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A Foot Soldier Throws Down His Gun

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posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 07:29 AM
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A Foot Soldier Throws Down His Gun
from consortiumnews.com
This is an interview with a man who has resigned from working for a major Military/Industrial contractor. He says his actions are the result of having been a 'machine gunner' in Iraq, recognizing that what the US is doing over there is WRONG, he has decided to man up and STOP participating.

His own words in his resignation were not quite the same as what the title portrays (he was a gunner on a Humvee, not a foot soldier), but you all get the idea.

I'm impressed.

Brandon Toy, an Iraq War veteran and a mid-level project manager at General Dynamics, concluded that what he had done and was doing went against the best principles of the United States – and so resigned with a declaration that if “every foot soldier threw down his rifle,” things might change, Dennis J Bernstein reports.

By Dennis J. Bernstein

Brandon Toy, who has just resigned from his position as an engineering project manager at the military contractor General Dynamics, released a letter of resignation that a lot of people are looking at. It says in part:

“I have served the post 9/11 military industrial complex for ten years, first as a soldier in Baghdad, and now as a defense contractor. I’ve always believed that if every foot soldier threw down his rifle, war would end. I hereby now, throw mine down.

At the time of my enlistment I believed in the cause. I was ignorant, naive, and misled.

The narrative professed by the state and echoed by the mainstream press has proven false and criminal. We have become what I thought we were fighting against.

Recent revelations by fearless journalists of war crimes, including counter-insurgency, dirty wars, drone terrorism, suspension of due process, torture, mass surveillance and widespread regulatory capture have shed light on the true nature of the current U.S. government. …”


Good on him!! Yay!!!


In light of the vast numbers of veterans returning from the Middle-Eastern 'theater' (ugh, the irony of that term
) only to find they can't live with themselves OR others, even their wives and children in the case of those who were married - or in the case of those who were NOT married, the grief and horror of what they were 'led to do' and many having 'survivor's guilt' as well as 'murderer's guilt' ---- who then SUICIDE, speaks loudly to the nefarious and truly evil activities of our government.

MORE SPECIFICALLY - the Executive branch - and the Judicial Branch. Congress is, in many ways, unaware of what is going on - the black ops and dirty wars (here's the link again to Jeremy Scahill's book and movie info: Dirty Wars: The World as a Battlefield) which Obama has not only RAMPED UP from the Bush administration, but also LIED about when campaigning, is happening behind closed doors, and WITHOUT Congressional oversight.

This man, who I STOOPIDLY believed would offer "hope and change" is a scoundrel first-class. He really SHOULD BE IMPEACHED for his 'signature drone strikes' - which, for every 'terrorist' or 'potential terrorist' they kill, also ends the lives of anywhere from a handful to dozens of civilians. It is TERRORISM, and it is WRONG. It goes against all international 'laws', and makes me utterly sick,
:bash:


I think that started seeing images of soldiers and war, glorified veterans held up as heroes, flag waving, etc., etc. It just got the idea in my head that that was about the highest thing that you could do for your country, was to serve in the armed forces. And then it just snowballed from there.

After 9/11, I became, I guess you would say, a rabid patriot and I was all for the Iraq war. I have to confess that I voted for President Bush twice. I enlisted at the end of 2003 after Iraq had started. I believed in the cause. I thought we were going over there to find WMDs and fight terrorism on its own soil, etc., etc, oust Hussein from power and bring democracy to the Middle East which now seems like a ludicrous concept to me.

But I actually believed that stuff. So I got sucked in very deeply, very quickly. And even though I didn’t enlist when I was 18 – I was 24 – I still see myself as very young and naive, at that time.

Yep! This is what they do, take naive, enthusiastic young men and women who want to "go help", and turn them into homicidal killing machines. It is WRONG on EVERY LEVEL.

I hope more soldiers will come out and 'quit' - just 'desert' - they can't put ALL SOLDIERS in Gitmo. The troops on the ground - ESPECIALLY the Joint Special Operations Command forces are killers - are rabid beasts ordered about by morally corrupted, evil, scheming monsters - and THEY should be in Gitmo. THEY should be receiving the 'enhanced interrogation techniques' as WAR CRIMINALS - not to get info from them - TO GIVE INFO TO THEM of their wrongdoing.

It's kind of a long interview - but, as the man says, more people ARE becoming aware of what the truth is.
We are lucky to have people willing to speak up - like Manning, Scahill, and the late Michael Hastings (May he rest in peace), Snowden, and others. We are 'lucky' that we still CAN speak up -

And we must.
It's slow going, but we must encourage our families and friends who support the troops to SUPPORT THEM LEAVING THE SERVICE - to remove them from the hell-hole that Obama and his minions have created and perpetuate.

