The Winterfilm Collective (listed as Winterfilm, Inc. in the credits to the film Winter Soldier) consisted of: Rusty Sachs, Barbara Kopple, Fred Aranow, Nancy Baker, Joe Bangert, Rhetta Barron, Robert Fiore, David Gillis, David Grubin, Jeff Holstein, Barbara Jarvis, Al Kaupas, Mark Lenix, Michael Lesser, Nancy Miller, Lee Osborne, Lucy Massie Phenix, Roger Phenix, Benay Rubenstein, and Michael Weil.
The film, shot largely in black and white, features testimony by soldiers who participated in or witnessed atrocities in Vietnam, including the killing of civilians, including children; mutilation of bodies; indiscriminate razing of villages; throwing prisoners out of helicopters; and other acts of cruelty towards Vietnamese civilians and combatants. Some participants also claimed that these acts reflected orders from higher-up officers. A number of soldiers are quoted stating that their military training failed to include instruction in the terms of the Geneva Convention, while others state that the dangers they faced as soldiers created an environment in which they regarded all Vietnamese as hostile "gooks" and stopped seeing them as human beings.
In testimony by Joseph Bangert, he describes traveling in a "truckload of grunt Marines" when "there were some Vietnamese children at the gateway of the village and they gave the old finger gesture at us. It was understandable that they picked this up from GIs there. They stopped the trucks -- they didn't stop the truck, they slowed down a little bit, and it was just like response, the guys got up, including the lieutenants, and just blew all the kids away. There were about five or six kids blown away, and then the truck just continued down the hill."
In addition to soldiers' testimony, the film includes color footage and photographic evidence to support some of the testimony.
Posted on January 7, 2016 by willyloman
by Scott Creighton
This is why they don’t want a draft. One reason at least.
When you have a fully volunteer military force, most of the folks who sign up are already of the right mindset for this kind of occupation and invasion, the kind we’ve been perpetrating for decades.
You’ll have a few who end up conflicted after learning their initial impressions of modern day warfare aren’t entirely accurate, or that the rightness of our actions overseas isn’t quite so cut and dry as they have been told on CNN and Fox News their entire lives.
Of those you will unfortunately have a number who come home broken, one way or the other, and commit heinous crimes against others or even themselves (suicide) if they are denied proper care as they transition back to the land of the big PX.
And as we all know, until they can effectively privatize such care, it will be denied to our returning soldiers.
When you draft millions of young people to go fight wars of aggression and occupation overseas, you expose the kinds of people to our particular brand of warfare that should probably never be exposed to it because they aren’t easily programmed into the right-think needed to make good soldiers of this kind.
This film details the testimony in the early 70s of just such soldiers returning from Vietnam and telling the stories of the people they killed and the crimes committed in our name.
With the recent revelations about the targeting of hospitals, various massacres and our drone program in general, it’s clear our methods have not changed that much. The only difference is the number of those returning soldiers willing to take a stand and recount their personal experiences during the Overseas Contingency Operations as they are called today.
Notice, around the 6 minute mark, yes, that is warmonger John Kerry sympathetically interviewing some of the returning troops. I guess a lifetime in the corporatist congress and a marriage to a billionaire can have a dramatic effect on one’s anti-war stance.
It’s a good documentary and one we should remember. It was released in ’72 and the Vietnam war officially ended in ’75 (though secret bombings continued for years to follow)
At the 17 minute mark, you see a soldier named Singer. I think he’s the inspiration for a character named Jacob Singer played by Tim Robbins in the 1990 film Jacob’s Ladder. Just my theory.