Tag Archives: US soldier

US Soldier Seeks Asylum In Germany From Iraq War

During the Vietnam war, thousands of young Americans fled to Canada to escape being drafted and fighting in a war they believed was immoral. The Iraq war has undoubtedly resulted in hundreds of members of the military deserting, and some have gone to Canada. Sgt. Andre Shepherd became the first American soldier to leave the army and seek asylum in Germany. As he entered the detention camp where his pleas will be processed, he noted: “It’s crazy, but I haven’t felt this safe in a camp in a long time.” Sgt. Shepherd thought about his service in Iraq and began questioning why he was fighting in a war that appeared to be unjustified. He felt that he had taken “an oath on the American Constitution which prohibits wars of aggression of any nature, such as the one in Iraq.” He came to the conclusion if he continued participating in fighting in Iraq, “it would make me a criminal.”\

The European Union in 2006 stated that a person who refuses to participate in a war that violates international law, is entitled to be protected as a refugee and can not be deported. Shepherd believes the Iraq war has violated the Geneva Conventions on treatment of captured soldiers and is a war of aggression. In his view, “the people responsible for this(war) are sitting in Washington.”

Perhaps, it is time for the American people to come to grips with their own mistake in voting for George Bush and his criminal actions. There is need for a bipartisan commission to examine the origin of the Iraq War in order to determine if there was either violation of American law or International law.

US Military Officer Cites The Numbers!

We print a letter to the Stars & Stripes from an American officer in Iraq who reminds us of the importance of numbers.

“A few statistics were missing from your five-year-by-the-numbers piece(March 25)-2.7 mllion Iraqis displaced, 100,00 plus Iraqi civilians dead, 0 weapons of mass destruction, $12 billion by month operating cost. As we look at the ‘surge’ and the relative ‘success’ and our decision to stay here, a cost-benefit analysis look at the numbers needs to be made. You could look at the war as a stock in your retirement portfolio. If the stock’s going down, down, down, with little or no chance of return, do you stay in it or do you dump it? If you asked my broker what the answer was, he’d say, ‘sell.”

Capt. Matthew A. Lassergad
Balad, Iraq

A Soldier’s View Of Fighting In Iraq

We print portions of a letter published in the Stars & Stripes in their edition of February 15, 2008. We will not comment since this soldier is entitled to express his opinion.

“I am appalled at the cover story on February 11 showing an Iraqi woman crying out in protest after U.S. troops clut the face of radical cleric Muqtadu al-Sadr out of the poster on her wall. Is this the behavior that is going to teach Iraqis about democracy and freedom of speech?

I am an infantryman on a second deployment….We used opportunities like this to engage the people who suppoterd him… find out what he offered them, then do our best to replace their dependence on him by providing benefits such as medical aid, food and jobs…. How are we going to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people if we continue to treat them like this and deny them the right to an opinion?”
Sgt. James P. Hallberg
Logistics Support Area, Anaconda, Iraq

Soldier Arrested For Protesting Bush War

A Kentucky soldier facing his second tour of duty in Iraq tried checking into the VA hospital in Lexington but was arrested on charges of being AWOL. Spc. Justin Faulkner said he told his superior officers of his mental condition and went to the VA hospital where doctors wanted to keep him under observation, but he was arrested. “It’s made me lose respect for the military. to come and arrest me at the VA, it wasn’t like I was trying to hide, trying to run. I was getting help. I am being punished for getting help.” Faulkner completed a tour of duty in Iraq and was headed back for a second one when he felt symptoms of post traumatic stress and wanted mental assistance from the Veterans Administration hospital staff.

Fort Campbell spokesperson, Cathy Gramling, claimed the military installation had sufficient medical staff to assist soldiers with PTS symptoms. Faulkner’s wife who is expecting another child said her husband was displaying symptoms of stress and expressed her outrage “that somebody who fought for our country could be treated like this.” Faulkner was a prison guard who signed up for active duty and then began to feel doubts and stress. “To me,” he said, “we’re fighting Bush’s war that his dad couldn’t finish.”

Military Panel Acquits Soldier Of Killing Unarmed Iraqis

A military panel acquitted Spc. Jorge Sandoval on charges he killed two unarmed Iraqis, but convicted him of planting evidence on the dead bodies in an attempt to cover up the shooting. Sandoval’s lawyer claimed he was only guilty of misplacing government property by planting the detonation wire on the bodies. It is clear both men were unarmed and had their hands in the air after they accidentally stumbled on a secret sniper hideout. Spc. Alexnader Forbes who was with Sandoval said they were told by Sgt. Michael Hensley the suspects were “our guy.” In May, Sgt. Hensley was involved in a case in which Sgt. Vela killed an unarmed Iraqi who had his hands in the air.

This is a sickening episode in the history of the American military. How can one be “aquitted” of murder but found guilty of misplacing government property by planting evidence to cover up a murder! If one is covering up an action doesn’t that indicate one knows there has been a mistake? It is these type of killings which enable insurgents to gain popular support within the Iraqi population. By the way, there is no mention of any officers being around during these incidents. Why?