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Monday, August 30, 2004

Iraq Veterans Against the War

From the WSWS. The story:
Significant numbers of veterans participated in the demonstration, as well as some active-duty soldiers returned from Iraq, who marched in desert fatigues.

One of the latter, Mathias Feurer, said that he had come to the march to demand that his fellow soldiers be brought back from Iraq now. A member of the 1st Armored Division, he participated in the invasion of Iraq and spent four months there. Having completed his military service, he attempted to leave the Army, but had his service involuntarily extended, and was sent back to the US to an assignment with the National Guard.

"At the time the war began, I trusted our president," Mathias, a resident of the Bronx, told the World Socialist Web Site. "I thought it would be justified and that we would really find weapons of mass destruction, but there was nothing there."

He said that he was shocked by the poverty, destruction and suffering that the war had inflicted upon the Iraqi people. "When we first got there, the kids would wave at us and stuff, but by the time I had left, everything had already gone to hell. They just want us out of there. Sooner or later, that is what will happen, but in the meantime a lot of soldiers and a lot of Iraqis are dying."

Mathias said he would advise anyone thinking of going into the Army not to do it. "Today you’ve got young guys going in who don’t want to be in combat, and they choose something else, like being a cook. But what they need is infantry and military police, and once they get in they just send them over there—a bunch of untrained kids—and they’re the first ones to get killed. All anyone over there now wants to do is come home."