Volunteers for Endless War

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Being on the
road constantly and being in the trenches for peace leave me little
time (and, if truth be told, little inclination) to keep up with
George’s dishonest and oftentimes incoherent ramblings; nonetheless,
this week two of his more calculated comments caught my attention.

The first comment
was on the White House lawn on Sunday, March 19th, the 3rd anniversary
of the invasion. By the way, the White House website has entitled
this speech as "The President’s remarks on the third anniversary
of the liberation!!!! (italics and exclamation points added
by me) of Iraq." A few sentences in his short remarks were:

Ours is an
amazing nation where thousands have volunteered to serve our country.
They volunteered to – many volunteered after 9/11, knowing
full well that their time in the military could put them in harm’s

Notice how
many times George says a variation on the word "volunteer":
three times in one sentence. This caught my eye because right-wing
warniks who don’t want to take any responsibility for supporting
George’s war of terror and it’s accompanying mayhem are always reminding
me that Casey "volunteered." And you know what? The warniks
got me there! Casey did volunteer. He volunteered in May of 2000,
to, first of all, serve his country and, second of all, get the
benefits that his recruiter deceived him about. The biggest lie
that Casey’s recruiter told him was that "even if there is
a war, you won’t see combat…you scored so high on the ASVAB
test, you will only go to war in a support role." The tragic
thing about this false promise is that Casey, a Humvee mechanic,
was killed in combat five days after he arrived in Baghdad. The
truly alarming and upsetting thing about the false promise made
to Casey, though, is that recruiters are using that same lie today
to potential volunteers while our country is in the middle of an
occupation where many of our troops are being deployed for their
third and fourth tours of duty.

I believe another
aspect of George emphasizing the word "volunteer" so many
times in one sentence is that he would love to absolve himself of
the mortal sin of sending our troops to die and kill innocent people
immorally while still reaping (in his mind) the so-called benefits
of being a "war president." George Bush wants to play-act
at commander in chief, but thinks he can wash the gore of over 2300
brave human beings off of his hands by resting assured that they

I have many
other problems with this volunteer rationale too. For instance,
if one volunteers to be in the military why can’t one just "un-volunteer"
if he/she doesn’t find the lifestyle suitable; or say, if they don’t
find the mission compelling enough, or legal and moral enough to
go fight, perhaps die, and kill innocent people for?

What about
the people who volunteered after 9/11? Whatever reason they
volunteered for: revenge, patriotism, a sense of duty, a sense of
hopelessness – they all volunteered to protect America –
not be sent over to die for the war machine. They volunteered to
wear the uniform of our country which most of them didn’t know or
realize is the identical uniform of the war profiteers and that
would soon be asked to invade and occupy a country that was no threat
to the USA and neither did they truly comprehend that the very thing
they enlisted to prevent was being engineered by the neocons.

Even more exploited
than our regular military are our state’s National Guard units which
comprise almost 40 percent of the forces in Iraq and a disproportionately
high amount of the casualties. I have spoken to many of our families
who have had a national guard soldier killed in Iraq and they feel
so betrayed because their family member did not sign up to go to
Iraq – they volunteered to guard the nation.

In my opinion
the most loathsome piece of George and the warniks who support the
immorality in Iraq, while pardoning themselves for the deaths without
doing any penance, is that what they are saying is essentially this:
your loved one got what he/she deserved for volunteering
to join our armed forces. If we want to have a military to defend
our country, then it is our responsibility to elect leaders that
the entire world can depend on to use our military as an absolute
last resort to protect America – not as a first option to solve
invented problems to fulfill their lust for mammon.

The solution
to the problem of our troops being sent to die for George’s war
is obvious and simple: no one should volunteer to be cannon fodder
for this cowardly commander in chief and the war machine. Soldiers
who don’t want to go to die for George should also volunteer to
stay home. According to the Uniform
Code of Military Justice
, a soldier does not have to obey an
unlawful order. The occupation of Iraq is unlawful by all standards,
including our own constitution.

I don’t know
what the American public expected when a silver spoon failure was
"elected" to be our leader: a sub-par student who failed
at every business attempt he made and who had to be bailed out of
his failures and the Vietnam War by Daddy and his friends over his
entire lifetime. We are all human and make mistakes or do some things
that we aren’t proud of. I don’t have a problem with George being
a failure, as long as his mistakes were localized as most people’s

Now George,
who as the head of the corrupt and failed ship of our state, has
failed in Iraq in huge, D.W. Griffith epic proportions, has left
the solution and the bail-out to some "future" president.
George said in his last, unfunny stand-up comedy show, which he
likes to call a "press
" in response to a question about some undetermined,
future, non-time table-ish day when there will be no American troops
in Iraq:

That, of
course, is an objective, and that will be decided by future Presidents
and future governments of Iraq.

This is another
way for George to be bailed out of his failures and to again wash
his hands of the flesh and blood that he is up to his elbows in.
We should all be appalled, horrified, angry, and up in peaceful
arms about this statement. George just admitted that the occupation
of Iraq is lasting at least another almost three years.




The answer
to this problem is glaringly obvious: We need a new president, ASAP.
We need someone else who is willing to ask directions and change
course when it is so apparent that the course is not only wrong,
but damaging our country in palpable ways. Only a delusional, self-absorbed,
irrational person would stay such a misguided and murderous course.

It is also
conspicuously evident that even if George had the will to leave
Iraq, he doesn’t have the tools to get out of the chaos he has gotten
everybody into there. The bull can’t put the china shop back together
again and the destruction won’t stop until the bull gets out of
that china shop.

We can’t wait
for future presidents. We can’t wait for November, 2006: people
are dying everyday for volunteering – and the innocent men,
women, and children of Iraq did not volunteer to be liberated by
getting killed by the thousands.

George and
every person in his administration that lied to us need to be impeached,
removed from office and held accountable for the crimes of Iraq
and the crimes against Americans.

We can’t allow
them to get away with murder.

25, 2006

Sheehan is the mother of Spc.
Casey Austin Sheehan, KIA 04/04/04
She is co-founder of Gold
Star Families for Peace
. She is the author of Not
One More Mother’s Child
and Dear
President Bush

Sheehan Archives

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