Media Release. Iraq War veteran warns against arms industry promotions. 5 November, 2015

US Iraq War veteran Vince Emanuele, who is visiting Australia for premiere  screenings of the film “We Are Many”, has warned of the dangers of arms industry promotions that tend to normalise warfare as a response to conflict. He cited the adverts for weapons at Canberra Airport, where he arrived on Thursday, as a disturbing example.

Mr Emanuele said “Having been sent by my country to fight in a war that continues to have disastrous impacts throughout the Middle East and on those Americans and others who fought in it, I am now speaking out against the industries who profiteer from other people’s deaths and misery.  The weapons industry talk about security, while the wars they promote are making us less secure.  Their products are sanitised so that the human suffering they cause is nowhere to be seen.”

Mr Emanuele also said that the impacts of big military spending are felt right throughout the US, where essential health, education and social services are cut to pay for going to war.  “Any country that wants to emulate the US in its priorities should learn from us how our heavily militarised society damages Americans’ lives in all sorts of ways. Our country has enormous social need and a culture of violence that should serve as a warning to other nations.”

The film “We Are Many”, in which Emanuele appears, will be screened at the Canberra International Film Festival at the NFSA at 1 pm on Saturday 7 November.  It examines the huge anti-war protests of 2002 - 03 before the invasion of Iraq, and their ongoing impacts.