May 8, 2006
Soldiers Speak Out is a powerful video showing interviews with former Iraq war veterans who oppose the war.
All of these soldiers, men and women from all branches of the military, began speaking out once they were back in the United States. Some, like Carlos Mejia, refused to go back to Iraq even though they still had time left on their enlistment – and spent nine months in prison for it. Mejia came to see the war as fundamentally inhumane and unjust.
The soldiers speak about the dehumanizing process of basic training and the dishonest recruiting methods being used. More than one talked about how they thought they were joining to fight for freedom, only to find out later that it was “all a con.”
One after another, the soldiers describe the destruction they witnessed in Iraq: for example, tanks firing into villages, leaving men, women and children terrified, injured, bloody – and dead. One states, “I can’t imagine what those kids think now, about ‘the day the Americans came and shot up our village’.”
Presented with these descriptions of attacks on unarmed civilians are graphic images of the dead civilians, lying in the streets. These images are rarely shown on television inside the U.S.
The soldiers make the point that most soldiers in the war can’t question it at that point; they’re too concerned with survival. But it’s not only that; soldiers can’t normally express themselves freely when they oppose the war they’re fighting! But a recent Zogby poll showed that 72% of troops believe the U.S. should leave Iraq within a year at the latest.
One soldier reminds the audience of Vietnam, when the “government lost control of the military.” “Sooner or later,” he says, “the military will refuse to fight.”
The soldiers in this video have chosen to tell what they know, and to expose the lie that the troops support the war. These soldiers, and others now back here in the U.S., are speaking for many still in the war when they speak out in opposition to it. The video is well worth seeing.
This video is available on DVD for $14.95; it can be ordered directly from its producer by calling (919) 225-5449 or online at www.empowermentproject.org.