US Iraq war veteran turned activist Vince Emanuele shares what he believes is his responsibility for the forming of ISIS, recounting the military actions he participated in, and what he believes provoked the onslaught of attacks we are experiencing worldwide.
Emanuele insists that he did not think about the long term ramifications of his ‘following orders’ and ‘carrying out missions’. He just did what he was told to do. He did his job.
He shares, “When I was stationed in Iraq with the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 2003-2005, I didn’t know what the repercussions of the war would be, but I knew there would be a reckoning…that retribution, otherwise known as blowback, is currently being experienced around the world (Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, France, Tunisia, California, and so on), with no end in sight.” He posted this on TeleSUR’s English website, as if apologizing for what he believes he contributed to the retaliatory acts being waged on the west.
He went on to say, “I knew what I was seeing was wrong, I knew it was immoral, I knew it was unjust, I knew it was illegal,” said Emanuele to RT, “and I knew that we would pay severe consequences in the form of the blowback as we are seeing with groups like ISIS. I knew those things were going to happen back then just from being a self-conscious person.”
Saying “he helped create ISIS,” is not literal, rather it’s the outcome of what he calls “his enlightenment”. He asked himself a question; “What would I think if I was in the shoes of the Iraqi people?”
Emanuele says this is where everything changed for him and in his article, he describes making connections from college History classes to the land he then stood on, and imagined his “platoon literally trashed Mesopotamia by throwing garbage out of their Humvee” and he described acting disrespectfully by “pelting children with Skittles, water bottles full of urine, rocks, and debris”.
Having learned about the ancient land and being there in modern day, something shifted in his thinking and he began to take offense to the his own participation in war efforts and the behaviors of other servicemen involved in what they described to him as acts of “punching, kicking, elbowing, sexual torture including forcing Iraqi men to perform sexual acts on one another while Marines held knives against their testicles and sometimes sodomized them with their batons”.
Eventually the exploits of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal would come to light, but in the mean time, it became intolerable to him.
Emanuele began educating himself he said, “by talking to family and friends and engaging in the work of anti-war activists and intellectuals like Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, and Amy Goodman, as well as learning about the activities of groups such as Veterans for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, and Vietnam Veterans against the War”, and he decided that he could no longer participate in what he believed was “immoral, unjust, and illegal”.
Since then, Emanuele says he has come to terms with his war experiences and he cannot remain silent. He now speaks around the world, educating on the social and economic impact of war and the revolution he believes it going to happen as population grows and war territories expand to most of the free world.
Sharing what he experienced, speaking, and writing articles provides him with a catharsis purpose, Emanuele said.
As he makes peace with his own experience he hopes to create peace on a global scale.
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