Friday Feb 22 2008
Vets profess anti-war ideology
By: Jenifer Gee, Journal Staff Writer
Egland calls BBC docs â€˜laughableâ€™ propaganda
Journal Staff Writer The threat of terror as a reason for war is not something every American supports. In fact, some say the country's rationale for fighting in Iraq has led to an illegal war. We are in Iraq because of phony reasons. The real reason is oil, said Carroll Nast, a member of Gold Country Chapter No. 122 of Veterans for Peace. On behalf of the group, Nast, 63, is hosting a three-part film series that discusses the idea that an international terror network is an illusion used to create fear. The series, titled The Power of Nightmares, is a BBC production. The second of the three-part series will be shown at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Old State Theater in Auburn. Nast said all are welcome and viewers can still watch the second part if they missed the first part. It makes you see events in a new light, Nast said of the series. Others who have heard of the film series contend it doesn't have real ground to stand on. I have read about the series, which I find a laughable extension of the ˜blame America first' propaganda effort. It's clear that someone is a few cards short of a full deck when they blame Americans for ˜fear' instead of blaming those who kill Americans in the name of Allah, said Major Eric Egland. Egland is a career military intelligence officer and candidate for U.S. Congress. He responded via e-mail while on a trip through Africa in support of President Bush. Nast would argue it's difficult to judge the series without first watching it. The first part of the film drew a crowd of about 20 people, and only two were Veterans for Peace members, Nast said. The rest of the crowd was a mix of students and other people interested in the film. Dan Buckley, president of the local chapter of Veterans for Peace, said he doesn't support the war in Iraq because he believes the American military was ordered to attack a defenseless country. We have our own agenda. Our own agenda is controlling Middle East oil. That seems to be a good enough reason for most Americans, but it's not good enough for me, Buckley said. We haven't had a just war since World War II. The Veterans for Peace is a national organization started in 1985. Its mission as a nonprofit organization is to abolish war. The organization propels its mission by increasing awareness of the cost of war. It also calls for an end to the arms race and elimination of nuclear weapons. Both Buckley and Nast are Vietnam War veterans, and both feel they fought an unjust war. As veterans we learned the hard way fighting illegal wars. Vietnam was an illegal war “ pure fiction, Nast said. I felt betrayed. Buckley echoed those sentiments. He served as a forward observer in Vietnam from 1967 through 1969. Today, he talks to high school students in the area in an effort to thwart military recruiters. For me, the most patriotic thing I ever do is talk to young kids and try to talk them out of joining the military, Buckley said. Whether or not the war in Iraq is the right path is not the point, Egland said. He said legally the war was approved when Congress authorized it in a strongly bipartisan vote. Today, Egland said he stands behind the country's reason to fight in Iraq. Global radical Islam is real, just ask the families of those who died on the USS Cole, in our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and on 9/11, Egland said. As an intelligence officer and former counter terrorism operative, I find the whole thing a bit silly, to think the path to peace is through psychoanalyzing Americans who believe our freedoms are worth defending. Regardless of someone's stance on the issues surrounding the country's current war, Nast argues the film adds another important element to the argument. The film series has a lot of educational value, Nast said. There are many good sources and (the film) has information that major media doesn't cover. You can't be informed if you restrict yourself. The Journal's Jenifer Gee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.