Former Marine goes national with campaign to end Iraq war

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(Host) Former U.S. Marine Sergeant Liam Madden is going national with his campaign to end the War in Iraq.

The 22-year-old Bellows Falls native, who spent seven months in Iraq, is touring campuses around the country.

VPR’s Susan Keese reached Madden by phone today while he was traveling.

(Keese) Madden’s next stops are Boston and then LA. Since his honorable discharge from the Marines last month, Madden has been urging students to step up their opposition to the war.

(Madden) “You know, what’s more important, the car you have, the job you get, the person you marry? Those things are important. But what’s more important, that or the type of world we’re going to live in? This is a time in history where we can either choose to make our own future or choose to have the future be made for us. And the future that will be made for us we have every reason to believe will be a continuation of these evil wars, torture, the stripping of our rights?”

(Keese) While still a marine, Madden co-founded Appeal for Redress. The organization’s website is a vehicle for service members to ask Congress to remove U.S. troops and bases from Iraq.

Madden joined the Marines shortly before the invasion of Iraq. He says his tour of duty there confirmed his initial conviction that the U.S. military was not stabilizing Iraq, but making things worse.

He claims the war was always meant to serve the interests of a few in this country, not average Americans.

(Madden) “What the dialogue largely is today in the media and all sorts of public forums is, this war is a mistake. It’s a series of poor decisions that’s being run incompetently. Well I agree it’s being run incompetently. But I don’t think it’s based on a mistake and the sooner the American people publicly acknowledge that the better. It’s a war based on lies, not on mistakes.”

(Keese) Madden will be a guest this Sunday on the CBS program Sixty Minutes.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Susan Keese.

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