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Military Petition Questions Occupancy

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Military Petition Questions Occupancy
By: Sara Scafe Toole

According to my January 8, 2007th edition of,"The Nation", a petition has been circulating rapidly throughout the U.S. military that questions the occupancy of Iraq. Seaman Jonathon Hutto, a 29-year old that served on the aircraft carrier, Theodore Roosevelt, off of the coast of Iraq, wrote the petition after having second thoughts concerning the war. The petition is as follows,

"As a patriotic American proud to serve the nation in uniform, I respectfully urge my political leaders in Congress to support the 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."

Over 1000 members of the U.S. military, ¾ of them active-duty, have signed this petition, and it seems like there's no letting up in sight. These include everyone from the grunts to a handful of colonels that have questioned whether the U.S. is making any noticeable progress. As a result of this petition's rapid circulation, the petitioners, and many others, are asking for an Appeal of Redress.

This scenario is vastly different from the anti-war demonstrations from the sixties during the Vietnam era; the largest being that the servicemen, in this case are all recruits that signed up of their own volition. Another difference is that the servicemen involved are attempting to use the American legal system in their favor by asking for the Appeal. Many cite the fact that they have seen, firsthand, how America is being used as a pawn by the Shiites to fund their civil war against the Sunnis. This is not why they signed up; most of them that are quoted in the article say that they believed when they signed up that they were defending the U.S. against WMD. Since that was clearly not the case these petitioners have experienced remorse in the majority of cases. Another large complaint is the back-door draft; many reservists who believed that their tours have expired have been receiving notification that this is not the case. Not surprisingly, they are outraged that their duties have been extended without advance notice or prior knowledge.

When questioned about the response that they have received from other members of the military, they say that support has been wholehearted, and that other servicemen have stated to them that they wish that they had the guts to do the same. Even after being informed by the upper military echelon that no action would be taken if they sign, they still believe that they would be stigmatized, or that their military careers would suffer as a result. For more information, contact: www.soldiervoices.net, or go to the Iraq
Veterans Against the War website.
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Sara Scafe Toole is a Creative Writing major, with a minor in history. She is an activist that resides in Austin, Texas
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Military Petition Questions Occupancy

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