News Release

For Veteran’s Day: “They Were Soldiers”

Share Day is Monday.

Matthieu Aikins has broken a series of stories in Rolling Stone: “The A-Team Killings” and “Watch Highly Disturbing Footage of Detainee Abuses in Afghanistan.”

ANN JONES, via Jim Plank, jim at
Jones wrote the just-released book They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return from America’s Wars: The Untold Story.

She also just wrote the piece “They Didn’t Know What They Were Getting Into: The Cost of War American-Style,” which states: “As I followed the sad trail of damaged veterans … I came to see how much they and their families have suffered, like Afghans, from the delusions of this nation’s leaders — many running counter to international law — and of other influential Americans, in and out of the military, more powerful and less accountable than themselves.

“Like the soldiers, the country has changed. Muted now is the braggadocio of the bring-‘em-on decider who started the preemptive process that ate the children of the poor and patriotic. Now, in Afghanistan as in Iraq, Washington scrambles to make the exit look less like a defeat — or worse, pointless waste. Most Americans no longer ask what the wars were for.

“‘Follow the money,’ a furious Army officer, near the end of his career, instructed me. I had spent my time with poor kids in search of an honorable future who do the grunt work of America’s military. They are part of the nation’s lowliest 1%. But as that angry career officer told me, ‘They only follow orders.’ It’s the other 1% at the top who are served by war, the great American engine that powers the transfer of wealth from the public treasury upward and into their pockets. Following that money trail reveals the real point of the chosen conflicts. As that disillusioned officer put it to me, the wars have made those profiteers ‘monufuckinmentally rich.’ It’s the soldiers and their families who lost out.”