By Carl Davison. June 8, 2009
“As I expected, not long after presenting this to my whole chain of command and refusing to go on not just one but several flights going to Iraq, I was fined, demoted, incarcerated and then discharged.”
The logic of direct GI resistance is simple; To withhold your labor from something you think is morally wrong, simply saying, I have chosen not participate in something that is at odds with my values and I will tell the military this face to face with pride and dignity so others can learn from my example.
It is different than indirect GI resistance such as desertion in that the servicemember takes a direct stand and does not avoid confrontation with the institution which opposes his moral code but welcomes this confrontation as a means to fight silence among the ranks.
My statement of intent
To: McKean, D. Scott, LTC, 1-66 AR, 1 BDE, 4ID
Feb, 25, 2008
I, SPC. Carl John Davison, HHC, 1-66 AR, 1 BDE, 4ID, under the burden of conscience and with strong resolve must inform you that when facing a dilemma between my sense of what is right and decent and the demands of my chosen profession, I have, after years of fighting myself over this issue, chosen the former, and in doing so choose to disassociate myself with modern warfare and any institution in support of it.
I understand that in a disciplined military force conduct such as this can not and will not be tolerated, because it is important to maintain order and discipline. I also understand that we in the U.S. military are in no position to question the validity of the orders we are given by congress or the executive office, and that we all swore oaths to obey all orders of the President of the United States and the orders of all officers appointed over us.
Under the principle of civil disobedience (which states that if a law or rule conflicts with a higher moral law it is morally acceptable to break it as long as you face the consequences of your actions out of respect to that higher law and out of respect to the offended parties, in this case the U.S. Army and U.S. Government), I uncontestedly accept any and all punishments given to me under the Uniform Code of Military Justice for refusing to deploy to Iraq, I will soon submit a request for a consciences objection discharge 1-0, under Army Regulation 600-43, and Department of Defense Directive 1300.6 which is a chapter 5 discharge.
I am applying the principle of civil disobedience to hopefully contrast myself with those who are not acting on principles and those who prefer to run to Canada, unlike them I prefer to stand my ground and face any consequences.
In my actions I mean no disrespect to the soldiers and marines who sacrifice everyday on the orders of those in Washington D.C., who (most of which) have never served or fought and yet they send others to do so.
My beliefs on the evils of governments and war are not new, I’ve held these views since I subscribed to the Tolstoyian Christian-Anarchist ideologies before I joined the military in January, 2001, but I have purposely suppressed my views that governments are inherently based on violence and that warfare in general is brutal, against the natural laws of God and humanity and it undermines human dignity and divinity and any search for a more peaceful alternative. I mainly suppressed my views for some in my family who would find them intolerable, but this I can no longer do.
I am by no means trying to insult anyone else’s beliefs, which come from their own knowledge, experiences and dictates of conscience, I am only trying to declare my libertarian-pacifistic views and what I must do.
SPC. Carl John Davison
And just as I expected, not long after presenting this to my whole chain of command and refusing to go on not just one but several flights going to Iraq, I was fined, demoted, incarcerated and then discharged in September. I stood confident in the fact that I was not alone, thanks to groups like IVAW and Courage to Resist and the many other GIs before me starting with Stephen Funk and then Camilo Mejia (in this era) and currently Victor Agosto and Travis Bishop have taken the same stand and countless before us against the unjust war in Vietnam. We posed a simple question, “What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?” Thomas Jefferson