Following are excerpts from a letter from two military veterans appealing to the 15,000 active duty troops the president sent to the border with Mexico. They ask the troops to resist his orders to repress the refugees coming from Central America. The commander in chief has compounded his initial order by telling the troops that if any of the refugees throw stones — which none have threatened — they should be answered as if they fired a rifle. This is not only a fascist rant uttered by a panicked commander in chief, it is a direct order to commit a war crime and should be treated as such and disobeyed. — WW staff.
To All Active Duty Soldiers:
Your commander in chief is lying to you. You should refuse his orders to deploy to the southern U.S. border should you be called to do so. Despite what Trump and his administration are saying, the migrants moving north towards the U.S. are not a threat.
These small numbers of people are escaping intense violence. In fact, much of the reason these men and women — with families just like yours and ours — are fleeing their homes is because of the U.S. meddling in their country’s elections. Look no further than Honduras, where the Obama administration supported the overthrow of a democratically elected president who was then replaced by a repressive dictator.
These extremely poor and vulnerable people are desperate for peace. Who among us would walk a thousand miles with only the clothes on our back without great cause?
Consider this as you are asked to confront these unarmed men, women and children from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. To confront them would be the ultimate hypocrisy.
The U.S. is the richest country in the world, in part because it has exploited countries in Latin America for decades. If you treat people from these countries like criminals, as Trump hopes you will, you only contribute to the legacy of pillage and plunder below our southern border.
We need to confront this history together. We need to confront the reality of [the U.S. of] America’s wealth and both share with and give it back to these people. Above all else, we cannot turn them away at our door. They will die if we do.
By every moral or ethical standard, it is your duty to refuse orders to “defend” the U.S. from these migrants [refugees]. History will look kindly upon you if you do. There are tens of thousands of us who will support your decision to lay your weapons down.
You are better than your commander in chief. Our only advice is to resist in groups. Organize with your fellow soldiers. Do not go this alone. It is much harder to punish the many than the few.
Former U.S. Army Ranger, War-Resister
Former U.S. Army Ranger and Infantry Officer, War-Resister