Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What Caused Me To Become "Anti-War"

A message I received via YouTube:

Hello, I am not for nor against your beliefs..I respect everyone's, and every Marine's opinion. I was just curious, and if you don't want to answer I understand, but what event and such caused you to become "anti-war" (please don't take that the wrong way)? I'm not saying that I necessarily agree or disagree with the conflict in Iraq, but I volunteered to serve in the USMC and understood that it meant I could go to war and fight and possibly die, I never questioned it...But I don't know, I guess what I'm looking for is another prospective from someone who did. Again, I understand if you don't want to discuss it. Thank you for at least taking the time to read this and for volunteering for my beloved Corps. Semper Fidelis.

In response:

There was no one particular event and there was no regret for me in facing the hardships of war. I never questioned my duty, but I have since questioned the morality and Constitutionality of the war in Iraq. Remember, we swore an oath to the Constitution first, and obeying unconstitutional orders is contrary to that oath. Then there was Ronald Reagan, who said that resorting to war was essentially a sign of weakness. "Peace is not the absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means."

My disillusionment about Iraq in particular began as a slow process with the "handover of power" on June 28th, 2004, when I was in Fallujah. There was no such handover, and there was no expected draw-down when I left. When the reality failed to meet the rhetoric, I started questioning.

Then there was the sinking feeling in my stomach when I realized (and was emotionally ready to accept) that we had been lied to. It didn't help when Allen Greenspan finally admitted, "the war was largely about oil," but it did help me to stop doubting myself.

We should all, as human beings, be "anti-war." What is war but the widespread, systematic destruction of human bodies by machinery? Who could be for that? Only those who are missing a part of their humanity. Sometimes the experience of war or the bloodlust of the military can take that away, but it is always ours to reclaim.

I am against this war because it is bad for America. It is bad for our security, it is bad for our military, it is bad for our economy, it is bad for our reputation abroad, and it is bad for our brothers and sisters who continue to loose their lives for lies. I am against war because I am a human being. I believe in the right to self-defense, and even collective self defense, but we should never take joy in even the most righteous acts of causing pain and suffering for fellow human beings.

Semper fidelis,