If 55 veterans gathered in the same place, at the same time, prepared to give disarmingly honest testimonies about their on-the-ground experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, would anybody listen?
Because that happened, just a few weeks ago. Vets convened in the Washington, DC area for IVAW’s Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan—and for the most part, mainstream media have either ignored the momentous gathering or relegated coverage to their metro sections, reports Extra!.
Winter Soldier has yet to be mentioned in the New York Times itself. No major U.S. newspaper has covered the hearings except as a story of local interest; the few stories major U.S. newspapers have published on the event have focused on the participation of local vets (Boston Globe, 3/16/08; Boston Herald, 3/16/08; Newsday, 3/16/08, Buffalo News, 3/16/08).
And you probably didn’t see any Winter Soldier testimonies on television—the major broadcast TV networks (and PBS!) avoided the event altogether—but they’re all available at the IVAW website, organized into panels like “Racism and War: The Dehumanization of the Enemy” and “Divide to Conquer: Gender and Sexuality in the Military.”