Monday, November 20, 2006

No Honor in Contientious Objector Aguayo's Court Martial

Here are moving excerpts from the heart, of Agustin Aguayo, an Army medic facing court martial for refusing to redeploy to Iraq. I must say that, especially after seeing Flags of Our Fathers, it is not unreasonable to me that somebody would object on personal and religious grounds to waging war. Only those who have been there could possibly have any idea of what it entails to go to war. The Bush chain of command got it wrong on this one too. It is no dishonor to stand up for what you believe. The prosecution is discretionary, so the Army can only be motivated on political grounds and from an effort to preserve discipline in the unfortunate ranks of the disaffected and demoralized. I can't quite understand what we are fighting for at this time, except to give cover to somebody's big mistake. It was senseless to start this war and senseless to continue to wage it. Even the former Secretary of State and senior statesman Dr. Henry Kissinger was heard on CNN last night, saying this war can't be won. And if you can't win then what's the point? Agustin's statement can be found on his website:

My beliefs and morals come from a transformation as a direct result of my combined religious/family upbringing, military experience, and new experiences I’ve created and sought. Such as, I have surrounded myself with people who cherish life and peace. I have become an active member and supporter of many peace organizations such as The Center on Conscience & War, Military Counseling Network, The Munich Peace Committee, and American Voices Abroad. I have overhauled my life with new practices such as the peaceful art of Yoga and meditation. As time progresses (it has been more than two and a half years since I became a CO) my beliefs have only become more firm and intense. I believe that participating in this (or any) deployment would be fundamentally wrong, and therefore I cannot and will not participate. I believe that to do so, I would be taking part in organized killing and condoning war missions and operations. I object, on the basis of my religious training and belief, to participating in any war. I have to take a stand for my principles, values, and morals and I must let my conscience be my guide.

In my last deployment, I witnessed how soldiers dehumanize the Iraqi people with words and actions. I saw countless innocent lives which were shortened due to the war. I still struggle with the senselessness of it all – Iraqi civilians losing their lives because they drove too close to a convoy or a check point, soldiers' being shot by mistake by their own buddies, misunderstandings (due to the language barrier) leading to death. This is not acceptable to me. It makes no sense that to better the lives of these civilians they must first endure great human loss. This, too, is clear and convincing evidence to me that all war is evil and a harmful.

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