Tuesday, June 25, 2013

An Interview with Vince Emanuele.

US Iraq War veteran speaks out before Australian tour
June 25, 2013

Question: What attracted you to enlist in the US military as a marine?

Answer: I think the process was long and quite complex. First of all, I was a product of American culture which is, of course, an extremely violent culture. In other words, like many American children, I grew up playing “Army.” Specifically, we would pretend-shoot our friends with plastic guns, watched countless movies that glorified warfare and played very violent video games in our spare time. In short, I was trained to be a murderer for American Empire from a very young age. I think this is a very important component to the process of indoctrinating America’s youth with militaristic ideologies. No matter what, without the process of early-age cultural indoctrination, many young Americans would be much less inclined to join the US military.

For the sake of time, I’ll mention a second component to this process. To me, it’s quite obvious that the US military provides a unique space for expressing and, more importantly, bastardizing gender roles. So, in my case, I was simply fulfilling the traditional “masculine” role of the big, tough, angry, murderous, bar-fighting, heavy drinking, womanizing asshole who cares about nothing more than superficial cultural practices and killing people. You know, the perfect American. In this context, I fell into the trap of performing expected gender roles with murderous results. There is nothing “tough” or “cool” about imprisoning, torturing or killing people. I learned this lesson quite quickly.

Now, while those are my experiences, I must also mention that the process is much more complex, especially for Americans coming from Native American, African American and Latin American backgrounds.

In those particular communities, joining the US military provides a conduit to decent paying job-training programs, housing, healthcare, education and so forth. Remember, here in America, we went through the greatest financial collapse since the Great Depression of 1929. So, unfortunately, now, we have what many have called an “economic-draft.” Thus many individuals join for college money, medical benefits or job opportunities. More


Anonymous said...



What is the legacy of the Iraq War both for the Iraqi’s and the returning US Veterans?

Here, Plato is correct: “Only the dead have seen the end of War.” For those living in Iraq, the war hasn’t “wound down.” As mentioned above, the people of Iraq, and for that matter people around the globe, have endured the dual brutalities of American Empire and Neoliberal economic reforms for several decades now. So, for them, it’s 80% unemployment, skyrocketing birth defects due to the use of Depleted Uranium, a collapsed society and generations lost to civil war and foreign occupation. That’s the legacy of American occupation in Iraq, and we need to be crystal clear about that.

Now, for the legacy back home: The United States has over 100,000 homeless veterans, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are experiencing unemployment numbers twice that of America’s national average, entire families and communities have been destroyed and veterans are killing themselves at a rate of 22 per day—that’s more veterans who’ve killed themselves than have been killed in combat over the past six years. Additionally, veterans are prescribed insane amounts of psychotropic medications and 1/3rd of America’s female veterans are reporting Military Sexual Trauma (MST) or rape at the hands of their brothers while serving in the armed forces.

Overall, it’s an absolute disaster.

Anonymous said...


(02:12) Members of Congress are basically bought and paid for by big oil, big pharma, big energy, big defense. There’s no incentive to think differently about national security. It’s all about the war toys. It’s all about American exceptionalism.

(06:10) I view all of these individuals, Manning, Snowden, Thomas Drake and others as people who were motivated by conscience to speak out and to reveal information the American people that they believe we have a right to know.

Anonymous said...

How many Laos did we butcher for nothing, how many Vietnamese, how many Cambodians? Millions, literally. For nothing. Nothing. How many Iraqis? Afghans? Pakistanis? If any of it preserved my freedom, I am unaware of it.


The rest of the planet pays a high price for our freedom. This is no doubt justified because we are the city of the hill, a light to the nations, bringing democracy and human rights to a globe thirsty for improvement by us. I have just never seen it. I like the people at the Legion halls, at birthdays for the Marine Corps, but I may be a little less proud of what we did.