Speak With Leading Iraq Veteran Against War

By David Swanson

Tonight, May 20th, from 8-9 p.m. ET, I’ll have the pleasure of interviewing, with your help, Board Member of Iraq Veterans Against the War Jason Lemieux. Go to: http://thepeoplespeakradio.net to learn more. Go to http://www.thepeoplespeakradio.net/listen-live to listen live. You’ll find instructions there to enter a paltalk chat room where you can post questions. You can also phone in and ask Jason Lemieux your questions on the air. Call in tollfree from anywhere in the United States or Canada at 888-228-4494 or anywhere else in the world at 877-489-6350. Following the show, the audio file will be posted at http://www.thepeoplespeakradio.net/audio/2008 and you can find there now the recordings of numerous shows with amazing guests, including Cindy Sheehan, Lincoln Chafee, Brad Friedman, Shirin Ebadi, Phil Donahue, Mark Crispin Miller, William Odom, etc. To support The People Speak Radio please donate at http://www.thepeoplespeakradio.net/donate

Jason Lemieux testified in Congress on May 15th. Find the video at http://ivaw.org

Lemieux’s profile is at http://ivaw.org/member/jason-lemieux

He writes there: “I did 3 tours as an infantryman in Iraq. I invaded on March 21, 2003, went all the way to Baghdad, then headed down to Karbala for stability operations for five months. Things were different then. Karbala was a safe place in which we supported the local businesses with our money, and were welcomed for our ability to maintain order. Five months after we got home we went back, this time to Husaybah. It was like a whole different world than the Iraq I had left. Husaybah was a nightmare. It was a place where human life lost all meaning for most people; American, Iraqi, or otherwise. The only life worth saving was your own. It became clear to me about midway through this deployment that the U.S. was not winning in Iraq, and that winning would quickly become impossible if things stayed on their present course. A year after we got back from Husaybah, I extended my contract to redeploy to Ramadi with my unit, after which I left active duty on July 9, 2006.

“While deployed to Ramadi, I fought in a war that was already lost. I found that no amount of medical supplies delivered in the hundreds of thousands of dollars to hospitals, and no amount of soccer balls handed to little kids could change the fact that the insurgency enjoyed the sympathy of almost 100% of the population. For every Iraqi the U.S. helps, thousands more are wrongly killed or maimed.
During my tenure in the military, I wished to seek help for PTSD, but was discouraged from doing so since the treatment of a Marine for PTSD would acknowledge that there were negative consequences to the war in Iraq. I attended counseling sessions at a VA hospital, where there are not enough counselors to treat moderate and minor cases of PTSD. These cases are being thrust aside for the sake of treating severe ones. The hospital attempted to discontinue my treatment to make room for others with worse problems; I had to write my congressman before the VA agreed to continue my treatment until I am well. I eventually left the VA for private counseling via a program called The Soldiers Project that provides free counseling for veterans in Southern California. I’m going to school now, with plans to specialize in modern conflict. I was recently accepted to Columbia University and will study there until student debt swallows me whole and/or I have a bachelors in one of the social sciences and a masters in International Security Policy.”

In January 2007, Lemieux wrote a response to a speech by George W. Bush, which is posted at
http://ivaw.org/membersspeak/response-bushs-escalation-speech

Lemieux wrote: “In his recent speech, the President referred to tactics that many in the military are familiar with, including ‘clean and sweep’ and door-to-door home ‘visits’ by U.S. military personnel. These approaches have failed miserably during the nearly four years of occupation, and have served to alienate and enrage the Iraqis against the U.S. presence in their communities. Clean and sweep operations haven’t worked, and they never will. The problem, contrary to what Bush states, is not that we have neglected certain areas or haven’t remained in one area long enough to ‘hold’ it after the sweep. The problem is that this is not a war of geography in which terrain can be ‘cleared’ of resistance and ‘held.’

In March 2007, Lemieux published an article called “Hammers Can’t Fix Computers OR Why We Lost in Iraq, Part I” which is posted at
http://ivaw.org/membersspeak/hammers-cant-fix-computers-or-why-we-lost-i…

He followed this up in July with “Hammers Can’t Fix Computers, Part 1A”
http://ivaw.org/membersspeak/hammers-cant-fix-computers-part-1a

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