War & Desertion
Edmund Burke once said that for evil to prevail all it takes is for good men to do nothing. Those words were true when he said it, and they hold true even today. As the world plunges head first into more chaos and destruction, it is more important than ever for us to stand up and to challenge the falsely held belief that “might makes right.” Ever since those horrific attacks on September 11, the United States has waged a war not only on the vaguely characterized enemy known as Al-Qaeda, but humanity as a whole.
This decade has brought about humanitarian disasters in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon, Syria, Sudan, and many others. Currently destabilization and sanctioning efforts are underway in Iran, while a missile shield is planned on being erected in Europe further straining ties with the inhabitants here with Russia. Millions of lives have been lost on both sides, with the number of casualties growing every day. Thousands have been tortured, kidnapped, raped, and imprisoned all in the name of “democracy.” We cannot let this continue under any circumstances.
As a deserter from the U.S. Army I can tell you first hand that we have been used and manipulated so that human suffering can be exploited for corporate profit. I am not proud of what I have done in my service in the military. The Apache helicopters that I helped maintain has and is still playing an instrumental part in destroying the lives of innocent people. We were told time and time again that our job was to capture the evil men of the world who wish to do us harm. We actually thought that we were the guardians of freedom. Just try to imagine my surprise, shock and rage when I found out that the very enemy that we were supposed to eliminate turned out to be US.
How can I tell my future children, that the reasons why these lands are destroyed are because of men like me, who mindlessly followed orders “for the good of the nation?” Once I made that discovery, and saw how like minded individuals such as Augustine Aguayo, and Lt. Watada were being treated by the hands of the military for their similar stances on these aggressions I decided that I could no longer be a part of this system anymore. So two years ago I said goodbye to the military and quite possibly, my country.
Let me first note that while on the surface it seems that I am railing against the men and women of the U.S., armed forces, I must say that the opposite is true. This fight is not about the United States Military; rather this is a fight against their leadership, and the seat of power in Washington itself. My time in the military has reinforced a set of values that have spurred me to make this decision. I was taught again and again by my superiors that we must stand up for what is right no matter what the circumstances. The men and women of the Armed Forces are good people who do a great job in doing what is necessary to defend the nation. The problem is that like me, they have been deceived by the powers that be. This fight is not only about me, but it is for all people who have put on the uniform. We were supposed to be an organization that is the front line of defense for all people, no matter where you come from. As you have seen in the video, I am not the only one from that organization who shares those views. The problem is that many service members must make a decision based on the consequences of their actions. Many of them have families to take care of, which make open resistance difficult. My heart goes out to each and every one of them, and I want to send them this message: Never give up hope. The tens of thousands of people that have openly resisted our Government’s imperialistic actions will go a long way in stopping what we consider to be acts of treason against our way of life.
For nineteen months I stayed underground trying to find a way to live a normal life. I can tell you that it was not very easy, but I did have a lot of assistance from like minded German Citizens who I will be forever grateful. At the same time I kept a close eye on the developments of the war, as well as seeing what was happening inside the U.S. What I learned was even more disturbing. Not only was Washington unleashing hell on earth on unsuspecting peoples of the world, it simply had stopped bowing to the will of the people. It pains me in my heart to say that the United States Corporation can be classified as a rogue nation. It is a leviathan completely out of control that does what it wants, when it wants despite the wishes of its citizens. Inside my homeland, the rights of the citizens are increasingly eroded. Even children are being imprisoned under the unconstitutional PATRIOT ACT. The police have become increasingly militarized which has led to the deaths of hundreds of otherwise law abiding citizens, and that is just scratching the surface.
The final straw came when U.S. Incorporated voted to pass the first of its obscene taxpayer giveaways to the very corporations that got us into these wars and economic mess in the first place. After those events transpired I knew that we as individuals cannot just sit around anymore and allow these treasonous acts to continue. This push for asylum is as political as it is a personal choice, for it is by this bold action and similar ones in Canada that could help provide a home for the tens of thousands of war resisters living underground around the world, shed more light on the people that we have abused this past decade, and eventually bring the American War machine to its knees. I have been motivated not just but what I have seen and read about, but I have also met with several Iraqis who have also applied for asylum. Their stories are heart-wrenching to say the least, and are a living testimony to the atrocities that have been committed against an otherwise peaceful people. I feel that it is now my duty to help whenever I can those who deserve our compassion, instead of our bombs. Whether we are successful or not depends on our determination to win, and the unwavering support of everyone, not just veterans, soldier and activists.
