,
And he thinks we'll put an end to war this way.

And he's fighting for Democracy,
He's fighting for the Reds,
He says it's for the peace of all.
He's the one who must decide,
Who's to live and who's to die,
And he never sees the writing on the wall...

(Buffy Sainte-Marie)
Here are a couple articles that offer a more realistic view of war and warriors. So while Yeagley cries hopelessly over all the democratic candidates, who are all viable now because of the popular backlash against the elitist policies of his neo-con sociopathic idols, read these articles instead:

US veterans urge soldiers to speak out against Iraq war
WASHINGTON (AFP) — US veterans and active-duty soldiers on Thursday kicked off an event in Washington to protest the war in Iraq, urging other members of the military to join them in speaking out against the conflict.

"There's an upswell of disgust and disapproval for the Iraq war in the military," intelligence sergeant Selena Coppa told AFP at the launch of the four-day "Winter Soldier" event.

"The difficulty is letting them realize they are legally entitled to speak out about it, other than to service members," added Coppa, who is still on active duty in the US army.

Camilo Mejia, the first conscientious objector to the Iraq war, went a step further.

"I want our servicemen and women to know that standing up to an immoral occupation is not only their right but also their duty to their country and humanity," he told reporters...

The event is organized by IVAW, a grouping of around 800 military veterans and active soldiers opposed to the occupation of Iraq.

Vietnam veterans held a "Winter Soldier" event in 1971 at which more than 100 servicemen and 16 civilians described atrocities committed against innocent civilians in South Vietnam.

The name "Winter Soldier" is derived from the "summer soldier" described by American Revolutionary War writer Thomas Paine in "The Crisis:"

US/IRAQ: "We Reacted Out of Fear, and With Total Destruction"
SILVER SPRING, Maryland, Mar 14 (IPS) - Hart Viges joined the U.S. Army the day after Sep. 11, 2001, in the belief that he could help make the world a safer place.

He ended up stationed in Fallujah, and then Baghdad. "We were the only authority and took full advantage of that," he told an audience of roughly 300 people here gathered for three days of testimony by veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan about abuses of civilians. "Everything was haji...haji house, haji smokes, haji burger."

The term "haji" is used by U.S. soldiers in Iraq to degrade and dehumanise the Iraqi people.

Viges, like others who spoke, said that U.S. troops routinely detained innocent people during home raids.

"We never went on the right raid where we got the right house, much less the right person -- not once," he said.

He also said it was common practice for troops to take photographs as "war trophies".

"We were driving in Baghdad one day and found a dead body on the side of the road," Viges said. "We pulled over to secure the area and my friends jumped off and started taking pictures with it, smiling. They asked me if I wanted to join them and I said no, but not because it was unethical, but because it wasn't my kill. Because you shouldn't take trophies with those you didn't kill. I wasn't upset this man was dead, but just that they shouldn't be taking credit for something they didn't do. But that's war."

The event, which has drawn international media attention, was organised by Iraq Veterans Against the War. Its goal is to give U.S. service members a chance to talk about their experiences during the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, and to show that their stories of wrongdoing in both countries were not isolated incidents limited to a few "bad apples", as the Pentagon claims, but were everyday occurrences...

Hurd said the situation deteriorated rapidly while he was in Iraq. "Over time, as the absurdity of war set in, individuals from my unit indiscriminately opened fire at vehicles driving down the wrong side of the road. People in my unit would later brag about it. I remember thinking how appalled I was that we were laughing at this, but that was the reality."

Hurd expressed what the over 200 veterans in the room appeared to agree with.

"We're disrupting the lives of our veterans with this occupation, not only the lives of Iraqis. If a foreign occupying force came here to the U.S., do you not think that every person that has a shotgun would not come out of the hills and fight for their right for self-determination?"

To rousing applause, Hurd ended his testimony with, "Ladies and gentlemen, that country is suffering from our occupation, and ending that suffering begins with the total and immediate withdrawal of all of our troops."