"Freedom is not merely the opportunity to do as one pleases; neither is it merely the opportunity to choose between set alternatives. Freedom is, first of all, the chance to formulate the available choices, to argue over them -- and then, the opportunity to choose." ~ C. Wright Mills
The AWOL Heroes
Exclusive to STR
October 11, 2006
Darrell Anderson is a hero. He did what he thought was right regardless of the consequences. He is standing up to the government because the government is trying to force him to do what is wrong.
Anderson joined the US Army in January of 2003. The government of draft dodgers and pseudo-warriors like Dick Cheney and George W. Bush sent him to the neocon war in Iraq. While in Iraq, Anderson was wounded and received the Purple Heart. After returning home, he was notified by the government that they were again going to send him to Iraq. After reflecting that the Iraq war is an illegal war based on the government lies of George Bush and the neocons regarding nonexistent Iraqi WMDs, he decided he didn't want to play any more. He went to Canada instead.
While in Canada, he became a symbol of the peace movement. This gave him a fairly high profile, which is probably the reason the government is going somewhat easy on him. Instead of giving him a court martial that would probably include prison time, it currently appears the Army/government will give him a Less Than Honorable discharge and he'll be free to go.
Compare this to the case of a female US Army soldier who refused to return to Iraq, who is getting a court martial and may have to spend time in a government prison. Suzanne Swift refused to go with her military police brigade when they left for Iraq, and the Army charged her last month with missing movement and being AWOL. She gave her reason for not going as being sexually harassed by her boss and other noncommissioned officers.
The government is evil and tries to operate in many cases in the darkness and shadows. When Anderson went with media attention and turned himself in, the government responded more leniently than they did with Swift, whom they arrested alone at her mother's house.
The number of US military people who are beginning to turn their backs on the illegal orders of the government appears to be growing. As the criminal activity of the government increases with more war for no real reason other than the appeasement of the Israeli lobby and the corresponding advancement of a politician's career, these numbers will hopefully skyrocket! And the situation within the military will worsen, just as it did in Vietnam when the grunts finally realized they were being played for fools and cannon fodder.
Not only is Anderson a hero, he is very intelligent. He's not buying the line that he's betraying his fellow grunts in Iraq by not going there again. People who really and truly care about the soldiers, Marines and other military people who're caught up in this bombastic plutocratic catastrophe want them all to come home NOW. The only way to make that a reality is for brave and intelligent people like Anderson and Swift to just say no to government insanity. If enough people in the armed forces followed the heroic example of Anderson and Swift, the war would be over. Unless, of course, those who started it decided to replace the grunts with THEIR asses in the sand. And since the two shining examples of bravery, Bush and Cheney, refused to go to combat during the Vietnam war, I don't think they'll go to combat in this one, either. The war would be over!
Anderson was confronted by a WW II veteran who told him he should be shot for not bending to the almighty government. Les Powers also called Anderson a coward. Perhaps Powers read the book by John Toland, Infamy, in which it is made clear that the 'sneak' attack on Pearl Harbor was not really a sneak attack after all. The government misled the people into WW II just as it misled the people into the current war. If he is aware of how the government played him for a fool, maybe he's jealous of Anderson for not being as stupid as he was/is.
People of Power's mentality can't see that the government could be wrong. Their 'greatest generation' didn't have the courage or intelligence to openly question the government. Perhaps that is why their generation is held up by the government and media as an example for all generations to follow. The government would love nothing more than millions of unquestioning sheeple who march blindly off to kill and die on the orders of the government. And anyone who dares question the system is branded a coward who should be shot by the government!
Today's Thoreau quote at STR fits perfectly with this column: "Is it not possible that an individual may be right and a government wrong? Are laws to be enforced simply because they were made? or declared by any number of men to be good, if they are not good? Is there any necessity for a man's being a tool to perform a deed of which his better nature disapproves?"