This conflict affects all of us. It does not matter if you are American, German, Iraqi, or Afghani. The effects of the tyranny can be felt in all levels of every society around the globe. Our actions have not only destroyed people’s lives abroad, but they have also put a strain on our economies, put our sons and daughters into harm’s way, and have put us on a collision course for another Major war. I am here to tell you my friends that this does not have to be this way. Every single one of us has a stake in what happens in the coming months. Here in Germany the people can put pressure on the Government to force the U.S. to follow the German Constitution by ceasing their military operations from German soil, as well as petitioning for the asylum for war resisters. The Americans can also use their influence to get the American Government to change the error of their ways by putting serious pressure on their elected officials. We must realize that the money saved from stopping these unholy wars is more than enough to save our economies from disaster, as well as helping the peoples these Governments have wronged. When we are successful, only then can everyone return to a period of peace and prosperity.
We cannot trust the politicians to save us. The administration of George Bush the second was replaced by that of Barack Obama on 22 January of this year. Among the change that they have brought to the table was increased war in Afghanistan, the continuation of war in an ever deteriorating Iraq, attacks on Pakistan, sounding the war drums on Iran and North Korea, increased borrowing with the crazy notion that more debt will solve the debt problem and a host of other insane propositions. Recent news reports have stated we have also invaded Somalia again last week. His administration together with the complicity of the congress have refused to prosecute those who brought us here and ruined our lives, which makes him a de facto accomplice to the Crimes against Humanity that are well known throughout the world, and has the nerve to ask NATO to supply more troops and aid to support these continuing wars of aggression. I applaud NATO´s resistance to do so, however only a complete withdrawal will show America that she cannot continue to bully others into submission. The reality is clear: Change will only come when we the people make it happen. The days of the nanny state are ending. We have witnessed too many disasters to ignore it anymore.
In the nine months that have passed since I first applied for asylum, many things have happened. I am really overwhelmed by all of the positive support that I have received so far. Many organizations such as Connection e.V., Military Counseling Network, Tübingen Progressive Americans and others as well as Ethecon have raised awareness all across the globe. This case has also garnered the attention of the International media, who are very inte-rested to see just where the German government stands in this time of crisis. Most impor-tantly are the individual responses that I have received, through solidarity and personal letters, to emails from people across the globe. I have learned through my travels that there are many people who share the same views as I do, and are willing like I am to take action to make this world a better place. It brings me great joy and hope to know that we are not alone in this fight for justice and freedom. This comforts and sustains me for the long fight ahead. Currently the Bundesamt is in the process of making their initial decision as to whether or not allow me to stay in Germany.
If a negative decision is reached, the next step would be to take this case to the court. At that stage things should get interesting because the entire war effort would then be on trial. I ask for all of your thoughts and prayers for this endeavor.
I have wonderful news to share with you tonight. In August of this year, I got married. This day was the happiest day of my life. My marvelous wife is such a blessing to me with her strong will, loving kindness, and unwavering support. She has pledged to stand with me throughout this entire ordeal, and I thank God for her. I wanted to pass this news because I know that many of you will have questions as to how this will affect the asylum case. I can tell you right now that it has no impact whatsoever. The United States will still want me to be returned to face prosecution for doing the right thing, and the War on Terror has not stopped on our behalf. There are thousands of people whose lives depend on the success of this case, and I do not intend to let them down. Therefore it is logical for us to continue this fight to the very end.
For eight years the American Government has increasingly terrorized millions of people under the guise of “freedom and democracy” in its ongoing Overseas Contingency Operations, better known as the War on Terror. Innocent blood has been shed on both sides, with horrific scenes from the battlefield filling the airwaves and computer screens each day. This eternal war has had devastating consequences not only for the peoples of Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Somalia, and Gaza but also for the peoples of the so-called “free” nations in the west. We must come to the realization that without individual resistance, nothing will ever change. Pay no attention to the mantra that we have to go along to get along. That, like so many other things is nothing but a lie put in place so that the powers that be can continue to push their agenda for global control. I call on the citizens in all countries to tell their leaders that we do not want any more war, and to pursue a peaceful solution to these problems. It is up to us, the people. Only when we stand together with one voice, can we get the so-called leaders of the free world to stop the reign of terror, and to begin work for a better tomorrow.
Thank you all for your time and your support. May God bless you all in your endeavors.