Category Archives: Military News

NYC Press Conference–9 Years of Occupation and War in Afghanistan

NINE YEARS INTO AFGHAN WAR, U.S. VETERANS, COMMUNITY GROUPS, AND GLOBAL JUSTICE ACTIVISTS SAY ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

Photos available for reproduction at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/54613299@N03/sets/72157625115412508/

Listen to the Free Speech Radio News: Activists outline renewed strategy to end nine-year Afghan war

Washington Square News: Protesters rally against war in Afghanistan

Speakers included:

1. Prachi Patankar — South Asia Solidarity Initiative

2. Malalai Joya — elected to National Assembly of Afghanistan in 2005; the “bravest woman in Afghanistan”; chosen for the 2010 “TIME 100”  (audio statement recorded in Canada the day before)

3. David Wildman — United Methodist Church’s Board of Global Ministries; co-author of the book “Ending the U.S. War in Afghanistan

4. Kimber Heinz — National Organizing Coordinator of War Resisters League

5. Madiha Tahir – journalist reporting from Pakistan; South Asia Solidarity Initiative; Action for a Progressive Pakistan

6. Roger Wareham — Freedom Party of New York State

7. Fatima Hindi — Iraqi refugee organizer based in Chicago

8. Maritza Bravo — Vamos Unidos organizing Latino youth and street vendors

9. Fitzroy Searles — organizer with One Nation Working Together, which mobilized many tens of thousands to Washington DC on Oct 2.

10. Nasser Abdo — U.S. Army Private First Class, and Conscientious Objector [written statement]

11. Selena Coppa — Iraq Veterans Against the War

12. Charles Barron — City Council Member from Brooklyn; candidate for governor, Freedom Party of New York State

13. Imam Al-Hajj Talib ‘Abdur-Rashid — Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood in Harlem

October 7, 2010, New York, NY —On Thursday morning on the ninth anniversary of the U.S.-NATO invasion of Afghanistan, a cross-section of veterans, community groups, and global justice organizations held a press conference in support of the united message that the ongoing U.S. military presence in Afghanistan is bad for Afghan people of all genders, bad for U.S. soldiers, and bad for the people of the U.S.

Former Afghan parliamentarian Malalai Joya issued a statement about the Obama administration’s policy in Afghanistan, citing it as a major cause of the dire situation faced by Afghan women: “During Obama’s [time in] office the death toll increased by 24% as compared to the Bush administration. Their policies are a mirror image of each other. Democracy never comes by occupation forces…by cluster bombs or by white phosphorous. Under the banner of women’s rights, human rights, and democracy they occupied Afghanistan. Today’s situation of women is as catastrophic as it was under the domination of Taliban. Rape cases, acid attacks, killing of women is increasing rapidly.”

Members of the veterans organization Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) spoke on the day of the national launch of their Operation Recovery campaign, which calls for the right of current servicemembers who are experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Military Sexual Trauma (MST), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) or other forms of trauma caused by past or current deployments to Iraq or Afghanistan to refuse future deployments. Published medical studies in 2008 and 2010 estimate that 20-50% of all service members deployed to Iraq and/or Afghanistan have likely suffered from PTSD. IVAW member and organizer Selena Coppa stated, “Veterans are sick and tired of the never-ending occupations. The U.S. military is strained. We are launching a new campaign defending our traumatized brothers and sisters’ right to heal without being deployed [for another tour].”

IVAW organizers also read a statement from current U.S. servicemember and Conscientious Objector Naser Abdo about Islamophobia in the U.S. that has followed the attacks on 9/11 and its connections to war from the perspective of a Muslim C.O.: “To a soldier, the association of terror and Islam serves the purpose of falsely justifying ones actions in combat by stripping Muslims of their humanity. The association of terror and Islam is what we now refer to as Islamaphobia…it is as if the US public is just recently following a trend that has been rampant in the military for years. Only when the military and America can disassociate Muslims with terror can we move onto a brighter future of the religious collaboration and dialogue that defines America and makes me proud to be an American.”

Madiha Tahir with Action for Progressive Pakistan and the South Asia Solidarity Initiative, spoke as a journalist about her recent trip to Pakistan: “What has gone unacknowledged in the war on what is referred to as ‘Af-Pak’ is that there is a war in Pakistan and that it is a separate war than the war going on in Afghanistan. This war goes unacknowledged here [in the U.S.] but there are very real human costs of it in Pakistan…If the concern of the U.S…is democracy in Pakistan, then it must work with the democratic forces in Pakistan—that means elected representatives and democracy movements.”

