The recent successful tour by Matt Howard from U.S. based group Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) has highlighted the extra weight that veterans and former military personnel can add to the anti-war movement in this country. IVAW’s key strategy, and one which assisted the anti-Vietnam War movement, is organising resistance within U.S. armed forces. The setting up in Australia of a group of former soldiers/guerrillas, sailors and air force personnel against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could be an important step in building resistance to these wars within the ADF. You know through personal experience that the words and actions of former service personnel carry far more resonance with current serving members than the words and actions of 'civilians'. Such a group can also be an effective counter to the idea that the Government likes to portray, “If you’re against the war, you’re against the individual service people involved.”
A group like this will not appear spontaneously. It is up to veterans and former service personnel already organised through groups within the anti-war movement to make this happen. The question is; are there enough of us out there within activist groups to make this work?
If you are a veteran, or have served in the armed forces of any country, are already part of the anti-war movement in Australia and you think it is worthwhile to have such a group contact me at email@example.com so I can find out who’s out there, where they are and how many of us there are.
Organised together I think we can add to and strengthen the anti-war movement.
m) 0401 586 923
Former infantry soldier (Australian Army), INTERFET campaign and U.N. mission to East Timor veteran.