Hart Viges

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It was just after 9-11 when Hart Viges joined the Army and the start of the occupation when he entered Iraq in March 2003. As a mortar man, he had his first taste of what he calls the loss of humanity that comes with war, when he helped set up rounds aimed at civilian neighborhoods in a small town on the way to Baghdad. He felt his humanity further slipping away when he fell into the habit of labeling everything with the racist epithet, "hadji." His testimony includes stories of raids on the wrong houses, which resulted in prolonged detention of innocent people, and his refusal to pose for a photo with a dead Iraqi man found lying in the road, not because he was disturbed by the death, but because it wasn't his kill. Later, he found a moment of clarity in the midst of chaos. Training his gun site on the face of a man standing in a doorway with an RPG strapped to his back, he saw an expression of fear and confusion that he understood to mirror his own. He didn't pull the trigger.

Recorded Date: 
Mar 13th 2008