- Hardcover: 230 pages
- Publisher: Haymarket Books (July 1, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1931859884
- ISBN-13: 978-1931859882
- Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 7.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,829,856 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan
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Since 2006, a majority of the American people have opposed the Iraq war. In February 2006, 72 per cent of US servicemen in Iraq said the war should be ended within a year.
Obama says that all US combat troops will leave Iraq by August. But between 50,000 and 70,000 troops will stay `for the next 15 to 20 years' to guard the US-owned oil fields and train the Iraqi military. Obama has allocated $1 trillion to the US military.
The war has killed 1.2 million Iraqis. US forces have killed more Iraqi civilians than the insurgents have. US soldiers are under orders to shoot unarmed civilians if their presence made the soldiers `feel uncomfortable'.
US troop strength in Afghanistan will top 100,000 early in 2010 and there are another 50,000 plus troops from `vassals and tributaries' (in Zbigniew Brzezinski's words). The USAF and RAF bomb Afghani children, Red Cross depots and refugees, and occasionally the Taliban, in a war that is not destroying terrorism but worsening it. The UN says that US and Afghan government troops have killed twice as many Afghan civilians as the Taliban has.
American and NATO drone missile and helicopter gunship attacks into Pakistan are increasing. Drones fired into Pakistan have already doubled the numbers of civilians killed there.
The war must be stopped, not because it is a war against terrorism, but because it is the opposite.
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.
With detail and clarity, Jamail describes how a growing number of soldiers are resisting by refusing orders, speaking out, acting up, coming out (of the closet), writing, blogging, demonstrating, and just plain saying "no" to wars in which they find themselves being used as disposable pawns.
Some of the stories Jamail tells are shocking, some are depressing, while others are inspiring, irrepressibly human and unexpectedly brimming with promise. The soldiers in The Will to Resist offer hope at a time when America's war-making seems to be accepted as "just one of those things." Even if the American public is too busy, too indifferent, or too desensitized to offer any meaningful resistance to the ongoing American occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, there are a growing number of military personnel who will.
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