Maritza Bravo, with the youth project of Vamos Unidos, a Latino immigrant street vendors organization, spoke about the DREAM act, a proposed piece of legislation that would grant undocumented youth the opportunity to earn conditional permanent residency if they complete two years in the military or two years at a four year institution of higher learning, as a reinforcing the militarization of young people in the U.S. and the escalation of war abroad: “We, the Vamos Unidos youth, do not support the DREAM Act due to the military component. The DREAM Act is a de facto military draft, forcing undocumented youth to fight in unjust wars in exchange for the recognition as human beings, a Green Card.”

City Councilmember Charles Barron and Roger Wareham from the Freedom Party of NY State spoke to the effects of the war in the U.S. and to the value of social movements against war. Wareham stated that much of our resources at home “are being squandered in Afghanistan and Iraq, resources that need to be put back into this economy for the welfare of the majority of the population.” Councilmember Barron stated,”We are living in the richest city in the world yet we have the number one impoverished district in the country. Enough is enough–people need to rise up and say ‘no’ to war, ‘no’ to any forms of invading the privacy of anti-war activists by way of the FBI, [and ‘no’ to] any forms of that suppression of the right of people to rise up in dissent against an unjust and immoral war.”

Fitzroy Searles, youth and Brooklyn-area organizer for the October 2 One Nation Working Together rally in Washington D.C. also pointed to the costs of the war at home from his perspective as an organizer working closely with labor unions in the run-up to October 2: “We all want to see an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Not only do they cost us in human lives, but they also cost us in valuable resources that could be used here to improve our economy.”

David Wildman, Executive Secretary, Human Rights & Racial Justice, with the United Methodist Church’s General Board of Global Ministries referred to the longer history of U.S. involvement in Afghan politics, linking it to military spending and the current U.S. presence in the country: “The U.S. will devote this year over 100 billion dollars [to Afghanistan]. Almost all of it will go to warfare.  The question that we need to ask today to public officials and the world is–what is that money doing to help the well-being of Afghans? Afghanistan has had thirty years of warfare and, sadly, the United States has contributed almost only weapons in that thirty years.”

Other speakers referred to the official end of U.S. combat operations in Iraq as of September 1, saying that there is still much suffering in Iraq due the past and current presence of U.S. forces. Kimber Heinz, National Organizing Coordinator of the War Resisters League said, “In preparation for next month’s elections, the Obama administration has been trying to turn over a number of new leaves– and to convince the American public that the Iraq war is over and the war in Afghanistan is winnable. Neither is the case…The Obama administration has continued to uphold the U.S. government project of global interventionism and endless war that was brought to a fever pitch during the Bush era.”

Imam Al-Hajj Talib ‘Abdur-Rashid, religious and spiritual leader of The Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood in Harlem, NYC connected the ongoing organizing efforts against the war in Afghanistan to the outcry and demonstrations against the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003: “The antiwar demonstrations that erupted globally before the Iraq war started was the greatest public demonstration of that type in human history. We knew how bad this was going to be.”

Iraqi refugee and Chicago-based organizer Fatima Hindi spoke about her experience as a refugee of U.S. war: “Since the US occupation of Iraq in 2003 the country has been devastated. Millions of refugees have been left without homes, mothers and fathers. I am one of those refugees.”

Many of the groups and individuals who spoke at the press conference gathered later that evening in NYC for a dinner and bridge-building event in solidarity with the people of Afghanistan.

International Days of Action in Solidarity with Bradley Manning, September 16-19th

Support Bradley Manning!

Oakland, California, USA

Thursday, September 16th, 7-9pm

Humanist Hall, 390 27th Street, Oakland CA (Between Telegraph and Broadway)

Speakers:

DANIEL ELLSBERG, Pentagon Papers whistle-blower
COL. ANN WRIGHT (ret.), former US diplomat
RAY MCGOVERN, former CIA analyst
AIMEE ALLISON, author and KPFA Morning Show Host

Wikileaks “Collateral Murder” video screening

This event will be webcast live and made available at michaelmoore.com.

Presented by Courage to Resist, with the help of National Lawyers Guild Bay Area Military Law Panel, Veterans for Peace-Bay Area Chapter, CodePink, War Resisters League-West, Iraq Veterans Against the War-Bay Area, and BAY-Peace.

