Haven't heard of it? No wonder. With the exception of Amy Goodman's Democracy Now and a few other anti-war outlets, the left-leaning, America-hating mainstream media didn't devote one printed word or televised minute to it. And how could they? It would have given the lie to how much better things are becoming in Iraq and Afghanistan, and (God forbid) might have forced us to take a look at the consequences of our actions.
The quote that stays with me and represents everything that's wrong with our occupation and (more broadly) the militarization of our society is an unnamed sergeant's rallying cry to his troops: "I hope I get to kill me a haji today. I hope I get to shoot somebody today."
What kind of society thinks it's a "good thing" to brainwash a bunch of 20-something kids with this kind of evil?
Which is why, at the risk of bringing down the wrath of her copyright lawyers, I'm going to reprint here Ursula Le Guin's translation of the Tao Te Ching's 31st chapter, Against War:
Even the best weapon
is an unhappy tool,
hateful to living things.
So the follower of the Way
stays away from it.
Weapons are unhappy tools,
not chosen by thoughtful people,
to be used only when there is no choice,
and with a calm, still mind,
To enjoy using weapons
is to enjoy killing people,
and to enjoy killing people
is to lose your share in the common good.
It is right that the murder of many people
be mourned and lamented.
It is right that a victor in war
be received with funeral ceremonies.
It's this that should be pounded into the impressionable heads of every recruit inducted into our armed forces.
If anyone is interested in learning more about the Winter Soldier event, I daresay you can find it at The Progressive's site, www.progressive.org, or the Iraq Vets Against the War site at http://ivaw.org/wintersoldier.