portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article questions portland metro

imperialism & war

case of the missing no support for the troops apology

the article was there about 12:pm, then it seemed to be gone about an hour later
Am I blind, or did the article below somehow disappear from the portland indy site?

newswire article commentary united states 06.Mar.2005 10:05

imperialism & war

I Cannot Support the Troops.
author: Lloyd Hart e-mail:  dadapop@dadapop.com
An open letter to all active duty U.S. Military personal.
I Cannot Support the Troops.

An open letter to all active duty U.S. Military personal.

By Lloyd Hart

Because, to support the troops I would have to support war criminals. Every soldier in Iraq and throughout the U.S. military infrastructure that continues to follow orders that support the invasion and the continued occupation of Iraq are directly or indirectly complicit in a war crime. The members of the U.S. military have had more than enough time to study the illegality of the actions that they are involved in, in Iraq. They cannot plead ignorance of the law nor of any of the criminal actions committed by superior officers or for that matter those of the Commander in Chief who set this act of genocide, this war crime in motion.

In case you are a soldier who is reading this and is unaware of the International War Crime you are committing, it is very clear in international law that I might add the U.S. helped to write and has officially endorsed, that no nation may invade another nation without clear provocation. In the case of Iraq there was absolutely no provocation, and no threat whatsoever to the United States of America being posed by an already destroyed and sanction weakened nation that could not even defend itself let alone launch an attack on the United States of America.

In your individual case, the Nuremberg trials after World War II made it very clear that you could no longer use the excuse that you were just following orders and therefore attempt to shuffle the total responsibility up the ranks. In other words you the soldier made the act of genocide, the war crime you are committing in Iraq possible by following the order without question that came down from the commander in chief, the president of the United States. More clearly, it is you the soldier who has enabled your government to go to war for an obviously corrupt reason, oil.

It is you the soldier that is ultimately responsible for following orders with the obvious criminal intent of the commander-in-chief, the president of the United States displayed in broad daylight for all see even prior to the illegal invasion of Iraq.

Even when you hold up weapons of mass destruction as the reason the U.S. opted to use the U.S. National Security Strategy of pre-emption, the invasion and continued occupation of Iraq are still international war crimes for the simple fact that Iraq did nothing against the U.S. prior to its invasion by the U.S. that could justify in international law a preemptive defensive military invasion. In fact pre-emption, the national security strategy put forth by the Bush regime prior to the invasion of Iraq and put against the backdrop of international law is an illegal strategy.

Even when you hold up the new reason for the illegal invasion and continued occupation of Iraq, democracy? There is nothing stated in international law that gives the right to the United States of America or any nation for that matter, that allows for the export of the political system in America or that of any nation to another nation by a military force. So if you as a soldier are still attempting to justify your war crime by convincing yourself you're bringing Liberty to the people of Iraq I beseech you to ask the family members of the hundred thousand Iraqi people you have helped to murder in an international war crime whether or not they feel liberated.

I realize that it is difficult for anyone to admit complicity in such horrific events, to take responsibility for one's own actions in a war crime that you may believe did not begin or originate with you but taking responsibility upon oneself is the cornerstone upon which peaceful human behavior is built. The overwhelming majority of a human being's time on Earth is spent conducting peaceful activities with the intent of causing no harm. This signifies the truest identity of a human being. What you are doing in Iraq is the exact opposite and what you are doing is punishable by law.


homepage:  http://dadapop.com

add a comment on this article

Observation 06.Mar.2005 11:05

Visitor Q link

Mr. Hart, this is an interesting position that I'm sure is inspired by the right instinct, but is problematic and misguided. The problem is rooted in the fact that the entire phenomena of "support the troops" is itself problematic.

One does not surrender the capacity for independent and critical thought by virtue of joining the military. To be sure, it's already clear that a growing number of soldiers on duty are beginning to realize what they're involved in and are being radicalized by their experience. They are speaking out, at great personal risk to themselves.

Others, of course, are not. I think it is important that we who are watching all this unfold from the safety of our own homes that the typical solider serving in Iraq -- or anywhere abroad, for that matter -- is not necessarily privy to nuances and details of the debate here in the United States. I'll bet there are a lot of kids over there who don't even know what the Nuremberg tribunals were.

Yes, we should be talking about the Nuremberg principles, and yes, there should be a passionate, rational argument made for prosecuting Bush and his war planners. There is no question ... they belong in the dock.

I think you ought to get off your high horse about not supporting the troops. Unless one is actually sending soldiers equipment and/or items to make their stay in Iraq a more comfortable experience, you aren't "supporting the troops" anyway, even if you have a silly-ass sign in your yard that says you do or a yellow ribbon bumper sticker on your gas-guzzling SUV. They are words, meaningless words, that are intended for a single purpose: to identify yourself as someone who either is fully in support of the war, or as someone who does not feel inclined to question it, but does not want to be seen by the hard-core hawks as either neutral or a war opponent. "Support the troops" is not a grassroots phenomena ... if memory serves, it was produced during the first Gulf War by those in power. You're buying into rhetoric that has hoodwinked even the people who are using it.

