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From: Columbia, MO
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|AIM: || ||#1 Posted on 8.4.03 2127.39 |
Reposted on: 8.4.10 2128.07
| Since there's been so much crap about communist, tree hugging, faggot, anti-troop, liberal, part of the great left wing media conspiracy, activists hating our country, I thought this was a quite great article. And please, read the entire article before you make comments.|
No Ribbons, No Flags, No Fireworks
An Open Letter to Pro-War Americans
by Tim Wise ; March 21, 2003
Please spare me the lecture. Likewise, don't bother asking me why I
to tie a yellow ribbon around the tree in my front yard, or put out a
or slather my Honda Civic with "Support the Troops" bumper stickers. I
feel like explaining it every time someone wants answers to these
and anyway, you probably wouldn't like my reasons to begin with.
You claim that we must now put aside our different opinions about the
propriety of war with Iraq, and rally 'round the President, the
our men and women in uniform. But you are wrong, and I imagine that at
level you know this to be true.
After all, do we really have an obligation to support the troops no
what they do as they prosecute this slaughter against a minor league
opponent? Would you indeed support the troops if their mission involved
nuclear incineration of Iraqi cities and villages? One, two, many My
Beyond hypotheticals, should we support the troops even as they carry
the announced plan to launch nearly a thousand cruise missiles into
major population centers within forty-eight hours of war? With the UN
estimating that upwards of a half-million Iraqis might die as a result
this war, can you really say without any sense of misgiving that we
"support the troops" come what may, and that failure to do so should be
Don't misunderstand. I guess one could say that I too support the
but surely not in the way that you and other flag-wavers intend.
I support them being able to make a living and get an education without
having first to subordinate their consciences to a military
that vitiates critical thought, reflection and free will, so as to
more efficient killing machines. How about you?
I support them not being lied to about the chemicals and depleted
which they will likely be exposed. How about you?
I support them refusing to fly their planes, refusing to bomb civilian
infrastructure, like water treatment facilities, the destruction of
will create mass epidemics and cause the deaths of thousands of
How about you?
I support them refusing to move their tanks against civilians. How
I support them deserting, going AWOL, and disobeying the unlawful
that are the hallmark of modern warfare--unlawful because they almost
violate international law, such as Article 54 of the Geneva
which makes it a certifiable war crime to target any facility the
of which is necessary to the functioning of civilian life.
I support the troops as fathers and mothers; as children; as brothers
sisters; as human beings and free moral agents, all of which they were
before they became the foot soldiers of a swaggering empire, led by a
functionally-illiterate cowboy with no knowledge of history, who
find Iraq on a map if it wasn't labeled first, and whose drive to mass
murder seems motivated as much by a desire to win the love of his daddy
anything more substantive.
I support the troops arresting any American solider who they see
Iraqi civilian, or ordering the same. They should turn their guns on
own in such a situation, in the name of defending the innocent and in
to a higher law to which they are bound.
But I do not support the troops following orders that will kill scores
innocent people. I will not cheer the light show over Baghdad, the
bulldozing of Iraqi soldiers beneath desert sand, burying them alive as
done in the first Gulf War; nor will I support the strafing of Iraqi
soldiers as they retreat or seek to surrender, as was also done in the
Gulf War, in what was described at the time as a "turkey shoot."
Any soldier that engages in those kinds of actions deserves not support
rather prosecution under accepted standards of international law for
commission of war crimes. Following orders was no excuse at Nuremberg
will be no excuse in Basra either.
Indeed, military personnel are sworn to obey orders only when those
are lawful, according to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. What's
in their oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, all members of the
military are bound by Article VI of that document which makes
treaties and agreements the highest law of the land. As such, following
orders to prosecute this war violates the oath taken by the troops,
Article 51 of the UN Charter allows war only in immediate self-defense
when the Security Council has directed or authorized use of force to
maintain or restore international peace and security, neither of which
condition applies here.
And since Article 2 of the Charter makes clear that war is not
for the purpose of regime change, the attack underway is by definition
criminal act, in violation of international law and thus the
It is an impeachable offense, far more serious than getting a blow job
lying about it.
And saying this is not giving aid and comfort to the enemy, as you
What gives aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States is the
prosecution of an unjust war itself. It is this war that will aid our
enemies, by giving them yet another issue around which to rally
suicide bombers, hijackers and other assorted fanatics.
Bombing a nation like Iraq, especially after eviscerating it for over a
decade with sanctions, can serve no purpose but to enhance the
terrorism, and even the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,
only being in clear possession of such materials (as with North Korea)
capable of deterring attack by the U.S.
