An unnamed American veteran of the Iraqi war puts the pieces together in a hard-hitting speech before the Iraqi Veterans Against the War.
The vet says that he feels nothing but guilt and shame when he thinks of his time in Iraq. He talks about the immoral and shameless acts he was asked to carry out in the name of an oppressive and exploitative war.
“I was told that I was fighting terrorism. The real terrorist was me.”
“Racism is a very important weapon employed by this government.”
“The ruling class, the billionaires who profit from human suffering, care only about expanding their wealth, controlling the world economy. Understand that their power lies only in their ability to convince us that war, oppression and exploitation is in our interest. If we understand that their wealth is depdendent on their ability to convince the world to die to control the market of another country, and convincing us to kill and die is based on theri ability to make us think that we are somehow superior.
“Soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen have nothing to gain from this occupation. The vast majority of people living in the U.S, have nothing to gain from this occupation. In fact not only do we have nothing to gain but we suffer more because of it. … Millions in this country without health care, jobs, or access to education must watch this government squander over $450 million a day on this occupation.
“Poor and working people in this country are sent to kill poor and working people in another country to make the rich richer. Without racism, soldiers would realize that they have more in common with the Iraqi people than they do with the billionaires who send us to war.
“I threw families onto the streets in Iraq only to come home and find families thrown onto the street in this tragic and unnecessary foreclosure crisis. We need to wake up and realize that our real enemies are not in some distant land. They’re not people whose names we don’t know and cultures we don’t understand. The enemy is people we know very well and people we can identify.
“The enemy is a system that wages war when it’s profitable. The enemy is the CEOs who lay us off from our jobs when it’s profitable. It’s the insurance companies who deny us health care when it’s profitable. It’s the banks who take away our homes when it’s profitable. Our enemy is not 5,000 miles away. They are right here at home.
“If we organize and fight with our sisters and brothers, we can stop this war, we can stop this government, and we can create a better world.