I would focus your rhetorical fire at the top of the political food chain. I don't see any point in calling for the head of everyone in uniform. Putting aside the element of soldiers who are truly backward and bloodthirsty, those kids over there are ultimately our allies. Certainly, they are potentially our allies. We ought to be talking to them and engaging them in a calm, rational manner ... not hollering for their arrest.
Mr Q Link 06.Mar.2005 16:26

Catalina Eddie

You're missing the point and attributing words to Lloyd Hart that he never said or implied. He is neither calling for any soldier's head, nor hollering for their arrest (although I'm sure there are some who deserve that). He is pointing out to soldiers that under international law, they are culpable.

Furthermore, barring a total defeat for the US, let's face it, those criminals in DC have nothing to fear. It's the poor zhlub on the ground that will pay for it. Bush and his cutthroats are so insulated from reality that they have no idea how thoroughly despised they are in the world. The only way they are likely to learn is if the world goes over the Amerikan people to get them. Our troops need to know this. They aren't defending home and family. They are defending the Bush Gang, so the world has to destroy their homes and families before they get justice.

Our troops need to know this.


Go to law school 06.Mar.2005 17:55

Teddy Ruxpin (The Lousy Typist)

While I do not support the war, and admit that many war crimes and war criminals are over there daily, calling all soldiers war criminals is wrong. Not morally wrong, legally wrong. There are actual laws on the books (both nationally and internationally) that define war crimes.

Being the cook for an engineer brigade is not listed.

If you believe, as I do, that the war and every aspect of it is wrong, then you can call the troops many things. But "war criminal" is not one of them. That title is reserved for very specific violations of geneva conventions, the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and other applicable laws. The war, and those fighting it, are morally wrong, but morals are not law.

You don't call the person who gives a buck to a panhandler a "drug offender" just because that panhandler may go buy herion, and you can't call a person who happens to be in a military complex that commits war crimes a war criminal. War crimes are individual. To commit a war crime, a person has to do a specific, rather than general, action or fail to act in something that is thier responsability. They must also know what they are doing is illegal (corporate press reports to the contrary, U.S. Soldiers are all given very thorough training on war crimes in boot camp.). If they are ordered to commit a war crime (a specific one, that is on the books), they are legally required to say "no." If they are tricked, however, then they are innocent of the criminal charges, even if they are still morally wrong. If thier lives are threatened (such as thier sergeant holding a gun to thier head and ordering them to commit a war crime), then they are still innocent of the crime. Military law is remarkably similar to civillian law in these respects.

Ordering farms bulldozed as retribution is a war crime. Driving that bulldozer is a war crime (both happened last year). Failing to stop it if you are in that chain of command is a war crime. Failing to report it may be depending on the circumstances. Cooking dinner for the war criminals that evening is not. Guarding the base for the war criminals is not.

If you are going to use legal terminology, use it correctly. Otherwise you look like an idiot. If you just want to say "I will not support the troops over there because what they are doing is very, very wrong," just say that.

I'm with you Tenacious 06.Mar.2005 19:59


I saw it and read it and then went elsewhere for about 5 minutes. Came back and the post was gone. I really wondered what was up. Anyone know??

I understand reluctance to the term "war criminal" 07.Mar.2005 01:45

a friend to many soldiers

I do feel we need to reserve our language and strongest penalties for those whose crimes are the greatest: those who are directing and profiting from this illegal war. However, as one with many family members in the military I still cannot give soldiers a free pass on this issue. Though I would not call them "war criminals" many are still violating the law. I could write up a long explanation but it's been said many times. Here's a writeup I like from a website worth checking out:

A Duty to Disobey All Unlawful Orders
An Advisory to US Troops



As the United States government under George Bush gets closer to attacking the people of Iraq, there are several things that the men and women of the U.S. armed forces need to know and bear in mind as they are given orders from the Bush administration. This information is provided for the use of the members of the armed forces, their families, friends and supporters, and all who are concerned about the current direction of U.S. policy toward Iraq.

The military oath taken at the time of induction reads:

"I,____________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God"

The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) 809.ART.90 (20), makes it clear that military personnel need to obey the "lawful command of his superior officer," 891.ART.91 (2), the "lawful order of a warrant officer", 892.ART.92 (1) the "lawful general order", 892.ART.92 (2) "lawful order". In each case, military personnel have an obligation and a duty to only obey Lawful orders and indeed have an obligation to disobey Unlawful orders, including orders by the president that do not comply with the UCMJ. The moral and legal obligation is to the U.S. Constitution and not to those who would issue unlawful orders, especially if those orders are in direct violation of the Constitution and the UCMJ.

