Thursday, March 31, 2005

Defending a soldiers choice to follow their consciences

Defending a soldiers choice to follow their consciences


March 04, 2005

As American opponents of the war and occupation in Iraq, we are cognizant that some 5,500 US soldiers, according to Pentagon figures, have decided to refuse combat for reasons of conscience, and are in grave danger of persecution by the Bush Administration for their bravery. Although they are part of the U.S. "voluntary army", their choices were determined in large part by economic forces and the aggressive and misleading recruiting drives of the Pentagon which even penetrate our high schools. Since signing up, however, they have realized the true nature of the war, and refuse to kill or die for a mistake. We are committed to defending of their choice to follow their consciences instead of the dictates of the State.

These young men and women will live in peril � unless a sanctuary is established in Canada or other countries known for their anti-war sentiment and independence. We respectfully appeal to the people of Canada and their elected officials to fashion a policy of refugee sanctuary for these Americans facing threats and prosecution. We hope that the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board grants protection to Jeremy Hinzman in the case currently before its panel, but also hope to engage our Canadian friends in a collaboration that leads to sanctuary.

We are aware of the public and private economic and diplomatic pressures which may be brought to bear on the sovereign Canadian people and their government by the Bush Administration in its effort to prevent the spread of international opposition and sanctuary. We are deeply thankful for the cross-border solidarity that existed in the Vietnam era, and hope that a similar solidarity once again overcomes the current Administration�s arrogance of power.

Signators (affiliation for identification only)

Tom Hayden, Iraq Project; Ira Arlook; Anthony Arnove, editor; Rev. Ed Bacon, All Saints Church, Pasaddena; Gioconda Belli, poet and author; Medea Benjamin, Global Exchange; Larry Bensky, Pacifica Radio; Norman Birnbaum, author; Rev. Richard Bunce; Leslie Cagan, United for Peace and Justice; Tim Carpenter, Progressive Democrats of America; Jeff Cohen, media critic; Rev. James Conn, United Methodist Urban Ministry; Harvey Cox, professor, Harvard Divinity School; Bernadine Dohrn; Peter Dreier, professor, Occidental College; Daniel Ellsberg; Jodie Evans, Code Pink; Mike Farrell; Chellis Glendenning, author; Robert Gottlieb, professor, Occidental College; Robert Greenwald, filmmaker; Richard Falk, professor, author; Rabbi Steven Jacobs; Mimi Kennedy, actress; Rev. Peter Laarman, Progressive Christians Uniting; Saul Landau, professor, filmmaker; Robert Lifton, Harvard Seminar on Mass Violence; Staughton Lynd, historian, author; Michael McAvoy, dean, New College; Pilar Perez, editor; Sarah Pillsbury, producer; Joan Sekler, filmmaker; Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Shalom Center; Leonard Weinglass, attorney; Gail Zappa; Maurice Zeitlin, professor, UCLA; Howard Zinn, historian, author.

1 Comments:

Blogger Bob said...

Great post, skip!

Do you have a link to where you found it? Pop'er in the post.

Good to see you in action on the blog.

12:20 AM  

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