Unlike other Rob Kall Radio podcasts, this is going live as a podcast, since the next terrestrial radio show is not for five more days. This show was produced by and with the help of Cheryl Biren.
Josh Stieber Bio
Josh Stieber, a former U.S. Army Specialist, is speaking out. A member of the Bravo Company 2-16 whose acts of brutality made headlines this week with the Wikileaks release of the video "Collateral Murder," Stieber says such acts were not isolated incidents, but were commonplace during his tour of duty. "After watching the video, I would definitely say that that is, nine times out of ten, the way things ended up," says Stieber. "Killing was following military protocol. It was going along with the rules as they are."
"Collateral Murder" provides footage from an American Apache helicopter involved in a July 2007 shooting incident outside of Baghdad that left over a dozen people dead, including two Reuters employees. Stieber was not present at the scene, but knows those who were and is familiar with the environment. "A lot of my friends are in that video," he says. "If it shocks and revolts you, it shows the reality of what war is like. If you don't like what you see in it, it means we should be working harder towards alternatives to war."
Stieber is a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War working to promote peace and seek alternatives to combat. He currently resides in Washington, D.C
Josh told me that the horror and disgust over the words and behaviors of the soldiers involved in killing the Reuters photographer are misplaced because they were doing what the system wanted them to do. He suggests that our challenge is to not question the men but, rather, the system and policies that created them. He's suggesting that the self-righteous indignation currently being aimed at the soldiers who did the shooting should be aimed at the leaders, the policies and values that the US has established for training soldiers.
We talked about the training, the trophies, the awakening he went through.
He blogged about his take on this as well, here.
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