Saturday, December 16, 2006

BREAKING: The soldiers want out; a call for withdrawal

Active duty and retired members of the military alike are coming together to sign a simple and polite request to be heard over the drumbeat of the war mongers. The Bush Administration and their supporters (albeit, the numbers are shrinking every day) have disrespected and demeaned our toops for far too long, and it is about time these fine men and women stand up for themselves against these violent criminals. I urge all active and retired members of our armed forces to sign, and I hope all will pass this along to everyone they know.
As a patriotic American proud to serve the nation in uniform, I respectfully urge my political leaders in Congress to support the prompt withdrawal of all American military forces and bases from Iraq . Staying in Iraq will not work and is not worth the price. It is time for U.S. troops to come home.
Luckily, this is about to get a lot more attention from the masses. The Nation has an in depth article focused on the petition and some of the people who have signed it. Although most men and women have decided to keep their anonymity, others have come forward, feeling confident in their protection under the Military Whistleblower Protection Act. From the Nation:
For the first time since Vietnam, an organized, robust movement of active-duty US military personnel has publicly surfaced to oppose a war in which they are serving. Those involved plan to petition Congress to withdraw American troops from Iraq.

After appearing only seven weeks ago on the Internet, the Appeal for Redress, brainchild of 29-year-old Navy seaman Jonathan Hutto, has already been signed by nearly 1,000 US soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen, including dozens of officers--most of whom are on active duty. Not since 1969, when some 1,300 active-duty military personnel signed an open letter in the New York Times opposing the war in Vietnam, has there been such a dramatic barometer of rising military dissent.

Interviews with two dozen signers of the Appeal reveal a mix of motives for opposing the war: ideological, practical, strategic and moral. But all those interviewed agree that it is time to start withdrawing the troops. Coming from an all-volunteer military, the Appeal was called "unprecedented" by Eugene Fidell, president of the National Institute of Military Justice.
Pretty damning to the POTUS, his administration, and anyone who claims to support the war AND the troops. At this point, it is pretty clear that you EITHER support the war OR the troops; doing both is impossible. What struck me most were the interviews conducted with those that chose to sign the petition. Remember, there is no way to anonymously sign; rank numbers and names must be certified, and all names will be presented to Congress. These men and women are indeed brave.
The military command exercises enormous power through individual reviews, promotions and assignments. But that hasn't kept a number of signers from going public with their dissent.

Navy Lieut. Cmdr. Mark Dearden of San Diego, for example, enlisted in 1997 and is still pondering the possibility of a lifetime career. "So this was a very difficult decision for me to come to. I don't take this decision lightly," he says. But after two "tough" deployments in Iraq, Dearden says signing the Appeal was not only the right thing to do but also gave him personal "closure."

"I'm expressing a right of people in the military to contact their elected representatives, and I have done nothing illegal or disrespectful," Dearden adds.
The rest are a bit harder to read, but I encourage all to do so. This is such an important mission.
"Lisa"--20 years old, E-4, USAF, Stationed at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii:
I joined up two weeks after I turned 17 because I wanted to save American lives. I wanted to be a hero like any American child.

I supported the war when I joined because I thought it was justified. Only after my own research and the truth coming out did I learn how wrong I was, how--for lack of a better word--how brainwashed I was.

Now I know the war is illegal, unjustified and that our troops have no reason for being there.

When I saw an article about the Appeal in the Air Force Times I went online right away and signed it and have encouraged others to do the same.


"Sgt. Gary"--21 years old. US Army. Deployed with 20th Infantry Regiment, near Mosul, Iraq:
I joined up in 2001, still a junior in high school. I felt very patriotic at the end of my US History class. My idea of the Army was that you signed up, they gave you a rifle and you ran off into battle like in some 1950s war movie. The whole idea of boot camp never really entered my head.

I supported the war in the beginning. I bought everything Bush said about how Saddam had WMDs, how he was working with Al Qaeda, how he was a threat to America. Of course, this all turned out to be false.

This is my second tour, and as of a few days ago it's half-over. Before I deployed with my unit for the second time I already had feelings of not wanting to go. When in late September a buddy in my platoon died from a bullet in the head, I really took a long hard look at this war, this Administration, and the reasons why.

After months of research on the Internet, I came to the conclusion that this war was based on lies and deception. I started to break free of all the propaganda that the Bush Administration and the Army puts out on a daily basis.

So far in three years we have succeeded in toppling a dictator and replacing him with puppets. Outlawing the old government and its standing army and replacing them with an unreliable and poorly trained crew of paycheck collectors. The well is so poisoned by what we have done here that nothing can fix it.


