Remember "The Panama Deception & Coverup: Behind the Iran-Contra Affair?" Well the same producers just released "Soldiers Speak Out," a gripping documentary that exposes the reality of our military and the dubious mission known as "Operation Iraqi Freedom."
This is truly the film I have been waiting for—a film I want to be able to hand to everyone sporting a magnetic car ribbon proclaiming "Support Our Troops." Covered are the military’s access to the personal records of every child enrolled in public school which are used for aggressive recruitment purposes and brainwashing. The lie of this war as fighting for democracy and freedom is exposed by each soldier interviewed having witnessed or been ordered to open fire on villages of civilians, killing countless women and children. The horrors of depleted uranium munitions used in this war and the resultant birth defects among children fathered by returning "GIs" is revealed. But what is most important about this film is the recounting by our soldiers of the brainwashing techniques used by the military to train them into becoming soulless killing machines.
Camilo Mejia, who joined the U.S. Army in 1995 and refused to return to the Iraq War, tells us how their only thought on the battlefield is personal survival. But when they return home, there is time for reflection, leading many to deep depression for the acts they both committed and witnessed. When he read newspaper stories proving that the justifications for this war was nothing but lies, he asked himself how he could justify being part of the war effort. It was at that point that he made the decision to refuse to be a part of this illegal war and ended up spending 9 months in the brig for refusing to board a plane headed for Iraq. His poignant thoughts are a powerful closing to this memorable documentary.
Dennis Kyne, who also was featured in The Power Hour’s Beyond Treason, elaborates on parts of a soldier’s brain that are literally programmed for continued violence which is then transferred to their wives and children. He also mentions the growing number of military families that are speaking out against this war. He recalls that 1,000 reservists were called up to report for duty and not one of them showed up. "When a thousand soldiers say, ‘I’m not obeying your orders,’ that’s a mutiny!" Kyne stated.
From the DVD jacket: "Soldiers Speak Out is a powerful, first-hand testament to the reality of the military experience told entirely in the words of American veterans who have been to war and are now opposing it. We hear how they came to join the military, about their experiences in training and in war, and what led to the turning point when they decided they could no longer, in good conscience, participate in the war or keep silent. This half-hour documentary sheds light on the growing and courageous anti-war and anti-occupation movement within the military and their families, and serves as a counter-recruitment and organizing tool for activists, schools and organizations. It provides a sober view of the war in Iraq and an important counterpoint to the ‘stay-the-course’ rhetoric of the Bush administration."
The documentary itself is 28 minutes but the other features on the DVD include:
*92 minutes of extended interviews with eight veterans
*31 minutes of award-winning shorts – one entitled "Leave My Child Alone" (11 min.) is a powerful expose of recruitment techniques used on junior high and high school students.
*27 minutes of trailers from goodfilms.org – other documentaries for the "greater good."
*Resources with weblinks to important groups and information
"It’s wonderful! It’s definitely one of the films we’d like to highlight at screening events. Its 28-minute length and focus on military recruitment make it perfect for teachers to use in high school and college classrooms. I particularly loved the extended interviews with Stan Goff and other veterans."
~Glenn Kissack, Educators to Stop the War, Forest Hill, NY