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"Out Now" say Iraq War Veterans (or, 2 budding young Kerrys)
The Nation | 9/4/04 | Marc Cooper

Posted on 09/06/2004 9:50:50 PM PDT by eric_da_grate

This is Marc Cooper reporting for Radio Nation.

One of the more interesting groups that emerged in the protests around last week's Republican National Convention was the "Iraq Veterans Against the War".

This is now just a small group, maybe 35 or 40 people, being helped and formed indeed by the "Vietnam Veterans Against the War", the group formed in the 1960's that John Kerry had a hand in. But these mostly young men, recently returned from Iraq, are having quite an impact on people's conscience with the stories that they tell.

During the Republican Convention at one of the auxillery events, Washington editor of The Nation, David Corn and I had the opportunity to speak to two of the founders of this new group, Iraq Veterans Against the War. We spoke to Rob Serra and Alex Ryabob.

COOPER: When did the group get formed?

SERRA: "The group got formed in July, in late-July, in Boston. It became a national group.

COOPER: So just a month or so ago.

SERRA: Yes, sir.

COOPER: How many people do you have in the group? What is your main focus of activity?

SERRA: Right now we've got approximately 40 and the main focus of activity are three different things: First of all we want an immediate succession of hostilities and get our troops out of Iraq. Not one more American killed, not one more Iraqi killed. Second thing we want to do is support the troops unconditionally, 100%, and when they come home, help these guys re-adjust and give them somewhere to go.

COOPER: Now, when were you deployed in Iraq? I mean as in both you and Alex. Where were you, when and where you deployed in Iraq?

SERRA: I was with the 1st Batallion, 4th Marines, 1st Marine Regiment. I left Camp Pendleton in California on January 17th of 2003, arrived in Kuwait February 23rd. I crossed the border into Iraq on March the 20th. I was in the fall of Baghdad on April the 9th and I came home in June. June 23rd.

COOPER: Alex, What about you?

RYABOB: Alright, I was with Romeo Battery, 5th Batallion, 10th Marines and we were there for the initial invasion, pretty much. We crossed the border on the 20th and ended up coming back from Iraq at the end of May. Last year.

COOPER: At what point did your feelings about the war change? Or maybe they didn't? Maybe you went into Iraq with reservations?

SERRA: Uh, when I went into Iraq we were told they had weapons of mass destruction, you know, our country was under a threat, and for us in the Marine Corps, especially the infantry, it was kinda like the Superbowl. We were ready to go. The country was calling. It was time to go. We went in and once we, uh.....once the fighting started getting very strange, and what I mean by "strange" is civilians getting in the way, the foreign fighters coming into the country wearing civilian clothing...um...all of the...the objectives kinda changing a little bit. Before we got to Baghdad, I decided right there and then, you know..."This is wrong." Things were not right here....I think my sentiments really changed when I came home and I still believe we weren't there for the right reasons and you know, "Saddam Hussein had to fall" and that's....that's why we were there. When I came home and started hearing what the Administration was saying about "Well, maybe there are weapons of mass destruction, maybe there aren't" and "Maybe we don't know if they're an imminent threat". We were lied to and I felt very cheated.

COOPER: What about you, Alex?

RYABOB: Um, for myself, before going into Iraq, I felt like nobody's real crazy about going to war, but I felt something really needed to be done....At the same time I did have reservations about the actual reasons that we were going there because the things that were told to us in the media as far as weapons of mass destruction and Iraq being a threat, things like that, I really didn't mind those too much....After Iraq, after coming back home, really settling down and letting things sink in and watching the body count rise on both sides on the news and in the media really turned my viewpoint 180 degrees from before the war being that there was something that had to be done to that moment that I realized we never should've went into Iraq and something needs to be done about the situation.

