<\body> Stories in America: Service Members Rally Against the Iraq War

Monday, January 15, 2007

Service Members Rally Against the Iraq War

Marine Sgt. Liam Madden, based in Marine Corps Base Quantico, pauses as he receives a standing ovation before speaking Jan. 15 at a rally against the Iraq war. Madden is co-founder of Appeal for Redress. (M. SCOTT MAHASKEY/ARMY TIMES)

These brave soldiers will deliver their appeal to members of Congress tomorrow in DC. Let's see if the national media covers it. This is from the Army Times:
A small group of out-of-uniform active-duty service members, supported by veterans and academics, gathered inside a Norfolk, Va., church on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to hold a rally calling for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

Speakers invoked King's message of nonviolent resistance, along with his eventual opposition to the Vietnam War, as an example worth following during a war many at the rally said echoes that controversial conflict of an earlier generation – and is a war that should end now.

"It is time for U.S. troops to come home," said Marine Corps Sgt. Liam Madden, speaking to a crowd of about 80 - not including reporters - gathered in the sanctuary of the Unitarian-Universalist Church in downtown Norfolk. He said active-duty troops have the right to speak out, and he said his opposition to the war is not driven by politics.

"It's not political when people heed the call of their conscience," said Madden, 22, who is stationed at Quantico Marine Corps Base and who served in Iraq with Okinawa's 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit as a communications specialist. "Not one more of my brothers should die for a lie. This is my generation's call to conscience." The remarks drew cheers and a standing ovation.

"We're not anti-war," said Navy Mass Communications Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Hutto, 29, who enlisted in 2004 and is assigned to the Norfolk-based carrier Theodore Roosevelt, which deployed to the Persian Gulf in 2005-06. "We're not pacifists. We're anti-Iraq war."

The group's message, he said: "There is an organized, constructive level of dissent with the ranks on this war."


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