[Marxism] US troops on active duty call for Iraq withdrawal
walterlx at earthlink.net
Thu Oct 26 08:03:02 MDT 2006
US troops on active duty call for Iraq withdrawal
25 Oct 2006 17:47:05 GMT
WASHINGTON, Oct 25 (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,
organizers 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 Defense
Department rules allowing active duty troops to express personal
opinions to members of Congress without fear of retaliation,
"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
"Staying in Iraq will not work and is not worth the price. It is time
for U.S. troops to come home," it adds.
The Web site allows service members to sign the appeal that will be
presented to members of Congress. Organizers said the number of
signatories has climbed from 65 to 219 since the appeal was posted a
few days ago and Wednesday when it was publicly launched. There are
140,000 U.S. troops in Iraq.
Active duty service members are restricted in expressing personal
views publicly. But rules governed by the Military Whistleblower
Protection Act give them the right to speak to a member of Congress
respectfully while off-duty and out of uniform, making clear they do
not speak for the military.
In a conference call with reporters, a sailor, a Marine and a soldier
who had served in the Iraq operation said American troops there have
increasingly had difficulty seeing the purpose of lengthy and
repeated tours of duty since the fall of Saddam Hussein.
Their misgivings have intensified this year as the country has edged
toward civil war, they said.
"The real grievances are: Why are we in Iraq if the weapons of mass
destruction are not found, if the links to al Qaeda are not
substantiated," said Marine Sgt. Liam Madden of Rockingham, Vermont,
who was in Iraq from September 2004 to February 2005 and is based at
"The occupation is perpetuating more violence," he said. "It's
costing way too many Iraqi civilian and American service member lives
while it brings us no benefit."
The campaign's sponsoring committee includes the activist groups Iraq
Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace and Military Families
Navy Seaman Jonathan Hutto of Atlanta, stationed at Norfolk, Virginia
and the first service member to join the campaign, said a similar
appeal during the Vietnam War drew support from over 250,000 active
duty service members in the early 1970s.
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