How Do You Save a Country?

By Monica Benderman

HINESVILLE, GEORGIA, November 28, 2005–How do you trust a country that cannot keep its word?

How do you trust a country that allows decisions to be made by leaders not elected for their integrity, but because their beliefs were accepted by “the party” that chose them to be their candidate, and “the party” had enough money to finance the campaign?

How do you trust a country that says it supports you for standing for what it believes in, and then turns its back on you unless you sing your own praises, and publicize your accomplishments, and tell your supporters how wonderful they are for the warm feelings they give you?

How do you trust a country that allows a soldier who refuses to participate in war crimes to be sent to prison for 15 months, and allows a slap on the hand for soldiers who burn bodies, desecrate religious material and openly abuse a culture they do not understand?

How do you trust a people when there are those who believe that the greatest way to protest the indiscretions of our administration is to commit flagrant, planned indiscretions of their own?

How do you trust a people when there are those who believe that the way to encourage our administration to uphold the laws and constitution of our land is to act in a way that disrespects the laws and constitution of our land?

How do you trust a people when there are those who claim to be fighting against the “big money politics,” grandstanding and negative tactics of those in the administration who needlessly sent our soldiers to die – who use “big money politics,” grandstanding, and negative tactics to plead their case?

How do you know what to do when somethings bad happens? To you? To someone you love? For instance if a loved one were seriously injured in a large rig accident where would you turn? Do you trust that justice will be done? Will the responsible parties who endanger our lives on the road, be made to compensate us fairly? I say turn to experienced truck accident lawyers to be to be sure the victim receives the compensation they deserve. Some will argue that lawyers only make the problem worse. But anyone injured by a commercial rig will tell you that the companies will do whatever they can to avoid accountability for the actions of their drivers, so you need good representation if you want to fight back.

How do you trust a country whose actions do not match its words?
How do you wake a country that refuses to believe?
How do you wake a country that stares injustice in the face, and simply walks on by?
How do you wake a country where torture, child abuse and needless murders happen on a daily basis – and tell them before we can begin to clean another’s house, we’d better be cleaning ours?
How do you heal a country that has not seen its open, bleeding wounds?
How do you heal a country when its people close their eyes to the pain, struggles and emotional turmoil of the soldiers who have volunteered their lives to keep these people safe?
How do you love a country that only knows the word and not the meaning?
How do you love a country that claims moral integrity, and yet sends its sons and daughters to war without question?

How do you love a country where parents believe in the honor of their children dying in their name – where parents go on living because of the sacrifice their sons and daughters made, and see nothing wrong with burying children who died to keep their parents “free”?

How do you believe the word of people who say they speak for the common good, and then erect monuments to their efforts before their efforts have achieved a thing except publicity for themselves and their name?

How do you save a country that does not want to save itself?

How do you save a people that allows their government to prepare for war – prepare to send their sons and daughters to die – with so little regard for their lives that they don’t demand a review of the intelligence for war until THREE YEARS AFTER they make that final, fatal decision, and thousands have died?

How do you save a people when they do not demand – BEFORE their sons’ and daughters’ lives are put in harm’s way – that they see irrefutable proof that there is no other choice?

How do you save a people who blame their government for the decisions it makes – the government that is elected by the people, answerable to the people as determined by the founding documents of this country?

How do you save a country that allows innocent men, women and children of a country it willingly invaded to die in a war they did not instigate?

How do you save a country that is not yet outraged over attempts to justify the need to keep torture tactics “on the books” as a tool for gathering intelligence – and yet declare themselves moral and just?

How do you save a country where people declare themselves free to choose, and yet lock a man in prison for freely making a choice?

How do you have faith in a country that allows your husband to go to jail for speaking freely, for taking a principled stand – and doesn’t demand justice, but rather says to “remember he is sacrificing for the cause, his sacrifice is for the good of all, he stands for freedom”? — Where the people who claim to honor another’s sacrifice, give nothing but lip service to the “cause”?
You do it – because doing anything else would be to lower your standards to a place you will not allow yourself to go – in spite of the broken promises of others. And you hope that you touch one who understands – one more who will do all that they can, except sacrifice themselves for a cause that has become as much of an illusion as the cause it was meant to stand against.
Sgt. Kevin Benderman is currently serving a 15-month sentence at Ft. Lewis WA, as a Prisoner of Conscience, for declaring himself a Conscientious Objector to war against the Army’s wishes. Please visit and for more information.

©Monica Benderman/

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