The Bradley Manning defense fund is hosted by Courage to Resist in collaboration with the Bradley Manning Support Network. $5 requested donation at the door for event expenses, with a pitch during the event for the Bradley Manning defense effort.

Wheelchair accessible via the 411 28th Street entrance. For more info, or to make a tax-deductible donation, please contact Courage to Resist at +1 510-488-3559 or courage(at)riseup.net

New York, New York

September 26th, 7pm

Where: St. Mary’s Church (521 West 126th Street)

What: Screening of Collateral Murder

Speakers: Ethan McCord (Member of “Collateral Murder” Unit)

and Matthis Chiroux (Iraq War resister)

Contact: debra@worldcantwait.net

Elaine Brower – (917) 520-0767

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Sunday, September 18th at 4pm

What: Rally for Bradley Manning! Sponsored in part by Veterans for Peace

Where: In front of 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA (MIT building with the dome.)
More info:   t.ben. thompson@ gmail. com

Corvallis, Oregon

Where: Benton Country Courthouse, Corvallis, OR, 97330
When: Friday September 17, 2010 at 5 PM
What: Rally for Bradley Manning! Supported by Veterans for Peace
More info: leahbolger. comcast. net

Keene, New Hampshire

Where: Keene town commons
When: 11:00am, Saturday September 18th

NH Peace Action, in conjunction with the Keene weekly vigil and organizers from the Free State Project are organizing a state-wide vigil.

Featured speaker: Jim Chappelow
Jim Chappelow served as an infantryman in Operation Iraqi Freedom and is a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War and Veterans for Peace. Jim moved to New Hampshire in 2007 as part of the Free State Project.

More information: will@ nhpeaceaction. org

Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

Where: University of Tennessee, Knoxville
When: September 16th
More info: aessif@ utk.edu

Los Angeles, California, USA

Where: Top of the Santa Monica Pier (Palisades Park, just north of the pier at the cannon)
When: Sunday, September 19th, 1pm-3pm
More info: tulipsmalloy@aol.com

Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Global Days of Action in Support of Bradley Manning
Twin Cities Rally & Public Screening of Collateral Murder

Friday, September 17th
Rally: 4:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Collateral Murder Video Screening: 5-6 p.m. (Indoors)
Location: Mayday Bookstore – 301 Cedar Avenue – Minneapolis

Join us on Friday, September 17th for a rally to urge the United States government to drop the charges against Bradley Manning. Along with the rally, we will also be hosting a public showing of the WikiLeaks classic, Collateral Murder. We have reserved the bookstore from 5-6 p.m. for indoor viewings of Collateral Murder and short statements from local anti-war activists and groups. For those who prefer to stay outside the entire time, we will have signs, petitions to sign, and literature to pass out from 4:30 onwards at the nearby plaza.

Are you a local peace activist or organization? If you would like to sign on or issue your own statement in support of Bradley Manning, let us know. Email: smilyus@msn.com

New Haven, Connecticut, USA

When: Friday September 17, 2010, 4 PM
Where: 59 Elm Street, New Haven, CT 06510. In front of Rosa DeLauro’s office.
What: War Moratorium Vigil in honor of Bradley Manning, sponsored by the Greater New Haven Peace Council
More info: grnhpeacecouncil2@gmail.com

Norfolk, Virginia, USA

When:  Friday, September 17, 2010, 11:30am-1pm
Where: Granby St. & City Hall Ave., Norfolk, VA
What: Vigil for Bradley Manning!  Holding signs, pass out flyers and blow whistles calling for charges to be dropped against Manning, and to support his exposing of war crimes. Sponsored by the Norfolk Catholic Worker
More info: willbaggs2002@yahoo. com

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA

Sponsor: Oklahoma Center for Conscience (centerforconscience.org). Friday, September 17 from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Location: SE Corner of S. 59th and Western Avenue, Oklahoma City

We will be doing a(nother) demo for Bradley in Oklahoma City. The third Friday is our regular day for our monthly peace vigil, but we will dedicate this one to awareness and calls for freedom for Bradley. We hope to again have some old friends of Bradley’s from Crescent join us. (Contact: Rena at Center for Conscience)

After the demo, some of us will go to the nearby Mexican restaurant, Cocino de Mino.

Quantico, Virginia, USA

Sunday, September 19, 2010

11:30 a.m., Town of Quantico Municipal Park (River Road and 4th Avenue). Drivers will need to present valid drivers license, and we do have a permit for the rally from the mayor Quantico.

