Veterans and active-duty service members respond to Obama's speech on Afghanistan war escalationThe statement below was issued by March Forward!, an organization of veterans and active-duty service members affiliated with the ANSWER Coalition.
Sisters and brothers,
On Dec. 1, we got a clear order from President Obama. For many more years, we will be sent to kill, to die, to be maimed and wounded, in a war where victory is impossible, against a people who are not our enemies.
For over eight years, we have come home in coffins, in wheelchairs, with our skin burned and with our days and nights haunted by the trauma of war. We return home to a VA whose services are so inadequate that active duty soldiers who succumb to suicide outnumber those killed in combat.
The suffering we and our families must cope with is shared by the people of Afghanistan, a people who did nothing except be born in one of the most impoverished countries on the planet, which Washington saw decades ago as a strategic region for trade, resources and the launching of future wars.
The Afghanistan war is not a war to help the Afghan people, and it is certainly not a war for national defense. It is a colonial-type war. It is a war like every other war the U.S. has waged; a war based on lies and false rationales, serving only to expand the reach of U.S. corporate interests.
Many of us joined the U.S. military because we believed we would be standing for something honorable and just; that we would be defending our families and helping those in need. But this is the great lie peddled by the military brass. And this is the great lie President Obama has just repeated to the world.
We soldiers are the muscle used to colonize the world for the rich. This is why all of usthose currently serving in the U.S. military, and all those who have servedhave common cause.
Obamas announcement to continue and vastly escalate the war in Afghanistan is a death sentence for us and our sisters and brothers in uniform. Why should we fight in this war? Why should we risk being killed, or losing our limbs, or being permanently disfigured, or enduring a lifetime of PTSD? Why should we leave our families and our children behind, why should we watch our friends die, why should we destroy the lives of innocent people who have done nothing to harm us?
We should not!March Forward! supports the right of all service members to refuse illegal and immoral orders.
Orders to deploy to Afghanistan and Iraq are just that: illegal and immoral. We have no reason to fight in these wars, and we have every right to refuse to be a part of them.March Forward! calls on all service members to refuse orders to deploy to Afghanistan and Iraq.
We offer our unconditional support and solidarity. Join us in the fight to ensure that no more soldiers or civilians lose their lives in these criminal wars.
This is not our war!If you or someone in your family is a veteran or active-duty service member and you would like to join March Forward!, sign up on www.MarchForward.org