Refusing to Comply

On May 1st at Fort Hood in central Texas, Specialist Victor Agosto wrote on a counseling statement, which is actually a punitive U.S. Army memo: "There is no way I will deploy to Afghanistan. The occupation is immoral and unjust. It does not make the American people any safer. It has the opposite effect."

Ten days later, he refused to obey a direct order from his company commander to prepare to deploy and was issued a second counseling statement. On that one he wrote, "I will not obey any orders I deem to be immoral or illegal." Shortly thereafter, he told a reporter, "I'm not willing to participate in this occupation, knowing it is completely wrong. It's a matter of what I'm willing to live with."

Agosto had already served in Iraq for 13 months with the 57th Expeditionary Signal Battalion. Currently on active duty at Fort Hood, he admits, "It was in Iraq that I turned against the occupations. I started to feel very guilty. I watched contractors making obscene amounts of money. I found no evidence that the occupation was in any way helping the people of Iraq. I know I contributed to death and human suffering. It's hard to quantify how much I caused, but I know I contributed to it."

Read the rest of the article here.

Tags: afghanistan, afghanistan war, dissent, iraq, iraq war, military, refusal, soldiers, vietnam, war

    • Dahr Jamail
    • Dahr Jamail is an independent journalist and author whose stories have been published with Al Jazeera English, The Independent, The Nation, The Sunday Herald in Scotland, the Guardian, Foreign Policy in Focus, and Le Monde Diplomatique. On radio as well as television, Jamail reports for Democracy ...

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