CORN: To what extent do you think that the sentiment you have come to is held, I mean, 40 is a start, but it's not massive numbers. I mean do you think you reflect some of the unease we see alot of people in the media, alot of soldiers in the media coming back and sometimes speaking in favor of the war. Do you think you're a very distinct minority? Do you think there's sort of a growing unease amongst veterans and even amongst current G.I.s?

SERRA: I definitely believe that there's a growing unease with the rising body count and the guys being kept there indefinitely. I've heard of some guys that are not happy with what's going on. Problem is, being active duty, active duty service, um, them speaking out is putting their careers on the line....And it's hard for them to speak out. CORN: And let me ask you. You call for an immediate withdrawal. Would that begin, if you were king (sarcasm) or Commander in Chief, tommorow, and can there be an immediate withdrawal or to do it safely would it takes months and months of time? SERRA: An immedite withdrawal, from us, is definitely a suggestion because as you see the delegates right now, as you see President Bush and Senator Kerry, they're not tackling the issue. They are fighting with each other about their own war records when there's a war going on right now. So, if we stand up and say, "we want an immediate withdrawal now", they're gonna hear that. That's a very strong statement. Now, granted, military planning and such, you know, there's gonna be a drop off of troops and a tactical move, you know, we know you can't put guys on a ship and move them out overnight and....

CORN: You see that as a political point to make rather than a strategic objective.

SERRA: Exactly. It's a strong point to make. "We want our buddies home NOW" is basically what we're saying.

COOPER: Alex, Rob just said that he's...I think I just heard Rob say that he's dissatisfied with both candidates. Do you feel that way? Do you feel that they're the same on the war? Do you feel there's a difference or not?

CORN to COOPER (pointing out Ryabob's button): Look at the button he's wearing.

COOPER: Yeah, you're wearing a button that says "Vietnam Veterans Against the War" which John Kerry was in.

RYABOB: Yeah. Well, the thing is that, uh...The things that Bush has done, really he's...he's undermined himself as President and as uh...pretty much for re-election, I believe. Kerry, on the other hand...uh...seems to have...(long pause)...seems to me better suited to be the President just because the main reason is that he's not George Bush....I believe that, hopefully, Kerry is elected. That he realizes the, you know, the people's dissatisfaction with the way things were going before and he'll be a little more careful...uh...not to rush into things the way that Bush did. CORN: Talk a little bit about your organizing efforts. You have 40 people. I assume you started off mainly with friends and people that you knew who obviously share your views. How do you get beyond that? I mean, there's also the "Military Families Against the War" group. Are you working with them? Where do you....

SERRA: Yeah. We're working very closely with Military Families Speak out" and also with Vietnam Veterans Against the War and the reason we're working with VVAW is because they helped us get started, and they see us...they see us as their second generation...They said they, when they started the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, they said it would never happen again and they wouldn't leave the troops in the cold...That's what they're doing! They're bringing us under their wing and....

CONE: Are you working with Bobby Muller?

SERRA: Uhhhhh....Bobby Muller...

CONE:..Of Vietnam Veterans Against the War?

SERRA: Actually, I haven't met him.

COOPER: Today, John Kerry said, speaking to the American Legion, quoting him as close as i can, that he would've done this war completely differently. But that's different than saying he wouldn't have gone to war. Is that good enough for you?

RYABOB: Anyone's gonna say what they have to say right now....If...If Senator Kerry wants something done...I think to appease us or to appease military families, he's...he's gotta stand up and give detailed descriptions of what he's going to do....."If I get elected, this is what's gonna happen. This is how it's gonna happen and this is how long it's gonna take" because that's what everyone wants to hear. And as I said, this is all being skipped over.

COOPER: Rob Serra, Alex Ryabob, thank you very much.

Audio link here:

http://www.thenation.com/blogs/audioblog?pid=1785


TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: aidandcomfort; attentionwhores; ivaw; marinesmyass; posers; scumbags; terroristenablers; traitors; turncoats
Future politicians....Hopefully, your state will be spared.
1 posted on 09/06/2004 9:50:50 PM PDT by eric_da_grate
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To: eric_da_grate

Did anyone check to see whether these people were really in Vietnam?

