Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Appeal for Redress-Organizing Call for Withdrawal

Three dead American soldiers in Iraq

Sometimes, you find something interesting when you read someone's comment on another blog. This story I found by way of Baghdad Chronicles, my dear blogger friend Miraj who inspired many emotional responses, and in this case, a very interesting tidbit of information:
Just a few weeks ago Dearden took the dramatic step of signing a petition to Congress--what's being called by its organizers an Appeal for Redress--opposing the war in Iraq and calling for the withdrawal of US troops. When the Appeal is delivered to Capitol Hill in mid-January, all the names of its almost 1,000 uniformed endorsers will be seen by members of Congress, if they care to look. But with his Nation interview, Dearden is now going public. And while the military cannot take reprisals against those who have supported the Appeal, many of the signers agree that there are an infinite number of ways they can be punished, including internal evaluations, denial of promotions and harsh assignments or postings.
The Appeal for Redress, surfacing only in late October, has taken anti-Iraq War sentiment that's been simmering within the ranks and surfaced it as a mainstream plea backed by the enormous moral authority of active-duty personnel. It's an undeniable barometer of rising military dissent and provides a strong argument that the best way to support the troops is to recognize their demand to be withdrawn from Iraq. While clearly inspired by the GI movement of the Vietnam era, it takes a much different tack. Instead of attacking or confronting the military, as the resistance movement of the 1960s often did, the Appeal works within the military's legal framework.
...the power of the Appeal for Redress. Its signers don't marginalize themselves as lawbreakers, resisters or deserters. Potential signers have been assured they are sending a communication to Congress protected under the Military Whistleblower Protection Act and will not be subject to reprisal. The result has been electrifying. In the two months since it surfaced, almost three times as many people have signed it as are members of the two-year-old Iraq Veterans Against the War. Almost three-quarters of the signers are active duty (the rest are reserves), and include several dozen officers, of whom a handful are colonels.
Read the full article.
And another soldier makes his point;
I don't believe it's right for any American to go along with it anymore. Yes I know that we in the military are bound by the UCMJ and somehow don't fall under the Constitution (the very thing we're suppose to be defending) but sooner or later there is a decision that every American soldier, marine, airmen and seamen makes to allow themselves to be sent to a war that is against every fiber this country was founded on. I know that when April rolls around I will be thinking long and hard on that decision. Even though we in the military are just doing as we're told we still have the moral and ethical obligation to choose to do as we're told, or to say, "No, that isn't right." I believe that if more troopers like me and the professional military, the officers and commanders, start standing up and saying that they won't let themselves or their troops go to this illegal war people will start standing up and realizing what the heck is going on over there.
The sad fact of the matter is that we are not fighting terrorists in Iraq. We are fighting the Iraqi people who feel like a conquered and occupied people. Personally I have a hard time believing that if I was an Iraqi that I wouldn't be doing everything in my power to kill and maim as many Americans as possible. I know that the vast majority of Americans would not be happy with the Canadian government, or any other foreign government, liberating us from the clutches of George W. Bush, even though a large number of us would like that, and forcing us to accept their system of government. Would not millions of Americans rise up and fight back? Would you not rise up to protect and defend your house and your neighborhood if someone invaded your country? But we send thousands of troops to a foreign country to do just that. How is it moral to fight a people who are just trying to defend their homes and families?
I heard a lot during the memorial service about how the dead Marine did so much good for others and how his helping others was like a little microcosm of America helping because we have the power to do so. Well if we have the power to help people why aren't we helping in Darfur where hundreds of thousands of people have died in the last 10 years. Saddam was convicted and sentenced to death for killing 143 Shiites who conspired to assassinate him. (I know all you "patriotic" Americans would be calling for the heads of anyone who conspired to assassinate supreme leader Bush). And yet we spend upwards of 1 trillion dollars and nearing 3,000 lives to help these Iraqis when they don't even want us there. Not to mention we don't have the legal justification to be there. I guess we should wait around for the omnipotent W Bush to decide who we should use our superpowerdom to help next.

Check out more from the Soldier Voices Forum.

Let's see what effect this appeal will have. During the Martin Luther King holiday weekend, members of the appeal will
appear on Capitol Hill to formally present the petition to Congress to press their case. For an all-volunteer force, says Eugene Fidell, president of the National Institute of Military Justice, "it's simply unprecedented."
Again, read the story in FULL. Also, check out the Appeal for Redress site, click on the posts' title. Thank you Madame Arcati for including this story in your comment.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So the tragedy continues as I think of all of those who perish, those countless civilians and over 3,000 young American solders, who sacrificed their lives in a “Theatre of a War” from which there appears no honourable discharge. What last entry will be recorded in history of the sensess slaughter!!

What shall we say about it all, a slick entry to a conflict to end with a continuing nightmare of sudden death now always in the background. The fine lads who have perished will never again to see their homes; yet they could have been employed in many peacekeeping missions and especially in Africa, as you say !!.
Best wishes

3:43 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

Very good information!

6:59 AM  
Anonymous Jack Ames said...

I have only to read some of the comments on your, and other similar webbages, to see how far "things" have come since 1956, when I was imprisoned at the Marine Brig, U.S. Naval Air Station, Corpus Christi, Texas, and Undesirably Discharged for being homosexual.
The methods used by an agent of the Office of Naval Intelligence, one J.C. Warren, included: 1. Stressing that as a member of the Armed Forces, I had NO Constitutional rights, and: Tape recording conversations between me and my priest, Chaplain (Lt.jg) J.J. Duffy, DOM, apparently with his permission.
The officer doing the recording was an Ensign Dunphy, of Base Security, USNAAS, Kingsville, Texas. I caught him with a tape recorder in a small washroom off the room where Fr Duffy and I were talking.
This has, as they say, stuck in my craw for more than 50 years. Thankfully, I will be getting some 'closure' with the publication this year of my memoir 'SHARDS'.
However, I'm wondering how many other American service people encountered the same egregious actions by the Roman Catholic Church and the US military?

Jack Ames, former RD1, USN, 347 90 50

Sydney, Australia

6:34 PM  

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