Friday, September 01, 2006
Will BushCo call Conscientious Objectors Nazi Appeasers and Fascists, too?
In light of Iran's refusal to halt their uranium enrichment and veiled threats from BushCo that military action could take place, in light of the news that the Iraqi forces are no where near ready to be on their own, and in the midst of all of this insane BushCo spew that anti-war criticism = Nazi appeasement and fascist lovers, I wanted to draw attention to those dissenting voices we need to hear b/c they know firsthand how wrong this war is: Military conscientious objectors. I didn't choose the "peaceful earth" picture for my profile just b/c I thought it was lovely. I chose it b/c it repesents what I truly believe is key for us as human beings if we want any hope of continuing our species. I also am a member of Another Mother for Peace. Their logo is "War is Not Healthy for Children and Other Living Things" and they have a beautiful Pax Materna, which is "a permanent, irrevocable condition of amnesty and understanding among mothers of the world." The text of the Pax Materna (which is translated into 18 languages) says this: "I join w/my sisters in every land in The Pax Materna, A permanent declaration of peace that transcends our ideological differences. In the nuclear shadow, war is obsolete. I will no longer suffer it in silence or sustain it by complicity. They shall not send my child to fight another mother's child. For now, forever, there is no mother who is enemy to another mother." Lovely, no? Hubby and I also are both members of Center of Conscience & War and have been since 2003. We joined this org during the run-up to the Iraq War. We couldn't believe anyone was buying into the Kleenex-thin reasons BushCo was spewing out for launching a war against Iraq, and b/c we damn sure knew we weren't willing to lose our lives (if there were to be a draft) for this illegal war based upon complete lies. Well, last night we received an urgent email from CCW about Army Spec Augustin Aguayo, a conscientious objector who has been fighting for 2 and half yrs to achieve CO status. I saw that Cindy Sheehan has a diary at DKos about another CO who is in need of our help, too, so the point of this post is this: Please consider donating to the CCW legal fund. Conscientious objectors desperately need legal representation, which can be very costly. B/c it would impossible to convey the email in my own words, here it is in it's entirety: On Aug 30/06 Augustin Aguayo is facing the choice that no CO wants to make. He will be forced to choose between either picking up a weapon or going to jail. As with almost all true conscientious objectors, the choice is hard but clear. Aguayo will refuse to obey a direct order to pick up a weapon and deploy and almost undoubtedly be court-martialed. On 8/24/06, Judge Royce Lamberth of the Dist Crt of the District of Columbia denied Aguagyo’s Habeas claim for a CO discharged from the Army. In his decision, Lamberth stated that the Crt concluded that the Army was in compliance with AR 600-43 when making their decision regarding the recommendation for denial of the CO claim even though they gave their reasons for the decision (a requirement under regulations) after the fact. Reasons stated for denying the claim include a lack of religious foundation (ignoring the Sup Crt decisions defining religion to include moral and ethical beliefs), contradictingly that he held the religious beliefs prior to joining the Army, lack of significant sources of his beliefs (no where a requirement), and questionable timing of the application. Aguayo originally applied approximately 2 and half yrs ago. Although the Army denied Aguayo’s claim, the Chaplin, psychologist and IO who investigated the claim all recommended discharge under the regulations stated in AR600-43. On Aug 29/06, the Appeals Crt denied his request for a Temporary Restraining Order that would allow him to remain undeployed and, more importantly, unarmed until the appeal is briefed and heard. The final appeal brief is due Oct 5, with the oral argument as soon as practicable thereafter. How can you help? 1) First, you can send him an email of support. Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: Support for Augustin Aguayo and we will forward your words to him and his wife. 2) Second, and more pragmatic: Aguayo’s lawyers are feverishly working on an appeal to protect his rights. However, the lawyers cannot work for free. Someday COs will not have to choose between violating their consciences or jail. But that day has not come, so please help Spec Aguayo and other COs by donating to CCW. So I have to wonder: Will BushCo, Rummy and their biggest fans the Religious Fright (who are ceaselessly claiming that they are persecuted for their beliefs/ religion) paint COs as Nazi appeasers/ fascist lovers when they've seen firsthand how immoral this war is, and since they are basing their CO position on their personal and/ or religious beliefs? I already know that answer... Have a good Labor Day weekend eveyone.