IVAW, Code Pink, and other area activists will have a rally, anti-war veterans will speak. We have Bradley manning whistles — so you can be a whistleblower, too!

Details: There will be a fundraiser/social Sept. 16th, 6:30 p.m., at the Mott House located at Maryland Avenue and First Street NE for those wishing to engage in the door-to-door peace mission. Carpooling will be organized, and the Amtrak also goes to Quantico. To sign up for carpooling and/or know about future Quantico events, contact Pete Perry, pete4peace (at) gmail  (dot) com

Rochester, Minnesota, USA

Date: Thursday September 16th, 2010
Time: 5 PM
Location: South Broadway & 2nd Street SW, Rochester, MN, 55902
Details: Peace Happening in Support of Bradley Manning! Sponsored by the Southeastern Minnesota Peace Makers
Learn more: www.semnap.org

San Diego, California, USA

San Diego event posterSan Diego event poster

Date: Sunday, September 19, 2010
Location: Horton Plaza, 4th & Broadway (See: http://westfield.com/hortonplaza/)
Rally: 12 PM-2PM

Will include a screening of Collateral Murder
Sponsored by: Activist San Diego, San Diego Peace and Justice Coalition, (Contact: Gabe C.)

San Francisco, California, USA

San Francisco event flyerSan Francisco event flyer

Date: Saturday, September 18, 2pm.
Time: 2pm rally, 3pm march. 4pm end at Union Square.
Location: in front of the SF War Memorial Building, 401 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, California.
Details: March and rally: Free Bradley Manning. Blowing the whistle on war crimes is not a crime!

Organized by Courage to Resist, Veterans for Peace-SF Bay Area, ANSWER Coalition, Bay Area United for Peace and Justice, and CodePink.

More info: 510-488-3559,  couragetoresist.org

Seattle/Fort Lewis, Washington, USA

Date: Saturday, September 18, 2010. Time: 2-4 pm
Location: “Freedom Bridge” and gate area at I-5 exit 122 (Madigan Hospital exit).
More information: projectsafehaven [at] hotmail [dot] com

Details: Greater Seattle Veterans For Peace (VFP 92) is organizing a Bradley Manning support rally at Fort Lewis, Washington for Saturday, September 18. VFP members and friends from around the region will show up blowing whistles and carrying signs that say “Blow the Whistle on War Crimes.” We will be reaching out to the GI’s, giving them “goody bags” with cookies, copies of Sir, No Sir!, and stickers that say “Whistle While You Work,” and give links to VFP and IVAW websites. We want the GI’s to know it is their duty to expose war crimes, and that we will back them up when they do.

Spokane, Washington, USA

Date: Thursday, September 16, 12:00 noon
Location: Corner of Wellesley and Division
What: Rally
More information: Cindy, quest2108 [at gmail [dot] com

Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Contact: Charlotte S.)

Date: Sunday, September 19, 2010. Time: 12:00 noon.
Location: US Consulate, University Avenue
More information: Charlotte S., +1 416-253-6784

Is the Iraq War Over?

On the U.S. Occupation of Iraq:

Please read and forward this statement written by the Organizing Network of the War Resisters League, made up of our Local and Affiliate groups all over the country, on the “end” of the Iraq war.

And please urge your local Congressional reps to sign on to Rep. Barney Frank’s “Dear Colleague” letter calling for a review of the military budget as a part of the work of the federal Deficit Reduction Commission. Act now!


Although we have been told that the Iraq war has officially come to an end, we, the local and national organizers of the War Resisters League, attest to the fact that the U.S. occupation of Iraq continues. This occupation directly inflicts danger and harm on the Iraqi people and stands in the way of Iraqi self-determination.

The War Resisters League fully endorses the Iraq Debacle statement, alongside partner organizations including CODEPINK, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, Military Families Speak Out, Under the Hood GI Coffeehouse, and Courage to Resist.  We agree that the U.S. never attacked Iraq to support the people of Iraq. Rather, the intent has been for U.S. military control of the “strategic area” of West Asia for the benefit of U.S.-based and multinational companies, an extension of the Bush era project of global interventionism. This has taken a great toll primarily on the Iraqi people, but also on the people of the U.S., who have seen a growing war economy and increased militarism at home, including ongoing military recruiting with in communities of color and immigrant, poor, and rural communities, increased racial profiling against Muslim and Arab-Americans and unlawful detentions, including of U.S. citizens, within and outside of U.S. borders. Furthermore, it has taken a serious toll on the members of the U.S. Armed Forces, who continue to return home traumatized and injured, if at all, only to be deployed again to fight in these unconscionable wars.

