It is Your Duty to Refuse: Former Army Rangers Write to U.S. Troops

Central Americans seeking asylum status

To All Active Duty Soldiers:

Your Commander-in-chief is lying to you. You should refuse his orders to deploy to the southern US border should you be called to do so. Despite what Trump and his administration are saying, the migrants moving North towards the US are not a threat. These small numbers of people are escaping intense violence. In fact, much of the reason these men and women—with families just like yours and ours—are fleeing their homes is because of the US meddling in their country’s elections. Look no further than Honduras, where the Obama administration supported the overthrow of a democratically elected president who was then replaced by a repressive dictator.

These extremely poor and vulnerable people are desperate for peace. Who among us would walk a thousand miles with only the clothes on our back without great cause? The odds are good that your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. lived similar experiences to these migrants. Unless your ancestors are native to this land, your family members came to the US to seek a better life—some fled violence. Consider this as you are asked to confront these unarmed men, women and children from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. To do so would be the ultimate hypocrisy.

US is the richest country in the world, in part because it has exploited countries in Latin America for decades. If you treat people from these countries like criminals, as Trump hopes you will, you only contribute to the legacy of pillage and plunder beneath our southern border. We need to confront this history together, we need to confront the reality of America’s wealth and both share and give it back with these people. Above all else, we cannot turn them away at our door. They will die if we do.

By every moral or ethical standard it is your duty to refuse orders to “defend” the US from these migrants. History will look kindly upon you if you do. There are tens of thousands of us who will support your decision to lay your weapons down. You are better than your Commander-in-chief. Our only advice is to resist in groups. Organize with your fellow soldiers. Do not go this alone. It is much harder to punish the many than the few.

In solidarity,

Rory Fanning
Former US Army Ranger, War-Resister

Spenser Rapone
Former US Army Ranger and Infantry Officer, War-Resister


Published in The Nation, November 2, 20018
Click Below




4 thoughts on “It is Your Duty to Refuse: Former Army Rangers Write to U.S. Troops

  1. This is a beautiful thing to see.

    Also, to add to what Rosaliene pointed out, military people (and usually police also) are not only trained to obey, they are chosen for average intelligence and very high obedience so as not to ask “why” – just who, what and where.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I’m so sorry that I missed this! Please forgive me. I have been a terrible blogger for several months. Actually, I haven’t been a blogger at all.
      Hmm – well, ALL soldiers everywhere are trained to obey. I’ve met quite a few, all very young, and I don’t think they’re less intelligent or more compliant than their civilian peers. What really distinguishes them, as far as I can see is their poor and working-class backgrounds. At least in this region, college has become increasingy beyond the grasp of Latino kids. They see the military as a route to a skilled trade and it’s also true that they respond to racist stereotypes by waanting to prove their patriotism. Of course if the military provided good job training, there wouldn’t be all these thousands of unemployed and homeless vets.
      God, eighteen is SO young! I can’t stand it. I think what the army wants the most is kids.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.