Remember many of Kerry's buddies in the VVAW were NOT in Vietnam, thought they claimed to be.


2 posted on 09/06/2004 9:53:00 PM PDT by FairOpinion (FIGHT TERRORISM! VOTE BUSH/CHENEY 2004.)
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To: eric_da_grate
SERRA: Yeah. We're working very closely with Military Families Speak out" and also with Vietnam Veterans Against the War and the reason we're working with VVAW is because they helped us get started, and they see us...they see us as their second generation..

CONE: Are you working with Bobby Muller?

SERRA: Uhhhhh....Bobby Muller...

CONE:..Of Vietnam Veterans Against the War?

SERRA: Actually, I haven't met him.

what BS, who is coaching these pieces of shiite
3 posted on 09/06/2004 9:59:36 PM PDT by boxerblues
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To: eric_da_grate
Washington editor of The Nation, David Corn

I had some corn in my poop the other night. I was just thinking. That corn was probably worth more than David Corn. I'm not surprised that Corn would choose to glorify these "soldiers". I would like to know if any of these men are still on active duty or in the reserves. If they are, then they are violating orders and should receive a court martial, forthwith.

I also wonder if someone could look into the members military service. Wonder if there are any "Al Hubbards" in the mist?

4 posted on 09/06/2004 9:59:57 PM PDT by mattdono ([John Edwards before going on stage 20 minutes after President] Hold muh' senses)
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To: FairOpinion
I wondered that myself....They're named soldiers, so it's probably legit. This menatlity isn't uncommon in some vets returning from war and there's no question that polticians the likes of John Kerry inspires this arm-chair quarterbacking with a political axe to grind.

By the way, Sorry I formatted this wrong. I rushed it without checking it line for line...I thought about making alterations but JimRob will have a cow if I post twice!

5 posted on 09/06/2004 10:02:55 PM PDT by eric_da_grate
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To: eric_da_grate

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1208909/posts


6 posted on 09/06/2004 10:07:01 PM PDT by Bradís Gramma
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To: eric_da_grate
Here is the website for Iraq Veterans Against the War.

Iraq Veterans Against The War

They have an Email listed at the bottom if you are so inclined to send them a note.

7 posted on 09/06/2004 10:10:32 PM PDT by Viet-Boat-Rider (((KERRY IS A NARCISSISTIC LIAR, GOLDBRICKER, AND TRAITOR!)))
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To: eric_da_grate

bevis and b*tthead??? I hope they are not real marines or ex-marines. They would not be considered a credit to the Corp..........


8 posted on 09/06/2004 10:10:37 PM PDT by marmar (Faith is a beautiful thing.....)
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To: FairOpinion

You mean Iraq. Well we are dancing around here and who wants to be over there fighting with AP and alphabets making the worst of it.Do they actually think kerry will do anything for the Vets after the election?


9 posted on 09/06/2004 10:11:14 PM PDT by noodler
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To: noodler

Thank you.

I did mean Iraq. But I wouldnt' be surprised that these Iraq veterans would turn out to be as phony, as some of Kerry's VVAW Vietnam vets.

And of course, that Muslim soldier who killed his own fellow soldiers and superiors, by tossing a granade in their tent, is also an Iraq veteran.


10 posted on 09/06/2004 10:14:02 PM PDT by FairOpinion (FIGHT TERRORISM! VOTE BUSH/CHENEY 2004.)
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To: noodler

These guys sound like they need to re-enlist
and go back into iraq. They have too much time on their
hands.


11 posted on 09/06/2004 10:14:50 PM PDT by 1FASTGLOCK45
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To: eric_da_grate

This is a joke. One term marines with an ax to grind. I ranted and raved when I was in Nam about just about everything. These bozos stated it in each of their statements...they're simply Bush haters, of the same variety that sKerry has tried to energize.
Maybe they're hoping to get themselves a ketchup-queen as a result of their actions.
Two months, 40 members. Don't look for them to have any impact, either now or in the future.