Yes, if EVERYONE, on both sides, would 'throw down their arms' the war would end - but pick them up again and protect the citizenry as we rise up and protest, throw out, arrest and prosecute the brutes who are doing this, destroying SO MANY LIVES, while they watch "Kill TV" in safe offices in the Pentagon.

The actions of the US Military in the Middle-East are MAKING THINGS WORSE - this is established now, beyond a doubt - while the actions of the uprisers are, in my opinion, making it look like we, too, could rise up and actually throw out the corrupt Administration and M/I War Machine - as WELL as the corrupt 'bankers' and their hangers-on. OWS was tame. Hacky sack, joints, tents, flowers - are not going to route them out.

We need to get seriously loud.

In my Opinion.



edit on 21-7-2013 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)
edit on 21-7-2013 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)




posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 07:46 AM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


While many might disagree in favor of their favorite conspiracy on the topic, if we are to believe the the reports concerning 9/11, those "foot soldiers" didn't have rifles.

They flew planes into buildings
.
We weren't IN Afghanistan, or Iraq at the time, thus, we had no "foot soldiers" with rifles there to give any display of throwing down their weapons.

With all due respect, it sounds more like this soldier just got burned out, especially with a change in perspective as a contractor with a MilIndCom.
Certainly, yes, there's sundry reason to no longer support any war action regardless of where it's at.
More power to this fellow for having a change of heart and following it.

We weren't on the ground when those planes hit, however, so, symbolic throwing down of rifles is likely pointless where fanatics will seek out and find any excuse or no excuse at all to kill any and every American, Western nation citizen, and/or any and everyone else not in their fanatic club house they can get at.



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 07:51 AM
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reply to post by Druscilla
 


We weren't on the ground when those planes hit, however, so, symbolic throwing down of rifles is likely pointless where fanatics will seek out and find any excuse or no excuse at all to kill any and every American, Western nation citizen, and/or any and everyone else not in their fanatic club house they can get at.

True, the planes hit the buildings. How many MORE people have to die before it stops? Will it EVER?
The invasion of Iraq was based on a false premise - and it has escalated to the entire region now. The 'reaction' has caused the whole mess to spiral into what is, effectively, WW3. (I won't be a bit surprised if this DOES turn out to be WW3 - but time will tell, I guess.)

I don't know if there's a "way out" - sometimes I think we should just 'segregate' ourselves onto continents, and leave each other alone.



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 08:01 AM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


I don't entirely disagree.
Wouldn't it be nice if the world were so simple as everyone picking a spot, sticking to it and minding their own business?
Unfortunately such aint so. No matter where you go, there will always be meddlers that either want something from someone on the other side of some fence, or don't approve of the manners, habits, and customs of people that have absolutely nothing to do with them.

It's one reason I dream of a day where interstellar space travel is cheap, easy and accessible to anyone and everyone.
All the ABCs can get on a rocket and colonize their very own remote ABC planet far away from everyone, and XYZs can do the same, just as well as the 123s, and anyone else that has trouble getting along with anyone else.



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 08:20 AM
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If we were to stop fighting Radicals, then that would be tantamount to surrender, because I guarantee you that they would keep it up.

The majority of service people leave the service after their first term. It's just not for them. But using a term like "vast numbers" is going a bit too far. It’s normal for people to get out. And it’s usually for a multitude of reasons. You could also say “vast numbers” are enlisting every week.

I’ve been on this planet for 50 years now and cannot remember a time when peace spontaneously broke out in the Middle East. The West has been the Great Satan to some of them for centuries. As the tech base expands, I do believe that more and more people will see the world with new eyes.

But good on this guy who resigned. He at least is standing by his new found convictions, rather than just going through the motions for a paycheck.



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 08:20 AM
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reply to post by Druscilla
 


You might enjoy the "Dune" trilogy and its offshoots by Frank Herbert, although I suspect you've already read them.



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 08:29 AM
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It's all down to someone who wants,
" more than They Bargained For." Through out history. I saw it while in the Navy.

Humans are that way.



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 08:31 AM
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reply to post by TDawgRex
 


I'll be 55 this autumn, and I know that peace has NEVER existed in the Middle-East, as you point out, TDawg.

That's why I think we should isolate ourselves from them entirely - we don't need their "oil" all that badly - we could be developing other ways to 'power up' our own country....
aside from that, though, the ideological tension will likely NEVER end, and even among themselves, they are constantly at war and conflict.

I think it might be best to just get out altogether, and let them sort it out for themselves, with NO HELP, or HINDRANCE from the US. Withdraw all trading, financial support, arms supplies, etc. It's not helping.

My heart breaks for the lives devastated by war and conflict - but I don't think it's something "the West" can do much about except STOP PARTICIPATING.

