Ok, I said it. I await the bombardment of rebuttals. I know, they're young, they're brainwashed. Many of them are dead or seriously wounded. Don't they deserve our support? Yes, only however if they wake up and realize they are contributing to the demise of our freedoms, not the protection of them, as has been claimed in many newspaper editiorials and letters to the editor. The longer the troops stay in Iraq and Afghanistan, occupying these countries with force and in an increasing number of cases, with brutal torture and assassinations, the more likely it is that more "terrorists" will come after us here and everywhere our troops are stationed around the world. Enough of this knee jerk patriotism that has so many of us in a holding pattern, afraid to speak the obvious. The troops are not defending our freedoms. They are destroying them, along with any last vestige of reputation for democracy this country had. Who I do support are the few individuals inside the military who are speaking out, who are refusing to serve in this illegal and immoral war. Brave soldiers like Lt. Ehren Watada and Sgt. Kevin Benderman and US Army Specialist Suzanne Swift who are refusing to deploy to Iraq and are facing years in prison for their courageous stands. They deserve our support.
What the rest of the troops deserve is a wake up call from their conscience. Let's do everything in our power to rouse the troops to take the lead from the thousands of military men and women in the Vietnam war who stood up and said no to an illegal war. Let them learn the lessons illustrated in the film "Sir, No Sir". And let them take inspiration from their peers who are saying no to participating in a war of aggression against two of the poorest, most ravaged countries in the world. Bring them home, but first bring them to their senses.