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The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan Paperback – January 11, 2011

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About the Author

Dahr Jamail is author of the book Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq. Jamail’s work has been featured on National Public Radio, the Guardian, The Nation, and The Progressive. He has received many awards for his reportage, including the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism. Jamail's reporting from Iraq has been published in newspapers and magazine worldwide. He has appeared on Democracy Now! as a regular guest, as well as BBC, Pacifia Radio, and numerous other networks.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Haymarket Books; Reprint edition (January 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1608460959
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608460953
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #805,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Jon D. Letman on July 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
For those who thought the anti-war movement in America was dead, independent journalist Dahr Jamail shines a brilliant, revealing light on an under-reported, overlooked segment of the resistance in his second book The Will to Resist: Soldiers who refuse to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Jamail, a former mountain guide in Alaska, was so dissatisfied by the lack of critical reporting in the early days of the Iraq war, he decided to head for the conflict and dig for the truth on his own, unembedded. The result was a hard-hitting look at the U.S. military's devastating impact on Iraqi civilians in Beyond the Green Zone (2007).

In The Will to Resist, Jamail examines the U.S. military's impact on the very people fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - the soldiers themselves. What he describes is a brutal system that teaches young recruits to dehumanize "the enemy" and each other.

From a military culture of misogyny, homophobia, racism, and intimidation to a system that "chews `em up and spits `em out," (battle wounds, stop-loss, and veteran's benefits be damned), Jamail interviews scores of veterans and active duty soldiers who've come to realize they can't "be all they can be" if they are killing civilians, dodging bombs, struggling with traumatic brain injuries, or plagued by suicidal urges.

Jamail documents the soldier's experiences in their own blunt language, giving the war, and swelling internal resistance, an immediacy and realism the U.S. Military would rather go unexamined, but is increasingly hard to ignore.
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Format: Hardcover
"A big thing used to be squads putting up in some Iraqi's house for a day or two, just going there and staying. They insert themselves in a house covertly in order to watch a neighborhood without anyone knowing that they were there. But it is really not about watching. It is about sleeping. Hopefully the squad is well-accepted in the family. Sometimes they even make friends. A few soldiers keep watch, the rest of the squad catch up on sleep and relax for a change." -- Bryan Casler

"So we would go and drop the dismounted people at some house with an air conditioner, where they would kick in a door and hang out and drink tea with those people, while we would proceed with the vehicles and bide time out of visible range." -- Seth Manzel

What a bunch of slackers: that might be an appropriate response to all of this if there were some comprehensible and worthwhile thing that any of these people were supposed to be doing. But, as Jamail's book makes clear, when US soldiers in Iraq are not avoiding their duty they are engaging in harassment, abuse, torture, the murder of civilians, endless stress and trauma, and the risk of their own death and injury for no purpose that has been made clear to them. Soldiers quoted in the book point out that if their own nation were occupied they would certainly fight back just as the Iraqis do. In fact, these are soldiers who signed up to fight for a cause. Some of them fell for the post-9-11 propaganda and signed up thinking they would help defend the United States. Many of them signed up for economic reasons, but they also had a willingness to kill and risk death for a noble cause. Many of them tried to do so for years before losing faith. And what went away, other than their physical and mental well being, was not their courage or generosity.
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Format: Hardcover
The other reviewers have said it all, except for how very refreshing and inspiring it is to see that some Americans understand the spirit, function and purpose of international law. Who would have thought. Not a single politician (well, aside from Russell Feingold) has a clue, and these poor men and women, some there because they were terribly misled (by their parents, their schools, their communities), some just plain poor, figured it out for themselves. It's about the preservation of humanity in all its senses. Everyone should read this book (and Nicholson Baker's 'Smoke', while you're at it). I never thought I would agree with the slogan plastered all over suburban SUV's but this book gives 'Support our troops' totally new meaning.
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Format: Hardcover
Award-winning independent journalist Dahr Jamail The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan is the true story of those within the U.S. military service whose consciences prompt them to resist the war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. From battalions that refuse orders, to active-duty soldiers who sign antiwar petitions, individual soldiers who refuse redeployment, those who dare to take a public stand against the occupation, and more, The Will to Resist is a fascinating examination of what motivates such opposition amid the United States' loyal defending force. The Will to Resist is not a politically neutral book; chapters reflect a decidedly negative and critical view of the American occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet the heart of The Will to Resist is not its politics, but rather the true stories of the men and women who serve - and who choose to resist what they perceive as unjust, whether it be sexism, discrimination, or apparent crimes of war. An eminently readable account that, once started, cannot be put down.
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