Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) condemns in no uncertain terms the bombing of Sharyat airbase in Syria six days ago by Donald Trump’s administration. As veterans of the unending and expanding wars conducted over the last 16 years, we know intimately that U.S. military intervention exacerbates and further militarizes conflicts overseas and that the people who pay the greatest price are the everyday people of occupied nations. We also know that this is not the first time our military has been used in the Syrian conflict. U.S. bombs have been dropped on Syria under both the Trump and Obama administrations, resulting in more than a thousand civilian deaths.
Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) would like to extend our congratulations to Chelsea Manning, as we anxiously await her release from military prison on May 17, 2017. We appreciate that President Obama chose to commute the unreasonably harsh 35-year sentence that had been handed down to Ms. Manning though we believe a pardon would have been more appropriate.
We believe that the lengthy sentence was disproportionately severe and politically motivated, considering Ms. Manning’s willingness to be honest with the military investigation about what she exposed and why. Ms. Manning made the noble choice to accept the consequences of her actions, which resulted in the tortuous treatment she has received while incarcerated. That she received a sentence that was significantly more severe than what other military member have received for similar charges in the past is a clear indicator of this.