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A Short History of the War in Iraq
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“Aftershock” is about the eight year war in Iraq that was, by the optimistic estimates of it’s architects, supposed to last a matter of weeks.

Fewer than 2% of the American populace was directly affected by the war, and the dead and wounded are by now largely forgotten. While the public was urged by the White House to “go shopping”, their countrymen and women were losing lives, eyes and limbs, suffering brain injuries and permanent disfigurement, and being further burdened with post-conflict psychological disorders.

For those who are directly involved, wars do not end when the shooting stops. More than 100,000 dead Iraqis, an estimated 2,000,000 refugees displaced by the violence, 2 trillion dollars and 4600 lives spent in U.S. blood and treasure all attest to a conflict the consequences of which will be felt for decades to come.

"What angers me most of all is the indifference
of the powerful to the suffering of ordinary people.

                     Rev. William Sloane Coffin,
                         interview w/ Bill Moyers, July 2004

“War has a force of its own. It's not surgical. Once you use the blunt instrument of war, it has all sorts of consequences that you can't anticipate. Force always has to be a last resort because those who wield it become contaminated by it. {In this country} we've lost touch with the notion of what war is. War is death. War is the enterprise of death.”  

Lt. Seth Dvorkin’s platoon was assigned to look for I.E.D.s along roadsides in the Sunni Triangle around Baghdad. He was killed instantly by an I.E.D. in early February, 2004. His mother Sue Niederer of Pennington, NJ called his assignment a “death sentence”.

“You lose friends, and you don’t want to make new ones ‘cause you don’t know what’s gonna happen to these other ones… It’s just like this hard burden that keeps pilin’ on top of you, pilin’ on top of you. And finally, when everything is over and you mark your friends up on the wall, you know, and you chalk up your losses and you have your memorial services… and then you’re left with nothin’”.

“I’ve been making an average of eleven new crosses every week for three years. I look at that pile of lumber in the corner, stuff I haven’t used yet, and think ‘these are ones that are still alive…”

Steve Sherrill: Veterans for Peace
Santa Barbara, CA, Feb 2007
Sue Niederer:
Gold Star Mother
Chris Hedges:
Former War Correspondent
New York Times
Jason Gunn:
Purple Heart
Iraq Veteran