And no, it is not my job to fall in line, just so the morale of
receive a boost. I want the morale of soldiers to plummet. I want them
question the propriety of their assignments, and I want them to be so
conflicted about that mission that they simply refuse to do their jobs.
criticism of this war harms troop morale and can create internal
divisions among the U.S. military, then we need more of it, not less.
are worth more than morale; worth more than self-image; worth more than
And since it is with my money and in my name that any killing of Iraqis
proceed, I have not just a right but an obligation to speak out against
war if I consider it unjust. When my nation kills, I kill, and I don't
the thought of collaboration lightly. Collaboration puts my soul in
jeopardy. So while the troops may use my money to do their dirty work,
expect me to say amen. My soul is more important than their morale. So
As a father, I believe that this war will endanger the life of my
(and my daughter to be) down the line. That by creating even more
Muslims--embittered towards my nation because they can, after all, read
markings on the bomb casings that say, "Made in the USA"--this war will
the groundwork for a form of payback that will make 9/11 look like a
fender-bender. Survivors have long memories, and the truth be told, we
simply can't kill them all. It is those long memories that will haunt
children and their children, for as James Baldwin reminded us, "There
creation of any society more dangerous than the man who has nothing to
So no, I can't support the troops in the traditional sense, because if
do their jobs, they contribute to the menacing of my family in years to
come, and my family's safety is more important than their morale. So is
But I do support the troops in the ways that truly matter. Do you?
I support those troops of color in their continuing quest to be treated
equals at all times, and not merely when they are picking up a gun to
for America: that means that I support the struggle against the racism
those same troops too often face in their homeland. How about you?
I support those troops who are women in their continuing struggle
sexual assault and harassment, in general and specifically at places
the Air Force Academy, where some of their male counterparts apparently
think it their duty to abuse them as sex objects. How about you?
I support those troops who are gay or lesbian in their quest for
treatment and the right to be true to themselves and not have to hide
sexual orientations so as to pander to another soldier's bigotry. How
I support those troops who are poor; specifically I support their right
health care, and a college education and a job and shelter, and a
wage. And I support these things for them whether in or out of uniform.
I support these same things for the families of the troops back home.
It is not the anti-war movement whose concern for the troops should be
questioned, but rather that of the men who send them to battle, to face
weapons that those same men (or their fathers) sold to the other side
Those men who never faced war themselves--and in the case of the
went AWOL to avoid even a stateside National Guard assignment during
Vietnam--but who are quick to use others as the fighting, bombing
to their own shriveled manhoods.
Those men who think that respect for international law can be instilled
disregarding international law, international opinion and the primary
international decision making body on the planet.
Those men who think it appropriate to build up monsters around the
then criticize those monsters for doing exactly what we knew they would
Those men who believe they are entitled to say which nations can have
certain types of weapons and which cannot; which nations can ignore UN
resolutions and which must follow them; which nations are allowed to
their own people and which must be held to a higher standard.
Those men who believe that "our vital national interests" like the free
of oil at market prices outweigh the right of Iraqi children to walk,
play, or simply breathe.
For it is these men who view the troops as expendable, and who see them
one-dimensional tools for destruction, rather than as human beings. It
these men who are putting the troops in harm's way so as to satisfy
And it is we who oppose this war who seek to bring them back in one
piece--physically and emotionally.
So please, spare me the lecture.
Tim Wise is a writer, antiracist activist and father. He can be reached
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|The 5th Horseman
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From: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
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|#2 Posted on 8.4.03 2151.03 |
Reposted on: 8.4.10 2151.07
| Just looks like a guy trying to rationalize his disgust for the President and military while portraying himself as being above anyone that disagrees with him and especially those involved in the military. Just an arrogant A-hole, IMHO. |
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From: Catlin IL
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|#3 Posted on 8.4.03 2154.29 |
Reposted on: 8.4.10 2157.04
on second thought, not worth it
(edited by Eddie Famous on 8.4.03 1958)
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|AIM: || ||#4 Posted on 9.4.03 0024.17 |
Reposted on: 9.4.10 0027.53
| Gee, and to think that all my friends joined the military to rape the horses and ride off on the women, as opposed to schooling and money.|
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From: Green Bay, WI
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|#5 Posted on 9.4.03 0619.59 |
Reposted on: 9.4.10 0623.28
| Ah, yes...another ivory tower genius who straps us in while he rants and raves, but refuses to listen to the other side. "Spare me the lecture" indeed.|
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|#6 Posted on 9.4.03 0628.45 |
Reposted on: 9.4.10 0628.56
Originally posted by The Thrill
Ah, yes...another ivory tower genius who straps us in while he rants and raves, but refuses to listen to the other side. "Spare me the lecture" indeed.
Well you know, he's right and he doesn't have to listen. Of course, if you question him you're violating his right to free speech.
Other than that, his irrational, meandering rant is not worth the time...fucking hypocrite.
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