|The Future of Freedom Foundation|
One thing parents are learning is that federal funds to local school districts have less to do with federal concern that children arent learning in public (i.e., government) schools and more to do with opportunities to extend federal control over American families. Do you remember the much-vaunted No Child Left Behind Act? That Act requires school districts to give the military access to the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of high-school students as a condition of receiving federal funds. So, if a school district says No, we wont give the military the information it seeks to recruit our students, it loses its federal welfare even if all those children are supposedly left behind as a consequence.
Obviously, the biggest reason for parents opposition to the militarys recruitment efforts would be to protect their children from losing their lives and limbs for no valid purpose. After all, ask yourself: What parents would place a higher value on the installation of an Islamic Shiite regime in Iraq, even a democratically elected one, than they would on the life or limbs of their own child? (U.S. officials, of course, do claim that the deaths and maiming of U.S. personnel, as well at the deaths and maiming of tens of thousands of Iraqis, have been worth it.)
But another important factor should be going into the thinking of every parent and, for that matter, every person who is contemplating going into the military: There is no way to reconcile killing an Iraqi citizen, including one who is defending his nation against an unlawful invader and occupier, with Gods sacred commandment against killing, given that the U.S. government is wrongfully in Iraq because Iraq never attacked the United States or even threatened to attack our country.
That makes the U.S. the aggressor nation in this conflict and the unlawful and immoral occupier of a sovereign and independent country. That means that the Iraqis who have been killed and who have yet to be killed as part of the U.S. invasion and occupation are just as innocent as the victims on 9/11 in the sense that none of the Iraqi victims had anything to do with the 9/11 attacks and none of them lived under a government that attacked or even threatened to attack the United States. Thus, U.S. soldiers who kill or maim Iraqis as part of what is called a war of aggression, a type of war barred by the UN Charter and punished at the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal, will ultimately have to struggle morally and religiously with what they have done.
Some soldiers will undoubtedly say, I didnt know I was going to have to invade an innocent country when I signed up and, anyway, Im killing for my country, as if orders by their government to wage a war of aggression excuse them from exercising the conscience that God gave them.
But that excuse is not even available to new recruits: Theyre going to have to explain to God why they signed up knowing that they were going to have to kill innocent people as part of a military force that wrongfully invaded a country and persisted in occupying it with no more purpose than to establish a political regime that it was hoped would be more friendly to the U.S. government than Saddam Husseins regime was.
are wise to protect their children from the U.S. military and its wrongful
invasion and occupation of Iraq, not only in the hope of protecting the
lives and limbs of their children from being wasted in a wrongful and
destructive cause but also in the hope of ensuring that their children
are not put in the horrible moral dilemma of either killing innocent people
or being killed.
Samuel Bostaph is head of the economics department at the University of Dallas and an academic advisor to The Future of Freedom Foundation
Anthony Gregory is a policy advisor at The Future of Freedom Foundation
James Bovard is author of The Bush Betrayal and serves as a policy advisor for The Future of Freedom Foundation
Benedict LaRosa is a historian and writer and serves as a policy advisor to The Future of Freedom Foundation
Bart Frazier is program director at The Future of Freedom Foundation.
Sheldon Richman is senior fellow at The Future of Freedom Foundation in Fairfax, Va., author of Tethered Citizens: Time to Repeal the Welfare State, and editor of The Freeman magazine.
Mr. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. Send him email.