Over the weekend, Iraq Veterans Against the War held its “Winter Soldier” hearings featuring testimony from veterans of the US wars against Iraq and Afghanistan. The hearings were designed to give veterans of the wars–those who are actually conducting the operations–a chance to describe what is happening on the ground. Overall, the hearings delivered the message that the occupations are criminal by design. They did not blame individual soldiers for atrocities at Abu Ghraib or Haditha, but instead said that the blame lies with those further up in the chain of command who have repeatedly ignored, diminished, or covered up instances of abuse.
The hearings were covered widely by the media and are archived online. Moreover, summaries of what was said in each hearing were posted on Iraq Veterans Against the War’s blog. We strongly encourage folks–especially those organizing against the Iraq War–to watch the hearings. Two brief excerpts are reposted below: