By Mike Ferner, president of Veterans for Peace. May 20, 2010
Dear Brother Glenton,
Speaking for over 7,000 members of Veterans For Peace, I heartily join in the sentiment expressed by a policeman in front of your wife and her mother as you were going to court for a hearing, “This boy makes us proud.”
Send letters of support to: Joe Glenton; Military Corrective Training Center; Berechurch Hallcamp; Colchester C02 9NU; England
We are particularly proud that you have demonstrated that rarest form of courage – you’ve gone against the weight of culture, society and the military to use your own brains and compassion to judge between right and wrong. You have joined the time-honored ranks of the many who stood and spoke the truth. Your resistance inspires people around the world.
Curiously, the last time I used this document file to write a letter to someone, was to President Obama. This is part of what I said to him.
What is the number of dead and injured at which you will say, “This can’t go on;” the number at which you will decide it’s time to turn away from violence and find another way? This really is the question upon which everything else will turn – how many bodies are too many? You know it is impossible to kill our way to a resolution, if for no other reason than every death and injury creates even more people willing to fight and die to remove us from their land.
We’ve been through this before, Mr. President, and I don’t mean that in a rhetorical way. We have indeed been through this all before – unlike most of the people in our country or in your administration. We have seen and heard and smelled and felt what “death from above” actually means, not in a briefing report but in our hands and before our very eyes. We’ve seen the look in the eyes of the people we occupied. We felt their anger and their humiliation. We remember these things well, Mr. President, because they will not go away no matter how many years pass.
It is with some irony I note that those words were addressed to someone awarded the Nobel Peace Prize while waging wars and today I write to someone who is in prison for saying “This can’t go on.”
As you wait to return to the sunshine, Joe, I hope you will keep in mind on the bad days that many, many people are made stronger by your principled act of resistance. It was Martin Luther King, Jr. who observed that the arc of history may be long, “but it bends towards justice.” Veterans For Peace stands with you!
Mike Ferner, National President
Veterans For Peace
US Navy Hospital Corps 1969-73