WAR RESISTERS WELCOME HERE
19-year old war resister Brandon Hughey spoke Nov. 30, 2004 in
Ottawa to 15,000 protesting George W. Bush’s presence in Canada.
“Up until last March, I was a member of the United States Army’s
First Cavalry Division based out of Ft. Hood, Texas. This was
before I’d been given an illegal order, an order which goes
against international law. This order was to participate in the
invasion and occupation of Iraq. This occupation had been
launched under false pretenses and it was found that no weapons
of mass destruction existed in Iraq, nor did any ties to Al
“Not only was the war launched under false pretenses, but it has
since proven to be nothing short of a crime against humanity.
“I don’t care what people in the States call me, raping
prisoners, shooting ambulances, bombing civilians and burning
cities is not my idea of honorable duty.
“As a soldier when I signed up in the military, I was under the
impression I would be fighting to defend my country and I would
be a good guy in the eyes of the people of the world. When
George Bush launched this war of aggression, to say the least it
shattered this myth. I had no idea that I would be asked to
participate in a crime against humanity against a people who
were no threat to my own.
“Many Americans would wonder why, after deposing Saddam Hussein,
the Iraqi people would then rise up against them. To them I
would ask, ‘If a foreign invader dropped a bomb on your house,
killed half your family then told you, You should be thankful
because you’ve been liberated, would you not feel angry enough
to shoot at them?’
“Regardless of any contract signed or any oath taken, when in
order to fulfill that obligation you have to tie up a
defenseless man, put a hood over his head and watch as he’s
mauled by two Rottweiler dogs, that’s when it becomes your duty
to stand up and say no. The Nuremberg principle was established
after World War Two set that standard when it said that a
soldier has a duty to resist unlawful and immoral orders, even
if they go against the domestic law of his homeland.
“Those who say if I were to just go to Iraq and do my duty, I
couldn’t be prosecuted, you only need to look at the Abu Ghraib
prison scandal where low-ranking enlisted servicemen were
scapegoated after following orders from higher up.
“I’m not saying that these people don’t deserve to be punished –
as obviously they had an obligation to refuse these orders – but
with evidence showing that these acts were approved from higher
up in the chain of command, there should be more people going to
jail than just a couple of privates.
“So after I failed to get a discharge, after speaking with my
commanding officers, and asking for a discharge, I made the
decision to come to Canada after that request was denied. My
hope is that the Canadian people will support me for the same
reasons they would not send their own troops to Iraq.”
(transcribed by Snowshoefilms)