More From Moon

Note: Jason Moon sent the following letter to the Oshkosh Northwestern. He forwarded a copy to Commentary.-Tony Palmeri

February 25, 2003

I’m a little confused about all the negative feedback I’ve received pertaining to the Feb 3rd article about me and the ensuing responses in your editorial section. I state that I don’t want to participate in the slaughter of innocent women and children and they label me a pacifist. When I say that I would feel remorse and regret for killing a conscripted child soldier I’m told I don’t belong in the military. When I agree and respond that I won’t be reenlisting, I’m called a hypocrite, a coward, and a waste of government money. Mr. Capobianco apparently believes that the estimated 1 million Iraqi’s who have died because of our twelve years of sanctions are somehow Saddam Hussein’s fault. Then there’s the hate mail and now someone has stolen an anti-war sign off my front porch. So let me try to make this a clear as I possibly can.

I would never do anything to put the lives of my fellow soldiers at risk. I will follow every order I’m given, without hesitation, to the best of my ability, even if that order entails me taking the life of an enemy soldier. Apparently that’s not enough for some people. It’s not enough that I will, for the service of my country, go against everything I believe and take the life of another human being. I’m supposed to be happy about it. I’m supposed to want to kill, maybe even enjoy it. I’m supposed to be a blood thirsty killing machine full of nothing but hatred and rage, feeling no sympathy or remorse for my action. I’m very sorry, but I can not do that. I do not hate the people of Iraq. When I think about killing an enemy soldier I wonder, does he hate me? Or is he like me, just following orders? Does he have a wife waiting patiently at home? Does he have a son, like me, who will now grow up without a father? What about his mother, his father, his family, and all the pain and suffering I will have caused them. If I could convince myself that this war was for a good cause it may alleviate some of my regret. However, we all know that this war has nothing to do with helping the people of Iraq and everything to do with controlling their oilfields.

My fellow Christian soldiers assure me that, because god is always on the side of America, we will be granted amnesty from our action during combat. Unfortunately for me, the law of karma does not understand “just following orders.” None the less, I will, if my country asks, fight, kill and die. But I will not do it out of hatred, and I will deeply regret every single ounce of suffering that I create. If this makes me a bad soldier and a bad American, then so be it. At least I can find comfort in this; most soldiers who fight in a war lacking popular support, such as Vietnam, must wait until they return home before they are greeted with disrespect. I am lucky; I don’t have to wait until I get home, for you have already begun to spit on me, even before I’ve boarded the plane.


Spc Moon, Jason R.