On March 1, 2004, I arrived in Al Qa’im, Iraq, at Forward Operating Base Tiger, to replace the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment. Six years later, on August 23, 2010, I worked with a group of anarchists and other activists to block their busses as they attempted to deploy to Iraq yet again.
I am Bobby Whittenberg-James, a veteran of the war against the people of Iraq. I was deployed to Al Qa’im, Iraq with 3d Battalion 7th Marines in February of 2004 and was wounded in combat in Karabillah, Iraq on April 14, 2004. I returned to Iraq May 13, and left on September 21st of that year. I began to question the wars while I was still in the Corps, and after my discharge I began to question many of our social structures and means of organizing society initially identifying as a socialist or communist. As my understanding of society and power structures grew and I learned more, my views evolved more towards anarchism. I would ultimately end up identifying as an anarchist and a revolutionary.
After becoming involved with the anti-war movement in late 2008/early 2009 I soon became disenchanted with constant sidewalk sign holding and chanting and marching behind police escorts. I had joined an allegedly anti-war veterans organization, but soon began to realize how internally focused such organizations can be. Issues such as staff salaries, personal healing of veterans, policing the actions of its members, and fundraising took precedence over ending the wars and reducing suffering and injustice. None of this was what I wanted to be a part of, and I began to encounter many other veterans that felt the same way. We wanted direct action and we wanted to challenge power and create something new.