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Panel, Class to Explore Iraq War Legacy

  • Casing the Colors

By Warren Glynn '15

A group of experts and activists will examine the aftermath and continuing struggles in Iraq a decade after U.S. intervention, during a panel discussion Wednesday, Feb. 12, at Franklin & Marshall College.

Visiting Professor of American Studies David Kieran will moderate the discussion titled “When the Wars End: Healing & Justice After a Decade of War in Iraq.” Panelists will address how civilians and veterans from both the United States and Iraq still are affected by the war.

The panelists all are members of the Right to Heal advocacy group, an organization dedicated to publicizing continuing issues with Iraq War-related consequences, including physical injuries, psychological trauma, environmental degradation and widespread displacement. They are: Matt Howard, communications director for Iraq Veterans Against the War; Laura Raymond, the advocacy program manager for International Human Rights at the Center for Constitutional Rights; Ali Issa, national field organizer for War Resisters League; and Drake Logan, community organizer, activist, and member of the Civilian-Soldier Alliance.

“If you look at the news, the implication is that the war has ended,” said Kieran. “But if you look closer, Iraq is devolving into violence in the very spots where Americans fought, as we’ve seen in the recent news about Fallujah. The war isn’t over for American veterans, either, many of whom are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), battlefield injuries and unemployment.”

The event, which is free and open to the public, was organized in conjunction with Kieran’s senior seminar class, “After War.” Students in the class currently are studying the effects of the war, and as a final project will create a digital exhibit of oral histories of local Iraq War veterans and Iraqi immigrants.

“For many Americans, we’ve put the war away,” said Kieran. “But for many others, the legacy of the war continues to affect their lives.”