Thursday, June 21, 2007

Soldier in Iraq Refuses Combat Mission

This is from the IVAW website. I try to have all original material here, but this is a story that needs to be heard:

Yesterday, June 19, 26 year old SPC Eli Israel put himself at great personal risk by making the courageous decision to refuse further participation in the U.S. occupation of Iraq. Eli told his commanding officer and sergeants that he will no longer be a combatant in this illegal, unjustified war. Eli believes that the U.S. government used the attacks of September 11, 2001 as a pretense to invade Iraq and that “we are now violating the people of this country (Iraq) in ways that we would never accept on our own soil.” Eli is stationed at Camp Victory in Baghdad with JVB Bravo Company, 1-149 Infantry of the Kentucky Army National Guard. This soldier’s decision to refuse orders puts him at great risk, especially because he is in Iraq, isolated from legal assistance and other support. The following is a message that Eli sent yesterday to a friend back home:

“I have told them that I will no longer play a ‘combat role’ in this conflict or ‘protect corporate representatives,’ and they have taken this as ‘violating a direct order.’ I may be in jail or worse in the next 24 hours.

Please rally whoever you can, call whoever you can, bring as much attention to this as you can. I have no doubt that the military will bury me and hide the whole situation if they can. I'm in big trouble. I'm in the middle of Iraq, surrounded by people who are not on my side. Please help me. Please contact whoever you can, and tell them who I am, so I don't ‘disappear.’”

Eli is taking an incredible risk by refusing orders in Iraq and will most likely be court martialed. Please help him by contacting his Senator and requesting that he take any steps necessary to support and protect this soldier and ensure that the Army respects his rights and does not illegally retaliate against him.

Senator Mitch McConnell:
Washington Office
361-A Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-2541
Fax: (202) 224-2499


Seth Owen said...

While I agree with YOUR actions to protest the war, which have been effective while staying within the proper bounds (regardless of what that administartive board thought), I don't think THIS soldier's actions were proper. Refusing to take part in operations generally (as opposed to refusing a direct ilelgal order) endangers his comrades on the battlefield unnecessarily. If he believes the war (in general) is wrong, he should wait until he's off active duty to register his protests, just as you did.
I hope you'll advise the young man to reconsider his decision and do what he can to mitigate the damage he has done.

(I served in northern Iraq in early 2003.)

Anonymous said...

I have to say, I agree the Iraq War is stupid and we should've never started it. And I also agree our guys should start back here ASAP. However, I can't help but have the feeling that once a unit is deployed in country, anyone who refuses to perform his/her duties is only screwing his/her buddies. It's not a factory job where if you go on strike you're sticking to the corporation, after all. Refusing to go on combat missions isn't going to change the administration's foreign policy; you're just letting down your best friends. Sorry I can't agree with your enthusiasm on this one, Adam.

Anonymous said...

You have the right as an american
citizen to protest, but you cannot take your own action against your country illegally. He should recind his decision and continue doing his job which he committed to do. One person will not change any policy or cause. That is why America is a democracy and not a dictatorship. Wait until you finish your obligations and then take the legal avenues to participate in any protest or assembly.