CALIFORNIA SOLDIERS PETITION CONGRESS FOR REDRESS OF GRIEVANCE-FOR THE IMMEDIATE WITHDRAWL FROM IRAQ
SUPPORT THE SOLDIERS’ DEMAND- IMMEDIATE, UNCONDITIONAL WITHDRAW FROM IRAQ- BUILD ANTI-WAR SOLDIERS AND SAILORS SUPPORT COMMITTEES NOW!
For the past year this writer has been harping on the need for the anti-war movement to turn its face to win the troops over to an anti-war perspective. As put forth in a recent commentary I motivated that turn in the following way which I repost here.
… “Secondly, and more realistically today, the anti-war movement needs to build anti-war soldier and sailor committees. I have been harping on this issue for at least a year now. Let us get serious about the focus of the anti-war fight. We have been aiming in the wrong direction. The Bush Administration is inured to talk, demonstrations or anything else. The military command has led the rank and file troops down the golden path. It should be clear by now that even they do not take the noise about ‘victory’ from the Administration seriously. The loyal governmental opposition, the Democrats, have had nothing to add but confusion. We of the anti-war movement, and I will take my fair share of responsibility on this, have failed in our efforts for immediate, unconditional withdrawal up to now. That leaves the rank and file soldiers and sailors to figure a way out. More than a few are fed up with the war and their useless sacrifice. Our task is to help them out. They must not stand alone. Yes, it is important to go to Washington to protest, but, it is more important to get out to the army, marine and naval bases and talk to and listen to the troops that have fought or preparing to fight in Iraq. That, my friends, in the final analysis is the short way to end this damn war.”
Up until now the anti-war sentiment in the military has generally expressed itself by individual acts of refusal, an increase of AWOL’s, attempts to get out of the military by seeking political asylum, an increase in the number of applications for conscientious objector status and the like. Earlier this fall a petition against the war was signed by a couple of hundred soldiers actually serving in Iraq. Now, however, comes news that about one thousand California soldiers in Reserve and National Guard units has taken all this a step further. They have collectively, as citizen-soldiers, petitioned Congress for the redress of grievance calling for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq. As a first step, well done brothers and sisters. This hellish war has finally begun to split the military, just a little for now but with the expected ‘surge’ in Iraq this could very well lead to a groundswell.
If we think about it this situation was almost inevitable. Why? This war has gone on so long and has stretched the military resources so thin that the call up of the citizen-soldier has dramatically increased. While this is not a draft army like in Vietnam it is not now made up totally of mercenary professional soldiers. And that is where the action of the California soldiers comes in as an extremely important political development. What do anti-war activists do? As noted in that recent article quoted above. Get out to the military bases. Fraternize with the soldiers, sailors, marines and air personnel. Build those vital soldier and sailor support committees to link up the struggle. THE ANTI-WAR TROOPS MUST NOT STAND ALONE!!!
THIS IS PART OF A SERIES OF ARTICLES ON THE 2006-2008 ELECTION CYCLE UNDER THE HEADLINE- FORGET THE DONKEYS, ELEPHANTS, GREENS-BUILD A WORKERS PARTY!
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