Monday, May 24, 2004

Military Families Speak Out in support of Conscientious Objector

Camilo Mejia, a conscientious objector, has been sentenced to a year in prison for deserting. Jeremy Sivits, one of the participating Military Police at Abu Ghraib who told investigators about the abuse-torture, has been sentenced to a year in prison ...hmm.

Mejia is the first soldier returning from Iraq to attempt to claim conscientious objector status. He has the support of his family and friends as well as other veterans. There is a growing movement of family and friends of current soldiers in Iraq in addition to current soldiers and veterans of previous wars opposed to the occupation of Iraq. Organizing occurs around this shared political opposition to the Bush administration forcing one's self or loved ones into harms way - around a theme of sacrifice for what? Of course there are many different individual positions within the group, however, this is the common ground able to bring people together.

If you are interested in this portion of the current anti-war movement two website of interest are http://www.mfso.org/ (Military Families Speak Out), and http://www.bringthemhomenow.org/. There are many more veterans against war websites, while these two focus on families-of-soldiers, which is a relatively new way of organizing.

5 Comments:

At 11:36 AM, Blogger Goesh said...

Now, now! One must not make a mountain out of a mole hill here - one must not invoke a false collective and assert that military families en masse are hitting the streets in protest. Would Bush et.al. minimize this counter message? Of course - no one believes the players at that level are in it for patriotic reasons, including Kerry. The voice of dissent we are seeing is far from that seen during the Viet Nam war and the timeline of engagement there will be 1/5th of what it was back then - no, don't expect much street stuff with this war. What is of interest is the lack of legitimacy and credence afforded these voices of such direct and intimate dissent by the media - they are not getting much air time, are they? Why is that? That is what needs to be addressed here - the message is controled by its means of dissemination, not its import. Shame on the Liberal press and intelligentsia! Has the lack of a draft taken the wind out of their sails?? What impact does the nature of an all volunteer military with relatively high pay and good benefits have on the viability of the voices of dissent? Other than then the troops themselves and their families, is there a legitmate voice for them? I think not, and perhaps none is really needed. Does this then account for the lack of exposure given to the voices of dissent by the Liberal media, or is it sadly the lack of reception of the message because it simply doesn't sell? War is hell for the direct participants and a real quandry for the observors.

 
At 6:31 PM, Blogger Erin said...

Military Families Speak Out is an organization (MFSO - http://www.mfso.org/), which is what I was referring to.

 
At 9:03 PM, Blogger Goesh said...

Abu Ghraib: What galls me the most is that amidst all the tongue clucking, tsk-tsking and cries of outrage, comes the statement oft repeated, " We are better than that". Are we now? Gimme' a damn break! Amidst the bodies of all the children beaten to death in this nation every year, from the morgues across the nation filled with dead victims of gun violence, from the domestic violence shelters filled with victims to maximum capactiy (talk about domestic terrorism), from our prisons overflowing, from countless city dwellers afraid to venture out at night, from all the date rapes and other rapes, from all the muggings and armed robberies occuring every day in this nation, comes the the assertion, "We are better than that" ?? sheesh!

The same pompous Senators and Representatives expressing their outrage and conducting their hearings will in due time provide funding for domestic abuse shelters and shelters for battered children, but we are better than mistreating Iraqi prisoners?? My god! I have some crisp bills that say the perpetrators of the prisoner abuse do not have any criminal record of past violent behavior, and I bet ol' B.F. Skinner is laughing himself silly in his grave. I remember the behavior modification experiments that resulted in college students painfully shocking volunteers in a mock incarceration setting, in which authority and control issues were being examined and assessed. You bet - tiny, minor little shocks for broken rules slowly escalated into some serious electrical shocks that resulted in the experiment being ended. And we are better than that?

We live in a culture that glorifies violence, from consenting adults that participate in hard corps S&M to powerful athletes battering each other on the football field, hockey arena and in the boxing ring - nope, I don't hear any outrage over bleeding sports figures and the occasional death. Consenting adults and paid athletes makes the imagary acceptable and not morally repugnant? is that it? surely we are better than that.

 
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