"Lt. Smith"--24 years old, 1st Lieutenant, US Army. Deployed near Baghdad:
I cannot, from Iraq, attend an antiwar protest. Nor could I attend one in the States and represent myself as a soldier. What I can do is send a protest communication to my Congressional delegate outlining grievances I feel I have suffered. Appeal for Redress gives me that outlet.

I am encouraged by the November elections, but still wary. We rushed into the war on false assumptions, and now we might rush out just as falsely. What troops need now is a light at the end of the tunnel, not just for this deployment but for all deployments. Bringing everyone out this summer is too fast to be supported by our Army's infrastructure. We would hemorrhage lives if we do so. But so would we if we stay the course.

I am encouraged by politicians who call for a withdrawal by the conclusion of President Bush's term in office. That seems a realistic timetable for me.


Mark Mackoviak--24 years old. US Army. Recently returned from Iraq. Stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina:

I joined the Army on September 23, 2001. I had been out of school for a year when September 11 came around, and I was supportive of our action in Afghanistan. I wound up there a year later, and it was pretty eye-opening to see how people live.

I was also in Iraq for about a year, deployed near the International Airport, west of Baghdad. I was never that supportive of the invasion. I thought the media coverage of it was horrendous, really disgusting.

Just about everything I saw in Iraq reinforced my views that it was wrong. The point that really hit me was when the Asmara Mosque got blown up. I said, Wow, this is really a civil war.

I really enjoy being in the Army, enjoy the experience. I just happen to not support this war. I'm very open about that. My buddies either disagree with me or just pay no attention. But I get absolutely no hostility. None.

"Rebecca"--26 years old. 101st Airborne, US Army. Just returned from Iraq. Stationed at Fort Hood, Texas:
I joined in 2004. I was trying to go into the human rights field, but it was very competitive. I was in need of health insurance, and the Army seemed feasible. Now it looks like I will be stop-lossed until 2010.

I had strong feelings about the war, against it, but I'm the type of person that wants to fully understand both sides of the argument.

My experience in Iraq confirmed my views, but it also gave me a more multifaceted view of things. I did see some of the good things being done, but it seemed like a Band-Aid on a gushing wound. Mostly I saw the frivolity of the missions, the lack of direction, the absurdity of the mission. You go out in your Humvee, you drive around, and you wait to be blown up and get killed by an IED.

About 40 percent of my unit were stop-lossed. Their first mission was to take down Saddam and his regime, and they seemed to understand that and agree with the mission to take down a ruthless dictator. Now they can't seem to understand why they are there, caught in the cross hairs of a civil war.

I think it is safe to say that the majority of soldiers are wondering what this grand scheme is that we keep hearing about from those above us but that is never translating down to the ground level.

Some politicians are starting to see that not only a majority of Americans oppose to this war. Now they see this very powerful statement of soldiers who have already been on the front line and who are still in uniform and are also opposed. None of them have been where we have been, none of them have seen what we have seen. It's time they do.
Heartbreaking. Hopefully, the "brainwashed" (as the honorable soldier "Lisa" says above) will soon come to grips with reality.

18 Comments:

Blogger JohnMaxfield said...

Revised Edition:

Yay! My favorite time of the blogging day--holding you accountable. Here come my questions!!!

1. You say that the "Bush Administration and their supporters...have disrespected and demeaned our toops for far too long." How, when, where, why, and from which sources?

2. Do you support the troops? How?

3. How many men/women in the armed forces do you know on a completely personal level?

4. you say that you must "... EITHER support the war OR the troops; doing both is impossible." How is it impossible?

5. You cite six people. How about the thousands of men and women who are over their giving their lives because they know it is their duty? Why not present both sides of the story?

6. Was Lance Cpl. Jason C. Redifer 'brainwashed'?

Thank you, come again.

1:47 PM  
Blogger JohnMaxfield said...

This is the one thing that WoS and a majority of the leftist party fails torealize and understand. Those who have military background and family in the military--they understand this. It is for this reason they understand that we must remain in Iraq.

Because as Genl. Robert E. Lee once expained (I'm sure he was a racist bigot too, right?), that the solider has one great trap. To be a good solider, you must love the Army. To be a good commander, you must be willing to orderthe death of the thing you love. We do not fear our own death, you and I, but there comes a time--we are never prepared for quite so many to die. Oh, we do expect an occasional empty chair, a salute to fallen comrades, but this war goes on and on and the price grows ever higher. We are prepared to loose some of us, but we are never prepared to loose all of us. And there is the great trap--when you attack, you must hold nothing back, you must committ yourself totally.

