An Open Letter
To The Troops:
"Fight For True Freedom Now!"
By Chuck Richardson
17 May, 2005
I am writing to
let you know I support you, as a human being, with all my heart; but
cant support your military service to the United States because
it is enabling a criminal enterprise. Mafia hit men are never acquitted
because theyre just following orders.
If the U.S. is
defeated (and there are more scenarios for defeat than mission accomplished),
you could be subject to prosecution in the International Criminal Court.
Or, if not prosecuted, called as a witness. In the end, you will answer
to yourself or God, if you hold such beliefs, for volunteering your
services for meager pay and false hopes. Your behavior today will be
judged tomorrow, and the day after that.
Fight for true
freedom now. Forget the reasons your leaders give for waging war. Why
are you fighting? You are a human being first, a GI second. You exist
for your own purposes, and those of your loved ones, not the corporate
governments. Thats the essence of freedom.
Long after this
war is finished for the Bushes, Cheneys and Rumsfelds, you will have
to live with your first hand memoriesthe smell of burning flesh,
the screams of mutilated women and children, the taste of polluted dust,
visions of obliterated old people, perhaps even the physical and/or
psychological pain of your own wounds, or the cancer caused by your
exposure to depleted uranium. Where will todays leaders be for
Did you know the
suicide rate for troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan is above
average for war veterans as a whole? Why do you think theyre doing
it? How complicit are you in all this death by going along to get along?
Sometimes, what seems to be the hardest thing now is the easiest thing
to do in the end. Quit cold turkeygo AWOL, refuse to fight and
support those who do. Well all live longer and better, especially
you. How will you live in the future, what will you make of your past?
If you need evidence
that you are on the wrong side of this war, please consider your employers
record over the last four years:
§ When the
world watched the Twin Towers tumble as elegantly as if theyd
been laid low by demolition experts "everything changed."
Constitutionally mandated checks and balances limiting presidential
power were chucked aside, enabling neoconservatives the opportunity
to confront the looming Peak Oil catastrophe militarily, rather than
diplomatically. Project for The New American Century, what the neocons
call their boys club, pushed President Clinton to attack Iraq
back in 1998, but was rebuffed. They concluded that the only way such
an attack could be carried out was if Saddam could be blamed for a catastrophic
Pearl Harbor-like attack on U.S. soil. These guys never
miss an opportunity, and theyve been known to create a few.
§ The departments
of Defense and Justice, along with the CIA, have instituted torture
as standard operating procedure for interrogating alleged enemy
combatants supposedly captured in the war on
terrorism since a November 2001 Justice Department memo to the
CIA. President Bush then claimed anyone not a U.S. citizen whom he labels
a terrorist is subject to secret military tribunals where
standard rules of evidence are not applicable. Once convicted, prisoners
can only appeal directly to the President, who may keep them incarcerated
even if theyre found not guilty.
§ The Bush
Regimes 2002 National Security Strategy seeks to take advantage
of Americas unparalleled power by preemptively attacking any entity
that would challenge its vital interests [read the military-industrial-petroleum
§ In 2003,
the U.S. illegally invaded Iraq under false pretenses (Saddam had WMD).
§ In 2004,
the Army summarized its maltreatment of prisoners in Afghanistan and
Iraq, revealing widespread abuse, including 37 deaths. Also, the New
Zealand Herald claimed the U.S. is holding roughly 10,000 prisoners
around the world in Abu Ghraib-like conditions. The Bush regime then
announced it would seek to continue its internationally sanctioned immunity
from war crimes prosecution, granted to American peacekeepers
by the United Nations in 2002. But because of Abu Ghraib, et al, it
failed due to massive international opposition to any exemptions for
U.S. forces. A couple days later, Bush tried to calm the international
community by blaming torture at Abu Ghraib on a few low lifes who disregarded
our country and disregarded our values. In June, Knight-Ridder
reported the Armys investigation of 127 prisoner deaths, up from
37 a month before. Two weeks later, the Supreme Court decided it has
long since made clear that a state of war is not a blank check
for the President. Information released by the federal government
under a Freedom of Information Act request by the American Civil Liberties
Union showed that President Bush authorized torture by executive order,
which the Regime still denies despite the evidence. Nonetheless, two
days later the Justice Department released a re-written torture
memo that superseded the 2002 memo in its entirety.
§ So far this
year, Newsweek has reported that DoD is considering the Salvador
option (i.e.: assassination, death squads, kidnapping campaigns)
to bring Iraq under control. In February, Reed Brody of Human Rights
Watch, pointed out that No soldier higher than the rank of sergeant
has been charged with a crime. No civilian leader at the Pentagon or
CIA is even being investigated. But the privates and the sergeants are
not the ones who cast aside the Geneva Conventions or authorize illegal
interrogation methods. In fact, disgraced former CIA director
George Tenet, former Iraqi Viceroy H. Paul Bremer and retired Gen. Tommy
Franks, who planned the invasion, received medals of Freedom, Gonzalez
was promoted, and Rummys kept his job. Furthermore, Rumsfeld has
now placed restrictions on a free press by limiting reporters
access to prisoner abuse courts martial.
The fact is, government
language is in Vietnam modewere liberating Iraq by destroying
it. You are not fighting for freedom, as the regimes propagandists
would have you believe. Military power, being an extension of politics
and business, is only as good as its political and economic leadership.
When a military has poor leadership, troops suffer. Their morale sinks
into the toilet as all their good intentions are flushed.
Perhaps you are
privately wondering about your leaders wisdomeven their
righteousnessas you risk your life or, perhaps, take the lives
of others. If youre not questioning them, I beg you start. If
you have asked and dont like the answers, do something about it
for the sake of your own humanity. The future will thank you for it.
Citizen of the World,
Veteran Submarine SONAR Technician, U.S. Navy
A Chronology of US War Crimes & Torture, 1975-2005: The Crimes of
Empire, By Tom Stephens, http://www.counterpunch.org/stephens05132005.html.
Abu Ghraib: Planet of the Bullies, by Chuck Richardson, http://www.bastardpolitics.com/planetofbullies.html.
Looking for a Deathbed
Conversion, by Chuck Richardson, http://www.bastardpolitics.com/deathbedconversion.html.
New Clothes, Part 5: America the Great, by Chuck Richardson, http://www.bastardpolitics.com/newclothes5.html.
The Beauty of Unilateral
Defiance, by Chuck Richardson, http://www.bastardpolitics.com/justsayno.html.