Tuesday, January 16, 2007

"Warriors" Rally Against Iraq War

Warriors? Last I saw they were Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, and Marines. None of those designations refer to "warriors." If you don't know the difference, maybe you should do a little research.

In any case, the article is more propaganda by the anti-war campaigns to bring attention to the fact that some in the military don't like the war.
Sgt. Jabbar Magruder spent 11 months in Iraq and turned into one angry soldier.

No weapons of mass destruction. Shifting rationalizations for a mismanaged war. Now a civil war among Iraqis.

He began speaking out against the war last year. He wants others in uniform to do so as well and wants civilians to support them.

Now a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, he joined other active-duty personnel and peace activists at a Norfolk church Monday to promote an "Appeal for Redress" that asks Congress to bring the war to an end.
Funny how the WMD issue is the only one that ever has any traction. I could have sworn there were a total of 23 resolutions in the AUMF. But beyond that, I suppose these guys have every right to complain. I'm certain that there are always a certain level that complain in every armed conflict.
More than 1,030 soldiers, sailors and airmen have signed the petition, which is to be presented to Congress today.

"We've served in combat, and we've seen the futility of this war," said Magruder, who serves in an Army National Guard unit based in California. "The soldiers want to resist. The soldiers want to come home. We need the citizens to back us up."

More than 100 people attended the protest. Roughly one-third of the crowd were active-duty service members.

While still relatively rare, a growing number of military personnel are coming out against the war, bucking a culture in the armed forces that frowns on public opposition to presidential policies. A recent poll shows that support in the military for the war is diminishing and that only 54 percent of those who wear the uniform now approve of President Bush's handling of the war.
Don't you love unnamed polls? I'd love to see the questions and results as well as who sponsored the poll. Bet there was no bias there. I'd also like to see the proportions polled of active duty compared to the National Guard and Reserves. Polls always seem to be a way of proving ones point, even though anyone with a small amount of intelligence has come to the realization that a poll can be made to say whatever you want it to.
The president says that the war can be won and that more troops are needed to prevent Iraq from being taken over by anti-American insurgents.

One message was repeated at Monday's protest: Dissent is not disloyalty, and those who object to the war are not traitors.

"It is not political, despite how others try to label us," said Liam Madden, a Marine who served seven months in Iraq. "Veterans often say, 'Not one more of my brothers should die for a lie.' This is not political. It is a call to conscience."

Service members are allowed to publicly oppose the war if it is done on their own time and they do not wear their uniforms while doing so.

"This is a movement," said Norfolk-based Seaman Jonathan Hutto, an event organizer. "We're not advocating an abandonment of Iraq, but we don't want to see more troops sent in, and we want a political solution to end this. Right now, Iraq is in virtual chaos, in a civil war."

Peace activists from the region welcomed the active-duty war protesters warmly, promising to support them.

"We have a message for the military brass: Any harassment or retribution of these people ... will be met with the full force of our resistance. These are our brothers and our sisters, and they do not stand alone," said Phil Wilayto, a member of the Virginia Anti-War Network.
The last message is especially interesting. The first assumption is that there will be retribution. I've looked around the AlgoreNet and haven't found any reports of such. Milblogs definitely don't speak to it, though the vast majority of them seem to have a message quite in conflict with this one.

I'm also fascinated by the calls to stop the surge. Seems those calling for this line of reasoning are using Rumsfeld's strategy. Odd that, considering these are the same people who were yelping for his head just a couple of months ago. It's even better when they quote the generals that supported Rumsfeld's methods.

The worst argument that is continually being perpetuated, is that there is only a political solution in Iraq. Fascinatingly myopic. Anyone that has studied any history of insurgencies will tell you that politics alone isn't enough. Just like military alone isn't enough. Iraq is even more complex than most historical insurgencies, so a more complex solution is needed. Politics is the big one, and the Iraqi elected government needs to do more. There also needs to be security for the people in the zones of major conflict. That includes controlling the militias and enforcing stability. There is also economic solutions required for jobs for the unemployed and oil revenue sharing among the factors. Putting onus on a single part of a realistic solution is further proof that the speaker truly hasn't a clue.
Active-duty war objectors face ostracism among their peers and potential retaliation from their superior officers, said Fabian Bouthillette, a former Navy officer who joined Iraq Veterans Against the War.

"Supporting the troops means more than slapping a bumper sticker on a car," he said. "I think it is very difficult for active-duty men and women to protest, to speak out. They have that right. We're all in this together."
Not much you can do about the ostracism from peers. You choose to protest, you choose to stand in the way of dissension. Your choice. As for the command retaliation, I'm betting that is far less than this guy would lead you to believe. There are rules within the military, and if the officers stray outside there bounds they can see legal action. As long as the protester sticks to the requirements of the law they have little to worry about. But note, the repeated contention that they will be ostracized by the command structure is a bit of propaganda to make you believe that this is actively occurring, though there is little evidence to support it.

1 comment:

geekwife said...

Hmmm... so not everyone who has served over there is in support of the war. Shock! Who knew that you could get differing opinions in a group of over a hundred thousand people?

Really, given that the left is telling us that most of the poor saps who join the military are bright kids with no other options, shouldn't we be surprised that the number of anti-war vets isn't much, much larger?

The truth is that those military that are anti-war protest in a clear way - they don't reinlist. Given the amazingly high rate of reinlistment, it's safe to say that a strong majority of our soldiers are in support of the war in Iraq. The anti-war vets are welcome to their opinion, but it is still just an opinion, and a minority viewpoint among vets at that.