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Some take an oath, we all have an obligation

By       Message Philip C. Restino, Jr.     Permalink
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President George W. Bush swore an oath to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States".  Other members of the executive, legislative and judiciary branches, as well as members of state and local governments and all civil and military officers have sworn a similar oath to "support and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic”.  The American soldier, upon enlistment, swears the same oath, and is ready and willing to die in keeping that sacred promise.  Our soldiers are duty-bound to obey all lawful orders from their chain of command, which includes the President of the United States, the Commander-in-Chief.  The President is the Commander in Chief of our military only, otherwise, he is a public servant of and accountable to the American people and the laws of our land.

Although most Americans never take the oath our soldiers do, we do have a moral obligation to support and defend those who are willing to die to defend “our freedoms”, as provided to us in the Constitution.  Our soldiers should never be sent to kill and be killed on our behalf unless absolutely necessary...and only then with our informed consent.  President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Congress have all demonstrated that they have not only failed to support and defend the Constitution, but they have actually worked to dismantle it.  What can we do?  We can ask those in our state and local governments who have taken the oath, to include law enforcement in what they are willing to do to support and defend our Constitution.  Will they speak out in defense of it, and if not, why not?  Perhaps, it’s time we have that conversation.

Some say that, in order to honor the many soldiers who have perished or have, otherwise, given much in the fighting in Iraq, we must "finish the job".  I agree.  The November election was only half the job.  Americans need to give up some of the 33.81 hours of television we watch per week (Neilsen’s October 2006), and become actively involved in forcing those in Congress to put aside their campaigning and fundraising and immediately take up their duties of (1) investigating the Bush-Cheney administration for deliberately lying, in order to get our country into a pre-planned war of aggression on Iraq, (2) removing them from office by means of Impeachment as provided for in the Constitution, and (3) holding them accountable as the law requires.

Congress needs to be told firmly, with the voice of many, that our troops should be immediately loaded onto airplanes and flown the heck out of Iraq now.  Does the Military-Industrial Complex, which President Eisenhower warned us about in January 1961, want that?  Do the large American and British oil companies, so close to privatizing Iraq’s oil reserves, want that?  Do the politicians, Democrats and Republicans alike, using “the troops" as a political tool for the 2008 elections, want that?  Does our consolidated media, owned by only a few multi-national corporations within the Military-Industrial Complex and who make billions of dollars on selling war and political campaign advertising time, want that?  No, no, no and no.  Will Congress adhere to the wishes of the American people instead?  Yes, but only when enough of us get involved and demand it.

Will the Iraqis follow our troops back to America, if withdrawn, and, if so, with whose air force and navy?  As for the soldiers who have already died in vain, we need to honor them by working for truth and justice, and not allow more soldiers to die in vain.  We the people” owe it to them to now work diligently to right this horrible wrong called Iraq, defend our Constitution by removing the criminal Bush-Cheney administration from our employ and bring our troops home now.  For the sake of our troops, and “our freedoms”, for which they are willing to die to protect, let’s get involved and finish the job.  To speak with representatives in Congress, Americans can telephone the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or (800) 828-0498 and ask for them by name.  Impeachment Now!  Get Our Troops Home Now!  Get involved and make it happen.

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Restino is co-chair and a founding member of the Central Florida chapter of Veterans For Peace and a member of Military Families Speak Out - Florida. He lives in Daytona Beach.

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