Declaring that “we [USA] are now violating the people of this country [Iraq] in ways that we would never accept on our own soil”, SPC Eli Israel told his commanding officer that he would no longer play a ‘combat role’ in this conflict or ‘protect corporate representatives.’ That same day [June 19, 2007] Eli wrote a letter to a friend saying that they have taken his decision as ‘violating a direct order’ and has asked that friend to tell everyone about his situation for fear that he might ‘disappear’.
Eli became morally opposed to the war after he saw what the United States was doing in and to Iraq. He took a courageous step in defying his commanding officer. Moreover, his actions affirm the feelings of U.S. veterans and active service members all over the world – they’ve risked their lives and shattered a nation under false pretense. Millions are against this war, but a soldier openly rejecting the occupation of Iraq is something that the government cannot ignore.
Eli will most likely be court-martialed (to be tried for an offense by a military court) for breaking military law by disobeying direct orders. According to precedent set at the Nürenburg trails, a solider can only act according to what he or she believes to be right, and accept the consequences of either following or disobeying orders. SPC Israel is taking a stand where so many Nazi war criminals did not by examining the orders he has been given and questioning their morality. His actions are protected by international law – let’s make sure we protect him here.
The military will try to silence this story; we cannot let them. We can also not allow the illegal mistreatment of this soldier, Eli Israel – please spread the word. Contact his Senator, Mitch McConnell, and encourage him to fend for this soldier’s rights against any illegal retaliation.
‘What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn.” – On the Duty of Civil Disobedience – Henry David Thoreau