Gomez 1 Jose Gomez Professor Ninetta English 1B April 30, 2007 An Unjust War As long as I can remember, the War

on Iraq has been a controversial issue concerning our U.S. citizens for the past decade. In response to this situation, many people have disagreed and have spoken out about the purpose of this war and whether is justifiable, due to the high cost of it and the thousandths of lives lost in it. In regards to this issue, many people realize the dominant power that Congress and the president have over the citizens. In addition, many countrymen are conscious of the lack of democracy that exists here in America. Yet, their voices have been ignored. Many Americans as well as I believe in the idea of committing civil disobedience to oppose the war; therefore, the best solution to this issue is to desert out of the nation. Americans have always asked themselves: What is the purpose of this war? Many people as well as I think it is an unanswerable question. Indeed, many troops as well as I disagree on the war and lack of democracy that exists here in America. Some communal and student organizations have protested in different ways such as: marching and proposing resolutions. For example, two resolutions were proposed to the government by the California Federation of Teachers Executive Council and the American Studies Association Caucus on Academic and Community Activism. Apparently, these resolutions were ignored by the government. In addition, some college and high school students have gathered to protests against the war and any possible drafts that could occur.

Gomez 2 A civil disobedience can avoid any possible consequences in the future such as: enemy attacks and lost of more war casualties. Although the government is currently ignoring our disapproval for war, they might understand our objections in the future. Concerning this issue, I believe that the war can lead the Iraqis to attack us just like the Afghanis did. For example, after 9/11 terrorist attacks, many Americans were concerned about other attacks that would occur anywhere else. In addition to this concern, any soldier that is sent has the high risk and probability of dying. Unfortunately, there could be high number of casualties lost in war for both nations. Consequently, besides terrorists, other innocent lives can be victims of this war. Even though they are terrorists, I believe that killing any person is immorally wrong. Perhaps, a civil disobedience can lower the rate of suicides and depression among the soldiers. Considering this problem, the government can notice all the discomfort that troops face as they get sent to Iraq. According to some data collected by the Army: “There were 23 confirmed suicides among army troops in Iraq in 2003—a rate of 15.6 per 100,000 soldiers (Rediff.com, 2).” These 23 suicides could have been prevented, if the war had not been declared. As a result of this situation, many troops feel hopeless and concerned about their relatives when they are distant from them. In addition, many soldiers return home from war suffering from depression and other mental sicknesses. Perhaps, they feel depressed because they feel concern for their family. Furthermore, some studies have shown that some soldiers suffer from a mental disorder called “post-traumatic stress disorder”. This disorder results from violent experiences they view in war, and their depression. Indeed, any civil disobedience can motivate the legislative and executive bodies to reform the government into a more effective democratic body. As proven to the public, many citizens disapprove the dominant authority of our government. As Thoreau points out: “All men

Gomez 3 recognize the right of revolution; that is, the right to refuse allegiance to, and to resist the government when is tyranny or its insufficiency are great and unendurable (Thoreau, 140).” Thoreau as well as other citizens would definitely agree with the dominant authority that the government has over us. Also, the government is not conscious of the over-excessiveness of the national debt that is estimated to $456 billion dollars by the end of September 30, 2007. According to data collected by from National Properties Project: “The numbers of military and non-military spending, such as reconstruction. Spending only includes incremental costs, additional funds that are expended due to the war (NPP, 1).” This data shows the excessive money wasted on weaponry that could have been spent on other current issues such as the poverty in America. My advice to any draftee would or U.S. troop would be to desert out of the country because it is much safer than any other choice. Any deserted individual has a better chance of living without being arrested or imprisoned. Consequently, the penalty for committing treason to this nation is a sentence of at least five years in prison plus a dishonorable discharge from the military. According to some data gathered by the Army, approximately 3,300 active troops had deserted out of the nation into Canada in 2006. On the other hand, some soldiers prefer ending in prison rather than deserting because they feel scared of facing serious consequences. They also know that they can live better chance of surviving because they are fed and safer in there. Perhaps, they may also feel guilty for betraying the nation. Considering this solution, many people would agree with it such as Martin Luther King Jr. He believes in the idea of defying the law; however, he would offer a better solution such as protesting in a nonviolent manner. As King points out: “In any nonviolent campaign, there are four basic steps: 1) Collection of facts to determine whether injustice is alive 2) negotiation 3) self-purification and 4) direct action (King,

