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Soldier in Iraq Refuses Combat Mission


Kanada Kev
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http://www.ivaw.org/node/1040

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Soldier in Iraq Refuses Combat Mission

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.’â€

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:

http://mcconnell.senate.gov/contact.cfm

Washington Office

361-A Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

Phone: (202) 224-2541

Fax: (202) 224-2499

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I admire this decision; he'll no doubt suffer dire consequences - which I'm sure he understands - but there's something to be said from breaking out of the entrainment of this big, gratuitous killing machine by listening to your own conscience. You can sign up for something, but you shouldn't have to mortgage your own soul in the process.

In the words of Stephen Fearing "human beings were never born to be so mean."

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... then he should have known the Guard can get activated at any time. and that refusing orders is a no-no.

too bad for the guy, he's gonna go to jail. probably needs to be a better way to leave the military without all this fuss.

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refusing orders is a no-no.

That's not quite true. A soldier is allowed' date=' is [i']obligated, in fact, to refuse to carry out illegal orders.

Aloha,

Brad

yeah yeah yeah, we all know that, this isn't the supreme court. in this case that we're talking about on here in this thread, it's presumed (at least by me) that the orders to do whatever he's been asked to do are lawful, or else the story would be quite different and he wouldn't be asking for help and thinking that he's gonna be buried by the military etc etc.

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guess he signed up for the wrong job. too bad he waited til he got there to figure it out.

Never changed your mind? I doubt he waited to figure it out. More like reality didn't hit him hard until he was in Iraq. I'm sure that happens to a lot of soldiers but the pressure to "fall in line" must be massive.

And I don't think it's a stretch to imagine that the USA might be up to some illegal activities in Iraq. You'd have to be playing coy to suggest otherwise. ;)

It's never easy to take an unpopular stand and this guy has done it in the middle of a warzone. I admire his principles and courage.

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I'm torn on this one.

He signed up for something sinister, but he signed on. Conscientious objection is supposed to occur before hand, that's the conscientious part of it.

I'm happy for it, but at the same time feel like he is backing out on a promise. If I tell you I am going to do something, come hell or highwater, and shake your hand on it ... backing out on it when that hell hits makes me a bit of an asshole. At the same time, I'm happy he's no longer propping up what I, and apparently he, think(s) is a war waged on false pretenses.

Argh.

Who wants ice cream?

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I wonder what his cohort thinks, though; if they come to believe he might not have their back (or be blazing away in the front), maybe they'd be glad to see him gone.

I agree, to a point, about the business about a contract, but every contract can go sour, especially if you discover you've been misled about the terms (or, as bradm pointed out above, where it becomes clear that the orders compel one to act illegally).

Saw an interesting documentary a little while ago called Iraq for Sale which, among other things, chronicles the use of private "security" forces like Blackwater; if those guys don't want to be there, can they just quit, as they might a regular job in the US? Are there not two kinds of army fighting there, then (the private ones paid, apparently, considerably more, too boot)?

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Absolutely there are (two kinds of army fighting there ..).

No, I don't think they could just quit, however, contractual obligations and all.

[edit:] forgot to address this: it might be internationally illegal, but I'm not sure it is illegal within the American context within which this soldier enlisted. If he was asked to do something illegal under those terms (entirely separate, in that case, then whether the war itself is 'illegal') then he has a case. But if his orders were consistent with what is reasonably expected of a soldier under these circumstances (ie. he wasn't ordered to murder unarmed children or some such), I don't see how this would play out in his favour in a military tribunal.

Edited by Guest
can't sleep. fuÇk it.
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