Call for Conscientious Objection
by Dieter Duhm
You have no enemies. People of another faith, another culture or another color are not your enemies. There is no reason to fight against them.
Those who send you to war do not do for your interest, but for their own. They do it for their profit, their power, their advantage and their luxury.
Why do you fight for them? Do you gain from their profit? Do you share in their power? Do you share in their luxury?
And against whom do you fight? Did your so called enemies do something to you? Cassius Clay refused to fight in Vietnam. He said the Vietnamese did not do anything to him.
Or you, GIs. Did the Afghanis, the Iraqis, the Iranians and so on, did they do something to you?
Or you, young Russians: Did the Chechenyans do something to you? And if yes, do you know what kind of cruelties your government committed against them?
Or you, young Israelis: Did the Palestinians do something to you? And if yes, do you know what your government did to them? Who fabricated the injustice you are about to fight against? Do you know what powers you serve when you drive with tanks through conquered areas?
Who, for heaven’s sake, fabricated the injustice for whose pretended abatement youth are sent to war? Your governments, your own legislators, the rulers of your own country fabricated it.
It is fabricated by corporate groups and banks, the arms industry and militaries which you serve and whose war commands you obey. Do you want to support their world?
If you do not want to serve their world then ignore war service. Ignore it with such insistence and power that they stop recruiting. “Imagine war was declared and nobody showed up.*” No one on earth has the right to force another person to go to war.
If they want to draft you into war service, then turn the tables. Write to them and tell them where and when and in which socks, underwear and shirts they must report in. Tell them in no uncertain terms, that they must go to war themselves from now on if they want to fulfill their dirty objectives. Use your connections, your media sources, the power of your youth, and your power to turn the tables. If they want war they must get into tanks and dugouts themselves, they must drive through mine fields and they can get cut by shrapnel themselves.
There would no longer be war on earth if those who fabricate these wars had to fight the battles themselves, and if they had to experience in their own body what it means to be mutilated or burnt, to starve, to freeze to death, or to faint from pain.
War is the opposite of all Human Rights. Those who lead war are always wrong. War is an active cause of endless disease: crushed and burned children, bodies, torn to pieces, destroyed village communities, lost relatives, lost friends or lovers, hunger, cold, pain and escape, cruelty against the civilian population – this is what war is.
Nobody is allowed to go to war. There is a higher law behind the laws of rulers: “Thou shall not kill.” It is the moral duty of all courageous people to refuse war service. Do it in large numbers, and do it until nobody wants to go to war anymore. It is an honour to refuse war service. Live this honour until everyone recognizes it.
A soldier's uniform is the fool’s dress of slaves. Command and obedience is the logic of a culture that is afraid of freedom.
Those who agree to war, and even if it is only to obligatory military service, are themselves guilty of complicity. To obey military service goes against all ethics. As long as we are human beings we must put all our effort into stopping this madness. We will not have a humane world as long as military duty is accepted as societal duty.
The enemies are always the others. But think about it: If you were on the “other” side, you yourself would be the enemy. These roles are exchangeable.
“We refuse to be enemies.” The tears shed by a Palestinian mother for her dead child are the same as the tears of an Israeli mother whose child is killed in a suicide bombing.
The warrior of the new era is a warrior of peace.
One has to have the courage to protect life and to become soft inside if our co-creatures are treated with harshness. Train your body, strengthen your heart and stabilise your mind to achieve the soft power which prevails against all resistance. It is the soft power which overcomes all harshness. You all come from the love between a man and a woman. So love, worship and foster love!
“Make love, not war.” This was a profound sentence from American conscientious objectors at the time of the Vietnam War. May this sentence move in all young hearts. And may we all find the intelligence and the will to follow it forever.
In the name of love,
In the name of the protection of all creatures,
In the name of the warmth of all that has skin and fur,
* From the Poem Imagine War Was Declared and No One Showed Up by Bertolt Brecht