Gomez 4 175).” Unlike my solution King does not propose a solution that guarantees freedom to the draftees; therefore, I believe that my solution would be more effective because the law cannot permit any official to arrest you in a foreign country. Many Americans would argue against my position and solution for supporting a civil disobedience because they might believe that it is immorally wrong to violate the laws of our nation. Just as Van Dusen explains: “But civil disobedience, whatever the ethical rationalization, is still an assault on our democratic society, and affront to our legal attack on our constitutional government (Van Dusen, 4),” meaning that she opposes to any law-breaker, despite of any injustice given to the people. Furthermore, many Americans would believe that our duty is to defend the honor of our nation. Some people believe that we need to look strong to impress other nations; otherwise, we would look weak which embarrasses our honor. Considering the War on Iraq, some people would support it by opposing to any withdrawal from it. In addition, some Americans believe that it is our responsibility to keep peace around the world by interfering in any disputes among any countries. As a result of this situation, we could be judged as an intrusive nation by other countries. For example, around the early 1990’s, Saddam Hussein main target was to invade Kuwait to take over the petroleum industry. Since Kuwait was a weak nation with a small army, the U.S. would not allow this to happen. Therefore, they got involved in their problem and ended helping Kuwait. Despite these issues, we should ignore our pride and intrusiveness and avoid any further consequences that we can regret in the future. Many citizens as well as I oppose this war, so as a result of this situation, we believe that civil disobedience should be carried out by deserting out of America. Although many Americans oppose to civil disobedience, I believe that my reasons to support it are justifiable enough to end this war. Considering the nation’s welfare, we should be alerted from foreign possible attacks.

Gomez 5 In addition, civil disobedience should be carried out to avoid mental problems for the draftee. Moreover, we should consider the high debt that we owe as nation. What would happen if we ignore these issues? I believe that the consequences would arise which would eventually upset Americans. Most likely, people would definitely commit a civil disobedience such as deserting, rioting on streets, or kill themselves.

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Work Cited Page Childress, Sarah. “Out of the Army, into Canada”. Newsweek. Posted by: Jay Babcock. Arthur Magazine. Published: March 27, 2007. p.1771 <http://www.arthurmag.com/magpie/?p=1771> King, Martin L. “Letter From Birmingham Jail”. A World of Ideas. Boston/New York: Bedford/St. Martins, 2006. Seventh Edition. Pgs. 171-189. National Priorities Project. “Cost of Iraq Notes and Sources”. The Calculator. Last Revised: February, 2007. http://costofwar.com/numbers.html “Public Statement by Eight Clergymen”. April 12,1963 "Students and academics against the war.(News for Education Workers)(Brief Article). “Radical Teacher 72 (Spring 2005): 45(1). Expanded Academic ASAP. Thomson Gale. University of California, Riverside Lib. 30 Apr. 2007 <http://find.galegroup.com/itx/infomark.do?&contentSet=IACDocuments&type=retrieve&tabID=T002&prodId=EAIM&docId=A132679207&source= gale&srcprod=EAIM&userGroupName=ucriverside&version=1.0>. Thoreau, Henry David. “Civil Disobedience”. A World of Ideas. Ed: Lee A. Jacobus. Boston/ New York: Bedford/St. Martins, 2006. Seventh Edition. Pgs 133-157. Van Dusen Jr., Lewis H. “Civil Disobedience: Destroyer of Democracy”. A World of Ideas. Boston/New York: Bedford/St. Martins, 2006. Seventh Edition. “U.S. Troops in Iraq Loosing Stomach for Fight”. News: Rediff.com. Published: March 26, 2004.

Gomez 7 <http://in.rediff.com/news/2004/mar/26iraq.htm