Military Recruitment

Get involved in the movement to stop military recruiters: wearenotyoursoldiers.org

American Military Deaths in Afghanistan, and the Communities from Which These Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines Came

from Michael Zweig:

The Center for Study of Working Class Life at the State University of New York at Stony Brook released its report "American Military Deaths in Afghanistan, and the Communities from Which These Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines Came," by Michael Zweig, Michael Porter, and Yuxiang Huang on the tenth anniversary of the start of the current war in Afghanistan.

The study presents a detailed picture of the men and women who have died in the war, and the communities which have lost them.  It compares these findings with people and communities in the country as a whole.  The report is based on a reading of obituaries and tribute pages for each of the 1,446 U.S. military personnel who died in Afghanistan from the start of the war in October 2001 to the end of 2010, and analysis of Census and other data for the communities from which they came. The report addresses the racial and gender composition of the dead, their education levels and reasons for joining the military, and their position in the class structure of the economy.  The report also details the geographic origins of the dead and presents key economic data for their communities.  

The findings challenge a number of widely held assumptions about the identity and motivation of Americans who have died in Afghanistan and the economic conditions in their home communities.  Whatever one's views on the war, it is important to know who is dying from doing the work of it.  

See the full report and data appendixes.

In Memory of Our Friend Anthony D. Wagner: Truth Seeker and Truth Teller

Anthony Wagner

Anthony Wagner pictured with high school youth while on the
We Are Not Your Soldiers Tour

Chicago World Can't Wait | November 2, 2011

It is heart breaking when we lose someone who tried to change the world for the better, for all humanity. In his short time Anthony Wagner, World Can’t Wait activist and Iraq Veteran Against the War (served in Iraq March 2004-March 2005), tried to do just that. It is with profound sorrow that we of the Chicago World Can’t Wait chapter share that Anthony has died. He was truly another casualty of these murderous wars. And though our hearts ache at the loss of him, we can say with much joy and appreciation that Anthony touched not only our lives, but the lives of many youth who, because of him, did not and will not go and kill and die in U.S. wars and occupations.{jathumnail off}

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They Died in Vain (Deal With It)

"If they ask you why we died, tell them because our fathers lied."

By Ray McGovern

Many of those preaching at American church services Sunday extolled as "heroes" the 30 American and 8 Afghan troops killed Saturday west of Kabul, when a helicopter on a night mission crashed, apparently after taking fire from Taliban forces. This week, the Fawning Corporate Media (FCM) can be expected to beat a steady drumbeat of "they shall not have died in vain."

But they did. I know it is a hard truth, but they did die in vain.

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Change You CAN Believe In!

By Elaine Brower

It's been over 10 years now that my son joined the U.S. Marine Corps.   From birth, at least it felt that way, he wanted to be a marine.   He wore G.I. Joe underwear, socks, and even carried the lunch box. At Halloween every year he was either a soldier or warrior of some sort.   It was definitely harrowing for me, an anti-war activist from way back since 1969.

I had begged, pleaded and even promised him a new car for him not to join when he turned 18, but hence, he did.   The recruiters showed up at our house the day after he had his high school diploma, and whisked him away to boot camp in Parris Island.   I felt as if someone had ripped my arm out of its socket!   When he graduated, the entire family went to watch as this young boy was supposedly turned into a "man."   I ran up to him after all the military hoopla on the Parris Island field, and he didn't even look at me.   He wouldn't hug or kiss me, told me that he was in his uniform and was not allowed to show emotion.   Needless to say I was crushed.

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We Are Not Your Soldiers Tour: On Both Coasts Last Weeks of High School

By Debra Sweet

Ethan McCord will be in southern California (Los Angeles and San Diego) June 9 - 11

Matthis Chiroux in Philadelphia, June 7.

James Brower, a Marine combat veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq, made his first appearance with the tour Monday at an NYC high school. Read the report/watch the videos.

We still have more requests from schools than we can fill! NEEDED: more veterans to speak about their experiences in the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan; funds for transportation, child care and materials.  Every time they speak, students re-think their intention of signing up; grapple with the need to speak out against the wars; and go on to take this message to other students, friends, family members.

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“We Are Not Your Soldiers” in NYC High School

From We Are Not Your Soldiers 

On Monday, May 23rd, a new addition to the “We Are Not Your Soldiers” campaign spoke to a classroom of students, and teachers. Former USMC Staff Sgt. and scout sniper, James Brower from Brooklyn, NY, decided it was time that he spoke up and reached out to high school students who are in the most jeopardy of joining the military. James completed three combat tours, one in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2002, and two in Iraq, 2005 to 2006; and, 2009 to 2010.

He said he joined the marines because he “wanted to fight.” All through school he was always in fights, and thought it was something he might like doing, especially as a marine. But after his second tour, he had doubts. By his third tour, he knew what we were doing in Iraq and Afghanistan were wrong. He describes it by saying “there are old men who send young men to war, and they make lots and lots of money. Iraq was fine. They had electricity, internet, homes, families, jobs, clean water, until we got there…and there were no weapons of mass destruction.”

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We Are Not Your Soldiers in Philadelphia

From the report posted at wearenotyoursoldiers.org:

In each class, some students walked into class “disruptive” but when the film came on they were silent, captivated by the horror they were watching. This engagement lasted through the discussion. The youth were very shocked about what they saw in the video, especially the fact that there were children there. They called it scary, disgusting, heartless, and it elicited nervous laughter. In the afternoon one girl got teary eyed and when her friends made fun she said, “don’t laugh at me for crying this shit is sad.” One male student made a very true statement about the video, saying, “This is not a good advertisement for the military.”

Matthis’ point of being less of a man for having joined the military really resonated with students, nodding at what he was saying about losing your humanity in doing these acts. They were moved by both the video and Matthis’ further testimony to these outrages being daily occurrences and his use of the word genocide. It affected them that their government was just killing people in a neighborhood and it changed how they viewed the war. They could see the impact and they, for the most part, definitely didn’t want to be a part of it.

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We Are Not Your Soldiers at a Vermont High School

Another student... took off the national guard shirt he was wearing and gave it to Matthis saying he no longer would wear it.

By Joe Urgo, Viet Nam Veteran

Matthis Chiroux, Iraq war resister and part of the “We Are Not Your Soldiers” tour, and I met with three groups of students at a Vermont High School.

The first group of students was only about 10 in number, the second and third had about 30 students in each. In the two largest groups, 1/3 of one and 1/2 in the other had family and friends in the military. This is important to understand because everything we say can be taken as a personal attack on their family members and make it difficult for them to see the politics and policies that make up these wars for empire and the responsibility to end them. 

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About

World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.