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Monday, February 26, 2007

Appeal for Redress Member Admits to War Crimes

Boy the 60 Minutes piece on Appeal for Redress is getting the star treatment from They have a whole section devoted to it - and to stoke the anti-war fire they titled it simply "Dissension". If you missed the broadcast you can literally watch the entire thing in video clips on the website. I took some Phenergan so I could keep my supper down before watching some of the clips. At least we finally get some names to go with those "anonymous" signatures...

One of the anti-war soldiers was Sgt Ronn Cantu. Cantu is not exactly a shrinking violet when it comes to his anti-war views. He started the website You can visit this link and read his gushing about getting interviewed for 60 Minutes and his "kiss on the cheek" from Lara Logan.

Sgt. Cantu is a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War and has published several articles on the Net about his experiences in Iraq. Believe it or not he claims to have been a Bush-supporting conservative until he experienced the war while in Iraq. Cantu even had a Jimmy Massey moment according to his article "The Death of a Pro-War Conservative -or- The Day I got Away with Murder"...

And I remember every weapon in the convoy coming to life. Bullets were flying at everything and nothing at the same time. I was firing my M16 at a house near where the IED had detonated. I didn't really have a target, I was just shooting at the house for the sake of shooting. I saw a white horse in a field and shot at it twice, but it didn't go down and I questioned whether I was actually hitting it. I shot at some clothes on a clothesline and at a satellite dish on one of the houses. All for the sake of making a statement.

At some point, another soldier and I started pulling rear security when a vehicle started coming up behind our disabled convoy at a high rate of speed. He wasn't that far away and I knew he could see an american military truck in flames or at least all the black smoke. I raised my weapon and aimed at the vehicle hoping that he would see the gesture and get the idea to stop, but he didn't. I knew I had to fire a warning shot but if he couldn't see me aiming at him, how would he see (or hear) me firing into the air? I aimed at the windshield.

I knew better than to aim at the driver. I didn't want to kill him, just give him a warning. So I aimed at the center of the windshield about the time I heard someone behind me yell to shoot.
And so I fired my weapon.

The vehicle fishtailed a little bit and came to a stop. Good. But then a woman jumped out of the rear seat and started screaming. Not screaming in anger, but more like wailing.

“Oh no,” I thought to myself. I turned to the other soldier pulling rear security.
“I think you got someone,” he said to me.

Now as a supporter of the Marines accused in the incident in Haditha, I find this little description quite disturbing. We've got Marines being called "cold blooded murderers" by Murtha but here is an anti-war soldier admitting to killing an innocent civilian (knowingly) and to firing his weapon indiscriminately at homes and animals. Where's the outrage over this? Where's PETA? Where's Murtha? Have you noticed that most of the soldiers that speak out publicly about their anti-war views have an "I shot an innocent civilian at a checkpoint" type of story?

Sgt. Cantu was nominated for an Oscar - a "Peace" Oscar, that is courtesy of Military Families Speak Out and other anti-war/anti-Bush groups. The "Peace" Oscars were awarded to individuals “for their exceptional and tireless commitment to waging peace, rather than war.” How nice...

But despite his objection to the war, Sgt. Cantu re-enlisted for 3 years. Now how does that make sense?

A Ft. Stewart soldier is a member of Appeal for Redress. Here's how The Nation described Marc Train in a January 2007 article...

A few of the antiwar dissidents lean more toward resistance than re-enlistment. Marc Train, 19, is an Army grunt stationed at Fort Stewart, Georgia, and a signer of the Appeal. A native of Salina, Kansas, Train joined the Army right out of high school, convinced that he had no other real career prospects.

Some of his comrades in the Third Infantry Division are scheduled to deploy to Iraq for a staggering third tour of duty. For Train, it will be his first--if he doesn't refuse. He says he wasn't very political before enlisting, but now he's been radicalized. He realizes now he joined the Army only to get a job and that he's grown suspicious of the Administration's motives for war in Iraq. "I think it's all about oil," he says. Train has made clear to his superiors that he's not happy about deploying to Iraq and might refuse to step over the line when the mobilization order becomes effective in January. He's already lost the security clearance for the intelligence job he was trained for, and he's now enmeshed in a series of official investigations. "I want separation from the Army because I don't want to be just a cog in the machine. I've registered as a member of the Socialist Party USA."

Sign on San Diego had an update on Marc Train in a January 27, 2007 article...

Marc Train, 19, an Army private stationed at Fort Stewart, Ga., asked not to be sent with his 3rd Infantry Division unit to Iraq. He said the Army has initiated proceedings to have him discharged. Train said his specialty is intelligence analysis and believes that was a factor in the Army's decision to seek his discharge.

Seeing as two soldiers from the 3rd ID have already lost their lives in this current deployment, I find Train's whining just beyond nauseating. Note to Mr. Train - you are being discharged for refusing deployment - it has nothing to do with "intelligence analysis". At age 19, I seriously doubt the extent of his experience in "intelligence analysis". PLUS Train was at the anti-war protest in Washington while his unit is fighting in Iraq.

I did find one of the comments from a soldier serving in Iraq who is opposed to the actions of Appeal for Redress quite funny and spot on...

"You don't sign up for the military and pick which war you are going to fight."

I couldn't have said it better myself.

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