(IVAW protest. NYC)
Winter Soldiers, according to founding father Thomas Paine, are those who stand up for the soul of their country, even in its darkest hours. With this spirit in mind, IVAW members are standing up to make their experiences available to all who are concerned about the direction of our country.
Iraq Veterans Against the War is planning Winter Soldier as an “appropriately momentous show of resistance” in D.C. on March 13-16, the 5th anniversary of the Iraq War.
They have asked other groups to not have any antiwar activities in DC in that period. Cindy Sheehan, the ANSWER Coalition, and others had planned a mass march and rally on the 15th, but those plans have now been canceled. (Hark, is that the sound of a circular firing squad echoing in the distance?)
If the majority of the populace opposes the war yet mass protests get smaller, then other tactics are needed. It occurs to me that the Vietnam protests were effective because a) they were a new idea, b) tended to be huge and thus got major attention (which is the whole point, right?) but now that such actions have become ritualized and routine, they get much less attention.
An Open Letter to the Anti-War Movement From Iraq Veterans Against the War.
We have been inspired by the tremendous support that the movement has shown us and we believe the success of Winter Soldier will ultimately depend on the support of our allies and the hard work of our members. Because Winter Soldier will provide a unique venue for those who experienced war on the ground to expose the truth and consequences of the “War on Terror” to the nation and the world, we are requesting that, from March 13-16, the larger anti-war movement call no national mobilizations and that there be no local protests or civil disobedience actions in Washington, DC.
We are thankful for your enduring support of IVAW and Winter Soldier. Let us all continue to think strategically and act in a spirit of cooperation.
Iraq Veterans Against the War
IVAW Board of Directors
It’s always been a bit of an uneasy alliance, the antiwar left and IVAW, many of whom are not “antiwar” but do oppose this particular war and the current direction of the country.
Hunter Thompson once wrote about a protest where Vietnam Veterans Against the War were doing civil disobedience. Things were getting extremely tense. He said, you could see it in the cop’s eyes, they did not want to have to wade in and start clubbing vets in wheelchairs. The actions of VVAW signaled a huge shift in public opinion against the war. IVAW is doing the same. Winter Soldier deserves complete support.