Monday, April 16, 2007

An Appeal for Redress

On January 16th of this year, 1,700 various members of the Armed Forces made their voices heard on Capitol Hill.

The media and the public either didn’t hear it, or didn’t listen.

U.S. Marine Sgt. Liam Madden, a veteran of the Iraq war was the one chosen to present their voice as one.

At that visit, he presented Congress with the “Appeal for Redress from the War in Iraq.”

The appeal stated:

As a patriotic American proud to serve the nation in uniform, I respectfully urge my political leaders in Congress to support the prompt withdrawal of all American military forces and bases from Iraq. Staying in Iraq will not work and is not worth the price. It is time for U.S. troops to come home.
While the appeal will not result in any changes in U.S. Foreign policy or the war itself, it’s still a noteworthy event.


A couple of reasons…

First, it’s the first time that a significantly large group of military personnel tried to organize a military lobby. Second; the attention paid by the public and the media was, at best, minimal.

Do any of you remember reading anything about it after it occurred three months ago?

I certainly don’t, and probably never would have heard about it if not for the article “Warrior Politics” by Andrew Bacevich in this month’s Atlantic Monthly.

But I’ll get to that point momentarily. First I want to look at how this reflects on “President” Bush himself.

Ignoring for a moment the fact that the appeal looked to, in Mr. Bacevich’s words, “hamstring” Bush from pursuing his escalation strategy, it more so shows just how little respect Bush has among some members of the military.

Sworn to obey orders and to obey their Commander in Chief, the appeal showed a willingness to disobey and obstruct the wishes of the President.

The appeal was clearly a message to Bush, but why didn’t the mainstream media report much on it?

The easy way out would be for me to blame the rigthwing media, but Fox “News” aside, I don’t recall hearing much, if anything at all, about this.
And that troubles me…

The most likely reason for its snub was the fact that it wasn’t higher-ups in the military (Like the generals rants against Bush’s Iraq policy months ago) but instead were the rank and file of the military.

Another possible reason was the group was relatively small and didn’t represent a good cross-section of the military.

But should that have mattered? This was an attempt by 1,700 soldiers to demand an immediate withdrawal from Iraq and, in the process, create a military lobby.

Essentially they were trying to throw a wrench into their Commander in Chief’s plans… and thus disobey an order.

Like I asked months ago when a handful of generals not only laid a smackdown on Donald Rumsfeld but also criticized Bush’s Iraq war strategy (and I use that term very loosely), how can this man lead when he starts to lose the support of his military?

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