Iraq Veterans Reflect on 15th Anniversary

Today, March 19 is the 15th anniversary of the Iraq Invasion. The following are posts from Iraq Veterans on social media .

Sergio Kochergin, USMC, Iraq Veteran:

Today, 15 years ago, we invaded Iraq, committing one of the greatest crimes of the 21st Century. This invasion can only be related to the Hulagu Khan’s invasion of 1250, at which time 200,000 Iraqis were killed and the destruction of the once biggest library containing ancient documents commenced.

Lets not be fooled, the current day Iraq was the cradle of civilization. The first agricultural society and the breeding of cattle took place there, including the first writing systems and the beginning of recorded history. They harnessed the first use of wheels and the creation of city States. Not excluding the first use of mathematics, astronomy, written law, medicine and organized religion.

Under the Sykes-Picot Agreement, British and French States divided fertile crescent into fractured states, predetermining the future regional conflicts. In 1968, with the help of the US, the baa’thist party took control of Iraq. Saddam became a president in 1979 through purges of the party. After Iran overthrew US supported government in 1979, the Iraq declared war on Iran in 1980. Utilizing weapons of mass destruction against the people of Iran and Kurdish Iraqis, thanks to the arms shipments from the US and other allies.

In the early 90’s, after the invasion of Kuwait, Iraq was bombed by the US and allies, creating the beginning of continuous bombing campaigns against the people of Iraq. Throughout the 90’s, these bombings contributed to the destruction of the infrastructure, leading to over 500,000 children’s deaths. In one of the speeches by Madeleine Albright: “”500,000 Dead Iraqi Children Was Worth It”, when referred to the sanctions on Iraq.

Before the Invasion of Iraq in 2003, the literacy rate was about 84% for males and 65% for females. With free and accessible education, healthcare system, and housing.

I have never seen the destruction of a country as i have in 2003 in Iraq. Throughout our push towards Baghdad, the fields of dead bodies of women, kids, and men were scattered like the spring flowers budding in the spring.

In turn, we are seeing the same happening in our streets at home. The trillions dollars spent on destruction of people of Iraq and their culture, should have been spent on our neighborhoods and communities. The real blow back fromIraq war now can be felt in our streets, and will be felt in the middle east for the decades to come.

I am thankful for having organizations like Iraq Veterans Against the War and Veterans for Peace, for letting the anti-war veterans to know they are not alone. If not for these organizations, I would definitely be a part of the 22 suicides a day statistic. Power to the People!!!! Organize or Die!!!

Upcoming generations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Please do not make the same mistakes!!!!! Don’t allow these systems to manipulate our understanding of the history and the present!!! We need to rebuild the communities we destroyed abroad and at home!!



Emily Yates, US Army, Iraq Veteran

Fifteen years ago today, the US invaded Iraq based on lies – and is in many capacities still there. Today let’s turn our attention to those who’ve suffered most: the Iraqi people. Donate directly to the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq —>
#IraqWar #anniversary #15yearslater #owfi #aboutface#IVAW #resist

Baghdad, 2005: of these three veterans of the Iraq War, only one of us got to leave the combat zone. Donate to the Organization for Women’s Freedom in Iraq: or Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Fund:
#15yearslater #IraqWar #anniversary #veterans#children #wherearetheynow #probablydead




Vince Emanuele, USMC, Iraq Veteran:

Today should be a somber day, and a national day of reflection and conversation. Every major institution in the U.S. has failed the Iraqi people and the veterans who fought and continue to fight an illegal and immoral war. The ‘War on Terror’ has been a miserable disaster — 17 years of bullets, bombs, missiles, drone strikes, torture, coups, and assassinations. The real-world result is dead and mutilated bodies, crumbling cities, lost generations, and a toxic natural environment. Since 9/11, the U.S. has bombed Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, and Afghanistan (Uncle Sam’s longest war). Are we safe yet? During that time, the U.S. has spent over $5.6 trillion on wars while our country crumbles from within. Over 22 veterans kill themselves every-single-day. There will be no progressive reforms in the U.S. without confronting and dismantling U.S. Empire and Militarism. A shout-out to the antiwar organizations and individual activists who protested this monstrosity from Day One. History will remember you.



Hipolita Arriaga, USMC, Iraq Veteran:

Much to reflect upon this day of birth: I would like to call attention to the illegal invasion of the sovereign nation of Iraq 15 years ago to the day in 2003. It was the same year I would enlist into the military war machine, a grotesque monster who feeds on the souls of men, women & children. I think of how many thousands of innocent Iraqi people that have had their lives tragically cut short by this beast, also of the turmoil still facing their nation; all created by our lust for violence & unchecked corporate greed. In the still settling dust, there are very good people caught in the chaos who want the same fundamental things that we all do, peace & security for our families.

I have committed many horrible acts during the 14-months combined that I spent in the cradle of civilization while wearing the uniform of conqueror & colonizer which I must atone for; this is my life’s work & I do not shy away from this responsibility, it stares at me everyday in the waking mirror. It pains me greatly to know that some of the children of those who initially invaded Iraq are now themselves becoming weapons of war to be shipped over to continue these forever conflicts & eventually discarded; the same taking place in Afghanistan as well as the 5 other nations that we bombed last year… My heart goes out to those currently serving & especially to those who continue to have war forcefully thrust upon them. I pray that you live in grace, however short or long your life may be.

This isn’t meant to be a downer I promise LOL, just some of the stuff floating around in the expansive flowing YOUniverse that is the beard.

It is with these difficult truths that I forge forward; reluctantly at times. I never thought that I would reach this age, life is never promised to any of us, one of the first lessons growing up in the South Bronx. Why waste each precious moment not in the pursuit of your passion? Thankfully & most graciously I have in the past few years with the tremendous support of many beautiful Souls & GREAT effort, have been provided with doors & opportunities to follow my passions; first I’ve had to cultivate & learn what truly stirs me, which has been nothing short of depleting, exhausting & really one of the only things worth doing in life. This path is not reserved for the faint-hearted or the weary, it’s downright nasty & lonely at times but it is this life which has chosen me; how beautiful it is, how blessed am I? I’m afraid I will never quite appreciate it though everyday I put forth my best effort.

It’s here in this 34th year that I am grasping what love really is & more importantly that it is the only thing of worth, not to be hoarded but shared freely & frequently with anyone & everyone. I have no space left for hatred in my heart, not my vibe anymore, it’s too heavy & I am free. I know not how much time I have left here, hoping to spend as much of it as I can spreading love…

Thank you for bearing with my bullshhhhhhhhhhttt…


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