Saturday, March 19, 2005

Becoming soulless people 

Un-Volunteering: Troops Improvise to Find Way Out
One soldier's journey to a conscientious-objector application: " Here's what happened: I spent six months over there, and I came back and thought about it. What I know is that it's inhumane. It's turning 18-year-old men and women into soulless people."
One of the horrible things about this war is the horrible things that the American military has done in Iraq -- shooting families whose only crime was to be driving in the wrong place, crashing into people's homes and arresting them on rumour and hearsay, destroying towns street by street like the city of Fallujah, throwing men and women and children into prison and not letting them out again even when their innocence is proven, arresting wives to make their husbands surrender -- acting, in other words, just the way the Nazis did in France and Holland and Czechoslovakia.
The Iraq Veterans Against the War are marching this weekend at Fort Bragg. I hope they realize how many others are with them in spirit.
Also on the IVAW website I came across a reference to Codepink's coverage of the conviction and imprisonment of Iraq war resistor Camilo Mejia. In his writings from prison, Camilo quoted this poem, written by a Nazi war resistor Albrecht Hanshofer as he awaited execution:
The burden of my guilt before the law
weighs light upon my shoulders; to plot
and to conspire was my duty to the people;
I would have been a criminal had I not.
I am guilty, though not the way you think,
I should have done my duty sooner, I was wrong,
I should have called evil more clearly by its name
I hesitated to condemn it for far too long.
I now accuse myself within my heart:
I have betrayed my conscience far too long
I have deceived myself and fellow man.
I knew the course of evil from the start
My warning was not loud nor clear enough!
Today I know what I was guilty of…

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