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Fwd:An Iraq Veteran Against the War Speaks

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  • ellen allen
    Thought you all might want to read the speech that Clifton Hicks made in Orlando on Saturday. e Linda Pollini wrote: CC: ellen
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 30, 2007
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      Thought you all might want to read the speech that Clifton Hicks made in Orlando on Saturday. 

      Linda Pollini <thirdeyegrafix@...> wrote:
      CC: ellen allen <ellenallen122@...>
      From: Linda Pollini <thirdeyegrafix@...>
      Subject: Fwd:An Iraq Veteran Against the War Speaks
      Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2007 20:17:15

      > An Iraq Veteran Against the War Speaks
      > Clifton Hicks on October 27, 2007
      > United for Peace and Justice Rally at Lake Eola Park
      > Orlando, Florida
      > "I volunteered to fight in Iraq when I was seventeen years old and
      > three of my best friends died there. The first was burned to death
      > when his tank was hit by a rocket, the second was shot by a sniper,
      > and the third was blown to pieces by an I.E.D. Four years later I
      > stand before you in the name of peace and liberty and I stand with
      > you against the illegal, immoral and unnecessary occupation of
      > Iraq. (Applause)
      > When I joined the Army, I swore an oath to support and defend the
      > Constitution of the United States against all enemies, be they
      > foreign or domestic. To this day I still live by that oath and that
      > is exactly why I am here today, on top of this stage, right now.
      > Every single veteran in this country has a duty to resist this war.
      > In October of 2003, I was ordered to join the first squadron of the
      > First United States Cavalry Regiment which had been in combat
      > already for five months in Baghdad. When I got there they gave me
      > an M-16 rifle and a bullet-proof vest and in exchange for this,
      > they took from me, my soul and my conscience and for ten months,
      > every single aspect of my humanity. They told me to forget
      > everything that I'd ever known or thought I knew. They told me to
      > shoot first and ask questions later. They told me that if I wanted
      > to survive, I would turn myself into a machine. Well.....I wanted
      > to survive, so I turned myself into a machine. I shut my mouth and
      > I shut my ears and my heart and I didn't hear the screaming of the
      > people that died, or the pleading of the women whose husbands we
      > took away in the night, or the motherless children who begged for
      > food and water. It was easy for me to ignore these things....to
      > pretend that they didn't affect me because I was so afraid. I was
      > afraid of dying. I was more afraid of being crippled and even more
      > afraid of what would happen to me if I was ever captured by the
      > enemy and for that purpose I kept an extra bullet in my pocket,
      > this pocket right here, so that I could always blow my own brains
      > out if I ever had to.
      > By the time I was nineteen I learned that the natural human
      > reaction to fear is hatred, shortly followed by violence because
      > any Iraqi might potentially pose a threat, all were treated as the
      > enemy. And eventually as casualties mounted and families fell apart
      > back home, abusing the Iraqis was seen as a simple matter of
      > revenge, whether it be demolishing their homes with our tanks;
      > handcuffing and publicly beating them in front of their families,
      > destroying their livestock and burning down their places of
      > business, kidnapping entire male populations of villages to be
      > tortured in secret prisons, refusing basic medical care to mothers
      > with dying children, cheering from rooftops while entire apartment
      > complexes filled with people were leveled by C130 gun ships or even
      > covering up the wrongful deaths of local civilians.
      > Now understand......that I speak not of rumors or of hearsay or of
      > things I've read about. I speak of things I have seen with my own
      > eyes and things I have done with my own two hands. I am GUILTY of
      > these things! Because of our hatred for the Iraqis and our fear
      > and mistrust for our own corrupt and abusive leadership none of the
      > occurrences were ever questioned. They were simply accepted as the
      > way things had to be. And make no mistake........when the American
      > Army or the American Marine Corps rolls into a populated area, they
      > KILL EVERYBODY. It's understood than anybody who's still there is
      > the enemy, and these people are killed wantonly. It happens
      > everyday.......it's happening right now.......and I'm not here to
      > tell you horror stories. I'm not here to shock you because none of
      > these things should come as a surprise to any of us. We've seen it
      > all before throughout history, the countless times we've murdered
      > each other by the thousands and the millions over
      > nothing.....absolutely nothing. Whether we're talking about Iraq or
      > Viet Nam, the First World War or even our own Civil War, all of
      > these tragedies, these fool's errors, as I like to call them,
      > they've all had one thing in common, besides fear, hatred and
      > death. All of these things resulted from the same pointless and
      > idiotic logic, the same greed for wealth and power and the same
      > disregard for the sanctity and value for human life.....(Applause)
      > I don't know about you folks, but I for one am getting really sick
      > and tired of being thrown to the G..D.... lions everytime some high-
      > born coward like George Bush or Dick Cheney decides that we need
      > another war. (Applause)
      > I came here today, along with all of you good people, to send a
      > message to these lying, low-down yellow-bellied C... S...'n
      > cowards in Washington, that the American people are against this
      > stupid war and the American people will not stand for it one
      > F...... day longer. (Applause)
      > In closing, I want to tell you about a conversation I had with my
      > Father just the other day. Now Dad, he was a veteran. He was in
      > the Army back in the sixties, and his Dad was a WW2 veteran, so
      > this is not B.S. He said, "History has well proven that the US
      > cannot be defeated from without. It can only be defeated from
      > within." Now these scumbags that are running our country today,
      > have been lying to us for years now and what they tell us is that,
      > "Well it's better to fight 'em over there than over here." well
      > that sounds all pretty well and good doesn't it? But what they've
      > never told us is that the enemy is already here. And that they
      > never came from places like Iraq or Viet Nam or Afghanistan or
      > Russia or anyplace like that, but they were all born and raised
      > right here in the United States...... and they all call themselves
      > Presidents and Congressman and Senators and they all live in this
      > shitty s-hole called Washington D.C...........Thank-you
      > all...That's all I've got......(Applause).."
      > Submitted by Linda Pollini
      > The author has been a peace activist since the Viet Nam War. She
      > can be reached at thirdeyegrafix@.... By permission, Clif
      > Hicks is a 22 year old student in Gainesville, Florida

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