Soldiers, you are not alone! — a message to U.S. troops on the Mexican border from Veterans For Peace
The following is a leaflet Veterans For Peace issued in mid-November.
You are not alone if you are thinking, WTF am I doing on the U.S. border with Mexico?
You are not alone if you are asking if this is some kind of political stunt.
You are not alone if you wonder what all this concertina wire is for.
Is it even legal to deploy troops on U.S. soil? Against desperate asylum seekers?
You are not alone if you are re-thinking your role in the U.S. military.
No, you are not alone. Many people, in and out of the military, have these very same concerns.
Veterans For Peace certainly does. We believe the deployment of U.S. troops to the border is an illegitimate use of the U.S. military. We believe the Central America caravan poses no threat whatsoever to anyone.
This is no “invasion.” The asylum seekers are traveling in a caravan for their safety from criminal gangs. With their babies and young children, they are fleeing from extreme violence and poverty. They are desperate to keep their families alive. They have every right under both U.S. and international law to seek asylum in the U.S.
In fact, we have a special responsibility to help them. For decades the U.S. has been supporting corrupt dictators throughout Latin America, creating the conditions from which these poor people are fleeing. We should be meeting the asylum seekers at the border with open arms, not with concertina wire.
If you decide to follow your conscience and refuse to obey orders that you believe are illegal or immoral, you will not be alone. Veterans For Peace will support you, along with other organizations who have legal resources and know how to organize political support. See below.
If you decide it is time for you to get out of the military, we can put you in touch with counselors who can help you to be honorably discharged.
Most of all, as veterans of multiple wars, we strongly advise you not to do anything that you might regret for the rest of your life, just because you were “following orders.” It is much better to follow your conscience, and do what you know deep down is right.
Veterans For Peace is responsible for this message. The other organizations listed are valuable resources.
Veterans For Peace: veteransforpeace.org; Courage to Resist: couragetoresist.org; Military Law Task Force: nlgmltf.org; Center on Conscience and War: www.centeronconscience.org; GI Rights Hotline: 877-447-4487
Veterans For Peace works to educate the public about the true costs of war. We want peace at home and peace abroad. We are committed to acting nonviolently. We welcome active duty members.
DoD Instruction 1325.06 allows GIs to read and keep one copy of the leaflet.