Even over 100 years ago, there were still unpopular wars being fought. But their commanders understood that there was more than just satisfying public opinion. Of that, Lee said that there was always a higher duty.

Understand that trap, understand the reason for the war.

1:55 PM  
Blogger Phriendly Jaime said...

Wow. You are persistent.

Here's my question, which should settle it all:

Did you serve?

5:00 PM  
Blogger Terry said...

"2. Do you support the troops? How?"

Uh oh Jaime!!! Here comes the 'holier-than-thou' assault on your patriotism!!! You better watch out. I love how when me and you called her out on NLS, swacgirl finally fixed one of her CHRONIC misspellings and abuse of grammar.

Excellent find by the way, thanks!

9:52 PM  
Blogger Terry said...

"I love how when me and you called..."


Or shall I say, you and I, lol :)

9:53 PM  
Blogger JohnMaxfield said...

Nice way to dodge the questions PJ and Terry. I guess you are allowed to answer them too, Terry..if you can....but like always, I doubt you will. You know it's funny...all you would have to do to shut me up is just answer my questions and I would probably just leave. But you won't even do that. Talk about 'holier-than-thou'. And you were right about one thing Terry. I do question PJ's patriotism just as much as the Dog has questioned yours. Maybe by answering, you could put that question to rest as well.

And no, I did not serve. But I have a long line in my family that did and is currently serving. My family fought in every single war fought in this country (and even before it was a country).

12:35 AM  
Blogger JohnMaxfield said...

And how was your 'did you serve' question supposed to answer all?

(That's an extra credit question)

12:36 AM  
Blogger Terry said...

"And no, I did not serve. But I have a long line in my family that did and is currently serving. My family fought in every single war fought in this country (and even before it was a country). "

How nice, but guess what? DITO THAT HERE. Including my cousin currently serving in the marines.

Big deal. Once again, if you support the war and the President so much, PROVE IT, why don't you sign up?

12:41 AM  
Blogger JohnMaxfield said...

*cough* answer my questions *cough*

And what you are asking is like me sayign to you, if you support Webb so much, then join his son in the fight or become the next Naval secretary...

9:18 AM  
Blogger Mosquito said...

Who are you to DEMAND that your questions get answered?

You seem like an arrogant boy to me John.

Bottom Line....If you are going to talk the talk you need to walk the walk....Otherwise you are nothing more than a notorious, hypocritical ChickenHawk...and our nation has far too many of this dreadful species running around D.C.

If you are a peace activist then talk the talk and walk the walk by orking to bring our troops home alive and getting the follow up support they will need..

If you believe in this war and the Bush Imperialist Agenda then go grab your gun Johnny and ship out to Iraq.

I'm sick of hypocrites and neocons who like to play word games....This stuff is not a game. Hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women, and children have died and continue to die....and for what?



Buzz...Buzz...

4:00 PM  
Anonymous the_stenographer said...

And for what you ask? Wrap your head around this skeeter--

To place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command thier ascent.

You guys are idiots. i'm interested in you all answerin this dudes questions too. oh and just so you all know, there have not been hundreds of thousands of people who have died. get your facts straight and answer his questions you putty tats.

10:03 PM  
Anonymous JohnMaxfield said...

LetsSayThanks.com

Brighten a Marine or soldier's day.

Check out Let's Say Thanks where you can choose a thank you card and Xerox will print it and send to a soldier who is currently serving in Iraq. You can't decide who will receive it but it will go to a member of the armed services.

This has been going around the internet for a while but Christmas is an especially important time to let our military know we are thinking of them ... and thanking them. It is FREE and it only takes a second. Wouldn't it be wonderful if our soldiers received a bunch of these? Whether you are for or against the war, our guys and gals over there need to know we are behind them...

9:32 AM  
Blogger Phriendly Jaime said...

John, thanks for that. I will probably do a post including all of the places you can send a gift to a soldier. Thanks again.

(I edited your comment. You have really grown on me lately, regardless of your endless need for me to answer your questions. I may do that too. But, we will have to go over a few guidelines. But, I digress. I edited your comment bc of the link you provided. After the way I have been treated, no way am I going to allow that link here on my blog. I hope you understand.)

9:36 AM  
Blogger JohnMaxfield said...

I understand why you deleted the link to SWAC girl from my last post but don't understand your need in deleting the h/t to chris saxman?

11:13 AM  
Blogger Grievous' Dog said...

Buzz, Buzz, SWAC!

Woof.

