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The Appeal for Redress from the War in Iraq

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Mac McKinney       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink

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This article is based on a comment I made on the excellent OpEdNews article by Peter Michaelson entitled "Soldier-Read This Before You Go to War". See: http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_peter_mi_070119_soldier__read_this_b.htm I would highly recommend everyone read this. I have decided to expand upon what I first wrote there after learning about the latest horrific loss of life by Americans and Iraqis in Iraq this morning. My words are addressed to the men and women of the Armed Forces, in particlular to those troops or sailors who are deploying or redeploying to Iraq. First, let me underscore that you are citizen-soldiers in a democracy and still have the right to voice your views. You just have to follow military protocol to do so. For information on just what that protocol is, please see: http://www.ivaw.org/youhavetheserights Because you are a citizen (excepting foreign enlistees), you also can criticize the Commander-in-Chief under the proper protocol, because he works for you (again, see http://www.ivaw.org/youhavetheserights for that protocol.) This is not a theocracy, autocracy or totalitarian state where you are a cog in the wheel of the State, who shoud be seen and not heard. The president is not the Fuhrer, the Pope, the Emperor or King. He has no higher authority that gives him any divine knowledge or fiat, no matter what some may say. His authority comes from you and me. I want to also point out that as a conscious person, you are going into a war theatre where it has already been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the great percentage of casualites are civilian. Consequently you are going to have to confront the possibility of your killing or abusing civilians. Some of you may have, regretably, already done so. We went through this in one war, Vietnam, and it is happening all over again, big time. Several million Vietnamese died. We do not want to see this record broken. You may be asked by the government or military to go against your conscience. You may have, if you have already been through one or more deployments, already had to compromise your conscience. This is not, believe me, something you can take lightly. You will be doing damage to yourself on some level. Worse still, you will be doing damage to the Armed Forces themselves, as well as the country. How is that, you may ask? Let me offer this quotation from none other than General Douglas MacArthur himself: "The soldier, be he friend or foe, is charged with the protection of the weak and unarmed. It is the very essence and reason for his being. When he violates this sacred trust, he not only profanes his entire cult but threatens the very fabric of international society. The traditions of fighting men are long and honorable. They are based upon the noblest of human traits - sacrifice." -General of the Army, Douglas MacArthur, 1946, confirming the death by hanging sentence imposed by a United States military commission on General Tomayuki Yamashita, convicted of failing to prevent Japanese Imperial troops under his command from committing massacres and outrages against prisoners of war and civilians in the last stages of the Japanese occupation of the Philippines. You also have to look at the great religious and philosophical teachings to fully understand why. First, recall that the Bible states that man is made in the image of God. The Bible doesn't stipulate "some men", such as white Anglo-Saxons, but man, period, and by inference, woman. This includes Iraqi men and women, as well as Muslim men and women in general. This challenges all the demonization and dehumanization Iraqis and Muslims undergo in boot camp and in the field. We are well aware of all the brainwashing that goes on in boot camp, of all the little cadences, ditties and refrains about ragheads and Hajis. I'll quote one running cadence that a former serviceman who served in Iraq says he learned while training in Camp Lejeune: "Bomb the village. Kill the people. Throw some napalm in the square. Do it on a Sunday morning. Kill them on their way to prayer. Ring the bell inside the school house. Watch the kiddies gather round. Lock and load with your 240. Mow those little f*ckers down" This is Nazi crap, genocidal crap you would expect from psychotics in the depths of a maximum security prison or thugs committing genocide in Rwanda or Sudan. It has no place in the Armed Forces of the United States. If this is the reality in Iraq, then America has embraced the demonic. Jesus said that "I and my Father are one." Then he went on to tell his disciples and followers that they could emulate him and become like him. The inference here is that the seed of God is within everyone, not just a special few. He also asked us to love our neighbors as ourselves, inferring that we are all one, that we all share a common humanity. Moreover, when you study the great Eastern religions such as Buddhism, Taoism and Hinduism (in particular Yoga philosophy) you are taught that on the deepest level, at the level of the Ground of Being or Ultimate Reality, we are all one, we are all interconnected, we all share in the Divinity of God. Or to put it another way, God is all and God is in all. That is why Buddhism, Jainism and Yoga philosophy reject violence and killing. They believe that by killing another being they are in effect killing a portion of themselves and a portion of the Divine, very bad Karma indeed. As a soldier, marine or sailor, however, you are in a position where you may have to take life. But this can only be justified by any humane religious tradition at all if it is done in a just war against an actual combatant. If these conditions are not present, then you have a problem, a big problem, spiritually and emotionally. Please consider this seriously. Do not let some fool lead you to breach your own deepest beliefs. The Sikh religion has a common mantra and salutation, the Sanskrit words Sat Nam, which can be translated as True Identity or your True Self. In other words, truth is your highest identity. For those of you about to deploy, realize that truth is your highest identity and that you are in harmony with yourself when you live and speak the truth. When you are living a lie or multiple lies, you diminish yourself, you compromise yourself, you injure yourself, and it just gets worse the deeper the lies go. To voice your truth, if you feel you have to speak out against the war in Iraq, then a legitimate avenue has been opened up for you: the Appeal for Redress from the war in Iraq, that Peter Michaelson mentioned in his article. The Appeal for Redress movement started in Norfolk last year and has now reached the ears and halls of Congress. It is thoroughly legal. The website is: http://appealforredress.org/. There were over 1100 signatures the other day. You can also look up a Veteran's or Peace Advocacy group in your area and speak to them about whatever is troubling you. There is also a GI Rights Hotline at 1-800-394-9544 that can assist you. We do not want to see another generation of thousands of American troops with their heads, hearts and souls savaged all over again, as occurred in Vietnam. This is already happening, so don't live in denial if you need to speak out or get something off your back. Do what is best for yourself and humanity. Sat Nam

 

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I am a student of history, religion, exoteric and esoteric, the Humanities in general and a tempered advocate for the ultimate manifestation of peace, justice and the unity of humankind through self-realization and mutual respect, although I am not (more...)
 

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