Tuesday, January 8, 2008

IVAW & VVAW

Addressing a few comments/questions from the GOE Forum. I’m doing so here merely because the linking is easier and there’ll be a lot of links.

Guest #1 (assuming there are two Guests) wrote:

“A question: why is it automatically assumed that this is a new vet ’smear’? No one has even testified yet. Why would it be so hard to wait and see what people have to say before attacking them? The people testifying will be soldiers and veterans-why are they automatically evil to you just because they happen to be against the war?”

Hi Guest,

It is not “assumed” that this is a new Vet smear. You know the term “telegraph” as it is used in boxing? The phrase “he telegraphed that blow” means the boxer gave his opponent plenty of forewarning of what he was going to do. IVAW and their supporters have been precisely “telegraphing” that this is intended to smear the troops. From IVAW’s own site:


“This spring, Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) is revealing the reality of the U.S. occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan…Unfortunately, this is not the first time America has needed its Winter Soldiers, in 1971, over one hundred members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War gathered in Detroit to share their stories with America. Atrocities like the My Lai massacre had ignited popular opposition to the war, but political and military leaders insisted that such crimes were isolated exceptions. The members of VVAW knew differently…Over thirty years later, we find ourselves faced with a new war. But the lies are the same. Once again, American troops are sinking into an increasingly bloody occupation. Once again, war crimes in places like Haditha, Fallujah, and Abu Ghraib have turned the public against the war. Once again, politicians and generals are blaming ‘a few bad apples’…”

IVAW is stating that they are intending to repeat the1971 WSI, which was a smear. When they seek to rule out any idea of “a few bad apples”, what they mean to establish is that it is commonplace and routine that American military personnel are and have been committing war crimes and atrocities on a regular basis! Here’s another:

“Iraq War Veterans to Launch "Winter Soldier" Investigation
Posted on: November 19, 2007 - 2:28pm by Aaron Glantz
Iraq Veterans Against the War is launching a "Winter Soldier" investigation into atrocities in Iraq modeled on a similar effort by Vietnam vets 36 years ago. In March 2008, Iraq Veterans Against the War will gather in our nation's capital "to break the silence and hold our leaders accountable for these wars." The gathering will feature first-hand stories of atrocities committed by soldiers in Iraq, with the idea of bringing the truth of war to the surface."

And from the radical left wing site Revolution:

"
Winter Soldier is patterned after a similar event called together by Vietnam Veterans Against the War in Detroit in 1971. At this event, soldiers delivered powerful testimony about war crimes they had seen and carried out against the Vietnamese people, exposing the nature of that war from the inside as a completely unjust war of aggression."

And from IndyMedia:

Support Winter Soldier: IVAW
marco [for IVAW people] , Nov 13, 2007 @ 22:14 GMT
Please Support Iraq Veterans Against the War and their Public Investigation of the atrocities occurring in Iraq and Afghanistan…
Support Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan Investigation

They saw it for themselves, now --with your support-- they'll tell it for themselves…

This investigation will help end the war because it will:

1. Embolden GI resistance by making the truth of their experiences an acceptable part of the national dialogue. Further, the DVD created at this conference will be a powerful educational tool on the history of GI movements and will encourage independent thought and collective action.

2. Mobilize the anti-war movement by demonstrating the power of organized opposition and providing the facts needed to confront the myths propagated by the administration, congress and the media. IVAW will also present its strategy of organizing GIs to encourage the anti-war movement as a whole to support GI resistance.

3. Build solidarity between the common peoples of the US, Iraq, and Afghanistan. The people who suffer the most from this occupation will be given a voice and a view into our struggle to end the unlawful occupation of their countries. Through this event, IVAW hopes to build lasting ties with the common people of Iraq and Afghanistan.

4. Shape the way this history is told to future generations. Without a concerted effort to dispel the myths and sugar coated images of the U.S. occupations, future generations will never know the realities of war."

That’s last, number 4, says it all, Guest! Nothing about investigating the charges so as to take appropriate legal action against folks who may have committed genuine atrocities and war crimes! Just as their forebears in VVAW didn’t do so. They impeded any attempted investigations. The point was to establish the smear as part of history. And more:

"Hi, My name is Liam Madden, I serve on the Board of Directors of Iraq Veterans Against the War. Today I'm writing to share some exciting and important news about IVAW's new public investigation into the atrocities committed and witnessed by us, veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan."