We furthermore wish to underscore the central role of oil in the U.S. “strategy” in Iraq, which is to maintain thousands of troops and military contractors on the ground to support civilian U.S. forces stationed at permanent U.S. bases in the country. U.S. and multinational oil companies, including ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Halliburton, and KBR, have all “won” contracts to Iraq’s formerly nationalized oil fields.

We also wish to publicly support all Iraq war resisters, including those who are refusing to deploy or are fighting deployment in the U.S. Although the government and the mainstream media have reported that there are no longer any U.S. combat troops being sent to Iraq, 5,000 service members of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Hood, Texas were deployed to Iraq in the early morning hours of August 23rd. We support the resistance of those who have been protesting their deployment, including veterans, military families, and civilian activists at Under the Hood GI Coffeehouse.

As the war in Iraq has now officially shifted to a plan for a permanent U.S. occupation (all former “coalition” forces have completely exited the country), it remains the responsibility of the people of the U.S. to continue building a cross-sectional movement to push for a real end to the U.S. presence there in solidarity with the Iraqi people.

To find out more about organizing with WRL, email Kimber Heinz, WRL Organizing Coordinator, at kimber@warresisters.org.

WikiLeaks in Baghdad

Check out this article, posted in The Nation, from our friends at Civilian Soldiers Alliance and IVAW

WikiLeaks in Baghdad

Sarah Lazare and Ryan Harvey
July 29, 2010

One by one, soldiers just arriving in Baghdad were taken into a room and questioned by their commanding officers. “All questions led up to the big question,” explains former Army Spc. Josh Stieber. “If someone were to pull out a weapon in a marketplace full of unarmed civilians, would you open fire on that person, even if you knew you would hurt a lot of innocent people in the process?”

*To read more about Civilian Soldier Alliance, IVAW, and WRL organzing, click here to read about their efforts at the US Social Forum!

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Updates from Bradley Manning Solidarity March

Oklahoma Center for Conscience recently had a successful solidarity march in support of Bradley Manning!

Check out this video from the local news, and some pictures from the march.

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Army Weak: Soldiers Expose Deployment of Unprepared Troops

Check out this article from WRLer, Clare Bayard!

Army Weak: Soldiers Expose Deployment of Unprepared Troops

by Clare Bayard

Army Reserve members facing imminent deployment to Afghanistan are publicly charging that their company is not properly trained or mentally fit for battle. Several members of the Indiana-based 656th Transportation Company, which is due to activate August 22nd, are requesting a Congressional inquiry into the unit’s lack of readiness. Alejandro Villatoro, a sergeant in the company, is amongst those coming forward.

Sergeant Villatoro says, “The main reason I am doing this is that I want people to know the lack of training and education our soldiers been receiving, and the focus on the mission is just not adequate to win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people. All I am asking is more time to reevaluate the training and mental health of these soldiers before sending them into war.”

At risk to themselves, these soldiers are going public with firsthand experiences of failures in military training, mental healthcare, and leadership, which many veterans charge are problems endemic to the military.  This comes as the Afghanistan War falls under increased scrutiny in the wake of the Wikileaked “War Logs” information.

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Defend Bradley Manning, War Crime Whistleblower

The Bradley Manning Support Network and Courage to Resist have established a legal defense fund for Pfc. Bradley Manning, the 22-year-old Army intelligence analyst accused of leaking intelligence documents to WikiLeaks. He is charged with eight violations, including allegedly leaking the “Collateral Murder” video to WikiLeaks (for a detailed account of the actions depicted in the video, read this article from The Nation). Manning is currently being held in the Marine Corps base at Quantico, VA. If convicted of the charges against him, he faces up to 52 years in prison, dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and benefits and unspecified fines.

Manning’s legal fees and expenses may run an estimated $50,000 to $200,000. WikiLeaks, who published and promoted the “Collateral Murder” video, has promised a significant donation to his defense, but that is not enough.

Let the world know that if Bradley Manning leaked these documents, revealing war crimes is not a crime!

YOU CAN HELP by donating to the Bradley Manning Defense Fund to assure Bradley has the proper defense necessary in this grueling case, and by also signing the petition online.

