Ending the War

As we approach the fifth anniversary of the war in Iraq, there is no end of the war in sight. The Republicans, although some of them might be upset with how the war has turned out, are still a bunch of crazed warmongers. They have shown that they love war as long as it is a Republican war. And as we already knew, Republicans love the military-industrial complex and the security-industrial complex. The Democrats who began their control of Congress last year have done nothing to stop the war. They have continually caved in to Bush’s demands for more money for the war. They have no plans to impeach the war criminals who lied us into war. Of course, if it was a Democratic president who had started the war, they would be all for it. None of the current or former presidential candidates (except Ron Paul) have any real plans to end the war. Some want to escalate it. Some want to change its course. Others talk of gradually withdrawing some troops. They are all (except Ron Paul) dedicated to continuing Bush’s “war on terror” and maintaining the U.S. empire of troops and bases that encircles the globe. The American people, the majority of whom say that they no longer support the war, have shown by their yellow ribbons, their “I Support the Troops” signs, and their voting patterns in the presidential caucuses and primaries that they are not as opposed to the war as they claim. Evangelical Christians continue to be among the most vocal supporters of the war. Even Christians who have become disillusioned about the war, can be found — because of their love affair with the U.S. military — talking out of both sides of their mouth. They condemn the war but then urge us to condone it when they recite their “pray for the troops” mantra. “Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be” (James 3:10). There are other signs as well. The temporary troop surge will apparently now never end. And the secretary of Defense wants to expand the army by some 65,000 soldiers. Then there are the permanent bases and the fortified embassy. Can this war be stopped? Can anyone stop this war? Since we can’t rely on Congress or political candidates or the typical American or even Christians who supposedly follow the “Prince of Peace,” there is only one way I see to end this war. The only ones who can end this war, and end it now, once and for all, are the troops themselves. After all, it is the troops that are doing the actual fighting, bleeding, dying — not the Congress. It is the troops that are bringing death, destruction, and heartache to the people of Iraq — not the political candidates. It is the troops that are dropping the bombs — not the typical American. It is the troops that are firing the bullets — not Christian warmongers. I was told by one of my critics that he agreed with me on the point of not fighting illegal and unjust wars, but that doing so was not the fault of the soldiers. Well then, whose fault is it? No one is doing the fighting except the soldiers. It doesn’t matter who told them to fight or what the reason is that they were told to fight. If the troops stop warring, the war will stop. It will not gradually come to an end, it will grind to a halt. First, we don’t need any more fresh meat sent to Iraq. Every soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine ordered to Iraq should refuse to go. Everyone in the Guard or Reserve should refuse to go. Every serviceman home on leave should refuse to go back. Second, every member of the military in Iraq should refuse to drop a bomb, go on a patrol, fire his weapon, or do anything offensive. And third, every soldier in Iraq should try to come home on the first plane or the first ship he can commandeer. Don’t sit there and tell me that it won’t work. It is a simple matter. In each of these scenarios, there will be too few telling too many that they must continue fighting the war. Now, what will it take for this to come to pass? The hearts and minds of the troops must be changed. They must realize that by fighting in Iraq they are not defending our freedoms, avenging the United States for 9/11, stopping al Qaeda, fighting terrorism, protecting Israel, or fighting them “over there” so we don’t have to fight them “over here.” They are not liberating Iraq or bringing democracy to Iraq. They are in fact engaging in a war crime and perpetrating genocide against the Iraqi people. And as I wrote about the troops being responsible for their actions: Until U.S. soldiers concede that the war was a grave mistake, they will keep on fighting. Until U.S. soldiers accept responsibility for their actions, they will keep on killing. Until U.S. soldiers understand that the state is a lying, stealing, and killing machine, they will continue their state-sanctioned death and destruction. Until U.S. soldiers realize that they are but cannon fodder for the state, they will keep dying for a lie. These are hard sayings. But until each individual soldier stops and asks the question: “What am I doing in Iraq?” (or as the case may be: “What the ——— am I doing in Iraq?”), there is no chance of this war coming to an end. The troops are our only hope. Whatever steps they take to end this war, I applaud them. Whatever resistance they give the warfare state, I support them. Dear reader, I hope you will do likewise.