Woman GI Takes Public Stand Against War

November 22nd, 2005 - by admin

SPC Katherine Jashinski / Courage to Resist – 2005-11-22 08:18:21


First Woman GI Takes Public Stand Against War!
SPC Katherine Jashinski / Courage to Resist

(Nov. 17, 2005) — Army National Guard Specialist Katherine Jashinski, on active duty with the 111th ASG since January of this year, made a public statement against war as a conscientious objector in the face of orders to participate in weapons training and deploy to the Middle East

Very exciting news from Fort Benning Georgia! As thousands gather to call for the closure of the notorious School of the Americas (SOA/ WHINSEC),

Army National Guard Specialist Katherine Jashinski publicly announces her refusal to be deployed to the Middle East.

Read Katherine’s full statement made at Ft. Benning, GA on November 17, 2005 below. She is the first woman in the military to publicly declare resistance to participation in the war.

GI resisters, conscientious objectors, and dissent within the military deserve our support as they stand up for human rights and dignity, democratic rights, and international law.

Widespread public support and pressure can help protect these courageous individuals from feelings of isolation and from repression of them and their rights. The fact that soldiers, veterans and military families have re-inspired the US antiwar movement and successfully countered the story of the war on terror is incredibly hopeful!

Statement made at Ft. Benning, GA on November 17, 2005
by SPC Katherine Jashinski, first woman in the military to publicly declare resistance to participation in the war:

My name is Katherine Jashinski. I am a SPC in the Texas Army National Guard. I was born in Milwaukee, WI and I am 22 years old. When I graduated high school I moved to Austin, TX to attend college. At age 19 I enlisted in the Guard as a cook because I wanted to experience military life. When I enlisted I believed that killing was immoral, but also that war was an inevitable part of life and therefore, an exception to the rule.

After enlisting I began the slow transformation into adulthood. Like many teenagers who leave their home for the first time, I went through a period of growth and soul searching. I encountered many new people and ideas that broadly expanded my narrow experiences.

After reading essays by Bertrand Russel and traveling to the South Pacific and talking to people from all over the world, my beliefs about humanity and its relation to war changed. I began to see a bigger picture of the world and I started to reevaluate everything that I had been taught about war as a child. I developed the belief that taking human life was wrong and war was no exception. I was then able to clarify who I am and what it is that I stand for.

The thing that I revere most in this world is life, and I will never take another person’s life.

Just as others have faith in God, I have faith in humanity

I have a deeply held belief that people must solve all conflicts through peaceful diplomacy and without the use of violence. Violence only begets more violence.

Because I believe so strongly in non-violence, I cannot perform any role in the military. Any person doing any job in the Army, contributes in some way to the planning, preparation or implementation of war.

For eighteen months, while my CO status was pending, I have honored my commitment to the Army and done everything that they asked of me. However, I was ordered to Ft. Benning last Sunday to complete weapons training in preparation to deploy for war.

Now I have come to the point where I am forced to choose between my legal obligation to the Army and my deepest moral values. I want to make it clear that I will not compromise my beliefs for any reason. I have a moral obligation not only to myself but to the world as a whole, and this is more important than any contract.

I have come to my beliefs through personal, intense, reflection and study. They are everything that I am and all that I stand for.

After much thought and contemplation about the effect my decision will have on my future, my family, the possibility of prison, and the inevitable scorn and ridicule that I will face, I am completely resolute. I will exercise my every legal right not pick up a weapon, and to participate in war effort. I am determined to be discharged as a CO, and while undergoing the appeals process; I will continue to follow orders that do not conflict with my conscience until my status has been resolved. I am prepared to accept the consequences of adhering to my beliefs.

What characterizes a conscientious objector is their willingness to face adversity and uphold their values at any cost. We do this not because it is easy or popular, but because we are unable to do otherwise. thank you.

Courage to Resist is a small all volunteer group of antiwar activists, veterans, and military families who saw a need to build support for antiwar resistance and dissent within the military. This newsletter and the campaign to support GI resistance has incredible potential and is urgently needed, but it’s success depends on you, your group and your community participating.

Please Consider:
1) Signing up to participate on our GI Resistance Alert Network to receive Action Alerts about GI resisters who need phonecalls,
emails, public education and demonstrations of support.

2) If you know of stories or needs for support of GI resisters and objectors please let us know at courage@riseup.net.
You can sign up on our website as either an individual or for your organization. www.CouragetoResist.org

For more on the vigill and protests at Fort Benning, see: http://www.SOAW.org

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Woman GI Stands Criticizes War; Faces Immediate Deployment
David Swanson / After Downing Street.org

FORT BENNING, GA: (November 11, 2005) — Army National Guard Specialist Katherine Jashinski, on active duty with the 111th ASG since January of this year, maked a public statement against war as a conscientious objector in the face of orders to participate in weapons training and deploy to the Middle East.

She will be joined by several members of Iraq Veterans Against the War and Veterans for Peace. Jashinski applied for a discharge as a conscientious objector in 2004. The Army recently denied her claim and ordered her to weapons training and deployment this week.

Speakers at the press conference include Aiden Delgado, an Army Conscientious Objector and member of Iraq Veterans Against the War. “Iraq Veterans Against the War support the right of every soldier to follow their conscience. Today’s revelation that chemical weapons were used against citizens in Falluja is evidence that the war is illegal and immoral.”

Jashinski’s counselor, Persian Gulf War Army Conscientious Objector Aimee Allison is speaking at the press conference: “As the first woman GI to publicly take a stand against this war and declare herself a conscientious objector, Katherine’s actions are very significant. She is showing remarkable courage.”

Katherine Jashinski’s lawyer J.E. McNeil with the Center for Conscience and War will also discuss her legal status and the case. She comments, “This is yet another in a long line of actions by the military to defy its own rules to get the numbers of people they need to continue this war.”

Father Roy Bourgeois, a Vietnam War veteran and founder of School of the Americas Watch also spoke. Jashinki’s statement comes on the eve of a national demonstration this weekend at the gates of Fort Benning to close the U.S. Army School of the Americas. “U.S. foreign policy as it exists today is fundamentally out of alignment with Americans’ values of peace and justice.”

Katherine is actively supported by Code Pink, a women-initiated grassroots peace group. Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink adds, “I applaud Katherine’s courageous stand against the continued US role in bringing violence to the Middle East.”

Contacts: Aimee Allison, 510-343-4019; Aiden Delgado, 941-685-7941