Spc Victor Agosto refuses
Victor spoke with
Courage to Resist from his Ft. Hood Army barracks. He's already racked up four written warnings from the Army. Support and defend Victor - Donate to his defense at couragetoresist.org/victor
Another Ft. Hood soldier says NO!
Sgt. Travis Bishop
asks and answers, "Why am I doing what I’m doing? Why am I resisting? Refusing?" Like Victor Agosto, Travis is also with 57th ESB.
Objector who thought he was out arrested
Courage to Resist audio interview with
Dustin Che Stevens. Dustin awaits trial, unless he deploys to Afghanistan--after being out
for six years! (link only)
No jail for war resister Benji Lewis
Marines back off outspoken Courage to Resist activist, but Benji's fight continues. (link only)
Prof. Stephen Zunes: The Afghanistan mess
Audio interview with Middle East scholar Dr.
how U.S. imperial
hubris helped create, and continues to deepen and intensify the
chaos. (link only)
Texas soldier Victor Agosto refuses Afghanistan deployment
To contribute to Victor Agosto’s legal defense fund, please visit: www.couragetoresist.org/victor
By Sarah Lazare, Courage to Resist. May 21, 2009
“There is no way I will deploy to Afghanistan. The occupation is immoral and unjust. It does not make the American people any safer. It has the opposite effect.” The words were scrawled in black ink on the bottom of a military counseling statement, a routine piece of paperwork turned in May 1st to the commander of a Ft. Hood, Texas Army unit headed for Afghanistan. It was signed Victor Agosto, U.S. Army.
Agosto is publicly refusing orders to deploy to Afghanistan. Having served in the Army since 2005, including a tour in Iraq, Agosto can no longer bear to serve and says that he is, “ready for the consequences, whatever they are.” Since May 11th, he has been refusing all orders directly connected to his unit's deployment to Afghanistan, including an order to track the serial numbers of trucks headed for Afghanistan. He has since been assigned to non-deployment tasks such as sweeping the motor pool and "company area beautification" as he waits to see what the military will do to him.
Agosto’s refusal comes as the first waves of troops are being shipped to Afghanistan under the Obama Administration’s recent escalation. President Obama has ordered 21,000 more troops to deploy to Afghanistan this summer, seeking to more than double the 32,000 deployed to 68,000 in the next few months.
There is scant evidence about how the troops themselves feel about this
escalation. The most recent study, a 2006 Zogby poll for Iraq, found
that 72% of all U.S. troops there thought the U.S. should immediately
withdraw. Many of those same troops are now being asked to fight in
Calling from the Ft. Hood Army barracks, the 24 year-old Miami, Florida
native spoke in a deliberate, measured voice. He explained that his own
opposition to the Afghanistan war developed gradually. Having initially
joined the military to, “see the world and do something with his life”
he began to doubt the initial justifications for that war before being
deployed to Iraq, yet was convinced that the U.S. should stay in that
country to “clean up its mess.”
While in Iraq, Agosto worked in communications at the tech control
facility and did not see any violence or “ever feel the slightest bit
of danger.” Nevertheless, during the last few months of his deployment,
his doubts about both Iraq and Afghanistan began to grow. “I came to
oppose it the way a lot of people did. I thought about it, read some
books. Then I began seeing the role I played in the imperialist
Another Ft. Hood soldier says no to Afghanistan occupation
By Sgt. Travis Bishop, Ft. Hood Soldier Voices. May 21, 2009
Like Afghanistan deployment refuser Spc. Victor Agosto, Sgt. Travis Bishop is also with Ft. Hood's 57th ESB.
Why am I doing what I’m doing? Why am I resisting? Refusing?
It wasn’t so long ago that I deployed to Iraq in support of the war
on terror. I didn’t refuse then. Like a good Soldier, I did what I was
told, and I spent 14 months stationed in Baghdad. It was a quiet enough
deployment, I suppose. Mortars and rockets flew over the walls with
unnerving frequency, but otherwise, it felt more like a move to a
different duty station than a deployment to a warzone.
I didn’t see real combat. I didn’t come back with Post-Traumatic
Stress Disorder. I didn’t lose friends. Mine was, in my opinion, an
average deployment. Go overseas, play X-Box and read for a year, come
back with money that’s gone before you remember how you spent it. We
talked and laughed about it once we came back, and talked about what we
would do with the money we made from our next deployment, whenever that
Back home, I received a hero’s welcome. That was the first time I
felt unsettled over what I had done overseas. My hand was shook, my
back was patted, and every night my belly was burning, full of free
alcohol. I was a veteran of a foreign war, hailed as a hero, and yet I
felt…unnerved; anxious. I felt as if I had a big secret inside me that
threatened to burst out of me at any moment, exposing what I really was
to the rest of the world…but I couldn’t figure out what the secret was.
Not for a long, long time.