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12/14/00

VIEW FROM THE MOUNT

Sober Thought Provoking Essays
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and the TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE . . .

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...there is no glory in battle worth the blood it costs. 
Dwight Eisenhower

The Case For Becoming A Conscientious Objector

With the great success of Tom Brokaw's book, 'The Greatest Generation', it would seem that the public would have little interest in questioning the tenants of American Foreign Policy that have been in place for most of the last century. The thrust of most political discourse centers upon the role of government, its growth, influence and reach upon society. Few care to concern themselves about those foreign lands and those faceless protectors of American interests that serve their nation. That's the way its has been for decades. The obligation to serve is now the opportunity to earn. So what's the need to examine this matter?

Foreign Policy has been the driving force that has change the face of America more than any policy or series of legislation that has become the law of the land. One must take to long view and place the events of the last hundred years, in the context of a Nation, that no longer resembles that vision of a Free Land, that was created only with the great suffering and sacrifices of our forefathers. They bequeath a legacy that never existed before. They fought for principles, and not for comfort. And they laid down their lives for the realization of the dream, the idea that man can live free and not be the slave to their own government. Sadly, that heritage has been betrayed; not just because of the bad intentions of the few, but mostly, out of the ignorance of the many.

The record of the transformation of America into an all pervasive State is the chronicle of an imperial vision for power and control. American Foreign Policy was based upon the wisdom of Washington's Farewell Address. The defeat of the Confederacy during the War for the Right to Secede, set this nation upon a road to empire. The adventures of both Roosevelt's and Wilson set the stage for the society that we have become. The masters are no longer the people, but the people have been taught to think of themselves as serfs within their own land. So when Mr Brokaw's heroes fought for that which they were told was truth and had purpose, they were actually building and forging the shackles of their own chains.

I knew my father but for a few years, but he made that journey onto the shores of Normandy. Did he risk his life and future in vain, or did his service help provide protection for this nation? Those who were there and have survived, will defend their most noble effort and duty. But are they correct in that view, or were they deceived by the voices of jingoism? I will let you answer that question for yourself. But as for me, I resent that my love for our Nation, needs to be judged in light of a willingness to inflict retribution upon a foe that threaten me less, than the one who gives the commands to kill a strange face. Did we not learn the lesson from Viet Nam that the welfare of America was not the same as the interests of the U.S. Government? And what benefit to the cause of Freedom was achieved, when the brute force comes from the harbor of that Liberty, and was used to expand its reach and domination? We no longer seek to protect ourselves and our shore. The objective has become, that Foreign Policy is fashioned to serve the interests of the Corporate/State and compel all others to comply to the rules of 'Pax America'. Is this the dream that you are willing to pledge your sacred honor?

The notion that a countryman has a duty to serve his government is a malevolent perversion of the proper obligation a citizen has to his fellow man and the larger society. At the core of all civilized life is the moral requirement that each individual search their own soul, for that course of behavior that achieves the actions which creates the greatest good. Who among us will say that any of these wars have produced a better world? Will anyone still argue that the threats of any of the 'Totalitarian' regimes have the power and ability to conquer, police and rule all the nations in the world? Or is the real enemy that which seek to occupy the avenues of any nation, that which comes from the neighbor across your own street? The reach of the pervasive bureaucrat, will always enslave the docile citizen. He who ignores their real foe, will allow a plantation to grow up around them. Are you willing to bow to the overseer? Or are you willing to listen to that voice of conscience within yourself?

The nature of the struggle demands that any involvement in an effort to employ organized force, can only be validated when the defense of the homeland is at stake. The reason I invoke the claim of a conscience objector, is not out of fear to my physical safety, nor the risk to my own well being. Quite to the contrary, I advance the call that each civilian in the serve of the Republic, shall and must become an active recruit into the cause of Freedom. My argument against killing is based upon the moral sanctity of life. But each life, has the right to self defense. Selective choice is prudent and valid. It's the true duty of each citizen to use their reason and common sense to judge when they, their family and their community is at risk. And even more importantly, just who and where your enemy resides. A tear come to my eye just as much as any GI, when the sound of 'TAPS' is played, with respect and remembrance we all should have, for our fallen regiments. My plea is that they need not be struck down in vain, nor should the next generation be called upon to shed their blood, in the name of a cause that is hollow.

For LIBERTY to exists, may require its defense. My pledge is to be in that army for its protection. Until the Foreign Policy of America is restored to preserve the Republic and the People of this great land, I will respectful decline to march with the cohorts of those who wish to enslave, those for whom; they have sworn to serve.

SARTRE - December 14, 2000

War: a wretched debasement of all the pretenses of civilization.
Omar Bradley

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