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Wed Jun 27, 2012, 11:19 AM

Hell no, we won't go to Afghanistan! Vets & active duty military - new campaign (pic heavy)



Our Lives, Our Rights

Our Lives, Our Rights is a March Forward! campaign led by active-duty troops, veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and war resisters whose mission is to reach-out to and educate U.S. service members about their rights, help exercise those rights and advocate for those rights. Among these rights is the right to be a Conscientious Objector to war and refuse deployment to Afghanistan.







Military deaths, suicides lead to 'opt-out' campaign

"Our Lives, Our Rights" aims to provide U.S. service members with information about their legal rights, in particular their right to refuse deployment. It is premised on the belief that thousands of U.S. service members already qualify as Conscientious Objectors, or qualify to be exempt from deployment for mental health reasons, but are unaware of or afraid to exercise those rights.

"Our Lives, Our Rights" will organize U.S. service members, veterans, military families and supporters to reach out to active-duty troops with the information they need to avert deployment or military service, and provide support to those exercising those rights. The campaign will also make public U.S. troops who choose to take a stand, and produce educational literature on why U.S. troops should not deploy to Afghanistan.

Additionally, the campaign will seek to give legal help and a voice to service members being mistreated by their chain of command, who are AWOL, who claim to have experienced sexual harassment or anti-LGBT bigotry, who are battling the mental health system or medical discharge process, or who want to expose war crimes.

"After two deployments to Iraq, I saw the reality of the war, and had the moral epiphany that I could no longer take part in them,” said campaign co-founder Fort Lewis Army Infantry Staff Sergeant Kevin Baker. “When I received orders for my third combat deployment, I simply said 'no.' I was honorably discharged with full benefits."


Snips from the Our Lives, Our Rights statements page with links to the articles for each:

Washington cuts families’ heat to fuel Afghan war
Washington prioritizes an endless, unpopular war over the human rights of working families.
http://www.answercoalition.org/march-forward/campaign/our-lives-our-rights/statements/washington-cuts-families.html|

Pentagon brags about drop in troop deaths after deadliest month in Afghanistan
http://www.answercoalition.org/march-forward/campaign/our-lives-our-rights/statements/pentagon-brags-about-drop-in.html

Bloodshed far from over in Iraq and Afghanistan
http://www.answercoalition.org/march-forward/campaign/our-lives-our-rights/statements/pentagon-brags-about-drop-in.html

Active-duty soldier: “I will not go to war again”
Specialist Danny Birmingham learned first-hand what the war in Iraq is all about. Now he's refusing to take part in the Pentagon's wars ever again.
http://www.answercoalition.org/march-forward/campaign/our-lives-our-rights/statements/active-duty-soldier-i-will.html


Troop morale plummets in a war without purpose
Soldiers and Marines in Afghanistan are suffering the highest rates of psychological problems since 2005. Similarly, troop morale is down the drain.
http://www.answercoalition.org/march-forward/campaign/our-lives-our-rights/statements/troop-morale-plummets-in-a.html


Demand justice for SSG Jared Hagemann

Staff Sergeant Jared Hagemann, an Army Ranger in 2/75th Ranger Regiment at Ft. Lewis, Wash., was found dead from suicide just weeks before he was scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan—for a 9th combat tour.
http://www.answercoalition.org/march-forward/campaign/our-lives-our-rights/statements/demand-justice-for-ssg-jared.html

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And so much more at the link.

26 replies, 2654 views

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Reply Hell no, we won't go to Afghanistan! Vets & active duty military - new campaign (pic heavy) (Original post)
tpsbmam Jun 2012 OP
SammyWinstonJack Jun 2012 #1
snot Jun 2012 #2
Ghost of Huey Long Jun 2012 #3
TwilightGardener Jun 2012 #4
tpsbmam Jun 2012 #6
TwilightGardener Jun 2012 #7
tpsbmam Jun 2012 #9
TwilightGardener Jun 2012 #17
raouldukelives Jun 2012 #8
tpsbmam Jun 2012 #10
PavePusher Jun 2012 #12
raouldukelives Jun 2012 #24
PavePusher Jun 2012 #25
raouldukelives Jun 2012 #26
Marrah_G Jun 2012 #16
PavePusher Jun 2012 #11
TwilightGardener Jun 2012 #18
Marrah_G Jun 2012 #15
TwilightGardener Jun 2012 #20
Marrah_G Jun 2012 #23
Eyerish Jun 2012 #5
annabanana Jun 2012 #13
Comrade_McKenzie Jun 2012 #14
PavePusher Jun 2012 #19
Tierra_y_Libertad Jun 2012 #21
EFerrari Jun 2012 #22

Response to tpsbmam (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 11:24 AM

1. rec.

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Response to tpsbmam (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 11:35 AM

2. K&R'd and bookmarked!

Those are the soldiers whose courage I most admire.