Address letters of support to:

Inmate: Bradley Manning
3247 Elrod Avenue
Quantico, VA 22134
USA

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US Military Suicide Rates Rise Above Civilian Rate For The First Time Since Vietnam

Pentagon Report Places Blame for Suicides

By ELISABETH BUMILLER

WASHINGTON — At a time of record-high military suicides, commanders are ignoring the mental health problems of American soldiers and not winnowing out enough of those with records of substance abuse and crime, a United States Army report has concluded.

The report, released Thursday at the Pentagon, found that it was not only the stress of repeated deployments over nearly a decade in Iraq and Afghanistan that has driven the Army suicide rate above the civilian rate for the first time since the Vietnam War. Significantly, the report said that 79 percent of the soldiers who committed suicide had had only one deployment, or had not deployed at all.

“For us to blame this thing just on the war would be wrong,” Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, the vice chief of staff of the Army, said at a news conference about the report. “That’s not what we’re trying to do here.”

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All War is a Crime Against Humanity, Including the U.S. War in Afghanistan

An archive of over 91,000 leaked military documents covering the war in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2010 recently published by WikiLleaks.org exposes the harsh realities of this drawn-out war. The “Afghan War Diary” entries were written by soldiers and intelligence officers and based on  reports from Marines intelligence and U.S. Embassies about corruption and development activity across Afghanistan. The accounts expose specific incidents of U.S. war crimes against civilians and corruption of the U.S.-backed Afghan government. They also verify the fact that Taliban and other Afghan militants opposing the U.S. military and Afghan government forces are not going to stop fighting anytime soon because they have a vested interest in ending foreign occupation. WikiLeaks released the reports Sunday, followed the next day by coverage from major publications including The New York Times and The Guardian.

While the “diary” undoubtedly reveals the grim truth of the war in Afghanistan to a wider audience, news reports about the leaked records continue to focus on the tactical errors of the government in fighting the war and the critical view that the war is most likely unwinnable. Reports are hesitant to explore other reasons for opposing the war, including a moral or ethical opposition to all forms of violence and war and the need for justice for those whose lives continue to be impacted daily by the violence of U.S. militarism both within our own borders and around the world.

According to the website, WikiLeaks hopes that its release “will lead to a comprehensive understanding of the war in Afghanistan and provide the raw ingredients necessary to change its course.” However, some argue that the public has been aware of the substance of the documents for some time, and the subsequent media storm will probably not have a major effect on debate over U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. Still, exposure of the “Afghan War Diary” as a media spectacle may highlight long-standing arguments for ending the war, including the toll on Afghan civilians, not to mention the fact that the United States has been unable to “win over” civilian populations in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan as a result of continuous drone attacks, raids, checkpoints, prisons, disappearances, and mass killings.

Additionally, before these documents were leaked, WikiLeaks made headlines with a video titled “Collateral Murder,” which depicted a U.S. helicopter attack in Baghdad that killed 11 unarmed Iraqi civilians. The Army arrested the person charged with leaking the video, 22-year-old intelligence analyst Pfc. Bradley Manning, who now faces up to 52 years in prison and is currently imprisoned in Kuwait, awaiting military trial without access to friends, family, or outside lawyers. (Find out how to support Manning here).

Whether the release and extensive media coverage of the “Collateral Murder” video and the “Afghan War Diary” documents change the course of U.S. foreign policy and military action in Iraq and Afghanistan remains to be seen. Regardless, there is something we can do. The House of Representatives will be voting again TODAY  on the White House request for $33.5 billion of new funding for the war in Afghanistan. The War Resisters League is joining with other antiwar organizations in calling on Congressional representatives to vote against the new war-funding bill, and calling on citizens to contact their representatives in Congress to oppose the Afghan war by refusing to vote for war -funding. National Call-In Days are this week July 26–-28. Contact the toll-free Congressional Switchboard at 1-888-493-5443, and share the WikiLeaks information with your friends, family, and neighbors. This important moment requires action!

Military Ignores Sexual Assault Reform

Sexual Assault Left Out of Military’s PTSD Reform

by Michelle Chen

On Monday, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced reforms to the rules for claiming veterans’ benefits for post-traumatic stress disorder. The White House says the move will ease the burden of proof that veterans face when trying to prove the mental wounds of war. But the new regulations are silent on the suffering of women who have experienced sexual trauma in the military.”