12 posted on 09/06/2004 10:16:19 PM PDT by conshack
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To: Brad's Gramma
thanks for the link. Another nail in Kerrys coffin. Its a shame the way they treated the men and women coming home from Vietnam. America's image of the American Soldier was changing and we were proud of them once again until Kerry came along and dragged all the memories of a terrible time back to the forefront. Once again soldiers are being bombarded by the MSM and others into thinking they have done wrong.
13 posted on 09/06/2004 10:16:47 PM PDT by boxerblues
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To: conshack

Hey! I know you!!! :)

Check out my link in #6, if you haven't already. Folks, use your email lists....pass this AROUND!!!!!!!


14 posted on 09/06/2004 10:18:04 PM PDT by Bradís Gramma
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To: eric_da_grate
It seems like most of the conversation was "uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh"
15 posted on 09/06/2004 10:21:40 PM PDT by xrp (Executing assigned posting duties flawlessly -- ZERO mistakes)
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To: boxerblues

I have a friend who just returned this week. Our first conversation was not terribly positive.

He said it is very difficult to tell friends from enemies.

There was concern about not having gas mask equipment.

Said the only WMDs were those that "we" sold Saddam before the war.

I suppose it is pretty easy for the person on the ground to have little perspective about the big picture. Perhaps the pressure of being on the ground in such circumstances is discouraging. I don't know. Perhaps it is possible that we don't have the proper perspective from here.

I really hope this does not become a trend. I believe we were right to go in and right to stay in.


16 posted on 09/06/2004 10:22:36 PM PDT by arjay (If the NYT is against it, it must be good for America.)
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To: marmar
I can't understand why these two even joined the Marines. What did they think they were going to be doing, defending kids at Neverland?

Something is strange here. Wonder what their Commanding Officers have to say about these two "Marines". Sound like a couple of cry babies to me.

Also, I would be curious when the joined the Marines. Maybe they are DEM moles but then again, Kerry's new campaign managers are known for their low-life tactics and things are looking pretty dim for Kerry.
17 posted on 09/06/2004 10:24:36 PM PDT by not2worry
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To: eric_da_grate

Last I checked...I signed up and I volunteered. Nobody put a gun to my head. I am AF, but that was also a choice I made.


18 posted on 09/06/2004 10:26:46 PM PDT by marmar (Faith is a beautiful thing.....)
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To: xrp
Can you believe I left out about 150 or so?...I normally blow over that nonsense when I quote, but with these 2 idiots, I wouldn't be doing them the justice they so rightfully deserve.

The actual audio is worse.

19 posted on 09/06/2004 10:29:41 PM PDT by eric_da_grate
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To: not2worry
I have heard alot of the stories from guys coming in from SWA, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. I am a AF medic (reserve), I know it is hard and I have seen and heard alot of the stories. Some do break your heart...they just need to remember that it was their choice to join. I don't know if they are seeing the big picture, especially with the leftish liberal media.
20 posted on 09/06/2004 10:32:02 PM PDT by marmar (Faith is a beautiful thing.....)
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To: arjay
My oldest son was there from day one and spent a year in Iraq with the 101st. When they went in under the assumption that WMD were going to be used all units were supplied with the necessary NBC gear. My youngest arrived in Iraq last month and he was still issued NBC gear, he was given extensive training in NBC threats before going over there.

I wasn't getting information second hand. The stories my oldest boy came home to tell would set my hair on ends. Haji's who would work in the camps by day and mortar them at night. He talked of the Kurds in the area who had been subject to Saddam's chemicals they were very real and not all if any came from the US. We had many heated letter and email exchanges over the past year as some of the guys in his unit were so brainwashed by the MSM that they had forgotten how to think for themselves.

