Sunday, December 2, 2007

Hang up on war

(522 words)

by Tom H Hastings

Darrell Anderson, a young Iraq War veteran, called someone at a local Portland, Oregon college to check out a program advertised to help veterans. Darrell was wounded by an insurgent bomb, has a Purple Heart, and refused a direct order to shoot at a vehicle approaching his checkpoint—a car with an unarmed mother and her three little children, as it turns out. Darrell was so disgusted and dismayed by his government’s war on Iraq that, after one tour, he refused another direct order—to return.

Darrell went to Canada for more than a year instead, ultimately coming back to face the music, but the pipes were silent. The Army decided to go low profile and give him a quiet out, no prosecution, no court case. Recruitment numbers are hard enough to attain—they didn’t want the publicity that comes with a soldier’s condemnation of a military occupation.

We continue to hear that we need to stay the course, finish the job, and generally continue to feed the elite war profiteers who have gulped our national treasure to the tune of $10 billion each month for years, all so Iraq can be amongst the poorest, most corrupt, and least law-abiding nations on Earth. One more season will finish the fifth year of U.S. occupation...

Tom H Hastings ( is director of PeaceVoice and a founder of Whitefeather Peace Community in Portland, Oregon.

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