A Crash Course on How NOT to Win Hearts and Minds.

I just came across this video from the Winter Soldier 2008 conference, during which veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan gave testimony about crimes committed against civilians. Here’s an example:

There are many others on Youtube.

The videos pretty much speak for themselves. I fail to see how anybody can seriously believe that the US military is winning hearts and minds in Iraq. Every Iraqi killed has a family of people who love him/her and who will want vengeance. The cycle will only get more vicious. The US public may see the troops in Iraq as liberators but I doubt very many Iraqis see them as such. Not anymore.


2 thoughts on “A Crash Course on How NOT to Win Hearts and Minds.

  1. Shagnaz,

    Thanks for the comment. I agree with you somewhat that these soldiers’ credibility stems directly from the fact that they witnessed/carried out these war crimes. It would be great if we could create a forum for civilian victims of the same crimes to testify to a US audience about their experiences.

    Still, it’s better than nothing. A dead victim can’t testify so we have to settle for a confession from her/his killer. Such is life.


  2. Hey you! Thanks for sharing the link with me earlier a few days ago. My only gripe about these U.S. service-men/women coming forward about the atrocities happening in Iraq (and Afghanistan- but then again, no body cares about Afghanistan anymore), is that they can be invited to conferences such as the one on the video and re-tell their stories and through that their voices are “legitimate” and “authentic”, while if Iraqi people speak about about the same things happening, they are presented as “dodgy” and less credibile. I am glad that some of these service-men/women are coming forward about U.S/U.K. military crimes being done against Iraqis and Afghanis, but, they are still presented as “heroes” as they are applauded for telling like it is, despite the fact that these men have participated in these crimes.

    These U.S. servicemen/women are mostly priviledged because they are white. If they were “ethnic”, they would be seen as betraying their American loyalities. There is so much class and race issues being obscured by the U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. Everyone is sweeping under the rug the fact that most service-men/women are coming from lower class and mostly ethnic backgrounds. Likewise, some aren’t even U.S. citizens to begin with and have no choice to join the military to gain U.S. citizenship. I could go on and on…..


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