Deserters? Or clearthinkers?

CBS is running a story about the over 5,500 (according to the Pentagon) US soldiers who have declined to participate in the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq.

There are more of them than I thought.

I applaud them. The soldiers interviewed for the story are saying the right things (right, at least from where I stand):

“I found out, basically, that they found no weapons of mass destruction. They were beginning to come out and say it’s not likely that we will find any — and the claim that they made about ties to al Qaeda was coming up short, to say the least,” says Hughey. “It made me angry, because I felt our lives were being thrown away as soldiers, basically.”

“People should have a right to say, ‘I’m not fighting in that war. That’s an illegal war. There’s illegal stuff going on the ground. I’m not going,'” says House. “And anyone who says soldiers should go to jail if they don’t fight in an illegal war is persecuting them.”

Wasn’t he supposed to follow orders? “I was told in basic training that, if I’m given an illegal or immoral order, it is my duty to disobey it,” says Hinzman. “And I feel that invading and occupying Iraq is an illegal and immoral thing to do.”

It’s good to see that so many soldiers are seeing these truths, and recognizing Empire’s invasion of Iraq for what it is. But the last quote is most interesting in terms of war criminals. If this invasion/occupation is indeed illegal and immoral, then those who participate in it are not only NOT doing their duty by obeying an immoral/illegal order, but also are war criminals.

And please don’t give me the “support the troops” nonsense. What exactly does that mean? I’ve written about this before; the best way to support them is to get them out of an impossible situation where they cannot do the right thing. I reagrd these soldiers, despite their choice to participate in this illegal invasion, as victims of this war. Their lives will require rebuilding; their souls will be marred with their participation in this war.

I hope the US recognizes its insanity and gets these people out of Iraq where they are so clearly not wanted by the local people.

But hey, at least the oil is somewhat safe, where safe means under the control of American corporations…

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