"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of leaders . . . . and millions have been killed because of this obedience . . . ."
– Howard Zinn, Failure to Quit (South End Press, 2002; originally published 1993)

"Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? . . . But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. . . . All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger."
– Hermann Goering, per Nuremberg Diary (Farrar, Straus & Co 1947), by Gustave Gilbert

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Response to tpsbmam (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 11:36 AM

3. right on! Love this!!!

 



'Rather go to jail than be involved in oppressing other working people for the rich'

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Response to tpsbmam (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 11:42 AM

4. That first photo, where the AF Staff Sgt. says he enlisted for educational and financial reasons--

uh, no. Doesn't matter what you hope to get out of your enlistment, you enlisted to do whatever they tell you, including fighting and dying somewhere you don't want to be. I understand he doesn't want to go or be part of a war, but that's exactly why they pay him and support his family.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #4)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 12:21 PM

6. It's the reason a lot of people enlist.....what's wrong with the guy's enlightenment

once in the military and coming to understand what it's all about. It's perfectly legit to join and then get a clue as to the true nature of the military industrial complex (and now the terrorism industrial complex) and the occupations in Iraq & Afghanistan. I'd venture a guess that LOTS of active duty military & vets have this awakening after they join and they're deployed in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. So what's wrong with that?

Joining the military for financial stability and educational opportunities is exactly how we keep the military staffed in this country of fewer and fewer opportunities for poorer Americans....and why it assures that the military will be part and parcel of the increasing class divisions in the US.

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Response to tpsbmam (Reply #6)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 12:33 PM

7. When my husband enlisted, it was during a time of peace (post-first-Gulf War).

He needed a paycheck, and signed up. But he knew that ultimately he gave up control of his own life, to a large degree, and his training left him in NO doubt as to what they might ask him to do someday. And it came to pass in the past decade. This staff sgt has probably only been in at most 8-10 years, based on normal rank progression. He re-enlisted DURING the wars, so he knew what he was doing. He needs to serve out his time, and then get out. It's really that simple.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #7)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 01:26 PM

9. Understood.....but you're still not addressing my initial response to you....

why is it not possible for troops in THESE wars to realize how wrong they are and launch their protests/refusals to participate in more of THESE wars? Your husband's experience is his experience....not the same.

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Response to tpsbmam (Reply #9)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 02:30 PM

17. I have no problem with that, as long as they take themselves out of active duty before

protesting or refusing to deploy. Believe me, almost NO ONE on active duty wants to deploy to the middle east anymore. There aren't too many gung-ho kids left, after 10-11 years.

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Response to tpsbmam (Reply #6)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 01:23 PM

8. One reason why they like to get them so young.

Easier to train them to attack without hesitation or empathy. Sadly though this can lead to soldiers who do gain enlightenment suddenly coming face to face with the realization they have been nothing more than a paid killer. I think that is one reason they cling to the notion of them being "volunteers". Who wants to identify with helping to kill and intimidate people for a paycheck? They play them like fiddles. Bombarding them with propaganda about patriotism, freedom and keeping grandma safe. If they can stay immersed in that carefully constructed worldview where they are Christian warriors defending the honor & memory of Jefferson & Washington they can make it through life just fine in my limited experience. Sadly however, if one of them starts to question things slightly. If that facade slips just a little. It can crumble down in an instant leading to lifelong remorse and sometimes to the horror of friends and family, suicide.

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Response to raouldukelives (Reply #8)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 01:26 PM

10. Well said. nt

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Response to raouldukelives (Reply #8)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 01:33 PM

12. May I ask what your familiarity level with military life is?

 

Last edited Wed Jun 27, 2012, 02:38 PM - Edit history (1)

Because you seem to have bought in to a bunch of stereotypes/memes that aren't actually reflected in reality.

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Response to PavePusher (Reply #12)

Thu Jun 28, 2012, 12:03 PM

24. Well I am bit pessimistic with regards to the military these days.

I've had family members serve in just about every major war and even the recent "wars". The ones I know who served in WWII and Korea were some of my favorite people ever, even if they were Reagan supporters. My Uncle who landed at Normandy was one of the finest human beings I have had the privilege of knowing. They were kind and loving. There was no fear or hate in their eyes.

The ones who served in Vietnam seemed to me somehow different. There was a marked change in their attitudes, emotions and mental health. Neither one was a joy to wake up in the morning. Sadly one couldn't deal with whatever demons he was carrying. He would awake screaming in the night, started drinking heavily and after a few years one night drove off a cliff at 90mph. The other is now a rabid Fox News viewer and a firm supporter of our military and its current missions.

The ones who have served in our recent "wars" strike me as returning in much the same way as those from Vietnam. They are depressed, angry and lash out friends and family members. They have trouble sleeping, they are seeking self medication through alcohol and drugs. They have a very self destructive tendency that I never felt from my family members who served in the Big Red One. Who also witnessed the horrors and tragedies of warfare.