As for "vast numbers", 22 veterans kill themselves every day, as guesstimated. That's a lot. The totals are MORE than the casualties of active-duty soldiers. Doesn't make sense. War does NOT make sense. But that's my female point of view.
edit on 21-7-2013 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 08:32 AM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


Spice, they want more spice.





“He who controls the spice controls the universe.” ― Frank Herbert, Dune.
edit on 21-7-2013 by RUFFREADY because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 08:35 AM
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reply to post by RUFFREADY
 


Yeah, it's very relaxing.



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 08:36 AM
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The entire world is beginning to rebel against the Obama regime... I bet sooner or later his house of cards will fall on top of him and his co conspirators in crime..



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 08:39 AM
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reply to post by alienreality
 



The entire world is beginning to rebel against the Obama regime... I bet sooner or later his house of cards will fall on top of him and his co conspirators in crime..

And rightly so!
I hope it happens SOON - and that Bush and he are BOTH held accountable as the war criminals that they are.



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 08:40 AM
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Originally posted by TDawgRex
If we were to stop fighting Radicals, then that would be tantamount to surrender, because I guarantee you that they would keep it up.


They've been telling us that for decades and look where its gotten us!

We need a new plan.



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 08:43 AM
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commendable .. another who finally saw past the lies and deciet ... that has the courage to walk away from it and speak out against it .. maybe there is hope yet that one day humanity will grow up and stop slaughtering each other over nothing ...



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 08:59 AM
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I think the upswing in PTSD and suicides is due mostly to people who have no business being in the military signing up for all the wrong reasons. Whether it is for a steady job, college tuition or a misguided sense of patriotic duty. Either way, I have noticed a decline in the quality of personnel in the Armed forces.

I think most likely it is a combination of several factors.

1. Society as a whole is producing weaker people; mentally, socially and physically.
2. The increase in the size of military over the past 10+ years and the lowering of standards.
3. The economy driving people into the service who otherwise would have chosen another occupation.

There are probably others that I haven't thought of, but I have been in the military since before Sept 11 and have noticed the change over the years. Hopefully the cutting down of the numbers of troops will contribute to correcting this.

War is not a thing most of the population is suited for, and when exposed to it we get these results.



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 09:02 AM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 




Yes, if EVERYONE, on both sides, would 'throw down their arms' the war would end - but pick them up again and protect the citizenry as we rise up and protest, throw out, arrest and prosecute the brutes who are doing this, destroying SO MANY LIVES, while they watch "Kill TV" in safe offices in the Pentagon.


I think a lot of us share that man's story. Though I enlisted (and reenlisted) before 9/11, I chose to leave after 8 years. I'd planned on staying until retirement (would have been in 2016) but completely changed course after my deployment in 2003. I walked away from my career and went as far away from the military as possible. I didn't even consider working as a contractor even though I had opportunities. Instead, I took a fairly low paying job and buried myself in school work.

A lot of people struggle with demons. I wouldn't get too excited about this guy's story because it happens every day. As each of us gets out there is another going in. We need people to serve because there will never be a time when people on both sides throw down their arms. We live in a dangerous world. My hope is that we (America) go back to our previous position of minding our business more and only engaging as a last resort. We were dragged kicking and screaming into the World Wars. We need to go back to that mindset. We have to be the change we seek by leading by example.

We shouldn't look down on those who serve their country. 99% of those who serve have a good heart. Our anger should be directed at those who abuse their power and use the military for purposes other than what it was designed. The "foot soldier" is not to blame for what's happening. We all are. We let this happen, not them.

edit on 21-7-2013 by seabag because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 09:05 AM
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Originally posted by wildtimes


Congress is, in many ways, unaware of what is going on - the black ops and dirty wars (here's the link again to Jeremy Scahill's book and movie info: Dirty Wars: The World as a Battlefield) which Obama has not only RAMPED UP from the Bush administration, but also LIED about when campaigning, is happening behind closed doors, and WITHOUT Congressional oversight.

It gets plenty of Congressional oversight. Congress probably conducts more covert action oversight now than at any point in history (and certainly any point before Hughes-Ryan). But Congress has elections to win, and they are not required to conduct all oversight in public, so they don't talk about it.


This man, who I STOOPIDLY believed would offer "hope and change" is a scoundrel first-class. He really SHOULD BE IMPEACHED for his 'signature drone strikes' - which, for every 'terrorist' or 'potential terrorist' they kill, also ends the lives of anywhere from a handful to dozens of civilians. It is TERRORISM, and it is WRONG. It goes against all international 'laws', and makes me utterly sick,
:bash:

Collateral damage is permissible under international humanitarian law, provided it is proportional to the "concrete and direct military advantage" obtained (Customary IHL Rule 14). You may not like the fact that collateral damage occurs--at a much lower rate than past conflicts, I might add--but unless you have specific knowledge of the military advantages obtained by these strikes, it's presumptuous to call them illegal.


