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Friday, March 09, 2007

GI Resisters Leading the Way Out of War--Also German Court Says Iraq War Illegal

"Between October 2002 and September 2005, the two centres recorded an annual average of 1,546 such discharges. Last year, the number grew to 1,988, or more than five per day. No figures are yet available for 2007.

"According to the War Resisters Support Campaign in Canada, as many as 200 to 300 US soldiers may have headed north across the border to escape deployment. Growing opposition to the war from inside the ranks of the army is also expressed in a petition to the US Congress that has been supported by nearly 1,600 active soldiers and which reads in part: “Staying in Iraq will not work and is not worth the price.”

"Agustin Aguayo is now the first US soldier to be tried and convicted in connection with the Iraq war by a military court outside of US territory. The fact that the German government has been content to merely look on and make no comment on the proceedings against Aguayo taking place on German soil is an indictment of the role of the current grand coalition (Social Democratic Party, Christian Democratic Union and Christian Social Union) and its predecessor, the SPD-Green Party coalition.

"A leading German court has already declared the Iraq war to be in violation of international law. In 2005, the German federal administrative court in Leipzig passed judgement in the case of the German officer Major Florian Pfaff, who refused to obey an order following the invasion of Iraq by the US-led coalition of forces. Pfaff argued that he was not prepared to follow orders because it would involve his active support in a war he regarded to be illegal. As a result, he was demoted from major to captain, and the German army filed a criminal complaint against him for insubordination.

"In its 2005 judgment, the Leipzig court referred to the United Nations charter and concluded that, in fact, the US war in Iraq was illegal. It found in favor of the German officer and reversed his demotion. In addition to judging the Iraq war illegal, the court also concluded that the charges against the German officer contravened Article 4, Paragraph 1, of the German Constitution, which guarantees the right to freedom of conscience.

Whole article can be found at above link on World Socialist Website

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