During the Iran-Contra hearings of 1987, Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, a decorated World War II veteran and hero, told Lt. Col. Oliver North that North was breaking his oath when he blindly followed the commands of Ronald Reagan. As Inouye stated, "The uniform code makes it abundantly clear that it must be the Lawful orders of a superior officer. In fact it says, 'Members of the military have an obligation to disobey unlawful orders.' This principle was considered so important that we-we, the government of the United States, proposed that it be internationally applied in the Nuremberg trials." (Bill Moyers, "The Secret Government", Seven Locks Press; also in the PBS 1987 documentary, "The Secret Government: The Constitution in Crisis")

Senator Inouye was referring to the Nuremberg trials in the post WW II era, when the U.S. tried Nazi war criminals and did not allow them to use the reason or excuse that they were only "following orders" as a defense for their war crimes which resulted in the deaths of millions of innocent men, women, and children. "In 1953, the Department of Defense adopted the principles of the Nuremberg Code as official policy" of the United States. (Hasting Center Report, March-April 1991)

too you Tedy ruxphein 07.Mar.2005 05:58


As a young adult inlisting in Services, you might be better prepared to know that you are infact still on you own to be educated, simple going to war with Faith that your doing the right thing because you were being a honorable soldier is not enought. Just because Jeronamo was a great warrior does not mean he was not fully aware of his reason for His Battles, he was doing what he Proved to Be right by His people under strick laws of his own People"s ways of life.. no room for Hasty emotions just the Mission and desire of the People of his tribe.. He was educated by his anceistors and this great knowledge of there ways mad him a honorable warrior../ this said in relation to our own yung warrior in the services, simply do battle for respect of uniform as a servicmen. but were is the education of Iternational Law. or even the rules of ingagment, do they really know how disasterious not being aware of our own govermental policys can be, how they must be more able to be educated with these matters as a responsible warrior , if not to protect there own integrity but to simply protect Our nations , yes my young freind the weight of the world is on your shoulder grow up, be reponsible for your own education and look out for yourself and the Nation, learn the History of Laws not just the Laws learn the Impact of and Importance of these laws if you Fail to do this , and simply go into war with the Mind controlled (YES Sargent and comander in cheif). you will be vonerable and acusable for Lace of proper conduct... the President and your commanders can not think for you. and you even if Ignorant to the Laws as a young responible adult will be heald accountable , the Nation Integrity and honor requires you too. so with this as a leason to all who dont understant the importance of being educated, let the example be made and the will of all for the security of our Honor, be represented as a charge for your unpartioted selfrightious Uneducated act of ignorane be , a strick swift charge of (comitting war crimes).. with the Lact of real repect for the Nation because of failure to educate they self in Adult matters of war....

free pass 07.Mar.2005 14:33

Teddy Ruxpin (The Lousy Typist)

The comments from "a friend to many soldiers" are pretty much in line with what I was trying to say. There is a difference between "wrong" and "war crime wrong." A person can be innocent of war crimes without being innocent of everything else.

I have taken the oath of enlistment in the U.S. Military, twice, when I was a soldier in the U.S. Army. That is how I know that soldiers are well aware of what the law requires of them (which is why I called "bullshit" oh the abhu gharaib soldiers who claimed ignorance of the law). Troops know the difference between an illegal order and a legal one, it occupies at least a week of classroom training, on-the-spot questioning fro drill sergeants and oral testing. And many times in those training sessions, I was ordered to disobey any future orders that violated the laws of land warfare (I imagine the Navy folks got similar lectures on sea warfare). The "obigation to disobey unlawful orders" is not something that only a few people know about, EVERY soldier know of this. Those that still fail to disobey are therefore even MORE wrong than previously thought.

And again, you can be a member of a military force that acts illegally without acting illegally yourself. When I was a soldier, I was told (I don't know how accurate this is, but it seemed about right) that around 10% of the army actually was comprised of "combat troops." The other 90% were cooks, truck drivers, dental assistants, training sergeants, analysts, mechanics, supply pilots, staff officers, military police, chaplains, water purification specialists, radio operators, lifeguards at the base pool, clerks at the base fishing boat rental shop, etc. etc. etc.

In this day and age, it is pretty wrong to be a soldier (since they are all volunteers of varying degrees). So you can make up your own mind how much weight to apply to their military status. What you can not do is apply the term "war criminal" to anyone that did not personally order or commit one of the specific things listed as war crimes.

Don't worry, there is no shortage of those people, you are in no danger of running out of war criminals to target.

ps- I would comment on the posting by "memyselfandI," but it is hard. For starters, www.openoffice.org is a free word processor that has spell check. I am a lousy typist, but even I can not compare to your spelling errors. You go on to cite Jeronimo as a great warrior who still knew al the details of WHY he was at war. Fine, but he was not a private; he was a general. You can not use the actions of one general to explain the position of a modern private. Jeronimo's privates likely knew no more than our current crop of FOX News viewing teenage troops. I am not sure what else you are trying to get at, but good luck.