Saturday, February 19, 2005

Good morning..
I`ve got this email in my mailbox.
it amazed me !
what can I say?
just sending him all my respect and love for his brave heart.

Dear Faiza,
I love reading your postings. Please keep up your courage. You do make a difference.

This is an example of a real American. I'm so proud of him.Forward from Code Pink:We were delighted to receive a phone call yesterday,February 15, from Camilo Mejia, letting us know that he has just been released from prison! Some of you might remember Camilo, a courageous soldier who spent8 months fighting in Iraq, came home for a 2-weekfurlough, and decided that he could not—in good conscience—return to Iraq. He applied for Conscientious Objector status, and was declared aPrisoner of Conscience by Amnesty International. Butthe US military convicted him of desertion, and senthim to serve a one-year prison sentence in Fort Sill,Oklahoma.

Regaining My Humanity
By Camilo Mejia
Thursday 17 February 2005
I was deployed to Iraq in April 2003 and returnedhome for a two-week leave in October. Going home gave me the opportunity to put my thoughts in orderand to listen to what my conscience had to say. People would ask me about my war experiences and answering them took me back to all the horrors-the firefights,the ambushes, the time I saw a young Iraqi dragged by his shoulders through a pool of his own blood or aninnocent man was decapitated by our machine gunfire. The time I saw a soldier broken down inside because he killed a child, or an old man on his knees,crying with his arms raised to the sky, perhaps asking God why we had taken the lifeless body of his son. I thought of the suffering of a people whose country was in ruins and who were further humiliated by the raids, patrols and curfews of an occupying army. And I realized that none of the reasons we weretold about why we were in Iraq turned out to be true. There were no weapons of mass destruction. There was no link between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.We weren't helping the Iraqi people and the Iraqi people didn't want us there. We weren't preventing terrorism or making Americans safer. I couldn't find asingle good reason for having been there, for having shot at people and been shot at. Coming home gave me the clarity to see the line between military duty and moral obligation. Irealized that I was part of a war that I believed was immoral and criminal, a war of aggression, a war ofimperial domination. I realized that acting upon myprinciples became incompatible with my role in themilitary, and I decided that I could not return toIraq. By putting my weapon down, I chose to reassert myself as a human being. I have not deserted the military or been disloyal to the men and women of the military. I have not been disloyal to a country. Ihave only been loyal to my principles. When I turned myself in, with all my fears anddoubts, it did it not only for myself. I did it forthe people of Iraq, even for those who fired upon me-they were just on the other side of a battleground where war itself was the only enemy. I did it forthe Iraqi children, who are victims of mines and depleted uranium. I did it for the thousands of unknown civilians killed in war. My time in prisonis a small price compared to the price Iraqis andAmericans have paid with their lives. Mine is a smallprice compared to the price Humanity has paid forwar. Many have called me a coward, others have calledme a hero. I believe I can be found somewhere in themiddle. To those who have called me a hero, I saythat I don't believe in heroes, but I believe thatordinary people can do extraordinary things. To those who have called me a coward I say thatthey are wrong, and that without knowing it, theyare also right. They are wrong when they think thatI left the war for fear of being killed. I admit thatfear was there, but there was also the fear ofkilling innocent people, the fear of putting myselfin a position where to survive means to kill, therewas the fear of losing my soul in the process ofsaving my body, the fear of losing myself to mydaughter, to the people who love me, to the man I used to be, the man I wanted to be. I was afraid ofwaking up one morning to realize my humanity hadabandoned me. I say without any pride that I did my job as asoldier. I commanded an infantry squad in combat andwe never failed to accomplish our mission. But thosewho called me a coward, without knowing it, are alsoright. I was a coward not for leaving the war, butfor having been a part of it in the first place.Refusing and resisting this war was my moral duty, a moral duty that called me to take a principled action.I failed to fulfill my moral duty as a human beingand instead I chose to fulfill my duty as a soldier.All because I was afraid. I was terrified, I did notwant to stand up to the government and the army, Iwas afraid of punishment and humiliation. I went towar because at the moment I was a coward, and for that I apologize to my soldiers for not being the typeof leader I should have been. I also apologize to the Iraqi people. To them Isay I am sorry for the curfews, for the raids, forthe killings. May they find it in their hearts toforgive me. One of the reasons I did not refuse the war fromthe beginning was that I was afraid of losing myfreedom. Today, as I sit behind bars I realize thatthere are many types of freedom, and that in spite ofmy confinement I remain free in many important ways.What good is freedom if we are afraid to follow ourconscience? What good is freedom if we are not able to live with our own actions? I am confined to aprison but I feel, today more than ever, connectedto all humanity. Behind these bars I sit a free manbecause I listened to a higher power, the voice of myconscience. While I was confined in total segregation, I cameacross a poem written by a man who refused andresisted the government of Nazi Germany. For doing so he was executed. His name is Albrecht Hanshofer,and he wrote this poem as he awaited execution. Guilt The burden of my guilt before the law weighs light upon my shoulders; to plot and to conspire was my duty to the people; I would have been a criminal had I not. I am guilty, though not the way you think, I should have done my duty sooner, I was wrong, I should have called evil more clearly by its name I hesitated to condemn it for far too long. I now accuse myself within my heart: I have betrayed my conscience far too long I have deceived myself and fellow man. I knew the course of evil from the start My warning was not loud nor clear enough! Today I know what I was guilty of... To those who are still quiet, to those whocontinue to betray their conscience, to those who arenot calling evil more clearly by its name, to thoseof us who are still not doing enough to refuse andresist, I say "come forward." I say "free yourminds." Let us, collectively, free our minds, softenour hearts, comfort the wounded, put down ourweapons, and reassert ourselves as human beings by putting an end to war. ______________________________

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Extreme Tracker