Thursday, November 26, 2009

OUR FOUR SOLDIERS

You've seen the news, heard the news, about these four young, good, patriotic, average, men?

They killed/murdered four Iraqis. They're in the United States Disciplinary Barracks, the military prison on our Army post located in Fort Leavenworth, in Leavenworth, Kansas.

They're guilty of a crime, a horrendous shocking crime. They say they had no choice. They feel they had no choice. They were trained to kill, and they killed.

They executed four men. The criminality, the threat from these four dead men – was it real, a true threat, were they enemies, were these four soldiers in danger of losing their lives if they didn't kill the four Iraqis?

That's for the lawyers -- army rules, generals, the pentagon, our laws, our sense of "American Justice," and all those same categories from the Iraqi standpoint.

But four young American soldiers are in prison cells, marked forever, their lives ruined -- their families marked, ruined, also being punished for this crime, and it lays heavy, heavy on my heart.

I can dig up the facts, re-examine them, not take for granted that what I've seen and heard is accurate.

What difference would it make. Each day these soldiers, now civilians, wake and live and spend their hours as criminals in prison.

Knowing their names, ages, names of wives, lawyers, generals, what defense has been offered, what appeals may be in the offing won't make any difference.

It is an American crime, to have been in that war in Iraq, to keep our soldiers in Iraq, protecting or defending or maintaining what America bought and didn't win, in a war we shouldn't have fought.

It's crimes on top of crimes, wrongs that can't be righted, dead soldiers, broken families -- it's winning the war we cannot "win."

It's not over. Mistakes, misconceptions, convictions of many wise men are stacked up like a wall around the idea of WINNING.

We've won sorrow, grief, lost men, spent money that would have helped many Americans be in a better place right now. Yet Win the War is still echoing, louder than anything in men's minds -- men who make decisions for our country.

Stop the war. We lost the war. We're fighting another one like it, that we're losing in the same way.

Bring our soldiers home from Iraq. End the war in Afghanistan. Release and exonerate these four men, who were doing what soldiers are trained to do.

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