...And not some "namby pamby" type, either. The army said he was tough enough for Ranger. Watch as West discusses the dissolution he experiences as he moves from enlistment through actual combat and finally to the only moral position- Conscientious Objector:
I wanted to highlight my favorite parts of this speech:
"(I began to wonder)...why most of our missions boiled down to the borderline door-to-door enforcement of draconian Iraqi gun laws. How could I claim to believe in the right to keep and bear arms, while depriving another human being of that right?"
"They offered me a job working in the mail room and promised I would never deploy if I accepted it- but I refused. To me, discharge seemed the only logical choice for someone who was actually interested in his oath to defend freedom."
"I've seen behind the curtain. I know that Washington (D.C) and it's lackeys-the banksters and the military industrial complex- pose a greater threat to America than any illiterate, third-world tribesman with an AK-47 ever could."
" I want to encourage everyone here to strive for a society forged not with the hammer of government- but through the voluntary cooperation of individuals. A world ruled not by Machiavellian plans of an oligarchy, or the dictates of the masses- but by the idea that individuals are free and sovereign, and that we have the right to life, liberty, and property."
"So, before I leave, I would like to leave you with a piece of advice: #1- Never initiate the use of force- even when you think it will have a greater good...it won't. #2- Live, think, and trade freely. #3- A collective can never have more rights than the individuals that comprise it. #4- ...Never compromise- not even in the face of Armageddon."
I can think of no better person to be labeled "conscientious" than David West. He was more than ready to "defend freedom" through work in the military, but his experiences proved to suppress rather than elevate this ideal. When he finally came fully to grips with this reality, West could no longer go on.
Unfortunately for West (and all the rest of us), the hawks in the Government have no conscience when it comes to war: they will sell it to the people as a "liberation" or "fighting for freedom." Then, it will turn around and seize any and all freedoms possible- and, importantly, this means the freedoms of it's own citizens. A state of war anywhere is certainly the most direct threat to liberty everywhere.
Thank you, David West, for your courage, honor, and sacrifice.