Thursday, October 05, 2006

Courage to Resist

Viewing from a distance the political cartoons portion of the local news section, I was reminded of a recent issue which had some rather un-funny cartoons, a depiction of the end of the war. One of the panels included dejected troops returning home, leaving their dead behind, wondering what it was all for. I believe a similar thing happened after Vietnam, although I was born well after that, so I'm not really sure.

It got me thinking about Lt. Ethren Watada, and others who have refused to deploy. I suddenly found myself thinking that if there is any way for the nation to gracefully depart from Iraq, this is it.

Certainly, it would put the government in shambles, but we must remember that the government is not the same thing as the nation.

Think of the message it would send to the world. The past six years--nay--the past six decades!--could instantly be erased in the minds of many. Certainly, our government has done horrible things. Certainly, the government's foreign policy has long been one of covert empire acquisition. Our government has killed, set up puppet governments, and otherwise behaved badly for nothing more than the benefit of, say, the world's richest 5%. The government invaded Iraq. The Government has been steadily eroding our liberties ever since FDR took office, and some would say it started before.

However, presented with irrefutable evidence of the designs of our ruling class, a non-violent revolt began, extending even to the troops themselves. They quit the field in droves, putting the government in an unmanagable situation: you can't court marshal them all, can you? And even if you do, what do you do with them?

Though the government is corrupt, America still has a strong, couragous moral fibre running through it. Only fools would regard it as a sign of weakness... and those fools would have little chance against the America I present in this scenario. When our "leaders" demanded evil of us, we were NOT like the Germans of World War 2. We didn't "just follow orders." Each individual made their own moral decision, and those decisions returned the world to peace.

This scenario gives me the same swelling feeling of appreciation that the old stories I used to hear about Poland's Solidarity movement gave me toward the Poles, the same feeling I got when I heard about the Ukranians taking to the streets in protest of an obviously rigged vote, the same feeling I get whenever I hear of a nation--any nation--being courageous enough to take risks in favor of overthrowing gross tyranny.

The question is: Is it only our ruling class that is corrupt, or is the very nation itself rotten to the core? Mass defection would prove the former scenario to be the case. Outside that, I can't think of any way for us to "gracefully" exit from Iraq.

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