"We've all mistaken politics for personal relationships. Our role is not to be a friend or an enemy to a politician. Our role is to encourage them when they work for what we believe is needed, and to discourage them when they move in a different direction. We can best do either of those things by remaining independent and indifferent to the childish notion of being with them or against them. And we can best do either of those things by nonviolent means. In fact, nothing would move our government in a more dangerous direction than anti-governmental violence. And nothing would encourage such violence more than insistence that everyone refrain from criticizing politicians."
BTC - On November 5th many observed Guy Fawkes day. Thankfully, dissent, also known as expressing public disapproval of a direction of our government, is a privilege we participate in without fear of being killed or jailed by our government. Public exploration of ideas and new ways to express non-violent dissent is something we all have a healthy right to examine and observe on days like, November 5th.
However, nothing could have been further from my mind than a mass shooting to stop deployment to Iraq from within the ranks of active servicemen. The violence which took place November 5th at Ft. Hood was a complete aberration in American dissent.
The danger for millions of Americans is how this tragedy will define dissent. More specifically, dissent and non-violent dissent among those in the military. They have voices too. Had someone simply heeded more carefully the signs and signals of service members distress, 13 people would be alive today.
At the the time of the shootings, I was speaking with author & reporter Dahr Jamail. He explained the trials and tribulations of active service members trapped in a vicious cycle of redeployment. He reports that active military have been sent back to Iraq with untreated PTSD and advanced suffering from war related injuries. Many service members are held to excruciatingly painful standards. In some cases, these circumstances have caused extreme hardship and losses for some of their families. Hours later, Truthout.org published this article.
It is saddening on all fronts to see such misery manifest in a strikingly close and tragic way. The interpretation of this shooting on an obscure day of dissent, really observed by another country (the UK), hammers home the notion that actions speak louder than words. It is obvious today that our soldiers are leading an isolated and insular existence. They need our support and help to find healing. Their immediate families need help and support during deployment. They need our friendship and a listening ear. Call and write often to help get them through this difficult time.
We mourn with those who lost their health, family and lives in this complete psychological fracture of military conscience at Ft. Hood.