Yes its very hard to tell friend from foe but for many serving in Iraq the enemy is from within the US and we have kerry, moore, mediafund, and the resurgence of VVAW to thank for it.
21 posted on 09/06/2004 10:41:54 PM PDT by boxerblues
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To: arjay

Said the only WMDs were those that "we" sold Saddam before the war.



Oh, god, not THAT one. The only "WMD" we SUPPOSEDLY sold to Saddam were molds and such which anyone could grow. That a soldier is thinking this is truly frightening. (Nesmax had a listing of all the weapons sold by Germany and Russia to Iraq.)

A friend also knows someone who came back who spoke similarly. This will probably draw some fire, but one can't see the whole picture from over there, the way we can't understand what each individual soldier's experience.


22 posted on 09/06/2004 10:46:18 PM PDT by Darkwolf377
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To: arjay

Said the only WMDs were those that "we" sold Saddam before the war.



Oh, god, not THAT one. The only "WMD" we SUPPOSEDLY sold to Saddam were molds and such which anyone could grow. That a soldier is thinking this is truly frightening. (Nesmax had a listing of all the weapons sold by Germany and Russia to Iraq.)

A friend also knows someone who came back who spoke similarly. This will probably draw some fire, but one can't see the whole picture from over there, the way we can't understand what each individual soldier's experience.


23 posted on 09/06/2004 10:46:37 PM PDT by Darkwolf377
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To: eric_da_grate
This is now just a small group, maybe 35 or 40 people, being helped and formed indeed by the "Vietnam Veterans Against the War", the group formed in the 1960's that John Kerry had a hand in. But these mostly young men, recently returned from Iraq, are having quite an impact on people's conscience with the stories that they tell.

Oh, really? Well, let's hear those stories.


SERRA: Uh, when I went into Iraq we were told they had weapons of mass destruction, you know, our country was under a threat, and for us in the Marine Corps, especially the infantry, it was kinda like the Superbowl. We were ready to go. The country was calling. It was time to go. We went in and once we, uh.....once the fighting started getting very strange, and what I mean by "strange" is civilians getting in the way, the foreign fighters coming into the country wearing civilian clothing...um...all of the...the objectives kinda changing a little bit. Before we got to Baghdad, I decided right there and then, you know..."This is wrong." Things were not right here....I think my sentiments really changed when I came home and I still believe we weren't there for the right reasons and you know, "Saddam Hussein had to fall" and that's....that's why we were there. When I came home and started hearing what the Administration was saying about "Well, maybe there are weapons of mass destruction, maybe there aren't" and "Maybe we don't know if they're an imminent threat". We were lied to and I felt very cheated.

RYABOB: Um, for myself, before going into Iraq, I felt like nobody's real crazy about going to war, but I felt something really needed to be done....At the same time I did have reservations about the actual reasons that we were going there because the things that were told to us in the media as far as weapons of mass destruction and Iraq being a threat, things like that, I really didn't mind those too much....After Iraq, after coming back home, really settling down and letting things sink in and watching the body count rise on both sides on the news and in the media really turned my viewpoint 180 degrees from before the war being that there was something that had to be done to that moment that I realized we never should've went into Iraq and something needs to be done about the situation.


Oooh. Compelling.
24 posted on 09/06/2004 11:06:35 PM PDT by L.N. Smithee (Hey, KERRY! We said it to Saddam, and now to you -- If you have nothing to hide, QUIT HIDING IT!)
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To: arjay

"Said the only WMDs were those that "we" sold Saddam before the war."

"We" meaning the French and the Soviets I assume? Sounds like he has gotten hold of some nasty Leftist propoganda.


25 posted on 09/06/2004 11:25:53 PM PDT by Avenger
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To: Avenger

I would have to agree. I will be spending more time with him to see what he is really thinking.

I can certainly see a change in him from the time he left til he came home.

boxerblues, we appreciate your son's service and your sacrifice as he was there. I suspect it is harder for the parent than it is for the son.

