To U.S. Soldiers in Japan
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If you cannot in good conscience participate in this oil war, want information about early discharge or other GI rights, call GI RIGHTS, +1-800-394-9544/+1-215-563-4620. The opinions expressed in this leaflet are not necessarily those of the GI RIGHTS HOTLINE. The HOTLINE contact is offered as a resource for GIs.
JANUARY 23 MESSAGE
Okinawa GI Anti-War Leaflet, Feb. 21, 2003
The Okinawa Friday Assembly is an informal group several score strong of Americans, Okinawans, and other Japanese that has held a weekly anti-war rally in front of the U.S. Consul General in Naha, Okinawa since the fall of 2001. When the first peace delegation from Okinawa visited Iraq in early 2003, members of the group held a hunger strike and vigil there for the entire ten days of the trip. This leaflet was finalized and approved by the Assembly on February 21, 2003. The reference to the UN Security Council vote in the last paragraph refers to the statements made to the Council on Feb. 14.
TO ALL GIs
Do you remember the old fable of the wolf and the lamb? The wolf and the lamb were drinking in a stream. The wolf said, “YOU ARE MUDDYING MY DRINKING WATER!” But the lamb said, “How could I? I am downstream from you.” Then the wolf said, “SIX MONTHS AGO YOU INSULTED ME!” But the lamb said, “How could I? Six months ago I wasn’t born yet.” Then the wolf said, “WELL, YOUR KIND IS ALWAYS INSULTING MY KIND, SO I WILL EAT YOU UP.” And he did. The truth is, the wolf was hungry.
Now we have a new fable. At the United Nations Security Council, Colin Powell said, “IRAQ HAS BEEN COOPERATING WITH AL QAIDA FOR DECADES.” But how could it? A decade ago Al Qaida hadn’t been founded yet. A little more than a decade ago, Osama bin Laden was working for the CIA, fighting to drive Soviet troops out of Afghanistan. “BUT IRAQ HAS WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION.” Oh really? The U.N. inspection team, who are experts at this, haven’t found even one. “THAT ONLY PROVES THAT IRAQ HAS BEEN DEVIOUSLY HIDING THEM, SO I AM GOING TO EAT IRAQ UP!”
The truth is, Iraq is loaded with oil. Second in the world. Did you join up to help American oilmen (both Bush and Cheney are oilmen) steal other people’s oil? The United Nations Security Council voted 12 to 3 against invasion of Iraq, and supporting a continuation of UN inspection. On Feb. 15, ten million people came together in the greatest demonstration in the history of the world, to oppose invasion of Iraq. The U.S. government is isolated. Here is a suggestion: YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO. DON’T GO.
JANUARY 24 MESSAGE
Before rushing off to Iraq, take time to ask: What’s this war about?
Isn’t it part of the “War on Terrorism”?
Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. There were no Iraqis on those planes. There’s no evidence of a connection between Iraq and Al Qaida. Al Qaida hates secular governments like Iraq’s. Isn’t it a war to defend the security of the US?
Against what? Iraq never attacked the US, nor could it. Iraq’s military budget is 1/100 that of the US. Iraq has no missiles capable of attacking across the Atlantic.
Isn’t it because Iraq has weapons of mass destruction?
The UN inspection team hasn’t found any. But everybody knows that you (the US military) have more weapons of mass destruction than anybody. Including chemical weapons: depleted uranium is a chemical weapon.
Look: Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, or it doesn’t.
If it doesn’t, the US’s justification for invading Iraq collapses. If it does, they’ve got no business sending you in there.
But doesn’t Iraq have a terrible government?
Probably. So do half the countries in the world. Are you going to invade them all?
Well then, what is it all about?
Iraq sits on the world’s second largest oil reserves. The U.S. President and Vice President, bigtime oilmen, never mention this, but they know it. In 1972, Iraq nationalized its oil industry and kicked out the big British and US oil companies (wouldn’t you?). The Iraqi xiles in London who hope to replace Hussein are promising to let them back in. A sweet deal: you put us in power, and we’ll give you our country’s oil.
That’s what happens: you elect oilmen: you get oil wars. Oil is nice to have. But it’s not worth killing for (or dying for). Fighting over oil is no way to “keep our honor clean.”
Members of the Okinawa Friday Assembly TEL: 098-893-0175
If you have decided you cannot in good conscience participate in this oil war, want information about early discharge or other GI rights, call GI RIGHTS, +1-800-394-9544 or +1-510-465-1617.
GI RIGHTS PAGE
The GI Rights Hotline is answered by a coalition of nonprofit, non-governmental organizations who provide information to members of the military about discharges, grievance and complaint procedures, and other civil rights.
GI Rights Hotline Organizations
Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors
The publisher of Getting Out: A Guide to Military Discharges, the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors (CCCO) supports conscientious objectors and promotes individual and collective resistance to war and preparations for war. We seek to provide full and accurate information about military life and war to individuals affected by military service, conscription, and recruitment. Since our founding in 1948, CCCO’s counselor network has helped tens of thousands of people serving in the military or facing conscription. Most of CCCO’s income is from individual contributions; all donations are fully tax-deductible. Visit us at www.objector.org
Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors
630 20th Street #302
Oakland, CA 94612
1515 Cherry St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
American Friends Service Committee – New England Region
2161 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140
Center on Conscience & War (NISBCO)
1830 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20009
202-483-2220 or 800-379-2679
Military Law Task Force of the National Lawyers Guild
1168 Union Street, Suite 200
San Diego, CA 92101
Northcoast WRL / Humboldt Committee for Conscientious Objectors
1040 H Street
Arcata, CA 95521
Quaker House of Fayetteville, NC
223 Hillside Ave
Fayetteville, NC 28301
910-323-3912 or 919-663-7122
Seattle Draft and Military Counseling
PO Box 20604
Seattle, WA 98102
War Resisters League
339 Lafayette Street
New York, NY 10012
212-228-0450 or 800-975-9688