6:06 PM  
Blogger Bubby said...

The invasion of Iraq WAS illegal.

The war in Iraq is the worst foreign policy blunder in American history. It will have long-term effects on American national security.

The war in Iraq was prosecuted in a negligent manner, by an incompetent CiC, and his civilian leadership.

Insufficient resources, and a lack of allies were early, and key mistakes.

There is a reasonable suspicion that George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and others in the Administration are guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors related to the war.

Iraq has spiraled into a civil war, and ethnic cleansing.

We cannot abandon the battleground in Iraq without making the world a dangerously unsafe place. There is enough oil wealth there to fund 100 years of war. It is in the center of a strategically important region.

We have to stabilize Afghanistan, eradicate the reason for the Taliban's existence, and eliminate the safe havens.

We cannot prevail in the battle with the current Administration, troop strength, volunteer military, or allies.

We make it right now, or prepare to hide from oil-rich jihadists for 100 years. I don't want to live that way, and refuse to give up my Constitutional freedoms. Here is the deal:
1)Bush and Cheney are removed from office. Emergency Presidential elections called.
2)A full military draft to age 40, with no deferrments. Preparation to confront jihadists world-wide. 2 year service, with 2 years reserve.
3)A war-time tax to match required military budget requests.
4)Declaration by the new U.S President of a sovereign Palestinian state within 12 months.
5)A true military Iraqi coalition of arabic nations (Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Libya, etc.)to stabilize Iraq.

7:08 PM  
Blogger Andrew from Middlebrook said...

Oh JohnMaxfield, where do I start....I am going to walk right into your trap and answer your silly questions. But first....my father, brother, and I served in the Army; my other brother in the Air Force. I have a number of friends that have either served or are serving now in the armed forces; some in Iraq, some in the States. Some support the war, most do not.

BTW, please don't EVER try to quote R. E. Lee in defense of what George Bush has done or is doing. GW is not worthy of the mud on R. E. Lee's boots.

So question 1....this could be a long essay unto itself. First, Bush in declaring victory when the true battles had not started yet. Second, Cheney getting filthy rich from a military machinery with Haliburton while soldier’s pay is below the poverty level. Third, Bush lying about the case for war. Fourth, ignoring the need for post invasion planning, not providing enough ground troops to “nation build” (although as Guvnor of Texas Bush recognized that the US should not be in the nation building business), and not getting key support from allies beyond Great Britain. Sixth, not defining key goals or objectives for the military to follow or try to achieve. Seventh, pretending that we were winning the war and just about to turn the corner (finally admitting today that we are failing). Eight, not finishing the job we started in Afghanistan. I am going to stop there. I realize you wanted specifics and I gave you generalities, but so it goes.

Question 2…I support the troops by sending care packages, cards, and notes of thanks. One resource is US Military itself. I also actively participate in politics, and don’t give in to bully-presidents questioning my patriotism. I will speak out against a president weakening our constitution and ideals of liberty, justice and freedoms. The very things our troops are sworn to protect, all under attack by their very own commander-in-chief.

Question 3….do you want names? Phone numbers? Photos? I know enough for me to form intelligent opinions about the war.

Question 4….I support the war and the efforts in Afghanistan. I do not support the war in Iraq. I want our troops out of Iraq and back home as soon as possible. I know the pride, and patriotism, the sense of duty that drives soldiers – I was one. And I fully understand that the job is to obey orders and carry ot the mission. But what futile tasks have we send these soldiers on? We pat ourselves on the back and say “they are fighting for our freedoms!’” but really, in this context, how absurd is that? Saddam was not a threat to us. The orders to go to Iraq were based on lies and deceit. I support our troops, not by condemning them to more futile deaths, not sending them on more useless missions, not expecting them to stop the civil strife thousands of years in the making. I support them by getting them home, uniting them with their families, giving them rest and recuperation, and equipping and training them to fight the real fight - where they are protecting our freedoms, carrying out justice, and delivering liberty.

Question 5…what is the other side? Stay the course? Stick yourself in the middle of the civil war we allowed to happen? I realize that there are soldiers out there who believe that this war was needed and was just – but the evidence they base their opinions on have incontrovertibly been disproven.

Question 6…you should be ashamed of yourself. Jason Redifer, a fallen hero, died in January of 2005, almost two years ago. No one can know how he would feel about the war today. Rhonda Winfield can speak about her son and carry on his legacy and his message, but you sir, can claim no right to use his name.

10:42 PM  
Blogger Phriendly Jaime said...

Andrew-

You are so welcome here, anytime. :)

10:46 PM  

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