"The Pentagon presented a grim portrait of the Afghanistan war Thursday, offering no assurances about how long Americans will be fighting there or how many U.S. combat troops it will take to win."
That's how an Associated Press story, posted on August 13th, begins.
Even after 8 years of a Bush administration that looted the treasury and left the nation in a crazy amount of debt, in large part because of its commitment to the so called "wars" in Iraq and Afghanistan, the wars continue.
What's missing, to a large extent, is a new debate -- where's the debate? And, as part of the debate, shouldn't we include the voices of those who have served and who continue to serve -- our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, daughters, sons -- 1.6 million of them to date.
Are we watching passively while Barack Obama carries out the same policies as George W. Bush? Who is demanding to know just what the mission really is when 30,000 more troops are sent to Afghanistan? And don't the years of experience that our soldiers have acquired count for anything as far as policy goes?
Here's where you, dear HuffPost readers, can help.
Displaced Films (Sir! No Sir!) and Northern Light Productions (Unfinished Symphony), along with the Iraq Veterans Against the War Winter Soldier Project, have launched a groundbreaking, web-only series This Is Where We Take Our Stand. The series tells the story of last year's Winter Soldier Iraq/Afghanistan hearings from the inside -- going beyond the testimony to the people whose lives, experiences, and struggles made that historic event possible. The six-episode series will be posted consecutively, every two weeks, throughout the summer. Each of the episodes presents key testimony and tells a vital and powerful part of this story. The third episode was just recently posted.
"In March of 2008, two hundred and fifty veterans and active duty soldiers marked the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq by gathering in Washington, DC, to testify from their own experience about the nature of the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq," said David Zeiger, Director of Sir! No Sir' (the 2006 film that told the suppressed story of the GI Movement to end the Vietnam War), and this series. "It was chilling, horrifying, and challenging for all who witnessed it. Against tremendous odds, they brought the voices of the veterans themselves into the debate. This story is as relevant now as it was one year ago, and we hope that the series will help revive the debate about these wars that has virtually disappeared since Barack Obama became President," he added.
It's also hoped that the series will not only fan the flames of debate but will encourage other soldiers and vets to come forward to tell their stories.
More than 40,000 folks have already experienced the series which has been spreading mostly by word of mouth...but we are confident that HuffPo readers will send the series over the top and bring it to the attention of the "powers that be."
Listen to what Perry O'Brien, a former medic in Afghanistan and spokesperson for the Iraq Veterans Against the War Winter Soldier Project, has to say, "Here is our challenge to the audience: watch the series; spread it far and wide; and ask yourself if this is about the past, or the present and future. Then add your voice. If you are a veteran or active duty, present your own testimony. If you are not, but you are still a living, breathing member of the human race, then do whatever you can to join and fan the flames of debate. This series is here for you. As the Occupation of Afghanistan is expanded and little changes in Iraq, the voices and stories of Winter Soldier are needed now more than ever."
Go, spread the word, leave your comments...but let's not have another 8 years of voiceless vets.
Follow Linda Cronin-Gross on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lindacgross@twi