Dear Democracy Now! Visitor: We are an independent, ad-free daily news program that serves millions of viewers and listeners each month. In this US election year, Democracy Now! is more important than ever. For 20 years, we’ve put a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power. We lift up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We do all of this with just a fraction of the budget and staff of a commercial news show. We do it without ads, corporate sponsorship or government funding. How is this possible? Only with your support. A generous funder will match your donation dollar for dollar if you donate right now. That means when you give $10, your donation will be worth $20. Pretty exciting, right? So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you every day.

Your Donation: $

U.S. War in Afghanistan Causes Surge in Conscientious Objectors

October 17, 2001
Story
WATCH FULL SHOW

The US bombed Afghanistan for the tenth day today, destroying a Red Cross building and further inflaming anti-US sentiment in much of the Muslim world. US officials like Secretary of War Donald Rumsfeld have said in recent days that the so-called war on terrorism may last months or even years, leading to increased anxiety and even resistance among men and women in the armed forces.

Although there hasn’t been a draft since 1973, there are still people in the all-volunteer military who consider themselves conscientious objectors. An estimated 1,000 soldiers inquired about objector status during the Gulf War, and tens of thousands applied during Vietnam. Many have also surfaced since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 and the American bombing of Afghanistan. Although their reasons vary, most conscientious objectors would disagree with the notion that "our job is to break stuff and bomb people," as one air force instructor told a recruit now applying for CO status.

One of the first places that doubting GIs call is the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors.

Guests:

  • Mario Hardy, The Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors
  • Jeff Paterson, first Gulf War resister

Related links:


The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.