We have vets from Viet Nam, Korea and WWII in our church. I am hoping they will be good resources for my friend.


26 posted on 09/07/2004 12:19:16 AM PDT by arjay (If the NYT is against it, it must be good for America.)
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To: eric_da_grate
CONE: Are you working with Bobby Muller?

SERRA: Uhhhhh....Bobby Muller...

CONE:..Of Vietnam Veterans Against the War?

SERRA: Actually, I haven't met him.

Dodged the question, the answer is yes.

27 posted on 09/07/2004 12:28:30 AM PDT by bad company ( You can live on your knees or die on your feet.)
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To: xrp

Beavis and Butthead strike again.

It would be funny if these guys were still military, I think their COs would like to know what they're up to!


28 posted on 09/07/2004 12:56:49 AM PDT by Jammz ("The only thing needed for evil to prevail, is for good men to do nothing.")
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To: FairOpinion

"I did mean Iraq. But I wouldnt' be surprised that these Iraq veterans would turn out to be as phony, as some of Kerry's VVAW Vietnam vets. "

They are probably two regular guys whose parents were approached by the Kerry team. Registered Dems. They were offered a nice chunk of change to talk bad about the war. They were probably told that once Kerry was in office that there would be jobs waiting for them. The parents told their kids to do this, that they could use the extra cash.

Basically the Kerry camp made an offer that neither could refuse.


29 posted on 09/07/2004 5:06:59 AM PDT by EQAndyBuzz (Control the information given to society and you control society.)
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To: bad company; All

I just sent this:

Gentlemen,
I'm thinking you all are too young to understand that you're following in the footsteps of one of the most shameful, bogus groups ever to organize within our United States. I'm sure they're organizing with you, so I'll be brief.

Please go to www.wintersoldier.com and read about the activities of the people with whom you are associating. Did you know they aligned themselves with our nation's enemies during the seventies, recruiting young, uneducated soldiers and Marines by luring them to "rock concerts" and having them watch Red Chinese propaganda films? This was like a cult, and you guys are headed in the same direction.

I'm the widow of a Force Recon Marine, and engaged to a MGySgt. on active duty right now. I'm 43. My father was killed in the Vietnam war.

I love you guys for what you've done for our country. Heck, my husband might have been your drill instructor! I respect your right to not LIKE what's happening right now. But I'm more than anything concerned that you don't know the kind of crowd you're getting into. These issues run deep. When you look into the background of this anti-war movement, you'll see all kinds of foreign influence as well as activists who made their living as protestors. Is this how you intend to be more productive as you move forward with your lives?

You can become politically active within your communities without undermining your friends' efforts overseas. I encourage you to work through our system, don't align yourselves with people who have ulterior political agendas. Don't shame the uniform you once were so proud of. Don't drag our country down the same path we were on in the '70s.

Above all, please do some more reading on geo-political affairs. President Bush is looking at the big picture, and he knows that taking this fight to the terrorists overseas, rather than waiting for another 9-11-like attack (or worse, an NBC attack in a major city), is the way to go.

Thank you so much for your service. Please consider that Americans are proud of you, and your efforts did make a difference (i.e. liberating the kids' prison, stopping Sadam's nuke program). Do not discount your achievements. You were an integral part of a very LARGE mission.

Sincerely,
Me
(I actually did sign my name. Hope it was safe)


30 posted on 09/07/2004 7:03:46 AM PDT by campfollower (www.kerrylied.com -- D.C. Rally on 9-12 - be there!)
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To: campfollower

I think you nailed it. Thank You.


31 posted on 09/07/2004 8:26:32 AM PDT by bad company ( You can live on your knees or die on your feet.)
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To: campfollower

Excellent letter. Your unique background makes it all the more powerful.

God bless you.


32 posted on 09/07/2004 3:23:17 PM PDT by arjay (If the NYT is against it, it must be good for America.)
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