Report from St. Louis vets convention
Highlights: Courage to Resist & IVAW workshop "Supporting GI Resistance" with Mark Wilkerson and Agustin Aguayo, veterans march to the Arch, counter-recruiting action at expo, picket against military sexual abuse at induction center, and more!

Help support Eli Israel's new mission
Help support Eli Israel's new mission: To end the Iraq occupation! Read about his first week as an anti-war activist below, and then donate to Courage to Resist's "Eli Israel campaign" fund.

"The Sutras of Abu Ghraib"
"Notes from a conscientious objector in Iraq", a new book by Iraq War veteran, objector Aidan Delgado. Available from Courage to Resist.

Message from Pablo Paredes
Iraq War resister, GI Rights counselor, "The good people at Courage to Resist and their work ... are the inspiration for those who are currently being asked by history to find that unsung courage - the courage to resist. Please donate.

PBS's NOW aired "AWOL" last week, a half hour documentary featuring Iraq War veterans turned resisters Agustin Aguayo and James Burmeister. View it online here.


Report from Vets for Peace St. Louis convention

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Top: Iraq War resisters Camilo Mejia, Agustin Aguayo, Stephen Funk, Eugene Cherry, and Suzanne Swift. Bottom: Vets march to Arch

Courage to Resist joined over 400 members of Veterans for Peace (VFP) and Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) in St. Louis, Missouri last week August 15-19 for the 22nd annual national VFP convention.

Highlights for us included: The Courage to Resist and IVAW workshop entitled, “Supporting GI Resistance;” Army Spc. Agustin Aguayo’s presentation at the Centenary Methodist Church; IVAW’s “War is Not a Game” counter-recruiting action at the Missouri Black Expo job fair; The election of Iraq War resister Camilo Mejia to the chair of the IVAW board of directors; A information picket at the St. Louis military induction center about sexual abuse in the services; And a spirited march through downtown St. Louis ending at the arch.

Over sixty people jammed into a small, sweltering conference room for our “Supporting GI Resistance” workshop featuring Iraq War veterans turned resisters Agustin Aguayo and Mark Wilkerson. Agustin and Mark each gave compelling personal accounts of resisting redeployment to Iraq, and serving over six months each in military brigs for their resistance. Tom Mortillo of IVAW and myself on behalf of Courage to Resist presented overviews of current resisters and coming efforts to launch nationwide campaigns to better “support GI resistance.”

Read complete report with additional photos and video


Help support Eli Israel's new mission

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Army Spc. Eli Israel at Kennebunkport, Maine 8/25/07. Photo: V Kelly Bellis

Help Courage to Resist support Eli Israel’s new mission: To end the Iraq occupation war! Please donate to our Eli Israel campaign which will help Eli travel, speak out, and help him fight to clear his name and regain his veteran’s benefits.

Eleonai "Eli" Israel. August 27, 2007

The last few months have changed my life forever. From Soldier, JVB Protective Service Agent, and Sniper in the middle of an occupation war, to anti-war veteran within days.

Thank you for your support during my moments of tragedy, and more importantly, thank you for the hope. It’s a hope for healing my soul, and finding ways to deal with the aftershocks from my role in the larger tragedy known as "Iraq".

I arrived stateside from Iraq/Kuwait August 13, and was completely released from the military on August 17. I found myself back in my hometown of Bowling Green, Kentucky planning to take some time off to "decompress". However, I quickly found myself writing to Courage to Resist and Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) instead, asking what I could do now to help the cause and to end the war. Together the two groups flew me to Syracuse, New York where I have hooked by with other members of IVAW and have attended a series of speeches, press conferences, rallies, and marches. Just hours ago we returned from the huge anti-Iraq-War march in Kennebunkport, Maine.

It’s been a pretty busy first week, but I can't bear not being active. It’s not enough for me to take comfort in the fact that I am longer over there myself. There is too much at stake. People are dying, people are killing, people are being tortured in their own homes, right now, and in our name in Iraq. I have to do something.

Our brothers and sisters (the other members of the military who are caught in this occupation) are still involved in this conflict under compulsion. Many, if not most of them, are either consciously opposed to the occupation, or are forced to make attempts to justify their actions.

One soldier that I met this week is suffering from PTSD, and he is being sent back to Iraq without care. His unit has refused to schedule an appointment for him to see a psychiatrist until after his new deployment begins. It is for reasons just like this that we are now truly fighting for our fellow brothers and sisters. We need to do more to assist returning veterans who are neglected by the VA system as well.

I’m also getting ready to begin the fight to have my name cleared, my discharge upgraded, and to regain my veterans benefits that were taken from me after I voiced my opposition to the Iraq occupation.

I'm hoping to use my experience and my education to change the course our country has been on: To end the policies of occupation. To stop the avoidance of domestic defensive measures. To end the violations of domestic liberties. And to stop the heavy-handed offensive actions around the world which are done in the name of security, but which instead result in more insecurity.

This starts now and it starts with us. Thank you, all of you, for your support in the cause that we now stand for together.

Seek the truth, make the stand.

Donate to Courage to Resist's "Eli Israel campaign" fund here


New book by Iraq veteran, objector Aidan Delgado

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New book by Iraq veteran, objector Aidan Delgado

The Sutras of Abu Ghraib: Notes from a Conscientious Objector in Iraq

Available from Courage to Resist for a donation of $25. That's the same as the cover price, but without additional shipping or tax.

'The Sutras of Abu Ghraib' is the story of a soldier who refused to succumb to violence. In chronicling the struggles of military life and the dehumanizing effects of war, Aidan Delgado examines the attitudes that make prisoner abuse possible and explores his own developing Buddhist beliefs against a brutal backdrop. It is a tale of physical bravery, moral courage, and the cost of holding on to your identity while everyone around you is losing theirs.

"Aidan Delgado is a powerful, eloquent writer. His description of how he was transformed by the horrors of Iraq is unforgettable. He is a diamond in the rough, sandblasted in the desert of Iraq." — Amy Goodman, Democracy Now

Read more reviews and/or order now from Courage to Resist


A message from Pablo Paredes

Navy Petty Officer Pablo Paredes speaks out against the war as his ship deploys from San Diego 12/6/04.

Navy Petty Officer and weapons-control technician turned Iraq War resister. Pablo is currently a GI Rights counselor.

Courage is so often assumed of the cowardly and so seldom acknowledged in the brave. 

The good people at Courage to Resist and their work are the anecdote to that troublesome state of affairs and more importantly they are the inspiration for those who are currently being asked by history to find that unsung courage - the courage to resist.

Please make a donation to support the work of Courage to Resist.