Facing the Truth
By Monica Benderman
-- - -It’s about time Americans faced the truth.
A Marine not only convicted of conspiring to commit
kidnapping, larceny, and making false statements; but the
murder – MURDER – of an innocent Iraqi man, was given his
sentence. He is to receive a reduction in rank and a bad
THIS is what America has become.
It is now considered “bad conduct” to murder an unarmed man,
knowingly return to the scene to fabricate the appearance of
self-defense and hide the facts after the fact.
Murdering an innocent Iraqi is now considered “Bad Conduct.”
In 2004 my husband, a ten-year US Army veteran, made a
conscious decision to no longer participate in war – he
spoke openly of the bad conduct of his commanders in giving
orders to soldiers in his unit which not only jeopardized
the lives of innocent Iraqis, and children, but also those
of the soldiers he served with.
For his decision to no longer be part of the destruction,
wanton killing, and unjust, immoral action this war has
shown itself to be, my husband was accused of being a
deserter, faced trumped up, fabricated charges of
intentionally missing his unit’s movement, and when the
first court-martial attempt failed, was handed additional
trumped up charges of larceny for combat pay his command
erroneously placed in his paycheck. During a second
court-martial attempt he was found guilty of missing
movement or not getting on a plane and was sentenced to 15
months in prison, loss of all pay, reduction in rank and a
A veteran with ten years of honorable service, who took a
stand to no longer participate in an action in which
murdering innocents is acceptable is now considered
How low do you intend to go, America?
How far are you going to let your values dip before you stop
We don’t need to see the documents “executive privilege” is
denying us the right to see. Their content is evident in the
actions of our military courts – Justice in America no
longer has a conscience, and the travesty continues as
Americans sleep through the reality of what it is they are
about to lose.
The United States Congress spent an entire night – wasted an
entire night – in a public display of ridiculous bantering
over a war which has now caused the deaths of almost 4000 US
military personnel and hundreds of thousands of innocent
civilians – CHILDREN are dying every day in Iraq because of
what this country has allowed to happen, and our Congress
has the foresight to remember to place cots in the Senate
chambers in case one of the illustrious elite might grow
weary of their repetitious “pillow talk” and need a rest.
I am weary of the talk – the Iraqis are weary of the talk –
and I know for a fact that American soldiers are weary of
There are some who, while wearing our nation’s uniform, have
committed horrendous crimes in this war, and in a great many
instances have received little more than a slap on the hand
for their actions. Hundreds of thousands more soldiers have
served honorably under the most horrendous conditions,
fighting against their instincts for survival to maintain
morality in their actions in the most difficult
circumstances. They deserve better than to see those who
cannot control themselves face so little consequence for
their lack of character.
The administration that sent our military to war has become
nothing more than a dictatorship in emperor’s clothing and
our congress is clearly displaying how little backbone they
have when it comes to defending the truth in the hallowed
halls within which our Constitution is supposed to still
The American people seem to live in a stupor as our soldiers
continue to be sent to war – our congress can’t seem to find
it in themselves to get up off their cots and realize that
our military needs a rest too, as do the Iraqi citizens who
have seen their country devastated beyond recognition by the
maniacal whims of an administration that is lost in its love
for self-aggrandizement and its need for public recognition
regardless of whether their behavior is even remotely
recognizable as human.
Where is America’s Conscience?
This country has become such a nation of followers, addicted
to letting someone, anyone else make their decisions for
them as long as they can continue on in their hazy stupor,
wrapped in the illusion of living a celebrated life,
carefree and requiring no responsibility for their actions.
Why is this administration still allowed a shred of
Why are we still acknowledging any of the members of our
congress as being capable of representing any truth in their
The truth is that none of our government officials are
willing to admit to a mistake. None of our government
officials are willing to take a stand to acknowledge that
their role in sending our soldiers to war was instrumental
in the greatest mistake imaginable. Our government officials
continue to hope that a “surge and a prayer” will bring
victory to the glittery false promises they so boldly made
as they sought to assure a fearful nation to put their trust
in leaders who have yet to come to terms with the true
meaning of responsibility; and the war drags on as more
soldiers die and more families face their loss in the heart
of a nation whose beat yields a very hollow sound.
Our soldiers and their families deserve better and it is
past time for American citizens to take a stand to defend
the laws they have expected our soldiers to fight for in
Our government leadership stands with their hands over their
hearts crying crocodile tears as they tell story after story
of the “brave soldiers and families” who continue to
sacrifice so greatly in this country’s name – doing so with
all the feeling of the new robot baby introduced as the
latest “must have toy” soon to be all the rage in every
Our military families stand with their hands empty and their
hearts heavy as they struggle to make it through a memorial
service trying to find meaning in the cause for which their
loved one died –grasping at believing the words of the
politicians when they are told this sacrifice has been worth
the loss, simply because they don’t want to believe they
lost their loved one for nothing.
America doesn’t know their loss – America knows talk.
America knows drama. America knows politics.
America hasn’t the first clue about loss – and so Americans
continue to lose, and soldiers continue to die while the
games of politicians are acted out on the nightly news in
dramatic displays of understanding with the depth of a two
inch mud puddle.
Americans haven’t the first idea what it means to sacrifice
– and Americans don’t care whether there was a reason for
our soldiers to die or not, as long as they are not the ones
who must look in the mirror and face what they have become –
a nation without a conscience.
I watched soldiers board buses in the middle of the night,
somber and teary eyed, even in their strength, as they left
to invade a country in a war which even then made little
sense. I watched them hold their heads high as families
stood in the distance until the buses were no longer in
view, and felt the emptiness of the darkness we were left
with, wondering whether one of those men would be the first
to die in a war whose cause has still not been defined.
I have walked across the sidewalks lined with almost 400
trees now, in the middle of Fort Stewart’s parade grounds;
trees planted to remember lives lost. I’m sorry but I don’t
see that to be an equal exchange and the memory of a lone
soldier kneeling beside the base of one tree to leave a note
for someone who had been so much more than a friend
represents a loss this country can’t seem to comprehend.
Our soldiers deserve better than a congress that is willing
to spend an entire night in a debate of futility.
Our soldiers deserve better than an administration that
cares more about defending its right to hide its
incompetence from us than it cares about even its own
humanity, as it orders our soldiers to a war that has become
nothing more than another act of covering the tracks of a
leadership that has clearly demonstrated its inability to
Our soldiers have been stranded in a country that is now
decimated and in danger of becoming lawless because American
citizens have sat idly by and allowed themselves to be led
toward becoming a nation of lawlessness, and there is no end
in sight unless American citizens step up and defend the
laws which have given them their freedom for over two
Where is your conscience, America?
Monica is the wife of Sgt. Kevin Benderman, a ten-year Army
veteran who served a combat tour in Iraq and a year in
prison for his public protest of war and the destruction it
causes to civilians and to American military personnel.
Please visit their website, www.BendermanDefense.org to
Monica and Kevin may be reached at
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