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Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan

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“The only way this war is going to end is if the American people truly understand what we have done in their name.”—Kelly Dougherty, executive director of Iraq Veterans Against the War

In spring 2008, inspired by the Vietnam-era Winter Soldier hearings, Iraq Veterans Against the War gathered veterans to expose war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq. Here are the powerful words, images, and documents of this historic gathering, which show the reality of life in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Iraq Veterans Against the War argues that well-publicized incidents of American brutality like the Abu Ghraib prison scandal and the massacre of an entire family of Iraqis in the town of Haditha are not the isolated incidents perpetrated by “a few bad apples,” as many politicians and military leaders have claimed. They are part of a pattern, the group says, of “an increasingly bloody occupation.”

"Here is the war as it should be reported, seeing the pain, refusing to sanitize an unprovoked attack that has killed over one million people. All over America are victims who have returned from this conflict with hideous wounds—wounds that turn the lives of the entire family upside down.

And the American people are not seeing this. Until now.