Oct 16, 2021 • 1HR 4M

Two Soldiers’ View of War

 
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Appears in this episode

Ralph Nader
Ralph Nader talks about what’s happening in America, what’s happening around the world, and most importantly what’s happening underneath it all.
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Ralph interviews two recent military veterans. First, Erik Edstrom, author of “Un-American: A Soldier’s Reckoning of Our Longest War” tells us about his awakening from West Point Army Ranger to peace advocate. Then, Garett Reppenhagen, a former sniper and now director of Veterans for Peace, tells us how that organization helps veterans put down their weapons and work for peace.


Erik Edstrom is a graduate of West Point and U.S. Army Ranger School, and a veteran of the war in Afghanistan. He’s the author of Un-American: A Soldier’s Reckoning of Our Longest War.

I think if you’re an advocate for drone warfare as a method of foreign policy, you need to have your head examined. It’s not going to achieve your objectives. You’re actively committing terrorism. And we certainly as a country would not accept drone strikes on our land.  So why is it acceptable for us to do it elsewhere?

Erik Edstrom, author of Un-American: A Soldier’s Reckoning of Our Longest War

The American people have betrayed the American soldiers by basically treating the war like elevator music for the last 20 years. It’s disgusting.

Erik Edstrom, author of Un-American: A Soldier’s Reckoning of Our Longest War

Erik, you ought to be commended for writing a book like this. I’ve often been very upset that soldiers are not given voice. they’re flattered by the politicians that get them in these criminal wars of aggression. And I guess the expectations’ that soldiers will respond with public silence about what they saw and experienced.

Ralph Nader


Garett Reppenhagen is Executive Director of Veterans for Peace and a US Army veteran.

[Military recruiters are] able to have conversations with your children while they’re playing video games in their bedroom or in their living room and convince them to join the military. And they don’t have to wear a uniform, obviously. They don’t have to identify themselves as a military recruiter until they’ve really cornered your kid into a discussion and are talking about the possibilities of, “If you like video games and shooting them up, if you want to do it for real, they have a way for you to do it.”

Garett Reppenhagen, executive director of Veterans for Peace

It’s pretty crazy, some of the stories that we hear from kids that are being approached by recruiters online… How they get them to get into one-on-one conversations, or group chat rooms, or other things to have these conversations with them… and sometimes bully or trick them into joining the military.

Garett Reppenhagen, executive director of Veterans for Peace