ImageBy Army Sgt. Kevin Benderman. April 13, 2007

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Benjamin Franklin

Isn’t that exactly what is happening in Iraq and the war of choice?

We now hear from many who say the troop surge is working but they present no facts to back their claim. On the other hand there are many facts being presented everyday to show that the level of violence is not going down in Iraq. Yesterday in Iraq there was an explosion in the parliamentary building which killed 2-3 parliament members and injured up to 20 more people. A bridge was also partially destroyed in the so called “green zone” which killed 8 more people and wounded numerous others.

About 3 weeks ago during a news conference to show just how safe Iraq has become, the prime minister and the head of the U.N. came under a mortar attack in the building where they were giving the conference, which had the leader of the U.N. ducking for cover.

Every day I hear of a new bombing that kills numerous Iraqi civilians and others that kill numerous American service members. Those are cold hard facts about the situation on the ground.

I hear a lot of talk about the effectiveness of the so called troop surge but I hear of no facts to verify this.

I want to know, just what is being effective about this action?

It seems to me that if it were being effective then the soldiers’ and civilian deaths would be going down instead of staying the same or rising.

I also hear a lot of talk about the congress trying to micro-manage the war with the deadlines they have included in the funding bill recently passed in the house and the senate.

It is being said so as not to bind the generals’ hands on the ground we should not be setting a deadline to bring them home.

But if we go back to the beginning of the war when General Shinseki said that we needed at least 350,000 service members to do this effectively, he was retired (fired) by this administration for saying so.

The secretary of defense at the time told this much decorated general that he had no clue as to how to manage this war and that only 150,000 service members would be needed and the general was promptly sent home.

This comes from an administration whose members have never served in the military, much less in combat.

I am getting sick of hearing the lies told and the incompetence on all levels of how this war came to be and the conduct of it after it was so fool-heartedly started.

American service members are dying by the thousands, and tens of thousands more are being wounded in this war of choice started by an out of control administration intent only on fulfilling their own agenda.

Iraqi civilians are being slaughtered by the thousands because this administration fails to admit they did not know what the hell they were doing in the management of this war.

The people who back this war the most, and their children, will never be in combat because they will out-right tell you they want nothing to do with fighting in this war, but they have no problem sending everyone else to fight in this war that has been shown time and time again to have nothing to do with our national security.

As a soldier who served in the U.S. Army for ten years, including a combat tour in Iraq, and as a citizen who has defended the constitution by voting and speaking about the truth for many years, I am disgusted that this has been allowed to happen in our country.

Congress needs to find the intestinal fortitude to stand up and do what is right in this situation, regardless of their political fortunes.

The American people have spoken and it is time for those in the government to do what our constitution so plainly requires them to do; the will of the American people.

Kevin Benderman is a US Army veteran who served a combat tour in Iraq and returned home to file a Conscientious Objector application as his legal refusal to further participate in a war of choice which has proven to be unjust, immoral and unethical. Kevin was convicted of Missing Movement in July, 2005 and sentenced to a 15 month prison confinement for his stand against war.

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