Freedom? What Freedom?
War -- Guns, tanks, chemical weapons, killing, devastation, inhumanity.
By Monica Benderman
12/01/05 "ICH" -- -- Why do we go to war? Why does anyone pursue another to the point of war?
Forget who instigated it. At war – both sides kill. Soldiers are told their side is right – they are given guns and ordered to kill as many on the other side as possible because the “other side” is wrong.
WHO exactly tells us we are right?
Who is it that has decided that our side is right?
Some blame a president. Who made him right?
Some blame a congress. Who made them right?
Who are these people that three hundred million Americans have allowed them to lead us into something so very wrong as war – with the illusion of their being right?
They are members of a political party – in this great country, we seem to be controlled by TWO. Who made them right?
Who gave the leaders of these two parties the authority to handpick those candidates that the rest of America would have to choose to lead them? What made their choices right?
WHY are American citizens allowing anyone at all to tell them what is right without question and without verifiable proof?
America – The Land of the FREE.
People tell me that we are only free because our soldiers are willing to sacrifice their lives to keep us that way. What makes them right?
If we have to die to preserve our freedom, then something is very wrong.
If people are willing to die at our hands to defend their right to their own freedom – something we claim to be so significant in our actions – then how can we tell them they are wrong?
Freedom means having the right to live as one chooses – and that right is earned because the choices one makes do not disrespect the choices of others, which may be different than ours. Who is right?
Don’t tell me our soldiers are dying in Iraq to keep us free. We are more imprisoned now than we ever have been – because our soldiers are dying in Iraq.
We invaded Iraq because our country thought it was right, and Iraq was wrong. The Iraqi people maintained their standards. They did not invade us, they did not threaten us – even though many felt that America was wrong.
We say they are wrong now, because they attack us for being in their country. They are defending themselves – what makes them wrong?
We have sacrificed everything we ever had that made us free – we sacrificed everything that was right about America on the day we invaded Iraq.
We sacrificed this country’s integrity, its principles, and its moral courage on the day we invaded Iraq.
We sacrificed ethics, concern for humanity, dignity and honor.
Freedom? What freedom?
We have freely built an arsenal to surround ourselves with. Every weapon man could imagine – closing the doors on our freedoms.
War is the total loss of freedom. War confines, war dictates, war destroys. War demands that one control another – and yet no one is in control.
Freedom means controlling oneself so that no one else can control you. Freedom does not mean imposing your “rightness” on another.
Freedom is respect – respect that has been earned because we know the value of that freedom – hard earned, not by killing others. Freedom is earned by staying committed to a standard, a set of principles. Freedom means that no one, regardless of what they do, will allow us to fall from the standard of integrity that we have chosen for ourselves. Moral Courage.
Freedom looks at another, not as an enemy because he thinks differently and not to give us the right to tell him he is wrong . Freedom looks at another and understands the value of what he has earned – his differences – his being RIGHT – for himself – and Freedom honors those differences because they were hard earned – because he holds himself to his own standards.
Freedom allows differences – for without differences how would we ever grow stronger in our humanity? How would we ever remain free?
America is not free. Americans don’t know freedom. Americans know fear –and so America goes to war. We will continue to imprison or destroy anyone who disagrees – as long as we fear facing the question of being wrong.
Who made America right? What will it take to make America free?
Sgt. Kevin Benderman is currently serving a 15-month sentence at Ft. Lewis WA, as a Prisoner of Conscience, for declaring himself a Conscientious Objector to war against the Army’s wishes. Please visit www.BendermanDefense.org and www.BendermanTimeline.com for more information. Monica may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org