IRAQ: Hundreds of U.S. Soldiers Emerge as Conscientious Objectors; link to SA war resistance campaign

NEW YORK, Apr 15 (IPS) – Although only a handful of them have gone public, at least several hundred U.S. soldiers have applied for conscientious objector (CO) status since January, says a rights group.

The Center on Conscience and War (CCW), which advises military personnel on CO discharges, reports that since the start of 2003 – when many soldiers realised they might have to fight in the Iraq war – there has been a massive increase in the number of enlisted soldiers who have applied for CO status.

SEE REPORT BY Gabriel Packard from Interpress Service Agency

In 1987 following the lead taken by Dr Ivan Toms, David Bruce, Kevin Wilkinson, a group of 15 South African conscientious objectors refused to do military service in the Apartheid war machine. After the End Conscription Campaign was banned in 1988, hundreds of white South African war resistors refused the call-up, and conscription into the War in Angola and Civil War raging in South Africa’s Black Townships



Refusing to bear arms: a world survey of conscription and conscientious objection to military service