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Program Information
 Steppin' Out of Babylon 
 Chanan Suarezdiaz
 Sue Supriano  
 For non-profit use only.
Chanan talks about the war in Iraq, the experience of US soldiers there, and why Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) opposes the racist war of oppression in Iraq.
Sue Supriano's Steppin' Out of Babylon is a radio interview series covering a broad range of important issues in today's world: peace and war, human and civil rights, communication, the media, the environment, food security, racism, globalization, immigration and matters of the spirit. Over 250 shows are available at this site:

Chanan Suarezdiaz is an Iraq War Veteran and an anti-war activist. He is the President of the Seattle, Washington Chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW). Suarezdiaz was a medic in Iraq from September 2004 until February 2005 when he got seriously wounded in the back by shrapnel. He spent many months in Ramadi, Iraq and recounts some of that experience in this interview. He calls it a "racist war of oppression". He also talks about the important organizing he's doing with Iraq Veterans Against the War both inside the military itself where anti-war sentiment is growing quickly all the time and among veterans. This interview occurred in Eugene, OR in the beginning of 2008 when he and David Solnit were touring and organizing for IVAW and the "counter-recruitment" movement just before the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq where way over a million Iraqis have been killed as well as over 4000 Americans at that time. He reports that the US troops don't want to be in Iraq and Suarezdiaz cites some of the main issues of the vets besides that they don't like being an "occupying force". The troops are more and more often doing "search and avoid" missions for this reason. More and more squads and platoons are refusing orders and resisting. He emphasizes that they need a strong anti-war movement to back them up and big, huge demonstrations are very good.

One out of four homeless people are vets both from the Vietnam War and this Iraq War-- and maybe more wars. He discusses the "back door draft" meaning that recruiters target and trick poor rural and urban folks since they have no other way to get money and they join because they need a job-- the reason that Suarezdiaz himself did. Ultimately many of the promises made by recruiters are never fulfilled and if people complain they are dismissed. The health care is nothing close to what is needed, especially regarding the mental health issues of post traumatic stress which is SO common. Suicide among vets and active duty military is VERY high. We discuss racism against the Iraqis and among the US troops. IVAW asks for 1) Immediate withdrawal of all occupying forces in Iraq, 2) Full VA benefits for all vets and abd 3) Reparations for Iraqis.

YouTube - Chanan Suarez Diaz on GI Resistance to the war ...
Chanan Suarez Diaz addressed a packed room on June 16, 2007 ...
Watch video - 18 min - Rated 4.3 out of 5.0


 Chanansuarezdiaz Download Program Podcast
00:27:14 English 2008-02-21
 Eugene, OR
  View Script
ChananSuarezdiaz  00:27:14  64Kbps mp3
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