US soldiers speak out against Iraq

#1
Pardon me if this is old news:

Seaman Jonathan Hutto has set up an anti-war website that has supposedly attracted hundreds of active-duty soldiers. Now they're looking to be heard.

You can get viewpoints here and here..

His website is here.

Google that chap's name. He has an interesting background.

I enlisted in the United States Navy in January of 2004. After having worked at non-profit organizations and an unsuccessful stint at teaching 5th grade post graduating from Howard University in 1999, I was searching for a clean slate, a chance to repay my student loans and obtain a new lease on life. However, what I found was an institutional culture laced with discriminatory behavior based on race, gender, sexual orientation and geography. I still remember the West Virginia recruit in my division in boot camp being asked repeatedly by our Chief Petty Officer (E7) whether or not he had ever slept with his cousin.

Upon arriving on my ship in the summer of 2004, I realized my adjusting to the existing culture within the shop would be impossible. Racial and sexual remarks were constantly made to both males and females. One petty officer (E4) was notorious for his comments admiring the Ku Klux Klan and Adolf Hitler . I vividly remember this same petty officer making derogatory statements regarding the national celebration of Dr. King ‘s birthday. Every-time I related these incidents to the chain of command, it was always excused and swept under the rug.

In the summer of 2005, during the evaluation process, I wrote my Chief Petty Officer (E7) and Senior Chief Petty Officer (E8) a two and half page memo detailing the gross equal opportunity abuses in my shop and the need for reform. The result was me being targeted as an agitator and not being a team player. As usual, my complaints were ignored and business as usual continued in the shop.
More of that article here.
 
#2
U.S. troops call for Iraq withdrawal
Yahoo News
Link
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - More than 200 active duty U.S. armed service members, fed up with the war in Iraq, have joined an unusual protest calling for withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country, organisers said on Wednesday.

The campaign, called the Appeal for Redress from the War in Iraq, is the first of its kind in the Iraq war and takes advantage of U.S. Defence Department rules allowing active duty troops to express personal opinions to members of Congress without fear of retaliation, organisers said.

"As a patriotic American proud to serve the nation in uniform, I respectfully urge my political leaders in Congress to support the prompt withdrawal of all American military forces and bases from Iraq," states the appeal posted on the campaign's Web site at www.appealforredress.org.
 
#3
BTW, just to be clear, I don't agree with this man. He sounds like an attention whore to me. Look at his activist past. Why he joined the military after we invaded Iraq and then bitches about it is beyond me.
It's one thing for those who enlisted in the wake of 9/11 and got dragged into Iraq, but it's another for people like Hutto and myself who enlisted in the US military after 2003. I don't agree with the way the war is being fought, but I will bloody well do my duty until I die, because I volunteered. Cnut.
Lefties here in America don't seem to understand the difference between "we're losing this war because we're fighting it badly" and "we're losing this war because it's wrong".

PS: So, why did Hutto join the Navy? Well, based on his own writings, it sounds like it had nothing to do with patriotism and everything to do with being unable to find civilian employment despite holding a degree from a respectable university. Any other suggestions appreciated.
 
#4
cheesypoptart said:
BTW, just to be clear, I don't agree with this man. He sounds like an attention whore to me. Look at his activist past. Why he joined the military after we invaded Iraq and then bitches about it is beyond me.
It's one thing for those who enlisted in the wake of 9/11 and got dragged into Iraq, but it's another for people like Hutto and myself who enlisted in the US military after 2003. I don't agree with the way the war is being fought, but I will bloody well do my duty until I die, because I volunteered. Cnut.
Lefties here in America don't seem to understand the difference between "we're losing this war because we're fighting it badly" and "we're losing this war because it's wrong".

PS So, why did Hutto join the Navy? Well, based on his own writings, it sounds like it had nothing to do with patriotism and everything to do with being unable to find civilian employment despite holding a degree from a respectable university. Any other suggestions appreciated.
Here's the original Washington Post story. Gives a little more flavour than the Reuter's copy.


Grass-Roots Group of Troops Petitions Congress for Pullout From Iraq

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/24/AR2006102401154_pf.html

By Ann Scott Tyson

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Washington Post Staff Writer


More than 100 U.S. service members have signed a rare appeal urging Congress to support the "prompt withdrawal" of all American troops and bases from Iraq, organizers said yesterday.

"Staying in Iraq will not work and is not worth the price. It is time for U.S. troops to come home," reads the statement of a small grass-roots group of active-duty military personnel and reservists that says it aims to give U.S. military members a voice in Iraq war policy.

"As a patriotic American proud to serve the nation in uniform, I respectfully urge my political leaders in Congress to support the prompt withdrawal of American military forces and bases from Iraq," it reads. The group, which aims to collect 2,000 signatures and deliver the "Appeal for Redress" to Congress in January, is sponsored by antiwar activists including Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace and Military Families Speak Out.

The unusual appeal -- the first of its kind in the Iraq war, organizers say -- makes use of a legal protection afforded by the Military Whistle-Blower Protection Act, which provides that members of the military, acting in their capacity as citizens, can send a protected communication to Congress without reprisal.

"Just because you put on the uniform of our country doesn't mean you've given up your rights as a citizen," said J.E. McNeil, a lawyer for the group and executive director for the Center on Conscience & War, a Washington organization that protects the rights of conscientious objectors.

But the service members can exercise this right only while off duty and out of uniform, and they must otherwise make clear they are not speaking for the military. In addition, they cannot say anything disrespectful about their commanders, including the president, McNeil said.

Navy Seaman Jonathan Hutto of Atlanta was the first service member to sign the appeal.

"I hear discussions every day among my shipmates about the war in Iraq and how it doesn't make any sense at this point," said Hutto, who is based in Norfolk and served from September 2005 until March on a ship off Iraq's coast. "There is no victory in sight, and war is still inevitable." He said he opposes the war because of its human and economic tolls, adding that the billions of dollars should be spent on jobs and education at home.

Marine Corps Sgt. Liam Madden, 22, served in Iraq's restive Anbar province from September 2004 until February 2005 and found his opposition to the war intensified after he returned to the United States. "I don't think any more Iraqis or Americans should die because of the U.S. occupation," he said, expressing disappointment that Iraqi elections in January 2005 did not lead to a decline in violence.

"I think some things are worth fighting for, I just don't feel Iraq is one of them," said Madden, of Bellows Falls, Vt. The Quantico-based Marine plans to leave the service to attend college in January.

Madden said he and Hutton met and learned of the vehicle for expressing their views to Congress when they attended a lecture at the YMCA in Norfolk by David Cortright, the author of "Soldiers in Revolt: GI Resistance During the Vietnam War."
 

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