Yep! This is what they do, take naive, enthusiastic young men and women who want to "go help", and turn them into homicidal killing machines.

Patronizing rubbish. He was twenty-four. He was older than some of his NCOs and officers. And he continued being "naive" for what, ten years?


I hope more soldiers will come out and 'quit' - just 'desert' - they can't put ALL SOLDIERS in Gitmo.

Other than the billets assigned to whatever Army units are stationed there, they can't put any soldiers in Gitmo.


The troops on the ground - ESPECIALLY the Joint Special Operations Command forces are killers - are rabid beasts ordered about by morally corrupted, evil, scheming monsters -

With very few exceptions, servicemembers are trained killers. That's their job. JSOC operators are the best. They are also the most careful, patient, and discriminating killers in the US Armed Forces, and perhaps the world. You might not like what they do, but there's nothing "rabid" in the way they go about it.



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 09:07 AM
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Some time ago I read that throughout recorded history, there has been 43 years of peace, whether that is true or not I have no idea, but having read history since learning to read, it seems there is usually a war of some sort going on somewhere in the world. sometimes more than one, English/British history is full of wars, civil wars, and uprisings.



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 09:50 AM
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reply to post by FurvusRexCaeli
 



In Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield, Jeremy Scahill, author of the New York Times bestseller Blackwater: The World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army, takes us inside America’s new covert wars. The foot soldiers in these battles operate globally and inside the United States with orders from the White House to do whatever is necessary to hunt down, capture, or kill individuals designated by the president as enemies.

Drawn from the ranks of the Navy SEALs, Delta Force, former Blackwater and other private security contractors, the CIA’s Special Activities Division, and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), these elite soldiers operate worldwide, with thousands of secret commandos working in more than one hundred countries. Funded through “black budgets,” Special Operations Forces conduct missions in denied areas, engage in targeted killings, snatch and grab individuals, and direct drone, AC-130, and cruise missile strikes. While the Bush administration deployed these ghost militias, President Barack Obama has expanded their operations and given them new scope and legitimacy.

Dirty Wars follows the consequences of the declaration that “the world is a battlefield,” as Scahill uncovers the most important foreign policy story of our time. From Afghanistan to Yemen, Somalia, and beyond, Scahill reports from the frontlines in this high-stakes investigation and explores the depths of America’s global killing machine. He goes beneath the surface of America’s covert wars, conducted in the shadows, outside the range of the press, without effective congressional oversight or public debate.

And, based on unprecedented access, Scahill tells the chilling story of an American citizen marked for assassination by his own government.



Read this book, and then come back and tell me these activities have plenty of "oversight."

I'm sorry, but to deny that is "rubbish."

You sound like a true 'military man.' You want evidence? READ THE BOOK. It's over 500 pages of EVIDENCE.


edit on 21-7-2013 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)
edit on 21-7-2013 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 09:50 AM
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Originally posted by watchitburn
I think the upswing in PTSD and suicides is due mostly to people who have no business being in the military signing up for all the wrong reasons. Whether it is for a steady job, college tuition or a misguided sense of patriotic duty. Either way, I have noticed a decline in the quality of personnel in the Armed forces.

I think most likely it is a combination of several factors.

1. Society as a whole is producing weaker people; mentally, socially and physically.
2. The increase in the size of military over the past 10+ years and the lowering of standards.
3. The economy driving people into the service who otherwise would have chosen another occupation.

1. Maybe.

2a. The military today is quite small, about one sixth the size of the World War II Army alone, and an even smaller proportion of the overall population (if I did my math right). I would guess this contributes to the problem. The military isn't large enough to produce a self-sustaining community of veterans. Previous generations had VFW, the American Legion, the Grand Army of the Republic, etc. (I know most of these are still around, but they're less relevant.) Even if you weren't a member of a veterans' organization, you were surrounded by other veterans. The smaller number of OEF/OIF veterans and the trend away from social organizations has removed an important support structure.

2b. The military has higher standards today than throughout much of its history. There actually used to be an illiterate version of the ASVAB (although it wasn't called that). Entry investigations were practically non-existent. There was no ritual of urinalysis, and drug abuse was widespread. Minor, one-time offenders didn't need a moral waiver signed by the SECDEF himself to enlist. Standards today are very high. Audie Murphy would not be accepted. (Come to think of it, he wasn't, but he defrauded his way in anyway.)

3. For decades, people were drafted involuntarily into the service. If "I don't want to be here" causes PTSD or suicides, you would find the greatest rate of PTSD and suicides among the drafted cohorts.






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