Voices from the war

Today, March 19, is the 5 year mark of the war on Iraq. I want to write about it, but it's extremely difficult. Beyond my own personal problems which keep me continually overwhelmed, the scope of this disaster — it's unmitigated criminality and the way its effects are infiltrating every aspect of our lives and our society — I feel anything I say or do is so pointless.

The best I can do it direct you to those who are not quite as paralyzed or stupefied by it as I am.

I think it is particularly important to listen to those who are the most involved — Iraqis themselves and the soldiers who have been there.

The Real News Network is showcasing some Guardian Films reports from the only journalist still able to cover all sides in Baghdad. Journey to Baghdad is an introduction to those reports, which include City of Walls and Iraq's Lost Generation.

Also from RNN, Sadr City raids target civilians brings news of how the war is really going for the ordinary people.

Continuing coverage of Iraq news from Real News Network can be found here.

The other voices that need to be heard more are from soldiers themselves. This past weekend, The Winter Soldier Hearings took place in DC, organized by Iraq Veterans Against the War to allow vets to tell their eyewitness stories to the world.

Predictably, the corporate media did not cover these hearings adequately, if at all. I didn't see a single report on it, though I could have missed whatever 30 seconds they may have given it. Thanks to new media, it was streamed, liveblogged, and covered by alternative networks like Free Speech TV. Many sites like Alternet, Common Dreams, Truthout, Counterpunch, etc, all gave WS the attention it deserved. But of course, only a small segment of the population will know about or find it. So it's up to those of us who know about it to pass the word, share the links, talk it up.

Here is some of the coverage I found.

Winter Solder hearing site includes archive of testimony (still being archived as of this writing) and blog by Lawton IVAW organizer Justin Cliburn.

RNN interviews with those who testified.

Viewing 'Iraq Winter Soldier” testimony

Five Years Into War, Soldiers Speak. Truthout is promising to post in the coming weeks “more in-depth video and written coverage of the issues raised in testimony at Winter Soldier.”

Finally, James M. Branum, with whom I work as a member of Oklahoma Center for Conscience, attended some of the Winter Soldier hearings and was extremely moved. He blogs about it here and here.