Winter Soldier … Antiwar Valhalla

The last thing we expected was to hear what seemed to be a balanced military commentary on less-than-balanced Pacifica Radio. Pacifica is sandwiched between National Public Radio and C-SPAN on the dial in Washington, D.C. (we possess exciting listening habits), and an mp3 paired with deteriorating vision is a lethal combination. A seasoned listener normally can tell the difference between the three stations. We stumbled upon a deep-voiced, 20- or 30-something male (Marine? Soldier?) who sounded like he was reading a statement before some congressional subcommittee. Yet his words were less formal and with an edge — not the stuff of Capitol Hill fodder. The announcer broke the suspense and confirmed it was Pacifica (gasp), and this was Winter Solider. 

Winter Who? It’s nearly spring. 

The deep-throated speaker commanded our attention; his recitation was compelling. It seems his unit accidentally took out a friendly Iraqi security group. The Voice himself stated he pumped M-60 rounds into at least one innocent Iraqi. Voice considered the incident fratricide. Fair enough. 

Love it or hate it, another “antiwar” love fest was just heating up. 

The first Winter Soldier Investigation was organized in Detroit in 1971 by the Vietnam Veterans Against the War in an attempt to expose a pattern of war crimes in Vietnam. Fast forward nearly 40 years, and we have the same rhetoric, though a different war. 

This time it was Iraq Veterans Against the War (note the original name) that organized Winter Soldier 2008, which took place March 13-16 at (get this) the National Labor College (underwritten by our friends at the AFL-CIO), Silver Spring, Md. (Convenient for the Spring Flingers who have descended upon the District and surrounding environs.) 

But our lowly FM broadcast told only part of the story. One news outlet reported a former Marine ripped his medals off his shirt and threw them into the audience. Bet that was a sight. It’s our guess he did not get the text message that such stunts, while great theater, negate the message (except with that limited audience). 

Sadly these boys and girls are fresh meat for the fringe element looking to exploit them for sundry causes. Activists: Fat on rhetoric, lean on facts. Until these freshmen shed their self-serving handlers, their message will remain trapped with the impotent do-gooders and hug-fest frequenters that surround them.
We are unsure if there was a candlelight vigil or the singing of vintage antiwar ditties.

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