Monday, May 30, 2011


Diplomacy is the best method to resolve conflict. It requires great strength to remain nonviolent. Economic sanctions can be used as long as multiple countries enforce them. Unilateral (one country) actions are foolish. Military action must be the absolute last resort. Violence indicates a failure of politicians and diplomats. They can’t do their job so the military has to step in.

I am a member of a military family and several are currently on active duty. I have spent a lot of time worrying about their safety and visited many military bases. We can trace our involvement back to the Civil War (an ancestor was a Union Captain). My family members have been wounded and died in service to our country and on behalf of other countries. They knew the risk when they signed up. I nearly joined but I am a bit too sassy.

There is a clear difference between defense and offense. I don’t always agree with orders from the politicians and decision makers in the Pentagon. Sometimes they use military action to achieve political goals, which is reprehensible. Members of the military follow orders. It is their job to do what they are told to do. It is not the choice of the individual soldier/sailor/airperson/etc but their unit’s commanding officer who follows orders from their commanding officer (CO). The chain of command hierarchy travels all the way up to the Pentagon and Commander in Chief, the President of the United States. The President is ultimately responsible for the actions of every member of the military.

The Geneva Conventions and Protocols must be absolutely enforced. When a service member acts inappropriately, they should go to jail. When a commander acts inappropriately, they should go to jail. Military law should be at least as harsh as civilian law (excluding capital punishment). No one should get off with a reprimand when they break the law or act inappropriately. Period. End of Discussion. The United States must be willing to send their commanders to The Hague for criminal prosecution when they perpetuate war crimes. If the United States is a “champion” of democracy we must fully participate in the world’s efforts for democracy.

The United States Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, and Navy officially need to completely integrate women into full combat duty. Females have been unofficially participating for years. Full combat duty will raise women’s status and increase promotion opportunities. Many countries have fully integrated combat units. The women perform just as well as the men. The number of rapes and assaults will reduce when women are equals. My friend’s daughter suffered horrible harassment by the men in her unit while recently serving in Iraq. She couldn’t report it to her CO without getting in trouble herself. That is profoundly wrong.

I wish that nonviolence would be able to solve all conflict in the world. Unfortunately we humans haven’t evolved to that level of maturity. We keep harming each other. So much has been wasted by violence. What could have been accomplished? We all lose when elected officials fail in their diplomatic skills. I am appalled that the politicians renewed the Patriot Act; it continues the shameful removal of rights from United States citizens. My family has paid and continues to pay for those rights with blood, sweat, and tears.

Thank you to all the current members of the military and veterans. Stay safe! I am proud to be amongst the family and friends who support our military.

© 2011

No comments: