Friday, May 22, 2009

Memorial Day: honoring war dead by refusing to add to the toll

Memorial Day. I mourn the dead of war, both soldiers and civilians, young and old, women and men -- all killed in a cycle of manufactured catastrophe.

While US Congresspersons buy more war by voting to pay for it with no exit plan, and the mainstream press neglects to ask them why, there are people still making sense by saying "No," extracting themselves from war's vicious cycle, using the free will they were born with, choosing life.

Last week, I heard about two Army soldiers stationed at Ft. Hood who have refused to deploy to Afghanistan. Their statements lift the veil of "good war." Terror is terror, whether it be suicide bombing, torture, death by predator drone, stoning, human trafficking, assassination, sniper attack, solitary confinement. A war on terror that terrorizes just keeps the cycle churning, sacrifing more lives even when we know that every life is sacred, filled with a universe of possibility.

You can agree or disagree with those who say "I will no longer participate in what I believe is wrong," but you can't deny that the words are being spoken and that resistance is happening.
On Memorial Day, I find it most appropriate to honor war dead by calling for war to end. Let's stop creating more unnecessary grief and pain. "War to end war" is a myth disproven by every successive armed deployment.

Read about the two GI resisters from Ft. Hood here.

“There is no way I will deploy to Afghanistan. The occupation is immoral and unjust. It does not make the American people any safer. It has the opposite effect.
These wars will continue until soldiers refuse to fight them. Almost every soldier I know is disillusioned with these wars. Most of them are opposed to the war in Iraq, and many are opposed to the war in Afghanistan. Some consider resisting but do not because they are not aware of a large community ready to support them." -- Victor Agosto

"I am a Patriot. I love my country, but I believe that this particular war is unjust, unconstitutional and a total abuse of our nation’s power and influence. And so, in the next few days, I will be speaking with my lawyer, and taking actions that will more than likely result in my discharge from the military, and possible jail time…and I am prepared to live with that.
My father said, ‘Do only what you can live with, because every morning you have to look at your face in the mirror when you shave. Ten years from now, you’ll still be shaving the same face.’
If I had deployed to Afghanistan, I don’t think I would have been able to look into another mirror again." -- Travis Bishop
photos: Victor Agosto celebrates his 24th birthday at Under The Hood cafe on May 9
photos from Under The Hood's flickr page

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