Mike Hastie’s father was a U.S. Army career officer. He moved from military base to military base as a child. When the Vietnam War escalated, Mike joined the army in 1969 and then deployed to Vietnam in 1970. Immediately upon arrival he witnessed suicides, homicides, and drug abuse. Mike also encountered a powerful resistance to the war: artwork against President Nixon, soldiers refusing to deploy and applying for conscientious objector status, and even mutiny.
Beginning in the 1980s, Mike has been speaking out against the American Empire. Since his deployment to Vietnam, he has witnessed the patterns of imperialism over his life span: Vietnam, Guatemala, Panama, Iraq, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq again, Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, Syria, and so much more.
One pattern he has noticed here at home is how Americans refuse to hear his stories. Mike often exposes the American Empire for the crimes it commits on a daily basis, but people just don’t want face the truth about empire. He says in order to accept his experiences as a U.S. Army soldier, Americans would have to change their core belief system. Americans often believe the United States is a force for good in the world, spreading freedom and democracy. But according to Mike, and many veterans like myself, we know this mythology of the American Empire is a flat out lie sold to the American public.
Mike and I spoke about his experiences in Vietnam and since then becoming an anti-war activist, or should I say an anti-empire whistleblower. From his generation of veterans to my generation of veterans there exists major differences but one familiar pattern reoccurs, the American Empire conducts itself has a force of evil around the world. The United States creates instability and insecurity everywhere it travels. The troops don’t serve the people of the United States, but the ruling class. And the American public is sold one myth after another to keep the empire rolling along.
Short excerpt from the interview:
Interview with Mike Hastie Part 1
Interview with Mike Hastie Part 2