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A must-see film, SIR! NO SIR!, by David Zeiger is the first Vietnam War movie to provide the authentic experiences of our troops who fought in the war that was supposed to teach us a lesson and never be repeated. It is showing this week in New York City at the IFC Center.

SIR! NO SIR! is the real story of the emergence of the Vietnam War Peace Movement whose roots didn't originate on college campuses. Rather, the movement grew and expanded from the consciences of the soldiers on the battlefield, soldiers who eventually wore black armbands for peace and put down their weapons.

The movie chronicles the evolution of the soldiers (some were in the audience) from young men and women who believed that serving their country was noble to the realization that if the premise of war is wrong, the actions of those who carry weapons is also wrong. Their stories reveal the horror of the genocide of the Vietnamese people; that military success was measured by enemy body count which included women and children; the hearts of darkness of our leaders who perpetrated and perpetuated the war; and the courage of men and women who risked their lives in battle and, then, again when they refused orders to fight. Many of them went to jail and thousands fled the country.

This GI Movement during the Vietnam War was unprecedented and underlines the limitless accomplishments of righteous acts of bravery in the face of severe consequences. These men and women chose the voices of their hearts and stopped listening to the commands of leaders they no longer trusted.

Startling too is the historical denial by our government--the removal from public awareness of the events of the times. Certainly, this movie is a restoration of the truth. But it is so much more than that. As the chaos in Iraq continues and we see the sectarian violence and the mounting troop deaths, we must admit that this illegal war is as much a quagmire as the Vietnam War.

Rep. John Murtha says that war sears the soul. SIR! NO SIR! couldn't emphasize the veracity of his words any better. War sears the souls of the men and women who fight; it sears the souls of those whose loved ones are fighting; it sears the souls of those who receive the words: "We regret to inform you;" and it sears the souls of the people whose lives we invade and destroy.


Given the situation in Iraq and the near certainty that George Bush is planning to use a tactical nuclear weapon in Iran, SIR! NO SIR! couldn't be more timely. Check the schedule by clicking on the first link in this article to see if the movie is coming to a theater near you.

 

Missy Beattie lives in New York City. She's written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. An outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq, she's a member of Gold Star Families for Peace. She completed a (more...)
 

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