Woman Colonel Urges Troops to Refuse Orders if US Attacks Iran

Adding to the chorus of women leaders demanding that President Bush retreat from the possibility of war against Iran, retired Army Reserves Colonel and former high-ranking diplomat Mary Ann Wright asked military personnel to refuse potentially imminent orders to attack Iran.

“Attacking Iran will be a crime against peace, a war crime,” wrote Wright in a recent column published by Truthout.org. “Those conducting military operations will be violating the Nuremberg Principles, the Geneva Conventions and the Laws of Land Warfare… While refusal to drop bombs [on Iran] may initially draw punishment and the loss of one’s military career, those who refuse will save their soul, their conscience, and will prevent another criminal action in the name of our country by the Bush administration.”

Wright noted the large number of women now in the military and appealed to women military personnel, as well as their male counterparts, to consider the deaths of innocent civilians that will result if Iran is bombed. She went on to say, “We as human beings must take responsibility for ourselves and what our government may ask us to do.”

Wright served 29 years in the US Army and Army Reserves, rising to the rank of colonel. In March 2003, Wright was one of the highest-ranking State Department officials to resign in protest of the Iraq war.

Feminist Majority Foundation President Eleanor Smeal joined with Nobel Peace Laureates Jody Williams of the US and Shirin Ebadi of Iran in April of last year to call for a peaceful resolution to the tensions between the two countries. A May 2006 Ms. magazine poll found that 67 percent of US women (compared with 59 percent of men) oppose the US taking a preemptive, unilateral military action against Iran.

LEARN MORE Read “The Peacemongers,” a Ms. report on the creation of the Nobel Women’s Initiative, a collection of women Nobel Peace Laureates and their work to convince the US and Iranian governments that negotiations and compromise are better alternatives to war.

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Truthout.org 2/13/07; Ms. magazine Summer 2006; Washington Post 3/20/03

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