If someone is telling you what they are going to do, and explicitly pointing to a previous example as what they are going to do, it is not a leap to conclude – that that is exactly what they are going to do!

Now to Guest #2:

“Without saying anything either way on VVAW-clearly you guys have some strong opinions there-I think it’s entirely different cats, with entirely different spots. VVAW is, to my knowledge, not even involved with the planning of this new March event. Simply having the same name and admiring the last one doesn’t really ‘the same thing’ make, in my eyes.
Guest”

That “to my knowledge” is an admission that you haven’t looked into it, Guest.

Here is the VVAW site giving out info on IVAW’s upcoming WSI, calling it of relevance to VVAW members. Some more VVAW and IVAW cooperation. More of the same. A paper written jointly by VVAW and IVAW.

From the VVAW site last month:

“There is a meeting next week of VVAW that will be both a memorial to Dave and allow VVAW to make a commitment to support IVAW Dec 2007”

That is Dave Cline, who was the leader of VVAW for years and passed away last September. Cline was also a member of Veterans for Peace (VFP), under which IVAW recieves its 501(c)3 status (tax exempt charity).

Of a joint VVAW & IVAW march in New Orleans, this was written:

“During the planning of the march David [Cline] stated the this was for IVAW members to lead and find their public voices.
VVAW and VFP were there for support and transportation not the limelight...

One of IVAW's founders, Mike Hoffman, pays a moving tribute to Dave's role as midwife to the IVAW at the organization's website.”

More on the VVAW assistance in creating IVAW, from the IVAW.

And some of the trifecta of VVAW, IVAW and Veterans for Peace here, here and here.

It’s not just similar sounding names, Guest!



6 comments:

Army Sergeant said...

As I was 'guest', I'll man up to it and also clarify:

I know that VVAW has supported IVAW. To my knowledge, they have not been involved in the actual planning of the Winter Soldier event, however. It may be modeled off of the first one, but that is no guarantee or even an indicator that the exact same thing you believe happened will take place.

Again, I repeat: Do you believe actual falsehood will take place? What will you do if it doesn't? And if it doesn't, aren't you in effect 'smearing' veterans and soldiers by claiming they are liars when they may well have served honorably?

Army Sergeant said...

Also, since I somehow forgot to include it: 'to my knowledge' includes, "I'm a member of IVAW, and know folks planning Winter Soldier." It's not just guessing in the dark.

Denis Keohane said...

Sarge,

If folks giving that testimony do not give the details that allow investigative follow-up, and further, charge that crimes were committed without signing legal affidavits or depositions for the proper authorities so investigations can begin, how will anyone, including you, know whether they are telling the truth or not?

As to "smearing veterans", the name Clifton Hicks ring a bell? IVAW! Ever hear what he said about soldiers serving in Iraq?

How about Jimmy Massey? Was his false claims of atrocities a smear on the soldiers who didn't commit them?

You ask if I believe actual falsehood will take place. My answer is that I'm working to make sure it doesn't. If folks giving testimony knew they had to sign legally binding documents about what they would claim, I'd feel a lot more comfortable, Sarge!

Then too, if they did so sign, investigations could proceed, and if crimes were committed, justice could be done!

Denis Keohane said...

Sarge,

How about VVAW member and first WSI veteran Joe Bangert speaking at a fundraiser for the IVAW WSI?

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=158x13592

Is that planning?

Anonymous said...

"For the infantrymen, scouts, and tankers of C Troop, 1st Squadron, 1st United States Cavalry Regiment, there are few words which can express my admiration. I can merely say that I love them with all of my heart, and that I would never have made it home alive without such a worthy and courageous host at my side. These were men who risked everything for a cause which they believed was just and true. They left behind them their families, their friends, and their lives, they endured the unendurable. They did this not for greed or jealousy or hatred, but for the sake of love, and for that they are beyond judgment. I am no judge, and I have not come here to pass judgment either on my fellow soldiers or the officers who once commanded us in war. I am here only to pass judgment on war itself." - Clifton Hicks

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