Active Duties GI’s against the war

Jonathan Hutto: A Powerful and Inspiring Voice
Feb. 18
Middletown, Connecticut


Active Duty Seaman Jonathan Hutto spoke with infectious enthusiasm about the campaign he co-founded — the Appeal for Redress, an appeal addressed to Congress from members of the active duty military. (Hutto with Sally Weiss, Traprock Core Group member; photo © 2007 Carl Moos. He is holding the “invaluable” study – Soldiers in Revolt.)

The Appeal reads:

“As a patriotic American proud to serve the nation in uniform, I respectfully urge my political leaders in Congress to support the prompt withdrawal of all American military forces and bases from Iraq. Staying in Iraq will not work and is not worth the price. It is time for U.S. troops to come home.”

The Appeal now has 1277 military signers. 826 of them are active duty personnel, 298 active reserves A large percentage have served in Iraq. The growing number of signers is tabulated on their website “”. It has been easier to get signatures than the founders expected. The time must be right.

The Appeal for Redress relies legally on the Military Whistleblower Protection Act, which states that an active member of the military has a right to contact Congress at any time. This makes them a powerful voice. On January 16 the Appeal for Redress was formally delivered to Congress on the steps of the Capital into the hands of Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, John Lewis of Georgia and John Conyers of Michigan.

ACTION Jonathan would like all of us to reach out to active military at bases near where we live. In our case in western Massachusetts this would be Westover. The Peace Movement can let reservists and soldiers know that we don’t oppose them personally and we want to know about their situation and help if possible. We could also help spread word about the Appeal for Redress. Jonathan says: FIND THEM. I TELL YOU — THEY ARE INTERESTED.

Jonathan talked about how the war in Iraq is a mistake on so many levels — how we got in — the lies about WMD’s — and so much more. But his concern for service members is wide-ranging. There is the Stop Loss policy, the backdoor draft of adding months or a year extensions to tours of duty. When the numbers of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are not met, soldiers are reassigned away from their training areas and into combat. And after leaving the service, people can be called back to duty under “Instant Ready Reserve” and other provisions. In his talk Jonathan addressed the conditions of military life. A service member leads a dismal and constrained life. A base is a calamity, Jonathan says. The services are rife with racism, homophobia, sexism. The military culture is not keeping up with the rest of society in wrestling with these changes. The rancor between the officer corps and the troops is great. Military life needs reform — from the inside. Low pay is certainly an issue. Many soldiers are getting married, many feeling pushed to do so for the extra pay. What is needed ? — a UNION for service members. The Redress people want Congress and all of us to address the conditions that soldiers live in day by day. A blog that sheds light is Soldiers

“SIR, NO SIR!” America’s experience in the Viet Nam War speaks loudly to Hutto, particularly the organized opposition to the war within the military. He had his well-worn copy of the book “Soldiers in Revolt” by David Cortright with him and he showed us a clip of the film “Sir, No Sir”. In fact, the whole Redress movement started when — on his ship off the coast of Iraq — he read Cortwright’s hard-hitting expose of Viet Nam. A major factor in ending the Viet Nam War was the revolt of the active duty military. There were those who fled to Canada, and the many who zoned out on drugs to escape participating in that unjust war. But there were also those who formed The GI Movement and actively, politically resisted. Soldiers took part in public marches, and there was active disobedience in the war zone, including fragging of officers and NCO’s.

All this inspires Jonathan. Jonathan in turn inspired an audience, informed an audience, motivated an audience.

Do check their website frequently: