Friday, May 13, 2005

Support War Resisters

For those of us who oppose the invasion and occupation of Iraq by the U.S. military, times have been hard. No matter how bad things go on the ground, it seems like no amount of demonstrating or letter-writing has much effect on the truth-deaf Bush administration. On the other hand, what about the courageous actions of war resisters within the U.S. military? Perhaps a more effective way to curb immoral U.S. military aggression might be if more soldiers and sailors refused to go over to Iraq.

I think we should all hope and pray for more of these war resisters, who are undoubtedly facing endless derision and strong penalties for making a stand of conscientious objection. Just a few days ago was the National Day of Action for GI Resisters, described here. One of the resisters, Pablo Paredes, was recently tried in San Diego military court for his refusal to go to Iraq, with an interesting outcome. (His own website is here.) There are many others too. The legal argument for resistance is nicely laid out here.

Any ideas on what we can do to support and encourage these war resisters in a meaningful way? It is quite possible that some forms of support might themselves be regarded as illegal (though, in my view, eminently moral), thus perhaps opening up a way for sharing the burdens and risks of war resistance in some small way. But what can we do that would be effective in encouraging war resistance?