I think something happened in the military. War is war, killing is killing. These haven't changed. But something has changed. I almost think the service is different now from the way it was in 1940. Almost as if the military has tried to create ways to make better killers. Killers who don't hesitate, who don't question, who don't have a strong moral backbone. Mind you this is my own personal feeling about it. I have no personal, first hand experience serving in the military so I may just be talking out of my orifice. But the way my older family members were affected by war and the way the more recent ones have been seem vastly different to me. Almost as if the military did something that messed up their minds to the reality of killing and its consequences on their long term mental well-being. I have seen fear, anger and hate in many of my friends and family who served in Iraq or Nam. I never saw it at all in those who served in the 40's and 50's.

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Response to raouldukelives (Reply #24)

Thu Jun 28, 2012, 01:31 PM

25. How old are you? Did you see those WWII and Korea vets immediately after they came home?

 

Or several decades or more afterwards? I strongly suspect you are neglecting to take into consideration that those older vets have had many years to come to terms with anything they experienced, while more recent vets are still working out these things.

I think you've also neglected to consider that WWII and Korea were "popular" wars, with nearly unanimous support of the civilian population. VN and the SW Asia wars have not been treated as such, and from my experience many people have let that bleed over into their view and treatment of recent vets. You'd be cranky too if you came home from a year of people shooting at or bombing you and got a bellyful of "You're a corporate-puppet killer" or the looks of suspicion and anger and hate and fear in so many of the civilians who sent you there with their votes.

Don't let the politics slant your vision of the people.

Edit: See comment #14 if you need to know what I am refering to.

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Response to PavePusher (Reply #25)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 02:43 AM

26. That is very true. It had been decades between my knowing

of my Uncle and his service time. Still, I'm almost convinced that somehow the military added more psychological training for warfare or in some way changed the way recruits are treated & taught in boot camp from the way they were in 1940. And not in a way as to generate more empathy towards potential targets.
As far as politics slanting my vision of the people. That is hard for me to come to terms with. If I disagree with an action I don't condone others doing it. Whatever it is. I don't want to demean anyone or question the validity of anyone's service. I am very grateful for the time, energy and life that every veteran has put on the line. I know members of the Armed Services are never to question why. Only to perform. But it almost seems like they are only ones who do follow a creed anymore. The people in charge who send them to war don't care for creeds or codes of honor or duty to country. They sell us out at almost every turn. The armchair warriors who invest in military stocks and profit from these unending wars care nothing for the physical or mental well-being of returning troops. I don't think it was like that in the "old days" but maybe it was.
And as you said, they were popular wars. Wars that people actually supported. Not just the ones looking to make some money. I think that also accounts for a large amount of the issues some veterans might feel today.
But that's why we have to make sure we get people in leadership who understand the horror of war and the ideal that it truly is the last resort, an act of desperation when all else has failed, the unleashing of our bravest & boldest to save our founding principles and to ensure peace.

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Response to raouldukelives (Reply #8)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 01:57 PM

16. Not all military jobs are such as you describe.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #4)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 01:30 PM

11. Actually, that's a Master Sergeant, E-7...

 

and by his statement, he needs to be discharged right the fuck now.

And posssibly Article 15'd (or CM'd) prior.

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Response to PavePusher (Reply #11)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 02:33 PM

18. Ooops, didn't look at the stripes. Yes, he knows why they pay him, then--not a kid anymore.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #4)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 01:56 PM

15. My son is in the AF Nat guard

He enlisted for two reasons
A) They are paying all his tuition, bonuses
B) He wants to be an aerospace engineer

He knows that the trade off for the benefits he is receiving means that someday he might have to deploy into a hostile situation. He accepts this, he trains for this, he is amazingly good at this, especially for a 19 year old. We all hope that his talents only have to be used in local relief efforts or if the President is in town, but who knows what the future holds.

Your post is right on the money. Once you make that commitment, you no longer get to choose the when and wheres.

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Response to Marrah_G (Reply #15)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 02:45 PM

20. I hope he has a good experience and stays safe!

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #20)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 03:13 PM

23. He loves it

He is like a member of the geek squad for the MIB He is the baby geek in a unit/division full of geeks and loving every minute.

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Response to tpsbmam (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 11:44 AM

5. K&R

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Response to tpsbmam (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 01:39 PM

13. THIS, my friends, is Bravery. . . . . .n/t

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Response to tpsbmam (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 01:48 PM

14. Good for them. I have a lot more respect for them than those that go and kill without questions. nt

 

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Response to Comrade_McKenzie (Reply #14)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 02:40 PM

19. Yeah, we're just a bunch of baby-killers, right?

 

Seriously, that's exactly how your fucktarded comment comes across to an actual military member.

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Response to tpsbmam (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 02:49 PM

21. Bravo to them. And, to hell with the politicians who send them to fight.

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Response to tpsbmam (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 03:00 PM

22. K&R

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